Archive for December, 2011
So you can’t wait for the over the air (OTA) update to Android 4.0 “Ice Cream Sandwich” on your Nexus S? Well, you can do it manually. Before you do though, keep in mind that as of today the reason you might not have gotten the OTA update for the Nexus S is because many people are reporting a bug that leads to increased battery drain. I’m still getting about a day’s usage out of my Nexus S, but only just barely with light usage. You may want to wait.
The only pre-requisite for this update is that your Nexus S must be the model with the AMOLED screen, not the SLCD screen. This means it must be model number GT-I9020 instead of GT-I9023. The AMOLED screen model is more common anyway, but it’s good to check. To find out which model of Nexus S you have, power it off and pull the battery and read the model number from the barcode label on the back of the phone under the battery. If you have the AMOLED model version, you’re good to go.
Anyway, if you do want to go ahead with the manual update, you’ll need the Android 4.0.3 ICS update build from here. Download the file and use your USB cable to copy the file (called ‘VQ8PQk_V.zip’) to the root of your SD card directory – so that’s directly under “/sdcard”. If you put it in a sub-directory, Android won’t be able to find it.
Next, power down your phone whilst holding down the volume up button and power it on again without taking your finger off the volume up button. When the boto menu comes up, use the volume up/down controls to navigate up and down. Select the Recovery option and press the power button to select it. When the exclamation icon comes up, press the power button followed by volume up. Select the “VQ8PQk_V.zip” file from the file system again using the volume up/down buttons and press the power button to select it.
The update will now install automatically. When it is done, select “Reboot” and you will now be at version 4.0.3 of Android 4.0. That’s it. However, on the Nexus S, there appears to be more of a drain on the battery that you would like. My battery usage shows the Android OS using between 28% and 35% of the available power. This may be because something is preventing the OS from sleeping properly or the load on the CPU is too high. Which is a shame, because the new ICS interface is much more responsive and smoother than it was under Android 2.3.6. There is also a tighter integration with Google+ now and a saner way of organising your apps on the home screen.
I’ll keep you updated with any patches to 4.0.3 on the Nexus S when they become available.
Update: In case anybody wants to know, installing the ICS update manually does not mean you cannot receive any future updates OTA from Google. Any future updates to ICS 4.0.3 will be pushed to your device as normal. If and when Google patch the battery drain problem (4.0.4 perhaps) you can either get it OTA if it’s being rolled out normally or use the above procedure on any future patched images and install manually.
I’ll be trying out some new themes for The Node over Christmas and see how I feel about them. The old theme was somewhat pale and a little hard on the eyes. This should only take a week to pick one :) After Christmas there will be some Android and electronics articles coming. Have a good Christmas! I’m going to be playing Skyrim (hopefully).
Microsoft recently started rolling out the new Metro-style Xbox LIVE dashboard update in order to bring it in line with it’s Windows Phone 7 interface and the as yet unreleased Windows 8 Metro interface. Microsoft seems to have underestimated the load that LIVE would be under and people are reporting problems connecting back into Xbox LIVE after updating the dashboard. There are several solutions for performing the update, although actually connecting to LIVE could still be problematic since the servers appear to be under so much load. However, there are several things you can try to mitigate the problem. The first involves actually getting the update, as people have reported that the update fails. To solve this, you can download the update from xbox.com and unzip it to a USB key drive and install it manually.
- Turn off your 360 console.
- Download the dashboard update from here.
- Unzip the file to a USB flash drive – the USB drive must be formatted to the FAT32 filesystem to work and the zip file must be uncompressed to the ROOT of the file-system. So you should have a directory on your flash drive called “$systemupdate” immediately off the root of the flash drive file-system.
- Plug the flash drive into a USB port on your Xbox 360 console and restart the console.
- When the console restarts, the installation program starts automatically. Select “Yes” when you are prompted to update the new console software.
Even after successfully updating the dashboard, people were reporting being unable to sign back into LIVE. The first thing to try is to accept the new Terms and Conditions. Click on “Marketplace” until the new Terms of Service agreement comes up. After agreeing, you should be able to connect. However, taking a cue from Sony, the new ToS prevent you from ever suing Microsoft. How that will actually hold up in court remains to be seen. Them’s the breaks when you deal with corporations and not open source :D
If that doesn’t work, try manually clearing your console system cache and then attempting to connect again.
Check the Xbox LIVE service availability here if you’re having problems – Microsoft have said that the servers are under heavy load right now due to everybody trying to do the same thing :D