The blog is certainly different now. That is because I am switching from Nikola to Hexo. Nikola did incremental builds, but that didn’t prevent it from being slow. While Hexo isn’t incremental, its Node.js engine makes it a lot faster than before. Nikola also didn’t implement their mobile functionality well, so Hexo should make it easier to view the site on phones/tablets.
The phone I have been using for quite a while now has been the HTC One M7 Sprint. Despite its name, the M7 is not the seventh HTC generation, but the first. I have enjoyed using that phone, but the phone had quite a few defects from its age. This model had the camera problems that many M7s had. If the camera was in low light, there was no way that it would get a good picture. The color saturation would be way off. The other problem I had was with the battery. Because it was my dad’s phone before I had it, the battery was worn. First it wasn’t a huge deal, since it would die at 30-40%, and that was usually when I started anyway. It got even worse when it started to be inconsistent. Sometimes the battery would completely drain, and sometimes it would die at 80%. Despite what most people say, calibrating doesn’t help. The last problem I had was the out of date ROM it had, even running CyanogenMod. It was just running Lollipop.
Despite what most people think, you can get new things on eBay. The reason why I was looking on eBay for a new phone is because the phone I was looking for was discontinued. I was thinking about getting another black M7 like the one I have, but I would still be running Android Lollipop. I instead opted for an M8, which (while still discontinued) could run the latest versions of android Nougat.
The first phone I got was the Sprint gunmetal gray M8, and it was in perfect condition. I tried putting CyanogenMod on it, but I failed to do so because I didn’t update beforehand. While updating to the latest version of Android isn’t necessary to preform a CyanogenMod install, updating the boot loader was extremely important. Because my boot loader was out of date, the phone was bricked. I was kicking myself hard that day.
Luckily the phone wasn’t too expensive, so getting another one was my next best option. The seller we got the phone from was out of stock soon after, so we had to look for another seller. The seller we chose was selling the same model at a similar price. It arrived with a defect. The screen was popping out from the chassis. It was easy to put your fingernail in the phone and pull it out. It was a minor flaw, but it could lead to major problems. The phone was shipped back, and the one he replaced it with had the exact same defect, except in a different corner. Writing an e-mail to the seller was hard when you don’t want to seem mad.
I was so tempted to get an S5 or a Nexus and call it a day, but I wanted to try once more. Instead of the normal M8, I went for the Harman Kardon M8. This one was a Sprint exclusive, had a black/gold design, and (you guessed it) Harman Kardon speakers. I normally wouldn’t have gotten that model, but the seller was selling it at a good price. It was also still in the box! This phone had no defects and worked perfectly with CyanogenMod on it.
I installed the latest version of CyanogenMod, which was 14.1. This is essentially 7.1/7.1.1 to stock Android fans out there. I did my usual things, which was to install a launcher (Smart Launcher is my preference) and to theme it up. Because it was running CyanogenMod 14.1, I was able to get some of the Pixel exclusive features working, such as Google Assistant and the boot screen.
I hope that I can get Xposed working on my device. There are many cool modules to download with it. With it I would be able to get some of the device’s features back from the “Sensify Modules.” This consists of the Duo Camera and the IR blaster. I might also try out Nova Launcher Prime since it can look like the Pixel Launcher while still keeping its customization features. There are many things you can do with a phone that has a custom ROM!