Starting the New Year With an Upgrade
I recently returned from a two month long trip in South America with the Swedish company Pink Caravan. I spent the new year’s eve in La Paz, Bolivia, where the company had bought us bottles of a local sparkling wine. We quickly realized that opening the bottle was immensely hard, as it used some kind of weird plastic cork instead of a regular cork. I decided, of course, to saber it.
There was only one problem: I had nothing to saber it with at hand. I’ve been known to saber beer bottles, cider bottles and champagne bottles alike, so I figured this wouldn’t be any more of a challenge. Maybe it wouldn’t have been if I had had a kitchen knife. I figured I would use the only moderately hard and robust item in my vicinity. My Samsung Galaxy S4.
I cracked the screen and rendered it completely useless. Shit.
When I returned to Sweden I ordered a new phone the very same day, a Nexus 6. I have been using it for about four days now and I’m completely in love. I’ve never used a Nexus device before, but I quickly realized the comfort of receiving Android updates from Google as soon as they are available. No need to wait for a middle man to push it to the device, which usually took forever with both HTC and Samsung. My S4 had still not received Lollipop when it broke, and I honestly doubt Samsung ever will release Lollipop for it.
The very first thing I did when I received my Nexus 6 was rooting it and installing a custom ROM, but when I noticed the ROM didn’t behave like on my S3 I restored the stock Android ROM, but kept root access. The whole process was actually very simple, especially with all the detailed instructions available online.
I am also a very big sucker for eye-candy. I want my devices to look exactly like I want them to, which is one of the reasons why I am such a big fan och Android devices and Linux for my computers.
The default launcher is the first thing to go. I installed Nova Launcher and imported a layout I had been using on my S4, browsed for a new background and modified the theme colors.
The five icons on the bottom are folders. I keep all my frequently used apps in them. This way I rarely have to open the app drawer, and I don’t have to clutter my home screen with ugly icons. Each icon also launches my most commonly used app in the folder if I “pull” the icon upwards. I only use one more home screen, mainly because I haven’t found any other good looking widgets yet that I have use for. The keen eye notices that I don’t have an icon for the app drawer. It is accessed by swiping down the screen with two fingers. Once again because it looks good, but also because it confuses others, should they get a hold on my phone.
I am currently not using any skin or screen protection, but my girlfriend recently bought an LG G3 and an InvisibleShield from ZAGG, and you can barely see it’s there. I’m considering buying an InvisibleShield for my Nexus 6.
I recently read that Chromecast had been used one billion times to cast a screen to a TV, and that’s when I decided that I too had to purchase one. I have had it now for two days, but I’ve already found great use for it. It works great with both Chrome on my PC and with various Android apps. It’s ridiculously easy to use and just… works. Setting it up was a piece of cake and I’ve had no trouble with it so far.