Google Android catch-all

What does this do exactly? GEL. As far as I can tell it's a new launcher that replaces TouchWiz. It doesn't seem to help with any of the underlying choices like the situation I have where I want to launch Google Now from a lock screen.

Yes, it's a new launcher -- if you switch to it, then it'll replace whatever launcher you're currently using. It has Google Now built-in, and it responds to voice commands from the home screen without having to explicitly open Google Now, or at least it does in the US (Google Now has never responded to voice commands in Australia without first having to hit the mic button, and it seems that it's still that way now). I'm not sure if it makes Google Now respond from the lock screen, but I suspect that it doesn't change anything there.

If you're not clear on what the launcher is, you can think of it as the app that launches when you hit your phone's home button (that, basically, is how Android treats it, too). I'm not sure exactly what else TouchWiz covers (I've been on stock Android since 4.0), but this won't replace the lock screen, or any other part of the phone.

pneuman wrote:

I'm not sure exactly what else TouchWiz covers (I've been on stock Android since 4.0), but this won't replace the lock screen, or any other part of the phone.

TouchWiz still exists with a launcher in place in things like menus, the S-voice stuff can still work, gestures, etc. I think you can even still use the split screen apps IIRC.

DSGamer wrote:

What does this do exactly? GEL. As far as I can tell it's a new launcher that replaces TouchWiz. It doesn't seem to help with any of the underlying choices like the situation I have where I want to launch Google Now from a lock screen.

The only thing I've seen which doesn't work are Touchwiz-reliant widgets, which need the Touchwiz launcher to support their features. Effectively your list of widgets when using GEL is smaller. I haven't found anything else missing. You can still use the Touchwiz feature which allows you to wake up the phone and unlock it using your voice if you wish (using the ineptly named Settings, My Device, Wake up in lock screen). In combination with the GEL/search this gives you near total voice control outside of apps.

I've been using Sony's Z1 for about 2 weeks now and I love it.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 is a beast and the phone flies.

I didn't think I would forget my S4 so quickly, but the, Z1 is that good.

The Sony interface is not as mature as Samsung's, but it's getting there. Slowly but surely.

CM seems to be testing quickly. I'll have to take it for a spin once it's finished.

I've been using Sony's Z1 for about 2 weeks now and I love it.
Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 is a beast and the phone flies.

I didn't think I would forget my S4 so quickly, but the, Z1 is that good.

The Sony interface is not as mature as Samsung's, but it's getting there. Slowly but surely.

CM seems to be testing quickly. I'll have to take it for a spin once it's finished.

Was at best buy this weekend and got to hold a NOte 3 for a few. Really nice!

DSGamer wrote:

Well, it's not trivial, but I think I've cleared most of the hurdles. I just paid money for software to transfer my 18,000 text messages from my iPhone to the Note. I still need to figure out the most efficient way to "sync" the iPhoto albums I've cultivated for carrying around on my phone. There are probably challenges yet to come, but I'm pretty comfortable.

Curious now a little bit later what notable absences you've found as well as notable gains, in switching. For instance, there are undoubtedly games and media apps that are unavailable or lesser creatures on Android, and I'm curious about them, but maybe you've also found some specific joys in the freedom and maybe apps (e.g., ssh or IRC apps, etc.) on Android.

Anybody know the path where Play Music stores your pinned MP3s? Just bought a free song, and was going to copy it to my server straight off the phone. A quick look around didn't find this particular song, even though I pinned it local.

Good luck, they make local songs downloaded from their server almost impossible to find. I love Google Music, but I can't get any my music to a local device, even though I uploaded all my music to Google Music. I've never bought anything from GM.

That's what the standalone Music Manager application is for. The same one that uploads lets you download.

EverythingsTentative wrote:

Good luck, they make local songs downloaded from their server almost impossible to find. I love Google Music, but I can't get any my music to a local device, even though I uploaded all my music to Google Music. I've never bought anything from GM.

You can download from the web, but they allow a song to be downloaded only twice. Or you can download your purchased library unlimited times through the Windows Music Manager, but I can't see how to do just one song that way.

That's why I just thought I'd do it through the phone. I think I've only bought songs that were free on Google Music, and this is probably why. Amazon does it better.

muraii wrote:
DSGamer wrote:

Well, it's not trivial, but I think I've cleared most of the hurdles. I just paid money for software to transfer my 18,000 text messages from my iPhone to the Note. I still need to figure out the most efficient way to "sync" the iPhoto albums I've cultivated for carrying around on my phone. There are probably challenges yet to come, but I'm pretty comfortable.

Curious now a little bit later what notable absences you've found as well as notable gains, in switching. For instance, there are undoubtedly games and media apps that are unavailable or lesser creatures on Android, and I'm curious about them, but maybe you've also found some specific joys in the freedom and maybe apps (e.g., ssh or IRC apps, etc.) on Android.

That post will happen pretty soon. I don't have the energy (fighting a nasty cold) to do that today, but I sold my iPhone yesterday. So I'm on the Note 3 firmly at this point. Part of it is that I have to learn what apps are available that aren't on iPhone. But so far, other than the beautiful screen, which was my main reason for switching I'm enjoying things like the fact that you can "type" emails via voice almost flawlessly. Or that you can get information at a glance with the gadgets on the main screen.

Ugh. I've been looking around for a new Android phone, but I really like physical keyboards and the options seem pretty blah. The Droid 4 has a lot of negative reviews for battery life, software glitches, freezes and other things. The LG Enact looks nice, but not very fast or powerful. Not looking good for me.

Nexus 5?

Kurrelgyre wrote:

Nexus 5?

He said physical keyboard.

Not a lot of those left.

MannishBoy wrote:
Kurrelgyre wrote:

Nexus 5?

He said physical keyboard.

Not a lot of those left.

Yeah, that's pretty much a dead feature now, and whatever phone you do find it in will probably suffer in other areas.

Embrace the swipe gesture keyboard.

So, like I said, Nexus 5?

The Verge had a good article about the death of the physical keyboard recently:

http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/15/5...

Yeah I was pretty happy with the old Moto Droid because of the keyboard. But once I got into the swype beta I began to stop using it. Now I'm just annoyed with the wife's iPad when I use it to type because it doesn't have the swype-style default android keyboard.

Stele wrote:

Yeah I was pretty happy with the old Moto Droid because of the keyboard. But once I got into the swype beta I began to stop using it. Now I'm just annoyed with the wife's iPad when I use it to type because it doesn't have the swype-style default android keyboard. :D

I bought the G1 and never really got to use Swype much, as the phone was too slow to run... anything, really. But I was a big fan of slide-out keyboards then, hence why I thought the G1 was so much cooler than a first-gen iPhone.

But now there's no way I would want a slide-out keyboard bulking the crap out of my phone. A swipe gesture keyboard on a 5"+ screen is great.

I installed an unofficial nightly of CM11 on my VZW Galaxy Nexus and it's been good. Much better than 4.3 ever was.

Newb question but is there a way to edit my keyboard to delete certain words?

I swipe too fast and as a result I get extremely random and obscure words. Frustratingly so obscure I honestly question why they are even an option.

Fief? Yuri? Dhabi? Serrano? Shako? whaaaaat?

Drives me nuts that I can't swear but I can probably swype in Shakespearean.

If you use Swiftkey, you just tell it to forget the word when you see it pop up in the suggestion box.

So Google Wallet available for all devices now?

Got an e-mail about it Tues with a link to the app store, and it says it's compatible with my GNex, and is installing now. App date is listed as Tues also, so seems new?

Thought I remembered some issues when it released that it wouldn't work with this Verizon version or something?

Or have I just been missing out for months?

So the fancy dialer that looks up business info if you call them/they call you, and lets you search for a business from the dialer, is currently Nexus 5 only. I've downloaded the dialer app, but apparently there's something weird where the dialer app ties in to a different app and it doesn't work right on non-N5 phones, resulting in the ability to place calls, but when you're on the call the screen that shows the end call button and stuff is invisible. Anyone find something that works?

So actually I just stuck the default dialer back in there and have a shortcut to the N5 dialer on the home screen and the switchover is transparent. When I hang up it takes me back to the N5 dialer.

MannishBoy wrote:

Anybody know the path where Play Music stores your pinned MP3s? Just bought a free song, and was going to copy it to my server straight off the phone. A quick look around didn't find this particular song, even though I pinned it local.

The pinned tracks are piled somewhere under /data/android. Even if you buy them outright (as opposed to pin them). Note that the individual tracks don't have ID3 tags, or album cover art -- that stuff is maintained in GM app's database, which is a separate set of files. For those reasons, when I buy MP3s, I still buy them from Amazon. They're nicely named, tagged, and come with album art embedded, as well as a separate album art jpegs if you download an entire album.

Gah, more HTC crapness. Single press on the headphone button pauses the music. Double press skips to the next track and dials the last number you called. WTF? How does this stuff get through QA?

Gorilla.800.lbs wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:

Anybody know the path where Play Music stores your pinned MP3s? Just bought a free song, and was going to copy it to my server straight off the phone. A quick look around didn't find this particular song, even though I pinned it local.

The pinned tracks are piled somewhere under /data/android. Even if you buy them outright (as opposed to pin them). Note that the individual tracks don't have ID3 tags, or album cover art -- that stuff is maintained in GM app's database, which is a separate set of files. For those reasons, when I buy MP3s, I still buy them from Amazon. They're nicely named, tagged, and come with album art embedded, as well as a separate album art jpegs if you download an entire album.

I don't know that you can find them. I tried looking myself and couldn't see anything. I think that Google's intent is to obfuscate their location for security and all of that. Kind of like how MP3s transferred from iTunes to an iPod or iPhone get stuck in folders with sequential numbers as names.