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PaulOBrien

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Everything posted by PaulOBrien

  1. Wileyfox, purveyors of high quality yet low cost Android Smartphones, are looking to disrupt the market by introducing cut price, lock screen ad supported versions of their devices branded ‘Add-X’. Initially offered on the Swift 2 Plus, Swift 2, Spark X and Spark +, Add-X will also be extended to the Swift 2 X in the coming months. The cost savings against RRP are impressive, although in reality reductions are offset by the fact that retailers (e.g. Amazon) typically carry the devices at a decent discount already. Add-X offers adverts that are tailored to the user’s age and gender on the lockscreen while still allows access to notifications. Users swipe right to unlock their phone as normal and swipe left to see more. This is an additional step over the standard one touch fingerprint unlock. Michael Coombes, CEO of Wileyfox said: Offers will periodically include a discount or a preview of a sale – all selected to provide Wileyfox customers with brands, products and services that they would want to see. Over time a proprietary AI and machine-learning technology will tailor ads based on a user’s behavior to serve more of the brands and offers they are looking for. Advertisers on the Add-X initally currently include Dominoes, intu and Ministry of Sound. Wileyfox smartphones with Add-X are available from www.wileyfox.com, Amazon UK, Carphone Warehouse, eBay and ao.com with pricing as follows: Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus - £119.99 (£189.99 RRP) Wileyfox Swift 2 - £99.99 (£159.99 RRP) Wileyfox Spark X - £79.99 (£139.99 RRP) Wileyfox Spark - £69.99 (£119.99 RRP) So what are Add-X devices actually like in use? I’ve been using a Swift 2 Plus for a while now and honestly, the ads are pretty unintrusive and occasionally interesting. For people looking for a decent discount on their handset, it’s definitely worth considering. Personally I’m not a fan of the Spark devices, but the Swifts (and particularly the Swift 2 X when it comes onboard) are a steal at this price. Ads can be removed after purchase for a one time £40 payment and yes, if you’re a bit handy with the Android hacking you’ll be able to shut them off (no, I won’t tell you how) but I really commend Wileyfox for trying something quite different and making a decent job of it. How do you feel about Add-X? Would the cost savings tempt you to put up with the ads? View full item
  2. Wileyfox, purveyors of high quality yet low cost Android Smartphones, are looking to disrupt the market by introducing cut price, lock screen ad supported versions of their devices branded ‘Add-X’. Initially offered on the Swift 2 Plus, Swift 2, Spark X and Spark +, Add-X will also be extended to the Swift 2 X in the coming months. The cost savings against RRP are impressive, although in reality reductions are offset by the fact that retailers (e.g. Amazon) typically carry the devices at a decent discount already. Add-X offers adverts that are tailored to the user’s age and gender on the lockscreen while still allows access to notifications. Users swipe right to unlock their phone as normal and swipe left to see more. This is an additional step over the standard one touch fingerprint unlock. Michael Coombes, CEO of Wileyfox said: Offers will periodically include a discount or a preview of a sale – all selected to provide Wileyfox customers with brands, products and services that they would want to see. Over time a proprietary AI and machine-learning technology will tailor ads based on a user’s behavior to serve more of the brands and offers they are looking for. Advertisers on the Add-X initally currently include Dominoes, intu and Ministry of Sound. Wileyfox smartphones with Add-X are available from www.wileyfox.com, Amazon UK, Carphone Warehouse, eBay and ao.com with pricing as follows: Wileyfox Swift 2 Plus - £119.99 (£189.99 RRP) Wileyfox Swift 2 - £99.99 (£159.99 RRP) Wileyfox Spark X - £79.99 (£139.99 RRP) Wileyfox Spark - £69.99 (£119.99 RRP) So what are Add-X devices actually like in use? I’ve been using a Swift 2 Plus for a while now and honestly, the ads are pretty unintrusive and occasionally interesting. For people looking for a decent discount on their handset, it’s definitely worth considering. Personally I’m not a fan of the Spark devices, but the Swifts (and particularly the Swift 2 X when it comes onboard) are a steal at this price. Ads can be removed after purchase for a one time £40 payment and yes, if you’re a bit handy with the Android hacking you’ll be able to shut them off (no, I won’t tell you how) but I really commend Wileyfox for trying something quite different and making a decent job of it. How do you feel about Add-X? Would the cost savings tempt you to put up with the ads?
  3. I'm pleased to present my MoDaCo Custom ROM for the Honor 6 H60-L04! READ THIS WHOLE POST BEFORE YOU START! No, really, it contains everything you need to know. About MoDaCo Custom ROMs MoDaCo Custom ROMs are based on official ROMs. A MCR release is designed to feel like a stock Emotion UI ROM with optimisations, tweaks and complimentary additions that enhance the user experience. The aim of a MCR is to be ultra reliable for use on an everyday device. This ROM is part of the 'Unified Honor ROM' project - ROMs with the same changes are available for all current Honor devices. A MCR version with a more 'stock Android' like interface is under development. Requirements In order to use this ROM you must have a custom recovery (e.g. TWRP) installed. The ROM is installed at your own risk. A wipe IS recommended if coming from a ROM other than MCR or stock. BACK UP YOUR DEVICE BEFORE INSTALLATION! Features Based on the B820 custom ROM starter template (you may use MCR as a base for your own ROM) ROM fully optimised with the unique MCR scripts Updated power management policies to reduce instances of 'missing notifications' All apps in ROM updates to latest versions (a considerable saving of over 1GB on /data!) Busybox installed sepolicy patched boot image ready for root selinux permissive Removed 'icons' from /system/themes (themes no longer need to include default icons again) MoDaCo Custom Kitchen (coming soon!) Multi user support Multi window support Preloaded Stockify theme stub Numerous other small refinements - please see the gitlab commits for full details This ROM is completely in version control at gitlab! https://gitlab.com/u/paulobrien/projects Want more tweaks and changes? Post your requests in the support topic. Changelog Please see the post below this one for the changelog. Installation You should install this ROM on a device that has previously been updated to the B820 release. To install this ROM: Download the zip file from the links below and copy to your internal / external SD card. Restart your device in recovery mode PERFORM A BACKUP FROM THE MENU Select the option to apply an update zip, and select the zip file you copied to the SD card. Important Note: As this ROM is partially deodexed, first boot can take a long time. If you have not wiped, you can check for any issues with adb logcat. Be patient! Downloads Please do not mirror these downloads elsewhere. DOWNLOAD - r7-modacocustomrom-honor-6-h60l04-mogolia-b820.zip [ROMRAID] MD5: 915537f165033704724152b81877763b Support If you have a general question, please post in the topic. Thanks It's impossible to mention everyone who contributes to the Android community by name, but to everyone out there who does great work and shares it with us all - you have my gratitude and respect. Future Updates - READ THIS! By providing this ROM I am not guaranteeing that future updates will follow. Due to limits on my time and the fact that I have a large number of devices for short periods of time, it isn't possible for me to continue providing ROM updates indefinitely. And finally... Enjoy! P
  4. At CES in Las Vegas, Honor have today announced their latest smartphone release for the UK, Europe and the US - the £225 Honor 6X. The 5.5", full HD handset packs dual 12 Megapixel / 2 Megapixel cameras, 32GB ROM, 3GB RAM, a fingerprint reader and the Kirin 655 processor - a small update to the critically acclaimed Kirin 650 previously featured in the surprisingly snappy Honor 5C. The headline feature of the device is of course the dual cameras, with a 12 Megapixel main sensor (which we hear is rather good), a 2 Megapixel secondary sensor, sub 0.3 second Phase Detection Auto Focus (PDAF), Deep Trench Isolation (DTI) for reduced noise in low light conditions, 6 part lens and Honor / Huawei's feature packed camera application (we'll confirm when we get our device, but we understand full Camera2 API support is included too). Full specs are below, but partifcular highlights for me are the CPU, generous ROM and RAM capacities, NFC support for Android Pay, undoubted excellent battery life courtesy of EMUI optimisations and the 3,340mah cell, 2.5D glass and impressive, 450 nit full HD screen. Not bad at all at this price point, the main compromises being no 5GHz WiFi and microUSB (if that counts as a compromise!). The device, available in grey, gold or silver will be available from tomorrow (4th January) from VMall, with a release from UK carrier partners 3 slated for the start of February. A slight fly in the ointment is that the 6X will ship with Android Marshmallow with Nougat to follow in Q2 but at least given our experiences with other Honor devices, they are pretty good at delivering updates on time (or even earlier with Beta programmes). Specifications: Android 6.0 + EMUI 4.1 (Nougat / EMUI 5 update to follow in Q2) 16nm Kirin 655 Octa-Core processor 32GB ROM + 3GB RAM microSD expansion 1920x1080 5.5" LTPS LCD display 12MP + 2MP main camera 8MP front facing camera 2.4GHz WiFi Bluetooth 4.1 Fingerprint reader microUSB Dual nano SIM (when not using microSD) LTE band 1/3/7/8/20 support (suitable for all UK networks) 3340mAh battery 150.9mm x 76.2mm x 8.2mm 162g
  5. So who picked one up?

    I have a loaner device from Vodafone and it's pretty great, I may well buy one myself. Who's taken the plunge? Stock seems limited currently! P
  6. Hot on the heels of my installAPK utility to let you install APKs from your Windows desktop, I now have another neat trick... which allows developers to distribute APKs as Windows EXE files instead. What do I need? NSIS install system - http://nsis.sourceforge.net APK2EXE (my suite) - APK2EXE.zip Your APK :) What does the end user need? The end user needs their device attached to their PC, with the appropriate drivers installed (which they can grab from http://android.modcao.com/usbdrivers). How do I use it? Follow these steps to create your executable! Extract APK2EXE to a new directory Add your APK to the directory Doubleclick APK2EXE.NSI and edit the 3 lines containing information about your application. Right click the NSI file, and select 'Compile NSIS Script' - this will create your install EXE Test your installer! <_< Done! B) P
  7. I'm going to straight up admit that, while EMUI does add a ton of useful tweaks and improvements to Android, not everything in it is to everybody's taste, particularly if you are a big stock Android fan. In this guide (which was written based on Honor 8 software version B101 but probably works well on most Huawei / Honor devices), I'll take you through ways to make your device feel more like stock. Feedback is welcomed and I'll be updating this document frequently with additional info and improvements. I am going to walk through the process from a freshly reset device, but you can of course pick out just the bits you want! Launcher After going through the setup wizard on your device and configuring your Play Store account, one of the first things you will likely want to do is replace the standard EMUI launcher. It's particularly non-stock feeling due to it's lack of app drawer. This is nice and easy, because the standard Android launcher is available from the Play Store. The process From the Play Store, ensure all currently installed apps are up to date (particularly 'Google'). From the Play Store, install 'Google Now Launcher'. In the Settings app, select the 'Apps' option, press the Advanced button and select 'Default app settings'. In this screen you can specify the standard Launcher. Choose 'Google App'. Press the home key and you're done, you should now have the standard launcher! Further tips On pre-Marshmallow devices, you may notice that third party launchers (including Google's) don't correctly make the top and bottom bars transparent. Sadly this includes my favourite launcher, Action Launcher 3. Another alternative, Nova Launcher, does have this feature however. Icon themes As you can see in the above images, even with a custom launcher installed, many icons (such as the Play Store) are 'customised'. These backgrounds are applied using a theme. The default Honor 7 theme is called 'Spectrum', but I've made a special version, 'Spectrum Pure' that removes these icon customisations. The process From this post on MoDaCo, download the 'Spectrum Pure' .hwt theme file. Copy the .hwt file to /sdcard/HWThemes on your device (you can use the built in 'Files' app for this if needed). Launch the 'Themes' app, select the 'Mine' tab, select 'Spectrum Pure' and press 'Apply'. When you go back to the homescreen, your customisations should be gone! Note that some launchers need to be restarted to pick up the change, so if in doubt, reboot your device. Third party apps A number of third party apps are installed out of the box, thinks like '50+ free games, 'Bubble Bash', 'Dragon Mania', and Puzzle Pets. You can get rid of these if you prefer. The process In the 'Settings' app, select the 'Apps' option. Select the app you would like to disable in the list and press the 'Uninstall' button. Further tips The Facebook and Twitter apps can be removed in the same way if you don't want to use them. Additional Honor apps As well as third party apps, a number of additional apps are included by Honor that have no stock Android equivalent. You can remove, in the same way as above: Backup Compass Honor Club Mirror Smart Controller (if you remove this though, you will need to install a different app to enable IR functionality) Vmall WPS Office The process In the 'Settings' app, select the 'Apps' option. Select the app you would like to disable in the list and press the 'Uninstall' button. Disabling un-uninstallable apps The above apps are all easily uninstalled, but there are also other apps that while you can't uninstall them, you can disable them. The apps you might want to disable are: Email (if for example you are using the Gmail app instead) HiCare Magnifier Notepad Weather The process In the 'Settings' app, select the 'Apps' option. Select the app you would like to disable in the list and press the 'Disable' button (this will be greyed out for system apps). Keyboards Out of the box the Honor 7 includes a Huawei customised version of Swype and 'Android Keyboard (AOSP)', which is a basic build of the stock Android keyboard. If you are not using Swype and you want to use the stock Keyboard, you should use the Play Store version rather than the provided build to ensure you get updated. The process From the Play Store, install 'Google Keyboard'. Launch Google Keyboard and complete the setup wizard (this is important!). In the 'Settings' app, select the 'Apps' option. Select the 'Menu' button and the 'Show System' option. Select 'Android Keyboard (AOSP)' and press 'Disable'. Select 'Huawei Swype' and press 'Disable'. Calendar Honor have replaced the stock Calendar app with their own, however Google Calendar can be installed from the Play Store. The Honor Calendar app is not un-installable or disableable, however using adb access from a computer, there is another solution. The process From the Play Store, install 'Google Calendar'. On your device, enable USB debugging by tapping on the 'Build Number' in 'Settings' -> 'About' multiple times, then from the newly visible development menu, clicking the 'USB Debugging' checkbox. On your computer, from a command prompt / terminal, run the command 'adb shell' - accept the security prompt on your device. Run the command 'pm hide com.android.calendar'. You should now have only one Calendar app in your launcher, as shown below (before / after shot!). Clock Just as with the Calendar app above, the stock Android clock application can be downloaded and the Honor equivalent disabled using ADB. The process From the Play Store, install 'Google Clock'. If you haven't already done so, on your device, enable USB debugging by tapping on the 'Build Number' in 'Settings' -> 'About' multiple times, then from the newly visible development menu, clicking the 'USB Debugging' checkbox. On your computer, from a command prompt / terminal, run the command 'adb shell' - accept the security prompt on your device if required. Run the command 'pm hide com.android.deskclock'. You should now have only one Clock app in your launcher. Messaging If you are not a fan of the Honor Messaging app, you can download and install the Google version and, once again, remove the Honor version. The process From the Play Store, install 'Google Messenger'. Launch the app and set it as your preferred handler for text messages. If you haven't already done so, on your device, enable USB debugging by tapping on the 'Build Number' in 'Settings' -> 'About' multiple times, then from the newly visible development menu, clicking the 'USB Debugging' checkbox. On your computer, from a command prompt / terminal, run the command 'adb shell' - accept the security prompt on your device if required. Run the command 'pm hide com.android.mms'. You should now have only one Messaging app in your launcher. Files, Music, Recorder, Videos Stock Android doesn't have a Files app per se, nor music, recorder or video apps. These can be removed using the same method as above. The process If you haven't already done so, on your device, enable USB debugging by tapping on the 'Build Number' in 'Settings' -> 'About' multiple times, then from the newly visible development menu, clicking the 'USB Debugging' checkbox. On your computer, from a command prompt / terminal, run the command 'adb shell' - accept the security prompt on your device if required. To remove 'Files': Run the command 'pm hide com.huawei.hidisk'. To remove 'Music': Run the command 'pm hide com.android.mediacenter'. To remove 'Recorder': Run the command 'pm hide com.android.soundrecorder'. To remove 'Videos': Run the command 'pm hide com.huawei.hwvplayer'. These applications should now have disappeared from your launcher. Screen Lock and Torch The Screen Lock and Torch shortcuts are currently parts of packages that can't be disabled without ill effects - these need to be removed via a custom ROM. FM Radio This can be removed using the 'pm hide' process, but this will remove all FM Radio functionality (there is currently no stock Android equivalent app). Calculator The stock Android calculator currently isn't available from the Play Store - I will post the APK here in due course. Contacts / Dialler The Contacts / Dialler cannot be changed to the stock Android versions at this time. Notification pulldown / Settings app / Stock app icons / Lockscreen The notification pulldown colours, settings app colours and icons, stock app icons and lockscreen can be modified using a custom theme. I am working on a 'Stock Android' EMUI theme that I will post here in due course. Stay tuned.
  8. I'm pleased to present my MoDaCo Custom ROM for the Honor 4X CHE2-L11! READ THIS WHOLE POST BEFORE YOU START! No, really, it contains everything you need to know. About MoDaCo Custom ROMs MoDaCo Custom ROMs are based on official ROMs. A MCR release is designed to feel like a stock Emotion UI ROM with optimisations, tweaks and complimentary additions that enhance the user experience. The aim of a MCR is to be ultra reliable for use on an everyday device. This ROM is part of the 'Unified Honor ROM' project - ROMs with the same changes are available for all current Honor devices. A MCR version with a more 'stock Android' like interface is under development. Requirements In order to use this ROM you must have a custom recovery (e.g. TWRP) installed. The ROM is installed at your own risk. A wipe IS recommended if coming from a ROM other than MCR or stock. BACK UP YOUR DEVICE BEFORE INSTALLATION! Features Based on the B506 custom ROM starter template (you may use MCR as a base for your own ROM) ROM fully optimised with the unique MCR scripts Updated power management policies to reduce instances of 'missing notifications' All apps in ROM updates to latest versions (a considerable saving of over 1GB on /data!) Busybox installed sepolicy patched boot image ready for root selinux permissive Removed 'icons' from /system/themes (themes no longer need to include default icons again) MoDaCo Custom Kitchen (coming soon!) Multi user support Multi window support Preloaded Stockify theme stub Numerous other small refinements - please see the gitlab commits for full details This ROM is completely in version control at gitlab! https://gitlab.com/u/paulobrien/projects Want more tweaks and changes? Post your requests in the support topic. Changelog Please see the post below this one for the changelog. Installation You should install this ROM on a device that has previously been updated to the B506 release. To install this ROM: Download the zip file from the links below and copy to your internal / external SD card. Restart your device in recovery mode PERFORM A BACKUP FROM THE MENU Select the option to apply an update zip, and select the zip file you copied to the SD card. Important Note: As this ROM is partially deodexed, first boot can take a long time. If you have not wiped, you can check for any issues with adb logcat. Be patient! Downloads Please do not mirror these downloads elsewhere. DOWNLOAD - r7-modacocustomrom-honor-4x-che2l11-cherry-b506.zip [ROMRAID] MD5: a2e95970842118ba0d6035b8388088ad Support If you have a general question, please post in the topic. Thanks It's impossible to mention everyone who contributes to the Android community by name, but to everyone out there who does great work and shares it with us all - you have my gratitude and respect. Future Updates - READ THIS! By providing this ROM I am not guaranteeing that future updates will follow. Due to limits on my time and the fact that I have a large number of devices for short periods of time, it isn't possible for me to continue providing ROM updates indefinitely. And finally... Enjoy! P
  9. Bootloader issue

    This is a weird one. I can get to bootloader by doing 'adb reboot bootloader', but doing power-on with both volume buttons held starts the bootloader but never loads fully (commands don't work). This is problematic for hacking the device, as I have it in a non-booting state but can't fix it from bootloader as it won't load. ARGH! :( P
  10. Broken Hudl2?

    Do you have a hudl2 with a broken screen perhaps that's destined for the bin? Hit me up.
  11. Some apps (such as Huawei Health) are installed on your device during the initial boot. They can, however, be uninstalled, and there's no obvious way to get them back. Here's how you do it! The APKs live in the /cust directory on your device. You can either pull them (using ADB, e.g. 'adb pull /cust/preinstalled/public/app/') or use a file explorer app to browse to the same directory and click the APK you want to install. Easy! :) P
  12. Annoyed with the volume bug on your Galaxy Nexus? Well, i'm very proud to present the forthcoming official fixed boot image which resolves this problem. In order to flash this boot image, you need your bootloader to be unlocked at this time (use './fastboot-windows oem unlock' (or the appropriate version for your machine, included in the download). Note that the OEM unlock sequence wipes your device. APPLY THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK! This is still in a testing phase internally. Although it works great for us, well, you never know. :) Volume Bug Fix r3 - DOWNLOAD (ROMraid) - MD5: 292ba3630f475b2f779a19057649200a How to use - Windows, Linux and OSX - Download the zip file above and extract to a directory - Put your device in bootloader mode - Turn off the phone then turn on with the 'volume up' and 'volume down' buttons both pressed to enter the bootloader (as pictured below) - WINDOWS - double click 'install-windows.bat' - MAC - Open a terminal window to the directory containing the files, and type 'chmod +x install-mac.sh' followed by './install-mac.sh' - LINUX - Open a terminal window to the directory containing the files, and type 'chmod +x install-linux.sh' followed by './install-linux.sh' Please don't rehost this zip file - if you want to link to the fix, please link to this topic. That's all I ask. Enjoy! ;) P PS While you're here why not check out our root and our backlight levels patch? PPS If you find this useful, please consider supporting MoDaCo by signing up for a MoDaCo subscription. MoDaCo Ad Free with Online Kitchen access is only $9 for a limited time only including a 30 day Filesonic premium subscription! Visit this topic for further details!
  13. I'm pleased to present my MoDaCo Custom ROM for the Honor 5X KIW-L21! READ THIS WHOLE POST BEFORE YOU START! No, really, it contains everything you need to know. About MoDaCo Custom ROMs MoDaCo Custom ROMs are based on official ROMs. A MCR release is designed to feel like a stock Emotion UI ROM with optimisations, tweaks and complimentary additions that enhance the user experience. The aim of a MCR is to be ultra reliable for use on an everyday device. This ROM is part of the 'Unified Honor ROM' project - ROMs with the same changes are available for all current Honor devices. A MCR version with a more 'stock Android' like interface is under development. Requirements In order to use this ROM you must have a custom recovery (e.g. TWRP) installed. The ROM is installed at your own risk. A wipe IS recommended if coming from a ROM other than MCR or stock. BACK UP YOUR DEVICE BEFORE INSTALLATION! Features Based on the B330 custom ROM starter template (you may use MCR as a base for your own ROM) ROM fully optimised with the unique MCR scripts Updated power management policies to reduce instances of 'missing notifications' All apps in ROM updates to latest versions (a considerable saving of over 1GB on /data!) Busybox installed sepolicy patched boot image ready for root selinux permissive Removed 'icons' from /system/themes (themes no longer need to include default icons again) MoDaCo Custom Kitchen (coming soon!) Multi user support Multi window support Preloaded Stockify theme stub Numerous other small refinements - please see the gitlab commits for full details This ROM is completely in version control at gitlab! https://gitlab.com/u/paulobrien/projects Want more tweaks and changes? Post your requests in the support topic. Changelog Please see the post below this one for the changelog. Installation You should install this ROM on a device that has previously been updated to the B330 release. To install this ROM: Download the zip file from the links below and copy to your internal / external SD card. Restart your device in recovery mode PERFORM A BACKUP FROM THE MENU Select the option to apply an update zip, and select the zip file you copied to the SD card. Important Note: As this ROM is partially deodexed, first boot can take a long time. If you have not wiped, you can check for any issues with adb logcat. Be patient! Downloads Please do not mirror these downloads elsewhere. DOWNLOAD - r7-modacocustomrom-honor-5x-kiwl21-kiwi-b330.zip [ROMRAID] MD5: 5eec31034ba012094b139e16fa2e7c6e Support If you have a general question, please post in the topic. Thanks It's impossible to mention everyone who contributes to the Android community by name, but to everyone out there who does great work and shares it with us all - you have my gratitude and respect. Future Updates - READ THIS! By providing this ROM I am not guaranteeing that future updates will follow. Due to limits on my time and the fact that I have a large number of devices for short periods of time, it isn't possible for me to continue providing ROM updates indefinitely. And finally... Enjoy! P
  14. How to root your Hudl 2

    The following post contains information on how to root your Tesco Hudl 2. MoDaCo / I take no responsibility should anything bad happen to your tablet, regardless of how / why it happens. You should be aware that rooting your device may void the manufacturer's warranty and is a risky operation. If you don't feel confident following the steps in this post, do not proceed. Before you start, read through all of this post. Then read it through again. Failing to follow the steps correctly could lead to your device being rendered completely unusable (bricked). See above. It is advised that you do NOT install any OTA files without checking here first that it is safe to do so! What you need in order to use this root solution To use this root solution you need a Hudl2 (obviously), a Windows, OSX or Linux computer and a microUSB cable. Your Hudl2 MUST be running software version '20140924.194555' or '20141009.191216', detailed at the bottom of the 'Settings -> About' screen. Does my tablet version really matter? YES. If you attempt to use this root solution on a version other than that detailed above, there is an extremely high possibility you will brick your device. And that will be bad. The hudl 2 is great, but it's too thin to make a particularly good doorstop. How it works Normally when I create a root solution I prefer to use one of two approaches. The first is a 'superboot' image, which is loaded via fastboot and automatically roots the device. Unfortunately this is not possible on the hudl 2 as the 'fastboot boot' functionality is stubbed (not available). The second option is to build a custom recovery that allows flashing of update zips, which is flashed using 'fastboot flash'. Unfortunately this is not an option either - although fastboot flash is supported on the device, the recovery partition appears to be checksummed in some way. My attempts thus far to create custom recoveries have failed to boot, which is unfortunate. With this in mind I have instead built a custom system image for flashing via fastboot. It is completely stock apart from the addition of Chainfire's SuperSU root application. Granted, it's not the ideal way to root but for now, it works. I will continue to investigate alternative approaches. The dangers of rooting As I found out with my first bricked device, hacking around on the Hudl 2 is dangerous. If the device won't boot (perhaps due to a problem on the system partition) and ADB is not available, then there is no way to recover. Droidboot, which is used to flash the device for this root, is only accessible via 'adb reboot bootloader'. The recovery image can be loaded by powering on with the volume up button held, but this will only flash zip files signed with a key we do not have. Powering on with volume up and down buttons pressed produces a message on screen saying 'entering bootloader', but the bootloader (at least in the form accessed via 'adb reboot bootloader') is never reached. I'm not sure if this is a bug or intentional, but it's certainly not helpful. If you are going to hack your hudl 2, be extremely careful. Reverting to stock The quickest way to revert to effective stock is to use the 'unroot' option in the SuperSU app. Custom ROMs Due to the fact that I am currently unable to get custom recoveries booting, I am also unable to build TWRP or CWM for the device, which severely limits custom ROM options. In addition, I haven't yet tested flashing a custom boot image as this is almost certainly going to have the same issue as the recovery images and is a sure-fire way to a brick the device. DownloadRooted Image for 20150106.154003 (r1): DOWNLOAD (ROMraid) - ZIP MD5: 837b0a8beb5c0e21a6521b94c68d1fe0 / Image MD5: 4feb49cd6845aebcef96f05048bd6062Rooted Image for 20141009.191216 (r1): DOWNLOAD (ROMraid) - ZIP MD5: 3861a3769b08b671fd86c8d9d748e4a2 / Image MD5: 6d424b3f32c1b0fe94f1e841d5042e63Rooted Image for 20140924.194555 (r3): DOWNLOAD (ROMraid) - ZIP MD5: 9c58e25f5d9786555dc0f5e5f777fda1 / Image MD5: 9329255e0928c69e3ba6f5e4cde7fc6cADB / Fastboot tools: DOWNLOAD (ROMraid) - ZIP MD5: 299162039f527bc361221fb526976fc7How to root To root your device, follow the following steps:Ensure your device is fully charged. This is a safety net really, but good practice. It gives you time if something goes wrong. At the very least i'd recommmend 50% battery. If your device powers off for any reason or the flash is interrupted, your hudl 2 is toast.Ensure USB debugging is enabled. In 'Settings -> About', tap the 'build number' like a madman until a message appears stating developer mode has been enabled. Then use 'Settings -> Development' to enable USB debugging.Plug the device into your computer using the microUSB cable. A message will pop up on screen asking you to authorise the connection.Download and extract the zip file above to a directory on your computer. If you don't have ADB / Fastboot already, you should also download and extract that.Open a command prompt / terminal window to the location where you extracted the filesON A WINDOWS PC: enter 'adb-windows reboot bootloader', when the device has rebooted to bootloader enter 'fastboot-windows -i 0x1d4d flash system filename.img' - DO NOT INTERRUPT THIS PROCESS (where filename.img is the image file you extracted from the download zip)ON A MAC: enter 'chmod +x adb-mac' followed by 'chmod +x fastboot-mac' followed by './adb-mac reboot bootloader', when the device has rebooted to bootloader enter './fastboot-mac -i 0x1d4d flash system filename.img' - DO NOT INTERRUPT THIS PROCESS (where filename.img is the image file you extracted from the download zip)ON A LINUX PC: enter 'chmod +x adb-linux' followed by 'chmod +x fastboot-linux' followed by './adb-linux reboot bootloader', when the device has rebooted to bootloader enter './fastboot-linux -i 0x1d4d flash system filename.img' - DO NOT INTERRUPT THIS PROCESS (where filename.img is the image file you extracted from the download zip)Use the volume buttons to select 'REBOOT' on the device and choose the option with the power buttonEnjoy your rooted device!Support If you need support for this root, please post in this topic. Or just post to say thanks! :) If you'd like to donate to say thank you, you can do so on my charitable giving page or by signing up to a MoDaCo subscription.
  15. In this topic i've posted a custom recovery that allows developers to create custom ROMs. To show this in action, i've deodexed and prerooted the TW 10.4.11.13 update, as well as removing the recovery overwrite function. This should let developers have a look at what's involved in creating them, provide a deodexed base to work from and provide modders with a deodexed ROM to tweak. A good starting point to more custom ROMs I hope! Enjoy! :) DOWNLOAD (ROMraid) - MD5: c7bfcf326db5230ffcd729f19c7a0a53 I've flashed this on my device and it's running great, but use at your own risk of course. :) Note that if you are flashing to / from a different region (e.g. WWE<>TW) then as your device is being re-partitioned, you may need to wipe. If the initial flash fails, wipe data, then flash again. If this flash still fails, restart recovery then flash again. :) P
  16. If you've been following the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S7 / S7 Edge, you may have read that adoptable storage, a Marshmallow feature that lets you use the microSD card just like internal storage, is missing. The S7s do include a feature where you can move apps to SD card, but it's not quite the same. The good news? You can enable the feature using ADB and it seems to work great, including in hybrid ('mixed') mode. In order to set adoptable storage up, you will need a computer with working 'adb' and, of course, a microSD card in your phone, the faster the better (I personally use a 128GB EVO+ in my own device. Here's the process! 1. BACK UP THE DATA YOU HAVE ON YOUR MICROSD CARD. Your card will be formatted by this process, so make sure you have saved any pictures, videos etc. from your card to your PC before you start. 2. Decide how you want to split your card. You can either commit 100% of the card to internal storage, or split between internal storage and conventional SD. This option is useful if you like to unplug your card and put it in your PC. I would probably recommend committing the whole card. 3. Open your command window / terminal on your computer and type the 'adb shell' command (with your phone connected of course). You will need to enable USB debugging in developer settings (which in turn is displayed by tapping the build number of the device 5 times) in order to see the option. 4. Type 'sm list-disks' to list the disks available for adoption. It'll look something like below - take note of the disk ID (disk:179:160 in this example). 5. Partition the disk. For this we use the 'sm partition DISK TYPE RATIO' command. For example, to partition the disk above as fully adopted storage (aka private) I'd use the command 'sm partition disk:179:160 private'. If I wanted a 50/50 split between adopted and regular, I'd use the command 'sm partition disk:179:160 mixed 50'. Easy right? 6. This process will take a while, but when it's done, the Settings -> Additional Settings -> Storage view on your device should show the new Internal Storage. Note that, for some reason, the total space isn't reported correctly as you can see in this image, however everything seems to work OK. When you install apps, they will generally install automatically to the storage with the most space available, although you can manually move things around if you want to, perhaps for performance reasons (the real Internal storage will likely always be a bit faster). 7. If you want to see another view of how you are doing for space, you can use a third party tool such as FreeSpace or FreeSpace Plus. And that's it! Let us know how you get on, and enjoy your new, expanded S7! View full item
  17. I bet when you were back at school, you did an exercise where you took a personality test and compared the results with those of your classmates. Surprisingly accurate and a lot of fun, the same tests have now been adapted into a mobile app based on the classic psychological tests by Katharine Cook Briggs, Isabel Briggs Myers and the theories of the psychologist Carl Jung - PersonalityMatch. Created by PersonalityPerfect (who also offer an online version at their website), the app allows you to complete a sophisticated personality test by working through 30 questions. The idea? To help you unlock the secret to getting along with anyone, and give you an idea about how compatible you are with others... all from within the app. Over 700,000 users have already completed the test! You start by launching the app and completing the test... both of which are free. Then, when complete, you can invite your partner or friends to do the same... also free! Finally, when they have completed the test, the application compares personality types between you and gives you a compatibility score, as well as revealing areas where you are compatible, areas where you might not get along and tips on how to improve you relationship. How well does it work? Very well - just like the test back in the classroom, PersonalityMatch does a great job of analysing your personality... my wife and myself measured our compatibility (75% by the way) and it was spot on. Once you've completed your initial match it's very addictive - the temptation is to connect with everyone you know (a number of social sharing options are included) although if you match better with your friends than your spouse, you might be in trouble! :) The app is free to download and ad free in use, but an in app purchase is available if you'd like to use PersonalityMatch as a tool for career guidance. After taking the initial test, the career option will suggest the best and worst careers for your personality type. PersonalityMatch is available from the Play Store, but also from the iOS App Store for your Apple-toting friends! If you'd like to learn more about the 16 personality types referenced within the app, head on over to the overview at the PersonalityPerfect website. This was a sponsored post placement. View full item
  18. I bet when you were back at school, you did an exercise where you took a personality test and compared the results with those of your classmates. Surprisingly accurate and a lot of fun, the same tests have now been adapted into a mobile app based on the classic psychological tests by Katharine Cook Briggs, Isabel Briggs Myers and the theories of the psychologist Carl Jung - PersonalityMatch. Created by PersonalityPerfect (who also offer an online version at their website), the app allows you to complete a sophisticated personality test by working through 30 questions. The idea? To help you unlock the secret to getting along with anyone, and give you an idea about how compatible you are with others... all from within the app. Over 700,000 users have already completed the test! You start by launching the app and completing the test... both of which are free. Then, when complete, you can invite your partner or friends to do the same... also free! Finally, when they have completed the test, the application compares personality types between you and gives you a compatibility score, as well as revealing areas where you are compatible, areas where you might not get along and tips on how to improve you relationship. How well does it work? Very well - just like the test back in the classroom, PersonalityMatch does a great job of analysing your personality... my wife and myself measured our compatibility (75% by the way) and it was spot on. Once you've completed your initial match it's very addictive - the temptation is to connect with everyone you know (a number of social sharing options are included) although if you match better with your friends than your spouse, you might be in trouble! :) The app is free to download and ad free in use, but an in app purchase is available if you'd like to use PersonalityMatch as a tool for career guidance. After taking the initial test, the career option will suggest the best and worst careers for your personality type. PersonalityMatch is available from the Play Store, but also from the iOS App Store for your Apple-toting friends! If you'd like to learn more about the 16 personality types referenced within the app, head on over to the overview at the PersonalityPerfect website. This was a sponsored post placement.
  19. TWRP Recovery 3.0.2.0 for Honor 5C

    I've been working on creating the basic device tree needed to get the latest TWRP built for our Honor 5cs and most importantly, accepted as an official TWRP recovery. Until the recovery is officially approved, you can download a test version here! Flash using 'fastboot flash recovery filename.img' from bootloader on a bootloader unlocked device. DOWNLOAD - twrp-3.0.2-0-nemo-modaco-rc1.img - MD5: a6ab9da03d2661fb9f46ce6c7cafc3c3 P
  20. Introduction I have only had a Pixel for a few days now, so I’m not ready to do a full review, but I can give you my first impressions. I’m also taking questions on Twitter, so feel free to hit me up. I have the Pixel XL, the 5.5” model which is also joined by the 5” ‘regular’ Pixel. As well as the smaller screen, the junior model also has a FHD rather than QHD screen and a 2770mAh battery rather than the 3450mAh cell in the XL. Those tweaks aside, the specs are the same - you get a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB RAM, 32GB or 128GB storage, a rear mounted fingerprint reader, metal chassis with a glass panel, a choice of silver or black (I have a Silver XL) and, of course, Android 7.1, currently a Pixel exclusive and with exclusive Pixel features too. Although not a Nexus in name, let’s be honest and say that the Pixel is the next in a long line of Google devices that started with the original G1, a HTC built device (just like the Pixels). It’s fair to say that despite some very fondly remembered devices (the Nexus One being a particular highlight, again a HTC device), Nexus phones have often disappointed. Despite Google making big noises about photography, the cameras have generally been pretty poor (let down by a weak camera app too). Battery life has been underwhelming and there have been other issues too… but in generally they have been good value, or even cheap. The Pixels are not, starting at £599 for a 32GB Pixel and rising to an eye watering £819 for a 128GB Pixel XL. So, premium pricing for sure, but do you get what you pay for? No compromises Good news folks. These phones are the real deal. A record breaking score of 89 on DxoMark is completely synthetic, but in my testing so far, the Pixel camera is exceptional. I'll post samples pictures in the review of course, but the phone seems to easily hold its own against the Galaxy S7, which is a really great camera phone. That's impressive. The camera app is finally upgraded too, part of an Android OS release that feels tightly integrated, well featured, clean and modern. I like the Nougat refinements to an already well matured Marshmallow OS and the little changes in 7.1 add some visual refinement. So far, battery life is on par with what you’d expect given the capacity - no weird battery drains in use and excellent screen off performance (thanks Doze). The phone feels exceptionally smooth to use, with no noticeable glitching or lag (save for what is surely an early bug related to scrolling in some apps). Build quality is exceptional and although I think the black would be my preference over the silver (particularly as it's better suited to VR use than the white-fronted model), it’s a good looking phone. It’s unfortunate the blue isn’t in the UK though. The lack of Pixel cues is a bit disappointing (i.e. no light bar to match the Pixel C I'm writing on right now) but it is interesting to see only a simple ‘G’ so far as branding goes. Really, I think the only feature you could argue is missing is wireless charging, which still seems to elude metal bodied phones. Since Google’s dalliance with the technology in the Nexus 5, 6 and 7, it seems to have disappeared from the spec sheet, which is a shame I think. About that price The biggest problem for the Pixel phones is pricing. Sure, they are great phones, but is a £719 Pixel XL 32GB worth the outlay? Obviously that’s very personal, but there are a number of similarly specced phones that are hundreds of pounds cheaper. With the alternatives you won’t get Google’s own interpretation of the Android OS, fast updates and everything else that Nexus / Pixel stands for of course. You pays your money and you takes your choice I suppose. Right now, I maybe for the first time have a Google phone in my pocket where I don’t feel like another manufacturer’s Android offering will service me better in a key way and that really is the headline for so far. If you've pre-ordered a Pixel, I don't think you are going to be disappointed. Stay tuned for my full review. View full item
  21. Introduction I have only had a Pixel for a few days now, so I’m not ready to do a full review, but I can give you my first impressions. I’m also taking questions on Twitter, so feel free to hit me up. I have the Pixel XL, the 5.5” model which is also joined by the 5” ‘regular’ Pixel. As well as the smaller screen, the junior model also has a FHD rather than QHD screen and a 2770mAh battery rather than the 3450mAh cell in the XL. Those tweaks aside, the specs are the same - you get a Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB RAM, 32GB or 128GB storage, a rear mounted fingerprint reader, metal chassis with a glass panel, a choice of silver or black (I have a Silver XL) and, of course, Android 7.1, currently a Pixel exclusive and with exclusive Pixel features too. Although not a Nexus in name, let’s be honest and say that the Pixel is the next in a long line of Google devices that started with the original G1, a HTC built device (just like the Pixels). It’s fair to say that despite some very fondly remembered devices (the Nexus One being a particular highlight, again a HTC device), Nexus phones have often disappointed. Despite Google making big noises about photography, the cameras have generally been pretty poor (let down by a weak camera app too). Battery life has been underwhelming and there have been other issues too… but in generally they have been good value, or even cheap. The Pixels are not, starting at £599 for a 32GB Pixel and rising to an eye watering £819 for a 128GB Pixel XL. So, premium pricing for sure, but do you get what you pay for? No compromises Good news folks. These phones are the real deal. A record breaking score of 89 on DxoMark is completely synthetic, but in my testing so far, the Pixel camera is exceptional. I'll post samples pictures in the review of course, but the phone seems to easily hold its own against the Galaxy S7, which is a really great camera phone. That's impressive. The camera app is finally upgraded too, part of an Android OS release that feels tightly integrated, well featured, clean and modern. I like the Nougat refinements to an already well matured Marshmallow OS and the little changes in 7.1 add some visual refinement. So far, battery life is on par with what you’d expect given the capacity - no weird battery drains in use and excellent screen off performance (thanks Doze). The phone feels exceptionally smooth to use, with no noticeable glitching or lag (save for what is surely an early bug related to scrolling in some apps). Build quality is exceptional and although I think the black would be my preference over the silver (particularly as it's better suited to VR use than the white-fronted model), it’s a good looking phone. It’s unfortunate the blue isn’t in the UK though. The lack of Pixel cues is a bit disappointing (i.e. no light bar to match the Pixel C I'm writing on right now) but it is interesting to see only a simple ‘G’ so far as branding goes. Really, I think the only feature you could argue is missing is wireless charging, which still seems to elude metal bodied phones. Since Google’s dalliance with the technology in the Nexus 5, 6 and 7, it seems to have disappeared from the spec sheet, which is a shame I think. About that price The biggest problem for the Pixel phones is pricing. Sure, they are great phones, but is a £719 Pixel XL 32GB worth the outlay? Obviously that’s very personal, but there are a number of similarly specced phones that are hundreds of pounds cheaper. With the alternatives you won’t get Google’s own interpretation of the Android OS, fast updates and everything else that Nexus / Pixel stands for of course. You pays your money and you takes your choice I suppose. Right now, I maybe for the first time have a Google phone in my pocket where I don’t feel like another manufacturer’s Android offering will service me better in a key way and that really is the headline for so far. If you've pre-ordered a Pixel, I don't think you are going to be disappointed. Stay tuned for my full review.
  22. Visiting Africa with the Huawei P9

    MoDaCo team member Simon Lovejoy writes: The power of smart phone photography caught me by surprise really. After returning from a trip to New York I realised that almost all of my pictures were taken on my humble Moto G in glorious 5mp quality rather than the 14mp compact camera we took with us. The Moto was always right there when we needed it. So for a recent trip to Kenya and Zambia the question was what if we threw some more glory at the smart phone? Thanks to Huawei, I took the not even nearly humble Huawei P9 with its’ dual Leica lenses and 12mp sensors to find out. First let's get something out of the way: I don't really know what I'm doing with photography! I know a good picture when I see one, but I couldn't tell you how to make sure you'll get a good picture, or so I thought. Turns out it’s as easy as: take a P9 everywhere you go and snap everything you see. The law of large numbers takes care of the rest. It's then just a case of picking out the good ones. Things I loved The fingerprint sensor Wait, what? How does that help? While everyone else is waiting for the zoom on their camera to open or unlocking their phone like I used to, I've already taken selfies with 3 giraffes and videoed an elephant dancing. Or in the case of this Zebra, I didn’t want to stick around and get in his way but I couldn’t miss the opportunity of a picture this close! Monochrome mode There's something classy about a black and white picture and the dedicated monochrome lens on the P9 doesn't disappoint. These 2 shots from the Avani Hotel at Victoria Falls tell the story for me. OK, the colour one shows you what I saw, but the monochrome captures the mood and emotion. It's somehow less gaudy and it picks up so much light! This is definitely one of the features I'd love to spend more time exploring. Color Reproduction I can't tell you what exactly is working here, or doesn't work with other smartphones I've used, all I can say is that the pictures I see in my gallery look exactly as I remember them. The balance is correct, no blueish hue, not washed out, bang on every time. These 2 are examples. The clouds came over, but we still got the light balance and all the detail is still there. Both one handed shots too! Burst Shoot OK, so this is not exclusive to the P9, but the speed of capture made it really useful! There was an occasional delay where it didn't register that I'd held down the shutter button, but nothing serious. Being able to pick the best of a selection of shots is great, but also the fact that Google Photos automatically turns collections of burst shots into animated gifs makes bringing back the memories even easier Video Here I am feeding a giraffe at the giraffe center in Nairobi (I'm the shorter one with the jacket on). I love the quality, the stability even the sound capture. Once again the colour reproduction is great, worlds apart from the compact camera we took as a backup. Panorama Another pretty standard feature I guess, but again a really smooth experience and captures the moment very well. I really like that the UI shows you how far up or down you go from level as you go along. The stitching is excellent. Pro Mode I guess this is where the real photographers get very excited. I didn’t use it much, but it was great when I did to be able to change the film or shutter speed to lighten up a shot and pick out some detail or freeze some running water as below (1/40 on the left 1/125 on the right). In Pro Mode it gives you an onscreen level indicator which is really nice, it’s also really easy to tweak one setting and let the phone adjust all the rest to compensate. It reminded me of my old 35mm SLR. The Intangible There something about using this phone as a camera that made me enjoy taking pictures. I guess the combination of all that’s written above. But it meant I reached for it constantly and so ended up taking hundreds of shots, some of which I love and keep coming back to. Here are a few of my favourites: Normal Phone Stuff So I’m not a heavy user, but I found I could almost always get 2 days of normal use from a battery charge unless I was killing it with the camera. But even then I only had to resort to my external battery pack on a couple of extra heavy days. Once I’d installed Google Now Launcher, the UI is close enough to stock android not to annoy me constantly, although I would give almost anything for a normal notification shade... which just so happens to be coming (for the most part) in the EMUI 5 Nougat update. Excellent! Build quality is fantastic; it feels premium in the hand. Things I’d change Not much really! I would love for Huawei to provide a tripod accessory. Night mode is pretty useless without one I found. Though I did rig something up from my car vent mount to get this shot in Ireland. There were some times that I needed a zoom lens. I would love even a fixed zoom accessory (2x or 4x would probably be enough) then I wouldn’t feel the need for another camera at all probably. The new Mate 9 provides zoom, a bigger battery (but is also rather large)... maybe the best of all worlds? I’ll be sad to see this little P9 go back. It’s probably the best phone I’ve used for any real length of time. Am I converted to spending north of £300 on a phone? Heart says yes, Wallet says no... but if I was going to this is probably what I’d end up spending it on. Edit by Paul: Since Simon wrote this article, he has bought a P9. I think that says it all! Thanks again to Huawei for the loan of the device. View full item
  23. Visiting Africa with the Huawei P9

    MoDaCo team member Simon Lovejoy writes: The power of smart phone photography caught me by surprise really. After returning from a trip to New York I realised that almost all of my pictures were taken on my humble Moto G in glorious 5mp quality rather than the 14mp compact camera we took with us. The Moto was always right there when we needed it. So for a recent trip to Kenya and Zambia the question was what if we threw some more glory at the smart phone? Thanks to Huawei, I took the not even nearly humble Huawei P9 with its’ dual Leica lenses and 12mp sensors to find out. First let's get something out of the way: I don't really know what I'm doing with photography! I know a good picture when I see one, but I couldn't tell you how to make sure you'll get a good picture, or so I thought. Turns out it’s as easy as: take a P9 everywhere you go and snap everything you see. The law of large numbers takes care of the rest. It's then just a case of picking out the good ones. Things I loved The fingerprint sensor Wait, what? How does that help? While everyone else is waiting for the zoom on their camera to open or unlocking their phone like I used to, I've already taken selfies with 3 giraffes and videoed an elephant dancing. Or in the case of this Zebra, I didn’t want to stick around and get in his way but I couldn’t miss the opportunity of a picture this close! Monochrome mode There's something classy about a black and white picture and the dedicated monochrome lens on the P9 doesn't disappoint. These 2 shots from the Avani Hotel at Victoria Falls tell the story for me. OK, the colour one shows you what I saw, but the monochrome captures the mood and emotion. It's somehow less gaudy and it picks up so much light! This is definitely one of the features I'd love to spend more time exploring. Color Reproduction I can't tell you what exactly is working here, or doesn't work with other smartphones I've used, all I can say is that the pictures I see in my gallery look exactly as I remember them. The balance is correct, no blueish hue, not washed out, bang on every time. These 2 are examples. The clouds came over, but we still got the light balance and all the detail is still there. Both one handed shots too! Burst Shoot OK, so this is not exclusive to the P9, but the speed of capture made it really useful! There was an occasional delay where it didn't register that I'd held down the shutter button, but nothing serious. Being able to pick the best of a selection of shots is great, but also the fact that Google Photos automatically turns collections of burst shots into animated gifs makes bringing back the memories even easier Video Here I am feeding a giraffe at the giraffe center in Nairobi (I'm the shorter one with the jacket on). I love the quality, the stability even the sound capture. Once again the colour reproduction is great, worlds apart from the compact camera we took as a backup. Panorama Another pretty standard feature I guess, but again a really smooth experience and captures the moment very well. I really like that the UI shows you how far up or down you go from level as you go along. The stitching is excellent. Pro Mode I guess this is where the real photographers get very excited. I didn’t use it much, but it was great when I did to be able to change the film or shutter speed to lighten up a shot and pick out some detail or freeze some running water as below (1/40 on the left 1/125 on the right). In Pro Mode it gives you an onscreen level indicator which is really nice, it’s also really easy to tweak one setting and let the phone adjust all the rest to compensate. It reminded me of my old 35mm SLR. The Intangible There something about using this phone as a camera that made me enjoy taking pictures. I guess the combination of all that’s written above. But it meant I reached for it constantly and so ended up taking hundreds of shots, some of which I love and keep coming back to. Here are a few of my favourites: Normal Phone Stuff So I’m not a heavy user, but I found I could almost always get 2 days of normal use from a battery charge unless I was killing it with the camera. But even then I only had to resort to my external battery pack on a couple of extra heavy days. Once I’d installed Google Now Launcher, the UI is close enough to stock android not to annoy me constantly, although I would give almost anything for a normal notification shade... which just so happens to be coming (for the most part) in the EMUI 5 Nougat update. Excellent! Build quality is fantastic; it feels premium in the hand. Things I’d change Not much really! I would love for Huawei to provide a tripod accessory. Night mode is pretty useless without one I found. Though I did rig something up from my car vent mount to get this shot in Ireland. There were some times that I needed a zoom lens. I would love even a fixed zoom accessory (2x or 4x would probably be enough) then I wouldn’t feel the need for another camera at all probably. The new Mate 9 provides zoom, a bigger battery (but is also rather large)... maybe the best of all worlds? I’ll be sad to see this little P9 go back. It’s probably the best phone I’ve used for any real length of time. Am I converted to spending north of £300 on a phone? Heart says yes, Wallet says no... but if I was going to this is probably what I’d end up spending it on. Edit by Paul: Since Simon wrote this article, he has bought a P9. I think that says it all! Thanks again to Huawei for the loan of the device.
  24. Honor 8 EMUI 5 / Nougat beta test

    Good news Honor 8 owners! Honor are giving some of you the chance to help us test out EMUI 5 and Android N on your Honor 8. Sounds great yeah? Just remember this is going to be pre-release software, things may be broken, you may end up struggling to use your phone, but if that's all good they want you to help them find & squash the bugs. So what do you need to do to get the new stuff on your phone? It's easy - you install an app, enroll on the project and then towards the end of the month we will be pushing out the OTA to those that have had their applications approved. So what do you need? An Honor 8 (FRD-L09), which cannot be bootloader unlocked, it cannot have a custom recovery or be rooted to receive the OTA To be based in the UK. To have an active SIM card in your phone. To be on build number C432B131 You can get the APK for the BETA app & the guidelines for how to install and enroll here. Once downloaded, install it on your phone and when you run the app you will be prompted to either log into an existing Huawei ID account (the one you use to download EMUI themes will do) or to create a new one, once done you can accept the terms To enroll on the BETA test you will need to be on build number B131. An OTA to update UK Honor 8 from B120>B131 will be rolling out today, once you are on B131 you can enroll on the BETA test. Numbers are limited, when we hit the limit of enrolled users that is it. This is a project to help find bugs and issues before the general rollout of future updates for the Honor 8. It is not a general public rollout. We will be hosting discussions here in the forums to discuss bugs etc and to post details about future updates for the BETA. If you have problems either installing the APK, signing into Huawei ID or enrolling on the BETA please visit this topic for further assistance. View full item
  25. Honor 8 EMUI 5 / Nougat beta test

    Good news Honor 8 owners! Honor are giving some of you the chance to help us test out EMUI 5 and Android N on your Honor 8. Sounds great yeah? Just remember this is going to be pre-release software, things may be broken, you may end up struggling to use your phone, but if that's all good they want you to help them find & squash the bugs. So what do you need to do to get the new stuff on your phone? It's easy - you install an app, enroll on the project and then towards the end of the month we will be pushing out the OTA to those that have had their applications approved. So what do you need? An Honor 8 (FRD-L09), which cannot be bootloader unlocked, it cannot have a custom recovery or be rooted to receive the OTA To be based in the UK. To have an active SIM card in your phone. To be on build number C432B131 You can get the APK for the BETA app & the guidelines for how to install and enroll here. Once downloaded, install it on your phone and when you run the app you will be prompted to either log into an existing Huawei ID account (the one you use to download EMUI themes will do) or to create a new one, once done you can accept the terms To enroll on the BETA test you will need to be on build number B131. An OTA to update UK Honor 8 from B120>B131 will be rolling out today, once you are on B131 you can enroll on the BETA test. Numbers are limited, when we hit the limit of enrolled users that is it. This is a project to help find bugs and issues before the general rollout of future updates for the Honor 8. It is not a general public rollout. We will be hosting discussions here in the forums to discuss bugs etc and to post details about future updates for the BETA. If you have problems either installing the APK, signing into Huawei ID or enrolling on the BETA please visit this topic for further assistance.
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