Support for the original Pixel and Pixel XL coming to an end after three years

Three years ago on the 4th October, Google launched the original Pixel and Pixel XL. Three years later, Google are now bringing support to an end for these phones.

The original Pixel and Pixel XL may have unexpectedly received the Android 10 update but did not receive the November 2019 security patch this month while the Pixel 2 and later did. The official Google support page states that update support will end after October 2019. That time has come and so the original Pixel and Pixel XL will no longer receive software updates.

It was not expected for the original Pixel and Pixel XL to even receive Android 10 but Google decided to support the 2016 lineup in Android 10.

It should be possible to download the source for the latest available Android build for the original Pixel lineup and then manually backport the changes into it if willing to put in the effort, but this is not for the inexperienced and one wrong move during backporting could cause noticeable instability on your device.

Custom ROMs are available for the original Pixel lineup and at some point they will contain newer security patches then what the latest stock firmware provides. When Android 11 is released, custom ROMs will be the only way to get it on the original lineup and also will continue support for the device and introduce you to the world of tinkering with your Android device.

Currently, LineageOS are providing official nightly support for the original Pixel lineup for LineageOS 16.0, based on Android Pie. Although it isn’t Android 10, it’s still worth checking out if you want to learn about ROMs and LineageOS 17.0 is only around the corner if you want to get used to what may be your new ROM if you want continued support.

What Android device do you currently use and is it still receiving updates? Tell me down below in the comments!

-Chas 😎

If you don’t update your iPhone 5 by the 3rd of November major functionality will break

If you do not update your iPhone 5 or iPad 4 (cellular variant) to iOS 10.3.4 by 3rd November, major functionality will stop working.

Functionality that require the correct date and time such as web browsing and app store will allegedly break should users not update to iOS 10.3.4 by 3rd November. GPS functionality such as the weather and maps apps will also require an update. After 3rd November, it will also be impossible to update the software directly on the device, requiring the use of a PC or Mac to install the update instead.

If you’re holding out on an iOS version like iOS 9 or even the nostalgic iOS 6 and are unwilling to update, you could try saving your onboard SHSH blobs and restoring from 10.3.4 to your desired iOS version through futurerestore or 3utools, enabling the option to preserve the baseband when doing so. However, this hasn’t been tested and there is no guarantee that it works.

iPhone 4S and cellular iPad 2, 3, and Mini 1st generation devices will also have similar issues, although they won’t be as severe, as there has been no information published on what will happen if users of devices with the A5 chip do not update to iOS 9.3.6, but considering iOS 9.3.6 is so slow on these devices, if the effects of holding out on an older iOS version on these devices are the same as for the iPhone 5, this will be received poorly by iPhone 4S users (like me) running on older iOS versions such as iOS 8.4.1 and 6.1.3.

If you’re using an iPhone 5 or iPad 4, the best thing you can do right now is update to iOS 10.3.4 and wait until a workaround is found.

What iOS version are you using on your older iPhone, how well does it run, and how will this news affect you? Tell me down in the comments below!

-Chas 😎

LineageOS 15.1 for Galaxy J3 (2016) development 

The Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) launched at the end of 2015 running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and has never received a major OS update and to this day is currently still on Android 5.1.1 should you choose to stay on stock firmware.

However, custom ROMs for this device have been made based on newer Android versions without the TouchWiz UI, such as LineageOS 13 (Android 6.0.1) and Resurrection Remix based on Android 7.1.1.

However, the community has never seen a development of an Android 8.x based ROM for this device. There was an attempt to port LineageOS 15.0 (Android 8.0 Oreo) to the J3 (2016) but the developers abandoned the project and never provided a download link.

Luckily, I’ve came across a kernel and device tree for the J3 (2016) supporting Android 8.1 Oreo ROMs, as well as a tutorial for making unofficial LineageOS ROMs for devices that don’t have official support (like the J3 2016). I’m going to attempt building it. Will it work or will I find out why LineageOS 15.0 was abandoned for the J3 (2016)?

I’ll keep you updated of progress of porting it here, and let’s hope it will be a success.

Wish me luck!

-Chas 😎

Restarting with my Raspberry Pi

I have not used my Raspberry Pi 3 for a while but found a good microSD card to use for it today and will be restarting my use of it.

Expect tutorials, Linux distro recommendations, and tips and advice to be posted on here about the Raspberry Pi. At some point, I may buy a Pi 4, but I’ll have to see how I get on with my Pi 3 first and how easily it is to get back to using the Pi after not using it for months (If I buy a Pi 4, it’ll be the 4GB RAM version).

I’m planning on building a script that will allow for easy creation of Debian ports for the Pi in armel architecture (All Pi models, but slow due to not targeting the hard float Pi architecture), armhf architecture (Pi 2 and later excluding Pi Zero, 32-bit mode), and arm64 architecture (Pi 3 and later excluding Pi Zero W, 64-bit mode). Hopefully the experimental OpenGL driver (Pi 2+ only) will improve performance on more resource heavy desktop environments (KDE and GNOME 3), but I reckon GNOME 3 won’t be usable on any Pi except the Pi 4 and even on the Pi 4, only the 4GB RAM variant.

As for Chromium ARM, I may give it another go considering RPF Chromium is lagging three versions behind of the current stable release, however the support is definitely better than it used to be. I remember when Chromium was at version 60 or something and RPF Chromium was still on 51. However using Ubuntu packages in Raspbian or Debian can cause lots of dependency errors. You used to be able to get away with it because most of Ubuntu Chromium’s dependencies were already fulfilled in Raspbian back then, but it isn’t as simple now. Chances are if I restart Chromium ARM I’ll be using the Debian variant instead as Debian is more compatible with Raspbian than Ubuntu is. However, nothing’s confirmed yet.

I hope you’re all excited for the upcoming Raspberry Pi posts.

Enjoy!

-Chas 😎

iOS 13.1.3 released to fix several bugs in iOS 13.1.2

iOS 13.1.3 has been released for all iOS 13-compatible iPhones to fix issues from iOS 13.1.2. If you’re on any version of iOS 13, you need this update. If you’re on iOS 12 then stay away until Apple can release an update to iOS 13 which makes it a lot more stable.

Apple states that iOS 13.1.3 fixes the following problems:

  • A problem where the phone would not ring or vibrate if called.
  • An issue that may prevent opening a meeting invite in Mail.
  • A problem with the Health app where data may not display correctly after daylight saving time adjusts.
  • An issue in Voice Memos where recordings may not download when restoring from an iCloud backup.
  • A bug with Apple Watch which may prevent it from pairing successfully.
  • An issue with the Apple Watch where notifications may not be received.
  • A problem of bluetooth disconnecting on certain vehicles.

It also improves launch performance for apps that use Game Centre and improves connection reliability for Bluetooth hearing aids and headsets.

iPadOS 13.1.3 has also been released for iPadOS 13-compatible iPads which should include these changes as well.

Have you noticed a stability increase since updating to iOS 13.1.3 or has it gotten worse? Tell me down in the comments below!

-Chas 😎

iOS 13.1.2 being plagued by signal dropping issues

Several users have complained that after installing Apple’s iOS 13.1.2 update calls have been randomly dropping out or the phone loses its signal completely.

Apple have now closed the signing window for all iOS versions older than 13.1.2, meaning that a downgrade to fix the issue is impossible unless you have saved SHSH blogs before an older version went unsigned.

If you’re on iOS 13.1.2 and experiencing this issue, the best you can do is hope for an update to come out soon fixing it. You could also try installing the iOS 13.2 beta and see if this helps.

iOS 13 has already experienced several issues which has caused Apple to release three updates in the first few weeks to fix it.

What do you think of iOS 13? What issues are you having? Tell me down in the comments below!

-Chas 😎

Galaxy S10 Android 10 beta now available in select regions

Samsung have launched the Galaxy S10 Android 10 beta, or ‘OneUI 2.0’ in select regions.They have currently launched the beta in Germany but the US and South Korea are sure to follow. The beta includes features such as Google’s new gesture based navigation feature, a redesigned camera UI, and a built-in screen recorder.

It is currently only available in Germany, but more countries are likely to follow soon. It isn’t a massive software update, not as big as Android Pie/OneUI 1.0 was.

To sign up for the beta, sign up through the notice in the Samsung Members app and then check for updates. Be aware that the update may take a little while to show up in Settings.

Enjoy!

-Chas 😎

Do Apple really slow down older iPhones with software updates?

If you have an older iPhone that you bought 2+ years ago you might suddenly start to notice a slowdown.

You may start to think Apple are pushing software updates made to deliberately slow down your iPhone to encourage you to upgrade to a new one. But this is false.

Battery degradation

Over time, just like laptop batteries, iPhone batteries degrade, giving less and less battery life and making the phone less reliable. Some power for the CPU comes from the battery, but if the CPU requests for more power than the battery’s got, it can trigger a sudden shutdown.

Just imagine if these kept happening. How unbearable it would be. You may even start carrying around a non-iPhone as well to use in the case your iPhone unexpectedly shuts down.

If your capacity is above 80%, there isn’t really much to worry about, but if it’s under 75%, you might want to start looking at a battery or phone replacement.

Performance Management

Apple’s answer to this comes in the form of performance management. Simply, when your iPhone detects that it is booting back up from an unexpected shutdown, it starts to limit the CPU’s performance to prevent the shutdown happening again. This is why your iPhone will become slower after an unexpected shutdown.

You can turn off performance management either by replacing the battery of your iPhone, or heading to Settings –> Battery –> Battery Health, where an option to disable it should be present provided your iPhone is running iOS 11.3 or later. You can also see your battery health percentage here. Please be aware that if an unexpected shutdown occurs again it will be enabled again.

iPhone 3G, 4, and 4S slowdowns

Despite what me saying above was true for most iPhones, it appears that the last major OS upgrades for these devices slowed them down and made them unusable in some cases.

The iPhone 3G received iOS 4 but did not receive many of the iOS 4 features such as wallpapers and multitasking and iOS 4 made existing functionality a lot slower on the iPhone 3G. This was not due to battery degradation but rather due to planned obsolesence. Apparently, some of the issues were fixed on iOS 4.x updates, however.

The iPhone 4 received iOS 7 and missed out on a few features but still had a lot of the functionality. However, in some cases iOS 7 would lag on this device especially when browsing the internet and switching between apps.

The iPhone 4S received iOS 9 and missed out on a few features but still had a lot of the functionality. However, it was unusable. It would lag everywhere. This led to me downgrading my 4S to iOS 8.4.1 by downgrading to 6.1.3 through the signed IPSW and then installing the 8.4.1 OTA.

These are only three cases however and I doubt Apple are planning on deliberately slowing down any more iPhones now that word is out about those three.

Conclusion

So if your iPhone has become slower, unless you’re on a 3G, 4, or 4S, blame your battery, not Apple. They only want to ensure that your phone is reliable and doesn’t unexpectedly shut down.

What’s your experience with the performance management feature? Tell me below in the comments!

-Chas 😎