What Linux distro is best on the Raspberry Pi? [POLL]

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 😎

Galaxy Fold, Galaxy Xcover 4s, and Galaxy A50 to receive monthly security updates

Samsung have updated their security updated devices list and added three devices to the list of devices to receive monthly security updates. They have also removed a few devices from the list completely, meaning that the benefit of security updates for them is coming to an end. The Galaxy A50, Fold, and Xcover 4s are the lucky devices to be put on a monthly schedule, whilst the Galaxy A3 and A5 2016 variants along with the Tab S2 Refresh appear to have been removed entirely from the list. The Galaxy Tab A (2017) saw a demotion to the ‘Other regular security updates’ list, meaning it will now only receive updates when necessary.

Usually, flagship devices and some lucky midrangers are put on a monthly schedule, whilst most other midrange devices are put in the quarterly updates section. Older devices that are on their way out are usually put on the other regular updates schedule for a while before being removed completely.

The Galaxy A3 and A5 2016 variants were announced at the end of 2015 and for them to get software updates until October 2019 is really impressive. This indicates a bright future for software support in the future. The Galaxy S7 and S7 edge were announced in February 2016 and are still on the quarterly schedule. Will we soon be seeing three major OS updates for flagships?

If you own a device that has been removed from the list or demoted to other regular updates, now may be a good time to look at upgrading to a newer device. Not only do security updates include security fixes but they also include bugfixes which will improve the stability of your device, so it’s important to ensure that your device is still getting updates.

What Samsung device do you have and when do you intend on upgrading? Tell me down below in the comments.

-Chas 😎

Nexus 7 (2012) review

Recently, I purchased a Nexus 7 (2012) from a local store. I’ve wanted this tablet for years now but it was always too expensive. But last week my lucky day came as a local shop was selling one for £35.

Android Lollipop issues

Turning it on, it ran the slow and laggy Android 5.1 Lollipop. Opening and switching between apps was a nightmare. And don’t even get me started on updating all the apps on ancient versions. I couldn’t put up with this, so I downloaded the KitKat 4.4.4 factory image from Google’s website and flashed it.

On KitKat, I can certainly say that it is faster than Lollipop, significantly faster. Updating apps took about 5 times quicker than on Lollipop, mainly because KitKat is more optimised for the Nexus 7 (2012) than Lollipop is, but also because not all the updated versions of preloaded apps can run on KitKat.

App support

App support on KitKat is still fairly good. Yes, some apps are starting to require Android 5.0 and 6.0, but those that I wanted to install that did had an older version that could be sideloaded. I managed to install an older version of Gboard to replace the old stock KitKat keyboard on there, as well as old versions of the Microsoft Office mobile apps. They all still work without issue.

Minecraft, WordPress, and Geometry Dash World all installed fine on their latest versions. They all work without issue, except Minecraft which lags unless you turn off all the fancy graphics.

Specs and performance

There is an explanation for this, of course. The Nexus 7 (2012) has a Nvdia Tegra 3 CPU consisting of four ARM Cortex A9 cores clocked at 1.2GHz, along with 1GB RAM. Back then that was considered midrange and could probably run Minecraft and other games at high graphics. But now? Nah.

Custom ROMs

What about custom ROM support? It appears the community have developed ROMs for the Nexus 7 (2012) up to Android 7.1 Nougat. I haven’t tried any, and honestly, I wouldn’t expect great performance from these ROMs. The Nexus 7 (2012) runs near stock Android anyway, which most of these ROMs are based on. If the Nexus struggles to handle stock Android 5.1.1, as much as poor software optimisation could be partially the problem, I’m sure the specs play a major part too and that 6.0 and 7.x ROMs wouldn’t run much better.

Conclusion

So, how well does the Nexus 7 (2012) still hold up in 2019? As a basic tablet for playing basic games, word processing, and browsing the internet, it holds up well. But for heavy tasks you might want to look elsewhere as the Nexus 7 is not as up to the task in 2019 as it was in 2012. But for basic use, the Nexus 7 is a great tablet and holds up well provided you downgrade it to KitKat, even in 2019.

Do you still use a Nexus 7 and how well does it hold up in 2019? Tell me down below in the comments.

-Chas 😎

100 followers

I officially have 100 followers.

Thanks to everyone who followed, liked, and commented on my blog, I really appreciate it. I’ve come far from a blogger with no followers and little potential to one with 100 followers and lots of potential.

EpicChasGamer.com day was yesterday. I only got about 70 views, unlike the previous day where I got 158, but now I’ve got 100 followers, meaning I am probably going to get more views in the future.

Once again, thanks everyone!

-Chas 😎

Google to require all devices launched after 31st January 2020 to run Android 10

After the 31st of January next year, Google have confirmed that they will stop ‘approving’ new devices running Android 9 or earlier and only approve Android 10 devices.

In order to have Google services on it, a phone must be ‘approved’ by Google. Take the recent Huawei Mate 30 for example. That wasn’t approved and therefore Huawei are finding ways to build their own ecosystem without letting US company restrictions for working with them standing in their way.

So basically, after 31st January 2020, Google will stop allowing new devices running Android 9 or earlier to have Google services such as the Play Store and Photos preloaded.

It was noted on XDA that manufacturers could get past this and launch a device running Android 9 or earlier after the deadline by submitting the approval application for the device before the deadline and then launching it after the deadline. This is probably how Samsung released the Galaxy M10, M20, and M30 which ran Android 8.1 Oreo despite being released after the approval deadline for 8.1 Oreo and they still managed to include Google services.

Please note that this will not affect old devices released before 31st January 2020 that are stuck on Oreo and still being manufactured. This only applies for new devices announced before 31st January 2020.

What Android did your device come preloaded with and currently runs? Are you satisfied with it? Tell me down in the comments below.

-Chas 😎