Hardwares Android Remotes tested with NVIDIA Shield TV

I have several Android remotes. Here is a short list of what keys are working well or not with my Nvidia Shield TV.

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FeBite Backlit 2.4G MX3

Backlit Fly Mouse MX3 2.4G

Backlit Fly Mouse MX3 2.4G

This is an Air Mouse (with 3-Gyro + 3-G sensor,) Mini QWERTY Wireless Keyboard for Android, Windows, ... , with IR learning (up to 5 keys) and Backlit (this is why it's my preferred one)

This remote does not look as cheap as the Rii i25 but, as far as I am concerned, with a weight of 100g and a size of 172x52x19mm, if does not fit in hands as well as the Minix.

It's an exact clone of the Rii MX3(Multifunction 2.4G Fly Mouse Mini Wireless Keyboard & Infrared Remote Control & 3-Gyro + 3-Gsensor for Google Android TV/Box, IPTV, HTPC, Windows, MAC OS, PS3)

It works with 2 batteries AAA (Working Power: Less than 10mA in the work condition). When removed, one can store the receiver (a mini usb dongle) into the batteries slot, although not designed specifically for. This slot is also quite uneasy to open. The two batteries are "at the bottom" when using the remote as a pointer to control the mouse. So one does not feel their weight.

NB.: I didn't test yet the IR Learning feature.

On the Home screen:

using the Keypad side:

  • Power button is tuning on/off the NVIDIA (which is not the case with all remotes).
  • Fast-backward, Fast-forward, Previous and Next buttons do nothing except if a music is playing, for example with Spotify in the background.
  • Search button opens the Voice Search feature. NVIDIA is next waiting on you to press the microphone button. Unfortunately, this remote has no microphone.
  • Play/Pause button does nothing except if a music is playing, for example with Spotify in the background.
  • Zoom-in and Zoom-out buttons do nothing.
  • Menu button does nothing
  • Home button clicked once comes back on top of the home screen.
  • Home button clicked twice shows the list of opened apps.
  • Home button clicked for 3 sec shows NVIDIA's Shadowplay menu.
  • Return button does nothing on the home screen. But is works well when one opens the search feature, the browser or most Apps (Ex.: works with Plex. Do not work with Netflix. In such a case use the Home button).
  • The D-pad (Left/Right/Up/Down) navigates between the Apps and the Ok button runs the one currently selected.
  • A Long press on the Ok button on an App will lock it. You can next move it left or right and press again Ok to release it at its new position.
  • Volume Up/Down and Prev/Next Program button do nothing.
  • Mute button does nothing
  • Mouse button (a.k.a. Cursor button) enables/disables the mouse pointer. Once enabled, use the remote to move the mouse and the Ok button to click (and e.g. select an App). Once disabled, the mouse pointer will freeze and soon disappear. Tip: You can temporarily disabled the mouse to move and realign the remote and the pointer if necessary.
  • All other buttons do nothing, except the Internet button which opens a browser and for sure, the Backlit button which turn on/off the keys. Extremely useful when using this remote in the dark (which is often the case when connected to an HTPC system, ...). The light switch off after a few seconds if the remote does not move anymore.

using the Keyboard side:

  • Left/Right/Up/Down can be used to navigate between Apps and Enter/Space can be used to run the currently selected App. But Left/Right/Down sometimes stop to work.
  • If one clicks the Search button, as it opens the Voice Search feature, the keyboard can't be used.
  • To search, use the D-pad to select the Text Search feature. Once this feature opened, the keyboard can be used.
  • Backspace delete the last entered character.
  • Esc will cancel and exit the search feature. To reopen it easily, you can press Right and Enter
  • Press once Caps to switch into the capital mode. Press once again to switch back to the normal mode.
  • Press once ALT to switch into the special character or figures mode. Press once again to switch back to the normal mode.
  • Left/Right/up/Down can be used to select characters from the virtual keyboard. But pressing Enter won't select the character currently focused. Instead the Virtual Keyboard will close.
  • Press once Enter to close the virtual Keyboard and once more to execute the search. It's searching among the Apps, Youtube, Plex and Spotify if installed, ...
  • If the Virtual Keyboard is closed, Left/Right can be used to edit the text entered.

With Plex:

  • Power button is tuning on/off the NVIDIA (not just plex!).
  • The D-pad (Left/Right/Up/Down) navigates between the users or the Menus and the Ok button can be used to select.
  • While playing a movie, Ok does a pause/play and Down opens the menu (Return will close it).
  • The figures (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0) can be used to type users' pins.
  • Fast-backward, Fast-forward can be used to rewind/skip x sec.
  • Previous and Next buttons do nothing.
  • Search button opens the Voice Search feature (useless without a microphone). Press Return to close the feature. It does not open the search feature of Plex. You must select it with the D-pad . It's the native search feature of the NVIDIA.
  • Play/Pause button work as expected while playing a movie.
  • Zoom-in and Zoom-out buttons do nothing.
  • Menu button does something "not visible". Once pressed, the D-pad does not work anymore. Press a second time to unlock the D-pad .
  • Home button clicked once shows the home screen although the movie is continuing to play and keeps visible in the background. Press Return to hide the home screen.
  • Home button clicked twice shows the list of opened apps. Any movie currently playing is stopped.
  • Home button clicked for 3 sec does nothing.
  • Return button open the previous screen. It can be used to exit a movie currently playing or to exit Plex.
  • Volume Up/Down and Prev/Next Program button do nothing.
  • Mute button does nothing.
  • Mouse button enable/disable the mouse pointer.
  • All other buttons do nothing, except the Internet and Backlit button.

With Netflix:

  • Power button is tuning on/off the NVIDIA (not just Netflix!).
  • The D-pad (Left/Right/Up/Down) navigates between the users or the Menus and the Ok button can be used to select.
  • Up/Down can be used to open the menu while playing a movie. Return will close the menu.
  • Left/Right can be used to rewind/skip scene while playing a movie. Ok will continue to play from the selected scene.
  • Fast-backward, Fast-forward, Previous and Next work as expected while playing a movie.
  • Search button opens the Voice Search feature (useless without a microphone). Press Return to close the feature. It does not open the search feature of Netflix. You must select it with the D-pad. Next, use the keyboard. You can type of use the Arrows and Enter to select the letters on the Virtual Keyboard.
  • Play/Pause button work as expected while playing a movie.
  • Zoom-in and Zoom-out buttons do nothing.
  • Menu button does nothing.
  • Home button clicked once shows the home screen. Any movie currently playing is stopped.
  • Home button clicked twice shows the list of opened apps. Any movie currently playing is stopped.
  • Home button clicked for 3 sec shows NVIDIA's Shadowplay menu.
  • Return button go back the previous screen. It can be used to exit a movie currently playing but won't exit Netflix!.
  • Volume Up/Down and Prev/Next Program button do nothing.
  • Mute button does nothing.
  • Mouse button enable/disable the mouse pointer.
  • All other buttons do nothing, except the Internet and Backlit button.

Spotify:

  • Power button is tuning on/off the NVIDIA (not just Spotify!).
  • The D-pad (Left/Right/Up/Down) can be used to navigate and the Ok button can be used to select.
  • Fast-backward, Fast-forward, Previous and Next work as expected while playing a music.
  • Search button opens the Voice Search feature (useless without a microphone). Press Return to close the feature. It does not open the search feature of Spotify. You must select it with the D-pad. Unfortunately, the keyboard does not work with Spotify's search feature and no Virtual Keyboard opens... I think that the problem is with the search feature...
  • Play/Pause button work as expected while playing music.
  • Zoom-in and Zoom-out buttons do nothing.
  • Menu button does nothing.
  • Home button clicked once shows the home screen. Any music currently playing will continue.
  • Home button clicked twice shows the list of opened apps. Any music currently playing will continue.
  • Home button clicked for 3 sec shows NVIDIA's Shadowplay menu.
  • Return button go back the previous screen, including to the home screen. But the music, if any, will continue to play.
  • Volume Up/Down and Prev/Next Program button do nothing.
  • Mute button does nothing.
  • Mouse button enable/disable the mouse pointer.
  • All other buttons do nothing, except the Internet and Backlit button. Notice that the music, if any, will continue to play when a browser is opened.

Remote learning feature (copy/paste from here):

If you would like your MX3 remote to learn some commands from another remote, then you can teach it to ‘copy’ the IR signal of the other remote. For instance, whilst the power button will turn your player off, it wont turn it back on because its not using the same ‘Turn on’ signal as your standard android remote.  So here is what to do:

  1. Get your standard android remote (or any remote that you want to replicate a button from) and place it end-to-end with the MX3 so that the IR receivers are facing each other.
  2. Then, on the MX3 press and hold the red TV button. You will see the LED flashing rapidly then slow to a steady flash (the steady flash means the X3 is now in ‘learning’ mode)
  3. Release the ‘TV’ button.
  4. Now press the power button on the standard remote (or whichever button you want to map) You will see the LED light stop flashing and glow continuously, at this point press the power button on your MX3 remote. The LED will then flash again and eventually extinguish. This means the MX3 has finished ‘learning’ the IR code from the other remote and has successfully mapped it to the power button

MINIX  NEO A3 

The Neo A3 of Minix has more or less the same features as the FeBite MX3, although a bit heavier and larger (making it more comfortable than the FeBite MX3). It has however no backlit but a microphone for Voice input.

It works with two batteries AAA, one in each extremity, making it well balanced when using the keyboard. On the opposite, you can feel it, compared to the FeBite MX3, when using the remote as a pointer to control the mouse. NB.: one of the battery slot, when empty, can be used to store the receiver (a usb dongle). And both battery slots are easy to open.

Minix Neo A3

Minix Neo A3

On the Home screen:

using the Keypad side:

  • Power button is not tuning on/off the NVIDIA.
  • Settings button does nothing.
  • Recent Apps button does nothing. Double click the Home button instead.
  • Home button clicked once shows the home screen although the movie is continuing to play and keeps visible in the background. Press Return to hide the home screen.
  • Home button clicked twice shows the list of opened apps. Any movie currently playing is stopped.
  • Home button clicked for 3 sec does nothing.
  • The D-pad (Left/Right/Up/Down) navigates between the Apps and the Android button (Ok) runs the one currently selected.
  • Return button does nothing on the home screen. But is works well when one opens the search feature, the browser or most Apps (Ex.: works with Plex. Do not work with Netflix. In such a case use the Home button).
  • The Microphone does nothing if one does not open first the Voice Search feature with the D-pad. It works fine otherwise
  • Mouse button (A.k.a. Fly Mode) enable/disable the mouse pointer. Once enabled, use the remote to move the mouse and the Ok button to click (and e.g. select an App). Once disabled, the mouse pointer will freeze and soon disappear. Tip: You can temporarily disabled the mouse to move and realign the remote and the pointer if necessary.
  • Volume Up/Down buttons do nothing.
  • "Installed Apps lists" button does nothing.
  • Fast-backward, Fast-forward do nothing except if a music is playing, for example with Spotify in the background.
  • Play/Pause button does nothing except if a music is playing, for example with Spotify in the background.
  • Opposite to the FeBite MX3, there is no Zoom-in/Zoom-out buttons, no Previous/Skip buttons, no Browser button, no Search button, no Mute button.
  • A Long press on the Ok button on an App will lock it. You can next move it left or right and press again Ok to release it at its new position.
  • And no Backlit feature.

using the Keyboard side:

  • Left/Right/Up/Down can be used to navigate between Apps and Enter/Space can be used to run the currently selected App.
  • To search, use the D-pad to select the Text Search feature. Once this feature opened, the keyboard can be used.
  • Backspace (Del) deletes the last entered character.
  • Esc will cancel and exit the search feature. To reopen it easily, you can press Right and Enter
  • Press once Caps to switch into the capital mode. Press once again to switch back to the normal mode.
  • Press Shit simultaneously with a letter to type its capital.
  • Press once Fn to switch between letters and special characters or figures.
  • Left/Right/up/Down can be used to select characters from the virtual keyboard. But pressing Enter won't select the character currently focused. Instead the Virtual Keyboard will close.
  • Press once Enter to close the virtual Keyboard and once more to execute the search. It's searching among the Apps, Youtube, Plex and Spotify if installed, ...
  • If the Virtual Keyboard is closed, Left/Right can be used to edit the text entered.
  • Tab can be used on the Home screen to move to the next App. It does nothing in the Text Search feature.

With Plex:

  • Power button is not tuning on/off anything.
  • Settings button does nothing.
  • Recent Apps button does nothing.
  • Menu button does nothing.
  • Home button clicked once comes back on top of the home screen.
  • Home button clicked twice shows the list of opened apps.
  • Home button clicked for 3 sec shows NVIDIA's Shadowplay menu.
  • The D-pad (Left/Right/Up/Down) navigates between the users or the Menus and the Ok button can be used to select.
  • While playing a movie,
    • Ok does a pause/play.
    • Down opens the menu (Return will close it).
    • Right/Left rewind/skip x sec.
  • Return button opens the previous screen. It can be used to exit a movie currently playing or to exit Plex.
  • Volume Up/Down buttons do nothing.
  • "Installed Apps lists" button does nothing.
  • Mouse button enable/disable the mouse pointer.

With Netflix:

  • Power button is not tuning on/off anything.
  • Settings button does nothing.
  • Recent Apps button does nothing.
  • Menu button does nothing.
  • Home button clicked once shows the home screen. Any movie currently playing is stopped.
  • Home button clicked twice shows the list of opened apps. Any movie currently playing is stopped.
  • Home button clicked for 3 sec shows NVIDIA's Shadowplay menu.
  • The D-pad (Left/Right/Up/Down) navigates between the users or the Menus and the Ok button can be used to select.
  • Up/Down can be used to open the menu while playing a movie. Return will close the menu.
  • Left/Right can be used to rewind/skip scene while playing a movie. Ok will continue to play from the selected scene.
  • Return button go back the previous screen. It can be used to exit a movie currently playing but won't exit Netflix!.
  • Open the search feature of Netflix and use the keyboard to search (Voice search does not work with the microphone). You can type of use the Arrows and Enter to select the letters on the Virtual Keyboard.
  • Mouse button enable/disable the mouse pointer.
  • Volume Up/Down buttons do nothing.
  • "Installed Apps lists" button does nothing.
  • Fast-backward, Fast-forward work as expected while playing a movie.
  • Play/Pause button work as expected while playing a movie.

Spotify:

  • Power button is not tuning on/off anything.
  • Settings button does nothing.
  • Recent Apps button does nothing.
  • Menu button does nothing.
  • Home button clicked once shows the home screen. Any music currently playing will continue.
  • Home button clicked twice shows the list of opened apps. Any music currently playing will continue.
  • Home button clicked for 3 sec shows NVIDIA's Shadowplay menu.
  • The D-pad (Left/Right/Up/Down) can be used to navigate and the Ok button can be used to select.
  • Return button go back the previous screen, including to the home screen. But the music, if any, will continue to play.
  • The microphone does not work as Spotify's search feature and its Virtual Keyboard does not work ?!
  • Mouse button enable/disable the mouse pointer.
  • Volume Up/Down buttons do nothing.
  • "Installed Apps lists" button does nothing.
  • Fast-backward, Fast-forward work as expected while playing a music.
  • Play/Pause button work as expected while playing music.

Rii Mini i25

The Rii mini i25 is a Mini wireless AZERTY keyboard with IR remote and Air Mouse similar to the FeBite MX3, although smaller (170x48x11mm) and 10g heavier (110g)... and without backlit or microphone.

It has a built-in 450mAh lithium-ion battery that must be reloaded via usb micro-B. There is a switch on/off on the side. No slot to store the receiver (a usb dongle).

Rii Mini i25

Rii Mini i25

The red buttons does nothing (Power off, Set, ..., Source and return).

There is a off button and the bottom-left, which turn off the NVIDIA, but does not turn it back on...

All other keys works as described for the Minix Neo A3 (Read more details here).

Rii Mini i8 

The Rii Mini i8 is also wireless keyboard, with a touch pad and an air Mouse but without 3-Gyro + 3-Gsensor, backlit or microphone. And because it seems extremely light (a feeling due to a large surface of plastic 148x97x18.5mm for only 109g), it looks cheaper than the others.

It comes with a removable lithium-ion battery of 280mAh which can be reloaded via usb mini-B. The slot with the internal battery has enough space to store the receiver (a usb dongle).

Rii Mini i8

Rii Mini i8

This is much more comfortable as a wireless keyboard to browse on a TV than a remote control for an HTPC.

Tips Prolong OnePlus One Battery life by limiting charge

My OnePlus One being only used to play music via AirPlay, it's always plugged into his craddle. I knew this was not good for the battery life and started to look for an App able to prevent my mobile to reload as long as its battery was not less than a certain percentage. I found a paper recommending to reload only once the battery was lower than 25, but also recommending to no reload higher than 85%. And I found an App able to control this on many rooted android phones: "Battery Charge Limit".

Click to Read More

According to this paper, it's not good for lithium batteries' life to do cycles between full charge (100%) and full discharged (0%). Ex.: Doing cycles between 85% and 25% provides a longer service life than doing cycles between 100% and 50%.

For sure, only a full charge (100%) will provide the specified energy of the battery, and therefore its maximum runtime. So, one has to find a compromise:

  • Cycles between 75–65% offer longest life
  • Electrical Vehicles do cycles between 85–25% to prolong battery life
  • Cycles between 100–25% give long runtime, makes best use of battery, but reduces battery life.

All being linear, the life-prolonging mid-range of 85-25% reduces the energy to 60 percent.

More details on the App "Battery Charge Limit" on this blog.

Tips Easy Root Toolkit for OnePlus One

My OnePlus One is already a quite old mobile, but I am still using it at home to play music. I recently reinstall Cyanogen Mod 13 and wanted to root it as this is required to use AirAudio. To avoid doing many manual operations, I looked for a fully automated toolkit and found "Bacon Root Toolkit".

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Highly recommended, it works like a charm!

A demo video exists on YouTube.

Bacon Root Toolkit v1.0.3

Freewares Remote access from PC to Android

I wanted a simple web client to access my mobiles and tablets from my PC. I found and adopted Mobizen.

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From a feature perspective, I was simply looking for something similar to the Google Chrome Remote Desktop or the Microsoft Remote Desktop but, if possible, without the need to install anything on the PC; i.e.: a purely web client mirroring an Android screen .

I did test first AirDroid which is great, advanced, quite complete from a feature perspective. But first, it's a bit too complex to "simply" remote access Android and next requires to install.

I tried next Mobizen. This one is not as complete as AirDroid which comes with its own interface to access SMS, calls, files, photos, videos, contact, ..., without the need to use the full remote access (mirroring the screen). But some of the missing features in Mobizen are already available in Beta.

Here is what the remote access to my Galaxy S7, from Chrome, looks like.

Mobizen Remote Web Access

Mobizen Remote Web Access

It requires an App on the Mobile: Mobizen mirroring. Nb.:A dedicated version exist for Samsung.

Next to that, I am also using TeamViewer, which is great as the same product can be used in both direction. I.e.: with the TeamViewer "host" App for Android, PC's can remotely access mobiles and tablets. And with the TeamViewer "for remote control" App for Android, mobiles and tablet can remotely access PC's.

Tips Root And Install Cyanogen OS 13 On OnePlus One

Just to keep track of this on my blog: a great tutorial to install a new image on my OnePlus One and root it...

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Tips Add AC3 support within MX Player on Samsung Galaxy S7 

By default, MX player doesn't support ac3 audio due to licensing issue. Using a custom codec solves this.

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Don't download  and install the «NEON Codec 1.8.9 for Android 6+» usually suggested for MX player in order to support AC3 (available on Google play as «MX Player Codec for ARMv7 NEON CPUs»).

Instead, download the custom codec for arm v7 neon 1.8.6 (available here). Unzip that file, open MX Player, click on the menu ..., go to  settings > decoder. Scroll down to the very bottom and select Custom Codec.  There, pick the file libffmpeg.mx.so.neon.1.8.6 you have just unzipped.

MX Player will next restart. You can now try a video with ac3 codec. Ex.: download a sample from here.

Et voilà.

Tips Expand Galaxy S7's Internal Storage with a SD card

Samsung does not support officially the "Adoptable Storage" feature available with Android 6.0. But there are many posts on the web explaining how to do it via "ADB" (Android Debug Bridge).

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Android Marshmallow has the ability to take a SD card and partition it as semi-permanent device storage. But it's not accessible on the Samsung Galaxy S7.

I applied this recipes with success: http://www.modaco.com/news/android/heres-how-to-configure-adoptable-storage-on-your-s7-s7-edge-r1632/

  • Download and Install "Samsung Usb Drivers" from http://adbdriver.com/downloads/
  • Download and copy in a folder the "ADB kits" from http://adbshell.com/downloads
  • Enable the "Developer Options" menu via Settings > About Device > Software Info > Type 5 times the "Build number".
  • Enable "USB debugging" via Settings > Developer Options.
  • Plug your mobile into your PC via an USB cable.
  • Open a command prompt as administrator and type adb shell
  • Type next sm list-disks to see the Disk ID. It looked like this on my phone "disk:179,0"
  • To use 100% of the SD card as internal storage, type sm partition <Disk ID> private
    • Ex.: sm partition disk:179,0 private
  • After formatting the microSD card
    • Reboot
    • Go next into Settings > Storage. Select the "SD card" and hit the menu "More" to "Migrate data". This moves everything to the SD card. Everything in the future should install to the SD card until it is full and then moves to internal.

Before this, due to Oculus VR stuff, my internal storage was full although I already moved manually most Apps to the SD card. Now, after the "Migration of the Data" only 18GB are still used out of the 32GB (~13GB have been moved to the SD Card).

NB.: Since I did this, I notice that moving Apps to the SD often results in an error message : "Not enough storage space". I usually just retry and then the move succeeds.

Play YouTube's Video in background and stream the audio part to AirPlay Devices with Android

Since I found a piece of software to stream audio from my PC to multiple Airplay Devices synchronously, I wanted to find something equivalent for my Android mobile. Unfortunately, with most Apps and for YouTube's video, either the audio stops when the application is minimized or the audio cannot be stream to multiple Airplay devices simultaneously. An easy solution exists but requires a rooted Android device and two Apps: AirAudio and AudioPocket.

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AirAudio is a really powerful audio streamer for Android than can steam all audio from any App to every receiver. Just like TuneBlade for PC, it redirect the sound to be played by the local speaker to a remote receiver... AirPlay, AllPlay, DLNA, Fite TV, GoogleCast, Roku and Sonos are all supported !!!

AirAudio Receivers

AirAudio Receivers

Once started, one can chose multiple target remote players:

AirAudio Players

AirAudio Players

And as soon as you start to play sound on the mobile, you have an icon appearing in the menu bar to start casting.

AirAudio Cast

AirAudio Cast

Selecting that icon, you can to start to preconfigured set of devices. As you can see bellow, I am streaming simultaneously to two AirPlay Devices.

AirAudio Menu

AirAudio Menu

You will easily discover the other features ;)

Now, especially for YouTube's video, you may want to hide the App playing the video/music. Unfortunately, especially for video, like the YouTube player, the App usually pauses if the it goes in the background. To solve that, you need an App able to play in the background. The best and easiest one I found is AudioPocket.

You can run AudioPocket and paste into it any valid url to star playing your YouTube video. But the easiest is to start YouTube, search for video and use the "Share..." menu to play the video with AudioPocket.

YouTube Share Menu

YouTube Share Menu

Notice: so far, it does not work with YouTube's playlists (to be investigated as playlists are claimed to be supported)... It's easy to know that you have selected a playlist as the "Share..." menu appears alone (no "Add to xxx" menu next to it):

YouTube Share PlayList

YouTube Share PlayList

That being said, each video shared with AudioPocket is queued.

Once shared with AudioPocket, the video is played quite immediately and you can pause/stop it with AudioPocket's menu appearing in the App bar:

AudioPocket Menu

AudioPocket Menu

Et voilà!

Tips Use the GoPro App on a Oneplus One

Looking for a really mini camera, I recently bought a GoPro Hero4 Session.

GoPro Hero 4 Session

GoPro Hero 4 Session

What a disappointment when I discovered that the GoPro App was not compatible with my Android mobile Oneplus One. Fortunately, it's possible to google for the APK and install it manually!

Click to Read More

As I didn't find it in the Play Store with my Mobile, I looked for it within a browser on https://play.google.com/store/apps/

GoPro App Not Compatible OnePlusOne

GoPro App Not Compatible OnePlusOne

It was clearly indicated as non-compatible. So, I googled for: GoPro APK Download.

I found various sites offering the APK :

  1. http://www.apk4fun.com/apk/8058/
  2. https://www.torrapk.com/en/apps/19-photography/4029-GoPro-App

I did download and install manually the version 2.11.1716 and it works very fine :p

I was able to use that version of the App among others to:

  • Update the GoPro's firmware to HX1.01.01.50
  • Configure the GoPro (video, picture and burst mode)
  • Do previews
  • View and Edit both Videos and Pictures taken with the GoPro

Et voilà.

Tips Play a movie on multiple devices via WiFi-Direct

When going to travel for hours by car with my kids, I usually copy some cartoons on their tablets before leaving. A question which arose recently was: how to play a movie from one tablet on the others, while there is no network in the car. Answer: using BubbleUPnP and Wifi-Direct.

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The question arose as I forgot once to copy cartoons on one of the tablets. Being in the car, I had no Wi-Fi network to connect the devices (no wireless router). And I didn't want to use a mobile data connection as, being in a foreign country, the cost would have been excessive. So I had to find another solution.

Looking on internet how to share media or files between two devices without Wi-Fi access point, I found that the modern way to go was: wifi-direct.

Connecting devices via wifi-direct was easy as natively supported by Android, as well as iOS (one can find many how-to on internet). But next, how to access the media on other devices was more tricky.

Usually, on mobile devices, I am using:

  • Plex connected via internet to play media from my NAS.
  • Plex to play media synced locally on the device.
  • Plex to play media synced on another device with Plex «advertised» on the LAN, by that device, as a server (see settings of Plex on the mobile device).
  • Archos Video to play media available locally (internal or external strorage) or via FTP, SMB shares or UPnP.
  • Possibly MX Player to play media while directly browsing the storage of the device.

I also used to play media via UPnP with MediaHouse as, just like Plex and Archos Video, it is managing libraries of movies with metadata automatically fetched from internet. But that was before getting support for UPnP within Archos Video.

As Archos Video and Plex are IMO, the very best apps to manage libraries of movies, my hope was to use them. Unfortunately, none of them was able to access media on the other devices using Wi-Fi direct... Plex didn't see the Plex servers running on the other devices, and Archos Video didn't even display any menu to access media via network. I think that none of them was aware there was actually a network (WLAN Direct).

As I read that UPnP over Wi-Fi direct was very well supported (it's now a standard), I thought that a solution could be to use an upnp server/client. My favorite being BubbleUPnP, I gave it a try. And good news, it works like a charm. I was able to play the same cartoon simultaneously on three devices without any hiccup (with MX Video as a player).

That being said, I wrote to the developer of Archos Video and on the Plex forum to ask if playing video with their app via wifi Direct was actually supported (with a trick) or would be soon or later...