Android phones: Tips, tricks?

LiamC

Storage Is My Life
Joined
Feb 7, 2002
Messages
2,016
Location
Canberra
I've been tempted to put Cyanogen 10.1 on my Galaxy S4 (Verizon) but have hesitated to make such major changes to such an expensive and necessary piece of my life without first knowing anyone else that has done it successfully. Anyone here take the plunge?
Are you asking if anyone has tried Cyanogen 10.1? Or Cyanogen 10.1 on an S4?

If the former, I'm running an unofficial Cyanogen 10.1 on my Incredible S. I linked to the ROM in one of my previous posts. My S4 I will leave at stock for a little while longer (maybe when the year is up) before I put a custom ROM on it.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
The S4 got it's OTA update to Kit Kat last night. So far, the only difference I can find is that a half dozen of my favorite apps don't work any more. Both Justpictures and Andmade Share are hosed now. I don't notice any new functionality or performance change but hey I got a new version of Android.
 

Howell

Storage? I am Storage!
Joined
Feb 24, 2003
Messages
4,740
Location
Chattanooga, TN
An S5 w/ Kitkat review noted that there were fewer S-apps and general S meddling. Something to do with a recent agreement with Google. I had wondered if that attitude would migrate to the S4 when it got Kitkat. Notice anything?
 

Santilli

Hairy Aussie
Joined
Jan 27, 2002
Messages
5,077
I've recently installed Nod 32 mobile from eset. It's really kind of scary how many programs have access to all data, and most people give it to them, when they don't need it, at all.

Why does Costco's and 24 Hour Fitness need to have pretty much root access to my data, email lists, etc.?
Answer: They don't.

Data mining...
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
I've spent a while the last couple days trying to figure out a way to script bluetooth audio device changeover. The AVRs in my bedroom and living room support bluetooth directly. I have MPOW receivers in my bathroom and back bedroom.
GPS doesn't have enough sensitivity for so small a space and there doesn't really seem to be an app in place with a "connect to closest paired device" as an option. I could possibly do something using the NFC sensor in my phone, but of course relatively few other devices support that.

The idea here would be to have a device act as a token that would allow an audio stream to follow me as I move around in my place.
Yes, this is possibly the height of laziness, but if I could get it to work it would be really, really cool.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Messages
3,173
Location
Salem, Or
OK, I'll play the straight guy. Why does it have to be Bluetooth switchovers? Doesn't your WiFi cover the entire apt. with enough BW for a music stream. So the question becomes why use Bluetooth at all.

KISS

P.S. yes, it would be really cool.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
I'm thinking about turning sources on and off as I move around.
Right now, I can send local content to a specific device in a specific room via Plex (or XBMC, depending). Which is cool all by itself.

But the cooler thing would be a relatively seamless handoff between receivers so that for example I don't have two different media players going at the same time, or one turned up to unfriendly volumes so I can hear it from another room.

802.11 does indeed cover my apartment, but there's still the matter of location awareness, and also of having the most convenient control, which is usually going to be a hand-held device.

This isn't that much of a hassle in my little apartment, but I could see it being very useful for a family with a good sized house and a couple cars with reasonably modern head units.
 

fb

Storage is cool
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
573
Location
Östersund, Sweden
Roaming is cool but probably difficult to implement in an elegant way. How would you avoid getting interruptions in the music? What happens when two persons listening to different music enters the same room, and when one of the two leave the room again?

I think it looks pretty easy to configure a couple of music streamers to be controlled by a "master", then you get the music in the room and if someone wants to listen to something else in one of the rooms he/she just has to change source. (I only have one streaming device, so I haven't had a chance/need to try it myself.)
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,315
Location
Monterey, CA
Syncing is the hardest part of this I'd think. I just have TOSLink running into all the amps in the different rooms and tune them in and out manually. Having auto input switching based on location information might be a more useful solution.
 

Striker

Learning Storage Performance
Joined
Sep 17, 2007
Messages
269
Perhaps something like Dave's solution combined with a motions sensor to activated the speaker in that particular room on a timer. Have the motion sensor trigger a particular channel on the receiver. Not sure how you'd run the thing, my first thought is to use z-wave and ir-blaster with a veralite but I'm sure there's less involved and cheaper ways to do it perhaps with arduino or rasberri pi.
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,315
Location
Monterey, CA
I think the goal of "play the audio I've chosen on my phone everywhere I go, and only where I am" is a fantastic idea. I just don't know how to get the localization good enough (NFC? RFID?) and keep the audio in sync (and approximately the same volume) from one system to another. If you had a single amp with enough zones and a network connection with API interface the rest could probably be done from scripts running inside the phone measuring signal strength of different wifi APs?
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
Actually, the IDEAL would be "present my user interface on whatever screen is closest to hand, including the audio component", but I'd just take audio as a start.

I'm sure I could rig up something with X10 gear that would work inside a home, but control over home automation hardware is either very simple or very complicated, and part of the power of using a phone or tablet would be a unified control system that doesn't rely on a fixed physical keypad or the like.

Bluetooth doesn't inherently describe anything but proximity to paired hardware. NFC has a range of less than one foot. RFID would actually be pretty good if we were just worried about the "token" part, but the tag wouldn't have a method for control.

There's probably a pretty cool engineering project in this someplace
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2002
Messages
19,315
Location
Monterey, CA
I think making the smartphone the brain and media source would be the most flexible/powerful, unless you want to tie in with Plex somehow? If RDC was quick enough to support video, it might be ideal for an installation. If seamless audio transitions are important (I'd argue they are), all speaker systems need to be driven by a single audio player. By extension this means the video also needs to come from a single device (to sync with the audio).

This puts me back to a high-end receiver with multiple zones combined with an HDMI splitter. Unless you want to go to the craziness which is Crestron (save yourself now...just say no).
 

fb

Storage is cool
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
573
Location
Östersund, Sweden
Hmm, I probably didn't mean to post the last message... I was about to suggest about the same thing as David.

..But what I really think is Sony made the Walkman for a reason. :)
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
I realize this is a long shot, but does anyone else use the screen mirroring function on their Samsung device?
I do, and it keeps turning itself on after I turn it off.

I don't want to remove it because I actually use the feature, but the phone isn't respecting my choice as to when it should be running. It's ALWAYS running. And that's bad because it's a monstrous battery hog. I'm not sure if it's the result of a bad phone update, but I've been fighting with it for a couple weeks now. I need to use it perhaps twice a week during my classes, and sometimes I use it at home, but even if I'm in my car with no nearby 802.11 signals, I can shut it off and five minutes later see that it's on again.

Grrr.
 

Handruin

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
12,922
Location
USA
I realize this is a long shot, but does anyone else use the screen mirroring function on their Samsung device?
I do, and it keeps turning itself on after I turn it off.

I don't want to remove it because I actually use the feature, but the phone isn't respecting my choice as to when it should be running. It's ALWAYS running. And that's bad because it's a monstrous battery hog. I'm not sure if it's the result of a bad phone update, but I've been fighting with it for a couple weeks now. I need to use it perhaps twice a week during my classes, and sometimes I use it at home, but even if I'm in my car with no nearby 802.11 signals, I can shut it off and five minutes later see that it's on again.

Grrr.
I don't use that particular app but have you tried removing and reinstalling it? I had an issue with my fitbit app not working after an update and after removing and reupdating it worked once again.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
Uninistalled and reinstalled, yes. It's actually one of those apps that can't be disabled without root, but I do have root.
Since I actually do use it, I'd rather not take it off completely, but it beats the hell out of me what is happening to turn it back on. For a while I thought it might be because I'm on the same LAN as other Miracast devices, but no, it happens when I'm in my car too.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
I messed with it for a while this morning. It's tied to the Music app. Opening "Music" turns Screen Mirroring on for some reason. It doesn't go off until I manually enter settings to turn it off. That's seriously aggravating.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
Android 5 - "Lollipop" - was released today. Phones are finally getting user accounts and guest access and there's supposed to be notification prioritization in addition to the usual BS about improved performance and battery life.

I'm concerned about is the degree to which 5.0 will cripple access to USB storage, especially after the hassles of dealing with sandboxed access to the SD card in 4.4.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
I have come to the conclusion that I seriously, hard-core hate "Material Design", the chunky, information-sparse, candy-color UI theme on updated Android Applications. It's particularly obnoxious in Gmail, but it's also ruined some third party software I use. Material Design applications seem to be either moving or removing the functionality of the Menu button to a tap-able on-screen tool, so for example in Gmail the settings button no longer has any function and in Beyondpod there are actually multiple places on-screen where different settings can be configured besides those exposed by the Menu button.
That's just bad design.
 

Handruin

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
12,922
Location
USA
I've found some oddities in various apps that I've used as they shift over to the newer material design. I wasn't as offended as you with the gmail changes. I noticed the color changes and now the hovering pencil-like icon meant to craft new messages. Changing between gmail accounts seems to take an extra press or two but I wasn't bothered by the changes there. My reddit app changed drastically and that took some getting used to. I'm not arguing that the change is a good design, I just don't see a significant improvement. Maybe it will just take some time for apps to change over and make proper usage of the new UI.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
I see a Sony phone as more of an MDMA user's choice. Really, the iphone 6 (but not the 6+) is the perfect accessory to a coke habit.

Yes, if you like a Sony phone, you'll probably also dig bright lights and Ecstasy. And that's an official Android tip.
 
Last edited:

fb

Storage is cool
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
573
Location
Östersund, Sweden
I hate to say it, but a co worker got a Z3 and it seems to be pretty good (smooth ui, good camera and water resistant) even if it's preloaded with millions of apps that you don't want.

Personally I was looking really hard at the Moto X, but then the Nexus 6 came along.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
There was a pretty huge leak of specs on the LG G4 yesterday. It's going to be a tiny bit wider and taller but the same thickness as the G3. The screen is the same 2560x1440 IPS, but it's going to have a 64-bit CPU, and it will continue to have a replaceable battery and card reader. Apparently most of the improvements are related to the camera and external finish, which can optionally be leather for some reason.
I'm not a huge fan of LG's launcher or bloatware, but if I were looking for a flagship phone with decent specs, it seems like a good candidate.
 

Handruin

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2002
Messages
12,922
Location
USA
I'm not very happy with the update to Android 5.0.2 for my mobile device. AT&T was very slow in getting this release out to customers so I only got it a week ago or so for my HTC one M8. I'm not seeing much in the way of improvements from a functional OS level but instead I'm seeing two key areas of decent regression. One being battery life and the other being performance. I don't see many if any tangible benefits of 5.0.x over 4.4.4 to make it worth the decreased performance and battery life. The phone barely can last a day on a charge where it could easily have 50-60% battery based on my normal usage. Screens are sluggish to scroll and refresh that I'm no miss-pressing icons when the phone suggests what app to open things in. To amplify the problem I'm now leaving the power saver feature enabled which in-turn reduces the performance even more.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Messages
20,329
Location
I am omnipresent
Website
s-laker.org
Android 5 was also a huge let down for my Nexus 7. I'm not sure if it's Lollipop in general or something specific to the devices where I've used it, but I've been extremely unimpressed in my contact with it.
 

Chewy509

Wotty wot wot.
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
2,981
Location
Gold Coast Hinterland, Australia
I've recently updated to Lollipop on my Sony Z3 Compact, and so far it's been quite good. Battery life and UI performance is on-par or better in some cases (the phone dialler is better in Lollipop) than KitKat on this device. Not overly impressed with the new UI style (WTF is with the flat look everywhere these days), but the functions on the device work well.

However, I will stress this; when I upgraded to Lollipop, I immediately did a full factory reset including wipe of the /tmp folder on the phone**. Doing this may have avoided any potential issues from cropping up, leading to a better experience for myself.

** There have been some reports that battery life improves significantly once the /tmp partition (if present) is wiped after the upgrade, as there is old information located there that screws up the new applications/services that are running...
 
Last edited:
Top