Archive for the ‘Android’ Category.

Audible on Linux

Not a specific Android post, but due to necessity I’ve stumbled across a way of doing something moderately simply that is otherwise moderately difficult. Your definition of simple and difficult may be different to mine. YMMV.

I love the guys over at Audible for their cheap audio books and large selection of titles. One thing that has bugged the Linux community for a long time though has been the lack of a native Linux client.

A lot of the suggested ways to get the content involve tricking Linux into playing the content by passing it through Windows Media Player codecs or by using the Windows application to create virtual audio CDs that can then be ripped. Some people also say that Wine works, but it didn’t when I tried it.

The way I tried today is to install an Android emulator onto my Linux laptop, install the Audible Android app to the emulator and get the content legally (according to Audible’s ToS). This does eat up one of your Audible installs but I think this is one of the cleanest and safest (as in playing by the rules of Audible’s DRM) ways to access their content on Linux.

This post explains in detail how to install the Android emulator, the Android .apk can be found on the Android Market site and this post explains how to use ADB to manually install the .apk to the emulator. If, like me, you have your real phone connected at the same time, make sure that you use the -e switch with ADB to install to the emulator.

Then go to your apps screen in the emulator, fire up Audible and log in as you would on your phone. Works great.

Audible on Linux


Absolutely loving this IME as it takes a lot of pain out of typing on the Nexus.

It also produces some amazing results:

SwiftKey Crack


Upgraded to Cyanogen 6 today and found the make-everything-work rebuild permissions option. Now working great with all my apps, root and busybox. Great bit of software.

Android as a sysadmin

I’ve already got the WordPress application for the Nexus so I can use it as a content creation device while on the move, but yesterday morning I put it through the most comprehensive administration workout so far.

On the train in to work I used the web browser and an SSH session to install a secondary WordPress build on my server.

It was fiddly, tricky and the on-screen keyboard did not help one bit in the SSH session, but I was able to copy and extract the tarball, set up the config file, install it, alter my vhosts setup and reboot Apache all from within Android on the Nexus.

It is a real computer.

Froyo + battery

On my first day out with Froyo it seems to be tanking the battery massively. Down to under 50% charge in half a day and needed a mid-day charge. It’s also getting a lot hotter around the base.

I’m going to keep an eye on it and possibly back the radio firmware down to an earlier release if this continues.

Nexus, Froyo and Flash

Or, why Steve Jobs can kiss my ring.

After many unsuccessful attempts to get a Cyanogen build to remain stable on the Nexus (*cries* so many good features) I have opted for the rooted Froyo build, available from here:


Some goods, some bads. beebPlayer and Skype seem to be unavailable from the market for this build for the time being. On the up side, the new release appears to be a lot faster and I now have access to the official Flash app from Adobe. While there are many reasons to hate Flash, Jobs seems to have picked the wrong ones as it works perfectly on the Nexus.

Sound is exceedingly quiet in the video. Video quality is down to use of the G1 as a capture device.

Coming soon (when I can be bothered): Open Office on the Ubuntu build.

Nexus One user agent

I have seen the question asked about what user agent the Nexus uses. If no one else has already answered it, it is:

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.1; en-gb; Nexus One Build/ERD79) AppleWebKit/530.17 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/530.17

A half crash

Nothing major new to report. While I was downloading and extracting a large source archive Android was becoming sluggish and throwing up a lot of Force Close/Wait dialogs for standard services.

I kept hitting Wait but suddenly the Nexus rebooted, going to its shiny graphical X intro. Obviously my VNC died as the wireless rebooted but as soon as it was back up I could re-connect and my session was still live.

Back from the (wifi) dead

The importance of nandroid backups cannot be stressed enough.

Installed the 3G patch (early, impatient) and killed wifi by also installing the optional high memory kernel. The radio patch itself works amazingly, pushing the Nexus to slightly better than the G1 in overall terms. Still hit the blackspots where 2G and 3G are passing the buck, but that is exactly the same for my other radio devices.

Quick configuration change

I have re-partitioned my microSD to give 3.5GB total in the ext2 partition. At this stage, 2.1GB of that is used.

I always use a Linux box to play with the partitions and I am very careful about the order in which things are unmounted and unplugged. Two resizes so far and no data loss.