The Hudl 2: Lollipop Update

Quite unexpectedly, Tesco have released Lollipop for the Hudl 2. This is very nice and decent of them, but it means that some of my old Hudl 2 Guide is obsolete… and since said guide is the most visited page on my website, I thought I should post some kind of update…

I’ve rewritten the initial setup stuff for compatibility with the new operating system; I’ll move onto this in a moment. But first, what is the impact of installing Lollipop on the Hudl 2? (i.e. is it worth it?)

Let’s look at the downsides:

This is mildly annoying, but not insurmountable – and apart from causing a slow boot, the encryption/disk speed issue seems to be of trifling concern: it may become apparent in benchmarks, but since installing Lollipop I have noticed not a single difference in the loading times or read/write performance of any normal app.

As for the upsides:

To quantify the performance boost, here are my 3DMark results before and after:

Test KitKat Result Lollipop Result
Ice Storm Extreme 7723 8309

That’s an increase of 7.6%! Here’s a screenshot, in case you don’t believe me…

Hudl 2: Lollipop 3DMark Results

(The ‘Sling Shot ES 3.1’ test now yields a score of 639… but I forgot to run it before updating, so can’t make a comparison… oops)

Everything runs more smoothly with Lollipop, and it makes the Hudl 2 even better as a budget gaming device. Thus I see no reason at all to stick with KitKat, and encourage everyone to upgrade. But not until you’ve read the following advisory…

Post-Update Shenanigans

Installing Lollipop is no trouble at all (unless you’ve previously rooted your tablet and messed about, in which case you’re probably stuffed). When you get the prompt, just follow Tesco’s simple instructions – although their ‘takes 10 minutes’ claim is bogus. Let the installer do it’s thing, and after 30 minutes to an hour the tablet will reboot into the new operating system.

Easy.

And then everything will go wrong.

Apps will lag or not open. Buttons will be unresponsive. The battery will drain at alarming rates.

My poor Hudl 2 was pretty unusable after the update, but any and all problems are fixed by a simple factory reset.

If you really can’t be bothered to do this, then I suppose you could take the scabby shortcut route – i.e.:

  1. Install Lollipop.
  2. Open the ‘Play Store’ app and touch the menu icon (☰), then ‘My Apps’, then ‘UPDATE ALL’.
  3. Reboot your tablet and clear the cache partition from the recovery menu (I could explain how to do this… but I’ll refer you to Tesco’s ‘cache cleaning’ guide instead, as it has pictures and everything)

These two actions may ‘fix’ your tablet… but then again, they might not. Worth a try, I suppose. But to guarantee proper operation, you’ll have to bite the bullet and perform a full reset. I would recommend:

  1. Manually backup any media/data from the internal storage to an external disk/Micro SD card/computer. Note that many apps hide things (e.g. game progress) in inaccessible locations, so you might be limited in what you can save. Don’t rely on Google’s automatic backups (enabled via ‘Settings → Backup & reset’); hardly anything of value is restored. Also, I would suggest not to use a dedicated backup app (such as Helium), otherwise everything will most likely be restored to the same broken state as before the reset. In short, plan on starting from scratch…
  2. Install Lollipop.
  3. (Optional) If you have a Micro SD card, remove it from the tablet.
  4. Perform factory reset. (‘Settings → Backup & reset → Factory data reset’ – full instructions here)
  5. (Optional) Before reinserting your Micro SD into the Hudl 2, mount the card on your computer (i.e. not an Android device) and delete the following folders from the root directory:
    - Android
    - .android_secure
    - LOST.DIR

Your tablet should now be minty fresh and glitch-free. Before restoring any backed up data, I would recommend that you move onto:

Initial Configuration

Here’s an updated version of the initial setup check-list from my old Hudl 2 Guide (a factory reset is like having a brand new device, so might as well start at the beginning). It’s almost the same as before but with a few subtle differences; for completeness I’ll just go through the whole thing. Open the ‘Settings’ app, and configure the following entries:

Under ‘Device’:

» Display «

» Sound & notification «

Under ‘Personal’:

» Location «

» Accounts «

» Language & input «

Press ‘Google Keyboard’ to enter the sub-menu, then select:


Now let’s return to ‘Account’ settings. Close the ‘Settings’ app, then launch the separate ‘Google Settings’ app from the app drawer. Change the following:


Almost done. Now close the ‘Google Settings’ app, and launch the ‘Play Store’ app:


Finally, you’ll be wanting to replace the Tesco Launcher. It’s actually improved a little since KitKat, but Nova Launcher is still so much better. Install and configure as you like, but I would at least recommend changing the following:

Nova Settings → Look & feel:

Bloat Removal

As with KitKat, the Lollipop installation comes with a collection of junk that you don’t need. Here’s an updated bloat removal guide:

» Tesco Bloat «

The main Tesco apps are now separated from the rest, and easily incapacitated (it’s almost as though they want you to disable them…). All of them can be safely removed. To do so:

For completeness, the apps that can be crushed in this matter are:

» Other Bloat… «

Any remaining system apps must be disabled the old fashioned way. Here’s a reminder:

All of the following can be removed without affecting system stability, so disable everything you don’t specifically need:

Wrap-Up

That’s about it as far as Lollipop-related changes go. If you’re new to the Hudl 2, then further tips can be found in my old Hudl 2 Guide; just read everything from the ‘Useful Apps’ section onwards. For everyone else: Happy hudl-ing!