google


Google have implemented my idea to make Google Books TTS work like an audio player – it can now work in background and being controlled with bluetooth headset – so I can play, pause and rewind paragraphs of the book read by speech synthesizer just as it was music. This is soo fantastic!!

I have been proposing this solution to Amazon to implement in Kindle for Android, but for years they did not listen. I have switched to Kindle application after Amazon bricked my Kindle3 3G reader with a software update (and all other devices worldwide). Now I just wait until Google Books allow to import my Kindle library, and I will never go back to Kindle. Greedy loses twice.

google


I am really unhappy that Google’s Android 7 started living with its own life against its user will. Android 7 will turn on and off Bluetooth connectivity on its own and scan the area itself, even that you turn off the Bluetooth device by hand. It looks that you have no control over your own phone anymore! Shame on you Google! Really poor design idea πŸ™

Update: I have reported this issue to Google Security Team, they got interested, so this does not seem to be a “standard feature”.. maybe a phone design flaw or firmware/microcode bug..

google


Google Chromecast is a device that allows you to stream audio-video content over WiFi network from Application to a HDMI enabled display. This works really nice when you want to watch Netflix or show some movies from your mobile device on large screen TV/Projector.

Recently, Google released a new line of Chromecast devices that support audio only and higher resolution displays, renaming Chromecast to Google Home. This rebrand also replaced mobile application for devices management. New application forces user to have working internet connection, use localization, and sign with google account in order to work. There is no way to roll back to old application. Not really cool.

I have found and reported one nasty bug in this new Google Home application (version 1.19.29), that prevents you from discovering and setting up old Chromecast devices after Factory Defaults Reset or WiFi password change (so it can connect to your WiFi again). I only have old device so I am not sure how this affects new devices. You will not be able to discover your Chromecast device over WiFi when Localization Services are disabled and according permission was not granted!! In order to connect to your Chromecast:

  • Reinstall or clear application data/cache.
  • In startup configuration wizard you must grant access to localization services. If you do not enable localization and allow it to work granting permissions, you will not find your Chromecast later on.
  • Search now for a Chromecast device still in setup wizard, you will find it, only if you did previous step correctly.
  • Note that when you find a device that way, you can skip sign in with google account.
  • If you do not grant localization permissions you will not be able to detect your chromecast device anymore.

I hope this has nothing to do with killing old line of devices with a software update. I also hope Google will fix this issue in next releases and they really don’t force users to give up so many personal information (why do they need GPS/Bluetooth running for a simple WiFi connection otherwise)..

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Created a FreeBSD Port for Google Protobuf version 3.1.0 πŸ™‚

https://bugs.freebsd.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=214957

google


Another HALL OF SHAME entry goes to Google for missing reliable Voice Dial functionality. It is over 5 years of bleeding edge development of Android, thousands of people in the most powerful IT corporation on this planet, most advanced Text-To-Speech and Speech-To-Text engines available, and still, no reliable Voice Dial function. People that use phone to work simply need a Bluetooth or Wired Headset that is able to correctly dial a designated phone number they want to make a call. These are daily work basics. Learn from Apple iPhone. Until these basic functionalities are provided first I see no reason to introduce thousands of not-yet-working or never-working-will-one-day-fix stuff that only create false image of endless possibilities, potentially, but not at all functional in the real world scenarios..

I have Accessibility, Text-To-Speech, Voice-Input, OK-Google, Google Search, Handsfree, Voice Dialer, Google Voice Typing, Offline Speech Recognition, Bluetooth and Wired Headset Support. Still, it is impossible to dial a phone number via Headset that would not involve touching the phone. Really sad πŸ™

Update: After several days of struggle (using unsupported flashing tool and ripping the firmware from an official software that declined to work) I have managed to run Android 6.0 (7.0 is already out) on my mobile. Here Google seems to have replaced “Voice Dial” application with “Google Search” and now you can ask Google to dial a number for you. Well, it only works when you are online, and now Google knows exactly what you do all the time. What a breakthrough! πŸ˜‰

google


I have just reported several issues and ideas related with this nice Google Hangouts Android application:

  • The name Hangouts is not popular and hard to remember. Abandoning “Google Chat” or “Google Talk” was a bad idea. People tend to remember short names and popular words such as “Skype” or “Viber”. This may be funny but people really cannot remember “Hangouts” well.
  • Receiving calls is misleading. There are several different ways to answer an incoming call in Hangouts. Most common way is to press a button and then drag it onto an icon that is not visible until you press a button. Another way is top view pop-up which could have color buttons in addition to small icons. Older people have problem with this. Average non-geek user simply needs Green Answer and Red Reject button.
  • Hangouts would be simpler to use and more popular if it worked just as an ordinary Phone Call application. Non-geek users have this habit already on how to use Phone Call application, that Hangouts should leverage.
  • Hangouts voice/video call should be available directly from a Contact Book if gmail address is present. Just as phone call.
  • There are Android devices that offer hardware phone buttons (such as LG Wine Smart). Green Connect and Red Disconnect buttons should be also available to perform actions in Hangouts.

These simple ideas arised from observing older people trying to use Hangouts to videocall their family members..

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GoogleNexus

If you happen to brick your Google Nexus device you can always use stock ROM images [1] to revert it to a default and operational state. Package contains not only OS but also bootloader and radio firmware images!

I have bricked my device by installing custom firmware that messed partitions layout inside a Flash Memory. I have seen lots of people having similar problem of endless bootloader-loop. There is no need to send a device to a service when bootloader is operational. All you need is a stock firmware image from Google [1], USB cable, and fastboot utility from Android SDK. If you happen to damage a bootloader, then hardware manipulation at low-level is necessary over JTAG, I can help to recover your device in that case.. no worries πŸ™‚

[1] https://developers.google.com/android/nexus/images