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General Android OS Discussion
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chavez
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PostPosted: Nov 01, 2013 8:09 am    Post subject: General Android OS Discussion Reply with quote

So I'm ditching the S4.

Just not happy with this thing. Way too many bugs, crashes, stutters, and other annoying issues.

Next up - Droid Maxx vs iPhone5. Have both on their way to me. I already know what I am getting in the ip5, but the Droid Maxx is a wildcard.

Anyone have a Maxx? How do you like it? Is the voice activation worth the price or admission?

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PostPosted: Nov 02, 2013 6:41 am    Post subject: Re: Ditching my Galaxy S4... Reply with quote

So far this phone is way, way better than the S4. Build quality is incredibly better. It just more solid and sturdy. Transitions between apps and functions are "buttery" smooth as Googles devs intended. Voice commands work exactly as described.

Auto Awesome is slick as hell too. Check this out: https://plus.google.com/108564477708504417771/posts/MuhsxPhzrYQ

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PostPosted: Nov 02, 2013 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nexus 5?
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PostPosted: Nov 02, 2013 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any particular reason why you keep testing out all these different Android phones?
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PostPosted: Nov 02, 2013 8:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

N5 not on Verizon or I'd have that. Same for developer edition S4 and HTC1.

Trying to find one that hasn't been molested by its creators to the point where it works like crap. Both the HTC1 and the S4 overlays were pure stuff. TouchWiz was worse than sense, but they both are like taking a Ferrari and forcing it to tow a boat anchor around all the time.

So far the Maxx has been fantastic. Everything about it is better than both the HTC1 and s4.

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PostPosted: Nov 02, 2013 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you considered rooting it back to a stock build of Android? I really like stock, and the changes that are being made with Kit Kat sound pretty kick ass.
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PostPosted: Nov 03, 2013 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scott a wrote:
Have you considered rooting it back to a stock build of Android? I really like stock, and the changes that are being made with Kit Kat sound pretty kick ass.


If I do that I'd be in a gray area as far as using the phone for work goes (compliance reasons). Otherwise I would have.

The current droids (and moto x) are slated to get Kit Kat shortly according to Motorola.

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PostPosted: Nov 05, 2013 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, it didn't really take me long, but the Maxx is now my permanent device, and the iP5 was sold to a co-worker.

For me anyway, once the Android was out of the bag, there was no going back. I'd miss way too many things the phone can do vs the iPhone. Still like iOS as an OS, just not as my primary device.

Now the only question is "to case or not to case" and right now it's leaning to not.

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PostPosted: Nov 06, 2013 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chavez wrote:
For me anyway, once the Android was out of the bag, there was no going back. I'd miss way too many things the phone can do vs the iPhone. Still like iOS as an OS, just not as my primary device.
Yeah. I'll never question why someone prefers iOS (because it's solid), but for me Android is a better "information getter" than iOS at this time. And it's only going to get better with Kit Kat.
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PostPosted: Nov 06, 2013 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scott a, exactly. Before ICS there was no question which OS I preferred. Right now, for me (and me only) I prefer Android as my OS. I won't even recommend it to most people, unless they are pretty tech literate.

I have a co-worker in the office who has a GSIII. She is not tech literate by any stretch. That phone is about as stock as stock can get, which basically defeats the purpose of Android. If she had come to me and asked, I would have rec'd an iPhone to her without any hesitation.

Anyhow, I've grabbed the KitKat version of Hangouts, as well as the Keyboard. Definitely want to get my hands on the full version asap. Hopefully Moto gets on that soon (and VZW allows it).

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PostPosted: Nov 06, 2013 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out diztronic if you're looking for a case. I switched to that brand from Otterbox on my gs3.

http://tpu-cases.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=44_91&products_id=355

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PostPosted: Nov 06, 2013 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I kept looking at the Diztronic - case seems similar to the Incipio case I had on my S4. I really dislike thick cases, so Otterbox is pretty much out anyway.

I ordered one just now. Hopefully I dig it - I accidentally chucked my phone across a tile floor yesterday. No damage occurred, but it was still no bueno.

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PostPosted: Nov 06, 2013 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chavez wrote:
Hopefully Moto gets on that soon (and VZW allows it).
Well you may be in for a bit of a wait. Laughing VZW has their heads pretty far up their asses with Android devices, it seems.
http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/6/5075028/verizon-wont-activate-the-nexus-7-until-google-delivers-a-kitkat

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PostPosted: Nov 07, 2013 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Surely it's not because they're launching their own 7" tablet?
http://venturebeat.com/2013/11/06/how-convenient-verizon-announces-its-own-7-inch-tablet-even-as-it-locks-the-nexus-7-in-certification-limbo/

If I was picking carriers and wanted to have an android device I think VZW would be my last choice. It seems that their devices are always the last ones to get updates.

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PostPosted: Nov 07, 2013 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, if only VZW wasn't the only ones out here with coverage that didn't suck. We were happy with AT&T, so long as we didn't actually try to use our phones. Laughing
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PostPosted: Nov 13, 2013 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This looks like a really good entry level smartphone.
http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/13/5096680/motorola-moto-g-announced-price-availability

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PostPosted: Nov 13, 2013 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wakeboarderdave1, sure does. For $200, you really can't beat it, plus with T-Mob the monthlies are about as good as they are gonna get. HSPA+ is pretty decent around here from what I understand from those who are on TM.
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PostPosted: Nov 13, 2013 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A coworker tried to switch to TMOB monthly and it is crap in our area. He's switching to striaght talk now (AT&T is solid).
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PostPosted: Nov 13, 2013 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is probably the smartest move google has made in a while. They've now got an easy way for users to ditch twiz and sense.

http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/11/13/massive-google-search-3-1-8-update-rolling-out-brings-google-experience-launcher-new-cards-completely-fixes-gel-on-tablets-and-more-apk-download/

Also, why in the worse does Samsung want to bring out their own phone OS?

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PostPosted: Nov 13, 2013 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wakeboarderdave1 wrote:
This is probably the smartest move google has made in a while. They've now got an easy way for users to ditch twiz and sense.
Yep! Actually, Google's "Play Services" is, because that's where this whole idea kinda started - http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/09/balky-carriers-and-slow-oems-step-aside-google-is-defragging-android/
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Google's strategy is clear. Play Services has system-level powers, but it's updatable. It's part of the Google apps package, so it's not open source. OEMs are not allowed to modify it, making it completely under Google's control. Play Services basically acts as a shim between the normal apps and the installed Android OS. Right now Play Services handles the Google Maps API, Google Account syncing, remote wipe, push messages, the Play Games back end, and many other duties. If you ever question the power of Google Play Services, try disabling it. Nearly every Google App on your device will break.
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Nearly everything that can be moved out of the main OS has been. The only features left that would require an OS update are things like hardware support, Application Frameworks APIs, and Apps that require a certain level of security or access (like the lock screen, Phone, and Settings apps).

This is how you beat software fragmentation. When you can update just about anything without having to push out a new Android version, you have fewer and fewer reasons to bother calling up Samsung and begging them to work on a new update. When the new version of Android brings nothing other than low-level future-proofing, users stop caring about the update.

This gets even more interesting when you consider the implications for future versions of Android. What will the next version of Android have? Well, what is left for it to have? Android is now on more of a steady, continual improvement track than an all-at-once opening of the floodgates like we last saw with Android 4.1. It seems like Google has been slowly moving down this path for some time; the last three releases have all kept the name "Jelly Bean." Huge, monolithic Android OS updates are probably overó"extinct" may be a more appropriate term.

Not having to package everything into a major OS update means Google can get features out to more users much faster and more frequently than before. Android feature releases can now work just like Google's Web app updates: silent, continual improvement that happens in the background. Your device is constantly getting better without your having to do anything or wait for a third party, and developers can take advantage of new APIs without having to wait for the install base to catch up. This should all lead to a more unified, less fragmented, healthier Android ecosystem.

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PostPosted: Nov 14, 2013 7:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^agreed.

I'm flipping between GEL, Nova, and the stock "Moto" launcher right now. Nova is still winning just due to the sheer levels of customization available, but I really dig the GEL for it's cleanliness and the full page GNow widget.

Also, I'm changing the name of this thread to "General Android OS Discussion" as it fits better.

wakeboarderdave1, it's not just Samsung that wants to bring Tizen out. It's Intel, Samsung, Panasonic, Sharp, Casio, NTT DoMoCo and a host of software vendors. I have no idea WTF they are thinking, other than wanting to control their own experience from top to bottom and not have any input from those pesky Googliers. Tizen in the USA will fail spectacularly, but I see it maybe gaining some foothold in the less affluent/emerging markets like Africa, South America, etc. It could fill the Blackberry void in the emerging markets...

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PostPosted: Nov 15, 2013 6:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been using Nova on my GS3 as well. I like that I can hide apps that I never use and create folders in the launcher. I'm currently running cm 10.2 as well.
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PostPosted: Nov 21, 2013 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just got my OTA tonight. Not much has changed for me (no GEL on Nexus 4...for now at least).

I love this dialer. Default to a search bar w/ access to Google Maps is brilliant. Need a pizza? Type in the name of the pizzeria. No need to search the internet. Buh bye, dial pad!

Downside is that the new camera app doesn't fix the red hue issue w/ HDR images on the N4 Sad Still so disappointed with the camera on this handset.

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PostPosted: Nov 22, 2013 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do either of you use Tasker?
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PostPosted: Nov 22, 2013 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wakeboarderdave1, I used it and a few other task automators (Profile Flow, NFC Task Manager), but found that I really didn't use them much. I even dropped a few dollars on NFC tags. Don't use those either.

I had a handful of tasks written (like silencing ringers and such) but I disabled all of them (backed up then uninstalled) when I went over to Bermuda in Sept (because they turned on/off sync and other data-gobbling items) and never bothered reinstalling and restoring. I found I just don't miss it.

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PostPosted: Nov 23, 2013 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's about all that I use mine for as well. I've got one that reads hangouts when my headphones are plugged in as well.
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PostPosted: Dec 16, 2013 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chrome Beta Tip: Double tap with a single finger, hold and drag to zoom in and out... Pretty neat.
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PostPosted: Dec 16, 2013 7:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Who is using Cover? I've been using it since Friday, and I must say I really like it.
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PostPosted: Dec 16, 2013 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Link?
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PostPosted: Dec 16, 2013 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's actually called COVER. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.coverscreen.cover&hl=en
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PostPosted: Dec 18, 2013 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

^^^ Requires a direct link. It's unsearchable in the Play store (it's still beta I think?).

I dig cover, it's a great idea and I think it'll get much better real soon. I've been using it for about a week? Almost...ish.
+Different lockscreen backgrounds for each profile is brilliant.
+Tap on an app to load up the app while keeping the screen locked.
+Has been good about switching me to Home and Work based on location.
+Kinda cool that you can lock the phone by swiping down from the upper right, then flick to the left.

-Want more audio settings. For work I need all sounds muted/vibrate, not just the ringer.
-Want the ability to turn wifi on/off based on profile (I'm not on my wifi at work or in the car, so I normally turn it off).
-Sliding down from the upper right side of the screen to pull down that 'recent apps' menu...I'd like an option in the preferences menu to disable this. Seems unnecessary for the bulk of people who put those same apps on their home screen.
-Wish the lock screen gave me battery percentage and my next alarm clock time like DashClock does.
-Tapping on the home button when the lock screen is on shows the desktop background at the top and bottom. This is nitpicky. Nova launcher (beta) might also be to blame.
-When I get into my truck to drive somewhere it sets me to Out and not Car. I'm guessing it only switches to Car when it connects via Bluetooth.

--No access to camera directly from the lock screen. This is sort of a lie, because I randomly was able to swipe in from...somewhere, and I saw a camera icon. But I haven't been able to reproduce this at all.
--From the above, I want an extra lockscreen widget page for my camera. Since I swipe from left to right to unlock the phone, the camera being positioned to the right of Cover shouldn't create any issues. Basically, make it like stock Android and iOS.
--White text on the lock screen...sucks.

Just some observations. I haven't been able to read up much on this since I installed it because I've been too busy, and this is "good enough" as is.

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PostPosted: Dec 18, 2013 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What about themer?
http://www.androidpolice.com/2013/12/18/mycolorscreens-themer-updated-with-a-new-app-drawer-automatic-categories-and-even-more-themes/

I've been using Nova mostly. The worst thing about custom launchers is setup. I wish I had 4.4 on my phone so I could easily switch between them when I needed it to "just work."

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PostPosted: Dec 18, 2013 9:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Themer is cool. I played with it a bit not too long ago but that was before this latest update.

I liked a few of the pre-set themes, but found that they were all lacking in some area that I couldn't overlook, so I kind of set it aside until I have more time to really play with things more. Come Jan/Feb I'll probably try to dive deeper into Tasker, UCCW, Themer, etc, to see what I can make. Some of the themes that people come up with are really neat - www.reddit.com/r/androidthemes

wakeboarderdave1 wrote:
The worst thing about custom launchers is setup. I wish I had 4.4 on my phone so I could easily switch between them when I needed it to "just work."
What phone are you using, again? Comments like this make me never want to leave the Nexus series. I just got an update to 4.4.2 which fixes...something.
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PostPosted: Dec 19, 2013 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scott a wrote:
What phone are you using, again?


Galaxy S3. My next phone will be a nexus phone. I chose this over the n4 because of the release fiasco.

This is cool and scary at the same time. https://maps.google.com/locationhistory/b/0

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PostPosted: Dec 19, 2013 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scott a, flip the phone to landscape. You will see the camera icon appear.

Wondering whats up with no 4.4 on my Droid Maxx. It's the same phone as the X, don't really understand why the wait on the Droid series to get 4.4. Until then, using Nova and the KitKat theme is working well.

As for the rest - I use Trigger (formerly NFC Task Manager) to do profile changes/automation where Moto Assist misses the mark. Assist does a really good job of doing the basics (phone silence, do not disturb, etc), Trigger steps it up a notch allowing for more intricate tasks (like app launching based on situations). Still nothing beats Tasker, but you really need root access to make it shine.

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