How to upgrade your Motorola Moto G (2nd Gen) to Android Lollipop 5.0.2

The International version of the Motorola Moto G2 received the Android Lollipop on November 12, 2014 (before any Nexus/GPe device). Note though the update was only for the single sim variant which isn’t sold in most of the developing markets like India, Brazil etc.

Motorola India was conducting soak test for the Motorola Moto G2 (Indian variant, XT1068) and one of the Indian xda developer’s has uploaded the soak test upgrade to the public. So if you are impatient like me and don’t want to wait for the official release then continue reading.

The actual xda-developers post can be found over here.

In the xda developer page, has a FAQ which I think you should read through before upgrading or doing anything to the device. Your device should have a locked bootloader and should not be rooted. If you have “21.11.23.titan_retaildsds.retaildsdsall.en.03” as your System version with build number as “KXB21.85-23” you can proceed to download the update.

If your “About phone” looks similar then you can proceed to upgrade.

You can download the update (~377 MB) from the given links, Mega1, Mega2, Google Drive or Dev-Host. Download any one link that works for you. The update(.zip file) has to be moved to the phone’s storage (internal or external, I personally moved it to the internal and the external storage both).

After the file transfer go to your phone’s, Settings > About Phone > Software Updates.

And if you have moved it correctly you should get something like the screenshot shared below.

The System Software update pop up.

After selecting “Yes, I’m in.” the update will be moved. And you’ll be asked if you want to install the update. The phone will reboot and install the software update. After which all your apps will be optimized to the new operating system. The process will take around 20 minutes, depending upon the number of apps you have installed on your phone.

Post upgrade “About phone”

DISCLAIMER: This isn’t an official upgrade from Motorola. Theoretically this should not harm your device, but I cannot take any responsibility for any damage/harm/data-loss that happens to your device.

Ironically, if you get though this properly you’ll not lose any apps or app data or any media stored in your internal memory or memory card. You’ll continue to get updates sent from Motorola and your warranty will remain intact

Special thanks to the people who made the lollipop OTA available to every one:

Rajesh Kumar            https://plus.google.com/100861612655091584827/posts
Avinash Ravi              https://plus.google.com/+AvinashRavi/posts.

Motorola Moto G 2nd Gen review, coming soon.

This is Sahil Satishkumar logging out.

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Do we need out of the convention devices?

Consider the following, not yet outdated smart phones:

  • LG G flex 2
  • HTC One M8 (and HTC One M7)
  • Galaxy note 4 Edge

Mentioned above are some of the devices that have at least one feature that are completely new to handheld technology domain.

LG G Flex 2
LG G Flex 2 with its curved body design

The LG’s G flex 2 (announced recently in CES 2015) sports a curved display. It’s one of the first smartphone to feature the most recent processor from Qualcomm, Snapdragon 810. Also the device is reported to support micro SD cards up to 2TB (There are no 2TB or 1TB or 512 GB or 256GB micro SD card supported devices or cards themselves in the market). The spotlight is more on the 1080p 5.5″ curved display and not the other specifications.

Polycarbonate HTC One E8 (Maldives Blue) vs Aluminium HTC One M8 (Gunmetal grey)

Let’s consider the HTC’s ultra pixel camera on the one M8 and one M7. On the megapixel count sheet both the devices will look like devices from early 2012. No doubt that the low light performance on those devices are exceptionally good, HTC has been appreciated for the same with many reviewers pointing out the good bits of the ultrapixel camera. At the same time the ultrapixel camera produces really tiny pictures(compared to the other smartphone cameras of that time). And if you were to crop those tiny pictures you’d get pixellated images.

 

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Edge

Samsung also has introduced the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Edge that has exactly the same specifications as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 but has a secondary curved display strip that supports additional functionality like active notification on stocks. The strip itself can be customized for the type of the notifications (API is available for developers to play with).

 

 

(Picture credits: Pocketnow, TechnoBuffalo and Android Authority)

Wonder which company has introduced, out-of-convention devices worst?

It’s the LG G flex 2! HTC has managed the introduction where as Samsung has done it the best.

So you must be like, *tell me more Sahil, bring us more of your wisdom from the future*. Honestly its my personal opinion but it’s with to take a note of it!

Well the onboard specifications of the LG G Flex 2 are not at all available in any of the LG ( or as of any device on or before January 10, 2015).

The HTC One M8 has an alternative namely HTC One E8. It doesn’t have the award-winning aluminium body, it instead sports a polycarbonate body(with more color options). It also skips the Ultrapixel duo camera for a 13 MP shooter at the back.

Samsung’s Note 4 Edge as mentioned earlier, is a clone of the traditional Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Both of them were announced and launched together. Because Note 4 Edge has an experimental design, it has limited production

My Verdict: What if I don’t want a curved display? What if I don’t want duo camera layout? What if I don’t want that extra strip of display?

What if I want my smartphone to be the plain old flat surfaced phone with Snapdragon 810 with crazy expandable memory, or if I want a normal camera phone to take normal shots of scenic beauty up in the mountains and still have the capability to crop the image to my requirement, or if I want a legendary phablet with no extra gimmicky display that interferes with my regular phablet operations?

Samsung can help me with the Note 4, HTC can help me with One E8 after I trade with aluminium unibody design.

But what about the G Flex 2? Feels like your requirements are too condensed that you don’t have any other alternatives?

Well this is my personal opinion but I believe that OEMs should always introduce new out-of-conventional devices as an extra model, with the option to have the conventional phone goodness that has the nearly same of a traditional smartphone.

Do let me know what do you feel about the smart phones mentioned above. Do you think we really have to dump our current generation phones to accommodate the new out-of-convention devices? Let me know in the comment section below.

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Twitter: @sahrckr

Facebook: fb.me/sahrckr

This is Sahil Satishkumar logging out.

Top 5 features of Android Lollipop that I (dis)like

 

Android Lollipop has been around for a while, and I have the Lollipop update in one of the most unexpected device.

I personally have a Motorola Moto G XT1068(dual sim variant) and Google Nexus 7 (2012, Wi-Fi only).

I expected my phone to get upgraded to Android Lollipop and my tablet to rest with Android Kitkat, Ironically the vice versa is the fact, For some reason Motorola didn’t push the Android Lollipop update for the dual sim variant to the Indian market(where as the single sim variant was actually the first non-nexus non-Gpe device to receive the update). Screw you #Motorola_India.

Lets straight way head to the top 5 features that I love about Android Lollipop:

1. Lockscreen notification and adieus lockscreen widgets:

For comparison this is what a whatsapp notification on Android Kitkat looks like, vs. similar notification in Android Lollipop.

Sample WhatsApp Notification on Android Kitkat
Sample WhatsApp Notification on Android Lollipop

Android Kitkat by default(without installing dashclock widget and the extensions) doesn’t show any description of the notification, it just says there is a notification. To actually even get a blunt knowledge on the notification you have to unlock your device and then read or dismiss it.

On the other hand you get a preview of each and every notification in Android Lollipop, also you do get the option to filter out notification based on the sensitivity of notifications generated from a particular application or notification as of whole.

2. Smart Lock

Unlocking Android devices have always been a pain in the @$$, all the way from Android 1.5~1.6 to Android Kitkat.

To the contrary unlocking any Android Lollipop device has new options on it’s own.

It’ll automatically disable the lock if you are: A trusted face, Connected to a trusted device or At a trusted location.

Trusted Face: I would like to mention that the face recognition now runs in stealth mode in Android Lollipop, Which is actually nice that you actually don’t have to see your pillow-hairstyle all muffled look while unlocking your phone. It’s not something which was missing in the earlier versions of Android but, it’s exected in a better way with Android Lollipop.

Standard security options
Smart lock option on Android Lollipop

 

Trusted Devices: Simple as say’s so , if your device is connected to any of the trusted device(you’ll have to add them, of course) like a smartwatch, other phone(via bluetooth tethering only), bluetooth keyboards. You’ll always have the option to bypass the lock.

To Motorola’s defence Moto G2 does have the exact same feature but it’s not common to all Android Kitkat devices.

Trusted places: It never worked for me, but this will give you the option to keep your Android Lollipop device unlocked if you are at one of the predefined trusted place.

 

3. Sound profiles

Android has 6 types of sounds, namely Media sounds, Ringing Sounds, Notification Sounds, Voice Call Sounds, Alarm Sounds, and System Sounds.

And there is no way to control all of them in Android Kitkat and earlier versions.

Traditional sound menu on Android Kitkat
New Sound and Notification option on Android Lollipop

 

But Android Lollipop brings in three no-nonsense sound profiles that can take care of all sort’s of sound your device can make (Internally and not externally).

All, Priority and None

All will allow all sounds, None will not allow any sound(not even the Alarm)

Where as priority allows only priority interruptions from starred contacts or events/remainders, which is something new to Android ecosystem.

 

4. Art Runtime:

This is something that cannot be represented with jpg or png or any image file, this something that you experience in the long run. The Android Lollipop update mandates the Art Runtime by default, that is more efficient in memory consumption and more fluid than the previous Dalvik runtime. You have the option to switch between runtimes in some Android Kitkat devices(lincluding Moto G2).

However there are some negligible drawbacks of Art runtime like, apps take a long time to install, and take more space. But other than that, there are no issues with the art runtime.

5. Switching keyboards and other small tweaks:

Attached below are the keyboards switcher buttons for Kitkat and Lollipop.

5-15-2

In the gif’s im trying to switchkeyboard while i’m typing my awesome poem in the Simplenote application.

It’s clear that Lollipop has 1 less step(swipe) and doesn’t waste the notification real estate. I personally dislike the on-screen back-home-recent button. But they are here to stay, even if they waste a section of the beautiful display.

Other minor tweaks I found interesting include:

  • Bringing multi user feature to smartphones was something really great.
  • So is Smart pinning(I don’t find any application)
  • Project Volta, allows users to extend the battery life by killing battery-expensive processes. Again this will torch up your notification bar and your back-home-recent bar to orange(without wasting the notification panel’s real estate). The animations work in a real funny way after you switch to this mode.

There are some things about Android Lollipop Update that I hate!

  • In the tablet interface the double swipe down to quick settings in useless, the left and right corner swipe for notification and quick settings panel was great.
  • Sound profile NEED a demonstration during the first boot.
  • Battery % (in numbers) in the notification panel, instead of the stupid water-filled-can model.
  • Ability to change system font. So that I don’t have to root my device just to change the system font to Ubuntu.

This is all about the features I (dis)like about Android Lollipop.

Feel Free to comment.

This is Sahil Satishkumar logging out.

Manual Installation of factory Image or Root or do both to any nexus device using Ubuntu PC

This is an A-Z guide for you to manually install a factory image to your nexus device or root your nexus device or both. If you have crashed your custom ROM or if you have badly screwed your device and you still have access to your bootloader, then this guide will probably work for you too. If you were brought here in the name of “Written companion” you’re at the right place.

<The latest android version during the making of this guide was Android Lollipop 5.0.2>

DISCLAIMER: I’m not responsible for any harm that may happen for not following the steps properly.

(The process works, but don’t want to take unwanted blame)

List of Software/Hardware required

  • A PC/Laptop running any version of Ubuntu
  • A Nexus 4,5,6,7,9 or 10 (it may work for the older devices too)
  • micro-USB to USB cable
  • Fastboot(optional, only for root): download it from here
  • Factory image file, download from here. Please download the correct version.
  • Patience depending upon how fast or slow your internet is.

After downloading all the required files, it will take utmost 15 minutes to get through the installation and the rooting process. Please ensure that you have all your data backed up, and ensure that you have 50% of charge in your battery. Connect your phone/tablet to your Ubuntu PC using the micro-USB to USB cable and you are good to go.

<Terminal shortcut : Ctrl+Alt+t>

Before going through the steps, Make sure that you follow the stream of the steps as I sort according to the task that has to be performed.

  • If you want to manually install the factory image only, Follow all the steps, skip step 5. Also need not download the fastboot.zip file.
  • If you want to root you device only,

After Step 1 and Step 2, run the command

$sudo fastboot oem unlock

skip step 3, continue with the remaining steps.

  • If you want to do both, you got to do all the steps.

Step 1: Install fastboot and adb development tools

In the terminal run the following two commands:

$sudo apt-get install android-tools-adb

$sudo apt-get install android-tools-fastboot

Step 2: Enable USB debugging in your phone/tablet

Head to your device settings,

Settings>About phone/tablet>Build number

Tap the build number 7 times. This will recognise you as a developer. This will also unhide the “Developer options” hidden in your settings.

Again head to your device settings,

Settings>Developer Options>Tick/Check the USB debugging option.

Assuming that you have connected your device to the computer and have never done this steps before, you’ll get a pop up asking you to authenticate your current connected PC, Press ok to this pop up.

Step 3: Flash the Factory Image

Extract the factory-image.zip file and Fastboot.zip file(fastboot is optional, if you intend to root your device) to a known location in your computer. Move “fastboot-linux” and “adb-linux” to the unpacked factory-image folder. Also ensure that your Factory image folder has a shell script named “flash-all.sh”.

In your terminal, traverse to the factory-image folder,

Run the following commands:

$adb reboot bootloader

$./flash-all.sh

(the fist command will reboot your device to the bootloader, and the second command will actually flash the factory image, bootloader etc to your device)

You’ll need to authorize the request to unlock the bootloader, the flashing step may take a while. (unlocking the bootloader voids the warranty. We’ll lock the bootloader in the last step)

After the flashing is complete the Device should boot to the OS,

Known issues:

  • If at all you are stuck in a bootloop, redo step 3.
  • If you are unable to run adb reboot bootloader command, you can manually boot to the bootloader by:

                                      -Press the power button for about 7-10 seconds.

                                      -Press volume down when the system reboots.

  • Finally an issue I have encountered personally, sometimes it may take forever to boot to your OS, In that case, disconnect your device (ONLY IF THE FLASHING PROCESS IS COMPLETE), and reboot. After you boot to your OS reconnect your device to the computer.

Step 4: Enable USB debugging

Same as Step 2, enable USB debugging.

After this step, reboot to the bootloader using the command:

$ adb reboot bootloader

Step 5(optional, for rooting only): Installing custom recovery and finally rooting your device

Download latest twrp recovery toolkit from their official website for

Nexus 4 , Nexus 5 , Nexus 6 , Nexus 7 WiFi , Nexus 7 3G , Nexus 7 (2013) WiFi , Nexus 7 (2013) LTE , Nexus 9 , Nexus 10

(you’ll need twrp version 2.8.3.0 minimum to root android lollipop devices)

please check that you are downloading the latest version from their official website : TWRP device list

Save this image file to a known location in your computer. Flash the custom recovery image file using the following command:

$ sudo fastboot flash recovery path_to_recovery_image.img

(path_to_recovery_image.img has to be replaced with the actual path to the recovery image)

then in your device’s bootloader, boot to the recovery mode(using the volume up-down keys for navigation).

In the recovery choose the reboot option, and then choose reboot to recovery(you could select system, I’m doing it ensure proper flash of the SuperSU). Before rebooting you’ll be asked if you want to install SuperSU to root your device, please swipe to install SuperSu.

After the SuperSu installation is done your device should reboot to the recovery where you can choose:

Reboot, and then choose reboot to system.

After you boot to your android OS. There will be a notification waiting for you to install SuperSU, Tap to that notification (If not search for SuperSU in your app drawer and open it) . Choose your method of installing SuperSU. After the installation is complete. You’ll get a SuperSU installer pop up to reboot to TWRP and install SuperSU, Select continue to finish rooting your device.

After the reboot to the OS is complete, your device should now be rooted. Please confirm by installing applications that require root.

(Personal recommendation) Root Checker, iFont, Titanium Backup etc.

After confirming root, boot to your boot loader,

$adb reboot bootloader

Step 6: Lock your bootloader

The unlock sign that appears on the bottom of the screen is a clear indication that your warranty is void. This can easily be taken care off, by locking the bootloader

(If you have followed the flow of steps then you are probably in the bootloader mode already, if not run $adb reboot bootloader in your terminal)

To Lock your bootloader, run the following command in your terminal.

$sudo fastboot oem lock

Select Start and you are good to go, This ends our Manual Installation and Root guide for all nexus devices.

Do checkout my video on the same if you have any confusions.

Connect with me on

G+ +sahilsatishkumar

Twitter: @sahrckr

Facebook: fb.me/sahrckr

Feel free to comment.

This is Sahil Satishkumar logging out.

P.S.:HAPPY NEW YEAR!