Giving up on Google Hangouts

This is a recording of my blog from December 9, 2019

Today for the first time in a long time, I removed Google Hangouts from my Google Pixel 4 XL smartphone. After removing Hangouts, I switched to using Messages as my default application. I’ll still have Google Hangouts on my desktop Gmail tab, but it won’t be right on my phone for direct communication.

I did have to make sure an update to my Google Hangouts. The steps were pretty easy: 1) open  settings from the website, 2) find the Google Fi settings, and 3) remove the check mark from the “Receive SMS and voicemail in Hangouts” option. That made Message work swimming well.

Overall, I have always been really happy with Google Hangouts and having to move away from it to Messages is not very exciting. I’m going to have to get the Messages for the Web setup on my Chromebook and desktop to allow me to have the same type of functionality from before. One of the things I really like to have is the ability to see messages without having to turn on my phone. It is easier to handle incoming messages on the computer with a full keyboard when I’m working at a real computer vs. having to pick up my smartphone.

Deciding where to store a backup phone case

Today I started wondering if my backup phone case should be kept in my travel bag. Yesterday a new phone case arrived. It is a silicone jacket for my Pixel 3 XL. You might be wondering what color the case happens to be. The answer to that question would be pineapple. That is the color designation of the new phone case that arrived. My curiosity is if it should just be stored in my travel bag. Chances are that if a phone case was destroyed it would be on a trip and therefore having my backup phone case with me would be prudent.

Poorly executed prose can bewilder

A little bit of a streak has started. Today marks the third day in a row executing my new writing plan. Writing generally begets writing. That is how it happens. Word after work things start to come together. However, poorly executed prose can bewilder reads. Sometimes the simple act of banging out a few pages will be enough to help push things toward a healthier trajectory. Getting back into the grove took for better or worse a wave of motivation. Getting back into a routine sometimes takes a lot of willpower.

My willpower is being tested today. My Bose Qc35 headphones only have 20% battery left. Charging will probably have to happen tonight or tomorrow morning. For some reason my Google Pixel 2 XL phone dropped all my bluetooth pairings today. That was frustrating. It did highlight the lack of battery, but otherwise it was completely annoying. My phone sports the Android 8.1 beta edition. Up until tonight I have not seen any of the Pixel 2 XL random rebooting. It seems the update that came out today brought the joy of completely random rebooting. After plugging my phone into the charger it rebooted. That was odd, but not as odd as when pairing my Qc35 the phone rebooted a couple more times.

Fortunately, things have stabilized for the moment. That is a good thing. Being a part of a software beta program is always going to present challenges. I have always been willing to beta test Windows operating systems and Android phones. Somehow those two things are probably related in some way, but I chalk it up to my need to chase the bleeding edge of technology. Today that edge involves a bunch of frustrating Google Pixel 2 XL random reboots.

Breakfast is at 7 AM

Tonight should be interesting. I have about an hour and a half to write before bedtime. A few more minutes could be allocated if inspiration strikes. Breakfast is at 7:00 AM and I’m already ready for that first cup of coffee. This post is being written on my Nexus 9 tablet. Over the last few months I have prefered using my ASUS Flip to write long form essays. The Nexus 9 keyboard and setup just do not stack up well against the keyboard and larger screen of the ASUS flip.

Recently, I elected to complete a factory reset on my Nexus 9. Overall, my Nexus 9 has been working much better after a complete factory reset. The Nexus 9 was never the best tablet ever built. Some of the design decisions were suspect. From the launch it had some limitations. One of them being related to the physical memory the device contains. That factory reset removed every application that had been installed. That action by itself probably would speed up any tablet. A few of the online forums that I had reviewed had mentioned that a few rogue applications might be eating up memory to the point of causing lag. That may have been what was wrong with the device. The instructions were pretty easy to follow. I grabbed them from the Google support site.

I made it two paragraphs in before switching from my Nexus 9 tablet to the ASUS Flip. It was a great switch. Zero regrets on that move. Having an actual keyboard makes all the difference during a good writing session. Today was a very good day on the thinking and reflecting front. Outside of those efforts a ton of family fun was had by all. Colorado is a fantastic state to explore. Easy hikes are great. I was not prepared for anything technically difficult today. HIkes that require specialized equipment were not in my plans this weekend. Today was more or less about putting one foot in front of the other while looking around at nature. I spent a ton of time thinking about how to use Google Photos to replace my Flickr account. After the latest round of Yahoo related password protection failure I really want to cut ties with Yahoo/Flickr. However, I have been using Flickr since 2004 and have some type of oddly sentimental attachment to the service. Based on the usage data from the site my photos do not need to be housed online. Nobody is really looking at them. Flickr houses well over 10 years of my digital photographs. A collection that stands apart from my current creative efforts.

During my hike today I snapped a ton of photos using my Nikon D3200 camera. Some of them are probably decent. Most of them could be deleted. None of them really need to be shared online. Oddly enough, I still feel the need to share them online. Maybe that is something related to my experiences with Flickr over the last decade. My website has the ability to host photos. I could even post photographic essays. Somehow that type of creative effort does not really resonate with me. I like the idea of uploading and sharing them within a photographic driven community, but that is not something that I have done recently. Maybe getting a new camera like the Sony A6500 would drive my interest in digital photography. My Nikon D3200 takes decent photos. Nothing is really stopping me from hitting the trails and taking photos. It just does not appear to be something that I am going to do when left to my own devices.

A newly acquired keyboard

My new Nexus 9 keyboard is working well enough. For some reason, the keyboard folio for the Nexus 9 went on clearence this week. It could have to do with Google I/O next week. That is an event that I am looking foward to watching. I elected to purchase a Nexus 9 keyboard folio case. It seems to have been a good plan. I’m happy with the keyboard so far.

Nexus 9 Keyboard
Nexus 9 Keyboard