Google Android catch-all

Kurrelgyre wrote:

What the heck's a "Hall Effect" sensor?

My initial thought was that it's for the magnets embedded inside the cover now that there's a flip cover accessory, but the Nexus 7 has that feature too and there's no Hall Effect sensor listed in its specs, so that might not be it.

https://play.google.com/store/device...

My second thought is that it's related to the new Qi charging pad, since there's magnets embedded in that as well.

Lol yeah.. I think the carriers all want their subsidized devices to "break" at the 2 year mark MAX. This new "annual upgrade" plan that they all have is also a bad idea.. essentially you pay more every year than the subsidized price every 2 years... but you get new shiny every year and continue to lock into them.

If work didnt pay for my phones(s) I would buy an unlocked Android phone and stick a $50 prepaid SIM from one of the bigger MNVO's and give the carriers the middle finger.

So apparently Titanium Backup is broken on the new Galaxy S4 ROM. I'm guessing it has to do with the Knox security stuff, but am not sure.

I'm on two updates back still. Guess I'll wait a bit more, or move to the Play version ROM.

I kinda regret trying that Knox app out myself. I do not want to reset everything to remove that damn notifications though. Lesson learned, if someone tells me some on-smartphone app is rubbish _and_ annoying, better avoid it at all cost.

Looks like Google is pulling a Facebook in 4.4: the home screen is Google Search.

I assume this means that Google will default to knowing most or all of what you're doing with your phone.

edit: and to whatever degree Android was ever an open platform, it's certainly a lot less open now.

That article someone posted the other day shows just how "open" Android is these days.. almost makes you feel sorry for Amazon.

TheGameguru wrote:

That article someone posted the other day shows just how "open" Android is these days.. almost makes you feel sorry for Amazon.

Yeah, they only get most of an OS for free now. Somehow I think they'll manage!

Malor wrote:

Looks like Google is pulling a Facebook in 4.4: the home screen is Google Search.

I assume this means that Google will default to knowing most or all of what you're doing with your phone.

edit: and to whatever degree Android was ever an open platform, it's certainly a lot less open now.

I suspect the main reason for doing this is the new Google Now integration in the launcher. It's definitely a shame that the launcher improvements aren't open-source, but I think it's a jump to suggest that Google is tracking everything happening in the launcher until there's some evidence that that's the case.

I think the dialer and messaging changes are more interesting. The new dialer is almost certainly closed-source, which sucks, but it does make a tonne of sense to leverage Google's database of business phone numbers in the dialer -- it's a wonder it's taken them this long. The traditional Messages app is missing on the Nexus 5 too, AFAICT, replaced by the newly-SMS-capable Hangouts app.

I can't wait to see what reviews make of both of these things. They could be great improvements, but if they're not universally-loved then I'm sure someone will have versions of the stock AOSP apps in the Play Store very quickly, just as there are already several AOSP-based launchers there.

Here is the article everyone is referring to.

Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary.

Android is open—except for all the good parts.

I hope now that Cyanogen has Incorporated, they will make good open source alternatives to everything Google is close-sourcing with similar functionality.

Edwin wrote:

Android is open—except for all the good parts.

How much of Samsung's "good parts" has been released for inclusion into AOSP? Of Amazon's? Of HTC's?

Who said any of those were good? In my opinion, they aren't.

Samsung's good parts begin and end at the hardware. The software is just a garbage dump of every random idea they could come up with.

Cannot wait for CMod to release for the Note 3.

My point is that much like other mature OSS projects, or those where releases are also simply thrown over the wall rather than being really developed in the open, there's little incentive for adopters to keep plugging away at the open core. Google may be following that same path of ignore the core to focus on their value-add, but pretty much everyone is already, and their's at least is set up in a way that the device owners can usually find a way to get it even when it's not Nexus hardware.

And I would really love to have Samsung's Reading Mode on my first-gen Nexus 7. It pretty much does the same job as f.lux does on Mac and Windows, but can even be set to toggle per-app. It's the biggest thing I'll miss about my Galaxy Note 8 when it's gone.

Stele wrote:

Makes me ready to ditch Verizon at this point.

Not sure where else to go though. ATT generally sucks. Sprint and TM have crappy coverage. Ugh.

I'm in the same boat. TMo is basically unusable around here if you're in a rural area, and I am in rural areas a lot. My work phone is through Sprint and that's got coverage nearly everywhere I go, but with a lack of LTE almost everywhere, poor 3G speeds, and just being a CDMA carrier, what's the point?

AT&T, I dunno. I'm hoping to eventually find someone with a spare phone I can borrow to try it out.

General Crespin wrote:

I'm in the same boat. TMo is basically unusable around here if you're in a rural area, and I am in rural areas a lot. My work phone is through Sprint and that's got coverage nearly everywhere I go, but with a lack of LTE almost everywhere, poor 3G speeds, and just being a CDMA carrier, what's the point?

Sprint was that way here for a year or two, but it's actually gotten much better as they're new network has rolled out.

TheGameguru wrote:

Lol yeah.. I think the carriers all want their subsidized devices to "break" at the 2 year mark MAX. This new "annual upgrade" plan that they all have is also a bad idea.. essentially you pay more every year than the subsidized price every 2 years... but you get new shiny every year and continue to lock into them.

If work didnt pay for my phones(s) I would buy an unlocked Android phone and stick a $50 prepaid SIM from one of the bigger MNVO's and give the carriers the middle finger.

Done any research on which phone and which MVNOs would be good for this?

Net10 uses both AT&T's and T-Mobile's networks, and recently have gone back to "unlimited" data on both. You can find SIM kits to use your own unlocked phone at GameStop and Wal-Mart, although it may not come with all sizes for both networks--you pick which one you want to actually be on from the different cards in the kit, but last I looked there was no nano-SIM for T-Mobile in there.

MannishBoy wrote:
General Crespin wrote:

I'm in the same boat. TMo is basically unusable around here if you're in a rural area, and I am in rural areas a lot. My work phone is through Sprint and that's got coverage nearly everywhere I go, but with a lack of LTE almost everywhere, poor 3G speeds, and just being a CDMA carrier, what's the point?

Sprint was that way here for a year or two, but it's actually gotten much better as they're new network has rolled out.

3G speed, coverage, or what?

General Crespin wrote:

3G speed, coverage, or what?

4G, coverage quality.

I often get pretty impressive 4G speeds. There are some frustrating dead zones where there isn't coverage and you think it would be populated enough for another tower, but it's improved a lot in the last year.

Still not perfect, but much improved.

I'm pretty happy with Simple Mobile. T-Mobile network, 1GB of data at "4G" for $40 (which comes out to slightly above $45 with taxes and fees in my area), 3GB for $50, 5GB for $60.

The website is kind of clunky but my service has been as good as my roomate's T-Mobile (which makes sense, obviously) but for $10 cheaper a month at each tier, with more data. And it's been great for internet access when our cable line went out for a week. If I have a good signal I can easily stream Hulu and whatnot.

I'd overlooked that the Nexus 5 screen was nearly 5" but higher resolution than 1080p. It's...gorgeous. Even if it lacks some saturation when compared directly against the screen of an iPhone, up close it's still hard to see the individual pixels, and at a regular distance the software back button's curve looks unbelievably smooth and text is nice and sharp.

Kurrelgyre wrote:

I'd overlooked that the Nexus 5 screen was nearly 5" but higher resolution than 1080p. It's...gorgeous. Even if it lacks some saturation when compared directly against the screen of an iPhone, up close it's still hard to see the individual pixels, and at a regular distance the software back button's curve looks unbelievably smooth and text is nice and sharp.

Erica Griffin just got her hands on one. I'm expecting some very detailed display tests and charts from her in the next week or so. She's always good for those.

Do you anticipate the lack of a replaceable battery will be a significant issue for you? A friend of mine has a Nexus 4 and swears by the ability to swap out. We've discussed it several times in this thread as well. It's a curious move. I don't have a dog in this fight, but am really intrigued by the nice pricing as I'm facing down the last few months on my Verizon contract.

Kurrelgyre wrote:

A 72 minute long review of the Nexus 4? Yes, please.

That's pretty typical for her in-depth reviews. All top tier devices tend to get one. She should have one for the Nexus 5 in a few weeks.

muraii wrote:

Do you anticipate the lack of a replaceable battery will be a significant issue for you? A friend of mine has a Nexus 4 and swears by the ability to swap out. We've discussed it several times in this thread as well. It's a curious move. I don't have a dog in this fight, but am really intrigued by the nice pricing as I'm facing down the last few months on my Verizon contract.

Yes and no. There are always days when I manage to run down the battery of the Nexus 4 or iPhone 5 completely (today, in fact), but I've never been one to keep a spare charged battery with me when they were replaceable, either. Now that USB charging batteries are readily available and usually for less than an OEM replacement battery, if I was really concerned, I'd just get one of those and use it with whatever device needed it. It's no accident that you can find Lightning and micro-USB cables less than one foot long.

Kurrelgyre wrote:

Now that USB charging batteries are readily available and usually for less than an OEM replacement battery, if I was really concerned, I'd just get one of those and use it with whatever device needed it. It's no accident that you can find Lightning and micro-USB cables less than one foot long.

I think you're mistaken about the cost for replacement batteries. Especially if you'll go non-OEM (after all, the USB battery is "non-OEM"). I've bought two S4 batteries plus an external charger for $12. And if you want an OEM battery off of ebay, they're $11.

I like the ability to swap batteries as much for being able to effectively "refresh" my phone a year plus into it's life to go back to fresh batteries that last all day again.

Verizon pretty much owns my soul at this point. I'm thinking that I'll get the Moto X for my next phone (replacing my Galaxy Nexus). I was a bit bummed that the Nexus 5 will not work on Verizon.

Got a flyer for a sale at Big Lots starting Saturday for a $70 android tablet plus case plus keyboard.

So I thought about it and the first thing that comes to mind is, if I root it, can I get it back to stock?

I know a $70 tablet sounds horrible, but two facts have come upon me: 1) my mom needs a new computer, 2) I merely want my dream tablet (power and stylus of a Surface Pro 2, 10" retina-like display and waterproof - in case you know of any like that :)), what I have use/slight need of is a backup computer for my PC, (cause it's hard to order off newegg when your computer is broken), plus it looks like the one on sale will be a proscan 7, described on amazon as "the cheapest functional tablet" - which is perfect.

RolandofGilead wrote:

I know a $70 tablet sounds horrible

Yes it does.

http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/1311907/?fwcs=ta444242

You might be able to get a 2012 Nexus 7 for $100. Much better investment I think.

The Proscan doesn't have any community support that I've been able to find (if it's the 7223). I can find no rooting instructions for it.

A 2012 Nexus 7 is worlds better. It has double the memory (512MB vs 1GB), at least double the space (4GB vs 8GB), and double the processor cores. The battery can easily be replaced. Repairs are easy and parts are readily found. You also won't have to worry about getting the latest version of Android or being stuck without community support for rooting/modification.

The keyboard case that comes with the Proscan can be found for $5-8 online. Quality-wise I think it's awful and I'd rather get a cheap bluetooth keyboard. However, it's all in what you expect.