Google Pixel

Google Pixel

Bought myself a Google Pixel (Silver, 128GB) for my birthday this year. 😀 Everybody’s been quite excited and asking for a review, so here’s my perspective of the device. Samsung S4 was the last Android phone I have used before switching to iPhones. My S4 battery would heat up while charging and also randomly while I’m out. I was uncomfortable with that symptom, so I switched to iPhone. But I’ve missed my S3 experience so much that I’ve been watching out for an Android phone since. I wanted to buy this phone the moment it was announced.

First Impressions

Google Pixel Box
I chuckled when I saw the box

The hardware feels like an iPhone, key difference being there’s no button at the bottom of the front of the phone, the fingerprint reader is on the back of the phone, which poses no issues for me, I swipe it with either of my index fingers just fine. There’s a tiny pokey thing in the box to help you remove your SIM card from your iPhone and insert it into the Pixel. The Pixel SIM card drawer works exactly the same way as the SIM card drawer on the iPhone.

The phone powers up like any other phone, with an animation sequence and some jingle.

What comes in the box:

  • The phone itself
  • That pokey thing for the SIM card drawer
  • Charger adapter, I got the UK one so the plug is compatible here
  • One USB C to USB C cable for use with the official plug
  • One USB A to USB C cable, so you can still use your old iPhone charger to charge this phone, if you want
  • One female USB A to USB C adapter, in case you want to convert any of your other existing cables to USB C on one end
  • Some starter kit cards a la Razer products

And then I started going through this list, you should check it out if you just got yours.

What I Love About It

Stories on Google Now
Articles I’ll Actually Read
  • The keyboard can be swiped by default (can only have that with third party keyboards on iPhone)
  • I get lesser weird auto correct errors with keyboard
  • There’s a DND profile option (great for driving! I hated when friends WhatsApp me while I was driving)
  • Google Now recommending articles I actually want to read (my personal Google account was configured as the main account in the phone)
  • Having my work schedule on a full page panel, that I can swipe to anytime, without launching my calendar app (my work account is configured in the Outlook app)

Bits That Irritated Me

  • I have 3 virtual keyboards set up (English, Chinese and Japanese), and I have to go into them individually to turn off key press sounds and vibration. Shouldn’t keyboard settings be across the board?!
  • Similarly, I have to go into individual apps to turn off in app sounds
  • Sometimes I tap on a hot spot multiple times and I still don’t select it. Most times it’s because I’m tapping slightly lower than the phone expects it
  • Battery life seems a bit suspect. I spent 10% just surfing Facebook and Google Now for 45 minutes when I wake up

Updating My S3 to CyanogenMod Jellybean Nightly Build

In July, I found out that AT&T released the red Galaxy S3, asked a couple of sources (official mobile operators and ah beng shops), and there were no confirmation we would get them in Singapore. On impulse, I bought it off the Internet (eBay has everything, you know?). Anyway, we now have the red S3 available in Singapore. It’s the i9300 model, which is quad core. The AT&T model is i747 and it’s only dual core.

Received from SingPost (bloody charged me additional 7% GST) on 23 Aug, but haven’t been able to update to Jellybean as the software wasn’t available.

Randomly did a Google search for “i747 jelly bean” today and found out that CyanogenMod has a Jellybean nightly for my device.

Follow the steps below to get Jellybean nightly from CyanogenMod into your i747 from AT&T.

  1. How to flash ClockworkMod Recovery
  2. How to root and install BusyBox (Note: Installation of BusyBox is not mandatory)
  3. Download and install ROM Manager from Google Play Store
  4. Start ROM Manager
  5. Tap on “Backup Current ROM” and select your device “Samsung Galaxy S III (AT&T)”
    Note: If it prompts you to install ClockworkMod recovery, wait for the app to finish processing, allow Superuser access to ROM Manager, and tap on “Backup Current ROM” again.
  6. Name your backup and tap “OK”, your device will perform the backup and reboot.

    Backing Up
    Backing Up
  7. Download the latest nightly build from CyanogenMod Nightly Builds for Samsung Galaxy S III (AT&T) i747 and Google Apps Package into your computer
  8. Connect your device to your computer and copy paste the nightly build and Google Apps package into your device’s internal memory
  9. Start ROM Manager
  10. Tap on “Install ROM from SD Card” and select the nightly build file
  11. Check “Wipe Data and Cache” and “Wipe Dalvik Cache”
  12. Tap “OK” twice, and wait for your device to finish processing and reboot.
    Installing CM JellyBean
    Installing CM JellyBean

    Ta-dah! You are now running the latest nightly from CyanogenMod.

    CyanogenMod Loading Screen
    CyanogenMod Loading Screen
  13. Start ROM Manager
  14. Tap on “Reboot into Recovery”
  15. Tap “OK” to confirm
  16. Tap “Allow” Superuser access to ROM Manager
  17. Use the down volume button to navigate to “install zip from sdcard”, use the home button to select this option
  18. Use the home button to select “choose zip from sdcard”
  19. Select the Google Apps package
  20. Use the down volume button to navigate to “Yes – install…”, use the home button to select this option, and let your device process
  21. Tap the back button
  22. Press the home button to select “reboot system now”. That’s it, you’re done! 🙂

What is BusyBox and when do you need it?

Brother Sister iPod Nanos and FMJs

Ah Bit stopped eating his usual Oxbow pellets one day and lost a lot of weight. A check with the vet showed that there’s nothing wrong with him physically, so it’s most prob selective feeding. Had to feed him some pellet slush and probiotics before I bought the vet-recommended brand of pellets. I’m currently feeding him Burgess Excel Rabbit Mature Cranberry & Ginseng, which claims to prevent selective feeding, also it’s catered to rabbits that are older than 5 years (Plus! It has Ginseng inside! Stupid Ah Bit is so pampered la).

When we change rabbit feed, we’re supposed to change it gradually so as not to upset the rabbit’s digestive system as well as to prevent the rabbit from refusing the new feed. In this instance, I couldn’t do a gradual switch cos Ah Bit has stopped eating his Oxbow pellets. Ah Bit is usually picky about his pellets, but he ate these the moment I put them in his bowl. 🙂

Friday night out with my Universe. Nu and I bought dinner at Sushi Tei for our double celebration, and we watched Ip Man after. I found it too cruel and a little forced. I much preferred the prequel.

My brother and I now have brother sister iPod Nanos and FMJs (mine in chrome, his in black). He’s trying to psycho me to get one of the Tis, but I know that I’ll never get one of those. I’m too lazy to bring headphones around, though I really like the pair he has.

Also, Hanny sprang a surprise visit before his Mother’s day dinner with his family today. He caught me in extremely ratty PJs, but still… <3 <3 <3

Merry Christmas!


Overdue pictures of my RebelTouch together with my new white/gold W910i and my Christmas present! Now I have Ayanami Rei to accompany Asuka, who’s sitting on my left speaker.

Pipi made videos of the APAPA gang on elfyourself. Here’re the link to the videos! There are two versions, one for the boys, one for the girls. I would like to download it, but pipi has discount since she’s the creator. 🙂

APAPA Boys           APAPA girls