Monday, December 22, 2014

Android 5.0 Available for LG Nexus-4

A few weeks ago, I received the prompt on my LG Nexus-4 informing me that there was a system update available for it (Android 5.0 / Lollipop).

One of the reasons I've purchased the Nexus line of products is because they are the first devices to get new system updates. Although my LG Nexus-4 was over 2 years old, I was glad that it was still slated to get Android 5.0 (Lollipop) when Lollipop was first announced.

For information about Lollipop, you can refer to the official website *HERE*. The 2 things that were of interest to me was mainly the improved battery life and the improved notifications. The battery life of my LG Nexus-4 was still very good and it could stay on standby with WiFi activated for over 24 hours between charges but not having to charge it as often is always something that I look for especially during those times when I am not able to charge my phone easily.


The update as mentioned in the above image requires a minimum of 500MB free on the device. I had a little over 1GB of space free on my LG Nexus-4 before going ahead with the upgrade and didn't experience any issues during the upgrade.

The upgrade process took me a little over 1 hour. My LG Nexus-4 had encryption on which might have increased the upgrade installation time. Personally, if upgrading, I would recommend planning not to have the use of the device for ~2 hours (depending on download speed).

After the upgrade, I noticed that a few of my applications were not Lollipop compatible (such as BT Notification application that came with the U8 Pro or UPro1 smartwatch). With the non-compatible applications, I removed them from my Nexus-4. Something else that I noticed after the upgrade was that for some reason, when I woke up in the morning, my LG Nexus-4 would be in a "frozen" state. When it was in this state, I could not get the screen to activate and would need to power off my device, wait a few seconds, and then power it back on again. The weird thing is that during the rest of the day, my phone would never go into this "frozen" state. It was only after I woke up that I wasn't able to power on the screen and it was also not something that happened every morning.

Prior to upgrading to Android 5.0, the Google Voice search on my Nexus-4 ("OK Google" search commands) worked seamlessly. However, after upgrading to Android 5.0, the "OK Google" search commands were more problematic.

One of the things that I noticed about Android 5.0 was that the phone could be unencrypted when powered on by using the pattern method. Prior to Android 5.0, the pattern method was not an option to encrypt/unencrypt the phone.

In terms of whether I'm happy with Android 5.0 on my LG Nexus-4, I would say that because my phone would randomly be "frozen" when I woke up, I can't really recommend people upgrading to Android 5.0 (although some of my friends who have upgraded to Android 5.0 didn't have the same issue as I experienced). Also, because I am using a U8 Pro or UPro1 smartwatch which relies heavily on the old Android notification system (and isn't compatible with the newer Android 5.0 notification system), Android 5.0 does limit some of the smartwatch's features which rely on the BT Notification app.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Asus Transformer Book T100TA Review

I've been testing/evaluating an Asus Transformer Book T100TA for a few months and that that I would write my thoughts on the product.

The Transformer book came installed with Windows 8.1 and is a quad-core based system where the screen is ~10.1" touchscreen. The version that I tested had 32GB storage for the operating system as well as the applications. This isn't a lot of space in my opinion and after installing only the Chrome browser onto it as well as doing the Windows updates, the total available free space was ~6GB. It has a microSD card reader, 1.2 megapixel web camera, bluetooth capabilities, a Microphone-in/Headphone-out jack, a USB 3.0 port, a micro-USB port, and a micro-HDMI port.

I'm not sure how to classify this device except to say that it is a hybrid tablet/netbook. The touchscreen is detachable from the keyboard and as a Windows 8.1 tablet, it functions very well.


I use the device mainly for browsing the internet, watching Netflix/YouTube/videos, and reading books/newspapers and I find that it is very fast. Boot up time for the device is ~20 seconds.

In terms of what I like about the device, I like that it is fast (at least for what I use it for) and the battery life for the device is very good as well. The price-point of this device when it is on sale is also good. I also like the fact that it charges via micro-USB and not using a proprietary charging cable.

In terms of what I don't like about the device, there are many things that I don't like about this device. The first thing that I don't like is that it is running Windows 8.x. Just like a lot of users/consumers, I'm not a big fan of Windows 8.x. Between Windows 7 and Windows 8, I prefer Windows 7. I find the keyboard a bit too small for me to type as fast as I normally would on a full-sized keyboard. Another thing that I find annoying is that when I touch the address bar on my browser, even when the physical keyboard is attached, the onscreen keyboard will show up on the screen. The final thing that I am not crazy about in terms of this device is that the storage space is very low at only 32GB where the usable space is ~6GB. Even though I have access to installing Microsoft Office on the device, I opted not to do so since I find the amount of free space to be too low.


Whether I would recommend this device or not, I would recommend it even with the shortcomings/negatives that I mentioned above.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.

Monday, December 8, 2014

U8 Pro (U8Pro or UPro1 or U Pro1) Smartwatch Review

I purchased a U8 Pro Smartwatch a few weeks ago. Based on my research, this watch is also sometimes advertised as a U Pro Smartwatch.

I was interested in something that would alert me in real time about calls that I was receiving on my smartphone since I often miss calls when my smartphone is either in my backpack or in my pocket and I either don't hear the ringing or feel the vibration from an incoming call until it is too late.

I considered getting a bracelet that would alert me of incoming calls but since the cost between one of the bracelets and a U8 Pro or U8 Smartwatch wasn't that much, I opted to go with the smartwatch. The main difference between the U8 Smartwatch and the U8 Pro Smartwatch (which is what I purchased) is that the U8 Pro Smartwatch will also work independently as a cellphone. Since the price difference between the U8 Smartwatch and the U8 Pro Smartwatch was under/roughly $10, I opted just to get the U8 Pro Smartwatch. In order for the U8 Pro Smartwatch to function independently as a cellphone, it requires a miniSIM card which is inserted into the watch underneath the battery.


The U8 Pro Smartwatch has the following features/icons: Call (which allows you either to make calls when connected via bluetooth to a smartphone or make calls if you have an active miniSIM card inserted into the watch), Messaging (which allows you to send text messages either independently if using a minSIM card in the watch or send text messages when connected via bluetooth to a smartphone), Phonebook (which shows you the local/watch's phone numbers or the phone numbers on your smartphone via bluetooth), Call History (shows you the watch's call history or the call history of your smartphone), Image Viewer (views the images taken using the smartwatch), FM radio (allows you to listen to FM radio as long as you use the included earphones which also function as an FM antenna), Audio Player (which allows you to listen to the music from your smartphone), Camera (which allows you to take pictures with the smartwatch), Alarm (allows you to set alarms), Stopwatch (pretty self-explanatory), Settings (which allows you different sound profile settings and configure some of the independent phone features of the watch), Bluetooth (to connect to your smartphone), Notice (to get notifications from your smartphone sent to your smartwatch), Anti-Lost (alerts you when you are away from your smartphone), Pedometer (estimates the number of steps that you've walked), Personal (allows you to set personal data for a more accurate pedometer calorie display), Car Theft (I'm not sure what this does), Find Phone (I'm not sure what this does since it didn't work with my smartphone), Remote Capture (allows you to use your watch to take a picture remotely on your smartphone), and Sleep Monitor (monitors your sleep patterns). Some of these features will only work with Android phones such as the Remote Capture and the Notice applications since they require an Android application to be installed/configured on your Android smartphone.

Even though the U8 Pro Smartwatch will work with almost all bluetooth enabled smartphones, in order to get the full functionality of the device, you will need to have an Android smartphone since some of the features will require the BT Notifier application to be installed on the phone. The instructions that came with U8 Pro Smartphone aren't very good to say the least. It makes mention of downloading a mode.apk file from ftp://221.231.140.226 with the username "uwatch" and the password "good123". However, the QR code that is produced on the watch when trying to use a feature which requires the application to be installed on an Android phone is:


I've used the above application *HERE* as well as the 2 files that I obtained from the above FTP site *HERE* and *HERE* and all of these Android applications work relatively well with the smartwatch. I also tried using the application on the Google Play Store called "Mediatek SmartDevice" with relatively good results as well.

In terms of the functionality of the smartwatch, I find that it works relatively well. The notifier application on the smartwatch will notify me of Facebook posts, Android BBM messages, e-mails, and any other Android application which uses the standard Android notification area on the upper left corner of the Android phone. The watch will notify me via a vibration and/or a sound. The amount of information that is received on the watch varies but in most cases, I found it lacking and I needed to use my Android phone to see what exactly the particular notification was regarding in detail. The reason for this is that depending on the notification APK program that I was using on my Android phone, I was either presented with 1 line on the watch showing me the name of the application that I was receiving a notification or sometimes 2 lines showing me the name of the application as well as the sender of the message. Also, a lot of the smartwatch's applications which depend on the Bluetooth Notification APK file on the Android phone will work sometimes or will not work at all. For example, when I got the Remote Camera feature to work properly, a few hours later, it would not longer work. I could get it to work again by rebooting my smartwatch but during times that I might want to use the Remote Camera capability, having to reboot the smartwatch before doing so is a nuisance. Most of my testing was on my LG Nexus-4 running stock Android 4.4.4. After upgrading my LG Nexus-4 to Lollipop (Android 5),  the smartwatch's features which depended on the BT Notification app no longer worked (ex: Remote Capture) and the smartwatch notifications became limited to only phone calls and SMS (it no longer would notify me of e-mails, Facebook posts, Android BBM messages, etc.)

One of the things that I didn't really like about the smartwatch was that in order to see the time when the watch's touchscreen was off, I would have to push the button on the side of the watch. I discovered that it would turn on if I turned the Pedometer function on when I abruptly moved my hand in a fashion similar to me trying to look at the time but this only worked approximately 50% of the time.

I tested the Pedometer function of the smartwatch and it seemed to be relatively accurate. It calculated the steps that I took and the moment I stopped, the number of steps didn't increase. I also tested the Sleep Monitor but I'm not sure how accurate it was since when I kept it on during a 24 hour period, during part of the day that I was at work sitting in front of my computer and typing, according to the chart on the smartwatch, it mentioned that I was in a "light sleep" mode.

The watch has 4 faces in order to tell the time which you can easily toggle through.

When the smartwatch is linked to my Android phone, all the sound produced by my Android phone was relayed to my smartwatch similar to my smartwatch functioning like cordless/wireless speakers.

In terms of battery life, I find that based on my usage, the watch lasted for over 24 hours. Of course this will depend on how often you receive notifications on the smartwatch and how often you check your notifications on the smartwatch. I generally will turn off the bluetooth function on my smartwatch in the evening to preserve the battery since I don't want to be notified of things like Facebook messages while I sleep.

I find that the vibration is noticeable on my wrist when I receive a phone call. I mainly purchased this smartwatch in order to be notified of phone calls and it does this well. The other features are a bit of a hit-and-miss.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.

Monday, December 1, 2014

RCA multi-directional amplified flat digital antenna CANT1450BF Review

After purchasing the GE Passive Indoor Antenna a few weeks ago and not really liking it, I returned it and decided to get the RCA multi-directional amplified flat digital antenna CANT1450BF.

I wasn't sure how a "multi-directional" antenna would perform but decided to purchase one to try because didn't want to constantly adjust the antenna. The RCA CANT1450BF was at a decent price so I decided to purchase it and give it a try with my Samsung UN32EH5300 LED 1080p Smart TV (HDTV).

RCA has four reception quality grade/categories (good, great, excellent, and superior) and they rate this antenna as one of their "excellent" reception quality antennas. According to the information, it supports 1080 HDTV broadcast and has 360 degree reception with no adjustment necessary. The frequencies supported according to the instructions is 54-88 Mhz, 175-216 Mhz, and 470-698 Mhz.


Inside the box is the digital flat antenna with a coax cable, an easel stand, a removable amplifier with coax cable, and the power supply.

The digital antenna either plugs in directly to the television or it can be plugged into the amplifier where the amplifier plugs in directly to the television. In my case, I plugged the amplifier to my satellite receiver's external antenna port and then connected the digital antenna to the amplifier. I tried not plugging the amplifier to the AC outlet but managed to get only 1-2 stations (similar to what I received with the GE/Omni Passive Indoor Antenna). If using a standard power bar, the AC plug will take up 2 AC outlets due to its size. It doesn't fully cover the second outlet on the power bar but does render it unusable.

I tried placing the antenna flat behind the television on the floor (close to a window) and after using the television to scan for available television stations, I managed to get 3 out of the 4 local stations that I was interested in. I moved the antenna and placed it flat on a table and I rescanned and got 3 stations (2 were the same as what I had gotten previously and 1 was different). I decided to connect the digital flat antenna to the easel stand and hang it over the table so it would be vertical (and facing the window). This time rescanning got me 4 of the local stations that I was interested in so I decided to keep this position. For this antenna, having the amplifier properly connected and plugged into an AC outlet does make a difference. Once I obtained the 4 local stations that I was interested in, I disconnected the amplifier and with the antenna positioned in the exact same location, I was only able to view 1 of the 4 channels. The other 3 channels produced a "weak signal" message. Surprisingly, as mentioned in my GE/Omni Passive Indoor Antenna review, with some adjustment and proper placement, my old rabbit ears non-amplified antenna was able to get the same 4 stations.

In terms of whether I would recommend this antenna, I think that it works well. I could probably get 1 or perhaps 2 more stations by readjusting the antenna but since I was mainly interested in the 4 local stations in my area, I didn't feel the need to readjust and then rescan for stations. Despite the information on the box, it will still need to be positioned in order to get the best signal (the information inside the box indicates that the antenna needs to be positioned in order to get the best signal).

If you have any questions/comments regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section. Please note that comments are moderated and any comment that contains an embedded URL link will be flagged as being spam and will not be posted.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Kobo Arc 64GB Review

I purchased a Kobo Arc 64GB tablet when it was on sale about a month ago in order to replace my old Acer Iconia Tab A100 Android that stopped working.

I thought that I would review the product after using it for over one month.

The Kobo Arc sports a 64GB storage capacity and has a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor. It comes with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean operating system,
7-inch colour LCD touchscreen with 1280 x 800 HD resolution, integrated Wi-Fi, and of course USB connectivity.

What I like about the Kobo Arc is that it is relatively fast or at least faster than my old Acer Iconia Tab A100 tablet. It is dual-core so is not as fast and as responsive as some of the other Android tablets that are now quad-core but I still find it relatively responsive. What I like about the 64GB storage capacity is that this capacity (unlike how the Acer Iconia Tab A100 tablet was configured) is not partitioned to appear as external storage and internal storage. What this means is if you're like me where you install a lot of Android applications and don't store a lot of pictures, videos, documents, and music, you are free to use up most of the 64GB on Android applications. For example, on my old Samsung Nexus-S, I have over 4GB of free space left but did not have enough room to install any Android applications because I had already used almost all of the portion of space required for the Android applications. With my newer LG Nexus-4, I could use almost all of the storage space to install the many Android applications that I wanted to use or test without any issues.

One of the first applications that I installed on my Kobo Arc was XBMC (which is now called Kodi and the software can be downloaded from http://kodi.tv/download/). I find the XBMC works very well on it. It would not work on my Acer Iconia Tablet for some reason.

Another application that I installed on it was Netflix and I find that the videos look very nice on the Kobo Arc.

One of the things that I didn't really like was that a lot of applications from the Google Play store that I use regularly were listed as incompatible on the Kobo Arc. For example, most of my banking applications could not be installed from the Google Play store including PayPal nor could the Bell TV application that I sometimes use to watch television shows/episodes. With Android, it is relatively easy to install "incompatible" applications so this is the route that I took for those applications that I wanted to have on my Kobo Arc.

Another negative about this Android tablet is that the built-in encryption feature doesn't work. I like to encrypt almost all my devices as a security measure in case of loss and even though the Kobo Arc has the encryption option within the standard Android Settings menu, it doesn't seem to work. I will allow you to go through the steps of encryption without displaying any error messages but it won't do anything.

I wanted a replacement Android tablet mainly for reading and for watching videos. In terms of the tablet's ability to display the Kobo books that I have, I found it to be relatively responsive in terms of turning the pages and how fast it would display the pages. It was definitely faster than how my Kobo Mini would display the pages or turn to the next page. I use my Kobo Arc for reading newspapers and PDF books. Since you can install Adobe Reader on the Kobo Arc (it is afterall an Android tablet), it does a lot better job at displaying and rendering the PDF books than my old Kobo Mini.

I like the fact that the charging port (unlike the proprietary charging port that my Acer tablet used) is a standard microUSB port.

I am not to crazy about the homepage/skin of the Kobo Arc. It is called Tapestries. You can see a YouTube video on Tapestries *HERE* on YouTube or use the video located below.


If you are interested in the Kobo Arc User Guide in PDF format, you can also download it *HERE* or from the company's own website *HERE*.

If you can get the Kobo Arc on sale at a good price, I have no problems recommending it.

If you have any questions/comments regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section. Please note that comments are moderated and any comment that contains an embedded URL link will be flagged as being spam and will not be posted.

Monday, November 10, 2014

GE or Omni Passive Indoor Antenna Review

I subscribe to satellite and also subscribe to Netflix. Where I live, the satellite signal is very susceptible to the weather (I probably need a larger dish) so I wanted a backup for watching television programs on the HD Smart TV (Samsung UN32EH5300 LED 1080p Smart TV (HDTV)) that I purchased recently.

I already had a passive antenna (from a different manufacturer) that I tested on this television and I was able to get 4 local stations which is all I really needed so I didn't see the point in spending over $100 for an indoor antenna. I purchased this inexpensive antenna and when I got home, I assembled it.

Inside the box was 4 pieces; the base unit, 2 extendable antennas, and the circular antenna. The extendable antennas screwed into the base unit whereas I needed to push the circular antenna firmly into the holes on the base unit.



I connected the antenna to my HD Smart TV and positioned it so that it was facing in the same direction as the passive antenna that I used from another television for my testing. I went into the television menu and scanned for over the air television signals. This time, the television was only able to detect 2 local stations. I tried to reposition the antenna and rescanned for channels and the television only detected 1 local station. Since I wasn't sure whether something changed which could affect the reception of the OTA television signals, I reconnected my other passive antenna and did another rescan and my other passive antenna picked up between 3 to 5 stations depending on its placement (better than the 1-2 local stations that I received with the GE Passive Indoor Antenna).

As such, I returned the antenna and will probably purchase another passive antenna for my Samsung HD Smart TV sometime in the near future.

In terms of whether I would recommend this antenna, I can't really recommend it since it received fewer stations than the other passive antenna that I had from a different manufacturer using the same television in the exact same location. However, if the store has a liberal return policy, you can try it out to see if it gets the television stations that you are interested in.

Although the antenna that I purchased/test was from GE (General Electric), Omni also makes the same (type) of antenna.

If you have any questions/comments regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section. Please note that comments are moderated and any comment that contains an embedded URL link will be flagged as being spam and will not be posted.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Samsung UN32EH5300 LED 1080p Smart HDTV Review

I purchased a Samsung UN32EH5300 LED 1080p Smart TV (HDTV) approximately two weeks ago and after using it I decided to write my review of this television.

This is actually my second Samsung television. I was happy with my first Samsung HDTV purchase (although my first Samsung HDTV purchase was not a Smart TV and was the B2430HD) so when my old CRT television broke, I replaced it with the Samsung UN32EH5300 which was on sale.

This television measures ~32" diagonally. I didn't want a television too large so it was either getting ~32" television or ~40" television. I opted to go for the ~32" television mainly because it was on sale at the time that my old CRT television broke.

It also has 3 HDMI ports, 2 USB ports (one rated as 0.5A and the other rated as 1A), component in, digital audio video out, and an ethernet port.

I wanted a smart television that had Netflix on it since I watch a fair amount of Netflix movies. For my non-smart televisions such as my Samsung B2430HD, I use the LG Smart TV Upgrader Box ST600 or I use my Rikomagic MK802IIIS Android Mini PC (HDMI stick). I felt that having Netflix built into the television would be great.

When plugging my Samsung UN32EH5300 LED Smart TV into the AC outlet and connecting it to the internet, the first thing that it did was upgrade the system software. I liked the fact that it allowed upgrading the system software over the internet as opposed to upgrading it via USB stick. Configuring the television to access my wireless router was simple. The television has a RJ45 network jack but since my wireless router wasn't close enough to the television to connect a network cable, I opted to connect it to the internet using the wireless network.

The television gets the date/time from either manually setting it or from the broadcast stations. Since this television can connect to the internet, I was disappointed that it didn't get the date/time via an NTP server.

To begin with, I only installed 4 applications onto the television. I installed Netflix, NFB (National Film Board), YouTube, and the Accuweather application. I configured the Accuweather application for my home city. It gives the current temperature/weather along with a 6 day forecast (including today). I don't like how the search feature works on the NFB application. To search, it uses the remote control similar to how people would used to enter SMS using an old non-smartphone.

To access the regional settings for the Samsung UN32EH5300 LED Smart TV, I managed to access the country settings in order to get the proper Samsung Apps Store, using the remote control, I pressed: », 2, 8, 9, « (fast forward, 2, 8, 9, rewind). This gave me the country listings and I selected Canada to get the Canada specific applications.

To log out of Netflix, since I could not see the gears/settings icon, I used the arrows on my remote to enter the following sequence: Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, Up, Up, Up, Up. After doing this, I selected Deactivate. I was then given the option to sign in as a different Netflix member. This is also good to do before selling the television to someone else (otherwise the buyer will use your Netflix account on the television).

With Netflix, I initially had a few issues configuring it with my account but I think that the reason for this is that I was using Unblock-Us and the region I set was neither the US nor Canada. After setting Unblock-Us to Canada, I was able to configure Netflix with my account based on my Netflix e-mail address and my Netflix password. After Netflix was configured, I tested Unblock-Us by switching the country to the Netherlands and unlike what happens on my LG Smart TV Upgrader Box ST600 where Netflix wouldn't work if I selected a country other than Canada or the US, the Samsung UN32EH5300 was able to play my Netflix selection from the Netherlands as well as any of the other Unblock-Us countries. Barring any internet connection/speed issues, I was amazed by the the video quality and sound quality of Netflix.

If you are looking for a television that fully supports Netflix with Unblock-Us, you shouldn't have any issues with the Samsung UN32EH5300 and the Unblock-Us service.

I'm not sure if this is the same for other Smart TV brands/manufacturers but I find that it takes a long time to switch from watching television to one of the Smart TV applications.

One of the things that I found annoying with the television is that by default when navigating via the remote control, the television makes a noise (like a "clicking" sound). Removing this "clicking" sound was not intuitive in the menu since it did not appear in the Sound menu.

One of the things that I like about the remote control is that the buttons can light up. Pushing the "light" button on the remote causes the remote control buttons to light up for approximately 1 second after each button is pushed so that it is easy to view the buttons in the dark.

If you have any questions/comments regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section. Please note that comments are moderated and any comment that contains an embedded URL link will be flagged as being spam and will not be posted.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Unblock-Us Review (Updated)

There have been a lot of changes since I wrote my original Unblock-Us review *HERE*, *HERE*, and *HERE* that I thought that I would revisit the topic by mentioning some of the things that are currently changed/updated/improved.

I use Unblock-Us mainly for Netflix and I find that it excels in allowing users to switch the country of Netflix so users can view the Netflix offerings in different countries. When I first wrote my review of Unblock-Us back in August 19, 2012, Unblock-Us allowed users to switch between 6 Netflix country offerings (Canada, US, UK, Ireland, Mexico, and Brazil). As of today, Unblock-Us subscribers can toggle between 19 Netflix offerings (Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, US, and UK). Regardless of the country selected, the majority of Netflix offerings are available in English. I did encounter some offerings where there was no English audio available (ex: animated movies or foreign television/movies).

Having the choice between all those Netflix country offerings allowed me to watch all of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy or all of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy since for licensing reasons, Netflix doesn't have the entire trilogy in one country. As an example, for me to watch the Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, I switched the Netflix setting on Unblock-Us to Luxembourg and watched "Batman Begins" and then watched "The Dark Knight". However, to watch the last of the Batman trilogy, I quickly switched the Netflix country on Unblock-Us to Canada in order to watch "The Dark Knight Rises". Please note that this example uses the Netflix country movie offerings at the time of my blog entry. Netflix often moves their movie selections around. I did something similar in order to watch Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy.

Another change/improvement since my original Unblock-Us reviews is that Unblock-Us now offers a VPN service included in their Unblock-Us service. The VPN uses Point to Point Tunnelling Protocol (PPTP) so certain devices that don't use PPTP for VPN unfortunately can't use their VPN service. Having the VPN option is good since changing the DNS settings may be easy when it comes to your own home network but for certain wireless networks where you have to log into a website in order to access the internet, it isn't possible (or easy) to change the DNS setting on your device after you've connected to their network if you still have to have access to the internet. This is where having a VPN option helps.

I find Unblock-Us to be great for Netflix subscribers. Best of all, they offer a 1 week free trial which you can get information on by going to their website *HERE*.

Unblock-Us supports many sites other than just Netflix but I use them mainly for Netflix. It basically allows you to watch (or listen) to certain videos/songs which are region restricted. Episode videos from American television broadcaster's websites for the most part won't work unless you are in the US but using Unblock-Us, the American television broadcaster's websites that I'm interested in watching do work as does the video episodes from http://www.startrek.com which normally wouldn't work because I'm in Canada.

If you have any questions/comments regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section. Please note that comments are moderated and any comment that contains an embedded URL link will be flagged as being spam and will not be posted.

Monday, October 13, 2014

OnePlus One OTA CyanogenMod Update to XNPH38R

After having my OnePlus One for ~1 week, I noticed an OTA (over the air) update was available for CyanogenMod earlier this week.

I decided to update it to see what the process was like as well as how it behaves after the update. Considering I still haven't really played with my OnePlus One for a long time (I only had it ~1 week and was still using mainly my LG Nexus-4 as my Android phone), I didn't really notice any issues with it prior to the update. That being said, generally when there are OTA updates for my devices, I will update them.

The update happened very seamlessly. After clicking on the "Install update", the phone rebooted and the update was applied immediately. I'm not sure if it was because my phone was encrypted via the security settings but the boot up seemed to take longer than usual so I powered off my phone and then repowered it back on. The phone powered on without any issues when I did this.

I then tested my OnePlus One briefly to see if it worked properly and based on the things that I tested worked without any issues.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.

Monday, October 6, 2014

OnePlus One Purchasing Experience and Unboxing

I apologize for not having written a blog entry in close to 3 months since I've been busy with some other things and mainly write my blog reviews as a hobby and because writing and technology are 2 of my passions.

Although I've purchased/received many items that I could write about, I'll start with the latest technology gadget that I recently purchased. This would be the "exclusive" OnePlus One mobile Android smartphone.

I ordered it on Monday September 29, 2014 after receiving a random invitation from the company and was a bit hesitant on whether to purchase it or wait for the next Nexus version. As it turns out, a co-worker had offered me an invite the week previously on Friday but informed me that if I wasn't 100% sure that I would purchase it, he wanted to know so he could give it to someone else. Since I wasn't 100% sure that I wanted it (I was thinking of getting the next Nexus phone), I informed him that it might be best if he were to give his invite to someone else.

I didn't get the HTC Nexus-One but purchased the Samsung Nexus-S, skipped the Samsung Nexus Galaxy, got the LG Nexus-4, skipped the LG Nexus-5, and I was planning on getting the next Nexus version but it hasn't been announced yet. Because I probably wouldn't get another invitation to purchase the OnePlus One, I decided to redeem my invitation and ordered the OnePlus One when I arrived home from work on Monday September 29.

For those of you unfamiliar with the OnePlus One purchasing method, I'll just cover it briefly here. First of all, the reason that I wrote that the OnePlus One was an "exclusive" phone was because unlike most other phones where a customer can just purchase a phone given the amount of stock available at a retailer, someone wanting to purchase a OnePlus One must be invited to purchase it. Even after being invited to purchase it, he/she must purchase it within 24 hours of the invitation since the invitation expires. Also, in order to purchase the OnePlus One, the customer must create an account on the OnePlus One website as well as have a PayPal account since at the time of me writing this blog post, PayPal is the only accepted method of payment however OnePlus One will ship the phone to an address that isn't verified (I shipped it to my work address which isn't listed on my PayPal account).

The invitation marketing method is similar to how Google first distributed their Gmail and GoogleVoice accounts. If I were to want to purchase the latest 2 phones (Blackberry Passport and iPhone 6) available now, I can basically pre-order it from my carrier or I can purchase these phones from one of the retailers who sell them. With the OnePlus One, excluding purchasing it second hand, you can only purchase it from their website and in order to purchase it from their website, you must be invited to purchase it either by randomly being selected by the company or being invited by someone who already purchased it.

I was surprised how fast I received the OnePlus One after working it late on Monday September 29 (~10:00PM EDT). Because I knew that I would have to pay taxes/duties/customs/brokerage fees, I opted to send the item to my place of work as opposed to sending it to my place. On the OnePlus One website, it showed the "Processing" status the following day on Tuesday, September 30 and then on Wednesday, October 1, the item shipped from Los Angeles. I received it in Montreal during my lunch on Thursday October 2 at work at ~1:58PM where I left the fees after having received a phone call from the courier company (DHL) informing me what the fees would be after it passed through Canadian customs.


I didn't open bubble-wrap envelope before getting home but after opening it, there were 2 boxes; one small OnePlus One labeled box and another brown cardboard coloured box.




When I opened the brown cardboard coloured box at home as well as the small OnePlus One labeled box, I saw that the small OnePlus One labeled box contained the AC USB adapter plug and the brown cardboard coloured box contained a large OnePlus One labeled box. I believe that within the smaller white OnePlus One box, there was also a nanoSIM card adapter/tray. I was a bit curious on what the nanoSIM card adapter/tray was used for but when I ejected the OnePlus One SIM card tray and saw that it was a microSIM card tray, it was quite obvious that the nanoSIM card adapter/tray are for those users who have a nanoSIM. Instead of having to purchase a microSIM to nanoSIM converter, the included nanoSIM card adapter/tray is used directly instead of using the microSIM card adapter/tray that was already in the phone. This is ingenious and I wish most manufacturers included a different tray for at least the 2-3 common sized SIM cards for their phones without having to resort to an adapter.



Opening up the large OnePlus One labeled box, I found the OnePlus One phone. Underneath the white board that the phone sat on, was the USB cable as well as the SIM extraction tool.


It will take me a few days/weeks of using my new OnePlus One phone in order to write my review/thoughts about it but the phone is noticeably larger than my LG Nexus-4 and in terms of responsiveness/speed, I find it to be quite fast and responsive. After opening the box on Thursday evening after work, because I arrived home late, I didn't really "play" with my new technology gadget but charged it for the entire evening and after work on Friday I spent most of my time configuring it as well as installing/customizing the Android applications on it.

You can get some information of the OnePlus One from the keynote document either from the company's own website *HERE* or from my blog *HERE*.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Downloading and Installing Android applications onto Blackberry 10 Devices using Amazon AppStore

There are a few ways to install Android applications onto a Blackberry 10 device. I detailed one of those methods previously *HERE* and thought that I would mention another way which some people may find slightly easier to install Android applications onto their Blackberry 10 device and that is to use the Amazon App Store.

The Amazon App Store contains most of the applications that you can find in the Google App Store and getting the Amazon Appstore onto a Blackberry device is a relatively simple process.

The first thing that it involves is to change the settings to allow for the installation of applications from sources other than Blackberry World. To do this, you will need to go into Settings -> App Manager -> Installing Apps and then turn on the option to "Allow Apps from Other Sources to be Installed."

After doing this, you can then download the Amazon Appstore from Amazon's official site *HERE*. After downloading it, you will then need to select the AmazonApps-release.apk file from your Downloads and then click on the "Open" button



The program will then install onto your Blackberry 10 device.

After it finishes installing, you will need to configure the Amazon Appstore to your Amazon account (or create an Amazon account). For me, I already had an Amazon account since I purchased books in the past from Amazon so I used those credentials to sign into the Amazon Appstore. After doing this, I received a message about needing to configure my address on my Amazon account so I logged into my Amazon account on my computer and I had to manually configure my address to accept Amazon Appstore (I believe that this setting is in the section "Manage Addressbook").

After doing this, I was able to download my first free application. As a test, I did a search for the popular Netflix app and I managed to find it and download it onto my Blackberry Q10. Even though I already had Netflix on my Blackberry Q10, I didn't get any error messages when trying to download and install Netflix from the Amazon Appstore.

After installing it, I received an automated e-mail indicating that I purchased Netflix from the Amazon Appstore and when checking my Orders on my Amazon account on the Amazon website, it shows that I purchased Netflix


As I mentioned in my previous blog entry on how to manually install APK files onto a Blackberry 10 device (for that blog entry you can refer *HERE*), there is another method of installing APK files using a program called "Snap." Installing Snap onto a Blackberry 10 device is a bit more complicated which is why I decided to write this blog entry about using Amazon Appstore to get the desired Android APK app file onto a Blackberry 10 device. The program "Snap" gets it's application listings/downloads from the Google Play Store. I will try to detail how to get "Snap" onto a Blackberry 10 device but since I did it a few months ago, any instructions that I may post on a blog entry might not be 100% accurate (but should point you in the correct direction).

Getting an APK file from a reliable source like from Amazon Appstore is better then searching on Google to try to find the APK file and then manually installing it onto your Blackberry 10 device (or your Android device) since you don't know whether these APK files were modified and aren't the same as the files available from either the Amazon Appstore or the Google Play Store.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Nexxtech 43-165 Business Caller ID Speakerphone Review

I was looking for an inexpensive landline corded phone which had speakerphone capability as well as a headset jack and didn't require it to be plugged into an AC source in order to use it with my ZTE WF720 Wireless Home Device.

I wasn't really interested in the call display that the phone offers but since it included it, I don't really mind having it. The phone get's the power for the screen display with three AA batteries.

The manual for this phone can be found *HERE*. I won't cover all the features of the phone but will mention some of the things that I don't like about this phone and some of the features that I do like about this phone.

I purchased this phone mainly for the speakerphone capability and one of the things that I don't really like about this phone is that in order to use the speakerphone, there must be batteries in the device. For example, if the phone rings and I want to answer it using the speakerphone, pushing the speakerphone button will probably not work if there are no batteries powering the screen display. I mentioned "will probably not work" as opposed to it definitely not working because if the phone was used a few seconds prior, the speakerphone button will work regardless of whether or not there are batteries powering the screen display. Without batteries in the unit, in order to use the speakerphone capabilities of the phone, it is a 2-step process. You first have to pick up the handset and then push the speakerphone button and then put the handset back onto phone unit itself. For the purpose of why I wanted a corded phone with speakerphone capability (and without needing to be plugged into an AC outlet), I find this 2-step process annoying and I didn't want to put batteries in the unit just so that I would have the ability to push the speakerphone button in order to activate it without having to lift the handset first.

Another annoyance to me is that this phone uses three AA batteries. Since I use mainly rechargeable AA batteries in my devices, I find any electronic device that uses an odd number of AA batteries to be annoying since most battery chargers will either charge two batteries or four batteries at a time. Not only does it use three AA batteries but when using rechargeable NiMH batteries, the screen display is very dim and the batteries don't last a long time powering the screen display before needing a recharge. In my opinion, the manufacturer could have easily made the device use four AA batteries so that the screen display isn't as dim and the batteries last longer between recharges/replacement.

The final thing that I don't really like about the phone is that to control the ring tone and ring volume (as well as the tone/pulse control), you must remove the battery cover underneath the phone base unit. In my opinion, it would have been better to place the controls for ring tone and ring volume on the side of the phone. Since the tone/pulse control is generally only used once, having it underneath the battery compartment is not that bad unless you are still using a pulse line and after making your phone call, you need to switch it to tone in order to enter a code such as a calling card number, an extension, or a PIN using the phone pad.

What I like about this phone is that it has a standard phone headset jack so that I can continue to use my hands and speak on the phone without having to use the speakerphone. The only negative thing about the phone headset jack functionality is that just like the speakerphone function/button, it will only work if the device is powered with three AA batteries or if the handset is off the hook prior to you pushing the headset jack button.

I don't have any problems with the sound quality of the phone and people have not complained about the sound quality of my voice when I use this phone. I have tried the speakerphone a few times and it appears ot have built-in noise cancellation in it so when there is faint noise (like wind), the microphone will turn off. It will then turn back on automatically when it detects someone's voice or when the background noise is loud enough.

All the other phone features are good and as long as the shortcomings that I've mentioned in my blog does not bother the person interested in buying it, as long as the price is under $25 (taxes/shipping included), this is a good phone to have in case of a power failure when cordless phones won't work.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Lycamobile US Pay As You Go Prepaid SIM Review

I've had my Lycamobile US Pay As You Go Prepaid SIM for approximately 8 months after purchasing the SIM while I was in Las Vegas on a trip. I used to have a RedPocket Mobile US prepaid SIM but I found that based on my usage, I couldn't continue to maintain the RedPocket Mobile SIM because with an annual renewal of $100 and at $0.10/minute to call the US/Canada (among other countries), I wasn't reducing the balance enough in the span of a year to justify renewing it. If I couldn't use $100 at a rate of $0.10/minute in the span of 1 year whenever I (and my friends/family) visited the US, there was no way that I could use over $100 the following year if I renewed it by adding $100 since the previous balance would carry forward for another year and be added to the $100 that I just added to the balance.

I did some research prior to my trip to Las Vegas for another Pay As You Go Prepaid SIM with a low per minute rate and a low renewal rate or better terms to keep the US SIM active. I came across Lycamobile US which has favourable terms in order to keep the US SIM as well as the phone's balance active and it also had a very low per minute cost using direct dialing. The per minute cost at that time (which I was interested in) was $0.02/minute to make a call to a US number, $0.02/minute to receive a call while in the US, $0.03/minute to make a call to Canada, $0.04 per message to send a text message to a US number, and $0.16 per message to send a text message to a Canadian number. The current Lycamobile Pay As You Go prepaid rates are $0.05/minute to make a call to a US number, $0.05/minute to receive a call while in the US, $0.06/minute to make a call to Canada, $0.04 per message to send a text message to a US number, and $0.16 per message to send a text message to a Canadian number. Since it offered direct dialing at very low rates, there was no need to remember any calling card number or PINs prior to making an outgoing call.

In order to keep the SIM and balance active, Lycamobile only required that there be a billable charge every 90 days. I thought that this might present some problems but Lycamobile also roams in many countries (including where I live in Canada) so I could use it and create a billable charge at the higher rate for roaming in Canada (~$1.84/minute outgoing, $1.50/minute incoming, & $0.64/SMS) if I didn't go to the US in the span of 90 days. The current terms stipulate that any balance remaining on your account after 90 days don't rollover regardless of whether there is a billable charge on your Lycamobile account or whether you top up your account.

I purchased a Lycamobile SIM from a store a few hours after arriving in Las Vegas and inserted it into my unlocked GSM phone when I arrived at the place that I was staying in Las Vegas. When I powered on the phone, I waited a few minutes so that my phone could acquire/register onto Lycamobile's network. I then called 622 and waited to be prompted to enter the ZIP code. I entered the ZIP code for the place that I was staying at in the US. A few seconds later, I received my new phone number on the new Lycamobile SIM that I purchased. I then purchased $10.00 worth of airtime and placed it onto the phone.

The next thing that I did was to register my account on their webpage so that I could manage/view information regarding my account. The webpage for this is *HERE* and the only thing required to register on their website is the phone number and the PUK code for the phone (which was found on the large SIM card where you broke/removed the miniSIM, microSIM, or nanoSIM from this card). One of the things that I like about logging into the My Lycamobile website is that the website shows detailed call logs. These detailed call logs show outgoing phone numbers and dates/times/duration/costs of all calls. The incoming calls are shown as with your phone number in the "Called Number" field/column. The webpage also shows the current available balance on the SIM. The only information that isn't shown on the account webpage is the expiration date so one must manually calculate it based on the last billable charge in the "Call History."

One of the things that I like is the fact that it roams in Canada and allows for the use of free system "star" commands that allow users to check the balance by dialing *611# and also allows for the display of the phone number by dialing *613#. The only negative thing about the *611# command is that it (like the "My Lycamobile" website) doesn't display the expiration date.

The Pay As You Go service with Lycamobile includes call display and voice mail. The voice mail can be deactivated. I deactivated the voice mail on my account since I didn't want people leaving me voice mail messages.

During my usage of the Lycamobile prepaid SIM, I didn't have any issues with it. The only issue that I experienced was that sometimes when going from one country to another country, it will display an "Inactive SIM" message for a few minutes prior to acquiring/registering onto the network of the country. I corrected this by turning off the phone, waiting about 1 minute, and powering it back on again and waiting a few minutes.

Because I only use my Lycamobile US SIM when I (or my friends/family) visit the US and there is no expiration date shown on the phone or on the My Lycamobile website, the way that I keep track of the expiration date is to add 90 days to the date of my last usage and record the date in my agenda with a few reminders prior to that date. I then modify this date as it becomes necessary. According to the Lycamobile's website (section 3.4), a system generated SMS and/or e-mail is supposed to be sent to the user when the phone reaches 40 days and 60 days of inactivity but I have never received an SMS or e-mail to indicate this despite going over 60 days of inactivity with the phone.

The new terms and conditions mention that when topping up, any amount that remains from the top-up after 90 days is lost. You can find this information in section 4.6 on their terms of usage *HERE*. For me, this is a major issue and I can't really recommend Lycamobile to travelers because of this change in policy.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sony DVD Player DVP-SR310P Review

I have a lot of DVDs and even though I have Netflix, sometimes I want to watch one of my DVDs so I decided to purchase a very inexpensive DVD player for my television. I could have purchased one of the Blu-ray Smart DVD players that comes with various applications such as Netflix but since I already have a few options to view Netflix on my television and didn't want to spend any extra money for Blu-ray compatibility when I have absolutely no Blu-ray movies, I opted to purchase a simple and inexpensive DVD player.

The DVD player that I opted to buy was a very inexpensive Sony DVD Player DVP-SR310P. There were actually 2 DVD players on sale that day at roughly the same price (~$25+taxes) but I opted to go with the Sony primarily because of the "Sony" name (even though I'm not what I would consider a Sony fan-boy). The other DVD player was from a "no-name" company and had an HDMI output. This Sony DVD player has only the RCA output as well as component output. Since I didn't have any component cables, I was more interested in the RCA phono output. I was a little worried that I didn't have any spare RCA phono cables lying around but the Sony DVD Player DVP-SR310P includes the RCA cables (yellow for video and red/white for audio). In fact, the unit includes everything to get started (minus the television of course). In includes the DVD player unit itself, the remote control, two AA batteries for the remote, and the RCA cables to connect to the television set.

The user's guide/instructions for the DVD player can be found *HERE*.

Even though the remote control has settings that allow you to use it as a remote control for your television set (and from other manufacturers), I wasn't able to get the remote control to work with my non-Sony television even though the manufacturer of my television is one of the listed manufacturers on the remote control instructions.

According to the specifications, the DVD player supports:
Video: MPEG-1 (Cyber-shot data)/MPEG-4 (simple profile)/Xvid Photo: JPEG (DCF format) Music: MP3 (except for mp3PRO)/WMA (except for WMA Pro)/AAC/LPCM/WAVE
Supported extensions: “.avi”, “.mpg”, “.mpeg”,“.mp4”, “.jpg”, “.mp3”, “.wma”, “.m4a”, “.wav”
Supported discs: DVD, DVD+RW/+R/+R DL (+VR mode), DVD-RW/-R/-R DL (VR mode/video mode), Music CD/Super VCD, CD-R/-RW

I tested it with DVDs and DVD-R and didn't have any issues playing them whereas my older DVD player would give me an error message with some of my DVD-R videos.

One of the features of this DVD player is that it has fast and slow playback with sound. However, the fastest that it can go and play sound is 1.4x so I generally don't use it. The minimum slow playback speed that it will support and play sound is 0.6x. The increments for the playback with sound go up/down in 0.2 increments so the possible options are 0.6x, 0.8x, 1.0x, 1.2x, and 1.4x.

One of the features that I like about this DVD player is that it has multiple disk resume. What this means is that if you're inserting DVDs into the player and you stop the DVD at a certain point to insert a different DVD, the DVD player will remember the point that the other DVD was stopped at and resume from that point on (if you press "Play" on the remote control). I tested this with 4 DVDs, inserting, removing, swapping them in and out and the DVD player remembered the exact point where each of the DVDs were stopped and resumed from that point onwards. I'm not sure what the maximum number of DVDs are in which it will resume playback but the DVD player that my parents have would only resume the previous DVD inserted so when you insert the third DVD, their DVD player would forget the playback location of the first DVD if it was later reinserted.

My only negative point about this DVD player (excluding the fact that even though my television manufacturer is listed on the remote control instructions but the remote control doesn't work with my television) is that I find the ejecting of the tray to be a bit loud when I compare it with the older DVD player that my parents have or to my computer's CD/DVD tray.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Blackberry 10 Software Update Available for 10.2.1.2977

There was a minor software update on my Blackberry Q10 a few weeks ago. As you can see, the file size was only 17MB in size.

According to the screenshot, the software update is to version 10.2.1.2977.

The update process was straightforward and after accepting the update, I was presented with the screenshot below asking me to restart the device.

After my device restarted, my device was updated without any issues. While my device restarted, even though my Blackberry Q10 still had over 80% power remaining, I plugged it into the electrical outlet in order to be on the safe side.

In terms of the update, I've been using it for a few weeks now and I don't notice anything significant. The two major issues that I have with my Blackberry Q10 still exists. It still gets unusually hot after using an internet enabled application for a few minutes and the battery doesn't seem to last as long as it used to back when it was running a version of Blackberry 10.1.x

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Android 4.4.4 Available for LG Nexus-4

After updating my LG Nexus-4 to Android 4.4.3, a few weeks later, I received another notification on my LG Nexus-4 informing me that there was a new system update available. The update that was available was Android 4.4.4.

The updating to 4.4.4 was roughly the same steps as when I updated my LG Nexus-4 to Android 4.4.3. After clicking on the "Restart & install," my Nexus-4 rebooted and began the upgrade/installation from 4.4.3 to 4.4.4.

After the updating process completed, my Nexus-4 rebooted automatically and because my Nexus-4 is encrypted, I was presented with the prompt asking me to enter my decryption password. When I entered my decryption password, my Nexus-4 continued to start and my Nexus-4 was updated successfully to Android 4.4.4.


After my Nexus-4 was updated, I tested Android 4.4.4 briefly and all the applications that I had installed on my Nexus-4 and used on a regular basis started without any issues. In terms of any noticeable changes, I didn't notice any difference between 4.4.3 and 4.4.4 in such important things as wireless strength or battery life.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.

Monday, June 30, 2014

TomTom Go 2405 Review Update

I wrote my review of the TomTom Go 2405 a few months after I first purchased it and thought that I would write a short update to that review after using it for approximately 2 years.

The reason for this update to the original review is that I reached the point where the maps which are included in the TomTom Go 2405 no longer fit into the built in memory for the device. As the maps get larger and larger, it was only a matter of time before the update for the included maps (Canada, US, and Mexico) would no longer fit on the device. It took approximately 2 years for the map update for Canada, US, and Mexico to no longer fit on the GPS unit. Since the device doesn't have an expandable memory slot, I was under the impression that the device would no longer be useful and it would be time to purchase a new GPS device.

However, this is not the case. When I received a prompt that a new map update was available for my device, I tried to update my device and was informed that the map would no longer fit on my device. I was presented with the option of selecting a certain map region predefined by TomTom onto my TomTom Go 2405.

Since I live in Canada, there was no question that I wanted the map of Canada. Since I also travel to the US, I also wanted the map of the US. However, the map of the US was too large to fit on my TomTom Go 2405. If I wanted Canada, I had a choice between selecting Canada with a different region of the US predefined by TomTom (i.e. I could not pick which states I wanted to include on my device but must select the entire region). Since I live in the eastern part of Canada, I opted for all of Canada and the eastern states. If I were to visit Las Vegas (which I often do), I would just update my TomTom device and pick Canada with the western states.

Based on how large the maps are getting and the predefined selections, even if I take extra care of my TomTom Go 2405 GPS unit, I expect that if the predefined maps stays as is (where users cannot select the individual states or region of Canada), the GPS will no longer be capable of being updated in another 2 years. After 2 years, even when fully charged, the TomTom Go 2405 GPS can no longer stay on for more than a few minutes unplugged so if you require the use of the GPS outside of your car after 2 years, you will either need a new GPS unit or you will need to replace the battery.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Android 4.4.3 Available for LG Nexus-4

A few weeks ago, I received a prompt on the upper right corner of my LG Nexus-4 screen informing me that there was a system update available. I decided to update my LG Nexus-4 with the new system update.

Since I already had Android 4.4 on my LG Nexus-4, I wasn't expecting anything dramatic with this update to 4.4.3.

The entire update process took approximately 20 minutes. Since my LG Nexus-4 was encrypted based on the system settings, your update process will probably be shorter.

When I went to the system update screen, I was presented with the following screen:

Selecting the "Restart & install" initiated the installation process which comprised of a restart of my system where I obtained the following screens:


After the above screen finished, my LG Nexus-4 rebooted and I was prompted for my decrypt password. When I entered my decrypt password, the rebooting continued. When my LG Nexus-4 fully rebooted/restarted, I checked the system settings to see that I now had 4.4.3 on my LG Nexus 4.


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Monday, June 9, 2014

Blackberry 10 System Update Available for 10.2.1.2941

I received a prompt on my Blackberry Q10 about 2 weeks ago regarding a minor update that was available for my device to 10.2.1.2941.

My Blackberry Q10 was at 10.2.1.2102 prior to me receiving the prompt to update to 10.2.1.2941.

This was a minor update and was only 99MB in size. The update happened in the background with my Blackberry Q10. After my Blackberry automatically downloaded and automatically installed this minor update, I was informed that the update finished installing and I was prompted to reboot my phone.

I did not reboot immediately since I was in the process of typing a few e-mail messages when I received the message to reboot my phone. The reboot process seemed to take longer than a normal reboot (or it might have just been my imagination) and after my Blackberry Q10 rebooted, I checked the version that I had on my Blackberry Q10 and I was updated to 10.2.1.2941.


During the time that I've used 10.2.1.2941 for ~2 weeks, I haven't really noticed anything dramatic.

One of the two issues that I noticed (which I'm still experiencing despite updating to 10.2.1.2941) is an issue where my phone will get extremely hot when I'm either browsing the web or performing certain other tasks (like browsing Facebook, reading the Twitter Tweets, etc.). The other issue that I experienced since I upgraded to 10.2.1.537 is that my Blackberry Q10's battery would drain faster than previously. As mentioned, both these issues are still present with 10.2.1.2941.

If you have any comments/questions regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment containing a URL link (whether embedded or not) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.