Pixel & Pie – WTF Google!

Google Pixel (Very Black)

After carrying Nexus phones for years I bought a Google Pixel in December 2016. That was just after the Pixel 2 was released, so the older Pixel was priced well and still offered great performance.

I was very pleased with the Pixel until quite recently. The OTA update to Android 9 (Pie) in August has been a huge step backward. Since that update the phone’s battery life has been dramatically reduced. Where it once lasted all day with my typical usage, it now lasts only about 7 hours with only light usage. Further, the phone is often noticeably warm to the touch.

Being the inquisitive sort, I’ve done some experiments to try and find out why this is happening. There are no rogue apps running. Or at least the OS reports no app using more that 2-3% of battery power.

I put the phone in Safe Mode for a day so only the factory installed apps would run. Battery life remained abysmal. That suggests that the problem is not caused by an app at all.

I’ve come to believe that I’ve identified the source of the problem. It’s related to the Wi-Fi. If I turn off the Wi-Fi the battery life is closer to what was experiencing running Oreo. Turn it back on and it plummets.

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A Gift For Geeks: Charge!

two-chargersCell phones, tablets & related accessories are very personal items. I am increasingly of a mind that items of technology are too personal to be a gift. However, there are a few some cases where that’s not true. For example, unusual chargers.  In particular, high-current USB chargers built into standard receptacles.

These handy devices cost around $20 and are available from a variety of sources. Locally, I have found them at Lowe’s and Home Depot, although Amazon has a great selection which afford you the opportunity to match a particular décor. Those who are handy with a screwdriver might include the act of installation along with the gift itself.

If that’s not your thing, you might consider a wireless charger. Where a year ago wireless chargers were still pricey, in the $50+ range, they have since fallen to $25 or less. It takes a little research to determine if your intended target has a  mobile device that features one of the common wireless charging mechanisms, the most common of which is known as Qi.

From my own experience I know that our Nexus 4, Nexus 5 & Nexus 7 mobile devices all have Qi wireless charging built-in. If their cell phone, like the almighty iPhone,  doesn’t have Qi built-in you can add it by way of aftermarket  wireless receiver. These are also very affordable, and available in designs that fit just about any phone.

Wireless chargers potentially extend the life of the handheld device by avoiding the mechanical wear & tear common to repeated use of the micro-USB charging port. Further, a wireless charging stand puts a tablet at a convenient position resting on a desktop or night stand. That makes it more practical to use the device as an alarm clock or streaming music player. It’s reliably held at an appropriate position even while keeping it continuously powered.

Advanced chargers are good gift ideas.They are items that people usually don’t buy for themselves, yet they can significantly improve quality of life with handheld devices.

Reselling Samsung Galaxy Nexus & Some Accessories

GalaxyNexus-Press-300.jpgJust FYI, I’ve recently listed my Samsung Galaxy Nexus cell phone on E-bay. It’s a great phone and less than a year old. It’s in very good shape. Of course, it’s running the latest Android Jelly Bean, which is v4.2.1. Jelly Bean gives you the 100% pure Android experience with none of the carrier goop to muddle the works or delay firmware updates.

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