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Thread: How do we not have an Android phone thread yet?

  1. #11
    Subaru Unimpreza SportWagon's Avatar
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    We didn't have an Android phone thread because I posted phone stuff into the Android tablet thread because Android phones are just little (usually) tablets with telephony capability. In fact, I've accumulated several quite useful aPods over the years, snapping up unlocked Android phone bargains at electronics liquidators, and using them without SIM cards.

    So my original Motorola Atrix (I'd acquired it soon after Cam's Hamilton GTXP) got to where its touch screen was flakey. Certain areas predictably registered beside and never at the correct location. That was about last December, exactly two years into the three year contract. I'd actually bought a prepaid (for same provider) Samsung Galaxy Discover a few weeks before, for aPod experimentation, before the flakiness, so I just switched the SIM card. Seemed to work OK, although mobile would seem to be unrecoverable after about a day or so, and seemed to need a reboot to fix. And all network use was pretty slow. The Galaxy Discover is a small cheap version to allow consumers to discover they need something better. But it is a very nice size.

    But I'd taken to haunting the displays at stores, trying to decide between an S4 and S4 Mini. Got talked last weekend into an S4 for the cost of my buyout plus only a small increment for a two-year contract on a customer loyalty plan.

    I was surprised he couldn't use my old SIM, as I learned I had a Mini SIM, whereas the S4 needs a Micro.



    (Someone pointed out to me that that so-called "Standard SIM" in the big blue diagram is in fact just a credit card; the "Normal SIM" in the other set of diagrams is the "Mini").

    SIMs being free to retailers and customers, they at the store didn't offer to trim my old one, although that is possible.

    A scam^H^H^H^Hservice Bell Canada is currently pushing is Push to Talk. "Just say DISABLE". Might be something reasonable for high-volume business users or something, but as an ordinary consumer the advantages seem to be more for the carrier than the consumer. Trouble is, until disabled, the PTT app tends to send bizarre notifications soliciting you to sign up. Almost seems like malware. Glad the web told me how to DISABLE it.

    The S4 certainly seems a bit more fragile in a number of ways than the old Atrix. And I'm still thinking "Perhaps I should have gone with the Mini". But you lose a few toys--IR transmitter at least--with the Mini. Display resolution would have been adequate (better than my old Atrix), whereas the Discover had noticeably bad resolution; web pages with tables would occasionally lose random horizontal dividers! Oh well, the Discover will remain a fun aPod, and perhaps I'll even try to root it.

    Another easily available prepaid I'd considered co-opting was the Huawei Ascend Y300. Around last Christmas when I'd got the Discover you'd see them for about $50 prepaid. But at $100 prepaid they still seem to get snapped up and was never there if I felt in the mood to really buy one. It looks thick compared to modern phones, but as I compare my Atrix to the new Galaxy, I think the thickness causes little inconvenience, and would seem to represent extra robustness.

  2. #12
    Director Freude am Fahren's Avatar
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    So I just discovered free tethering (FoxFi) my phone (NOTE 2, AT&T). It works great and now I feel better about getting a wifi-only tablet. However, apparently my work email (MS Exchange) prohibits internet sharing. Whenever I try to turn on a hotspot through FoxFi, it gives me that warning, and can't start a hotspot. The only way to get around it is to delete my work account.

    Is there A) a way around the security policies of my work account, or more likely, B) a way to just disable the account to allow sharing, rather than having to delete it. I don't want to have to set it all up and re-sync again whenever I need it.

  3. #13
    THE KING IN THE NORTH! TheBenior's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SportWagon View Post
    But I'd taken to haunting the displays at stores, trying to decide between an S4 and S4 Mini. Got talked last weekend into an S4 for the cost of my buyout plus only a small increment for a two-year contract on a customer loyalty plan.

    I was surprised he couldn't use my old SIM, as I learned I had a Mini SIM, whereas the S4 needs a Micro.

    A scam^H^H^H^Hservice Bell Canada is currently pushing is Push to Talk. "Just say DISABLE". Might be something reasonable for high-volume business users or something, but as an ordinary consumer the advantages seem to be more for the carrier than the consumer. Trouble is, until disabled, the PTT app tends to send bizarre notifications soliciting you to sign up. Almost seems like malware. Glad the web told me how to DISABLE it.

    The S4 certainly seems a bit more fragile in a number of ways than the old Atrix. And I'm still thinking "Perhaps I should have gone with the Mini". But you lose a few toys--IR transmitter at least--with the Mini. Display resolution would have been adequate (better than my old Atrix), whereas the Discover had noticeably bad resolution; web pages with tables would occasionally lose random horizontal dividers! Oh well, the Discover will remain a fun aPod, and perhaps I'll even try to root it.
    I probably wouldn't have bought an S4 Mini due to the gimped processor relative to the Galaxy S4. My old Galaxy S3 had (IIRC) a slightly slower version of the same processor as the S4 Mini, and that phone had gotten laggy as of late with newer versions of Android and when loaded with apps. Of course, if you mostly use your phone for web browsing and maps, then it might be fine, but I wouldn't count on Samsung not to half-ass updates after my experience with the Android 4.3 update on the S3 which made battery life noticeably worse. I recommend getting a decent case for the S4, as it and the predecessor S3 have a reputation for their screens being more easily cracked than their competitors. The S3 remains the only smartphone I cracked the screen on, and my iPhone 3G and HTC Evo took considerably more unprotected drops without incident.

    As for Push-to-Talk, I'm so glad that it lost it's popularity with ghetto black people in Chicago. I hated hearing that shit when I was on public transportation, or outside my apartment when I lived on the West Side.

  4. #14
    Subaru Unimpreza SportWagon's Avatar
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    Yeah, they did say the S4 Mini speed was slow. But for reasonable use, the only problem I noticed with the Discover was a lag before web pages finished loading. One of the salesmen said a normal customer wouldn't notice the speed difference. (On the other hand...) All-in-all I'm realizing what a great phone the Atrix was for its time. Shame about the (apparently common) touch screen failures.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freude am Fahren View Post
    So I just discovered free tethering (FoxFi) my phone (NOTE 2, AT&T). It works great and now I feel better about getting a wifi-only tablet. However, apparently my work email (MS Exchange) prohibits internet sharing. Whenever I try to turn on a hotspot through FoxFi, it gives me that warning, and can't start a hotspot. The only way to get around it is to delete my work account.

    Is there A) a way around the security policies of my work account, or more likely, B) a way to just disable the account to allow sharing, rather than having to delete it. I don't want to have to set it all up and re-sync again whenever I need it.
    Really weird that your work email disables your whole hotspot rather than merely refusing to work itself. Does your work MS Exchange provide owa? Surely then you could read email without it knowing what else you're doing. But then if they're so worried about something, they probably don't provide owa (outlook web application).

    These account security policies aren't really visible in Accounts settings, are they?

    Third-party tethering seems to be on its way out, in general, however.

    Hmm. So I see "Microsoft Exchange" is a special category of account. Could you access your work email via a normal IMAP account ("Email"), lose some functionality but avoid the security policy?

    (Unrelated: Gee I hate apps with unnecessary permissions.
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...SH.frogger_IGA
    Bah. That's meaningless for what I'm saying. Shouldn't permissions be visible even before you sign in to install? But if you start installing, it seems like really it's a survey app. Location? Accounts? Read/Modify USB Storage (hmm maybe it has save/restore game state?) Pay version still wants Accounts and Network Communication as well as USB storage. Hmm. Free version is ads version. Perhaps that explains Location.)

    Actually, using
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...addonsdetector
    it definitely seems that that alleged (proably legitimate) Konami Frogger app is quite rare in requiring at least one of its perms.
    Last edited by SportWagon; March 28th, 2014 at 03:48 PM.

  5. #15
    Director Freude am Fahren's Avatar
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    Actually they do have OWA. But that's kinda a pain compared to just integrating into the phone.

    I could try looking into IMAP, but I guess I'd lose my calendar.

  6. #16
    Subaru Unimpreza SportWagon's Avatar
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    Oh yes, calendar, right. I use calendar via owa, and mostly ignore my email on Exchange, since it's all also forwarded to places easier to use.

  7. #17
    THE KING IN THE NORTH! TheBenior's Avatar
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    Janelle finally got her unlocked AT&T HTC One (M7) to send MMS messages on T-Mobile's network. She had to root it to do so. It appears that AT&T hid some APN protocol settings that had to be changed to get MMS working on another network when they did the Kit Kat update.

  8. #18
    Subaru Unimpreza SportWagon's Avatar
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    Android is SO DUMB!

    How dumb is it???

    It's so dumb that when you set the time, there's no way to specify the seconds. Actually most Samsung and HTC devices do the obvious thing and reset seconds to zero when you enter, but other devices, e.g. Motorola, the seconds get remembered from what they were. So you can't get any closer to the actual time you want than 30 seconds. It's amazing that secure connections mostly work.

    It also won't let unrooted devices use GPS as a source for time sync, AFAICT.

  9. #19
    Corvette Enthusiast Kchrpm's Avatar
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    Most of them get time from the tower they're on, I believe. Have to admit, that's a complaint I don't think I've ever heard before. I've no clue how iOS handles it, for comparison.
    Get that weak shit off my track

  10. #20
    mAdminstrator Random's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kchrpm View Post
    Most of them get time from the tower they're on, I believe.
    Which was goddamn annoying when the tower at my house and the tower at the freeway were a minute off and the phone kept asking if it was ok to update the time (this was several years ago).
    Whoomah!

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