Why AirDroid holds promise for me, after all.

There exists a higher-quality solution to this need, known as ‘Samsung Side-Sync’. But a big problem in my own desire to use this Android app, is the fact that its client-program is only available for Mac or Windows – while I mainly tend to have Linux installed on my PCs and laptops.

The capability which the app delivers, is to turn the Android device into a type of remote, VNC Host, or Server, on which a client seeks to establish a session, in which the properties and resources of the host, are displayed on the client-computer, remotely, as if the user of the client was in fact sitting in front of the host.

This is not so strange an idea, as various types of VNC / RDP already exist, by which a remote session is created on a Windows or a Linux PC as host, such that the client – even if that client exists as an Android client – can seem to have a remote session.

Because I was intrigued by making the Android device the host for a change, and by the possibility of using a Web-interface as client, I decided to give an app a try, which is called AirDroid. After all, even Linux computers have Web-browsers which would be powerful enough to run as clients.

I installed the app on my up-to-date Google Pixel C Tablet, But was initially disappointed, in the apparent observation, that AirDroid just did not seem stable enough to trust with such an objective.

(Last Updated 08/09/2017 : )

Continue reading Why AirDroid holds promise for me, after all.

Pixel C received a minor update yesterday.

Yesterday evening (July 10, 2017), my Pixel C tablet, running Stock Android 7.1.2, received an expected, minor update, bringing its security-patch level to July 5. There is one such patch for each month, typically associated with the 5th day, but actually released several days later.

While this patch did not seem to break anything, it also did not resolve This Bug.

Dirk

 

Pixel C Keyboard Pairing Problem – Solved.

I own a Google Pixel C Tablet, which I did order with its recommended, accompanying Bluetooth Keyboard. I’ve been using it with a lot of fun for months now. But yesterday evening, the problem finally happened to me, which I had been contemplating, which was, that I had spent such a long series of hours using them, into the night, that the keyboard actually went dead. I mean, the batteries of the KB could not live as long as my session would have, and pressing keyboard keys eventually had no more effect on the tablet, as the pressed keystrokes were no longer being received. So what I did was to close the tablet over the keyboard in the recommended way, to plug the two in to have them charge, and to leave them that way overnight.

Next morning, I wanted to find that not only the tablet charge was back at 100%, but that I could just step in and start using the keyboard again. But what I found, was that the tablet – with its battery at 100% – was still unresponsive to the keyboard. So my first conclusion was, that the state of the Bluetooth Pairing, was somehow corrupted on the software-level, between the tablet and the keyboard. So I followed ‘The usual, basic steps, to re-pair the two':

  1. Separate the tablet from the keyboard. The on-screen keyboard will become available.
  2. On the tablet, go into Settings -> Bluetooth, tell it to Forget all Bluetooth Pairings, and turn Bluetooth Off.
  3. Re-Attach the tablet to the keyboard, and watch the tablet ask me to turn Bluetooth On. Do so.
  4. Wait for the Tablet to show me the PIN-number, which I am to type into the keyboard, to make them pair.

The next problem was, that Step (4) above wouldn’t happen. So my next thought was, that one of two things could finally be wrong with my keyboard:

  • The charging system / KB battery could genuinely be defective (Unlikely, as they are virtually still new, and were working before).
  • The logical corruption in the Bluetooth Pairing State, between the tablet and keyboard, could be more-deeply corrupted than I thought, from the broken-off session the previous night, maybe even at the Firmware Level.

So now I proceeded with ‘A more-robust procedure, which amounts to resetting the keyboard, as there does not exist a more-proper, explicit way to reset that keyboard':

  1. Separate the tablet from the keyboard.
  2. On the tablet, go into Settings -> Bluetooth, and tell it to Forget all Pairings / and turn Bluetooth Off.
  3. Soft Boot the tablet.
  4. After the orderly reboot has finished, Go To Step (3) in the more-basic procedure above.

And what I found next, was that after I had allowed the tablet to turn Bluetooth back On, it did in fact greet me with the 6-digit PIN-number, and after I typed that into the keyboard, and after I had hit Enter on the KB, the keyboard worked fine again.

Yay!

Now, there exist people who claim, that they tried all the steps above, numerous times without success, but that “Suddenly, the keyboard started working again.” To the best of my understanding, what must really have been happening to those people, is that they did try all the above steps, but ‘Maybe not in the correct sequence?’

Dirk

(Edit : )

Even when there is no malfunction taking place, I never try to reboot my tablet, with the BT Keyboard connected.

My best guess for what goes wrong with this KB, would be that it keeps its local store of information, with its encryption key, as a volatile (RAM) chip, with no backup power-supply. It lacks a non-volatile chip to store that. Hence, when the battery goes fully flat, its encryption key is corrupted, and depending on the extent to which encryption is hardware-based these days, it can also leave a trace in the firmware of the tablet itself, that the tablet was paired with it. Hence the reboot needed.