Monday 27 August 2012

Nexus 7 with Tips and Tricks

With the recent launch of the Nexus 7 I was intrigued as to whether it had a place amongst my gadgets. I already have a main laptop, a netbook and an android smart phone. Anyway I thought form factor would be be perfect for mum and if I got it now I could try it out for myself. The price definitely made it much more accessible for the more frugal 'gadgeteers' out there. Apple's iPad was interesting but for the price I would rather other people spent their hard earn cash first. £160 for the 8GB in a smaller less cumbersome form factor, built on a platform that generally offered more choice was a much more persuasive offering to me.

Initial thoughts

  • Build Quality - It felt compact without excessive weight and solid enough to use without being paranoid.
  • Design - Clean with nice textured back and unobtrusive power and volume buttons (the only sticky outty bits). I was a little puzzled by the front-facing camera with no applications to utilise it. Miss the camera on the back but it absence means I don't look ridiculous using the tablet like an oversized phone - I did see someone doing exactly this with an iPad at a conference recently.
  • Performance - Smooth and responsive


  • Taking a screenshot - They finally added this as standard feature. Hold the power and down volume buttons down simultaneously which will trigger a sound and animation. You can either find the screen shot under 'Screenshot' in the gallery or you can click the 'Share' symbol in the 'Notification Try'.
  • Damage management - People will have different ideas on whether they want to cover up their shiny gadget. And different views on what to cover it with. I was going away and got something quickly which I hoped would be not too bulky yet smart looking. It also has a magnet so it powers on when you open it up. Google Nexus 7 Tablet Case - Black Carbon Fibre Print PropUp Stand Case Cover
  • Extra storage - TBC :)


Here is a list of applications I found useful and/or interesting that you can install from Google Play
  • Camera Launcher - Now you can do something with that front-facing camera.
  • Amazon Kindle - Books on the move without the bulk and weight.
  • TweetDeck - For your twitter-like activity, twitter or facebook status updates.
  • Evernote - Notes and checklists in the cloud with clients with clients for multiple OSes
  • Linode Android - Control your servers remotely
  • Pocket - Store webpages for reading offline later.
  • GSRemote - Remotely control Grooveshark running on a desktop somewhere.
  • uTorrent Remote - Remotely control uTorrent running on your desktop

That's all folks!

Well not really. I'll come back and update this blog as I discover more.

Friday 17 August 2012

Mounting a Nexus 7 on Ubuntu 12.04

..or any other Android 4+ device really. Here's a quick step by step guide to get your Nexus 7 (in my case) mounted on Ubuntu.

1. Install some modules
sudo apt-get install mtp-tools mtpfs

2. Create the file 99-android.rules in /etc/udev/rules.d/

sudo vi /etc/udev/rules.d/99-android.rules

Pasted in the the following..
# Nexus 7

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", SYSFS{idVendor}=="18d1", MODE="0666"

2. Make it executable
sudo chmod +x /etc/udev/rules.d/99-android.rules

3 Restart udev
sudo service udev restart

4. Create a mount point

sudo mkdir /media/nexus7

chmod 755 /media/nexus7

5. Plug in device and ensure MTP is enabled

On the Nexus 7 bring down the menu, select usb connection and make sure the 'Media device (MTP)' is sticked and then..

sudo mtpfs -o allow_other /media/nexus7

Remember to umount the device

sudo umount /media/nexus7

df -h
.. to report storage levels