Nexus 4 & 7: Android 4.2.2 Updates

Android 4.2.2 dropped a couple of days ago and the updates of my Nexus4 and Nexus7 went without a problem. The reason for this post is to point out something I found amusing about my usage of the Nexus4…

I just attempted to send a text message and noticed my Nexus4 was not connected to my phone network. I don’t think it’s been connected since the update two days ago. When I noticed, I did a search for the phone network, found it and played catch up on a couple of old messages.

What I found amusing is it shows how little I actually need a phone network. I am almost continually in wifi range and most of my communication is via email, twitter and skype, so having no data connection for two days went unnoticed. I’m glad I only pay £8/month. 🙂



Android Jelly Bean 4.1.2 on my Nexus 7…

I turned on my Nexus 7 last night and it asked if I wanted to upgrade to Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean). The install was pretty quick and went through with no dramas.

I’m not all that interested in the whole Android thing. To be honest, I can’t even be bothered to check the change log. It’s just an enabling technology for me, not something I’m passionate about. What I can say it that it has finally fixed the home page swivel issue. In case you hadn’t heard, the Nexus 7 automatically orientates the screen to whichever way you are holding it, except for the home page which always stays in portrait mode. Not any more. Finally it too can swivel.

I was never sure why this screen didn’t act like all the others, but it seems Google has responded to the criticism and sorted it.



Adventures with Dropbox and KeePass…

Thanks to Eddie Awad, I’ve been using 2-step verification on my Google account for a while. Now Jake from The Appslab has scared me into using a password manager and revamping all my passwords…

We use KeePass (on Windows) at work to hold all our passwords, so I figured I’d go with that and see how I get on. Unlike work, I want to use a single store for all my devices, so I finally found a use for my Dropbox account.

Dropbox Installations

If you don’t already have it, you need to install Dropbox on your device(s). For mobiles, that means their respective app stores. For computers (Linux, Mac and Windows), you can get it from the Dropbox website.

Whichever KeePass variant you use, make sure you create the KeePass database file under the DropBox directory on your device, so it is visible from other computers or devices using DropBox.

KeePass Installation on Windows.

Download and unzip/install either KeePass Portable 2.x or KeePassXC Portable. I use the portable version and leave this on my Dropbox as well as the shared KeePass database file.

KeePass Installations on OS X

This section of the post originally included instructions for using the Windows version of KeePass Mono. It was then replaced by KeePassX. The best solution now is to use KeePassXC for Mac. It’s better than the alternatives.

KeePassXC Installations on Linux

This section of the post originally included instructions for using the Windows version of KeePass Mono. It’s been removed as you should now use KeePassXC for Linux. It’s better than the alternatives.

KeePass Installations on Android

For Android devices, I originally used the KeePassDroid app, but I now use KeePass2Android.

  • Install the Dropbox app if you don’t already have it. Connect to your Dropbox account and check you can see the “.kdbx” file in the “KeePass” directory.
  • Install the KeePass2Android app.
  • Open Dropbox, locate the “.kdbx” file and tap it.
  • Once the KeePass2Android app opens.

KeePass Installations on iPad/iPhone

For my iPad I used the MiniKeePass app.

  • Install the MiniKeePass app and open it.
  • Hit the “i” in the bottom-middle of the screen.
  • Click the “Dropbox Import/Export” option and follow the instructions.

It’s not a thrilling app, but it does the job.

So that’s it. I only have to remember my DropBox password and my KeePass password and I can now use unique and ridiculously long passwords for all my other logins…



I’m an Android…

I wrote recently about the whole Apple vs Android thing and announced I was not in either camp. Recent family issues have meant I’m on the phone a lot more now and the “pay as you go” thing just isn’t making sense. I ventured into the murky world of phone contracts and came out with a HTC Wildfire, which is about the cheapest phone/contract you can get that in my opinion can still be called a smartphone. In fact, you can get them so cheap that they really are an entry level phone now.

The iPhone 4 was never really in the running because it is so darn expensive. I did the Pepsi challenge between the HTC Desire HD, Samsung Galaxy S and the HTC Wildfire and I picked the latter. They are all Android phones, so there was really not much difference in user experience. The Desire was the biggest, which in my opinion was its downfall. It feels like you are holding a tablet to your ear. Obviously, having such a big screen makes web stuff easier, but I’ve got my iPad for that, so it’s not really that relevant for me. The Galaxy S was a bit smaller, but still massive. The Wildfire actually felt like a phone and boy was it cheap compared to the others. That kinda swung it for me. When doing anything with the internet my preference is always, “Desktop > Laptop > iPad > Phone”, so I can’t see the phone getting much use as a smartphone, so paying through the nose for it just doesn’t seem sensible for me.

Negotiating the whole phone contract thing is a bloody nightmare. It’s like haggling with Cut -Me-Own-Throat Dibbler. Armed with lots of information from competitors websites, I ended up with the Wildfire with an unlimited data plan for less that their website was offering dumb phones with no data plans. As I said before, it really is an entry level device now.

A couple of days in and the novelty has worn off and I’m completely bored with the phone. I’m so glad I didn’t spend more money on something fancy. 🙂