How to revive a “dead” Nexus 7

Hello again. It’s been a (really long) while since I last wrote in my blog. First I would like to apologize to those who were following my blog especially to those who were expecting to see new stuff. I’ve been in a very busy year but now that I’m on vacation I should be able to write stuff again and hopefully stuff that would be useful to others like this one. So what is today’s article about?

Nexus 7

Last week I bought myself a 32GB Asus Nexus 7 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia a few days before my scheduled vacation back to the Philippines. It was awesome. I loved it and I didn’t have any issues with it. That was, until today happened.

I was drinking with my brother and some pals here at home last night. My Nexus 7 was beside me and its battery level was already on the low side. I knew that it won’t be good to completely deplete the tablet’s battery but I was rather lazy to plug it in. When the drinking ended I totally forgot to plug it in because I was so sleepy already. I guess gadgets and alcohol just don’t mix.

Anyway, I was able to plug it in when I woke up in the morning and that’s when I noticed a weird problem. When the charger is plugged in the screen would switch on and static would pop up randomly like what you would see on those old CRT televisions. Sometimes the static images are of random colors too. Nothing else happens and that was what got me concerned. What the hell was wrong with my new tablet?!

I tried searching for tips and similar problems around the interwebs and all I saw was either to do a hardware reset by pressing the power and volume down buttons together for around 10 to 45 seconds or to send it for repairs. I tried the first and it didn’t work. I can’t do the second because it will still take around 2 months until I return to work in Saudi Arabia. What else could I do before then? If only I could remove the battery…

Oh yes! Why not? The Nexus 7 has a non-user replaceable battery but that doesn’t mean it can’t be replaced if needed be so I started searching about how to pop the cover off. After a simple search I found that the cover wasn’t really very difficult to remove and I was able to take it off using only my fingernails by prying it at the border between the plastic back cover and the metal edge. The easiest part to pry open seems to be at the top corners. Just slide your nail along and it should pop open easily.

The innards of my Asus Nexus 7.

The battery is the big white thing with black borders. It is connected to the board via that 6-pin cable with red, yellow and black cables. I immediately saw the cause of the problem after prying the cover open – the connector was loose and it was almost removed. I knew it had to be the problem so I pushed it in and tried to turn it on. Tada! It worked!

One thing I noticed about the battery of the Nexus 7 is that it is simply glued inside it while its size is quite small to where it is located meaning the potential of the connector getting loose is very high. Just look at the open space around the battery and you’ll know what I mean.

Taking the back cover off could potentially void warranty but being able to do it myself have saved me the waste of time normally associated with relying on technical support. So if you’re having that static screen with no charging issue, the battery or a loose connector could be the problem. If you’re one of the “victims” of this issue then I hope this post has helped you.

Reflashed! My Galaxy Tab is running CM10 again!

About tablet...

Here’s a screenshot showing the current version the ROM running in my Galaxy Tab. Also notice that the UI is green instead of the original Holo blue. CM themes work on the latest CM10 preview!

A little more than a month ago I tried to install CM10 preview build for the original Galaxy Tab (P1000). Unfortunately, wireless tethering doesn’t work on it. Since wireless tethering is very important to me – I use my Galaxy Tab as a mobile hotspot for my phone – I had to go back to CM9… until now.

So, yesterday I went back to the CM10 preview thread to check its status and I was greeted by a new build (Build 4). As usual I used XDA’s search in thread function for wireless tethering and found one post that says it still doesn’t work. I kept my hopes up though and found that the HumberOS build along with a matching kernel has the feature that I need. I have experience with HumberOS ROMs and have used it until I switched to pure CM9 so I didn’t think twice about installing that version.

Hello again Jelly Bean!

Jelly Bean homescreen

This version looks and feels a lot smoother. It still lags (and I expected that) but it’s a lot more usable than the first builds that I tried. Nevertheless it seems stable enough as long as I don’t overclock. I tried overclocking a few times and my Galaxy Tab rebooted without warning. Of course, it’s not completely bug free like how the Gallery force closes when I try opening a high resolution (around 4000 x 5000) image which used to work well on CM9 among a few other things I’ve seen. Well, It’s a preview after all and so I can’t (and shouldn’t) complain.

I wouldn’t recommend the ROM to be used as a daily driver but, if you wish to do some tinkering, head to the link to the HumberOS article I posted above. I expect you to know what you are doing of course. I can’t be held responsible for whatever happens to your precious device.

Rumor Mill: Windows Phone 8 devices to get a standard USB port location

Apple Universal Dock

iPhones on universal docks. Photo by Yutaka Tsutano. Microsoft could be planning to provide a universal docking feature on all Windows Phone devices.

One of the things that made iOS very successful is the multitude of accessories it has – from keyboards to speaker docks, etc. – and this is because they used Apple’s proprietary port (which is rumored to be undergoing a huge change, by the way).

Microsoft may be going the same route. Currently, manufacturers seem to have their own idea for the best place to put a USB port: HTC seems to like the side (it’s on the left side on my HTC 7 Mozart), Nokia seems to prefer the top (as evident on my Lumia 710), while Samsung and many others prefer placing the port at the bottom. This creates a host of incompatibilities between devices making it impossible to create universal accessories. But if we were to trust what was being suggested by the position of the USB port on the Samsung Ativ S (currently the only official Windows Phone 8 device revealed) and the leaks of Nokia and HTC devices, we could be in for a nice surprise! Why don’t you take a peek at the photos after the break and see them for yourself?

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SkyDrive web interface gets a Modern UI face-lift, jumps into Android territory with official app too

SkyDrive

I’ve been a SkyDrive user for a long time though I have not used the service much because of its limitations back then. I preferred Dropbox over SkyDrive because it allowed no file size limits and an easier way to synchronize files. I started to use SkyDrive more through automatic backups of photos and videos I took with my HTC 7 Mozart Windows Phone but not much else. Their web app was clunky and cross-platform syncing of files through an official app was missing so I stayed with using Dropbox as my main cloud-storage solution.

Things have changed for the better though as SkyDrive underwent a transition that I think makes it a better service than it was before. Microsoft introduced a Dropbox-esque Windows (Vista and higher) and Mac OS X Lion app – a feature I’ve been waiting for (you can grab them here). Apps for Windows Phone 7 and iOS devices were also introduced. Windows 8 has it integrated. Only two problems left: the web interface and Android official app availability.

Not anymore…

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Samsung Ativ S, the first Windows Phone 8 device ever revealed

Windows Phone 8

I own two Windows Phones – an HTC 7 Mozart and a Nokia Lumia 710 which I bought yesterday. I do know that current Windows Phone devices will not be upgraded to the latest installation (WP8) due to some huge changes with its underlying code but that didn’t stop me from getting a Lumia 710. I’m still pretty much excited about WP8 and am willing to shell out some cash on a PureView-enabled Lumia if ever one gets announced next week or within the next few months. Samsung beat them to it though by being the first to announce their flagship Windows Phone 8 device – enter the Samsung Ativ S. Drum roll please!

Samsung ATIV S viewed from the side

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Samsung Galaxy S III and iPhone 4S gets “dragged behind a car” scratch test

I find it such a waste to drag two brand spanking new devices at the back of a car just to scratch test them. They should have just given me the devices instead so that I could review them. I expected the results but it still makes me sad. Really makes me sad. I guess there are some people who has some cash to spare for such a test…

On another note, that guy must keep his blood pressure in check! Hahaha!

Windows Phone 8’s unannounced features revealed

Microsoft Surface Phone concept by Jonas-Daehnert (DeviantArt)

I wish this Microsoft Surface Phone concept was real…

The Windows Phone 8 SDK rumored to be released in the coming weeks but there are already some who have gotten their hands on leaked versions. Fortunately, they have been kind enough to show us what Microsoft has yet to tell us about. I have scoured the web for the new features that have yet to be announced officially. You shall find them after the break.

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