I’d forgotten how annoying Bluetooth interference can be. I was on the train to London and I had only brought my iPad, but also brought my Apple Bluetooth Keyboard so that I could type up some stuff.
However as I tried to type I was getting typing errors like this.
So there IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII
The iPad also kept “losing” the keyboard.
The reason for the keyboard problems wasn’t an issue with the iPad or the keyboard, but was Bluetooth interference from my Google Nexus One. I use the Nexus One as my portable wireless hotspot and due to the constraints of the seating on the train it was placed next to the iPad.
Moving the Nexus One resulted in the keyboard problems disappearing.
So why didn’t I just turn off Bluetooth on the Nexus One? Well that would seem to be the easy solution, the reason I didn’t was that it was already off. The interference actually comes from the wifi on the Nexus One and not Bluetooth, and if I turn off the wifi then I lose my internet connection. So easy solution, move the Nexus One, not that simple in the cramped seats of First Great Western.
One of the real benefits of running Froyo (and now Gingerbread) on my Google Nexus One has been the facility to use it as a portable wifi hotspot. Despite often been in locations with free wifi, more often I have reverted to the Nexus One as the quality of the free wifi connection has left a lot be desired.
The other day for example I was in my local Costa coffee shop which has free wifi for customers.
It seems to take ages for my non-3G iPad to connect to the wifi and an age for the wifi login screen to come up. You have to create an account (which means I need to remember that account), you then need to enter your credentials and the “code” you are given when you bought the coffee. By which time you have drunk the coffee… The connection isn’t that good either, sometimes a little flaky, and if the connection drops, you need to go through the process again. So if I am rushed for time, I will probably use my Nexus One and turn on the wifi hotspot feature whilst I am queing for coffee, so that when I sit down it is up and running and my iPad will connect automatically. Now I know you could say, why didn’t you get a 3G iPad then you wouldn’t need this, well in reply I would say that I was already paying for 3G on the Nexus One and why would I want to spend more money on another 3G connection? I have a legacy T-Mobile Web’n’Walk Plus account that allows me to use my phone as a modem (or as I can now as a wireless hotspot).
Another time I do use it is at conferences. Most conferences I attend now actually have had decent wifi so haven’t had to worry… however recently at a conference in Harrogate, the conference wifi, which though free, would normally cost £4 per hour, was somewhat flaky, basically I don’t think it could cope with the number of delegates who had multiple wifi devices, iPads, phones and laptops.
As a result I got a better connection from the Nexus One than I did with the conference wifi. This is something I have written about before on my e-Learning blog. That though was written in 2007, here we are four years later, the iPhone has proved quite popular, we now see more smartphones with wifi and there is of course the iPad.
You would think that conference venues would know that decent robust scalable wifi is not just an extra these days, but a standard requirement for events.
Till that happens, I am pleased I can continue to get my own wifi through the Google Nexus One.
Yes, finally, I now have Gingerbread on my Google Nexus One.
The update finally came through on Friday, and I downloaded it before leaving for work and installed it.
Having used it for a while, this is no Froyo, no major changes to features. However there have been some UI changes and improvements.
The user interface is refined in many ways across the system, making it easier to learn, faster to use, and more power-efficient. A simplified visual theme of colors against black brings vividness and contrast to the notification bar, menus, and other parts of the UI. Changes in menus and settings make it easier for the user to navigate and control the features of the system and device.
It seems a little zippier and faster.
Also pleased that it is easier to manage downloaded files.
The Downloads application gives the user easy access to any file downloaded from the browser, email, or another application. Downloads is built on an completely new download manager facility in the system that any other applications can use, to more easily manage and store their downloads.
I sometimes use the Nexus One to download a podcast or an mp3 file over 3G, I can’t do that on the iPhone if the podcast file is too big. If I press play in the browser (on either the iPhone or the Nexus One) it streams, and if the connection fails then I have to restart the download. If I download the file I can then play the file as though I had transferred it over
Trying to then find that file to play it can be problematic, hoping this Downloads application will solve that issue.
It was rumoured this week that the Google Nexus One would finally get the Gingerbread 2.3 Android update…
It was promised to appear in a few weeks, more than a few weeks ago, hence the impatience of many out there.
Still no update and still no firm idea when it is going to happen. Google have said it will happen, but I am starting to have my doubts.
I don’t really want to upgrade to the Nexus S, in the main as the Nexus One is still a really good phone and still does what I need it to do. The other main reason is that an unlocked Nexus S is £430 which is a lot more than the Nexus One was.
Well my Google Nexus One told me today that a system update was available. I couldn’t upgrade as I was only on a GPRS connection and really you should be on wifi or a decent 3G connection, no really you should be on wifi!
I am assuming and hoping it is Gingerbread, or Android 2.3. Looking at the new features, this is no Froyo, but I am looking forward to an improved copy and paste experience.
Gingerbread 2.3 now provides support for NFC Near-field communications, however I don’t think the Nexus One hardware actually supports this.
So not many huge changes, but will be interesting to see the performance improvements.
One of the real benefits of running Froyo on my Google Nexus One has been the facility to use it as a portable wifi hotspot. I’m not sure how long I will be able to do this for now, as T-Mobile have recently changed their terms and conditions on using their network for internet. I do have a Web n Walk Plus extra on my (legacy) T-Mobile contract. Though if T-Mobile decide to withdraw that, I need to think about how I can connect to the internet whilst mobile. Instead of the Google Nexus One, I can always use my MiFi, with which I use a PAYG Three SIM card.
In the US, Apple have announced they are going to release a new version of the iPhone for the Verizon network. Now I am not going to use that, but in the detail, it has emerged that the Verizon iPhone will now be able to do a similar portable wifi hotspot trick that a Froyo Android device can do. Before this “tethering” with the iPhone was restricted to a single device and didn’t work with the iPad. An iPad would work with the iPhone acting as a portable wifi hotspot.
So at this time, I am thinking that if Apple (as is expected) release a new iPhone in the summer, and the UK telcos play along, I will be able to use the iPhone as a portable wifi hotspot. What would be nicer if they added it as an upgrade for the existing iPhone 4.
According to MacRumors and other sites it looks like that Apple are prepping a 4.3 upgrade that will allow existing GSM iPhones to have the portable wifi hotspot feature.
One of the nice things about the Google Nexus One is the beautiful screen which is much much nicer than the iPhone screen.
I did wonder how video would look on the device, so I copied over a video that I had encoded for the iPhone, 480 x 270 H.264 and AAC audio and was very pleased with the result. It played fine, and looked fantastic.
Pleased with the fact that not only did it look good, I didn’t need to re-encode the video from the iPhone version so that it would play on the Nexus One.