Google Android catch-all

EriktheRed wrote:
Chairman_Mao wrote:

Qualcomm's next flagship SoC finally integrates the 5G modem, so next year's top tier phones might actually be worth getting.

What does this actually mean for the consumer? Major performance improvements?

It should mean better battery life, first and foremost. It also means more consistent performance across devices, since there can be no variation in the chip layout.

Not exactly Android related, but T-Mobile related so I'm putting it here. They're offering 5G Home internet service in my area now for $50 a month, claiming "up to" 150/150 up/down speeds. Going to trial it for a month. Currently getting 100/5 from Comcast for $55. If they deliver a quarter of the claimed upload speed I'll be happy--would have to pay Comcast twice as much to get the same.

I got a similar flier in the mail. And being on Google Fi, sometimes my phone is on T-Mobile 4G here at my house. I have done speed tests with that and get 100/15. That's better than what I currently get with Spectrum (70/5) and $10 cheaper to boot.

I'm tempted to just switch. But I'm also tempted to call Spectrum to cancel and just see if they'll match the price and/or speed. A lot less hassle.

Hotspot arrives around the 29th. I also like the idea of freeing my modem from the damn cable connection. Creates a real hassle with finding ideal placement when I can't place it anywhere other than next to my entertainment setup.

I am always worried about latency on these services, at least when it comes to online gaming. I'd love to know what people's experiences are like.

EriktheRed wrote:

I am always worried about latency on these services, at least when it comes to online gaming. I'd love to know what people's experiences are like.

one of the benefits of 5g is that it should not suffer the latency problems that 4g and older bands have. Will see if that's true!

Chairman_Mao wrote:
EriktheRed wrote:

I am always worried about latency on these services, at least when it comes to online gaming. I'd love to know what people's experiences are like.

one of the benefits of 5g is that it should not suffer the latency problems that 4g and older bands have. Will see if that's true!

It depends on the carrier. On Verizon, which is rolling out 5g on high frequencies only, it usually won't work, unless you live in a major city. If you do live in a major city, then when you have direct line of sight to an antenna, you can get outstanding, low-latency speed, although the latency is more a function of load than of pure frequency. (Each tower is served by one or more physical circuits, so the more people using it at any given moment, the worse your ping and performance will be.) But about 99% of the customer base, almost everyone not in a central downtown somewhere, won't see any benefit. Coverage is so limited and granular that they can't even cover a whole stadium with mmWave. In a 'supported' stadium, only some of the areas will be in 5G signal range.

The high frequencies Verizon uses don't penetrate anything, they bounce off anything physical, including you, so facing the wrong way (interposing your body between the phone and the antenna) can put your phone into the 5G shadow cast by your head. In dense urban areas, they can actually use reflected and bounced signals (ones that hit glass and reflect) to improve overall reception a bunch, but that's the only place that trick works. And even your hand will block signals, so phones have to scatter antennas all over their bodies and hope to get a peek at a 5G antenna, or a direct bounce from one, on at least one of them.

On Verizon, when it works, it will be excellent. But you have to be in just the right spot for it to work.

What T-Mobile gets from 5G is, generally, penetration. They're deploying it on a bunch of new low-frequency bands that they won at auction and from when they bought Sprint. Their old bands were terrible at penetrating buildings; that's why you had to go outside to make calls so often. The new 5G bands will penetrate much, much better, so anywhere that has 5G coverage should be much smoother, both indoors and in remote, forested areas.

But, on TM, they won't be much faster. Using purely 5G on a given frequency band is about 20% more efficient than 4G was. If they could serve a gigabit to a given area before, now they'll be able to do about 1.2Gb. For speed (and, probably, latency), it should rarely be transformational. It's reliability that will improve, or the ability to get coverage at all in rural areas.

My expectation is that if you are a TM customer, you will want a 5G phone very much. 5G phones will work better, because they'll have access to better frequencies. They will be much more reliable, and slightly faster, but because of the frequencies, not 5G itself.

If you're on Verizon, it appears that few customers will benefit. They're marketing the hell out of a feature that only a tiny fraction of their subscriber base can use.

I'm not sure what AT&T's plans are. I don't deal with or think about them at all.

Well friends, the lease on my Note 10+ is up next month with Sprint/T-Mobile, and I wanna buy my next phone outright rather than do this lease sh*t. I really like the Note, so I’m eyeing the Note 20, but there’s word BlackBerry will have a new phone this year and I’d love a physical keyboard.

My current plan is to buy out the Note 10 for the time being and wait to see what else comes out this year, but if y’all have any suggestions as to an amazing phone I might not have considered, I’d love to hear it. Thank you.

With the update to 11 an infuriating bug came back on my Galaxy 20. When I pause my podcast app, via bluetooth, no matter what it starts my audiobook player app when I click pause again to resume. Swiping the app away and long press remove from the quick access player bar doesn't help. The only way, I have found, to prevent it is to force quit the audiobook app through the control panel. Really inconvenient.

Veloxi wrote:

Well friends, the lease on my Note 10+ is up next month with Sprint/T-Mobile, and I wanna buy my next phone outright rather than do this lease sh*t. I really like the Note, so I’m eyeing the Note 20, but there’s word BlackBerry will have a new phone this year and I’d love a physical keyboard.

My current plan is to buy out the Note 10 for the time being and wait to see what else comes out this year, but if y’all have any suggestions as to an amazing phone I might not have considered, I’d love to hear it. Thank you.

I was eyeing the Note 20 myself - my Note 8 is getting crankier and crankier, requiring hard reboots pretty frequently now - but it seems silly to buy a Note 20 when the 21s are going to be formally announced later this week.

EvilDead wrote:

With the update to 11 an infuriating bug came back on my Galaxy 20. When I pause my podcast app, via bluetooth, no matter what it starts my audiobook player app when I click pause again to resume. Swiping the app away and long press remove from the quick access player bar doesn't help. The only way, I have found, to prevent it is to force quit the audiobook app through the control panel. Really inconvenient.

What two apps are you using for podcasts and audiobooks?

I've noticed for a bit that PocketCasts will not auto-resume on my Galaxy S20+ if interrupted by the Google Assistant. Sent in a bug email to them, but they're not as responsive as they were in the days pre-NPR takeover. Used to always hear back in a day.

That said, I've had problems for a bit with Listen Audiobooks randomly resuming incorrectly via bluetooth play button on my headphones. It will have a garbled sound like it's doubling up playback, then revert way back in the book. If you go into the detailed history of playback, you can see a bunch of timestamps all at once from current spot in a book back to the old timestamp. I'm in the beta track and have been talking to the dev. It hasn't happened in a few days, but has been going on for months.

Another annoyance I found out about Android 11 is that you can no longer go into the app data at Internal Storage/Android/data (or similar on SD card) any more and see files. Apparently it's a security change so other apps can't monitor folders they don't own, but it's killed me being able to copy MP3's out of my library Overdrive folder into a more fully functioning audiobook accessible folder app like Listen or Smart Audiobooks. So I just download them to PC and do the same, but it's annoying. After I started trying to figure out what was going on, I found a lot of complaints and lot of use cases where this change causes problems for people.

Pocket Casts and Smart Audiobook player. I just found a random reddit thread where the only reply is the guy commenting on his own issue. He said he switched the audio decoder, in SAB player, from app to system decoder and it worked for him. I'm testing now and so far so good. No idea why that is even an option.

MannishBoy wrote:

Another annoyance I found out about Android 11 is that you can no longer go into the app data at Internal Storage/Android/data (or similar on SD card) any more and see files. Apparently it's a security change so other apps can't monitor folders they don't own, but it's killed me being able to copy MP3's out of my library Overdrive folder into a more fully functioning audiobook accessible folder app like Listen or Smart Audiobooks. So I just download them to PC and do the same, but it's annoying. After I started trying to figure out what was going on, I found a lot of complaints and lot of use cases where this change causes problems for people.

My friend was just complaining about this as well. So you used to do this via an app file browser? I had just always used the PC in the past and never thought about doing it all on the phone.

Anyways you think they would be able allow a copy or move to command without the app being able to read the contents of the secondary folder.

EvilDead wrote:

Pocket Casts and Smart Audiobook player. I just found a random reddit thread where the only reply is the guy commenting on his own issue. He said he switched the audio decoder, in SAB player, from app to system decoder and it worked for him. I'm testing now and so far so good. No idea why that is even an option.

I have had similar behaviors before, just not lately. So thanks for doing the leg work in case I need it

MannishBoy wrote:

Another annoyance I found out about Android 11 is that you can no longer go into the app data at Internal Storage/Android/data (or similar on SD card) any more and see files. Apparently it's a security change so other apps can't monitor folders they don't own, but it's killed me being able to copy MP3's out of my library Overdrive folder into a more fully functioning audiobook accessible folder app like Listen or Smart Audiobooks. So I just download them to PC and do the same, but it's annoying. After I started trying to figure out what was going on, I found a lot of complaints and lot of use cases where this change causes problems for people.

My friend was just complaining about this as well. So you used to do this via an app file browser? I had just always used the PC in the past and never thought about doing it all on the phone.

Anyways you think they would be able allow a copy or move to command without the app being able to read the contents of the secondary folder.

Yeah, I'd just go into Samsung's My Files app and move them on the fly without having to plug into the PC. I've still got Sprint's old REAL unlimited data, so it was nice to be able to do on the go even away from home. Even had the Overdrive folder and my Audiobooks folder favorited in the My Files app so it was quick.

This reminds me of their "security" changes to the SD card that made it near impossible to get Google Photos to be able to delete photos if you store your pictures on the SD. Also made me do about 5 extra steps to set up Audiobook apps' access to my SD card's Audiobook folder

Uhhg, that is so annoying. Hopefully it's an oversight and they can give certain file explorers some sort of higher privilege level so the user can make changes.

Chairman_Mao wrote:

Not exactly Android related, but T-Mobile related so I'm putting it here. They're offering 5G Home internet service in my area now for $50 a month, claiming "up to" 150/150 up/down speeds. Going to trial it for a month. Currently getting 100/5 from Comcast for $55. If they deliver a quarter of the claimed upload speed I'll be happy--would have to pay Comcast twice as much to get the same.

I use T-Mobile for our phones, but the limitations of their current 1st gen 5G router hardware made their internet service a no-go for us. Some things to be aware of:

- You will not be able to configure it as a bridge (aka use your own router like with a cable modem). This means double NAT if you use your own router, which can interfere with some games and other connectivity.
- There are no typical router features such as port forwarding, site VPN, and controlling which ports are blocked with its firewall (it doesn't allow any incoming connections).
- No support for IPv6.
- If you use a VPN for work, it may not function.

You may not need any of this, but it's good stuff to know!

Ouch. Yeah VPN for work is a must right now.

Thanks Lou! So it turns out 5g is not actually available yet in my area, so I ended up with a 4g lte modem instead. Boo.

That said, it does support IPv6 and I have not had any trouble connecting to my corporate VPN, and it hasn't choked yet with three of us having video conferencing going at once.

That said, when it comes to twitchy gaming, so far it has been awful. Packet loss is through the roof. Rocket League is barely playable, COD MW remastered on PS4 survives the NAT hell that game can cause, but it's a stutter fest when things get busy.

I may end up keeping it because Xfinity dies in the video conferencing scenario, and work/school is by far the majority of our internet usage these days.

The 4G hardware is a lot better for sure, outside of speed and latency. Kind of makes me wish we were given the option.

New Samsung phones launched... lots of features I like, one I really really don't: no more microSD card slot

Chairman_Mao wrote:

New Samsung phones launched... lots of features I like, one I really really don't: no more microSD card slot :(

Crap.

First they came for my replaceable batteries.
Then my headphone jack.
Now they've taken my SD card slot!

I've got a 500GB card in my S20+ right now. Just moved from a 200GB that was almost full. Mainly of audiobooks.

Why do they want to get every hardware advantage they have over Apple? I guess the tech enthusiast that might use these things don't set trends any more enough to matter.

Pretty much all of those changes are to be able to say that the phone is water resistant, I believe.

Turns out most people find that to be a more compelling selling point.

S20 is already IP68, S21s aren't any better. My thought is that it's just about cutting down on customer complaints by simplifying the hardware. Which is a pretty lame approach, IMO.

Still, they're offering $700 to upgrade from a phone T-Mobile comped me, so I could get the S21 Ultra 512GB for about $600 including tax...

MannishBoy wrote:
Chairman_Mao wrote:

New Samsung phones launched... lots of features I like, one I really really don't: no more microSD card slot :(

Crap.

Ugh. UGH I SAY! Much for the same reason as you Mannish--audiobooks and just my general music library. I don't want to waste cell data or worry about quality loss streaming any media that I can just download myself and plug it into the phone

r013nt0 wrote:

Pretty much all of those changes are to be able to say that the phone is water resistant, I believe.

Turns out most people find that to be a more compelling selling point.

All those changes are to save money for the manufacture or increase sales by building in a wear part that can't easily be replaced (battery).

r013nt0 wrote:

Pretty much all of those changes are to be able to say that the phone is water resistant, I believe.

Turns out most people find that to be a more compelling selling point.

My Galaxy S5 was waterproof and it had an SD Card slot, a swappable battery, and a headphone jack. Also an IR blaster, notification light, fingerprint scanner, heart rate monitor, and probably more I am forgetting. IMO the Galaxy S line peaked there and has been downhill ever since.

MannishBoy wrote:
r013nt0 wrote:

Pretty much all of those changes are to be able to say that the phone is water resistant, I believe.

Turns out most people find that to be a more compelling selling point.

All those changes are to save money for the manufacture or increase sales by building in a wear part that can't easily be replaced (battery).

Agreed, this is all about saving money and selling at a cheaper price point.

S21 compared to S20

+Better CPU/GPU
-4GB less RAM 8 vs 12
-worse screen 2400 x 1080 pixels vs 3200 x 1440
-No SD expansion slot

It doesn't look like there are any changes to the camera or Bluetooth spec either.

As to the waterproofing argument on the SD card, the SD card is in the same slot as the seemingly unchanged SIM card slot. So there's no reductions in openings on the device.

Huh. I mean, that's why the manufacturers were saying that they were removing headphone jacks and whatnot when that was the latest trend, so I assumed it was the same.

They have been touting the water thing for years.

IMAGE(https://i.ytimg.com/vi/a8FJPPFR6x0/maxresdefault.jpg)

This really killed my upgrade hype. I was looking forward to the new buds and a superior phone for a couple hundred after trade-in. (I would have gotten that money back with my Perksatwork too.)