I recently got a Pixel 3a to replace my dying Honor 9, and here are the steps I used to unlock the bootloader and obtain root. Note – it was running Android 10.

Unlock Bootloader:

Root: I used the Boot Image Patching Installation Method from here:

When rooted be sure to turn off
Automatic System Updates under developer settings

I’m quite liking my Huawei Honor 9, and even EMUI 5.1 (see review here), but one thing I am really missing from my Oneplus One is the double tap to wake. That was such an awesome feature which soon became prevalent on many other handsets, so imagine my dismay, shock and horror when I couldn’t find the option on the Honor 9 / EMUI 5.1. Seeing as I was routed I quickly tried the steps detailed here (adding a line to build.prop and changing a line in /system/emui/base/hw_easywakeupmotion_config.xml files), but no joy yet  – it seems that the option isn’t exposed through the GUI unfortunately :/

So my trusty Oneplus One has finally given up the ghost after 3 years of uninterrupted service. The battery started to lose charge, requiring charging about 3 times a day if I dared had the screen on, and then the charge port decided to work intermittently,, meaning I think I sweated this asset enough and it was time to upgrade.

The Oneplus 5 was just out so this made it on to the short list, as well as the outgoing Oneplus 3T. I considered other various offerings around the similar price mark, and while I would have liked to have 128GB on board, I’d consider expandable storage as an option too. I like to carry a lot of films and music around for the train journeys which don’t offer much signal, or at least of a good enough signal to stream.

The price of the 128GB Oneplus 5 was eye watering, it sure has increased from the initial budget launch of the Oneplus 1 to now the mid range of smart phone, so this opens up to other contenders as well. More »

After my last Erisin ES9746A Android head unit died whilst performing a hardware mod to improve the rather poor sound quality I hung on and waited for one of the new Intel Sofia 4 core based units – the first to release with an OEM E46 look was Joying, with their JY-BL12N2 model.

I have collected some useful links for this and other Intel based units below, mostly from XDA.  Note these are not MTCB/MTCD units, despite the threads residing under thoes sections!


E46 JY-BL121N2 General Queries – also includes info on the reverse / gearbox switch

Large general thread on Intel units – New Joying Android 5.1.1 2GB Units available very soon !

Steering wheel key customization – V3 (NO KILL) – stop processes killing on hibernate and key reassigning

General Roll Up / tips and tricks thread

Joying Feb 22nd 2017 Update – info on the latest update


Overall I am happy with this unit – it is lightening fast compared to my old dual core MTCB, the screen is much higher resolution and importantly the on board DSP is way better than the previous MTCB!  I have rooted, installed Viper4Android to tweak the sound further, and plan to add a reverse cam and DAB USB receiver next.

I have been getting more and more fed up with my Parrot Asteroid Classic not delivering the potential it could have had. I have noticed more and more ‘generic’ Android head units appearing from China and having followed a few threads on XDA Developers I have bitten the bullet and purchased one designed for my car (BMW E46) – the Erisin ES9746A . I like the fact it retains the OEM look and fits right into the centre console perfectly. It did mean I had to relocate my air conditioning controls down and loose the sunglasses cubby holder, but I never used that anyway.  This is a double din Android head unit with a capacitive touch screen and dual core CPU.
More »

*** Update 08/07/15 (Long Overdue) – I am now using an Android KGL double din touch screen head unit ***

Well I finally admit I am starting to lose hope in Parrot.  I have no confidence that the Parrot Asteroid will ever be much more than the crippled, unstable, unsupported and future development stopped state that it currently is in.  There was a post on the Parrot UK forum a while back about releasing a navigation app due out hopefully by the end of this year (posted on 19/07/2012 here ),  and more recently another wishy washy response from Parrot on 19/11/2012:

The Asteroid range is expanding and not intended to replace the current Asteroid unit. The Asteroid Classic is very much a key unit in the Asteroid range and we are working very hard behind the scenes on the next software version for this unit. This version is taking time as we are working on adding additional key features like multipoint and offering a navigation option following users feedback.

Let’s be clear here – they are taking their time to adding additional features when there are many bugs which should be fixed with urgency as they have been introduced with newer firmware releases.  The latest release 1.6.1 was released on 11/07/2012, nearly 5 months ago.  It’s hard to believe there is a team of developers working hard behind the scenes here, even a single guy could produce more output than what we have seen so far.

Parrot haven’t even been able to release their newer Asteroid products on time either, and I presume this is where the majority of the focus has been.

Unfortunately it looks like the Custom Asteroid Firmware project has struggled to really take off (I presume a lack of time, lack of volunteers and a locked bootloader and encrypted file updates has killed that one).  Shame as it did look quite promising with some interesting ideas and already a more functional Home screen.


So, I started looking for alternatives, so far I have found these Android head units but they are double din (I don’t fancy trying to fit the double din unit, but guess I might have to if I struggle to find a single din unit any time soon).  Although they are more expensive than the Parrot I am happier to pay more if it ensures a higher quality product with better future support.  So far the :

  • Clarion Mirage IVI
  • Ca-Fi
  • Adayo AN6B01

One thing is for sure – there still aren’t many Android head units, but when I do buy a new one it certainly won’t be a Parrot.

The Google Nexus 7 has arrived at last! I took my time in ordering one,  and glad  I waited due to all the out of stock issues which would have only lead to disappointment and frustration. In the end I ordered from very.co.uk and used a £30 off voucher which made the16gb version only £169.99.

So first impressions are that even for the full retail  price this is a very nice tablet. It is about the same size as the original Kindle so it is very portable. In fact I am typing this post on it. I changed to TouchPal keyboard to really improve the speed of input. I haven’t had much of a chance to really play with it yet,  but Skype works really well,  as do many games (GTA,  great little war, dead trigger) and social media apps (Twitter, facebook). I am having great success with k9 mail for my imap email as well.

I will do a more up to date review after I have had a chance  to use it in more depth.

04/10/2012 Update – OK I have used the table quite extensively since it was delivered, and I have to say as a laptop replacement for general internet browsing it is quite pleasant to use.  I am using TouchPal keyboard which is pretty good, but does have a few bugs.  Typing a long email does get tedious, and although the glass is smooth I am sure too much swiping would eventually wear away your fingerprints!  I bought a right angled USB to go adapter so I could plug in my small KeySonic wireless keyboard with track pad which I normally use with XBMC on my media PC.  I also purchased a case – Mofred (comes with stylus).  I tested mounting a USB stick with StickMount and it works perfectly (I have rooted it). Of course I have also been playing some games – my favourite so far is Haunted House and Fifa 12.

The Google Nexus 7 is so small I can even fit inside my jacket pocket in the case.  Admittedly it is a tight fit, but also it doesn’t stick in to me too much which considering its size is quite impressive.  This means it comes out of the house quite a lot.


Gizmodo are reporting that the details for Google’s Nexus 7 tablet have been released, albeit unofficially.

An excerpt claims:

As rumoured, Google’s going to announce a 7-inch, Nexus-branded tablet called the Nexus 7. According to the leak, it’s built by Asus, with a 1.3Ghz quad-core Tegra 3 processor, GeForce 12-core GPU and 1GB of RAM with two different storage variants: 8GB and 16GB.

The Nexus tablet will also feature NFC and run Google Wallet (probably only in the US) and Android Beam.

The screen is an IPS display with a 178-degree viewing angle, running a resolution of 1280 by 800. The device will also sport a 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera. The battery will also give you 9 hours worth of operation.

The 8GB model will set you back $US199 and the 16GB will cost $US249. No word in the document on local prices.

So working on the $1=£1 conversion factor used for most technology pricing, the 16GB will be ~£250.  I also doubt it will have an SD card slot :(.  I am hoping that a 10″ device gets announced shortly, but as soon as the 7″ version is ready for ordering I will place the order immediately!  I cannot wait and at this price it is aimed directly at the Kindle Fire, a market Apple has left open.

A custom firmware project has launched on Google Code by asteroid.gforums.de, with the intention of creating a new custom Parrot Asteroid firmware. Hopefully this will gain some traction, but I fear it might struggle to get off the ground as Parrot won’t release details of the .plf update file.  I would love to be proved wrong though!

I do like the Asteroid, but there are a number of shortcomings with it, even with the latest 1.5 software.  My main bugbears are: More »

I am pretty excited about Google’s first Android tablet, the Google Nexus tablet – which has already slipped initial expected delivery dates and should arrive this summer. I have been putting off getting a tablet so far, mainly due to the cost at the upper end of the market, but I could be tempted if Google can deliver at their promised price point of $200.  So about £200 then on that magical 1:1 currency exchange the technology market seems to use 🙁

Google are now also selling Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus, costing $399 and running Android 4.0.  The curved glass screen looks very interesting and I am pretty sure this could be my next mobile.