I have an unrooted Nexus S and recently the power button stopped working - the
only way to turn my screen on was to plug in a USB cable, the only way to turn
it off to wait for the timeout to kick-in.
Apparently this is a common problem with the Nexus S range of mobiles - some
people even going so far as to say it is deliberate sabotage (though it's more
likeky just about cost cutting and companies caring about making products that
last past their warranty period), but despite being such a frequent problem
finding a solution was far more difficult than it should have been, so I'm
writing this in the hope it helps other avoid wasting the time I did.
Searching for how to solve this by remapping another button to act as the on/off
button, everywhere was talking about root access - or simply assuming it that it
was done - and providing solutions that depend on it. I already have enough
things to worry about without adding rooting my mobile device to that list.
The good news is, you do not need to root your device to get around this problem.
I found two applications that together allow me to turn the screen on and off
(without plugging in the cable).
The first is Wake All,
a 20k app that allows any physical button to wake up the device - for the Nexus S
that means using the volume buttons to turn on the screen.
The second is Screen Off and Lock,
a 492k app that has various sound/animation options I don't care about, but
those can all be left alone and it can be added as a shortcut to press and turn
the screen off.
These both work on Android 4.1.2 without needing a rooted device, though there
is one oddity that I have noticed: after turning the device on, the slide to
unlock screen works as usual, but after this the screen is unresponsive - I need
to press the home button to fully wake up the device. I don't know if this
is a bug with either application or with Android, but - now that I've figured
this out - it's not a big deal.
Hopefully this is helpful for others in a similar situation.
Christian Cantrell originally shared a post highlighting
this NYTimes article on patents:
In the smartphone industry alone ... as much as $20 billion was spent on
patent litigation and patent purchases in the last two years ? an amount equal
to eight Mars rover missions. Last year, for the first time, spending by Apple
and Google on patent lawsuits and unusually big-dollar patent purchases
exceeded spending on research and development of new products, according to
Article: In Technology Wars, Using the Patent as a Sword
Anyone who knows me should already be familiar with how I feel about touch
screens, especially in regards to typing.
Well, Michael Miller has shared an article explaining it
far better than I ever have, written by Bret Victor, a professional interface
Here's Michael's post discussing Bret's rant:
Anyone who has tried to type on a touch screen "keyboard" knows this is true.
Touch devices are wonderful but they are only part way there, the device
certainly "feels" your touch but what do you feel in return? A sheet of glass.
You can't use this device without looking at it carefully to make sure that
your fingers are keeping up with the visual metaphor being presented. Eyes and
hand must work together carefully and while touch might be less mediated and
indirect than, say, using a mouse, it still requires far more cognitive and
sensual effort than using a physical device. A physical keyboard for example
can be used, in fact it requires that it be used, without you looking at what
your fingers are doing.
"Are we really going to accept an Interface Of The Future that is less
expressive than a sandwich?"
Touch interfaces are not the destination but a way-station. In the future
touch devices will become tactile devices.
Article: A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design
On Thursday, the G1 mobile phone was finally released in the UK, and - ignoring
the sensible policy of not getting first-generation devices - I ordered mine as
soon as the website was available.
I now have my G1 and have written up my first impressions.
1-Nov-2008 15:30 added photos
Last Updated: 16-Nov-2008 22:35 added more details