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#345941 - 23/06/2011 16:17 Re: Android changes [Re: wfaulk]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3717
I use Google Docs (which has an Android app). I used to be a profuse note-taker on paper, but somewhere along the line, in the transition to the digital world, I've lost the feel for it.

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#345942 - 23/06/2011 18:59 Re: Android changes [Re: wfaulk]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
Evernote has a shite text editor that to this day has a lot of formatting bugs. BUt it's nearly ubiquitous, with support for it built into many other apps ("send to Evernote" and the like).

The Mac client, apart from text editing and a few niggles is also pretty decent in terms of layout, presentation and speed. It's much faster than many of the other similar apps I've tested over the past few years.

Its ubiquity is also a huge barrier to entry for competition. That part I don't like.

I keep a lot of stuff in Evernote, mostly put there from the Mac client, though it's also my go-to app when I need to document something on the road from my iPhone, usually by taking a photo and adding only a tiny bit of text.
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Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#345943 - 23/06/2011 19:14 Re: Android changes [Re: hybrid8]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12053
Loc: Sterling, VA
I tried out Evernote, but for some of the reasons here I just never got into it. This was when the Android app was just released, though, so maybe some of my impressions were colored by the lack of polish on the app, but I also didn't like the desktop app for the reasons already mentioned.

I suppose I've cobbled together my own version of Evernote. For super quick reminders I have my much-loved "Email to Self" app, which fills my inbox with little notes to myself, and usually takes me approximately 5 seconds to do on my phone. For voice memos, I simply do a similar thing that's built right into Android. I hold down the search button until the voice prompt comes up, then I say "Note to self:" and then my message. It then sends me an email with the shaky translation of what I said, but also an attachment with my voice recording. Those two items are pretty similar, but I find I use them for different things.

For photo reminders of something, I merely use the built-in Android camera app combined with the Eye-Fi app. It sends all my photos to my desktop instantly, where I can check the photos later.

Lastly, if I'm going to take notes on something in a longer form, well, I've simply not done that, really. But if I do, I'm with Dan, Google Docs all the way. I freaking LOVE Google Docs...
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Matt

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#345945 - 23/06/2011 20:26 Re: Android changes [Re: wfaulk]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
To be fair, I just updated the Android client and the first thing it did was sync an assload of stuff. So maybe there was a sync bug that's now been fixed.
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Bitt Faulk

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#345946 - 23/06/2011 21:57 Re: Android changes [Re: wfaulk]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
I mainly use Outlook (Yeah yeah. I know) with gSyncit to link to the Google web services which then gets synced to my Android. Its a bit of a long route but it works well enough for me.

The new Google Docs app covers everything I need for notes which I want to keep/save. If its just a quick note then I use ColorNote.

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#345953 - 24/06/2011 06:21 Re: Android changes [Re: tman]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1956
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
I'm a gsyncit user too with the same path using my work Outlook as the master for contacts and calendar. Haven't really used the Google Docs/Notes side of it though.

It still doesn't get my calendar completely right though. It has issues with timezones and single events in a series that are moved or deleted.
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Christian
#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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#345958 - 24/06/2011 11:47 Re: Android changes [Re: Shonky]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Originally Posted By: Shonky
It has issues with timezones

You can blame Outlook/Exchange for that. Their timezone support (and Windows timezone support in general) is a nightmare. You'll find times where timezone stuff gets screwed up even where nothing is involved beyond Outlook and Exchange. This all reared its ugly head when the US Government decided to change our daylight saving time rules a few years ago.
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Bitt Faulk

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#346008 - 27/06/2011 13:15 Re: Android changes [Re: wfaulk]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
In keeping with the emerging consensus, Evernote seems to be the winner by default. I was hoping for something that would let me maintain a wiki-like structure the way I can with VoodooPad, but the only such animal I could find is TomDroid, which is an Android version of Tomboy. Unfortunately, it's read-only (I guess they're working on editing support), and the desktop app is written in Mono, so you get an ugly, clunky UI without native app goodies like proper clipboard integration for pasting in images and other media. The only native Mac note taking app that has a decent Android counterpart seems to be Evernote, and though there are many things I don't like about it, it's probably as good as it gets for now.

I'm very pleased with Android so far, and the Nexus S 4G in particular. I still miss the keyboard, but I'm getting to be pretty proficient with Swype.

The one thing I don't really get is why I'm seeing a bunch of background apps running, including ones I haven't launched since my device booted. Tasker (which is awesome, BTW) pops up now and then to tell me my memory is low, and when I look at what's running, I see a bunch of apps that I haven't launched recently and shouldn't really be doing anything in the background. Why are they there taking up memory? I know the OS will kill them, but why do they run in the first place?
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- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#346017 - 27/06/2011 15:01 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
Basically all IPC in Android is done via "Intents". The idea is that messages are sent through a middleware layer that's part of the OS and those messages are sent to every application that's registered to receive them. (It's more complicated than that, but that's the general idea.) The OS itself will send out Intents, and there are Intents for such events as Startup. So those programs probably registered themselves to receive startup Intents.

Generally speaking, you really don't need to worry about background applications. The general rule is that, while they are technically "running" and consuming memory, they're not really active. (There are exceptions, of course.) If the OS finds that it needs more memory, it will kill off inactive processes. Generally, letting the OS deal with this stuff works much better than trying to micromanage it. Sadly, the few places where you really do want to take over (for example, an application that wants to always be running that you never use and cannot uninstall — I'm looking at you, Amazon MP3), trying to do so is actually going to cause more problems than letting it waste your memory as it continually stops and restarts, instead of just wasting a small amount of memory.
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Bitt Faulk

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#346025 - 28/06/2011 03:50 Re: Android changes [Re: wfaulk]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12053
Loc: Sterling, VA
I'm glad you like Tasker, Tony! I really need to install it again and see if I have any use cases for it. When I was using it I only had one rule set up and I felt like I was wasting the potential of the app laugh There's a ridiculous number of things the app can do, but I was only using it to quiet my phone at night.

Still, it was nice to be able to set up a rule that said "if my phone is on its dock [specifically on the dock, not just charging], AND the time is between 11pm and 8am, mute the ringer."

There's another program on the market called Locale which was out first, but it always seemed to be geared towards location-based phone control, whereas Tasker takes action based on pretty much any cue.


Bitt has all the memory stuff covered. It really isn't something you need to worry about. I have all kinds of crap running all the time, but it hasn't slowed my phone down.
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Matt

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#346042 - 28/06/2011 12:44 Re: Android changes [Re: Dignan]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Yeah, Tasker is marvelous. There's a plugin that can configure Google Voice for you, so I have it disable ringing of my home phone when I'm at work and re-enable it when I'm home.

I also have one that puts my phone in airplane mode when I leave it face-down at work, which I use to save battery while I'm in a closed area where I can't bring my phone. I wanted to try to get speakerphone based on the proximity sensor working, but hadn't gotten that working yet.

There's a Cyanogen release candidate out for the NS4G, but people are saying it's still rough around the edges, so I think I'll hold off on upgrading the ROM for now. I did root my phone last night in anticipation of a stable ROM release.

Re: the memory stuff, I'm pretty sure I did notice it slowing down my phone a bit. I was seeing 25+ apps running in the background, and, yeah, they weren't using CPU, but the system was using CPU to manage all of them, and it felt like it was starting to drag things down.

A lot of the apps that run are things I do want to have on my phone, but don't want to use a lot, and certainly don't need in the background. I just don't see why the OS is wasting resources starting up processes I haven't run yet since it booted, killing them off, and starting new ones. What's the point of that?

Anyone used this before? Apparently it's a more effective way of fine-tuning what runs in the background than using a task killer, though it requires root access.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#346043 - 28/06/2011 13:26 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
No, but it sounds awesome.
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Bitt Faulk

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#346047 - 28/06/2011 16:32 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12053
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: tonyc
I also have one that puts my phone in airplane mode when I leave it face-down at work, which I use to save battery while I'm in a closed area where I can't bring my phone.

Ooo, I'd forgotten about that. I had a similar rule but I can't remember why I stopped using it. I think it's because I would forget about it, then just happen to put my phone face down and I'd start missing calls. Still, I'll have to load up Tasker again...

Quote:
Anyone used this before? Apparently it's a more effective way of fine-tuning what runs in the background than using a task killer, though it requires root access.

Also no, but it sounds appealing. I think I'm going to root my Nexus One, just because I feel like wiping my phone and I want to install Titanium Backup so I don't lose all my Angry Birds progress smile


For some reason, my Nexus One has lost the ability to enable bluetooth. It's highly annoying, and I don't know if it's a hardware or software issue. I'll enable it, it'll start thinking like it's going to start it up, and then it just fails and goes back to the off state. My hope is that if I clean it off the problem will go away.

Coincidentally, I remember having the exact same problem after owning my G1 for a while...
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Matt

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#346048 - 28/06/2011 16:32 Re: Android changes [Re: wfaulk]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3717
Along the lines of Locale, I've been running this oddball thing called "Auto Wifi Enabler" which keeps track of your coarse location (network-based, not GPS-based) when you're using Wifi. It then disables the Wifi when you're outside of those areas. This means, when you're randomly wandering around, you don't get bothered that there are open Wifi networks around and you save the power of searching for them. The downside is that Google Navigation wants to have Wifi on to augment GPS and get a better location, so then you have to go over and "force" your Wifi on. (Since I so rarely use Navigation, it's not a big imposition...)

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#346049 - 28/06/2011 17:48 Re: Android changes [Re: DWallach]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
I tried using Auto WiFi Enabler for a while and it worked really, really, badly. It seemed like my WiFi was always on when it shouldn't have been and was occasionally off when it should have been on.

It's clear that it hadn't been updated in a while, so it may have been the fact that I was running a newer version of the OS.
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Bitt Faulk

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#346172 - 02/07/2011 02:38 Re: Android changes [Re: wfaulk]
Shonky
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/01/2002
Posts: 1956
Loc: Brisbane, Australia
I currently have a problem with my HD2. Originally WM6.5 but the internet has figured out Android and for the most part it works very well (although I haven't used any other Android phones). I'm currently running the Hyperdroid GBX v12 build specifically for the HD2. Currently it's on Android 2.3.3

One scenario is this
1) Phone is in my pocket
2) BMW bluetooth has automatically connected when ignition is turned on
3) Phone rings and is answered in car via bluetooth
4) At the time the phone call finishes, the phone remains unlocked
5) Later the auto lock kicks in.

However I'm finding that the because the phone is staying unlocked for a period of time due to 4) and I'm making pocket calls. Likewise if someone calls me I have to remember to manually lock it before I put it back in my pocket.

Can anyone recommend an app(other than a very short lock time)? I don't see any setting that would prevent this in the normal configuration. I've not been able to find anything which suggests maybe I'm not doing something right.
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Christian
#40104192 120Gb (no longer in my E36 M3, won't fit the E46 M3)

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#346583 - 24/07/2011 19:42 Re: Android changes [Re: Dignan]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
I just wanted to post a few updates on my recent experiences with Android in general, and the Nexus S 4G in particular. I've had some time to put it through its paces, and I'm quite happy with how things are working out so far.

I'll start out with the main thing I don't like about the NS4G, which is the voice and data network reception. I've lost calls in areas that I didn't on my Palm Pre, and I've had poor network reception (either 1xRTT or none at all) where I would previously get a reasonably consistent 3G signal. Sprint has said the next update (due to start rolling out tomorrow, actually) addresses some of these concerns, so maybe this will get better.

The mobile hotspot, on the other hand, works beautifully. It was really nice to not have to pay $15/day for hotel wifi while on vacation. I do hope Sprint keeps it free, but I suspect some day they'll hit me with a surcharge.

The turn-by-turn navigation with Google Maps has been nearly flawless. It was really nice to be able to create a map in Google Maps for various vacation destinations and have them in my phone for easy viewing/selection when driving around. The traffic data seems to be pretty accurate, and it's easy to call up an alternate route if I do hit traffic.

The voice search and dialing is a lot more useful than I thought it'd be. It's great to be able to just say "Navigate to [local business]" when I'm driving. I'd say it guesses right 80% of the time, and if not, the thing I want to drive to is usually in the list of potential matches. I haven't used any of the more fancy voice actions like sending emails or texts, but for the basics, this is great to have.

Battery life is good. The things that seem to really drain it are having the display on for long periods of time, GPS navigation, or being in a bad cell/wifi signal area. I've gotten an hour or two of music from it with the battery only draining a few percent, and casual internet browsing / app usage doesn't seem to do much, either.

I was bummed by the lack of a car dock with a charging connection, but the home multimedia dock has one, and it's very nice for use as a nightstand dock. In the car, my Touchstone works great as a mount, but I still have to plug in a charging cable. If someone released a charging Nexus S car dock, I might use that instead of the Touchstone.

The camera takes very nice photos. I'm not ditching my Panasonic ZS3 any time soon, but when I forget to bring it, I no longer have the dirty feeling that I'll end up with crappy shots from my phone camera. Video is acceptable, but the lack of HD is a slight disappointment.

Hardware-wise, the NS4G is considered underpowered compared to current dual core models, but I haven't really noticed much slowdown at all, and on the occasions when I did, it was usually due to a misbehaving app.

Here are some app highlights that I don't think have been mentioned here yet:

  • Go Launcher EX: I picked this one because it's free, and ADWLauncher costs $3 or so. It seems to have everything I want/need from a launcher replacement. ADW seems to have a larger theme library, but otherwise I don't see any reason to switch.
  • Animated Widget Contact Pro: I like having my most frequently-called contacts as launcher widgets, and this does a great job, with little pop-out icons for calling a specific number for a contact, texting them, emailing them, etc. You can disable some of the gratuitous animation stuff if it bothers you.
  • WidgetLocker: Lets you customize your lock screen. Here's mine, with sliders for opening the camera and TeslaLED (see below).
  • TeslaLED: Simple flashlight app that I use a lot more than I thought I would.
  • K-9 Mail: Best IMAP mail client I've found. The one thing missing is Exchange ActiveSync support, but they're actively working on it.
  • D7 Google Reader Pro: Fast Google Reader client with a clean UI. Needs better offline support (right now you have to save each offline item individually) but by far the best RSS app I've found.
  • Google+: The Android G+ app is off to a good start -- UI could use some polish, and it needs resharing functionality, but it gets the job done.
  • IP Cam Viewer: I use it to view my own webcam at home, but it's also handy for viewing live traffic cameras (it's got a built-in directory of hundreds of them.) Wonderful app, well worth the $5.
  • Miren Browser: I kept going back and forth on whether I needed a better browser, and I decided that I do. I've tried Dolphin and Miren, and Miren seems to be faster and less bloated, while still adding functionality above the built-in browser.
  • NFC Task Launcher: It lets you read and write NFC tags. I bought a few for automated switching of Tasker profiles. I put tags in my Touchstone docks at work and in my car, with the work one changing my Google Voice settings and engaging airplane mode, and the car one putting my phone in car mode. Enabling NFC hasn't diminished my battery life in any noticeable way.
  • Searchify: This expands the Android search to include things like Wikipedia, IMDB, calendar entries, etc. Brings Android close but not quite up to WebOS's universal search capability.
  • Google Music: Having my entire music library streamable, and being able to optionally pin a subset of that music on my phone's local storage is basically the perfect setup for me. Google Music itself has some warts in its current beta form, but Google's overall approach is better for me than something like Spotify.
  • Google Chrome to Phone: Simple app that lets you send links from a desktop browser to your phone. (Despite the name, there's also a Firefox extension that lets you do the same thing.)
  • Logitech Squeezebox Controller: Self-explanatory. There are third party player apps, but all I really need is a remote control for my Squeezeboxes.
  • My-Cast Weather Lite: I couldn't really fall in love with WeatherBug or any of the other weather apps I tried. I'm not thrilled with this one either, but it's the best I've found.
  • HandyBank: Finance app for syncing and viewing of MoneyDance data.
  • Eye-Fi: Lets your phone pretend to be an Eye-Fi card, uploading camera pics to your Eye-fi destinations. Also lets you do "direct mode" between an Eye-Fi card and your phone. Must-have for anyone who uses an Eye-fi.


I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a big bump in cell reception from the next Sprint update, but overall, I am very pleased with the phone -- there's no other phone out there right now, Android or otherwise, that I'd want to have on me now.
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- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#346588 - 25/07/2011 17:36 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3501
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
While we're at it, I love Expensify. If you have to track expenses for reimbursement, give this a try.
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~ John

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#346589 - 25/07/2011 19:07 Re: Android changes [Re: JBjorgen]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12053
Loc: Sterling, VA
Tony, glad to hear you're loving your phone so far. I'd like to hear if that update fixes your reception issues.

I've also been dismayed by how poor the selection of weather apps has been for Android. It's always been something I felt was really lacking from the platform. I've tried a number of them and they're all terribly written, resource hogs, over-complicated, or all of the above. I'm not sure why, either. You would think a weather app would be fairly simple to design, and prime example of a mobile app category that some developer could do a lot with. Unfortunately, it seems the dominance of Weather Bug and the Weather Channel app have frightened off any potential competitors.

In the end, I've placed a shortcut on my home screen to Google's mobile weather site. It gives me the basic information I need, and if I ever need more, like a radar map, I reluctantly spend five minutes going through the Weather Channel app, which I really dislike.
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Matt

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#346590 - 25/07/2011 19:47 Re: Android changes [Re: Dignan]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
i.wund.com
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Tom

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#346591 - 25/07/2011 19:55 Re: Android changes [Re: Dignan]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
I pretty much just use this and the builtin Google News weather.

Raindar looks interesting.
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Bitt Faulk

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#346592 - 25/07/2011 21:37 Re: Android changes [Re: wfaulk]
msaeger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 3608
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
I am using Google News and Weather too. I pretty much all I want is the widget on my home screen showing the temp. The thing that sucks is the widget doesn't refresh unless I click it even though I have the weather set to refresh every hour.
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Matt

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#346594 - 26/07/2011 02:28 Re: Android changes [Re: msaeger]
RobotCaleb
pooh-bah

Registered: 15/01/2002
Posts: 1866
Loc: Austin
Are you running CM7? My news app does the same thing. I know for a fact that it didn't always.

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#346597 - 26/07/2011 11:39 Re: Android changes [Re: RobotCaleb]
msaeger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 3608
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
No just the Zeam launcher and the stock rom but it worked the same way with the stock android one.
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Matt

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#346598 - 26/07/2011 12:52 Re: Android changes [Re: msaeger]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Looks like I'm going to be wanting to upgrade to Cyanogen myself pretty soon.
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- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#346599 - 26/07/2011 13:03 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
Originally Posted By: tonyc
Looks like I'm going to be wanting to upgrade to Cyanogen myself pretty soon.

I'm actually surprised you haven't already.
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10101466 (2x60GB, Eutronix/GreenLights Blue) (Stolen!)

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#346600 - 26/07/2011 13:36 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12053
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: tonyc
Looks like I'm going to be wanting to upgrade to Cyanogen myself pretty soon.

It really is surprising how much better it is. It's so good I'm going to widen my potential pool of new phones from the single "rumored Nexus phone at the end of the year," to any decent phone that can have CM put on it.
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Matt

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#346601 - 26/07/2011 17:33 Re: Android changes [Re: Dignan]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Yeah, I've been waiting for them to fix a 4G toggle issue in the NS4G build. It might be fixed in a nightly, but I don't want to live that close to the bleeding edge right now.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#346618 - 28/07/2011 17:10 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
I installed Cyanogen 7.0.1-RC1 last night. 4G works, but the toggle button in the notification bar doesn't, so no big deal there.

I really like that I can ssh/scp to my phone now, and add-ons like the DSP manager are really nice. There were some hassles with apps that didn't quite do the right thing with the upgrade, and a few things like my Google Music "pinned" songs going away that Titanium Backup didn't save me from, but nothing too bad.

My main reason for installing now was to take a look at what, if anything, I can do from the shell to make networking happen through the cellular data connection even when a wi-fi link is active. This would be so I can develop an empeg control app that uses wifi to communicate with my empeg through the wireless AP in my trunk. The wifi link wouldn't have a reachable internet gateway when I'm not at home, so if I can't find a way to tell my phone to use the 3G/4G link, I won't have any data service on the phone while the app is running, which would be a bummer.

On a regular computer, this is the sort of thing one would fix by tweaking the routing table to route local traffic through the "LAN" interface (in this case, the wifi) and internet traffic through the "WAN" interface (the cellular data connection) but I don't know if that'll work on Android -- I've read some things online that say it turns off 3G and uses wifi whenever a wifi link is active. Of course, I also saw something that said it'll fail over to 3G if the wifi link's DHCP doesn't give you a gateway and DNS servers, so I'll have to test that out tonight.
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- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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