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10
Oct

Huawei Watch review


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Aiming to create smartwatches that allow for the look and feel of a classic watch, more and more OEMs have been adopting a circular design when it comes to their wearable devices. One such Android Wear smartwatch that has piqued our interest since its introduction has been the smart wearable from Huawei, and the beautifully-designed device is certainly one that a lot of people have been clamoring for. Does this smartwatch manage to be more than just all about looks? We find out, in this comprehensive Huawei Watch review!

More great Android Wear devices

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Design

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Not surprisingly, the design of the Huawei Watch is the most important part of the entire experience, and given that the unboxing of the device was also a pretty luxurious affair, its obvious that this is a watch made for both the executive, business dress, as well as for the casual, everyday style.

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With a leather strap with the base model and a metal construction, Huawei has definitely hit a lot of the right notes. The screen is completely round, and without any breaks in the shape, and found at the 2 o’ clock position is a single button. The button is nice and solid, with good tactile feedback and a bit of a spring action to it, and while not jarring in its appearance, Huawei certainly hasn’t attempted to hide it away. At the top and bottom are nubs with some curve to them, that houses the standard 18 mm straps this version comes with. Speaking of straps, it is very easy to replace them as well to any of the numerous options that Huawei has available, with the presence of quick release pins.

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There’s no doubt that this executive design checks all the right boxes, with the tuxedo color scheme fitting in with everything from suits to a more casual attire. That said, if your getup isn’t all that presentable, the shiny, silver watch may look out of place, and it also quite difficult to take advantage of the fitness capabilities of this Android Wear device, given its more formal design. Another point of note is that while the 42 mm size is pretty standard for watches in general, the thickness, of just over 11 mm, exacerbates its size, and if you have small wrists, it will unfortunately look strange.

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As mentioned, there are quite a few different color and strap options available with the Huawei Watch, even if it isn’t at the level as what is possible with the Moto 360 (2nd Gen.) and Moto Maker. Silver, black, or rose gold finishes are coupled with a number of watch bands, ranging from leather, to full deployment clasp metals in different colors. Of course, you will have to shell out a little more to get the look that fits your wants.

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We do think that the Huawei Watch is one of the first Android Wear devices to get the classic round watch design right, but that is important only if you really want your smartwatch to look like an old timepiece, but with a whole lot of extra capabilities baked in. To that end, you do get the sense that the Huawei Watch tried just a little too hard to be everything, and while it knows what makes a watch a watch, it then has to contend with the tropes of a smart device. The curves of the top and bottom nubs feel just a touch out of place from the rigidity that is the flat AMOLED display, and the leather watch strap, though a prerequisite of typical luxury, isn’t anything too special.

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There’s no denying that the Huawei Watch is one of the new Android Wear devices that melds the worlds of watches and smart devices together in a seamless way, but that looks to result in as many disadvantages as there are positives.

Display

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One of the best displays on a smartwatch to date

The Huawei Watch comes with a 1.4-inch AMOLED display, with a 400 x 400 resolution, and allows for one of the best smartwatch display experiences available right now. Sapphire Crystal covers the display, which is another classic timepiece note that Huawei manages to hit. Text is really crisp on this screen, and the high resolution makes the otherwise rather cut and dry Android Wear software look smooth and snappy.

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There are also benefits from having the perpetually on screen with an AMOLED display, as it helps keep the watch from using too much power, and the contrast does help things pop. While the screen does make viewing quite great, it does again seem to be trying just a little too hard however. Without an ambient light sensor available, the screen is left at the user defined brightness, which will ultimately require a little more micromanagement of the watch than might be desired. Thankfully, the brightness is otherwise good enough to allow for comfortable outdoor visibility.

Performance

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Under the hood, the Huawei Watch packs a Snapdragon 400 processor, backed by 512 MB of RAM, which is pretty standard fare as far as Android Wear devices are concerned. 4 GB of on-board storage is also available for those looking to locally store some music on the watch for phone-less workouts, even though we stand by the fact that a watch like this doesn’t really fit in with gym attire.

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It is of course, quite difficult to really push an Android Wear smartwatch through its paces and really test the performance, as there isn’t much to do on one, other than swipe among cards, and occasionally perform some input within installed applications. In our daily usage, there weren’t any problems with getting applications to load, checking or dismissing notifications, and also keeping track of our fitness activities. In a way, one of the benefits of Android Wear is that things remain pretty reliable across the board no matter what watch you get, and the Huawei Watch is no different.

Hardware

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Typical Android Wear smartwatch features are found on the hardware side of things as well, including a heart rate sensor on the back, but Huawei tries to make it more accurate by adding a second one. When comparing this to my Polar heart rate monitor, it did stay within a smaller margin of error than what is seen with some other smartwatches out there.

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An IP67 certification keeps the watch safe from the elements, and you won’t have to worry about it breaking down under water contact. That said, you will probably feel like taking a watch like this off before any kind of contact with water happens anyway, regardless of the fact that nothing would go wrong with it.


huawei watch unboxing aa (7 of 26)Don’t miss: Huawei Watch unboxing and initial impressions14

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The built-in microphone is one of the main methods of input for Android Wear, and it performs as well as expected, even if taking to the watch takes some getting used to. Really noisy environments can stifle recognition of your voice however, which can be annoying primarily when in the car, but this isn’t an issue seen with only the Huawei Watch, but most other Android Wear devices out there.

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Battery life on the Huawei Watch is very impressive

On the battery front, we have to give the Huawei Watch some credit for being one of the more impressive devices in this aspect. Huawei claimed a day and a half of battery life, and that is what was actually observed in our testing as well. Having to plug in the watch every other night is a marginally better situation to be in, and also a big plus, given the fact that Huawei takes an unfortunate step back with their charging solution.

The Huawei Watch requires usage of a contact-based charger, instead of the more preferred wireless solutions, which means that you have remember to keep this charger on hand, and what is disappointing is that the magnet doesn’t always make the pins line up properly, which can become annoying.

Software

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Finally, Android Wear is the cusp of the experience surrounding the Huawei Watch, and as mentioned many times before, this watch manages to check all the right boxes, but without really excelling, or being truly exciting. The is what is expected from the Android Wear experience though. There are cards that require a lot of swiping around, certain shortcuts are available, including voice input, and unless specific applications are installed along with your smartphone apps, that is essentially all there is to it.

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Android Wear is still best described as a notification center, and gives you the ability to respond or control plenty of them as they come through. Certain applications, like being able to have directions and maps on your wrist prove the usefulness of Android Wear, but the very nature of looking at and controlling another touchscreen makes it less than ideal for some situations, like when you are driving.

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Huawei does try to inject what it can to the typical Android Wear formula, such as the availability of plenty of custom watchfaces, and its own health suite, but ultimately, the general feel is the same, and as far as the software aspect of the Huawei Watch is concerned, it all boils down to whether you love or hate Android Wear.

Gallery

Pricing and final thoughts

As far as the price is concerned, the Huawei Watch does fall at the higher end of the price spectrum, with the potential to get quite expensive depending on which version of the watch you want. The base silver model with the leather band will set you back $349, the addition of a clasping metal band will bring that up to $399, and if you want to go completely gold, $799 is what you will have to spend.


tag heuer 2Related: The most expensive Android Wear watch yet is coming on November 9 from Tag Heuer20

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So there you have it for this in-depth look at the Huawei Watch! A good bit of money will be needed to pick up a watch that does succeed in adding luxury to the equation, but it is otherwise bogged down by what is currently a cut and dry Android Wear platform. The Huawei Watch may be the first device to get the “watch” aspect of a smartwatch right, but it does so at its own peril. Unless you’re really looking for a classic look, this device could actually be a little boring, made only slightly better by one of the other color and watch band options available, which also be more expensive. In an increasingly round smartwatch landscape, Huawei should be lauded for being the first that got it right, but it isn’t going to be alone for much longer, and that might be its biggest problem.

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10
Oct

Here are the videos you don’t want to miss this week – October 10, 2015


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Unboxings, reviews, app roundups and much more – this week we managed to bring you a variety of video coverage from the world of Android.

Some of the most anticipated smartphones of the year went head to head this week, as we pitted the Samsung Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6s against each other. We also published an in-depth comparison of the Motorola Moto X Style (or Pure Edition) and the Nexus 6, and you don’t want to miss it. We also managed to bring you a full tour of what’s new in Android 6.0 Marshmallow, an unboxing and first look at the Samsung Gear S2 smartwatch, and multiple different smartphone and accessory reviews.

Our video team has been working pretty hard lately, and here’s what they’ve brought us this week.

When flagships go head to head

Samsung Galaxy S6 vs iPhone 6s

The Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6s are two of the best smartphones you can buy today. Which one should you get? We aim to help you make that decision, in our full comparison of the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Apple iPhone 6s.

Moto X Style/Pure Edition in video

Moto X Style/Pure Edition vs Nexus 6

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Please enable Javascript to watch this video

The new Moto X Style/Pure Edition is quite the smartphone, but how does it compare to Motorola’s Nexus 6? We find out in our full comparison of the Moto X Style vs the Nexus 6.

Moto X Style/Pure Edition tips and tricks

Want to get the most out of your new Moto X? Lanh is here to give us some helpful tips and ticks.

Unboxing and first impressions

Samsung Gear S2 unboxing and first impressions

Samsung’s Gear S2 smartwatch just recently landed on our doorstep, and we wasted no time unboxing it. Let’s find out what the Gear S2 has to offer in our unboxing and first impressions video.

A quick tour of Marshmallow

Android 6.0 Marshmallow just started rolling out to current Nexus devices. Want to see what’s new in the latest version of Android? Joe walks us through what’s new.

Reviews

Chromecast 2015 and Chromecast Audio review

Alongside the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, Google unveiled two new media streaming devices – the new Chromecast and Chromecast Audio. Wondering what they have to offer? Don’t miss our full review.

BLU Pure XL review

Can BLU’s latest budget-friendly flagship stand out amongst the competition? Be sure to check out Bailey’s full review of the BLU Pure XL.

ZUK Z1 review

Backed by Lenovo and running Cyanogen, can the ZUK Z1 make an impact in the crowded smartphone space? Gary gives his thoughts on this new device.

Android Apps Weekly

New Adobe apps, Humble Bundle, and Russia vs Google: Round 2 – you don’t want to miss Joe’s newest episode of Android Apps Weekly!

What’s next for OnePlus?

Now that the company has released two flagship devices, what’s next for OnePlus? Do they have a bright future, or are they done? Nirave takes a look at the future of OnePlus.

10
Oct

ITC finds that Samsung and Qualcomm didn’t violate NVIDIA patents


Samsung Galaxy Note 4

NVIDIA’s first patent lawsuit campaign isn’t exactly going according to plan. The US International Trade Commission has ruled that Samsung and Qualcomm aren’t infringing on NVIDIA’s graphics patents. The judge rejected two of the patent claims outright and deemed a third patent invalid. There’s still a chance that the ITC will rethink its decision following a review in February, but this steals a lot of the thunder out of NVIDIA’s legal war — Samsung and Qualcomm aren’t facing a looming government sales ban that could force them to settle the civil dispute. NVIDIA says it’s still “confident” that it’ll emerge triumphant, but that may be putting on a brave face despite … especially when Samsung’s counterattack is still underway.

Via: Reuters

Source: NVIDIA

10
Oct

AT&T and T-Mobile are looking to swap PC and AWS-1 spectrum licenses


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Rival carriers AT&T and T-Mobile in a new deal have agreed to swap PCS and AWS-1 spectrum licenses throughout the United States, according to a couple of new FCC filings. These licenses will be swapped in identical amounts, so the total spectrum both carriers are holding will remain unchanged.

AT&T and T-Mobile said the license swaps “are intended to enable more efficient operations by creating larger blocks of contiguous spectrum and aligning spectrum blocks across markets.” It’s worth nothing that the deal hasn’t gone through yet, as it’s pending FCC approval. However, at this point, there’s no reason as to why the FCC would block the deal.

Both carriers will be swapping spectrum from many markets, but some of the major ones include Boston; Minneapolis; Phoenix; Sacramento, Calif.; and Austin and San Antonio, Texas. This deal won’t benefit customers immediately, but will guarantee some long-term happiness, as it will allow both carriers to build 15×15 and 20×20 Wideband LTE in some areas. These wider channels will allow for higher capacity traffic and increased speeds, meaning customers will see overall better stability from both carriers in the future.

These deal benefits T-Mobile in particular, as the company has a goal of reaching over 250 markets with Wideband LTE by the end of the year, which we are rapidly approaching. This license swap will help T-Mobile be well on its way to reaching that goal.

Again, it’s still pending FCC approval, so nothing has actually happened yet.

source: FCC (1), FCC (2)
via: TmoNews

Come comment on this article: AT&T and T-Mobile are looking to swap PC and AWS-1 spectrum licenses

10
Oct

HTC One A9 photos showed off in new leak


HTC-One-A9-leak

HTC is a little over a week out before the company is expected to unveil its next flagship, the One A9, at a virtual press conference. As we approach the official announcement, leaks become much more frequent. That said, this latest leak comes from OnLeaks, showing off what is allegedly a dummy version of the One A9.

Excitement is heightening for the device, as HTC recently confirmed that the phone they plan to announce on October 20 will be running Android 6.0 Marshmallow right out of the box, which is a rarity with the new Android version just having been released.

Obviously nothing is official until there’s an official announcement, but what’re your thoughts on the One A9 so far?

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source: OnLeaks (Twitter)

Come comment on this article: HTC One A9 photos showed off in new leak

10
Oct

Google CEO Sundar Pichai dishes out new promotions, Hiroshi Lockheimer now SVP of Android


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Former Google CEO Larry Page and Sergey Brin left the search giant to form parent holding company Alphabet, leaving Sundar Pichai as the new CEO at Google. And now, Pichai has just made his first big move at Google, promoting Hiroshi Lockheimer from VP of Android to SVP of Android, Chrome OS, and Chromecast.

Pichai had some other promotions to give out, making Neal Mohan the SVP of display and video advertising, where he was formerly just a VP. Phillip Schindler was also given a new promotion, and will now be the new SVP of Global Sales and Operations for Google.

You may have heard about Hiroshi Lockheimer from various presentations. He’s actually been at Google since 2006, and recently had a big part to play in the launch of the Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P, which was his biggest appearance as of late.

Either way, there’s been quite a reorganization at Google, as Pichai also handed out a bunch of promotions for its new VPs as well. These promotions were announced via a company-wide email on Friday.

source: Re/Code

Come comment on this article: Google CEO Sundar Pichai dishes out new promotions, Hiroshi Lockheimer now SVP of Android

10
Oct

Paranoid Android is pretty much over


Paranoid Android

Paranoid Android has long been considered one of the most popular custom ROMs available on Android. Unfortunately, it looks like the development team might be throwing in the towel sometime soon.

It’s no secret that the team has been slowing down as of late. After OnePlus hired a handful of key members from the Paranoid Android team to work on its new OxygenOS ROM back in February 2015, users running Paranoid on their devices quickly found out that future updates would be few and far between. The dev team did manage to push out Android 5.1 Lollipop to Nexus devices in July, though the team said the delay was largely due to the fact that they were missing the manpower they once had on their core team.

So what’s to come of the custom ROM? Following a brief post from Paranoid Android’s Andre Saddler on Google+ claiming that the ROM is, in fact, dead, we reached out to one of PA’s project leads, Matt Flaming, for comment. Although he didn’t have any official statement to share from the team, Flaming relayed to us that the remaining members at PA have become too busy with their lives to continue working on the project. You see, the dev team has always been extremely small, so when everyone seems to have more important things to work on it can be difficult to get work done. Some of the members are focusing on finishing up college and have other important things going on.

Flaming continues:

I cannot say officially that we are indeed dead, as I would love to see where 2016 brings us. I would love to wind down 2015 not worrying about it, and hopefully ‘get the band back together’ early next year. Maybe after everyone has had some time off they will realize how much they miss it. I, for one, will hold out hope on revitalizing the project at some point.

Flaming says he has no plans to put the kibosh on the distribution network, blog, website or anything else PA related in the near future.

It’s certainly sad to see Paranoid Android come to an end, if that ends up being the case in the future. The development team has become one of the most respected, detail oriented and talented teams in the custom ROM community, and we’re sure many folks out there won’t be extremely happy to hear this news.

Have you used Paranoid Android in the past, or do you still use it? We’d love to hear your thoughts on the custom ROM in the comment section below.

10
Oct

How to install the Marshmallow factory image on your Nexus device


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The much anticipated Android 6.0 Marshmallow update is here, and Google just recently posted the factory images for its supported Nexus devices. The company did announce that the OTA is rolling out, but that can take weeks, if not longer, to get to everybody. This is largely because companies roll out these updates in stages. That way if there’s something wrong, it only affects a small group of people instead of everybody with that device.

If you’re not into waiting around, we’ve got a handy guide on flashing the factory image on your Nexus device after the break!

Setting things up

One thing to keep in mind is that you will lose all of your data. Flashing Marshmallow on your device requires your bootloader to be unlocked, and in the process of unlocking the bootloader, your device will be wiped of all of its data. That said, the first and most important step to flashing Marshmallow is to ensure all of your data is backed up. If your bootloader is unlocked already, you won’t need to worry about losing any data, and we’ll detail how that’s done in this guide. Still, it’s best to backup than to have not at all. Go back up that data!

Next, you’ll need to install ADB and Fastboot to your computer in order to flash the Marshmallow factory images. If you’re on Windows, you can install the much quicker Minimal ADB and Fastboot; however, the Android SDK tools also include the Google USB drivers, which are very handy. That said, we’ll show you how to go through both.

Installing Minimal ADB and Fastboot:

  • Download Minimal ADB and Fastboot from the XDA Developer Forums
  • Open the downloaded file
  • When prompted, install to C:android-sdkplatform-tools

Installing the Android SDK:

As mentioned earlier, the Android SDK is the more surefire way to get ADB and Fastboot, considering that you can also get the Google USB drivers at the same time. It’s a more lengthy process, but just as easy:

  • You’ll need to download the Android SDK Tools from Google. The Android Developers website primarily advertises the Android Studio package, but you can just get the Android SDK Tools at the bottom of the page for your desired operating system.
  • Follow the wizard and install to C:android-sdk
  • Launch the SDK Manager
  • Unselect all packages except for Android SDK Platform-tools and Google USB driver
  • Install your packages.

That’s it! Now we just need the factory images.

Getting factory images

You can download the latest Marshmallow factory image from the Google Developers website. Generally, the latest version of Android will be found at the bottom of the list under each device. Just be very careful to make sure you’re downloading the correct version for your device. For example, you don’t want to attempt to install a Nexus 7 (2013) factory image on a Nexus 5. You must install the Nexus 5 factory image on a Nexus 5.

The most recent version of Android will always be at the bottom of the list, so you can go through the same process with this guide when there’s an Android 6.1 version or something of the sort.

Extracting factory images

You’ll need to download 7 Zip or use any similar program, such as WinRAR, to extract the contents of the .tgz file you just downloaded (the factory image). Once you’ve gone through the setup wizard of installing that, you can follow the following steps to extract the contents of the .tgz file:

  • Launch 7-Zip and navigate to the directory the your factory image is in.
  • Double click the .tgz file to reveal another file with a .tar file extension.
  • Open the .tar file, and you should find the folder with your devices codename (e.g. hammerhead, shamu, and so on). Open the file.
  • Select all the files that appear, and extract them. Use the destination C:program files(x86)androidandroid-sdkplatform-tools (if you installed the full SDK) or the directory Minimal ADB and Fastboot are installed in.

Preparing to flash

The first step is to go into your device’s Settings menu and enable USB debugging in Developer Options near the bottom of the menu. If you don’t see Developer Options anywhere in your Settings, Google has some documentation on how to make them visible:

To access these settings, open the Developer options in the system Settings. On Android 4.2 and higher, the Developer options screen is hidden by default. To make it visible, go to Settings > About phone and tap Build number seven times. Return to the previous screen to find Developer options at the bottom.

If you went the route of installing Minimal ADB and Fastboot, you’ll need to follow this process:

  • Download the official Google USB Driver from Google Developers
  • Install the USB Drivers
  • Remember the location of the drivers after extracting the .zip file.

Now, we’re ready to plug the device in. Connect it via USB cable, and if this is the first time you’ve connected it to your computer, you might get an RSA prompt on your Nexus device. Just check the “Always allow for this computer” box, select OK, and we’re good to go.

Flashing Marshmallow on your Nexus device

Preliminary instructions for Mac users:

These instructions are intended for Windows users, however, getting them to work on a Mac is very similar. The only real differences is that you’ll need to open Terminal on Mac (as opposed to Command Prompt) and add a “./” in front of the commands you type in Terminal. Additionally, you’ll need to add the platform tools to your $PATH directory on Mac.

The process is simple:

  1. Open Terminal
  2. Type sudo nano/etc/paths
  3. Enter your password
  4. Type in the path of your platform tools directory
  5. Hit control-x on your keyboard to quit and to save changes

You should now be able to follow the flashing instructions below without any issues on Mac. Just be sure to remember to add that “./” in front of your Terminal commands.

Flashing instructions:

  1. With your computer connected to your Nexus device via USB and USB debugging enabled, you’ll need to restart in fastboot mode. You can type adb reboot bootloader (just add a ./ in front of your command on Mac) in Command Prompt to do this. Alternatively, you can use your device’s button commands.
  2. Enter fastboot oem unlock to unlock your device.
  3. Enter flash-all
  4. Your device will reboot with the latest version of Android Marshmallow.

Congrats, you have Android Marshmallow before most of the world!

If you have unlocked the bootloader already, follow these instructions below:

  1. With your computer connected to your Nexus device via USB and USB debugging enabled, you’ll need to restart in fastboot mode. You can type adb reboot bootloader in Command Prompt to do this. Alternatively, you can use your device’s button commands.
  2. You need to edit the flash-all.bat file you extracted from the factory image. Locate the file (should be in the same spot as ADB and Fastboot). Open it in any text editor and remove the -w in the line where you see fastboot -w update
  3.  Enter flash-all in Command Prompt

Congratulations! The update should begin to install, and once it’s done, all you need to reboot.

Welcome to Marshmallow!

What to do if you encounter a missing system.img error:

You will need to extract all the files in the .zip file, extracted from the factory image we downloaded from Google earlier.. The file name should begin with “image.” In this file will be many of the .img files you need, which we are going to flash individually to hopefully avoid that system.img error.

It’s pertinent you flash the following steps in an outlined order, obviously replacing “nameofyourfile” with the actual file name. Also, keep in mind the Mac instructions outlined earlier if commands aren’t working. Just enter the commands below in Command Prompt, and then you should be good to go!

  1. fastboot flash bootloader nameofyourfile.img
  2. fastboot flash radio nameofyourfile.img
  3. fastboot reboot-bootloader
  4. fastboot flash recovery recovery.img
  5. fastboot flash boot boot.img
  6. fastboot flash system system.img

If you’re flashing Marshmallow on a Nexus 9, you’ll also need to add the  fastboot flash vendorvendor.img command after step 6. 

Closing

After successfully following these steps, you should now be able to enjoy all that Marshmallow brings to your device. If Google ever releases an update, you can follow this same process with the updated factory image.

In the meantime, let us know what you think of Marshmallow in the comments below!

Come comment on this article: How to install the Marshmallow factory image on your Nexus device

10
Oct

Our ongoing missions to Mars are over 50 years in the making


A deep space mission to Mars will require more than a few bottles of Poland Spring and water reclamation is a complicated business. Luckily, recent research is showing that liquid water may be more prevalent on the red planet than previously thought. Gathering the data that led to this discovery (amongst many others) didn’t just happen overnight. It’s the result of over 50 years’ worth of missions from Earth with sights set on Mars, not all of which were successful. We’ve collected some highlights from humankind’s long history of hurling spacecraft toward the fourth planet from the sun, and the good news is: We’re getting better at it.

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10
Oct

Booq Boa Saddle Bag Review: Is the functionality worth the price?


In today’s day and age, having all of your technological devices with you is becoming easier and easier. Partially due to the fact that our devices are becoming slimmer and lighter, but also because of the bags and cases that we can carry everything we need with us.

There are a lot of different options out there that help you take your tech life with you at all times, from backpacks, to messenger bags, and even a backpack that has a portable battery built in. We’ll be taking a look at one of the more professional, yet convenient options available.

booq Boa Saddle

The Boa Saddle bag from booq, is a great option that has that professional look, and awesome function at the same time. Made from Nylon and leather, the Boa the durability to hold up against most issues, and the function to hold everything you’ll need.

Specifications

  • Fits: 15″ Mac & PC
  • Exterior: 16.5″ x 12.2″ x 5.9″
  • Interior: 14.6″ x 10.2″ x 1.1″
  • Weight: 2.36lbs

On the outside, you’ll find the “Ballistic Nylon” everywhere with the exception of two places; the leather handles, and the strap that allows you to attach to your luggage handle. Having the ability to easily put the Boa on top of your luggage while walking around the airport, will make your travels much less painful. You won’t have to worry about slinging the Boa over your shoulder and worry about it falling off when you have to bend over to pick something up.

As for inside the Boa, booq claims that it is “Deceptively spacious”, and they definitely got that right. When I first received the Boa, I was a bit concerned about being able to get everything I need with me, into the bag, but I was wrong about that. The Boa has a total of 12 different pockets. There are three main pockets, one for your laptop, one for your miscellaneous items or tablet(s), and an outer pocket that can be used for anything else.

Boa Saddle over top
Boa Laptop pocket padding

The main pocket that is the home for your laptop is lined in fleece to keep your laptop clean, and helps provide some protection while you’re walking about. The next pocket is the one that holds everything else you need for your travels. Within this section, there are eight pockets, complete with smaller pockets to house some pens, and a few larger pockets that can hold a 7″ tablet with ease.

Boa Saddle Pockets 2
Boa Saddle Pockets 1
OnePlus 2 pocket

The third section that can be found on the Boa Saddle, has a smaller pocket within, but also is a tight fit, so if you have a tablet larger than 7″, this would be the place to house it. The smaller pocket within, is just large enough to hold your smartphone. Someone who carries more than one smartphone around, doesn’t want to hog up those precious pants pockets with a bunch of phones or anything else. So booq thought of that, and built-in a pocket so that you can throw your extra phone in there and still have it protected.

The final pocket that can be found on the booq Boa Saddle is just a miscellaneous one, that can house anything extra you may have. There’s also a key ring on the inside with a detachable fob so that you can put your keys in there and have everything in one place.

If you’re still wondering about how much you can put into the Boa Saddle, here’s everything I carry with me on a daily basis, just to help you get an idea.

  • 15″ Samsung laptop and charger
  • 7″ off-brand tablet
  • OnePlus 2
  • 128GB USB 3.0 Thumb Drive
  • OnePlus 2 Charger
  • (2) MicroUSB cable
  • (1) Lightning Cable
  • Charger for Huawei Watch
  • (2) Pens
  • (1) Stylus
  • (1) External battery pack
  • The Martian (book)
  • Sony Headphones
  • House keys

That’s the most I’ve ever been able to carry with me at one time, and I really have everything I’ll ever need all in one place. So what happens if you ever forget where you left your Boa Saddle Bag, or if it gets stolen? Well booq took that into account and included a Terrlinq name plate, on the outside of the Boa Saddle. Once you get the Boa, you’ll want to head over to Terralinq’s site and get your bag registered so that you’ll be able to find it your Boa is ever stolen.

Terralinq Info 1

One more thing that may be causing you some concern after seeing the amount of items that I keep in my bag. Weight. I’ve been using the Boa for about a month, and have tweaked my Everyday Carry a few times, but you really don’t notice the weight. Obviously, if you carry something like the IntoCircuit Power Castle, then you’re bag will feel a bit too heavy, and you may want to rethink that. Regardless, with the leather handles, and the convenient shoulder strap, you’ll never really notice how heavy the Boa is, even with a bunch of items in it.

The Boa is something that I would recommend to anyone looking for a professional shoulder bag, that can carry everything you need. Add in the built-in Terralinq tracking, and you’ve got the end-all shoulder bag. Now, with a professional bag, there’s a cost associated with it, and for the premium look, feel, and function, the Boa’s going to cost you. If you’re interested in the Boa Saddle Bag from booq, it’ll set you back about $195 with free shipping directly from booq. Or you can save 5 cents by getting the Boa from Amazon with Prime Shipping.

While the price is a bit steep, the booq Boa Saddle is a great option out there for anyone who wants a professional and functional shoulder bag. Let us know what you think about the Boa Saddle in the comment section below.

The post Booq Boa Saddle Bag Review: Is the functionality worth the price? appeared first on AndroidGuys.

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