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Duncan Sample
General Geek, UX enthusiast, web developer and product manager in my day job
General Geek, UX enthusiast, web developer and product manager in my day job


Turn Google Goggles into a better app with Google Lens? Nah, we'll just release Google Lens as its own app. /facepalm #io18
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Google WiFi review

After using it for a couple of hours, I have determined that it must be designed with the intention of taking over the running of whatever network it's plugged into. That's not always a bad thing, but when you're more technical than average, it's going to get annoying, fast.

It's worth noting, we decided on Google WiFi without going through our usual, rigours comparison spreadsheet exercise, so I don't know whether competitor systems would be any better.

First, the positives. The setup was easy, and it detected the fact that it was connected to an existing network, so didn't prompt me to enter any PPPoE credentials. The reception was good. It covered a similar (but not quite) area as our existing TP-Link TD-W8980. With an additional AP, added using the mesh capabilities of Google WiFi, it reached into or garden (the reason we wanted mesh WiFi in the first place), which was great. Speed tests are great no matter if you're next you the primary AP, or out in the extended mesh area in the garden.

Now the less positive stuff. The options are very sparse. There doesn't appear to be a way to change the DHCP server configuration, so you're stuck with ``. What's worse, is that there's no way to disable it [alone] to instead defer to an existing DHCP server, so you then have a NAT between anything on the Wi-Fi and the wired network.

You can turn the unnecessary features off, but only by switching the device to 'Bridge Mode'. This comes with the warning that, if enabled, all mesh features and many other features, like Family Wi-Fi, will be disabled. This renders the Google WiFi devices quite useless in terms of their original purpose.

The claim in their support pages is that it "needs to do special things to control settings and communication within your Wi-Fi network". If be interested to understand what special things they're doing, as I can't see a reason why they couldn't do mesh with an existing DHCP server and simple bridged connection.

So, you may ask, what are we using that makes me resistant to replacing our entire network infrastructure?

I use an Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X, which has very nice, transparent features for both setting up, and maintaining the network. It's also known for its good security. We're yet to utilise it fully, but the plan is to create a VPN server rather than simply port forwarding SSH, and create a segmented network using VLANs, so that our IoT kit can be slightly quarantined from doing harm to the rest of the network.

All-in-all, I'm very disappointed with the first impressions Google WiFi has made. I may be sending it back if I can confirm that a competitor system will work as hoped.

#GoogleWiFi #MeshWiFi
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We got our +Google UK#Pixel and #PixelXL phones yesterday. Today, I tried out the camera on my XL for the first time and got a really bad experience. The camera app was really glitchy, showing in black and white with pink stripes, and wrapping around like taking on an old TV playing a VHS.

I used +Miia Sample​'s Pixel to record the issue, but I managed to get some screenshots which show the different issues I've seen. I also captured a burst mode animation whilst capturing one of the screenshots and noticed that the individual photos look fine, but the animation actually shows the wraparound issue I was seeing in the viewfinder UI.

To be clear, the photos taken appear to be fine even while the UI is glitching. The burst mode animation is the only evidence from taken footage. I haven't been able to take a video to see the result.

It didn't happen all the time. I've had this happen while we were out, and a couple of times since we've been home, but at other times the camera works fine.

I'm not sure if this is a hardware issue or an #AndroidNougat camera app bug (my suspicion)

5 Photos - View album
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+Google Please don't give me false hope... you sent me an 'invite' to pre-order Google Home, and then tell me it's unavailable 😡
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+Google UK How do we join a waiting list for the Pixel XL in Really Blue? It's not an option on the store... is it unavailable in the UK, or did you sell out fast?

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"In fleeing the cloud, Dropbox is showing why the cloud is so powerful."

"... It can lead to what those in the Valley call Not Invented Here Syndrome, where companies start building all sorts of new stuff just because they’re intent on building all sorts of new stuff."

Interesting to see how things develop for Dropbox.
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Rant of the moment: why is domain prospecting/squatting still a thing?
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Another few pints [in Finnish] about the poor reasoning behind the lack of Qi charging on the #nexus5x and #nexus6p. +Android+Nexus​ could we get a real answer?
"Lockheimerin perustelu kuitenkin ontuu hieman, sillä pikalataus ei vaadi toimiakseen Type-C-liitäntää, Nexus-mallien pikalaturi ei ole lajissaan erityisen nopea (15 W) ja markkinoilta löytyy ohuempiakin puhelimia, jotka tukevat silti langatonta latausta. Lisäksi langaton lataus ei aiemmissakaan Nexus-malleissa lyhentänyt latausaikaa johdolla lataukseen nähden, vaan toimi vain käyttöä helpottavana ominaisuutena, jota se olisi voinut tehdä uusissakin malleissa."
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I'm a bit disappointed about the +Nexus​​ team's answer about Qi charging on their Reddit AMA:

Why no wireless (Qi) charging: “We added Qi wireless charging starting with N4 because plugging in USB micro B was such a hassle! (Which way is up!?) With this year’s Nexii, we support USB Type-C which has a reversible connector so there’s no more guessing. AND it charges incredibly swiftly: 1% to 100% in 97 mins on the 6P for example (the first ~45 mins of charging is especially fast). Meanwhile, wireless charging adds z (thickness). So, ease of plugging in + fast charging + optimizing for thinness made us double down on Type-C instead of wireless!”

I'm a bit disappointed that the convenience must not have been seen:

1. I don't care how long it takes, I'd be asleep as long as the phone makes it through the day on its battery.

2. Cafes, bars, etc wouldn't have to provide wires or sockets and everyone carry around cables.

3. Plugging in with USB in public locations can be a security risk.

4. Plugging/unplugging every few minutes I'd annoying... Home, car, office desk, etc.

5. The USB socket had always been the first/only thing to go wrong with any of my phones. Wireless charging reduces that wear.

#Android #Nexus
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