Insights For Success

Strategy, Innovation, Leadership and Security

Nexus 4

Glif from Studio Neat - The accessory every smartphone owner should have

technologyEdward KiledjianComment

The best part of my iPhone is the amazing camera it contains. It is always with me and allows me to capture moments that would otherwise be lost forever. For these immediate situations, I grab my iPhone and quickly snap a picture. Then there are times when I want to use a tripod (group shots, self shots or nature photography) but what tripod mount is the best. My local electronics store has several dozen (all of which are terrible by the way).

In 2010, I backed a Kickstarter campaign for a creative tripod mount called the Glif for my iPhone 4s. A tripod mount meant I could take much cleaner pictures (no hand shake) and really improved my nature/street photography.

It immediately became my only tripod mount because it was  light, sturdy and easy to use. It also doubled as a smartphone holder when watching movies.

Then one day I dropped my naked iPhone on the kitchen tile and watch the back glass crack completely. I decided I needed to use a protective case and realized I could no longer use my Glif. If I wanted to use my Glif, I had to take it out of the case (which seemed like a hassle).

I test different phones throughout the year and the Glif only worked on my iPhone 4s. What a bummer. I tried other tripods but none matched the features, simplicity, design and usefulness of my Glif.

The new Glif

Then Studio Near came out with a brand new universal smartphone tripod mount and holder. It kept everything I loved about the original Glif but made it more wonderful (by allowing me to use it with any smartphone even while inserted into a case).

The new Glif fits any device that falls within these size parameters: 58.4-86.4mm wide by 3.1-12.7mm thick.

The new design is adjustable using a special wrench which means you can hold any smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S4, Nexus 4/5, HTC One, iPhone 5c, iPhone 5/5s, Motorola Moto G, Motorola Moto X, etc). It can be used as a tripod mount or a prop for watching movies.

Above you can see an iPhone 5s with a LifeProof case and a naked Blackberry bold. For the business traveller, the prop-up feature for watching movies works great on a plane food tray.

Build Quality

The Glif is designed and built in the USA from a high quality rubberized plastic. It provides a nice non scratching surface for your device. It ensures you have a solid  non-slip grip when holding in your hand and makes it more scratch resistant. 

When you adjust the Glif, you can feel a well design screw mount system that is solid and will last many many years. during my testing phase, I screwed and unscrewed the Glif mounts at least 50 times (on each side) and they felt as good on the 51st time as they did on the first.

The tripod mount is metal with overloaded plastic holding it in place. The mount is a standard 1/4"-20 thread and there is no wiggle. Everything is tight and solidly built.

The kit

Here you see the Glif, the hex key and the keychain attachment. In honesty, the older glib was smaller and you could carry it on your keychain but I wouldn't carry this on my keychain everyday. 

Verdict

This is one of those products that I knew I would love and my tests just confirmed that.

When you acquire a new smartphone, the first accessory you should buy is a case, the very next accessory is the Glif.

Since first using a Glif for the first time  almost 4 years ago, I have had one with me all the time since. It goes to work with me and on my many travels across the world. And the biggest advantage of the new version is that it is future proof. You know that it will work with whatever you buy next. Great investment protection.

You can get a Glif directly from Studio Neat here.

Think before you force your Google Nexus to update

technologyEdward KiledjianComment
Creative Commons License - Flickr user  DragonLord878

Creative Commons License - Flickr user DragonLord878

Knowing that there is a brand new shiny update to Android but being damned by the Google gods to wait is frustrating. You bought a Nexus device because it came with the promise of quick and plentiful updates, yet 3 weeks past the release of KitKat, still no sign of the automatic Over the air (OTA) update.

So you search the interwebs and find a trick. A neat trick that many claim has magical powers to quickly deliver the wonders of Kitkat (even if the Check for update button didn't work). But should you be dabbling with the dark arts (clearing the Google Service Framework data)?

A Google engineer has taken to Reddit (Dan Morrill) to inform users of the risks associated with this trick. By wiping your Framework Data, you are invalidating your push notifications (minor issue but could be very annoying). Dan says that the preferred method to accelerate the update to Kitkat for Nexus devices is to use adb sideload but this is for the more experienced users.

Reddit 1

Reddit 2

Android 4.4 Kitkat rolling out to Nexus 7 & 10

technologyEdward KiledjianComment
Flickr. Creative Commons image by     medithIT

Flickr. Creative Commons image by  medithIT

As excited as we were for the release of the Nexus 5, we were more excited to see Android 4.4 (aka Kitkat). One benefit of a Nexus device is super fast updates and now we learn that the Nexus 4,7,10 devices will be getting the update shortly. Additionally the update for Google experience phones HTC One, Samsung Galaxy S4 will receive their updates in a couple of weeks.

Can't wait for the automatic update, go to Settings > About device > Software to check.

When will Google release the Nexus 5?

technologyEdward KiledjianComment

Like many tech enthusiasts, I was excited when Apple announced it’s iPhone 5 but want to wait and see what Google will offer with its Nexus 5 (2013 Nexus phone) before I decide which one will become my daily driver.

When is the Nexus 5 coming out?

I believe the announcement will happen sometime around October 14th, here’s why.

The Samsung Galaxy Nexus was announced on October 19th 2011 and then made available to the market a couple of weeks later.

The LG Nexus 4 was suppose to be announced mid October in NY City but the city was devastated by Hurricane Sandy so the announcement was made via press release on October 29th and the device was made available a couple of weeks later.

There seems to be a pattern and I am fairly confident this will hold with the 2014 version. The product should be announced mid October and then made available early November before the holiday shopping season starts (aka black Friday).

Nexus 4 inventories in most countries [on the Google Play store] are exhausted. 

Google announced the next revision to Android, nicknamed KitKat, a couple of weeks ago and we expect the new device to launch with this announced yet feature unknown version.

During the KitKat announcement, Google published a video showing the inauguration of the KitKat Android statue in front of its headquarters in which an employee seemed to be using an unannounced Nexus device. 

Freeze frame showing unknown Nexus device from Google's KitKat launch video (which was quickly pulled).

Freeze frame showing unknown Nexus device from Google's KitKat launch video (which was quickly pulled).

So obviously a new Nexus phone is being tested by employees in the Google campus. Many have suggested that this was an organized leak since it happened right before Apple's iPhone 5s announcement.

We then saw FCC documents showing a drawing for an upcoming LG phone which seemed to match the unannounced phone in the KitKat video.

LG document with FCC showing upcoming unannounced phone. 

LG document with FCC showing upcoming unannounced phone. 

Conclusion

I really believe we'll see a Nexus phone announcement mid-October and will hold off buying my personal daily driver cell until then. 

Get $110 if you bought a Nexus 4

technologyEdward KiledjianComment

I was one of the first Canadian blogs to write about Google's hugely discounted Nexus 4 promo on the Google Play store. The 8GB Nexus 4 was $309 and all of a sudden was reduced to the very affordable price of $199 (16GB went from $349 to $249).

Some of you may have been frustrated to see such a price drop, if you had recently bought a Nexus 4 but rest easy, Google has you covered with its price protection policy.

Google will issue the $110 refund with this condition

"Nexus 4 (8GB and 16GB) purchases from Devices on Google Play are currently eligible for price protection if the purchase was made on or after August 12, 2013. If your purchase is eligible, we'll refund the difference in price within a reasonable time."

Link to Google Support page for refund. 

The Nexus 4 is a great device and a fantastic choice for those not looking for the best camera, longest battery life or LTE. You can buy this unlocked device now and if you are with one of the major carriers take advantage of their $20 per month discount when you bring your own device.

  • Rogers' BYOD page here.  - $20 off per month
  • Telus' BYOD page here. - 10% discount on an individual plan
  • Bell gives you 10 % off.
  • Fido offers 10% off but not all customer service agents are aware of the program
Google_Nexus4_110_Refund_1.png