Raoul's China Saloon (V4.0 Beta)

The Bar Room => The Bar (ON-TOPIC) => Tech Talk, or If Yer So Damn Smart, What The Hell You Doin' Teachin' English? => Topic started by: Calach Pfeffer on July 09, 2010, 08:20:50 AM

Title: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 09, 2010, 08:20:50 AM
If you never go online with your phone, would you ever need a smartphone?

See, at some point in the next 12 months I'll buy a new phone and I'll either go simple and stylish and get a Nokia 6700 (http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_6700_classic-2659.php) or I'll go balls out technogeek and get a HTC Desire (http://www.gsmarena.com/htc_desire-3077.php).  Probably I'll get a black 6700 because I already have a silver 6300, but I am wondering about these touchscreen smartphones.

Opinions?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on July 09, 2010, 10:03:23 AM
I got a HTC Touch Viva (http://www.htc.com/www/product/touchviva/overview.html) which comes in at the budget end of the market at around 2000RMB a year and a half ago.

I pretty much only got it so I could have Pleco (http://www.pleco.com/), the bestest Chinese learning tool of all time.  Of all time!  For this function it has performed brilliantly.

I haven't really explored too many of the other functions and applications I could use or add to any great extent.

I do go online sometimes (it has 3G and wireless) but to be honest the tiny screen on my particular model makes this a highly frustrating experience, so I only use it when I have no alternative.

One handy thing is to be able to open Microsoft Office files on your phone so if you get sent something important you can read it immediately.  Again, though, tiny screen.

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 09, 2010, 11:33:40 AM
Hmmm... Pleco.

A quick look around the Pleco forums says Pleco won't be running on Android for some time to come.  Bummer.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Damballah on July 09, 2010, 02:23:39 PM
I have the HTC Desire and although I haven't used the on-line function a lot, it is useful for picking up emails when you are travelling.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on July 09, 2010, 04:24:51 PM
Pleco is great on the iPhone and even better on the iPad

The iPhone 3GS can be had for good prices now that iPhone 4 is out
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: El Macho on July 09, 2010, 06:33:48 PM
What does an iPhone 3GS cost now in China?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 10, 2010, 09:49:02 AM
I did once maybe for past life sins own, and not for long, a Motorola SLVR L7.  The phone before and the phone after were Nokia candybars, about as long as the SLVR but definitely slimmer on the horizontal.  And both the iphone and the new HTCs are wider still.  Since the SLVR pretty much never stopped feeling like holding a dinner plate to my ear, I'd also like to know what these smartphones are like as phones ergonomically?

Not hating, just wondering.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 10, 2010, 01:41:13 PM
Apparently there's a beta for a handwriting recognition program to run on Android: 

http://sites.google.com/site/hanwritingime/home


And iPhone 3GS costs (or did cost) about 3500 yuan. 
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on July 10, 2010, 01:47:46 PM
The iPhone feels pretty good in the hand and doesn't seem too big but I think you get used to what ever your using. I spend more time on the phone as a computer than a phone anyway. An email is barely different than a text message to me. Translation, digital books, RSS feeders. It cut down how often it was necessary to take a laptop with me by a lot. Once I picked up an iPad, I didn't need the laptop at all and sold it.

I'm not sure how much the official 3Gs iPhone is from Unicom because I was never interested in them (no WIFI). You can get the Hong Kong one for just under 5000 and the American version for a fair bit less.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on July 10, 2010, 01:51:31 PM
if you get the 3500 one then you'll need to jailbreak it. I don't see the point in that. You might as well get an Android phone then. The beauty of Apple's walled garden is how seamlessly the software and hardware work together. Jailbreaking loses that advantage so might as well go to the open Android.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 10, 2010, 04:09:20 PM
How much for an iPad?



(Freakin learning curves.  Apple products are intimidating with all the proprietary this and restrictive that, and it seems like you have to join the cult before you can truly appreciate how much you've been saved......  I suppose, however, that's true of all tech stuff--if you weren't into it before, it gets harder to get into it later.  But what's up with Pleco hitching themselves to Apple's star, huh?  If touchscreens are what's the new wave of everything mobile, then.... jeez, I dunno, who's the biggest coming touchscreen tech brand, what's their operating system, and are Apple products going to continue being a cult item?  Come to think of it, are touchscreens more or less irritating than a navigation rocker and a few buttons?  Waving your hands around that much seems like hard work.)

*sigh*  \o/
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on July 10, 2010, 04:50:39 PM
Right now an iPad 16Gig 3G is going for around 6000, but they will be released in Hong Kong in a couple of weeks, so price should come down.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 11, 2010, 03:43:38 AM
So this walled garden... do you have to be on the inside to love it?

The more I read about smartphones, the less I like... App Stores?  Freakin App Stores.  To buy a phone is to buy an app, and buy another app, and buy some other app.  You can't pirate?  There isn't free?  Whatever.  Android is going to win.

So-o-o-o... the other bothersome thing is it looks like a lot of people buying Android phones in China are ending up with really inferior knockoffs.  Is this so?  What does it take to find a real HTC in amongst all the thieving commie knockoffs?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on July 11, 2010, 07:45:05 AM
I don't know how anyone ends up getting burned by knock-off phones anymore than than they get burned by knock off LV bags or Rolex watches. Have these people even asked if the product is fake or not?

Calach, have you used an iPhone and/or an Android phone before? For some it's the idea of Apple's walled garden that's a problem but they have never compared using them.

The usability of the iPhone over any Android phone right now is huge. There's just an ease of use, a familiarity that all the apps share. The hardware feels solid and quality. The Android phones are often more powerful but feel cheaper and the apps do the same things in different ways from each other making each app have it's own sometimes steep learning curve. Of course the Android OS must operate on different hardware so they can't be as seamless as iOS on the iPhone. Android apps can do more but you have to pay attention to how it's doing it. If you like to tinker and change things then Android is the way to go. If you just want the fucking thing to work like an appliance then Apple is the way to go.

It's really not any different than using a Mac or a PC. PC's are more powerful, cheaper, have many more forms to choose from, more apps that can do more things but try and get most MacBook Pro users to switch to a Thinkpad. they won't do it. Thinkpads are great computers but .....

I may dumb down my phone in the future though. It's the iPad that I really love. First time I can remember a gadget changing my lifestyle. The killer app on the iPad?

The battery life. Always on, do anything you want, never even have to check the battery life. Unbelievable. An appliance.

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 11, 2010, 08:29:12 AM
If you like to tinker and change things then Android is the way to go. If you just want the fucking thing to work like an appliance then Apple is the way to go.

I think that may be it.  I like to tinker.  Neat way of explaining it too.

Tinkering is actually what makes any touchscreen smartphone appealing currently: I haven't ever used one and it would be fun to find out what they can do.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 11, 2010, 09:51:03 AM
Assorted ticket prices:

iPhone 4 (http://product.it168.com/list/b/_kiphone%204@_1.shtml)

iPhone 3g(s) (http://product.it168.com/list/b/0302_s_7881-1633s_1.shtml)

iPad (http://product.it168.com/list/b/_kipad@_1.shtml)

HTC Desire (http://product.it168.com/detail/doc/402934/index.shtml)

Other Android stuff (http://product.it168.com/list/b/0302_s_7881-10111s_1.shtml)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on September 27, 2010, 02:26:00 PM
I'm considering purchasing a smartphone in the coming months - has anybody heard of any chinese learning tools comparable to Pleco for the Android operating system, I searched giggle but didn't find anything up-to-date? It doesn't look like Pleco will be landing on Android properly until 2011. Also what other OS's are there to consider?

EDIT I just found this post from July about Chinese learning tools for Android that may be useful: http://www.chinese-forums.com/index.php?/topic/26445-android-chinese-apps/
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on October 16, 2010, 02:25:52 PM
FWIW re that ^ question, I have the HTC Desire now, Android 2.2, and I've looked around some at apps.  What I've come up with thus far is HanWriting (http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/tools/hanwriting-ime-beta-_ibej.html), a handwriting recognition app for Chinese characters (and as an app it has a huge amount of potential--it looks and works great, it just doesn't recognise characters very well unless your input is spot on--so, kinda crap as an app currently.).  There's also Hanping Chinese-English dictionary (http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/reference/hanping-chinese-dictionary_luv.html), which is cool and includes bad words, and there's either Sogou (http://www.androlib.com/android.application.com-sohu-inputmethod-sogou-qCEx.aspx) or Google Pinyin as choices for IME.  I like Sogou because it's what I use on my laptop.  Haven't tried the Googster's.

But buying the phone in China means you get various IMEs anyway, and one of them on my phone accepts such input as one can squiggle on the touch screen and is moderately accepting in recognising what you write.

 (And I forget exactly where I got the versions I'm currently using, so YMMV re the links included above.)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on October 31, 2010, 10:12:19 AM
Two Iphone 2's have come up for sale second hand, I think I could get a good deal for them but I am concerned that the technology is too outdated - is there likely to be any compatability issues for apps etc? I don't fully understand the difference between 2, 3, 4g anyway.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on October 31, 2010, 12:56:11 PM
If you don't want an iPhone 4 then stick with the iPhone 3GS. Don't go buy an iPhone 3G or older. It will not be able to handle the newest operating system.

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on October 31, 2010, 01:08:27 PM
If you don't want an iPhone 4 then stick with the iPhone 3GS. Don't go buy an iPhone 3G or older. It will not be able to handle the newest operating system.

Wot he said.

Plus only the 3GS and the 4 have Wifi built in. Previously, the mainland versions of 3, 2 and 1 didn't. (HK and Singapore versions did.) With ubiquitous Wifi here in China, you'll save a lot of money using Wifi when you're in your apartment or out in public to use most of the non-phone functions of the iPhone/iPod.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on October 31, 2010, 05:57:53 PM
Ok thanks, both have you have confirmed my suspicions.  It's not that I don't want an iphone 4, more that they have a hefty price tag so a longer term attainment plan is needed.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: xwarrior on February 21, 2011, 01:00:24 PM
I have not got a Smartphone - in fact I have a mentally deficient Nokia that cannot even remember names - but this article on Android may help those living in China who are using the system.

Quote
A guide to using an Android smartphone in China, and how to get paid apps


 http://www.lostlaowai.com/blog/china-stuff/china-tech/a-guide-to-using-an-android-smartphone-in-china-and-how-to-get-paid-apps/

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 21, 2011, 01:21:35 PM
Jeez, those things dropped in price fast.  The HTC Desire is now 800 yuan cheaper than when I bought it, less than six months ago.

*sigh* still waiting on the perfect storm: smartphone use explodes, the international malware capital of the world moves from Eastern Europe to China, Android operating system counts as fair game because it's linked to obviously anti-Chinese megaliths as Google and Facebook....

Oh wait, that's like already happ--


2011 is supposed to be the year of the smartphone (and tablet).  And anti-virus, anti-malware options are... virtually nil.   ARRGHHH, WE'RE ALL GONNA... post letters.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on April 04, 2011, 08:10:11 AM
My phone is nearly destroyed and I am going to replace it with a smartphone imminently. Can anyone recommend a phone for me around 2000-3000rmb? I like HTC and am planning to get one. I have been looking at the DesireHD and Incredible S and I've been sucked into thinking I need something brand new and up-to-date etc but I think this is just because I have been reading too many user reviews on websites where the vast majority of users are massive tech nerds.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Hiphoppopotomous on April 04, 2011, 08:30:05 AM
I'm loving my Sony Ericsson xxperia x15 or something along those lines. cheap but very reliable and a nice size (I dont like big clunky screens like ion the I phone and htc)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on April 04, 2011, 09:14:18 AM
Pleco Dict with OCR is coming on Android. (http://www.plecoforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1428&start=750#p21758)  Might be time to update my ancient Windows Mobile HTC whatchamacallit.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Bugalugs on April 07, 2011, 08:54:02 AM
HTC Desire is awesome, the HD version is too big for my hand lol
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: becster79 on April 07, 2011, 10:54:14 AM
I bought a Nokia E71 in August in Australia for $350 (probably about 2500-300RMB). Love it. Does everything but wipe my rear end!

However, once I decide to get a new phone in a year or two I definately want an iPhone, whichever model they're up to by then. All my bits n pieces are divided between my Nokia and iPod touch, and it's annoying!
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: DJWolff on May 07, 2011, 12:55:06 PM
I bought an HTC Desire this week and to say that I'm loving it is an understatement.

You can get free applications via the G--gle Android Market, and that isn't a problem really, but you need to sync your phone with your G-gle account, and HTC devices purchased in China do not have G--gle account settings  asasasasas.

I have also been reading a LOT about "rooting" Android phones. Should I root mine? I can say that I like my new phone the way it is (for now), but a few moments ago one of my students showed a rooted phone and it looks just amazing. I don't know anything anymore. What can I do, guys?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Bugalugs on May 07, 2011, 01:16:35 PM
Root it. Rooted Desires are bloody amazing. Plus you get the updates sooner with the custom roms.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 13, 2011, 03:27:39 PM
So what happens to Chinese language support when you flash a rom?

I reckon I'll root my desire (oo-er) over the weekend and see what that's like, and since I use ADW.Launcher anyway and also want to take a look at Android 2.3, I'm thinking I might flash Cyanogen 7 too.  But I've never done these things before and I'm wondering how hard it is to get Chinese characters working again.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Bugalugs on May 13, 2011, 04:41:26 PM
Cynogen is great and there are plenty of chinese character support apps in the market.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 15, 2011, 04:32:34 PM
Well that was distressing.

Rooting was easy.  The details are lost in the hazy mists of romming, but I recall rooting took, like, five minutes.  But then I flashed a rom.  Cyanogen 7, to be exact.  And that was fine too.  It's a nice rom.  Android 2.3 is an improvement on 2.2.  And there's a lot of nice bits and pieces in Cyanogen 7 too.  It'll be a shame to see them go, should I make my way back to a stock rom.  Which might not be as easy as I thought it would be.  Ladies and Gentlemen, do a nandroid backup before you flash a rom.  Yes.  Do.  If you root, like I did, using the unrevoked method, the nandroid backup option is right there, in little tiny green letters, on the recovery screen, right next to the flash a rom option.

I forgot to do a nandroid backup.  Because I did a Titanium Backup and a Mybackup backup, I forgot.  But the nandroid backup backups... everything.  Those others back up your data and apps.  Nandroid backs up everything.  You can go back to what you had before if you have a nandroid backup.  I haven't.  I'm going to have to learn to live with Cyanogen.  (There's stock roms (http://shipped-roms.com/index.php?category=android&model=Bravo) out there if you ever do want to go back but can't.  I may use one.)

See, two issues, core issues I find: one, SMS, and two, keyboards.

Seriously, talk bubbles in SMS conversations?  What do people developing Android do all day?  Almost every popular SMS app uses talk bubbles.  I've never liked them.  I have long liked the HTC stock app.  Cyanogen doesn't use the stock app.  It doesn't use talk bubbles either.  But it does have a few tiresome, and unalterable, settings, like contact pictures, and shades of blue.  I want the stock app back.  And the stock keyboard.  Which is to say, the stock phone keypad keyboard, the one with nine large keys that works like a feature phone keypad.  Who uses qwerty?  Only Blackberrys use qwerty.  typing on a touch screen is hard enough with big fat keys, and it's damn near impossible with itty bitty qwerty keys YOU CAN'T FEEL!!  Cyanogen has a stock qwerty.


It's not so bad.  I just didn't want to spend nearly 36 hours learning way more about Android than I ever wanted AND still not succeeding in replacing the messaging ap (MMS.apk) and the keyboard (HTC_IME.apk).  I've settled on GoSMS as my SMS app, which approximates the list format of the stock app; and installed a HTC_IME_mod that, basically, is an earlier, slightly more clunkily laid out cell phone keypad keyboard.

The rom modding world is not yet out of the geek phase.  You can screw around with your computers and your laptops all you like, because usually you can know what you're getting before you get it, and you can mix and match.  Phone romming is still geektown: you have to know what you're getting before you get it.


Late last night peering hopelessly at a cell phone that now wasn't what I wanted, I was a little bit hoping to brick the thing and have a reason to buy a new Desire S instead.  But it didn't happen.  I still have a phone.



Ai.

Now for some actual school classwork preparation.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 16, 2011, 04:29:00 PM
Has anyone tried MIUI (http://en.miui.com/)?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on May 16, 2011, 11:15:38 PM
A friend was using it on his Galaxy S and loved it. He doesn't use it any more only because he bought a new phone - Motorola Milestone or something like that, and there's no port for it yet.

Note: I'm not sure about any of the names of the phones. I just use an iPhone.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 18, 2011, 06:33:36 PM
Re MIUI... meh.

I wanted it to be better than Cyanogen, but it's not.  It's nice that it exists, but Cyanogen looks better and runs faster.  


*sigh* I just watched my reflashed Cyanogen start up... it's in Chinese now.  Same thing happened when I flashed MIUI for the first time.  The language settings are in there somewhere though and it's just a matter of finding them to switch it to English, or whatever.  This's gonna take a while...


ETA: eh, it's not that bad.  The main difference seemed to me to be in what-you-see.  The default MIUI interface is chunkier than Cyanogen (or more specifically, ADW.Launcher).  Cyanogen (or ADW.Launcher, for that is the interface) has an app drawer, MIUI has screens to populate off to the left and right.  Cyanogen icons are somewhat fussy, MIUI's are fatties.

There's some kind of vaguely 80s kitsch vibe to the default theme too.

Meh, it's fine.  Don't mind me.

Go team.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 20, 2011, 10:54:16 AM
For anyone who was wondering...

What MiUI looks like (http://rascarlo.wordpress.com/2010/12/22/ready-for-the-coolest-miui-ever-so-far-new-ui-refresh-screenshots/).



(I wonder if one is supposed to pronounce it "Me, You, I")
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Bugalugs on May 20, 2011, 11:12:35 AM
Looks nice i prefer GO Launcher myself.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 20, 2011, 01:00:16 PM
Huh, reading around a bit, I've discovered people are saying HTC is making it harder, possibly impossible to root their newer phones, the Desire S included.  (The Desire S (http://product.it168.com/list/b/03026321_i9861_1.shtml) is, as far as specs go, basically a Desire (http://product.it168.com/list/b/03026321_i9859_1.shtml) but better--smaller, lighter, faster, but with the same size screen--and currently in China, just a few hundred more.)  People seem to be saying, as far as rooting goes, Samsung is where it's going to be at for a while.  And supposedly (http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/20-best-mobile-phones-in-the-world-today-645440?artc_pg=21), current "best" cell phone in the world is Samsung Galaxy S II.  (Pffft, it's the size and shape of a dinner plate.)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 22, 2011, 03:48:28 PM
I'm going to go back to stock HTC Android 2.2 for a while.  After trying a few ROMs (not that many actually: LeeDroid, Oxygen, MIUI, some Chinese dude(s) called hiapk, and Cyanogen) I decided I like Cyanogen best.  The interface and bits and pieces are nicer than HTC Sense UI, in my estimation, but...

Android 2.3.3 makes my poor ole Desire run quite hot, the battery doesn't last as long as it used to, and none of the custom ROMs have every issue worked out like stock does (Cyanogen in particular is currently having problems with Bluetooth FTP).  

Ironically too, in my root-emboldened internet and installation travels I discovered it is stock Android messaging that I don't like.  In all that hunting around for a better messaging app, what I kept coming up against was the pungent limitations of stock... specifically, the itsy-bitsy text window you get to work with when composing SMS.  I am, perhaps sadly, not a person who spells people "ppl".  I use full sentences in SMS.  So far as I am aware, it's only HTC Sense UI that gives you more than four lines of text to look at when you're composing.  Non-windowed.


... in case you all were interested.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on June 02, 2011, 04:59:43 AM
Could somebody please explain what 'rooting' means? It sounds interesting...

Also, I guess you guys are the right types to ask about this. I am moving to China soon and I'll be bringing a smart phone with me. Is it easy enough to get a Chinese sim card that's easy to top up credit (the phone will be unlocked)?

Also, are there internet plans? like, pay a certain amount per month and have unlimited internet on your phone?

thanks guys...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: jpd01 on June 02, 2011, 05:23:48 AM
Just keep in mind that CHina does use a different phone system than most other countries. A couple of years ago I brought a phone from back home (Australia) which the sales man swore was unlocked and would work overseas no problem, suprise surprise it didn't work here and I had to buy a new phone.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on June 02, 2011, 05:45:08 AM
Just keep in mind that CHina does use a different phone system than most other countries. A couple of years ago I brought a phone from back home (Australia) which the sales man swore was unlocked and would work overseas no problem, suprise surprise it didn't work here and I had to buy a new phone.

I see. So any ideas how I could make sure I'm buying a phone that works in China? I will be buying a new smartphone in a few weeks.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 03, 2011, 12:11:23 PM
Caveat lector: I only started learning about this stuff recently myself. 

Nonetheless:

Rooting (http://forum.androidspin.com/showthread.php/1688-GUIDE-The-Ultimate-Root-FAQ) an Android phone is a process by which you, the user, gains root access to the phone's operating system.  You, the user, can now alter potentially any file or directory on your phone.  It's a bit like on Windows when you first try to look into the C:\Windows\System directory: the operating system warns you there are files in there that control the operating system itself.  On an unrooted Android phone you don't even see the operating system directories, much less their contents.  Once the phone is rooted, you see it all.  To actually make use of that access, you do other things, like flash roms or hack kernels or whatever.

As for making sure a phone works in China... you could buy the phone in China (http://product.it168.com/list/b/0302_1.shtml).  Otherwise there's the question of frequency, I guess.  Look up your phone on GSMarena (http://www.gsmarena.com) and see what frequency it sports.  Then check (http://www.gsmarena.com/network-bands.php3?sCountry=CHINA) if it matches what's available in China.  And also something about making sure the phone is not locked to some given network already, but I don't know how to do that.

As for internet on your phone... there are plans and there are plans. (http://www.beijingiphonerepair.com/news/mobile-internet-plan-in-beijing-and-china-wide/)


What phones are you looking at?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: fox on June 03, 2011, 01:11:20 PM
i use this app a lot. just point the camera at some chinese text and it translates it immediately.  sometimes it gets it a bit wrong but for bus signs, menus and labels its great.



Pleco Dict with OCR is coming on Android. (http://www.plecoforums.com/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1428&start=750#p21758)  Might be time to update my ancient Windows Mobile HTC whatchamacallit.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on June 04, 2011, 04:58:46 AM
Caveat lector: I only started learning about this stuff recently myself. 

Nonetheless:

Rooting (http://forum.androidspin.com/showthread.php/1688-GUIDE-The-Ultimate-Root-FAQ) an Android phone is a process by which you, the user, gains root access to the phone's operating system.  You, the user, can now alter potentially any file or directory on your phone.  It's a bit like on Windows when you first try to look into the C:\Windows\System directory: the operating system warns you there are files in there that control the operating system itself.  On an unrooted Android phone you don't even see the operating system directories, much less their contents.  Once the phone is rooted, you see it all.  To actually make use of that access, you do other things, like flash roms or hack kernels or whatever.

As for making sure a phone works in China... you could buy the phone in China (http://product.it168.com/list/b/0302_1.shtml).  Otherwise there's the question of frequency, I guess.  Look up your phone on GSMarena (http://www.gsmarena.com) and see what frequency it sports.  Then check (http://www.gsmarena.com/network-bands.php3?sCountry=CHINA) if it matches what's available in China.  And also something about making sure the phone is not locked to some given network already, but I don't know how to do that.

As for internet on your phone... there are plans and there are plans. (http://www.beijingiphonerepair.com/news/mobile-internet-plan-in-beijing-and-china-wide/)


What phones are you looking at?

Hi there, thanks for that informative answer.... very useful.

At the moment I am considering the Nokia E7 (I like the touch screen and the slide out QWERTY keyboard) and HTC Desire.

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 04, 2011, 08:17:00 AM
Hmmm, those two are some pretty different phones.  ahahahahah But then, everyone has their preferences, I guess. 

Personally, were I buying a new phone right now, I'd probably be looking at a Desire S.  Not through any particular insight into phone technology, just through preference.  My phone preferences lead me to some balance between ergonomics and technology.  I want the highest tech I can get in the most functionally pretty package--and a lot of phones are plain ugly to look at and uncomfortable to hold.  (That's actually what made the difference back when I was choosing between a Desire and a Samsung Galaxy S--the Galaxy was better tech but plasticky and big.)

One thing about touchscreens is, yeah, the software keyboards are kinda crap.  I really don't like the software qwertys.  And even now, using a plain old T9 software keypad keyboard, it's hard to use the phone in, say, a moving car or a bus.  Standing still it's fine though.  But I still do kinda miss the ease of knowing with your fingers what you were typing.  These days I have to look.

And the Desire S isn't rootable, and isn't likely to be either.  HTC have announced that in the future they won't be locking their bootloaders, but I assume that means future phones, not the current crop that caused the complaints campaign against locking.


Pleco is in beta for Android now too.

http://www.pleco.com/androidbeta.html

I shall be trying it out later today.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Day Dreamer on June 06, 2011, 09:59:36 AM
Yesteray we went to 2 different geek shops electronics store. I had to rapidly purchase a new phone. I didn't like the prices, HTC A9191 was listed at 5300RMB with about 3-400 negotiation room.

Today with a help from a techy-savvy friend we bought one for 3950 that included an extra battery (non-factory) and a case. She then handed me a 32mg (I think) memory card as a b'day gift. I know its last year's model, but as she said, the extra expense for an up to date machine won't be off-set with my needs. I'm a press and play guy. All the apps will never be used


I downloaded the ENGLISH manual so now I can use it. I'm a happy camper
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: ericthered on June 20, 2011, 09:05:45 AM
Well, my poor Anycall phone fought gravity and lost and my gf had her phone stolen..so now this squirrel is plotting to get two phones..I know nothing about phones...So far a good one seems to be a Samsung Galaxy S II...anyone have any comments for that phone?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on June 20, 2011, 09:25:09 AM
They are good phones and can do a lot. These phones are really computers/cameras that have phone functions.

However, if you don't need/want all that and just want something to make phone calls and text messages .... spend less.

If your phones tend to be gravity prone and thieves follow your gf everywhere .... spend less.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 20, 2011, 10:32:23 AM
It's a two-year old phone, but if I were buying a feature phone, I'd probably be looking at a Nokia 6700 (http://www.gsmarena.com/nokia_6700_classic-2659.php). 

For smartphones, either a Desire S (http://www.gsmarena.com/htc_desire_s-3776.php) or, if I wanted to go balls out tech-happy, then, yes indeed, a Samsung Galaxy S II (http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i9100_galaxy_s_ii-3621.php). 

Actually, the most use I've been putting my smartphone to lately is reading ebooks.  Moon+ Reader (https://market.android.com/details?id=com.flyersoft.moonreader&hl=en) works very nicely and is surprisingly un-irritating on a 3.7 inch screen.  And I'm waiting for Pleco to develop some.  I've been fiddling with the beta demo, and it's very cool, almost worth shelling out money for even at this stage.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on June 20, 2011, 02:10:16 PM
There is also the iPhone. I use an iPhone 4. Pleco truly is fantastic software and while the Galaxy S II and HTC Desire are great phones, no chance would I trade my iPhone for one.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: ericthered on June 21, 2011, 12:31:11 AM
Ok, I have looked at prices..ouchouchouch...iphone is too expensive for what I use a phone for. One of the main annoyances my old, slowly dying phone presented was the dictionary. I could write a chinese character on the screen with a little pen-thingy but not fast enough and then it would kind of guess what character I wanted to look up, being always wrong. So does anyone know of a good phone with a dictionary where you can write a character slowly and then press some button to make it look it up. I believe the iphone have this function but as stated, iphone is just a wee too pricey for me.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on June 21, 2011, 01:06:50 AM
The Android phones (Samsung Galaxys, HTC Desire etc) have this function but they are separate apps. Think of a smart phone as a computer. You may have to purchase or steal applications for various functions. There are many dictionaries that will do what you want. Pleco is fantastic and is in beta testing on Android but is a little expensive for all the dictionaries.

For you Eric, I would suggest a year old model (cheaper) that has a decent camera with auto-focus. The reason for the camera is not just for quick pictures but OCR (Optical Character Recognition) that some dictionaries can now use.

Read about Pleco here: http://www.pleco.com/

Pleco Forums: http://www.plecoforums.com/index.php?sid=125f9945e6210eadef1ee1947663dc27

If you like the dictionary then make a phone purchase based on running it (you won't regret it) Otherwise I believe an app called HanPing is pretty good for what you asked, and is free.



Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: ericthered on June 21, 2011, 04:09:13 AM
The Android phones (Samsung Galaxys, HTC Desire etc) have this function but they are separate apps. Think of a smart phone as a computer. You may have to purchase or steal applications for various functions. There are many dictionaries that will do what you want. Pleco is fantastic and is in beta testing on Android but is a little expensive for all the dictionaries.

For you Eric, I would suggest a year old model (cheaper) that has a decent camera with auto-focus. The reason for the camera is not just for quick pictures but OCR (Optical Character Recognition) that some dictionaries can now use.

Read about Pleco here: http://www.pleco.com/

Pleco Forums: http://www.plecoforums.com/index.php?sid=125f9945e6210eadef1ee1947663dc27

If you like the dictionary then make a phone purchase based on running it (you won't regret it) Otherwise I believe an app called HanPing is pretty good for what you asked, and is free.





Excellent...but what is the name/number of last years model? I would dearly love an iPhone but the whole moving and such this summer makes no room for that device. Pleco looks nice, but from the links, it would seem that Pleco still have a lot of kinks to iron out before it can be used properly on any other Android thingies.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on June 21, 2011, 04:38:41 AM
nciku (http://www.nciku.com) do some Chinese/English dictionary apps for android/i-phone too:

http://tool.nciku.com/
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 21, 2011, 05:50:02 AM
Probably HTC's Wildfire (http://www.gsmarena.com/htc_wildfire-3337.php) counts as last year's model (without being crap).  Costs something like 1500 or less.

WARNING: almost all smartphones are annoyingly hard to read while outdoors.  And the Wildfire, while a good budget compromise smartphone, is cheap in part because of a screen tech compromises.  YMMV.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: mlaeux on June 21, 2011, 08:17:59 AM
I was thinking about getting one of those oppo touch screen phones.

Any feedback on those babies?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 21, 2011, 08:59:22 AM
I know nothing of oppo, but re Chinese phones I was just now recalling...

ZTE's Blade (http://product.it168.com/detail/doc/445690/index.shtml) is apparently well received around the world in terms of bang for cheap bucks.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on November 12, 2011, 08:12:41 AM
I'm getting a new phone. I am thinking Android and I will be using Pleco.  Apart from that I am clueless and open to suggestion.

Couple of names have been dropped by friends so far that I haven't seen mentioned here:

HTC ChaCha (horrible name) and Motorola Milestone.

Any up-to-date input from you guys?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on November 12, 2011, 09:24:10 AM
According to here (http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/best-android-phone-which-should-you-buy--717819), a tech site I like the reviews on, the ChaCha is no.6 on the top ten list.  (And given the sheer number of phones out now, probably no phone on the list is any less than a good buy.)  They say the physical qwerty is well realised.  Samsung Galaxy S2 is still considered the best (and I still like the ergonomics of the Desire better) and Desire S is no.4 on the list too.  But if qwerty is what you want--.

I have Pleco on my Desire, but haven't used it much.  (Last I looked the beta didn't really have much functionality, so I kinda gave up.)  I think however the relatively smaller screen on the ChaCha would not be an issue.  Others would have to chime in to make sure of that though.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: BrandeX on November 12, 2011, 09:49:44 AM
I'd suggest a newer phone running Android 4 over these last gen models that have 2.3, you'll possibly get longer use/functionality out it.

Samsung Galaxy Nexus:
http://www.google.com/nexus/
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Noodles on November 12, 2011, 11:08:39 AM
I've recently bought 2 HTC's, a Desire S for the missus and the Incredible S for myself. Both are excellent phones, hard pushed to fault them really. Almost just got 2 Desires but i preferred the slightly larger screen on the Incredible. There are loads of chinese dictionaries available on the Android market, some good some not so good. Download a few and try them out to see which ones suit your needs best.
I am waiting for the full release of pleco though as i have that on my ipod touch and it's definitely one of the best apps out there.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 27, 2011, 04:02:25 AM
That Samsung Galaxy Nexus, has anyone tried it out yet?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: BrandeX on December 28, 2011, 12:49:25 PM
Wait a bit, it comes out soon.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: zero on January 04, 2012, 09:42:57 PM
Anyone tried cheap Chinese knockoff Android phones? Like these?

http://www.chinavasion.com/index.php/cName/mobile-phones/

Would they work in the U.S.?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: El Macho on January 05, 2012, 01:16:00 AM
The XiaoMi Android phone is supposed to be pretty good, but it's completely sold out. I'm thinking of getting one to play with, once they're readily available.

I'd really like to get a Nokia N9, even though the MeeGo OS is now passé. If they get down to ~2,000RMB I'll buy one.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on January 05, 2012, 01:41:51 AM
iPhone 4S will be available in China on January 13th
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: BrandeX on January 05, 2012, 05:59:06 AM
I wonder how well those shanzhai phones sell in America. I have never seen anyone using something like that here on trains or w/e. Everyone seems to only trust intl. name brands.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: zero on January 05, 2012, 02:50:21 PM
I don't sense that they have wide distribution. Of course, most people get a phone with their contract with a carrier. Not too many people go the "bring your own" route, because the carriers offer subsidies on the brand phones when you sign a two-year contract.

Just curious if people have experience with the fake phones? Some of them are quite cheap and I'm wondering if they work well, what the disadvantages are.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: zero on January 09, 2012, 03:55:51 AM
Does anybody know anything about the XiaoMi? I think I want that phone. Would it work in the U.S.? Do Chinese phones come unlocked? Also, if an in-law sends it to me, will it get stopped in U.S. customs?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Nolefan on January 09, 2012, 05:14:48 AM
Does anybody know anything about the XiaoMi? I think I want that phone. Would it work in the U.S.? Do Chinese phones come unlocked? Also, if an in-law sends it to me, will it get stopped in U.S. customs?

most of the Xiami reviews i encountered were less than overwhelming. there are many better android phones out there, especially htc/samsung ones.
These phones would work in the US but only with some carries like T-mobile or ATT. Sprint has a different network.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: zero on January 09, 2012, 04:45:18 PM
I'm kind of a tech dummy, but my understanding was that the appeal of the phone wasn't that it was the best, but that its features were a good value for the price.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: xwarrior on January 11, 2012, 09:12:23 AM
I dunno. All the reviews I have read seem to say that Xiaomi is the way of the future - especially in terms of bang for buck.

 http://www.engadget.com/2011/09/27/xiaomi-phone-review/

http://techrice.com/2011/08/17/1-5-ghz-xiaomi-phone-blows-chinas-shanzhai-mobile-manufacturers-out-of-the-water/

http://www.gizchina.com/2011/12/21/xiaomi-m1-overtakes-iphone-china-top-phone/

http://gadgetmania.com/2011/08/xiaomi-phone-the-chinese-device-that-can-take-on-any-high-end-smartphone-at-half-the-price/
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: zero on January 11, 2012, 02:55:42 PM
It looks like a pretty hot phone to me. I'm thinking of getting someone in China to send me one, if they can get their hands on one. I think it would be cool to have something different here in the U.S. However, I suspect all current phones are going to look dated in a few months or whenever the iPhone 5 comes out. It's going to be super-thin. Huawei is also releasing an ultra-thin phone in a few months and it looks like thin is in.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on January 26, 2012, 10:39:10 PM
I use Pleco Chinese character recognition,  dictionaries/translator  on my iPhone and it's great software. It is now available for Android.

http://www.penn-olson.com/2012/01/26/pleco-dictionary-android/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PennOlson+%28Penn+Olson+%7C+Techin.asia%29
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on January 29, 2012, 10:06:59 AM
I'm wtiting here looking for help, though I may transfer over to a seperate thread should I get enough replies...

Basically I've been given a present of a Samsung Galaxy SII and I'm a bit out of my depth.

The only previous exposure I've had to smart phones etc it through IPOD Touch and Iphones, the android  system is confusing me, especially here in China.

See, it seems like the android (version 2.3.4) that has been installed on here is China-specific, i.e. there are tons of Chinese apps already installed that cannot be uninstalled (weibo etc) and there lots of the android market features seem to be unavailable...

so, what should I do?

is there a way that I can just download a western version of official (does the term offical even work for android?) android software ... or do I need to 'root' it which sounds like something that I would make a terrible mess out of.

basically, I just want a nice simple smart phone on which I can use pleco etc etc..

all help appreciated, and no answer is too simple, please, condescend to me!
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 29, 2012, 12:30:43 PM
Options from lesser to greater learning curve:

(1) menu > settings > applications > manage applications > [unwanted app such as weibo], then force close + uninstall

(2) and if that doesn't work, then root (http://androidforums.com/galaxy-s2-international-all-things-root/367935-samsung-galaxy-s2-root-guide-updated-19-33-gmt-jan-17-2012-a.html), and then try (1) again. (For info, consider Rooting for Dummies (http://androidforums.com/galaxy-s2-international-all-things-root/482994-rooting-galaxy-s2-dummies-guide.html))

(3) or if still unhappy and now that you've rooted, consider flashing a custom rom (aka replacing the android operating system you have now with a different one downloaded from the internet).

There are many different roms (http://www.galaxys2roms.com/), all with their own quirks and highlights. Do note that if you are using a bought, unaltered Samsung Galaxy S II, then some of the features you see now are NOT Android, but are instead Android + Samsung UI (+ some China specific mods).

ROM options:

back to basics, pure android, no samsung ui, no China mods: flash a stock rom (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1210303).
back to mostly basics: cyanogen (http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/wiki/Samsung_Galaxy_S_II:_Full_Update_Guide), a popular, mostly stock rom.
back to samsung: flash original firmware (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1075278) (which will also de-root your device.)
or, go wild: available roms (http://www.galaxys2roms.com/)

There's probably more links out there too.

As for the market, yeah, as far as I know, access to the Android market is restricted in China. I don't use it much so I don't know. But in regard to that, and assorted other sites of ill-repute, Various Purple Nightdresses work on smartphones.


All of this I learned from screwing around with my HTC Desire (and Google). YMMV.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on January 29, 2012, 12:41:40 PM
 bjbjbjbjbj

Calach, thank you, that's exactly what I wanted...

now to try on my slinky little Purple Nightdress. Cheers.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: dragonsaver on January 29, 2012, 01:43:56 PM
I have a question about smartphones.  I am back in Canada now.  My cell phone from China is way too old and probably can't take a SIM. 

The cost to get a phone is ludicrous.  They want $70.00/month for 3 years for an IPhone or Android PLUS $160.00 for the phone.   I doubt I spent $70/year on my cell in China.

Only reason I was thinking about getting a cell phone is I live in the country and the only way I can get internet is through a dish (not satellite), however, the damn thing doesn't work when we have an ice storm.  We have had 2 ice storms already this month and I teach online.  No internet no classes and no money.  Also the students are getting pissed off (so am I) cuz they have no idea why I am not online and I have no way to even tell them.  I could get a stick but they don't work very well and I still need a 3 year contract and it is $40/mo.

I could get a cell phone as it would work as a 'hot spot' so I could still use my laptop.  I am just not sure how much I would actually use the phone otherwise.  I wonder if I could get a cell in China and then get a SIM for it here.  Would that be a less expensive way to go?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.   akakakakak akakakakak
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on January 29, 2012, 02:21:49 PM
jebus,

looking at all those links and my head is spinning...

I might postpone surgery for a while, see what I can do with the phone as is... most importantly, it seems, get the VPN working, and get app store up and running....

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: tomhume89 on January 30, 2012, 12:07:45 AM
I use Pleco Chinese character recognition,  dictionaries/translator  on my iPhone and it's great software. It is now available for Android.

http://www.penn-olson.com/2012/01/26/pleco-dictionary-android/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PennOlson+%28Penn+Olson+%7C+Techin.asia%29


I thoroughly recommend Pleco for Android. As it's Beta testing atm, it's free until about June. What to do after then is beyond me...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on January 30, 2012, 05:38:30 AM
so - how many people here are happily using android in China, and if so, HOW?

it seems like GFW has closed off anything that is remotely google-related, this including app stores, thereby making it all but unusable.

It seems like I'm going to have to do the following, which I am neither suited to nor happy about...

1. root my phone, and install an international version of android, one that isn't full of crap Chinese apps that aren't google-related..

2. get my apps each time via the following ridiculous workaround - turn on airplane mode, turn on wifi, turn on VPN - then go to app market...

the thing is, I can't even register my phone with gmail as it is (this page is blocked off - can't even get to it with VPN - must be the chinese firm ware)

so... what the hell am I to do? I just wish I had an Iphone instead... I'm not fit for all this...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 30, 2012, 10:50:15 AM
I'm happily using Android by more or less not using any Google-related apps. I do use the pre-installed news and weather app, genie widget I believe it's called, and I'm moderately certain it accesses Google News to do its thing. But I haven't tried the Market in a long while. And, actually, news seems to be (http://www.zdnet.com/blog/asia/android-market-8216unlikely-to-open-in-china/730) that we won't be seeing it directly for some time to come. But I don't know why a Velvet Pantie Night wouldn't get you there. Maybe ask their support staff?

In the past, before the great Megaupload downheaval and the voluntary whatever-it-is the other filesharing sites did, I'd get my apps in apk form through Mobilism (http://forum.mobilism.org). Itz a cracked software forum. (Given some reasonable utility and cost model--and an accessible service, dammit--, I'd pay like anyone else--try before you buy would be great, never displaying ads would be super--but until then, it's been too easy to get these things for zip--or it was when there were free and anon file upload sites, but now I don't know.) If you are going to download your own apks this or some similar way, you'll need first to find and somehow install a file manager app. Astro is good.

Meanwhile, the Vestigial Princess Nubbin really doesn't work?


(Re the ridiculous work-around, you don't want your data service on all the time anyway... big battery drainer.)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on January 30, 2012, 10:58:52 AM
Ugh, it's new phone time for me and I am sure I will be where Fozz is now very shortly, i.e. lost and yearning for my first Nokia which could only call and send texts.

On a related note is that sexy looking Samsung Google Nexus available in China yet or not?  No sign of it at Xujiahui this weekend as fas as I could tell.  I wont be able to use it but I want it.

Quote from: Fozzwaldus
...or do I need to 'root' it which sounds like something that I would make a terrible mess out of.

...must resist temptation...to make crap joke...I think a 'LOL' response is in order here...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 30, 2012, 11:13:20 AM
I was going to say that someone should find a Chinese cracker site for their android apps, but it's China that's producing such android viruses as there are. But what do the Chinese do, I wonder? Biggest uptake of smartphones in the world, and no market? Students almost always have their wifi turned on, it seems to me. They all use the internet service provided by their phone company. Betcha there's some kind of pseudo market somewhere, working like Baidu, offering pirated software. And probably all in Chinese.

I will say this about romming your phone: it's rather like losing the phone's virginity. Whatever you put on there in place of the original software is always something less than was there before. I mean, the companies that make the user interfaces are putting effort into producing a likeable commercial product, while the rommers are, at best, hackers that will eventually be hired by those companies (Cyanogen went to Samsung), but more often they're amateur cooks mixing up some batch of something that's interesting to them. Romming is the high school prom of phone love.

The moral: back up everything before you rom. Your phone can be born again.

Rooting, by contrast, is high-minded and elevating.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on January 30, 2012, 11:52:44 AM
@MK - my advice, get an Iphone. Get an older model that's less expensive, it will give you eveything you need with nowhere near as much heartache. Some people enjoy this, I don't.

@Calach - VPN works, the workaround with VPN takes me to US android market... however, there's something about my phone, most likely the firmware on my phone, that won't allow me to register it with google, (this seems to be the first step for most android users) and this diallows me from actually downloading anything from the market.

I just want fecking pleco and a couple of other bloody everyday apps!

What I think I'll do is (if I persist and still can't get this sorted out) is give her a quick root, then install the international Samsung software on it, thereby restoring her maidenhood, and pretend that nothing ever happened (look, there's blood on the sheet! let the people of the town rejoice! )

Now, as far as I've been able to ascertain in my 2 days of frustrated googling, there are tons of app stores out there in Chinese inter-land, but they are riddled with all sorts of malicious things that you wouldn't want to put your root anywhere near.

One more question Calach - you posted a link above to

'back to samsung: flash original firmware', this link takes me to a list of things that I don't understand. Which one would you suggest that I choose? They all look location specific, if I chose an Irish one would it let me use it back in Ireland over the summer?

I obviously have no clue what I'm talking about. 
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 30, 2012, 01:28:32 PM
Oh, it gets worse... there's actually a lot more firmwares (http://www.tsar3000.com/Joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=91:samsung-flashes&catid=55:samsung&Itemid=82) available.

In that link it's a bit more obvious that the firmware you choose depends on what model Galaxy S II you have. It is an i9000, right? But which one? (Or if it's not an i9000, which one anyway?) Look in:

Menu > Settings > About phone

I *THINK* the info you need is whatever your phone reports for:

PDA:
Phone:
CSC:

Then go looking online for some firmware which is the same except doesn't include ZC (China, Hong Kong), ZH (Hong Kong), ZS (China, Hong Kong), or ZT (Taiwan), and in particular doesn't have any of those Z bits in the CSC... but as to exactly which one...

Reading suggests the only thing you in particular want to change is the CSC. I *THINK* what you're looking for is some firmware in which PDA, Phone, and CSC have at least the same LAST three letters and numbers as your current PDA, Phone and CSC variously do, but which have no ZC, ZH, ZS, nor ZT anywhere. If you find such a thing, you'll get the same phone you have now with some other localisation, not Chinese.

If you want to also update the android version, then PDA and Phone can change too. ("Phone" isn't the phone itself, it's part of the phone operating system and can be updated, but to what.... I don't know which is best, I don't know Samsungs.)


*crosses fingers*
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on January 30, 2012, 01:56:08 PM
How will Google's recently announced NEW [anti] Privacy Policy, from which there is reportedly no opt-out, affect Android phone users? Will all your devices-computer, laptop, phone-with which you use signed-in Google services (Google Mail, Google Search, Google+, Youtube, Picassa, Android Apps, etc.) be aggregated to a profile of everything you do and what devices you do it from?

Just asking.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on January 30, 2012, 02:16:53 PM
That sounds a bit alarming Old. I'm finding this sort of thing increasingly spooky, the thought that everything I've ever done online is immediately accessible to somebody in an office somehwere in Conneticut.

@Calach -

the info I've got is:

PDA I9100ZCKH2

PHONE I9100ZCKH2

CSC I9100oZHKH2

for what it's worth. I'll keep looking into it. I've got 2 weeks holiday, and this is going to be my pet project. Oh, that and studying for my MA, supposedly.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 30, 2012, 03:01:59 PM
PDA I9100ZCKH2

PHONE I9100ZCKH2

CSC I9100oZHKH2

I *THINK* what that means is, well, you can flash any firmware you like if you choose from the i9100 collection (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1075278) (excluding the Frankenstein Firmwares, which are NOT official), but it's a good idea to choose ??KH2 or higher. Variation in ?? is variation in localisation, but changing KH2 up or down changes the (particular iteration of the) Android version up or down. You could if you wished even go up to 2.3.6.

NOTE: it's clear that some of those firmwares will wipe your device (because the notes say so), but not clear that they all do. You may flash a firmware and find the previous stuff still present. There is presumably ways to cause a wipe on demand and perhaps should be looked into.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on January 30, 2012, 03:11:22 PM
That sounds a bit alarming Old. I'm finding this sort of thing increasingly spooky, the thought that everything I've ever done online is immediately accessible to somebody in an office somehwere in Conneticut.

Didn't mean to alarm, I just asked.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 31, 2012, 04:39:37 AM
How will Google's recently announced NEW [anti] Privacy Policy, from which there is reportedly no opt-out, affect Android phone users? Will all your devices-computer, laptop, phone-with which you use signed-in Google services (Google Mail, Google Search, Google+, Youtube, Picassa, Android Apps, etc.) be aggregated to a profile of everything you do and what devices you do it from?

Probably.

I recall reading a relatively persuasive piece of paranoia on why Google would make Android available at all. Essentially, if they offer the lowest cost OS ever, then other phone (and eventually computer) manufacturers have that much less incentive to go on investing in their own OSes or paying other companies like Microsoft for theirs. And if other operating systems get less market share, almost automatically their associated search engine services, like Bing, also get less market share. Booyah competitive strategy.

So if Google is now allowing itself to collect device, location, unique application, and log in information along with browsing habits, it'll be for some competitive purpose. At the very least they can track usage of Android itself and provide it with development direction. (And also provide Samsung with some direction for development of their Nexus brand.)

One might expect something a bit bigger though. Personally I think the merger of cloud computing and social networking and the consuming of stuff is still too irritating to take part in. It's still plagued by device inadequacies, literal time lags because even the fastest networks are technically sluggish compared to the hypothetical instantaneous, tiresome location requirements, fraud, boring products etc etc. So if Google is setting up that new world order, that could be okay, but I'll buy in later.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on January 31, 2012, 06:59:53 AM
Comes now an article precisely on the issue of Google's new policy change's effect on Android users:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017355684_btgoogle30.html (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017355684_btgoogle30.html)

The money quote:
Quote
For owners of Android devices, which include about half of the smartphone market, Google's privacy policy shift means that the company will be tracking much of what users do on the phone and combine that data with what the company knows about the users from Google's websites.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 31, 2012, 08:25:22 AM
In theory it's a good thing. The days of mass produced products are over, the text books keep telling me. These days the deal is making relationships with customers over time and tailoring products to them. Which you can't do without knowing quite a lot about what those people do.

Let's start by noting that web advertising doesn't work. (He says, without stats to hand.) Most assuredly banner advertising doesn't work. Pop-ups piss people off (except the Chinese, it would seem, unless pop-ups are explained by Chinese webmasters really, really not being the marketing geniuses we've come to expect from third world, upstart, fairly clueless etc etc). And broadly speaking, the only other way to make money from the internet is to have people buy things. But how do you do that without advertising?

Etc and so on. It's all really, really crude, in my opinion. As relationship marketing or database marketing, it includes masses of useless data that probably doesn't mean anything to the collectors even as it annoys the collectees.

But it's the beginning...

Wait for the day when this stuff actually works. When people have implants and cities have universal, near-instantaneous network access. Then all this kind of information collection will be useful and actually make money in solid ways. (Which is the only thing that stops it being draconian overlord stuff...)

I dunno, I'm just making all this up. I believe however that smartphones, or their next gen analog, will be devices we use for all sorts of things in the future and there's some change coming... something that adequately coordinates people requirements and their devices.

Pffft, it was good in my head before I spelt it out.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 31, 2012, 08:37:45 AM
That's to say, what companies like Google are supposed to do in return for all this information they "collect" is provide some kind of trade object in return--maybe a quality experience, maybe some specialised product, maybe some extra feature, or maybe something better than any of those, something that can't be otherwise bought.

And I put "collect" in quotes because if the above paragraph contains, or perhaps just nods at, some truth, then your information is not something someone can collect without offering something in return. They should "pay" for what they take. That's the new capitalist deal, maybe.

(Except, oddly enough, I think perhaps the commies might be better at this kind of thing--consider how easily our students take up really very invasive tech!)


/riffing
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on January 31, 2012, 01:00:38 PM
@Calach

so, I've rooted succesfully (according to Odin) and then flashed with a Hong Kong Rom taken from the list, and, nothing has changed!

I chose Hone Kong, cos, well I thought it would keep the Chinese input things that I like.

So, I'm going to go and try somewhere more far flung, see what changes.

I just need to be able to register the phone on android market, an ability that chinese phones don't got.

here we go again!
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on January 31, 2012, 02:11:27 PM
ach, I give up, this is way too much of a headache.

at this stage I HATE THIS PHONE. I think I've half ruined it now by messing with it - it can't access kies anymore, and by rooting it I've voided the warranty...

*heading to bed... thoroughly miserable*

cautionary tale: buy an IPHONE
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 31, 2012, 02:33:21 PM
First of all, WOO! Congrats! A root 'n' a flash. And all on the first date!
 
Oh wait, just saw you're last post... yeah, rooting and romming is disheartening...:(

Chin up, homie!

(1) What looks like the Kies answer: http://samsunggalaxysforums.com/showthread.php/6847-Lose-Kies-desktop-after-root

(2) HK rom is not necessary.  It's not the localisation that lets you use Chinese, it's the Android itself. You can use the US localisation even and download Google Pinyin (or Sogou Input) to get Chinese. (I did.)

(3) if all told the basic thing you can't do is register your phone with Gmail because somehow the Vigorous Pounding Nightly you give to your phone doesn't work, then.... update your Vigor? When was the last time you checked in with the company? Ask them if they know what's up.


Rootin' ( bibibibibi llllllllll) for ya.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 31, 2012, 02:54:54 PM
ps. just to make sure... you sound like you're using your home wifi for your phone data connection, so your Volatile Political Namesake... [stand by for a dumb question...] it's set up on your PC or on your phone?

For it to work on the phone, it has to be set up on the phone:

Menu > Settings > Wireless & networks > [ABC] Settings > Add [ABC] > [stuff]

The [stuff] is a puzzle and you'll probably need to look it up on your ABC provider's website.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on February 01, 2012, 01:34:20 AM
Ha ha,

thanks for the pep talk Calach. I'm a new man this morning  bfbfbfbfbf.

So, last night I managed to fix the kies issue, and used it to update my official firmware. So now at least I have a working version of the firmware the phone came with. To me this means I haven't ruined the phone, and I can live with this.

The problem being, though, is that in order to use android market, you have to register your phone with your gmail , which I can't do, and I don't think it's a VPN issue. I've seen videos of other android formats on the same phone and the first thing they ask you to do is to input your gmail address and from there you can freely download apps. My phone just doesn't have that function.

Now, I'm quite happy to go around with my China phone if I can just download a few apps that I like and be done with it.

How can I do this?

Is there a way to register a phone on my laptop? Or a way to work around it with my VPN on? (my VPN hasn't been working since I updated, but I'm sure I'll be able to get it going)

Is there a way to download apps onto my laptop and from there transfer to my phone?

If it comes down to it, I will root again, but I'm loathe to do it as it seems hit-and-miss, and many of the links to firmware that are provided by sites have been closed... the question is root to what? I just don't know. I don't understand enough.

If anybody (I DO appreciate your help thusfar Calach, I really do  akakakakak) know of a simple way to reach my simple goals of downloading apps onto my Sinofied phone, then please enlighten me. 

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on February 01, 2012, 01:40:37 AM
I shall look into amazon app store and alternative app sites soon, but it seems like Android market is the only way to go for things like pleco, and chinese pod etc...

the 'rival' samsung market that's provided on my phone would be laughable if it wasn't so depressing.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 01, 2012, 02:06:47 AM
The problem being, though, is that in order to use android market, you have to register your phone with your gmail , which I can't do, and I don't think it's a Very Passable Nicety issue. I've seen videos of other android formats on the same phone and the first thing they ask you to do is to input your gmail address and from there you can freely download apps. My phone just doesn't have that function.

Like this?

Menu > Settings > Accounts & sync > Add account > Google

and then the phone will give you detailed prompts on what to do, including how to both create and sign in to a Google account?

Quote
Now, I'm quite happy to go around with my China phone if I can just download a few apps that I like and be done with it.

How can I do this?

The whole deal since Apple ruined the world is Markets. My experience has been that a diminishingly small number of developers make their software available for direct download outside the market, but that crackers do. To avoid saying the name of one of the bigger cracker sites too often, it's up in earlier posts and starts with Mobilism.

To install software outside of market download you need first to find a way to install a file manager. I did it using the Android sdk (which all happened in a blur and I'm no longer sure how it worked). However...

Installing APKs without the Market (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=installing+apks+without+the+market&oq=installing+apks+without+the+market&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&gs_sm=e&gs_upl=267047l269392l0l269773l19l9l0l0l0l0l0l0ll0l0)

The installation processes described in the link are needed only once: to install the file manager. After you have a file manager onboard, installing is as simple as copying the apk to your phone and selecting it with the file manager. Astro is a good file manager.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on February 01, 2012, 02:21:08 AM
Like this?

Menu > Settings > Accounts & sync > Add account > Google

and then the phone will give you detailed prompts on what to do, including how to both create and sign in to a Google account?


see, my phone don't have a google option there, just a Microsoft Outlook Option - now, there is a way to sneak a google address into this option, which I have done, but so far it's only let me access my email on the phone, nothing for android markets.

I shall look into the other stuff later. Cheers Calach.  bfbfbfbfbf

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 01, 2012, 02:35:27 AM
Wow. That is bizarre. The rabbit hole is deeper than I thought. However:

Trick for signing in to Gmail through an Exchange account (http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/gmail/thread?tid=13b8ea68812187cf&hl=en)

Were I thee though I'd be (experimenting with ICS roms) finding a completely non-Chinese, not even HK firmware and trying that out.


Bonne Chance, proud phone owner!


ETA: since this is a weird firmware that excludes Google operations, you probably also need to find and install gapps (the Google Apps package, which includes among other things the actual Market app). I would assume it is automatically included in any non-Chinese firmware (as it is in the case of almost every other branded, non-China localised phone).

NON-CHINESE FIRMWARE FTW! (Sorry China.)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on February 01, 2012, 03:44:58 AM
yep, that's the gmail trick i used too, and it seems to be ok for me email.

sometime later I'll get around to going deeper into the belly of the beast, but for now I've already burned about 3 days on the stuff, and I have study to do.

Thanks again...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 01, 2012, 03:54:05 AM
No sweat, my next phone might well be a Samsung so it's been interesting.

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 01, 2012, 03:54:24 AM
More broadly, having a bit of a look around online, it seems like this might be an issue for ALL Android phones brought in the PRC these days. There's some whole thing going on. One is reminded of how the Party screwed Microsoft by realistically threatening to invent Red Flag Linux and thereby getting big Microsoft concessions, but still.... an interesting magazine article on the more general topic of Android and iOS in China:

Understanding the iOS and Android Market in China (http://www.insidemobileapps.com/2011/09/02/china-chinese-smartphone-ios-android-market/)

This'll possibly be an interesting topic in the e-commerce classes I have coming up this semester! I wonder what students know about it all.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on February 01, 2012, 04:36:34 PM
update (since I'm sure you're all riveted by the esoteric jibber-jabber going on here)

tried all the tricks: VPNS/fLight mode/taking out sim and there just seems to be no way to get onto android market and/or amazon market.

what I have been doing is using slideme and applanet to get some decent apps (like facebook and mapdroid for example)

however... what I really want is PLECO (I want it so bad...  ananananan)

and I can't even seem to find NCIKU...

I guess I best keep searching...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 02, 2012, 02:43:07 AM
Dumb Question: does your phone actually have the Android Market app installed?

At the risk of something weird happening:

http://www.appchina.com/soft_detail_172541_0_10.html

Appchina is apparently the biggest China-based app store (with all apps offered for free, aka pirated), and the link above is to Android Market 3.4.4 app. It can be downloaded to pc (and transferred to phone) or to phone directly (somehow). I assume it will follow the language settings on your phone (and thus present in English), and potentially includes no malware at all, though currently there is no way to check. You may have to root to install.

At the risk of even more weirdness, because I'm not sure downloading just the Market is enough:

A Google Apps suite package at Rapidshare (https://rs786tl4.rapidshare.com/#!download|786tl5|442803636|android.zip|9414|R~F5ED0465303E741CFA0B8C76EB59BF4F|0|0)

which may or may not be device-specific.

BUT ALL THAT ASIDE...

What I really hope is this whole problem will be solved by flashing a non-Chinese rom.

It appears that the problem you are having is one that anyone buying a non-import Android phone in China will now have (and I'm thinking about getting a Galaxy Nexus, so....) Are you still using the HK firmware? Try out almost any other country version and the Google apps will presumably be pre-installed.

Alt-alternatively... try out Cyanogen. For the Galaxy S II, the Cyanogen mod is buggy but good enough to be called a release candidate (http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/wiki/Latest_Version#Samsung_Galaxy_S_II). And, once you have it, you can also download the appropriate Gapps package (http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/wiki/Latest_Version#Google_Apps).

For preference, a commercial firmware will probably be nicer to use, but Cyanogen gives you geek cred. (And it gave me Gingerbread when HTC didn't.)


And ETA:

according to the notes on Cyanogen's gapps page (http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/wiki/Latest_Version#Google_Apps), the gapps for CyanogenMod 7 and other Gingerbread ROMs (http://api.viglink.com/api/click?format=go&key=9b4efad421c8b103b2c94b796db973b0&loc=http%3A%2F%2Fwiki.cyanogenmod.com%2Fwiki%2FLatest_Version%23Google_Apps&subId=b4c3c040df27f8b7bef18d61b50d9cd5&v=1&libid=1328151853622&out=http%3A%2F%2Fcmw.22aaf3.com%2Fgapps%2Fgapps-gb-20110828-signed.zip&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fraoulschinasaloon.com%2Findex.php%3Ftopic%3D5393.msg133343%23new&title=Latest%20Version%20-%20CyanogenMod%20Wiki&txt=Download&jsonp=vglnk_jsonp_13281520500021) is "is DPI and architecture-independent, so all devices now use the same Universal package." Presumably it can used on any Gingerbread phone and will give you the Market and assorted other useful Google-things.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 02, 2012, 03:21:12 AM
Let's start by noting that web advertising doesn't work. (He says, without stats to hand.) Most assuredly banner advertising doesn't work.
Banner ads don't work, but Google AdSense works like gangbusters for Google at least…that's where they're getting all that money they make.

Yar. I was thinking more of in-app advertising. Developers make their money either by selling the app or selling ad space in their app. And people (like me, and I guess others) go to some length to avoid that kind of advertising.

And I don't know how Adsense works so I may be talking out my ass. Banners? Targetted placement? Paid search? And this applies to phones?


The general idea I'm having is that advertising concepts on the internet draw still from TV advertising concepts, but the internet, and in particular you on your phone on the internet, is in a different zone. Where TV watchers are passive recipients, internet/phone users are (putatively) active. Advertising, if it's to work well in that medium, presumably has to be interactive in the right way. The user is supposed to get something from it rather than get something projected at them. The user is supposed to guide the experience.

/buttock whispering
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on February 02, 2012, 04:41:38 AM
@ Calcach - yes I did manage to get an android market app, but it wouldn't let me register. Ditto for Amazon.
I'm back on the original China ROM after an update that fixed all the bugs that I managed to self-inflict after rooting.

I don't really have the stomach for all this rooting, so, Macho, I will eventually take it to a phone shop (but which one? who could I trutst?)

but for now I'm happy enough with my sexy wee phone (albeit with chastity belt), and I will make do with the apps I can get, and petition pleco to send me their product in the mail  ahahahahah

Calach - if you do buy an android, and you do encounter this problem, I'm sure you'll be far more capable of fixing it that I am. I really just need a 'sha gua' 傻瓜 phone, as they say.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 02, 2012, 04:49:05 AM
*cough*quitter  ahahahahah


Ummmm... after all this, though... ahmm... omg:

"Here's how to install Pleco without using Android Market..."

http://www.pleco.com/androidextfiles.html

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on February 02, 2012, 04:58:47 AM
he he, yeah, I just figured that one out for myself  ahahahahah ahahahahah

I may be a bonehead, but your selfless aiding of boneheadedness will no doubt stand you in good stead for future android adventures.

See, this is why iPhone is so successful, perfectly suited for mouth-breathers like me 
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 02, 2012, 07:35:18 AM
Well, Fozz, once you get it working, how about a review? A comparison I saw has the Galaxy S2 as approximately the same size as the Galaxy Nexus. The S2 appears to be almost the same width, somewhat shorter, probably a little thinner. What's it like to use? Is it gigantic?


Dr Prof Calach P Peffer Esq's Tech Support.
"Voiding warranties since 2012"
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on February 02, 2012, 10:41:36 AM
review:

Samsung Galaxy S2:

it's larger that an iphone, but also lighter (at least lighter than the older version my wife uses) nice big screen which is good for messaging and reading papers etc.

fast, hasn't crashed on me yet good camera, 16 gigs of space for stuff.

I have noticed that with heavy use (like constantly playin with apps and going online) the battery doesn't last much more than a day( it'll give you one full day then die in the second).

I'm pretty happy with it now that I've downloaded PLECO (which is an amazing tool, not just for the Optical Character Reader, which is a great gimmick, and potentially very useful, but for its other less flashy tools like document reader, and very good dictionary {better than NCIKU})

... however, if you're the sort of person who want to download loads of apps etc etc, then I wouldn't go for any type of android in China, unless you're willing (and able!) to go through the rigmarole that is detailed in the posts above

good as a phone too, though bear in mind I'm going from a battered old nokia to my first smartphone, so it all seems a bit sexy.

good camera:  8.0 megapixels

what else?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on February 02, 2012, 10:43:21 AM
Dr Prof Calach P Peffer Esq's Tech Support.
"Voiding warranties since 2012"

yeah, I might google how to reset that root-counter-thingymabobby, although the official update has remover any surface evidence of tinkering (big yellow warning sign)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on February 03, 2012, 09:06:55 AM
Quote
I'm pretty happy with it now that I've downloaded PLECO (which is an amazing tool, not just for the Optical Character Reader, which is a great gimmick, and potentially very useful, but for its other less flashy tools like document reader, and very good dictionary {better than NCIKU})

See, the only problem with Pleco is, it's so powerful that once you know how to use it well, you don't actually have to continue to really learn Chinese - Pleco will take care for everything for you.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on February 04, 2012, 01:17:12 AM
Quote
I'm pretty happy with it now that I've downloaded PLECO (which is an amazing tool, not just for the Optical Character Reader, which is a great gimmick, and potentially very useful, but for its other less flashy tools like document reader, and very good dictionary {better than NCIKU})

See, the only problem with Pleco is, it's so powerful that once you know how to use it well, you don't actually have to continue to really learn Chinese - Pleco will take care for everything for you.


I hear ye. I can imagine there are a lot of expats out there walking around interpreting China through Pleco on their smart phones. Pleco should make a goggle version.

Speaking of goggles, has anybody tried Google Goggles? Fecking amazing. Truly amazing. Though I needed Virtually all of my Patience and Niceness to get it working.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 05, 2012, 09:26:35 AM
So I tried out ICS (specifically, Android 4.0.3) on my Desire. Woohoo! But then again, meh. There's unstable, buggy, incomplete roms out there and I tried BCM b0.3.4 (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1403113), which is about as alpha a release as still works out. It's missing a few components and lacks for example the ability to modify too much of the screen flash so I was stuck with animated screen changes, pulsing menu selections, and a few other things I'd normally turn off to save speed, battery and distraction. Not a brisk user interface experience. Also, kinda chunky. The default screen seems to assume either a bigger screen or a higher resolution. And one or two apps I like didn't quite work, notably ADWlauncher (but I was trying 1.3.1 and the latest release is actually 1.3.6, I think) and are maybe not ICS ready.

Raises the question, I guess: buy a full on Galaxy Nexus or get an S2 and install ICS? The Nexus is technically a lesser phone than the Galaxy S2, seemingly by design since the S2 is still considered the best Android phone out there currently and keeps selling well. Don't want to undercut the main chance. Or wait for the S3 which it seems will ship with ICS.

Choices, choices.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: ericthered on February 25, 2012, 03:38:31 AM
Okay....I am getting the gf an iPhone4s and, seeing as I do not trust the local "authorized re-sellers" to be what they claim to be, I am buying from the official Apple online store, which means that the phone will not be unlocked or jail-broken or whatever the word is...does it matter? what does it matter if it is jail-broken or not?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on February 25, 2012, 06:00:52 AM
If it's jailbroken, you can have more control over what applications you can use. You can tweak the interface in many different ways. You will be able to install pirated apps.

The downside is that it voids the warranty (can get around that sometimes), lack of security with  malicious software, a hit in performance and battery, and (maybe most annoying) you can't upgrade your software (free) until they've figured out how to jailbreak it again.

I use an iPhone 4s unjailbroken. I don't feel it's worth the hassle and I don't mind buying software. Previously there was no Apple App Store for China so it was necessary for Chinese people to Jailbreak. The Chinese Apple App Store is open now though.

There's really no need for the iPhone 4s for your GF other than status though. The big difference is Siri, the voice activation and it doesn't speak Chinese yet. The there is a slight speed increase and you can load more pages In the browser, but these are not noticeable if you haven't used both models. The battery life is also better on the iPhone 4. It looks exactly the same and cost significantly less.

China Telecom will begin selling the iPhone in a couple of weeks. You might want to check the 3G coverage in your area between them and Unicom. The China Mobile 3G doesn't work with the current iPhone.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: ericthered on February 25, 2012, 07:02:01 AM
Well, she is fluent in English, so Siri will work fine...I know, I tried telling her that the 1000 yuan difference in price between the iPhone4 and the 4s is ridiculous for the, almost idiotic, small differences there are between the two phones...still, she declared that was her dearest wish and thus, so I quiten my arguments...I know better than to argue with Chinese girls when they have their mind set on something...In my experience, it would be easier to convince a Hells Angels member that, after you have deliberately keyed his Harley, you should solve the issue with rock-paper-scissors...

Why do phones have to be so complicated?? 3G??? Apps? What...dialling and receiving calls and text messaging...those I understand...oh well, I will buy the thing and let her have the headache...ok, so an unjailbroken one is fine... agagagagag
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on February 25, 2012, 08:18:56 AM
Why do phones have to be so complicated??

The complication here isn't the phone, it's the girl. 
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 25, 2012, 08:55:16 AM
^ lol, yes.

Get her a China Mobile Ophone (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/business/2009-09/01/content_8639591.htm).
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: ericthered on February 25, 2012, 09:00:09 AM
I beg to differ...she wants an iPhone, I get her one...it's the phone that is complicated...jailbreaking a phone to get apps that does what??? When you go to a phone store you are immediately assaulted by a plethora of telephones which, apparently, are made to function as computers, although the people will also try sell you a tablet, which is also a computer, there is even a cellphone which is as large as a tablet...Undoubtedly smart phones are very smart, but one cannot but feel somewhat cheated by the fact that whatever phone one purchases will, inevitably, be obsolete within a few months as the over-gorged market for phones is constantly being with even more phones, each of which desperately trying to be better than the other and, seeing as this is impossible, they all end up being equal in both standard and gimmickry which fosters yet another brood of techno-doodahs to be hatched....err...whoops...that was a long rant...ignore at your pleasure...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on February 25, 2012, 09:05:32 AM
Um, my comment was meant as a joke eric.

Seriously, go to one of the 3 Apple Stores in Shanghai. Most of the Geniuses (Apple's term for them) there can speak English and explain it all to you.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 25, 2012, 11:06:19 AM
[...]Undoubtedly smart phones are very smart, but one cannot but feel somewhat cheated by the fact that whatever phone one purchases will, inevitably, be obsolete within a few months as the over-gorged market for phones is constantly being with even more phones, [...]

Agreed, actually.  Or at least, I can sense that kind of feeling coming. I already get it with buying computers. But for now phones are a technology still in the sweet spot: past the awkward introduction phase, but not yet so well-established that the key technologies are boring. They're still cool toys. So every time it comes up in class I try finding out if anyone knows *why* Apple products are sooooooo hot in China. No one does. It'd be nice to think it's because China is sufficiently developed a technology market that whatever *they* want to acquire is the thing that's going to be big next.

So I re-iterate, oPhone! Or a MIUI phone. All the girls know it's the next thing.

(Technically, it could be--not. But the China market is splitting Android away from Google and making something else out of it, so.......)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: ericthered on February 25, 2012, 11:45:46 AM
True...but it is, in most cases, all about the brand...I mean, people buy that iPhone just because there is a half-chewed fruit symbol on the back. Take this 4s thing...I saw lines on TV outside the Apple store eagerly clamouring to throw money at Apple for the pleasure of a phone which anyone with the good sense God gave a chicken can tell you will be replaced by an even spiffier one called iPhone 5 before 2012 is over...The gf wants one, so she gets one..my LG phone is crap and will be replaced with a smart one...though not Apple...I like HTC better and they come in cheaper kinds...a phone, which can easily be lifted out of the pocket by some rapscallion, should never cost as much as a small laptop...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 25, 2012, 12:00:28 PM
Ah, for an insight into the mind of the acquirer... brand history is being made.

See, normal Apple-heads are all about how it's technology that works and also has superlative aesthetic qualities. They make it sound like they did something more than let the brand have an exclusive relationship with them. Do Apple people genuinely shop around? Maybe they do, I don't know. But here in China...

What does she want from the phone?

An honourable man of course asks this question, if at all, after he's placed the item in her dainty claws and let her play with it awhile. Still, it would be interesting to know what acquisition of the property means.



Come to think of it, better not ask. Forget I said anything.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: jpd01 on February 25, 2012, 05:57:30 PM
Personally I don't like the design of the iphone4 and didn't bother thinking about getting one. I'v had my HK iphone 3gs for a while now and it still works just fine.
I have a HTC tablet with android and will not upgrade to another apple product when my old iphone kicks the bucket.
I was thinking about a motorola razr as an upgrade eventually and seeing as though they have been doing better or the same in most side by side reviews as the iphone 4s I'll probably buy one for a few thousand cheaper than a 4s.
I've liked apple products for a while (from my old classic ipod to a touch and then iphone) but I'm just not liking it enough in comparison to the other stuff out there to shell out extra for something that isn't really wowing me these days.
My wife handles all our money so she doesn't ask me for anything, I have to ask her. She has the same model iphone as I do (16gb to my 32gb) She hates the iphone 4 and 4s because every second image grabbing idiot has one.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Borkya on February 26, 2012, 12:37:54 AM
Why do phones have to be so complicated?? 3G??? Apps? What...dialling and receiving calls and text messaging...those I understand...oh well, I will buy the thing and let her have the headache...ok, so an unjailbroken one is fine... agagagagag

Hey ETR, in China (and actually now in America too if u pay full price) they can "unlock" the iphone at the apple store, so it's all officially done. It isn't jailbroken, you can't download paid apps for free, but when you unlock it, it means you can use any mobile phone service with it.

If I got an iphone that's what I would do. If you jailbreak it then you can't officially update it and when the new OS system came out a lot of my friends were really bothered trying to find a shop that had an update for jailbroken phones.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: ericthered on February 26, 2012, 01:53:44 AM
I see...well, having had a looooooong chat with the gf, she seems to have changed her mind and would like a cheaper phone and then put money aside for a laptop...fine with me...considering she has had two phones stolen in the time I have been with her...She seems to favour HTC so we will go shopping for one of them...updates? downloads? New OS?....my first mobile phone weighed 5 kilos, most of that was a battery and it could just about call people, if you extended the little plastic antenna....phones makes me feel old...so old....
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 26, 2012, 02:40:19 AM
I'm a bit out of touch with the newest and greatest. There's a techradar list (http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/20-best-mobile-phones-in-the-world-today-645440) I find helpful in thinking these things through.

Nonetheless, my picks from that list would be:

HTC Desire S
Samsung Galaxy SII
Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc S
Apple iPhone 4

I don't know anything about the Xperias but they're moving into the list and look good. And of all of these phones, assuming I was somehow going against my extremely cheap interpersonal nature and, lord help me, purchasing a phone for a grrrl with no consuming interest in tech herself, I'd choose.... well, I'd probably choose to give up. But the Desire S is a subtly cool phone with excellent actual phone-like properties including a lack of the gigantism other phones suffer. The Galaxy SII probably has the best bang for the buck. And the iphone trumps them all in simple, honest-to-goodness, better than you coolth.

I'd get a grrrl a Desire S and it would be so unobtrusively excellent she'd complain about how I'd cheated her. And then we'd by an iphone.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 26, 2012, 03:38:20 AM
One NB that's probably worth adding:

As a tech toy with cachet that's also a phone, nothing beats an iphone, particularly in China. And that's not (solely) a product of brand worship. iPhone's actually do work in China in ways that Android phones don't immediately. We should probably get some reports in on this, but compared to Android, iphones have everything up and running easily. The Market's there, the product is known, knowledge can be found among cool kids and not just on tech bulletin boards... you can play with it and make it worth the price from the beginning. Android phones take some screwing around before you get functionality beyond what came in the box.

Unless that is, the Android phones with all the pre-loaded Chinese apps actually do have some kind of Chinese market up and working. I'm under the impression the system is very fragmented at the moment as part of the first step in splitting it away from Google control. No clear market winner has emerged yet.

Does anyone have experience using a Chinese phone straight out of the box, unmodified? Does it play well in Chinese, or do you have to screw around and find international fixes (like Fozz did)?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on February 26, 2012, 09:08:42 AM
hey just to say that I didn't need any international fixes in the end, I just run my Chinese android, and it runs fine, I found all the apps I wanted on pirate app sites, and pleco allows you to download directly, which is my only paid app.

Samsung Galaxy is one hell of a sexy phone, now that I've gotten used to it.

Great screen, great camera, works very well as a phone too...

recommended
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on February 26, 2012, 10:51:11 AM
Great Fozz, glad to hear it.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 26, 2012, 11:45:46 AM
Voice recognition, NFC, location activated reminders.... the whole Star Trek "Computer, on!" thing is coming. ROOT YOUR PHONES NOW, PEOPLE! WHILE YOU STILL HAVE THE CHANCE!

Either they're going to become indispensable adjuncts to your person, working as an interface between you and the functional (as opposed to immediate physical) world OR the cloud is going to be the key "device" and phones themselves will be as disposable as plastic cups. And either way...

Eh, I dunno. Japan invented the cd player and crossed over from being the cheap copies country to whatever it was before it became what it is now, and China is making some move in phones... making their move too early, actually, but anyway....

RETAIN CONTROL, PEOPLE! SOYLENT YELLOW IS PHONES!
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on February 27, 2012, 03:10:11 AM
Quote
There's a techradar list I find helpful in thinking these things through.

Samsung Galaxy SII still number one...it's been out for a while.  They are about 3000RMB on Taobao - that seem right?

The Galaxy Note also looks interesting.  Massive, but interesting.

Also, that tech-radar list is really annoying - every item on the list requires you to load a whole new page -why?!
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 27, 2012, 03:58:19 AM
Quote
There's a techradar list I find helpful in thinking these things through.

Samsung Galaxy SII still number one...it's been out for a while.  They are about 3000RMB on Taobao - that seem right?

The Galaxy Note also looks interesting.  Massive, but interesting.

Also, that tech-radar list is really annoying - every item on the list requires you to load a whole new page -why?!

Suspense?

I dunno. Their list has been around for a while and maybe individual pages makes it easier to update. More than half of any page is ads, so maybe it's all about the hits on the page, hits on the piggedy page, apologies to Cypress Hill.

I like their list because they have definite rankings based on actually relevant qualitative assessments of usability and functionality. Most other lists have seemed to me shallow on substance. Meaning too that I can probably believe the Galaxy SII still is a better device than whatever else is new out there at the moment. Something will replace it eventually (presumably the iphone 5) but for the moment it remains the shizz.


And I can't tell if hyping these products and sites *for free* makes me wise or makes me dirty.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Hiphoppopotomous on February 28, 2012, 02:24:21 AM
I just bought the xperia Play and I gotta tell you i'm in love with this phone. 

I'm a big fat gamer, and so the idea of a phone that has a dedicated slide out gamepad (like a psp) gave me a mini chubby.

That was until I found out that the classic ps1 games aren't availible in china.... semi lost.



Luckily I decided to research and found out that the phone can in fact emulate 95%of ps1 games (of which there are 3000 btw) flawlessly. It can also do Snes, GB, etc with support for the game keys. Since then I have been in a hazy bubble of happiness, and bus  journeys are much much better (also been teaching my girlfriend to play worms  akakakakak)

Obviously if you're not into games, there are  better options open for you, butr this phone is priced at just 2500rmb, and specs wise can compete with many high end smartphones (and shite such as the iphone 4 aaaaaaaaaa)


Basically, I recommend it because it's sick!
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on February 28, 2012, 03:40:51 AM
I'm tempted. Very tempted.  Will Pleco work on it?  Is the camera good enough for OCR?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Nolefan on February 28, 2012, 07:17:39 AM
I've always been a big fan of Sony Ericsson phones.. heck, most of my mobiles were made by them before i moved on to the iphone so I've been keeping a keen eye on the Xperia for months.
Hold off your purchase for a few months though, some of the products they got on the pipeline now that Sony is sole in charge are nothing short of amazing. I got lucky enough to play with some demo models just a few nights back  ( don't ask).. and they're something special.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on February 28, 2012, 07:38:10 AM
Aargh, you tease! Now I am torn...they have the Xperia Play Z1i on Taobao for as little as 1500...is that the same one?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Nolefan on February 28, 2012, 08:46:03 AM
at 1500, that xperia is a great buy! I'd say if it fits your needs, then get it and don't look back! If you don't need it right now, wait a bit!
remember that when the new models come out, they'll run 4000 or 5000 rmb so they might not be the cheapest on the market
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on March 05, 2012, 02:09:56 PM
OK, I just got an Xperia Play, and so far so good.  I got Pleco up and running, but the feckers are gonna make me pay extra for full OCR and stoke order functions!  What?!

Anyway, I supposedly got a 32G memory card with a bunch of (cracked) games on there and this is where I am hitting trouble - the memory card is full of games, but the phone itself isn't showing them and I don't really know what to do next...if anyone can point me in the right directions of what to do next, even a good website with instructions, that'd be cool.

Also, I disabled my wifi at home because I never used it and this phone is constantly demanding an internet connection - is it pretty much assumed with Android phones that you'll always have wifi available?

**OK, I have some app called Tiger Arcade that seems to have loads of 90's era arcade games within...the other cracked games are installable as apps but need wifi to download the actual game...**

Meh, I knew this would happen.  My last phone was an almost 5 year old Windows Mobile device and I've gone tech-senile in-between.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on March 05, 2012, 11:10:13 PM
MK -  I feel ye, just take your time and do some searching. A week from now it will be easy-breazy.  agagagagag

google 'android forums', they tend to have an answer for pretty much every type of android phone

or just wait for Callach.  ahahahahah
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on March 06, 2012, 04:08:33 AM
ROOT YOUR PHONE! BURN THAT OS DOWN!

Oh wait... no, I don't know.


The default in Android is to run apps from phone memory. Running them from SDcard needs you to change a setting or two. At least:

Menu > Settings > Applications > Unknown sources [tick]


You *MAY* also need an app to manage the ability to run apps from sdcard--something like Apps2SD. I bet the apps do NOT need you to download anything. All the data and whatnot are on the sdcard but the OS currently doesn't have access.


Also, Cyanogen is available for the Play. You are currently in the garden of Eden, you see an apple.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on March 08, 2012, 08:12:25 AM
I just got Pleco for my HTC Sensation Z710e. So far it looks great!

I just wondered which add-ons you guys have purchased for it? which ones are the most useful in every day life in China?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on March 08, 2012, 01:43:13 PM
get em all!
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Hiphoppopotomous on March 09, 2012, 09:42:51 AM
for some reason i've been unable to root my Play... The only games I play are emulated playstation, snes, and GBA so I dunno about how to install cracked games, but I could tell you a shedload about emulation.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on March 10, 2012, 12:01:35 AM
Tell me about emulation!  Mine came from Hong Kong via Taobao with loads of crap on it already, mostly cracked games.  One of the apps actually seems to be a Neo-Geo pocket emulator.

When I got connected to Wifi the cracked games connected and installed in seconds - must just be some ticky boxy thing they have to to do.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Hiphoppopotomous on March 12, 2012, 09:00:49 AM
Well i have 3 emulators, psx (fpse) snes (snezoid) and gba (gboid)  The psx games I'm playing are final fantasy 9, tekken 3, crash bandicoot 2, worms and resident evil 3.  The snes and gba seem to be totally flawless too. Also very little in the way of setting up.

For all my resources including games i go to www.emuparadise.me,


It's strange, mine has a market app installed that lets me download games for free that cost money on the other markets, i downloaded the android version of worms (which is bitchin' by the way) Honestly, 1 month in and i still adore this phone, the only real negatives are that it collects fingerprrints like crazy (i have the black one) and that the analog pads are shit (i dont use them for anything so it dont matter)

I'll see if i can show some game screenshots to give you an idea of the emulation quality

(fyi those emulators are good for any multitouch android phone, but you have to have on screen buttons which sucks)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on March 12, 2012, 10:42:46 AM
^ Can you do this emulation thing on touch screen phones?  mmmmmmmmmm

Also, you think Worms is good? I find it pretty annoying as you can't scroll across the screen to see the bigger picture, unless you use a weapon that has a cross hair.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on March 12, 2012, 12:00:59 PM
THX for the emulator info and links, I'll look into it.  There is a bunch of weird stuff on my memory card that I think I wont need (32G and they filled it with games and apps) but I have to trawl through it properly.

Also, if I loved FFVII but hated VIII, will I ilke IX? (or any of the others?)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Hiphoppopotomous on March 12, 2012, 01:00:24 PM
Regarding worms, I think the touchscreen controls are beyond annoying, which is why I downloaded the psx version, but i think that if the worms were tweaked so to speak, then it would be great fun, especially if they added network play.


Regarding ff games, i've played them all from 3-13 and loved them all.  8 is my favourite actually but I understand the hate towards it from most people.  You if you liked 7, you'll likely like 9... also 1-6 are nes/snes games and as such are tiny files (like 1-3mb) so I think they're well worth getting. Incidentally, the gba versions of 4-6 are regarded as the best, and are worth getting if you want to play them mobile, rather than a big screen where the snes version is your best bet. Avoid the psx version as it has by far the longest load times even when emulated. funnily enough I couldn't sleep last night and I ranked the ff games from best to worst in my head (yes I am that sad) it goes 8>7>10>9>5>12>4>13>6.

These emulators do work without buttons (on screen buttons), but your phone must support multi touch (being able to sense multiple touches at the same time) and to be honest, I think that they are not playable in that way. (the gba maybe as it has a total of 8 buttons including the d-pad whereas the snes and psx have 12 and 14 respectively)

I only have a 16gb card on in my phone and psx games can be anything between 100-700 mb (ff games have multiple discs so ff9 actually edges on 2.1gb all together)also worth taking into consideration
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: ericthered on April 11, 2012, 12:46:32 AM
Iphone, let me count the ways in which you piss me off...first, you are abhorribly expensive but that is not your fault, I guess. Second, you come with a slot for a SIM card that is too small for a normal one...there are more reasons, but the latter one is the primary one. Went to store yesterday and bought an iPhone for the gf as a surprise...she thought I would not buy until next month. Then, when I came home, after showing her how much I had missed her in Denmark  bhbhbhbhbh bhbhbhbhbh bhbhbhbhbh bhbhbhbhbh bhbhbhbhbh I then presented her with the iPhone and there was great joy and jubilation and merriment...until SIM card time...why the expletive expletive expletive expletive has Apple, a company a bunch of run by insert reference to their maternal progenitors having repeated intercouse of a sexual nature with various pox-ridden members of the animal kingdom, decided to make the SIM card smaller? Apparently, all one has to do is go to the store and have them surgically alter the SIM card but, by the tail of Ratatosk, it is soooooo goddamn stupid. I would hate Apple...but their products are so nice and shiny and...and...desirable...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on April 11, 2012, 04:04:19 AM
I shun Apple products in a kind of reverse snobbery.  I also can't stand it when people refer to all MP3/4 players as 'I-Pods' or assume that everyone downloads all their stuff through 'I-Tunes'. Grrr

Quote from: jameswinterton
emulators
This is crazy good, I now have over one thousand (!) NES + SNES games on my phone and it's hardly made a dent in my memory card.  Got the GBA and PSX emulators too. 

I don't know where to start and I have hardly begun with the other apps particularly the Chinese language learning stuff which was my original purpose in upgrading....this phone could seriously dent my productivity!
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 02, 2012, 11:20:56 AM
So I'm thinking the HTC One S (http://www.gsmarena.com/htc_one_s-review-746.php) looks good. However, it, and the other Ones, use only microSIMs. Googling around a bit it seems China Mobile sells such things these days. But not everywhere?

Any microSIM experiences out there?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Isidnar on May 02, 2012, 11:31:17 AM
...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on May 02, 2012, 11:47:19 AM
The micro sim is the same as regular sim cut down. Any of the mobile carriers will cut down the sim card for you. Most of the phone accessories places sell card punches. They look like a hole punch for paper but cut a regular sim down to a micro sim. I do it with scissors. Its not difficult  I'm one of those people you think are idiots for using iPhones. Apple has been using micro sims for a couple of years.

I don't doubt most people would be willing to carry out your request Isidnar. I do like the irony of a philosophy major complaining about nerds and ridiculous dialects.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on May 02, 2012, 11:50:16 AM
This is, after all, the Tech Talk forum.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 02, 2012, 11:58:09 AM
I don't think you're an idiot for using an iphone, Stil....

You're a member of a cult. I can respect that.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 02, 2012, 12:06:15 PM
My own mother uses an iphone. My sister introduced her to it. I wasn't there when it happened.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Isidnar on May 02, 2012, 12:07:41 PM
...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 02, 2012, 12:18:54 PM
In the interests of not getting too squirrelly:

Thanks Stil for the microSIM info.



Why micro SIM? Who knows. Is there actually a reason? It seems Nokia and Motorola have micro SIM phones as well. The HTC One V will use normal SIMs and apparently the reason is that's the version the pay-as-you-go market will buy and they'll want to keep their SIMs.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 02, 2012, 12:29:54 PM
Nuts, my inner marketing genius just kicked in, a step or two too late: HTC and the other phone makers (but not Samsung?) are offering micro SIM phones to make it easier for iphone users to switch.
bibibibibi

Perhaps nothing says market leader like patent suits and other companies aiming for your customers.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on May 02, 2012, 01:00:25 PM
Most of the microSIM trend is based on the design factor. A smaller microSIM tray means more space for a bit larger battery. Battery life (thus size) is a main driver of design right now as 3G and LTE can sap battery life.  Millimeters count especially when coupled with the desire (no not THAT Desire) to make/keep the phones thin.

Despite Steve Jobs belief that the iPhone was/is the right size at 3.5 inches because that's about the average reach of using your thumb on it, I'm betting that the next iPhone will be a bit larger. Not to keep up with the Joneses (HTC, Samsung, etc., but because the extra space can allow them to implant a larger battery thus being able to brag about better battery life in a 3G-LTE World.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 02, 2012, 01:48:47 PM
Sounds plausible.


Apropos of nothing, I note HTC is sticking an extra button on the One S in China, a dedicated Weibo button (http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/17/htc-and-sina-weibo-debut-one-s-with-microblog-function/). I am suspicious.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on May 02, 2012, 03:52:34 PM

I don't doubt most people would be willing to carry out your request Isidnar.

And a cult that seems to advocate murder at the slightest ribbing.


Oh no need to think of it as murder. Think of it more as a public service.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Isidnar on May 02, 2012, 11:42:19 PM
...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: dragonsaver on May 02, 2012, 11:49:18 PM
Isidnar --> this is a tech help section of the saloon.  Your first post was not really applicable to the topic.  Even if you were joking it was still very off topic.  There are some sections of the saloon where we expect members to stay on topic.

Stil is talking 'tongue in cheek' to try tell you to chill a bit. Stil uses humour to rap other member's knuckles sometimes. 
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on May 03, 2012, 12:22:29 AM
Yeah, ........... humour

        oooooooooo
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Hiphoppopotomous on May 30, 2012, 03:06:23 AM
nerds? in the tech section? impossible!

anywho apparently sony wont be releasing ice cream sandwich for the xperia play...

ive been reading lot about rom flashing but dont really understand it.

on the emulator front Super Mario 64 runs really nicely with the mupen64plus ae emulator

also check out the gta 3 ten year edition, the touch controls are ok.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: xwarrior on June 12, 2012, 12:39:06 AM
Quote
Apple to abandon Google Maps; replace Google with Baidu in China

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20120611000098&cid=1102

 ahahahahah

Title: Re: Smartphones- Apple or Samsung Galaxy II?
Post by: piglet on July 14, 2012, 07:09:33 AM
Ok I am back in the old country and thinking about buying a smartphone but I think I only want one of the two above mentioned. My son has the Samsung and said he may buy the III or the nexus so he could give me the II. But if not I may buy it anyway. He is a staunch Linux man so definitely does not belong to the Holy Church of Mac. I am not a techie but I do have an ipod which I love, and mainly bought to use Pleco on. So my question is which should I buy? Does Pleco work okay on Samsung or are there problems? I love the ipod as I said but I hate the Itunes thing as everyone does. How do I put music on the Samsung? is it easy? Do you have to be a geek to use it comfortably? All input greatly appreciated. ONly here for a few weeks and want to buy it before I come back to China.  bjbjbjbjbj
Title: Re: Smartphones- Apple or Samsung Galaxy II?
Post by: Fozzwaldus on July 14, 2012, 08:58:55 AM
Ok I am back in the old country and thinking about buying a smartphone but I think I only want one of the two above mentioned. My son has the Samsung and said he may buy the III or the nexus so he could give me the II. But if not I may buy it anyway. He is a staunch Linux man so definitely does not belong to the Holy Church of Mac. I am not a techie but I do have an ipod which I love, and mainly bought to use Pleco on. So my question is which should I buy? Does Pleco work okay on Samsung or are there problems? I love the ipod as I said but I hate the Itunes thing as everyone does. How do I put music on the Samsung? is it easy? Do you have to be a geek to use it comfortably? All input greatly appreciated. ONly here for a few weeks and want to buy it before I come back to China.  bjbjbjbjbj

pleco no problem

music no problem

no geek? no problem

can you use a mobile from the 'old country' in China? maybe a problem. do research.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: piglet on July 14, 2012, 04:12:59 PM
sorry Fozz why would I have a problem with a Samsung Galaxy bought at home? I just change the simcard right? and then go to china mobile or whoever and get a chinese sim? OR am I confused?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on July 15, 2012, 09:25:05 AM
my chinese bought samsung phone worked fine when I brought it back to Ireland and swapped the sim card, but I've heard stories of people buying smartphones abroad then not being able to use them in China, something to do with mobile company restrictions and sim card size. this might only apply to apple.

I don't know enough about this, can somebody else chime in?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Borkya on July 15, 2012, 01:11:17 PM
my chinese bought samsung phone worked fine when I brought it back to Ireland and swapped the sim card, but I've heard stories of people buying smartphones abroad then not being able to use them in China, something to do with mobile company restrictions and sim card size. this might only apply to apple.

I don't know enough about this, can somebody else chime in?

I just bought an iPhone 4s in america and have no problem using it in china. If you are starting out with a new phone number and service and everything you can buy a "microsim" that fits the iPhone. If you want to keep using your old sim card, like me, virtually any mobile phone shop has a sim cutter made expressly for this purpose. It cuts the plastic in the card down to the proper size, and doesn't touch the electrical part so all you info stays intact.

It's quite easy!
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: ericthered on July 16, 2012, 12:39:12 AM
When you buy a phone, make sure it has what you need. I just discovered that the somewhat pricey Samsung I bought does not come with the Google Play App or some such dohicky and therefore I cannot install Pleco...buggerbuggerbugger...guess I will have to get one of those iPhone things...damn and dash it all... agagagagag agagagagag
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on July 16, 2012, 08:18:50 AM
Eric, you can also buy and install Pleco direct from the maker's website:

http://www.pleco.com/androidordering.html

http://www.pleco.com/androidextfiles.html
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: piglet on July 16, 2012, 07:09:04 PM
ETR I guess that the phone you bought was NOT a samsung Galaxy S but a lesser beast.Cos I know for a fact that the galaxy does allow you to install Pleco but I just want to know from a saloonie that it works okay. (my friend installed it to show me that it can be done but is not a sinophile)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on July 18, 2012, 02:00:40 PM
I can't install CPOD app on my samsung galaxy because it says my version of android is too old - this from a phone that was bought this spring!

Questions:

A - how can I update android

B - is this because I fecked around and rooted (semi-rooted? I'm not sure she actually even felt anything) my phone back in the spring?

I'm a simple man. All I want is my PLECO and my CPOD and I'll be happy, pappy.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 19, 2012, 01:35:41 AM
I can't install CPOD app on my samsung galaxy because it says my version of android is too old - this from a phone that was bought this spring!

Questions:

A - how can I update android

Download a ROM.

Quote
B - is this because I fecked around and rooted (semi-rooted? I'm not sure she actually even felt anything) my phone back in the spring?

No.

Quote
I'm a simple man. All I want is my PLECO and my CPOD and I'll be happy, pappy.

As in "ChinesePod4_v3.0.3.apk"?

That's the latest CPOD apk and I assume the "4" means Android 4.x.

Are you running Android 4.x or 2.x?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: ericthered on July 20, 2012, 06:15:52 AM
Sorry, my mistake...it is an HTC I have, not a Samsung...and it is crap...crapcrapcrap...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: piglet on July 20, 2012, 06:19:08 AM
ah so I am now relieved -wanna buy the Samsung
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on July 20, 2012, 08:02:06 AM
yes, so, seems I'm running an android version 2.3.6 - why's it so old if I only got the phone this year?

now, as for updating a ROM... how do I do that (when I click on software update in 'about phone' it says 'this country not supported'
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 20, 2012, 09:36:37 AM
2.3.6 isn't old. Android is up to 4.1.1 now, but Android 4 is officially less than a year old and before October, 2011, 2.3.7 was as high as Android went for phones. (Android 3.x was more a tablet OS.) So if the app installer is saying your version is too old, imma guess that means the app you're trying to install requires Android 4. I can't find documentation asserting that requirement though, so I don't know for sure. You'd think they'd make the app backwards compatible, but maybe they didn't.

There are official (http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=390405030989148) Android 4 updates for the Samsung Galaxy S2 out there. They'll take the phone up to 4.0 (which is what you want, 4.1 is still experimental, I think), but official availability of these things is at mobile service carrier behest. Dunno if they're available in China yet. Seemingly not. But... your phone's rooted... you could update it yourself (http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/mobile-phones/how-to-install-ice-cream-sandwich-on-your-samsung-galaxy-s2-50006766/) uuuuuuuuuu.

It's probably better to wait though and see what others say. Does the app require Android 4? Is an earlier version of the app good enough for your needs? An S2 can run Android 4.0, but that's a lot of work and angst for an app...

I dunno. I don't use the app. Others had better chime in.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 20, 2012, 10:05:45 AM
*sigh*

Googling produces download links for a CPOD app version 2.1.6, released apparently early this year. Specs say it's for Android 2.1 and higher. For example, tada (http://www.androidapk.us/apps/ChinesePod-17592.html) and voila (http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/education/chinesepod_bipq_download.html).

But the Chinesepod mobile apps page (http://chinesepod.com/mobile) yields a link to a version 3.0.3, presumably better, yet tagged as "4_v3.0.3"... what is that mystery "4"? A reference to an Android requirement that isn't otherwise referenced anywhere else?

You be the judge.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on July 20, 2012, 10:44:12 AM
thanks for that digging C'lach, what I'll do is ask your questions to the tech support guys who sent me the link that I can't use in the first place...  agagagagag
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on July 27, 2012, 07:37:47 AM
alright C'lach (I'm not going to even bother addressing this to the hive-mind)

CPOD guy says:

'Yes, unfortunately the new application is only supported by Android version 3.0 and above.

I have attached an .apk file of the old application which should work on your phone, however, please note that this application is outdated and lacks many of the improvements made in the new version.'

what do you think, use old .apk or update to android 4?

(and if update - how? will it be a massive hassle? will I lose existing apps?)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 27, 2012, 08:28:25 AM
In your situation I'd just install the old app. Play with it long enough to find out if it works for you. Then sometime later decide if you want to upgrade the whole phone.

Upgrading would be a moderate hassle. You'd have find the rom, download it, find out what's the procedure for installing over an existing install, and your phone has to be rooted already. I'd be expecting most if not all of your apps to keep working. And you'd probably want to find out how to back up your existing installation first, and not just the data but also the actual OS...

I have experimented briefly with Android 4 on my HTC Desire, but I'm sticking with 2.3.7 because basically my phone doesn't have the grunt to support the software (and the current roms for the Desire are too unfinished to be properly useable). If I had an S2, though.... There's an official Android 4 update for that phone, meaning presumably all the bells and whistles are present and the hardware is actually capable of running them, and even maybe the official rom can be found online somewhere for download to install by yourself. I'd do it to see how it worked. But that kind of thing is fun for me.

So, short answer: see what the old app looks like. It might end up being good enough for your purposes.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on July 31, 2012, 08:29:04 AM
In your situation I'd just install the old app. Play with it long enough to find out if it works for you. Then sometime later decide if you want to upgrade the whole phone.

Upgrading would be a moderate hassle. You'd have find the rom, download it, find out what's the procedure for installing over an existing install, and your phone has to be rooted already. I'd be expecting most if not all of your apps to keep working. And you'd probably want to find out how to back up your existing installation first, and not just the data but also the actual OS...

I have experimented briefly with Android 4 on my HTC Desire, but I'm sticking with 2.3.7 because basically my phone doesn't have the grunt to support the software (and the current roms for the Desire are too unfinished to be properly useable). If I had an S2, though.... There's an official Android 4 update for that phone, meaning presumably all the bells and whistles are present and the hardware is actually capable of running them, and even maybe the official rom can be found online somewhere for download to install by yourself. I'd do it to see how it worked. But that kind of thing is fun for me.

So, short answer: see what the old app looks like. It might end up being good enough for your purposes.

Ta.  agagagagag
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: ericthered on September 18, 2012, 01:58:34 AM
Ok, my crap HTC phone is broken, again...you say "Boogedy-boogedy-boo" to the screen and it breaks...Yes, I do actually sit and make creepy noises at my phone, instead of on my phone...so, I want to get a better phone...Now, I don't use many apps, except for the Chinese dictionary, I don't use twitter or QQ or any social media on my phone...essentially, I want to buy a good phone that can go online, which I can use Pleco's dictionary on, take pictures with and it will not break if you scowl at it. Was wondering if it was worth it buying an iPhone 5, or if I should simple buy the now much cheaper iPhone 4S or should I go with Samsung instead. Nokia and HTC can both pucker up and smooch my pale, Danish bum. So, smartphone users, enlighten the ignorant mind of a most technologically baffled teacher.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 18, 2012, 02:54:08 AM
http://www.gsmarena.com/iphone_4_is_the_most_reliable_yet_breakable_smartphone_out_there-news-2065.php

A smartphone is a large piece of glass you carry around in your pocket.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on September 18, 2012, 05:03:57 AM
If you use Pleco, make sure that you can transfer your purchase from Android to iPhone (different versions of the software) before buying an iPhone. In China the iPhone 5 is not available yet so the iPhone 4S prices with not be at their cheapest for awhile.

How much are you willing to spend? The Samsung Galaxy III looks like a good phone. If you only care about Pleco and other dictionaries, think about a cheap non-smart phone and an iPod touch. Much cheaper in terms of buying the hardware but mostly in monthly fees.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: piglet on September 19, 2012, 12:45:34 PM
People keep telling me that if you buy the Samsung in China you can't access all kinds of stuff, so I am wondering if it isn't better if I just wait and buy one at home in January? Also afraid someone will sell me a fake. I am as confused,bewildered and bothered as ETR.Maybe I don't even NEED one? I have an Ipod touch I use for accessing the NET,email.Pleco,google maps etc and a crappety crap ancient unwired Nokia.  mmmmmmmmmm
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on September 19, 2012, 03:12:12 PM
People keep telling me that if you buy the Samsung in China you can't access all kinds of stuff, so I am wondering if it isn't better if I just wait and buy one at home in January?

yes that's true. you can't access TONS of apps from google play, so your 'play' is very limited. not-such-a-smart-phone
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on September 19, 2012, 03:18:49 PM

Will it matter if you buy one at home? Is the reason you can't access Google Play etc... because of the software is not included here or because it's blocked?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: piglet on September 20, 2012, 07:46:33 AM
Stil I was under the impression that it's cheaper here than at home but if I can't access a ton of apps then I would rather pay a bit more...I am just getting confuseder and confuseder  mmmmmmmmmm mmmmmmmmmm
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 20, 2012, 09:28:44 AM
Google Play is screwed in China for business and political reasons. I'm under the impression you can get apps from Play, but only if they're free versions. Apps you pay for aren't allowed. Not sure if that's right though. There are in any case a great many apps stores within China (http://www.insidemobileapps.com/2012/01/26/chinese-android-app-stores-punchbox/). They feature mostly pirated apps. The whole who pays for what and how do developers keep developing story is an interesting one, but for Android users who aren't as cavalier about malware as the Chinese, I imagine it's awkward.

Disclaimer: I don't use Play or Chinese app stores. I use google to find downloadable apks online and sideload. Which brings us once again to the wise and sagacious observation once made by the venerable Stil: if you like to tinker, get an Android phone; if you want something that just works, then iphone yourself.

I'm pretty sure in fact there are apps you can get for an Android phone that will give you full access to Google Play from within China. But, as with everything Android, you have to tinker, in this case root and probably then sideload an apk.


It's actually kind of interesting how China is making itself into a whole separate Android ecosystem.



ETA: The TechinAsia Top Ten List of Apps Store alternatives in China (http://www.techinasia.com/10-android-app-stores-china/)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on September 20, 2012, 09:36:03 AM
Yeah, you can still get a lot of Android apps by 'other' routes if you are persistent.

http://as.baidu.com/

http://www.gizchina.com/2012/08/14/20-ways-to-get-free-android-apps-downloads/
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on September 27, 2012, 09:01:24 AM
Ok so I'm finally jumping on the smartphone wagon, like 3 years after everyone else.

I don't want an iPhone. I'm looking at doing one of those deals where you trade in minutes for a phone. I'd like a Samsung but it looks like what's available are maybe NOT Galaxy phones, but something else? They are smartphones ... but lower end? I don't know.

There is also a very impressively priced Lenovo phone on offer, the A698T. Are these phones crap or is it worth a try?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 27, 2012, 10:24:38 AM
A698T? Is that this'n (http://mobile.139shop.com/mobile/72/26800.htm)?

Disclaimer: Wild Ass Guess...

Lenovo appears at the moment to be going with the "乐" branding in China, their Lephone, which as far as I know is comprised of their S2 and K800 and variants. I don't know if the product line's especially coherent, though. They have a buttload of technical variations (http://product.it168.com/list/b/03020377_1.shtml) on offer. They all seem kind of cheap and cheerful.

Cheap in the case of Chinese phones doesn't always means crap at the moment. The homegrown Chinese smartphone makers seem across the board to be sacrificing profit for market share, so they're offering pretty good tech for relatively modest prices. However... less than a 1000 yuan for an Android 4.0 phone...

My ***WILD ASS GUESS*** is it could be okay, but it won't be as pretty.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on September 27, 2012, 10:37:32 AM
Thanks CP. That's the one.

I think I am going to give it a shot. China Mobile, my provider, is doing a deal where if you put 960rmb of minutes into your phone, they give you the phone for "free".

Just researching for like, an afternoon (very thorough, I know), I can tell there are loads and loads of relatively affordable smartphones from Chinese makers, all sorts of brands I've never heard of. And I am a bit skeptical, but, you know, I am not that picky about this sort of shit and if it sucks I'll give it to my dad who is technologically inept and bite the bullet and get something nicer.

Lenovo is a well established brand at least and perhaps what they're doing is trying to break the Samsung/iPhone hold on the market by offering something the average Zhou can afford. Plus -- 国货!It is a Chinese brand, and that plays well with the nationalists these days.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on September 27, 2012, 10:39:44 AM
Two good (English) websites for the state-of-the-(sm)art in China:

http://www.gizchina.com (http://www.gizchina.com)

http://micgadget.com (http://micgadget.com)

Check 'em out before you buy.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 27, 2012, 11:01:20 AM
As far as budget Chinese smartphones go, the Huawei G300 (http://www.techradar.com/reviews/phones/mobile-phones/huawei-ascend-g300-1077239/review) is supposed to be good. Seems to be in the 1000 yuan range (http://product.it168.com/list/b/03020349_i11592_1.shtml) too.

Against the A698T it's less bang for the buck though, and not Android 4.0, and not China Mobile branded. I'll be interested to hear how the A698T works out.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on September 28, 2012, 12:36:24 AM
So, another noob question about this whole smartphone bidness.

What sort of packages do you guys have for your 3g internet? It seems China Mobile offers a lot of options, from 150M all the way up to 20G (per month). I don't imagine I'll be using my phone to do loads of downloading, streaming movies or anything of that sort, but mostly surfing the web, playing games, just regular stuff. The cheapest package is 5rmb a month, the most expensive (the 2G) is 100RMB a month. 20G isn't available to me, I don't know how much it would cost, presumably a lot. So maybe something in the middle?  
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 28, 2012, 01:00:41 AM
To be honest, I don't know. I download every day, but literally only five minutes worth, and it's in the kb range. I get the weather and refresh my newspaper rss feeds.

However, apps aren't big. Just looking on my phone now, the average apk is maybe 3mb in size (although I have a few that are 5mb and 10mb). You take big download hits for things like the data files for Pleco and other dictionaries (one off), over-the-air Android updates (rare), or streaming movies/music. Websites don't use up too much, I think. I don't know what the data usage for online games is like. However....

http://www.pcworld.com/article/252009/which_smartphone_apps_are_the_biggest_data_hogs_.html


And, apparently, the average US data user pulls down only 2GB a month (http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/unlimited-unnecessary-npd-report-finds-average-smartphone-data-use-below-2/2012-08-24).
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 28, 2012, 01:17:55 AM
And just by the bye, I have the vibration through the ethers suggesting that now is a good time for budget smartphones in China.

For example, 10 Chinese Budget Smartphones That Could Kill The iPhone (http://micgadget.com/17858/10-chinese-budget-smartphones-that-could-kill-the-iphone/)

In general, the tech is accessible to manufacturers, markets need to be made (and customers are agreeing to buy), also Android hasn't forked too much yet... prices will stay relatively low for a while and the tech deals will be nice, even if the handsets are a bit clunky. After some time there will come the consolidation, but that's a while off, I think.


Rooting and romming will be.. interesting. A number of the budget phones are China-only, so if they can be rooted, the how-to information is probably only available on Chinese hacker forums. A grand new age of a China-only Android ecosystem is upon us. That Alibaba Aliyun for example is being resolutely opposed by Google, but can they really stop it?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on September 28, 2012, 03:23:51 PM
Well my LePhone arrived today and for the price I am pretty impressed. Granted I have nothing to compare it to, but it seems to me like it can do everything that I need it to do. I'm too new at this smartphone thing to really know what I'm missing by not having an iPhone or a Galaxy or whatever but my feeling is that for the average user who wants to surf the web and play Angry Birds, this thing is fine.

I am not even going to try to root it or whatever, although when I Baidu'd the phone I saw people asking about rooting so I assume it can be done, just not by the likes of me. 
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 28, 2012, 11:44:41 PM
What does the homescreen look like?

Like:
(http://img12.360buyimg.com/n1/g5/M02/1B/14/rBEDilAWQ1QIAAAAAAHdam4XLxoAAFZigHo0b8AAd2C551.jpg)

Or like:
(http://attachments.gfan.com/day_120714/1207142313171077dbce24e75b.jpg)

?

I haven't looked at Android 4.0 properly yet but I'm under the impression the second image is closer to stock. If the first image is the home screen, it seems like Lenovo or maybe China Mobile are making their own UI elements over Android (which is normal--every other company does it too.) It's interesting that it appears to ape Windows 8.

Do you know the name of the rom you're running? (The info might be at: Menu > Settings > About phone > Kernel version)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on September 29, 2012, 12:19:19 AM
It actually looks like both. It has that big old thing on front, but then the bottom bar as well. I can change those four icons out for whatever I want. I think this thing is a widget though -- when I go to change it there's a main heading that says "Idea Widget," so I could probably get rid of it if I wanted to. 

In my "about phone" it says I'm running Android 4.0.3 and Kernel version 3.3.13
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 29, 2012, 01:20:37 AM
A bit of googling suggests that four-leaf clover is a Lephone thing, offered as an alternative interface, but, as you say, disposable if you want the more stock interface. Interesting stuff.

My "kernel version" includes the mod name with the kernel number. I guess since Lenovo gives just the number it must be stock Android (plus Lephone widgets). Sounds good.


Do you also have a "Mod version" entry in your "About phone" list?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on September 29, 2012, 01:38:21 AM
Nope, there's no mod version listed there, just the kernel version, software version (Lenovo a698t_s126_120710), hardware version (H303).

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on September 29, 2012, 06:19:37 AM
i think I'm gonna by a older model iphone, let my wife use my galaxy... like was mentioed above, I just want something that works well
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Some guy on September 29, 2012, 07:34:28 AM
i think I'm gonna by a older model iphone, let my wife use my galaxy... like was mentioed above, I just want something that works well

What problems are you having with your galaxy? I recently bought one,didn't root it or anything and aside from not being able to get apps from google I've had no problem.I found plenty of other places to get what I needed.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Some guy on September 29, 2012, 12:42:10 PM
On an Andriod phone, can you get apps from Google in China if you use a Very Passable Nicety, or are somehow permanently blocked?

As I understand it, it's the phones themselves that don't allow it. They're built in China and are set up so that you can't download google apps.A very passable necessity doesn't help.  If you took the phone to a western country you'd have the same problem.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on September 29, 2012, 01:18:17 PM
On an Andriod phone, can you get apps from Google in China if you use a Very Passable Nicety, or are somehow permanently blocked?

As I understand it, it's the phones themselves that don't allow it. They're built in China and are set up so that you can't download google apps.A very passable necessity doesn't help.  If you took the phone to a western country you'd have the same problem.


correct they are hard wired so that you can't register with Google services, therefore handicapping them
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on September 29, 2012, 01:20:49 PM
so a guy I know wants to sell his almost new iphone 4s for 3000, I'm going to offer him 2500 and see where that gets me.

What do you reckon? Is that a good deal? The 4s is the second-newest right? Has siri and all that stuff...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on September 29, 2012, 01:55:07 PM
I'm just using the Chinese apps. None of them seem to be so complicated that language is really an issue. I am sure I'm probably missing out on some cool foreign apps but ignorance is bliss in this case.

I'd like to try Pleco maybe but $30 seems like a lot of money to spend on a program for my phone ... do most of the foreign apps cost that much? Because the Chinese ones, even the ones you have to pay for, seem to be like, 5RMB. I mean, I'd pay that. I'd even pay $30RMB. But $30? Even for a really cool app that seems excessive.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on September 29, 2012, 02:14:41 PM
@TLD - the only paid app I have is PLECO, and I've never thought it wasn't worth it. Fantastic software.  bfbfbfbfbf
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 29, 2012, 11:40:50 PM
On an Andriod phone, can you get apps from Google in China if you use a Very Passable Nicety, or are somehow permanently blocked?

As I understand it, it's the phones themselves that don't allow it. They're built in China and are set up so that you can't download google apps.A very passable necessity doesn't help.  If you took the phone to a western country you'd have the same problem.


correct they are hard wired so that you can't register with Google services, therefore handicapping them

I don't know for sure, but I don't think that's true. Hardwiring, as in making the lack of access a part of the hardware, would be way over the top, even for China. Still, maybe someone with a new phone and a Velvet Penis could give it a try and confirm.

Softwiring they could do by screwing with whatever Android was installed, maybe by leaving out Google Play or by altering the log in software.

However, I in fact accessed Google Play yesterday, sans Veep. I wanted to try out and did download Adaptxt, a new and free Android keyboard I thought would be good (it was meh). This anecdote is perhaps equivocal though in that (a) I don't know for sure my phone was manufactured in China (I suspect it of having been intended for Singapore), and (b) my phone's rooted and rommed, meaning whatever they installed as an OS in the factory isn't part of my phone any more.


I use Cyanogen, btw. It's interesting about perceptions of phones these days. Some people still think of them as communication devices, aka phones, and some people regard them as hand-held computers. People on that later side of the fence want OS updates and features and tools, but phone manufacturing companies have no particular incentive to accommodate that interest--it's more work for them at no extra reward, why keep serving phones they've already made all the profit they can out of? But... only a very few of the hacker/rom cooks do anything like a decent job of maintaining and making workable their roms. Cyanogen is one. And, allowing for a certain glitchiness, if you follow their updates, you can the latest OS not nearly as fast as Google releases them but much faster than phone companies do. This is actually a big part of what's leading my next phone purchase decision. The Chinese budget phones right now are great, but it's the big brand name phones like Samsung and HTC that are best served by rom communities. At least, that's true if you don't speak and read Chinese. In China there's the MIUI communities and probably others. So it's interesting how these worlds are developing.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on October 02, 2012, 05:25:52 AM
To my shock, chagrin, and horror, I have discovered a smartphone foible that has significant results for battery life.

My phone is a GSM phone. This, I am assured by wikipedia, means it is comfortable with 2G networks. Phone specs assure me it is also capable of connecting to 3G networks. In fact it is capable of connecting to HSDPA, sometimes called 3.5G. But whatever. The more common meaning of "3G" is WCDMA, which came before HSDPA. Still with me? I'm a bit lost myself on these topics, but lets forge ahead.

My phone allows me to choose network types, via: Menu > Settings > Wireless & networks > Mobile networks > Network preferences

And under Network preferences I get a list:

GSM/WCDMA (auto mode)
WCDMA only
GSM only
GSM/WCDMA (WCDMA preferred)

Where the phone says GSM it means 2G and where it says WCDMA it means 3G. (I think.) The default setting is the fourth, GSM/WCDMA (WCDMA preferred). In other words, choose either network but prefer WCDMA if you can get it. WCDMA is faster, and even a weak WCDMA signal can be better than a strong GSM signal. This fourth setting is presumably great if you have good 3G coverage in your area. But if you don't, then your phone will spend all day hunting for better connections. That is, while idle, it will still be working, sucking down battery juice, powering up the antenna to try and find some WCDMA connection.

So I've grown accustomed to charging my phone once a day. If I didn't, it'd flatten out within 24 hours. Battery percentage drops even when I'm not using it. I thought this is what smartphones do.

But as a test yesterday I set my phone to GSM only. It made no difference to the download speeds I get for my (minimal) data usage. It made a shocking difference to battery use though. Idling for most of the day, the battery strength dropped by, literally, 2 or 3 percent only. I would have expected maybe 20 or 30.

What does this all mean? My area has poor 3G? My China Mobile sim doesn't get 3G? The phone tells me I'm on an EDGE network which is not real 3G, more like 2.5G, but....

I dunno. I'm just blown away by how my phone isn't burning through the battery anymore doing nothing.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on October 02, 2012, 02:35:39 PM
ok gonna test this now too - my phone barely lasts a day without charging atm, which is murder when travelling
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on October 03, 2012, 01:35:22 AM
NB: for data, GSM *is* noticeably slower than WCDMA.

Today I'm going to try out "GSM/WCDMA (auto mode)", which if I understand correctly, will usually leave the phone in GSM mode, but will connect to WCDMA if I start using data.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on October 03, 2012, 06:24:52 AM
Sooo.... does anyone actually know about 3G in China?

As far as I can tell, if you didn't specifically sign up for 3G when you got your phone number, you're probably not a 3G subscriber. With China Mobile, you're more likely an EDGE network user, which is a souped-up 2G. Actual 3G with China Mobile uses a proprietary standard called TD-SCDMA, and you need one of their phones to make it work. China Unicom uses WCDMA, one of the earlier 3G standards, and it should work on international phones. China Telecom uses CDMA2000, which is also a 3G, presumably international too.

The latest and greatest "3G" standard is HSPA+, and as far as I know, it's not in China.

Of WCDMA, Wikipedia tells me this: "While not an evolutionary upgrade on the airside, it uses the same core network as the 2G GSM networks deployed worldwide, allowing dual mode mobile operation along with GSM/EDGE; a feat it shares with other members of the UMTS family."


I can't tell if that means I can have WCDMA access through China Mobile or not.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on October 03, 2012, 01:52:36 PM
The 3G network for China Mobile is specific for them and doesn't work with handsets without their specific specs. You would default to Edge (sort of). Of course if you buy a 3G phone from a China Mobile it sill be so equipped but if you buy it overseas it won't.

The China Unicom 3G is the same standards that the West uses. You have to sign up for 3G as the data rates cost more. With Unicom the numbers starting with 186... Are the 3G ones and there may be more now. I believe Telecom has started to roll out 3G also but I haven't looked into them as I've been using Unicom 3G for about 3 years now and have been satisfied with them.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on October 16, 2012, 06:38:35 AM
I've been using my LePhone for a couple of weeks and I like it a lot. The only real issue I have is that it doesn't have a large storage capacity, but I can fix that with a larger external card (I originally only had a 2G one on my old phone, mostly for music). It also slows down a bit when it is downloading or when lots of apps are open, but I imagine that is sort of normal.

I'm looking to get smartphones for my mom and dad now too. Mom wanted a LePhone like mine, but China mobile was sold out of my model. They have ZTE and Huawei and a couple of Samsung phones that I think are NOT Galaxy phones but some sort of Chinese market thingies. I'm leaning towards the ZTE because it has a really big 4.3 inch screen and my mom's eyes are not that great.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Hiphoppopotomous on October 16, 2012, 07:33:36 AM
China unicom is starting to do my herad in. I've had to top up 3 times in the last month (100 every time) I'm not doing anything that costs much money so i'm pretty sure it's a screw up at their end, but i cant really do anything about it as the guy in my local unicom is a rude asshat and my chinese isn't good enough
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on October 16, 2012, 07:55:23 AM
Been surfing the net without a data plan?  Using your phone when travelling?  Those can both drain your credit pretty fast.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Hiphoppopotomous on October 16, 2012, 09:20:57 AM
I have a monthly data plan.

at the start of the month for some reason it didn't reset and I went way over it, so I went and paid the bill a second time and it still didn't reset. I paid agian 2 days ago and it hasn't reset so I'm just avoiding using data for now.

I haven't left Shanghai since I arrived 4 months ago so I doubt it's that
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: mlaeux on October 17, 2012, 03:29:12 AM
Is anyone else concerned about this?
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704694004576020083703574602.html (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704694004576020083703574602.html)
Or am I just being paranoid?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Some guy on October 17, 2012, 11:25:38 AM
I pretty much assumed this was the case, a smartphone is a computer which is connected to the www, therefore it's prone to spyware etc being smuggled in through applications. I don't like it but I accept that it's the risk you run using a smartphone.

Most people have their computer protected with anti virus / anti spyware programs, firewalls, cleaning programs etc but who goes to the same lengths with their phone?

One thing is for sure, I have no sympathy for app companies who complain about their applications being pirated when they are pulling sneaky underhand s### themselves.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on October 17, 2012, 12:44:43 PM
Have you guys been asked to turn off your phones on airplanes even if you have them in airplane mode? I flew from Kunming to Beijing this past weekend and was using my phone in plane mode to watch movies and the stewardess came over and told me that was not ok. Meanwhile the guy across the aisle is rocking his iPad and no one is saying anything? I ignored the stewardess and kept watching my movie (which probably makes me an asshole, but I hate flying and media keeps me sane) and then later on some random dude came by and got on my case for using my phone. I told him if he wanted to be the phone police to go patrol the rest of the plane for mobile devices because I surely wasn't the only one using my phone for games or movies.

Anyhow, what's the point of having a plane mode if you can't use it on a plane? And isn't the whole "phones can crash planes" thing pretty much BS anyhow, plane mode or no?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on October 17, 2012, 01:32:50 PM
Is anyone else concerned about this?
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704694004576020083703574602.html (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704694004576020083703574602.html)
Or am I just being paranoid?

That article is almost two years old and did cause a big stir when it originally ran. In brief, this is old news.

I know Apple made a lot of changes to both it's then-iOS and in the later ones in response to that article and the blowback from it, as well as requiring 3rd party apps to abide by Apple's revised privacy requirements including prohibitions against apps harvesting contact info w/o permission. The latest iOS flashes a warning and asks the user for permission each time it or an app seeks to access user data. And in it's security preferences, you can turn it on or off for each app. You can also see a list of apps which have requested user data over the past xx hours. As well, there's an icon which appears at the top if an app is accessing data (though most would miss it).

There are probably still holes, but they're not as big as back then when that first came out. And anyway, lots of people willingly disclose that information whether on their phone or through their use of the Internet...ever signed up for Linked In and then had Linked In harvest your email addresses and send out messages to those in your email list?   llllllllll
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on October 17, 2012, 11:22:59 PM
Quote
Have you guys been asked to turn off your phones on airplanes even if you have them in airplane mode?
Yeah...internal China flight and mid-flight not even around taking off or landing.  Maybe it's because they can't see what we are doing and just assume we are being naughty and texting?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on October 18, 2012, 01:08:56 AM
Apparently no one knows for sure if Personal Electronic Device emissions interfere with aircraft avionics. Most seem to agree the effect if any is slight. (I mean, if the risk were more than slight, would anyone, pilots especially, agree to fly with anyone carrying a phone?) But since the human (and business) cost of any accident is so high, most airlines prefer to accept no risk. (Though it seems Virgin Airlines and Emirates are okay with the risk, these days.)

Servicing customers on airplanes is all about command and control anyway. Staff are taught long form sentences for example. They preface their instructions with some kind of attention getting sentence introduction. This is to establish a dominance relationship, as in "you are listening to me now."

Fight the power. Angry Birds on angry planes.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Hiphoppopotomous on October 18, 2012, 01:17:55 AM
My phone got cut off again today! this is driving me crazy, I wish telecom or c mobile did proper 3G so I could switch
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on October 31, 2012, 10:52:11 AM
I just bought the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, wow... what a phone!

I am totally in love with it so far. I even love the s-pen, despite thinking I wouldn't use it much. It has so many cool features too!
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Hiphoppopotomous on November 01, 2012, 02:20:18 AM
Yeah those things look awesome. Unfortunately not in the budget for me anytime soon, but I'm pretty content with my best phone in the world ever
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on November 01, 2012, 11:16:20 PM
Yeah those things look awesome. Unfortunately not in the budget for me anytime soon, but I'm pretty content with my best phone in the world ever

So what's that?  Before I got this one I would have said that's the Nokia N95 8gb   akakakakak
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Hiphoppopotomous on November 02, 2012, 06:55:01 AM
My xperia Play.

Pokemon and Final Fantasy on the go! who would have thought it's possible.

Seriously though I dont know what I will do when I need to upgrade as I doubt a new model with a gamepad will be released.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on November 27, 2012, 12:17:18 PM
So...I'm yet again considering getting a smartphone, as a christmas present to myself.

I don't know whether to go with Android or Windows phone...any advice? I assumed Android would be a dodgy choice seeing how google don't get on with the Chinese government very well. My friend however says that Windows phone charges a lot of money for apps. Which would you go for?


I'm considering the Nokia Lumia 920 or the Sony Xperia T. I want a smashing camera and potential for lots of storage so I can use the phone to replace my lost ipod. Perhaps the Nokia is not the best for this since there's no microSD slot. Any suggestions? Maybe the galaxy S3? It's all so bloody confusing.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: piglet on November 28, 2012, 05:10:15 AM
 I am probably getting the Galaxy S2 for a birthday present to myself. My son and 2 friends back home have it and are very happy. My son is a geek and says the S3 is not as good as the S3 for reasons that were incomprehensible to me. But as you say NATO bloody confusing... mmmmmmmmmm
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on December 08, 2012, 12:50:16 AM
I am probably getting the Galaxy S2 for a birthday present to myself. My son and 2 friends back home have it and are very happy. My son is a geek and says the S3 is not as good as the S3 for reasons that were incomprehensible to me. But as you say NATO bloody confusing... mmmmmmmmmm

Are you sure he's not talking about the Galaxy NOTE 2? The S2 definitely isn't better than the S3.

I have a Note 2 and it's superb.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: piglet on December 08, 2012, 11:55:27 AM
No he is NOT talking about the NOTE. He doesn;'t wan that at all. Last time I spoke to him he said the III was buggy but that was a while back. He has just bought himself (and I am paying apparently) the Asus Zenbook. He is a geek and knows about these things.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Hiphoppopotomous on December 10, 2012, 03:53:30 AM
As another geek, I can confirm that the s2 is nowhere near as awesome as the s3.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: piglet on December 10, 2012, 03:55:58 AM
Ok James I will check out if I can afford the S3 when I get home...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 13, 2012, 11:32:44 AM
Samsung Galaxy SIII

As a shopper, I bargain like a puppy hunts, so for mah brand new Samsung galaxy S3 I overpaid. It is not uncommon for me to bargain the price up when I shop, but that's not what happened this time. In my head for a few months I'd been working with the proposition that an S3 costs 4000 or more, so when the lady said 4200 for a GT-i9300 with 16GB built-in sdcard, I thought "Score!" because the real price should be 3400 or thereabouts. Yes, you did read that right. In any case, I bought it.

Day 1: Impressions...

It's huge. Also fast. With nary a Google in sight. Search defaults to Baidu. The weather and news apps link to Sina. There's a thing called Samsung Apps that calls up an online store that isn't Google Play. The "Add Account" setting, which I presume is this phone's analogue of a gmail sign in, will let you add a Samsung, a ChatON, an Email, an LDAP, or a Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync account. If the email account you set is to gmail, maybe you're phone can connect, but I don't know. I don't want to try.

This phone came with Android 4.0 and pretty much the first thing I did, after wifi-ing into the home internet, was go Settings > About device > Software update. The update is big, but on wifi it's a breeze, so now I have Android 4.1.1. But still no Google.

This phone... it's going to be dropped. It handles like a greeting card, or a rectangle of beveled glass. It's the wrong combination of thin and wide, which is probably what I first thought way back when I first got my HTC Desire, but added to that is it's slick. The front glass is flat, which is fine, but the back shell is glossy. The whole device feels as if it is covered in a thin glaze of oil. Which it will be minutes after you first pick it up. Oh, for a matte, unpolished rear end! It would make the teacup saucer ergonomics bearable. I may have to take some sandpaper to it.

On the upside, the battery seems to be a winner, and I discovered that I wasn't in fact cheated twice. On purchase of this device I had confirmed several times with the lady that this was indeed the 16GB model, but when I got home, the file manger I installed said 3GB used, 7GB free. It was the 10GB model (of which I have never heard) and I paid for 16? No, it's the 16. On the 16GB model, only about 11GB is accessible. I don't know why.

Day 2: Now, to find a sensible firmware...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on December 13, 2012, 11:51:46 AM
My Lenovo has a matte finish CP and that's partly why I like it. I have dropped it a surprisingly small number of times. But you could probably get a case for your Galaxy that would make it less slippery.

Also, I have my phone (that also runs on Android 4.0) synched with my gmail account and I have no problems. It actually works much better than my computer gmail for some reason. I don't have google anything else either, I just have my email synched.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on December 13, 2012, 05:35:27 PM
Samsung Galaxy SIII


It's huge. Also fast. With nary a Google in sight. Search defaults to Baidu. The weather and news apps link to Sina. There's a thing called Samsung Apps that calls up an online store that isn't Google Play. The "Add Account" setting, which I presume is this phone's analogue of a gmail sign in, will let you add a Samsung, a ChatON, an Email, an LDAP, or a Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync account. If the email account you set is to gmail, maybe you're phone can connect, but I don't know. I don't want to try.


see my previous epic postings... exactly the same problem but mine was an SII a year earlier ...

if you find a way round this let us know please
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 13, 2012, 11:41:38 PM
Yup.

And as LD suggests, one can add a gmail account to the phone and it'll sync nicely. However, even with that gmail account on the phone, my preferred rss reader (Minimal Reader, which syncs with Google Reader) still tells me I lack "a google account registered on this phone." It seems the usual google apps hegemonic expansionist propaganda tools have been excised from this "Android 4" (baseband version: I9300ZCDLJ4). In their place is registration with "Samsung Account", which doesn't give you access to google apps but does give you access to "Samsung Apps".

The solution is likely to be the flashing of something.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 14, 2012, 06:58:52 AM
The apps you do get:

AllSharePlayCalculator
Camera
ChatON
Clock
Contacts
Dictionary(Dio)
Downloads
Email
Flipboard
FM Radio
Gallery
Game Hub
Help
Internet
Logs
Messaging
MobileQQ
More Services
Music Player

My Files
Navigator
Phone
Browser
S Memo
S Planner
S Suggest
Samsung Apps
Samsung Services
Search
Settings
Straight Flush
Video Player
Voice Recorder
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 17, 2012, 01:32:19 PM
Day 5: Dammit!

The concept was: find the latest and greatest i9300 firmware, download, then use Odin to flash it over the Google-bereft firmware this phone came with. It could have worked too.

Protip 1: firmware includes PDA, PHONE, and CSC sections. You want the PDA. And you want to avoid the CSC. The CSC--or "Customer Software Customization"--includes such useful information as the APNs that work in your area. (And if you flash a CSC from, say, Europe, your phone will be all set to use European infrastructure to send messages and make telephone calls--not good if your carrier isn't European). But whatever. You can get your APN information from your phone before you flash and type it back in after the... flash.

Protip 2: none of this works if your phone is rooted.

Thus, "dammit!"

Before trying this flash jaunt, I installed Clockworkmod on my i9300 (which action does NOT root your phone, but does in any case void your warranty). I intended to use it to make a nandroid backup (a complete backup and archiving of the whole system), and thus have something to fall back on if the flashing should fail or screw up. But clockworkmod (and any other nandroid backup utility, I guess) needs root access before it can make that nandroid backup. Thus, I rooted, then backed up the phone, then did commence to flash the very latest 4.1.2, which is, as it happens, intended for Poland.

And... nuthin.

Well, something. The flash via Odin went through the whole business, but choked at the last minute. I had to re-flash clockworkmod before I could get the phone back the way it had started out, some four hours earlier.

Sooo... pffft. No more official updates for my phone.

I'm still assuming flashing an out-of-country firmware via Odin as an update would do the trick provided one were using a never-been-rooted phone, but perhaps we will never know.


Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 18, 2012, 09:08:45 AM
Day 6: Booyah!

First: The Un-rooting

Required: Kies, Odin, Triangle Away, a flashable version of Clockworkmod, a flashable version of YOUR ORIGINAL CHINESE FIRMWARE

1. Backup your phone data
2. Shut down Kies
3. Do Triangle Away
4. Boot to download mode and use Odin to flash YOUR ORIGINAL CHINESE FIRMWARE
5. When the phone reboots, do a factory data reset

And bazinga!, your phone is now just as you bought it. To confirm, take a look at Settings > About device > Status > Device status. (If it still says "modified", then something went wrong. It should say "official" or something similar.)

Second: Teh Flash

Required: Odin, a flashable version of clockworkmod, ANY i9300 FIRMWARE YOU LIKE! (I chose I9300XXELKC, because it's Android 4.1.2 and the fact it's intended for Poland makes no difference.)

1. Boot into download mode and use Odin to flash your new firmware (PDA only! Not CSC)
2. Watch the flash fail on the last "write" operation
3. Boot directly into download mode again
4. With Odin, flash clockworkmod
5. In the clockworkmod recovery menu, select reboot device now.
6. Be amazed.

As of now, my phone has Android 4.1.2 installed. I added a gmail account and the phone registered itself with google. I have Google Play, and did browse. My APNs didn't change. The number of installed languages increased vastly (from 3--Chinese, Korean, and English--to [lots] including 5 kinds of Chinese and 8 kinds of English).

CAVEATS:

I screwed with my phone quite a lot before un-rooting it. If you've never rooted your phone, you may not experience that final write fail, and steps 3-6 with clockworkmod would be unnecessary.

But what that write fail was, I don't know. According to Odin it means the flash failed. According to the phone, the flash succeeded. As of this moment I have once powered the phone off, then on: it booted normally. I have played with it for about ten minutes. Is something crucial missing? I don't know.

Also, I don't know if clockworkmod is necessary--maybe you can recover using Kies instead.

And, since putting the new firmware on the phone this way means the phone counts as "modified", it will not register for software updates.

Lastly, the biggest caveat of all..... THIS IS NOT A DETAILED GUIDE! Consider doing some research.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on December 18, 2012, 09:42:33 AM
Day 6: Booyah!

First: The Un-rooting

Required: Kies, Odin, Triangle Away, a flashable version of Clockworkmod, a flashable version of YOUR ORIGINAL CHINESE FIRMWARE

1. Backup your phone data
2. Shut down Kies
3. Do Triangle Away
4. Boot to download mode and use Odin to flash YOUR ORIGINAL CHINESE FIRMWARE
5. When the phone reboots, do a factory data reset

And bazinga!, your phone is now just as you bought it. To confirm, take a look at Settings > About device > Status > Device status. (If it still says "modified", then something went wrong. It should say "official" or something similar.)

Second: Teh Flash

Required: Odin, a flashable version of clockworkmod, ANY i9300 FIRMWARE YOU LIKE! (I chose I9300XXELKC, because it's Android 4.1.2 and the fact it's intended for Poland makes no difference.)

1. Boot into download mode and use Odin to flash your new firmware (PDA only! Not CSC)
2. Watch the flash fail on the last "write" operation
3. Boot directly into download mode again
4. With Odin, flash clockworkmod
5. In the clockworkmod recovery menu, select reboot device now.
6. Be amazed.

As of now, my phone has Android 4.1.2 installed. I added a gmail account and the phone registered itself with google. I have Google Play, and did browse. My APNs didn't change. The number of installed languages increased vastly (from 3--Chinese, Korean, and English--to [lots] including 5 kinds of Chinese and 8 kinds of English).

CAVEATS:

I screwed with my phone quite a lot before un-rooting it. If you've never rooted your phone, you may not experience that final write fail, and steps 3-6 with clockworkmod would be unnecessary.

But what that write fail was, I don't know. According to Odin it means the flash failed. According to the phone, the flash succeeded. As of this moment I have once powered the phone off, then on: it booted normally. I have played with it for about ten minutes. Is something crucial missing? I don't know.

Also, I don't know if clockworkmod is necessary--maybe you can recover using Kies instead.

And, since putting the new firmware on the phone this way means the phone counts as "modified", it will not register for software updates.

Lastly, the biggest caveat of all..... THIS IS NOT A DETAILED GUIDE! Consider doing some research.

I wish there was a 'my hat does doff to thee' emoticon, as I am highly impressed that you managed that.

my hat does doff to thee, you will just have to picture the motion yourself.

*doff*
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 18, 2012, 12:39:17 PM
Therefore it's only reasonable I should be the one to announce.... compared to Android 4.1.1, there is a recognizable lag introduced by Android 4.1.2. This is apparently due to a bug in the code. You can reset the bug and remove the lag by filling up your sdcard with junk, then deleting everything... but since the s3 uses an internal sdcard which also houses the operating system, I don't immediately see how the bug can be addressed at the moment. It's back to the 4.1.1 for me....
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on December 18, 2012, 11:57:50 PM
Therefore it's only reasonable I should be the one to announce.... compared to Android 4.1.1, there is a recognizable lag introduced by Android 4.1.2. This is apparently due to a bug in the code. You can reset the bug and remove the lag by filling up your sdcard with junk, then deleting everything... but since the s3 uses an internal sdcard which also houses the operating system, I don't immediately see how the bug can be addressed at the moment. It's back to the 4.1.1 for me....

*doff-undid*

so will the workaround situation above not work with 4.1.1?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 19, 2012, 04:48:57 AM
My understanding is the problem, a slight but noticeable delay between touching the screen and having an action occur, is a result of a coding error introduced in 4.1.2. Only 4.1.2 has this particular error. I imagine someone will come up with a working fix eventually, but for now I find it sufficiently annoying that I'll be flashing a 4.1.1 rom in place of 4.1.2.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on December 19, 2012, 09:58:52 AM
but you can still use Google play with 4.1.1?

You know, if you wanted to get a billion hits on your blog, you should set out a play-by-play with all the relevant links (and even screenshots) for what you did, so that mongos like me could do it to.

Then you could put a link to your blog here.

Or just do it here.

 :wtf:

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 19, 2012, 10:49:02 AM
I don't know if I could/should really recreate what I did.... for one thing, the only firmware that ever flashes properly is the one intended for China. Every other firmware I try doesn't go completely through the Odin flash process. It's just that there seems to be a working dodge. I was, for instance, today, trying to get a UK 4.1.1 to work.... and it goes a little something liek this...

When the flashes fail, and I'm left with a stalled update screen and a mostly finished blue line, there's a procedure that seems to work but can't be called "professional"...

1. Leave the phone attached by USB to the computer
2. From the stalled update screen, boot to the "Download Mode" warning screen (press: Vol Down + Home + Power)
3. Restart/Reset Odin
5. Initiate Download Mode (press: Vol Up)
6. Flash clockworkmod
7. Wait and see...
8. If the phone boots to the Samsung logo and no further, reboot to clockworkmod recovery mode (press: Vol UP + Home + Power)
9. And in any case, if/when the phone boots to clockworkmod recovery screen, do "wipe data/factory reset"
10. Still in clockworkmod recovery menu, do "reboot system now"
11. See what happens...

You should start seeing messages about Android updating and apps being optimized, and after a while the phone should boot to the normal first screen. And this is true even though flashing the operating system to the phone formally failed! Today's attempted flash of the UK 4.1.1 for instance failed with 30 seconds left on the flash procedures clock, but the dodge outlined above has me now using that same 4.1.1 on my phone as if nothing went wrong.

BUT I DON'T KNOW IF THIS PROCESS IS SAFE! Nor do I know if it only happens this way because of some quirk of my phone or things I did to it earlier.... SO MANY IMPONDERABLES!!!!!!

Maybe I will blog it...



In any case, the key in all this not the Android version number, but lies in acquiring a firmware that's intended for anywhere but here. It's almost embarrassing...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Hiphoppopotomous on December 21, 2012, 05:39:01 AM
Thanks for posting all this it's a great read.

I still haven't rooted my phone becuase I still dont have a computer :( but last year when I rooted my previous phone it was an adventure just like this.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: cruisemonkey on December 21, 2012, 06:25:38 AM
11. See what happens...

I wouldn't do that on an aircraft (or around any ballistic missile subs).

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: piglet on December 23, 2012, 09:22:30 AM
so why are there so MANY apps that only work on iphone and not on android?
Fer example can't find that train app that was recommended on here dongdong, or mybus (app that tells you when your bus is coming) or even whatsonxiamen which I need since I live there.
I really don't want to buy the iphone as I have been assured that android is far better..but what can I do if those apps are ONLY for iphone?
signed
bewildered and bothered cochon
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on December 23, 2012, 10:00:20 AM
They should have those on android, you'll have to search in Chinese though. For android I use 火车票达人 for train tickets, and for the bus there's one called 8684公交. More Chinese people use Android than iPhone and there are plenty of daily convenience Chinese apps for Android.

What sort of app store do you have on your phone? My phone came with one called MM that seems to have a load stuff.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: piglet on December 23, 2012, 11:19:14 AM
I haven't bought one yet-that's the thing! I am still hesitating between the android and the iphone mmmmmmmmmm
all those ones mentioned don't appear in the google play website. The whatsonxiamen for sure is not there that's an English app.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on December 23, 2012, 11:24:57 AM
I bought my phone in China, so I don't have access to Google Play and I'm not really tech savvy enough to go around rooting it or anything of that sort in order to get Google Play.

I will say though, if you want easy access to foreign/English apps, an iPhone is probably your best bet. I have an iPad and an Android phone. In hindsight, I kind of wish I'd spent the extra money and gotten an iPhone. My Android (a Lenovo) is great for what it is but I feel like there's much more content available (with less hassle) to me on the iPad.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 23, 2012, 12:58:40 PM
Dongdong for Android (http://www.ollapp.com/app/dongdong-train-pro/android) (not free)
MyBus for [everything and Android] (http://mybus.xiamentd.com/?random=1355302456609) (seems to be free)

Caveat clicker: I didn't try very hard to find the best or easiest source.

Now, phone choices....

As a rule, in China, Android phones are cheap, bewildering in their variety, and riddled with tech caveats. They're functional right out of the box, but they're also being more and more disengaged from google, so to make all the super-duper connectivity and service power work, you have to hunt up bits and pieces here and there from no one particularly well-managed store or site. There's a whole Chinese tech buzz going on though, and if you speak and read the language, you can get a lot of good stuff if people will tell you about it.

Thus, buy an iphone.


Or: XiaoMi, Meizu, Lenovo, Oppo, even Huawei, ZTE, others, and many.

The thing about an Android phone in China is anything you can do with google (barring the bad searches) *is* being recreated with Chinese apps and services. They are out there. It's just they're not monolithic yet, nor even close, not like google (which isn't here) or iphone (which is).


/op.ed
/ymmv
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on December 23, 2012, 01:06:52 PM
An interesting dynamic...'Apple' just about anything is the go to 'look I have money and I'm cool' product for most young people here but in reality more folks are actually using Android and there's a thriving tech community built around it, mainly due to the fact that China and Google don't get along (?)...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: cruisemonkey on December 23, 2012, 01:29:23 PM
'Smartphone' is oxymoronic.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on December 23, 2012, 02:08:01 PM
Meizu MX2 looks tasty, had a little play around in-store today. But no front facing camera  bibibibibi.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on December 23, 2012, 02:26:20 PM
I'm still thinking iphone, maybe when the 5 comes out I'll buy a 4s
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on December 23, 2012, 02:59:31 PM
Give yourself to the Dark Side. It is the only way you can save your apps.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Nolefan on December 23, 2012, 09:56:53 PM
I'm still thinking iphone, maybe when the 5 comes out I'll buy a 4s

the 5 is out... now is the time.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: piglet on December 24, 2012, 12:03:40 AM
Sorry guys for the sake of clarity I am intending to purchase the "smartphone" -sorry cruisemonkey,when I go home,because of the google -china battle thing and also because I don't read Chinese.I want a PROPER phone that does everything that phones abroad do. Leaning towards the Samsung since everyone has told me that all the apps are available even tho I like the LOOK of the Iphone better. I don't want it as a status symbol I am too old for that nonsense.But I DO enjoy the sleekness of my ipod...
hmmm  mmmmmmmmmm
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Fozzwaldus on December 24, 2012, 02:07:11 AM
aahhhh!!!! too much pressure!!!

smartphone stress!!!!  ananananan

makes life easier my ARSE!
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 24, 2012, 04:09:00 AM
Another aspect of a google phone in China is whether you like it or not you will use it as Karl Marx intended. You can install a new firmware or you can buy the phone outside in the Real World, but the Google Play you access from inside China will feature only free apps. Any app that must be paid for or which includes in-app purchases will *not* exist (unless you have a Vibrating Purple Nose). So, for eg, you can download and install the cn Pleco, but to buy full functionality you have to visit their website.

Perhaps some iPeople can confirm this, but as far as I know the Apple app store is not limited this way in China.

iPhone. It just werkx.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on December 24, 2012, 04:30:45 AM
Yeah the Apple App store has some apps that are not available in China, but I have not run across that many, and usually when I do it is because there is a Chinese version that they would rather you buy. I could count on one hand the number of times I've tried to get an app and gotten a "sorry, not for your region" message with the Apple store.

iTunes is another story -- I guess what you do is access a foreign iTunes store and purchase stuff with your US credit card or whatever, there is no Chinese iTunes as of yet, but there also isn't a Google equivalent in China either.

I am thinking of getting an iPhone later in the year and giving my Android to my husband who, being Chinese, will probably appreciate it more than I do. If you have never had an i-product, you won't really know what you're missing, but having one of each I can say pretty confidently that, for China, the content available, again, hassle free, on the i-devices beats Android hands down. 
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: piglet on December 24, 2012, 05:18:50 AM
well CP and LD you guys are totally confusing me. My son,being a Linux buff and anti Apple person by definition,is keen on me getting the Samsung,but I am not geeky enough to know better,and like I said,find the ipod very helpful. I just can't decide.I can only echo the erudite Fozz's comment that this whole thing is driving me insane.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 24, 2012, 06:43:18 AM
You, Fozz and LD should get iPhones.

Whether real life matches the propaganda or not, Android is "open". This means an Android phone is more like a hobby kit than a consumer electronic device. This will change eventually, and Google, particularly with Android 4, has been moving toward making the system more friendly to non-enthusiasts. (And the bigger phone companies, like Samsung, keep trying to put developers in employee instead of superstar roles.) But it's not there yet.

Interestingly, one of the supposed selling points for the XiaoMi phones is they run MIUI, a custom Android rom that issues new updates *every Friday*. In other words, they guarantee a relatively unfinished, unpolished operating system. It has an unabashedly techno geek cred, but, for eg, a friend of mine who's eyes will glaze over at the mention of any computer talk, has an M1.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Hiphoppopotomous on December 27, 2012, 01:00:38 AM
well CP and LD you guys are totally confusing me. My son,being a Linux buff and anti Apple person by definition,is keen on me getting the Samsung,but I am not geeky enough to know better,and like I said,find the ipod very helpful. I just can't decide.I can only echo the erudite Fozz's comment that this whole thing is driving me insane.

I think you're overthinking it. Whatsoninxiamen for example, you dont need an ap, you can just go to the website.

I actually think that you are suited to an Apple phone though. They 'just work' and will just work in or out of China. I'm as anti-apple as the next person, but there's no point in buying a phone that is gonna give you a headache because you dont know how to fully utilise it. It doesn't really matter what your son thinks because it isn't him using it on a daily basis.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 28, 2012, 05:37:34 AM
For those among you with access to Google Play and a handy dandy wifi connection (or a strong urge to spend a lot of money on phone data charges) :

Download and install Google Voice Search
Download and install Google Translate
Go through appropriate setup steps, and voila....

UNIVERSAL TRANSLATOR!

You speak your chosen language at your phone, it translates (via Google), and at the press of a button will speak that translation back at you!

It's very entertaining, and knows the bad words.


Apple people can do the same with iTranslate. It's slightly harder to use than Google Translate (or at least it is in its new Android incarnation), but produces more natural sounding translations.

The days of language learning are drawing to a close.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: mlaeux on January 06, 2013, 03:04:57 AM
I just bought a cheap Lenovo Android phone (idea phone A326). I got it because it was Cinderella blue and I thought it would be easier to send text messages. It's not.   llllllllll
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on January 06, 2013, 04:40:21 AM
Why would you think the colour of the phone would make it easier to send text messages?  mmmmmmmmmm
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 06, 2013, 05:54:28 AM
I just bought a cheap Lenovo Android phone (idea phone A326). I got it because it was Cinderella blue and I thought it would be easier to send text messages. It's not.   llllllllll

Is it a keyboard issue? Personally, I find touch screen keyboards formally less useable than the real keyboards on, say, a candybar dumbphone, but there's a few ways to make them easier. For instance, opt for a T9 layout (has 9 keys, like a dialpad), and use predictive text and common error correction. I do that. Even on a big screen, a full keyboard is just too fiddly.

The HTC_IME (http://d-h.st/k6Y) has a good T9 layout (and works for Android 2.3.7 and lower, but you'll need to know how to install an apk...), and I haven't tried every Android keyboard, but I like, and presently use, the T9 on Smart Keyboard (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.cdeguet.smartkeyboardpro) (which might also be found here (http://down.tech.sina.com.cn/3gsoft/soft.php?id=2259)).


Disclaimer: click links at your own risk. You may prefer to search the names yourself. I got my copies elsewhere.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: mlaeux on January 06, 2013, 08:07:28 AM
Quote
Why would you think the color of the phone would make it easier to send text messages?  

LOL!  ahahahahah

Quote
The HTC_IME has a good T9 layout (and works for Android 2.3.7 and lower, but you'll need to know how to install an apk...), and I haven't tried every Android keyboard, but I like, and presently use, the T9 on Smart Keyboard (which might also be found here).

I'm looking into that now. Thanks for the heads up.  bfbfbfbfbf
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: piglet on January 21, 2013, 04:00:39 PM
That's it ordered me Samsung galaxy III arriving in a week late self-birthday prezzy  akakakakak bhbhbhbhbh
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: piglet on January 31, 2013, 07:15:50 PM
Got ma Galaxy S3 and it is bloody BRILLIANT Mr Piglet is cursing cos I have ignored him since it arrived  akakakakak
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on March 29, 2013, 12:02:26 PM
AOKP on my i9300

So normally by now I would have tried out Cyanogenmod at least, but there's a few things been standing in the way. One, I'm not sure if it's all Android 4 versions or what, but I keep seeing people recommending factory data resets (and cache/dalvik cache wipes) before upgrading, which is fine and cool but it means all your settings and apps do NOT carry over into the new install. You have to be ready to start from scratch again. Now that could be fine, but there's two.

Two, installing Android 4.2 does something to your sdcard. The way 4.2 handles disk access is new, or something (and this is actually a good thing because it makes proper file security features available for Android... or something). And as a result, you need the latest clockworkmod and you need to screw around with directories if you end up wanting to back to an earlier 4.x.

But worst of all, there's three.

Three, Samsung is keeping i9300 hardware information of some kind back from outside software developers. Without that information the devs are unable to make i9300 specific mods. This is annoying in particular because, as we all know, there are several versions of Galaxy S3, and it's only the "international", aka the i9300, for which this information is still unreleased. (It's released for the other versions because the other versions are not solely owned by Samsung... or something... and the other owners have let it slip out or given it away.) This means the outside developers are taking a much longer time than usual to produce "stable" i9300 mods, and maybe that even when it is stable, it's not as optimized as it might be for the hardware.

So I've been waiting.

But the Galaxy S4 has been released, and Samsung has said there will be an official Android 4.2 released (eventually) for the S3, and I had some time today so I figured I'd experiment with such mods as there are because when the official 4.2 comes out I'll presumably be wiping everything anyway. (Come to think of it, that may not make sense....)

So, long story short, I tried out AOKP (http://aokp.co/). Specifically, the MR1-build 6. It's kinda not worth it. Which is a damn shame because AOKP is the coming thing for Android modders. It's a lot like Cyanogen but more customizable, they say, and it has unicorns. (No, really, it has.) But compared to Samsung's official Touchwiz Android 4.1.1, the latest AOKP with Android 4.2.2 is immediately slower (which it shouldn't be), uglier (which maybe it shouldn't be) and makes the phone run hotter (which may not be true but it felt like it to me). Things like pinch-to-zoom are less responsive, which is enough of a deal-breaker I really didn't give the rom that much more opportunity. I reinstalled my old setup (which was a small ordeal in itself, and still isn't over yet, but was basically easy enough).

Tomorrow maybe I'll have a crack at Cyanogen 10.1 and see if it's likeable.

Anyone else have any experiences?


/blog
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on March 31, 2013, 09:23:08 AM
Cyanogenmod 10.1 on my i9300

Well, the short version is it's way better than AOKP. But there's still the ugly system fonts and the pinch-to-zoom thing. Samsung Touchwiz seems too have an accelerating zoom: if you pinch a little, it zooms a litte; if you pinch more, it zooms more than just the more you pinched. This makes Touchwiz seem relatively more responsive. To, for instance, view this site at some sensible maginification needs one, maybe two--squeegies? What's the opposite of a pinch? Anyway, where one, maybe two, are needed under Touchwiz, two, maybe three, are needed under Cyanogen. Which is a shame because other than that, Cyanogenmod is great. Where Touchwiz is slick (beyond the noteable exception of the supremely ugly phone dialer, why, Samsung, why?!), Cyanogen is useable. It looks good, it works well, it has the apps a real person uses (besides Genie Widget... that's in there because nerds get nostaligic). And with gapps as an easy add-on package, it's a relatively easy way to re-Google your Android phone inside China.

Since fast touch response and pretty visuals are pretty much the reasons to want to screw around updating to Android 4.2, I personally will hold off committing to Cyanogen for the mo'. If it weren't for the i9300 version being less stable than pretty much any other version, I'd probably be using it now. For shame Samsung, for shame!
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on April 14, 2013, 03:08:50 AM
Got myself an iPhone 5 yesterday, giving the Lenovo to my husband.

Basically, after using my kids' iPad, I realized that I really wanted a phone that could have all of  *that*. I'm relatively comfortable with tecchie stuff, but I am not a patient person and could not handle the rooting etc. stuff for the Android. With the Android I was basically confined to what I could find on the Chinese app store, which was ok. I could watch TV shows, play Angry Birds, look up maps, etc. But I wanted more out of my phone.

Also, the Lenovo was great for about the first 3 months or so. Then, the OS started having problems. Freezing up, certain apps unresponsive, etc. It is still totally usable, and the problems would only appear every so often, certainly not daily or even weekly, but irritating nonetheless. However, I do think Lenovo makes a great little phone for the price. My mom has a similarly priced TCL smartphone and the Lenovo blows it out of the water. The TCL is very sluggish compared to the Lenovo. My dad has a low-end Samsung Galaxy and I'd say my Lenovo is just about as fast as that, although neither are as quick as the iPhone, obviously.

The one thing about the iPhone is that the paranoid side of me is wary of putting all of my ill-gotten music, videos, and books on iTunes. Am I being all tinfoil hat about this or is that a legit concern?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on April 14, 2013, 12:21:59 PM

The one thing about the iPhone is that the paranoid side of me is wary of putting all of my ill-gotten music, videos, and books on iTunes. Am I being all tinfoil hat about this or is that a legit concern?


Don't worry about that. If you wanted, you could sign up for iTunes match and all your music would be matched and kept in some cloud somewhere. It's even up-sampled if your version is low quality. No questions asked. If there isn't a match, your file can be uploaded. It's something like $25 a year but you could do it once then quit and all your music would be 'legal'.

Or you could do what I do and ignore it all. There's no way that anyone can do anything to you for having unlocked music. It's the actual torrenting/downloading that the companies sue about and you are not going to be ratted out by your ISP in China to the States.

I use iTunes Canada/US/China with no issues.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on April 14, 2013, 12:54:52 PM
Oh that's good. I torrent the hell out of everything but you're right, I'm in China and it isn't like Gehua Cable is going to send a list of torrenters to the States. I'll synch up my iTunes then and not worry about it. bfbfbfbfbf
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: piglet on April 14, 2013, 02:48:00 PM
The itunes garbage is the reason I went for the Galaxy over the iPhone. It's just plug in drag and drop I Lurve it.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on April 14, 2013, 03:43:01 PM
Stuff (music, video, books) you download or rip from wherever get transferred to your iPhone or iPad seamlessly through iTunes on your computer and the USB connector. Without jailbreaking or any other tricks. No DRM checks or any of that. Apple never messes with what you have on your computer iTunes.

As Stil mentioned, if you CHOOSE to, you can pay Apple $25 a year for iTunes Match and they WILL upload your entire library to their service, legitimize it, and then re-download up-sampled OFFICIAL versions of your songs to you at no extra cost. But if you ignore the iTunes Match option, nothing will happen to your library of songs, videos and books.

I've never bought a song from Apple iTunes...and never lost one of the 1275+ songs I have in iTunes.

You can even drag and drop that stuff through iTunes (but you need to know what you're doing to do that-iTunes isn't the most intuitive UI for that). Spend a half-hour reading the FAQ.  :RTFM:

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on April 15, 2013, 04:20:29 AM
Girlfriend's phone just broke, she wants a new one. She wants a big screen 4.7" upwards I guess and a major brand running Android. She's had 2 xiaomi's and is sick of them and won't trust the unknown brands. 3000 big ones is the budget, any suggestions?

I was thinking Galaxy S3 or HTC Butterfly, but both of these are a bit too far north of 3000 still.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 15, 2013, 04:58:37 AM
There are various S3 models available in China (http://product.it168.com/list/b/03020209_i2144_1.shtml). Some of them are still 3500+, and some 16GB i9300's and i747's are less than 3000. Dunno what the differences are. But I am expecting that sometime in the next two months Samsung will update the i9300 (and other Samsung devices) to Android 4.2.2, and that's about as Android as you can get at the moment

Then also Key Lime Pie (Android 5.0) will come out, supposedly in May, and I read that some of the S3 models will eventually (like 6 to 12 months later) be updated to that too (but I don't know which ones, although the i9300 seems a good bet).

I still like my i9300. I haven't dropped it as much as I thought I would. Presumably the new phone slickness goes away or I just got used to it. It is still a smidge too large to comfortably carry in jeans pocket (unless you never sit down), but it's easy and comfortable to use as an actual phone and I can stream Youku videos in the bathroom with this thing and that just does change what you expect from a phone.

Never seen, heard of, or touched a HTC Butterfly, so I don't know how they'd compare.


A propos of nothing, I wondered today if Android would make it very far beyond Android 6. I get the impression they might be getting near their conceptual limit. (I have no basis for claiming this.) We'll see what 5.0 brings anyway.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 15, 2013, 05:55:23 AM
Another choice, if you can find one, might be the LG Nexus 4 (http://product.it168.com/list/b/03021409_i2351_1.shtml). Cheap, big, has Android 4.2 already, is made by LG, gets reviewed well (http://www.techradar.com/reviews/phones/mobile-phones/nexus-4-1108999/review/1#articleContent). I haven't encountered one, myself, but I sorta keep wishing for one while waiting for Samsung to damn well update, the bastards.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on April 16, 2013, 01:33:55 AM
Thanks Calach. I'm a big fan of the Nexus 4 too, however I suggested it to the GF and she dismissed it outright without having a clue what she was blathering on about. One of her annoying traits I might add. I introduced as the LG Google Nexus 4 and she said the name is too long. Then she said it won't be the same system as she's used to using (Android with MIUI) so I told her Android is Google's, still no go.

Think she wants a Samsung, prob the i9300 like yours. We went to the local phone/computer city last night and can get one for 250o, 水货 (smuggled goods). I'm wondering now what are the risks associated with buying smuggled goods from these places and what should we be wary about?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 16, 2013, 02:02:04 AM
No idea about those risks. But *maybe* one simple way to tell the difference between smuggled and China-retailed is the presence or absence of Google Play. An S3 sold legally in China will have Android 4.x but will lack all the Google Apps (Play, G+, Youtube, etc).

And I found out the difference between the i9300 and the i747. The former is "international" and has a quad-core CPU while the latter is meant for the North American market and has a dual-core and (unless I'm mistaken) more RAM and a higher clock speed. They're about equal as far as running Android 4.x goes, but the i747 is cheaper and will NOT upgrade to Android 5. Also, unless mistaken again, the i747 hardware specs are known in detail to dev communities so after-market roms (like Cyanogen and MIUI) are likely to be finished faster and polished better. (Model numbers are found in Menu > Settings > About Device)


ETA: it looks like MIUI is available for both the i9300 and the i747, but only the i9300 has official MIUI support. The i747 MIUI ROM appears to be unofficial. And there isn't one at all for the Nexus 4, although there seem to be people clamoring for it..



*sigh* now I want a Nexus 4.

Maybe I'll get a 5 some day or the Motorola X if it turns out any good.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on April 16, 2013, 02:34:43 AM
Well the sellers seem to be pretty upfront about it, it seems some come from hong kong others come from  europe. We'll be going back later to try and buy so I'll be sure to check if google play is installed or not. I don't think my GF is too bothered about actually using the MIUI, she just meant she wants the standard android interface and though the nexus 4 would be completely different.

Those two do sound very promising, but currently I'm salivating over the HTC One. Think I'm gonna wait until that's released and snap one up.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on April 16, 2013, 02:48:04 AM
BTW do you know who Robert Scoble is Calach? I had Breakfast with him last Thursday. *bragging*  ababababab
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 16, 2013, 03:02:36 AM
When I yahoo'd (because who Googles these days), I thought he might be Philip Seymour Hoffman's younger brother. No?

Also, when I got my i9300 it came with just three languages installed: Korean, Chinese, and English. Android 4.x from outside China has, like, 56 or more, including several variants of English. But, and I'm not sure about this, for the purposes of firmware I suspect HK belongs to China, so it might be that none of these tips apply.

Smuggled tech is good because it's cheaper?


#outofmydepth.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 16, 2013, 03:14:32 AM
Possibly one thing to look at is storage.

Menu > Settings > Storage

The 16GB Galaxy S3 will list a total space of 11.25Gb (or smaller), which *is* right. The card is internal and the operating system takes up a lot of its room. If the phone is the 8Gb model, your useable storage space will be pretty small.




#needskickbacksfromsamsungorisbuyinganotherbrandnexttime
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on April 16, 2013, 03:49:07 AM
Yeah no one knows who he is, crappy bragging rights haha. I hadn't the slightest clue who he is myself until a few weeks ago. One day I'll find someone in the know and hopefully they will be amaaaaaaaaazed.

That's another great point about storage. 'er indoors will be wanting to watch and download plenty of videos, not sure 11.25GB is going to be enough.

On the subject of search engines, you don't DuckDuckGo??! Get with it https://duckduckgo.com/
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on April 16, 2013, 04:57:26 AM
BTW do you know who Robert Scoble is Calach? I had Breakfast with him last Thursday. *bragging*  ababababab

Rackspace guy?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on April 16, 2013, 06:06:51 AM
Yes! At last  agagagagag
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on April 16, 2013, 09:01:27 AM
I've bought a 水货 phone before (about 5 years ago, pre-smartphone) and there were some issues. I would be a bit wary, check it out very thoroughly, realize it won't be under any sort of warranty, and cross your fingers.

NATO is your GF willing to change her cellular plan? You can get some really good deals on new phones if you buy a package of minutes along with it.

My iPhone 5 I got for 4600rmb, and that's with 3500rmb in minutes loaded onto the SIM card, to be distributed to me over a period of three years, 80RMB each month. My cellular package is 189rmb a month, so that means each month I still need to top up 109 rmb. If you're looking at getting a higher end phone, I'd definitely check out China Mobile, Telecom, and Unicom and see what sort of deals they're running. Oftentimes you can get the unit itself practically free.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 16, 2013, 11:10:22 AM
My cellular package is 189rmb a month[...]

Good lord, that seems like a very lot. I guess that includes data and lots of call time? I practically never use mobile data, and will SMS much more than call, so I don't spend much at all. But then if I didn't have home wifi, probably 90% of what I do on the phone each day wouldn't happen, so there's that I guess.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on April 16, 2013, 11:51:42 AM
Yeah, that includes a whole lot of mobile data, like 1G a a month a bunch of phone time, unlimited sms, free long distance roaming, free answering. I actually use mobile data quite a bit -- my main workplace doesn't have wifi and I spend a lot of time commuting to and from work. I use wifi at home of course. I don't talk that much compared to some, but I do make calls daily, mostly to my husband and parents who are hopeless at texting.

I used to have a cheaper package but I was topping up my phone constantly. I didn't think I used that much data or talk time but apparently I was wrong. If I manage to ting ji with this new package I'll lose it on someone. :P
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 16, 2013, 12:28:41 PM
Hmm, so actually, you're using a smartphone pretty close to exactly how they're intended. And your verdict is... iphone.

I should probably own up, if it's not obvious, to liking my tech toys as toys, so I still like playing with Android, but there it is as far as actual devices go.

Very interesting from a marketing point of view. It is a little bizarre that Android has become so widespread given how, I dunno, unfinished it is.

Then again, is a product ever "finished"?


Lol. Thoughts gone squirrelly.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on April 16, 2013, 12:49:02 PM
I think Android is widespread in China basically because you can pick up a cheap Android phone for under 1000rmb, while iPhones, even if you don't go with the newest model, are easily triple that. I take the subway every day and basically except for the old grandmas, everyone has a smartphone that they're playing with, right down to the migrant workers.

Chinese people seem to mostly like the iPhone as a status symbol (and I've seen quite a few people for whom an iPhone should be beyond their means, my own Chinese niece for one, but who have one anyhow). I don't really care about that so much, but I just can't be arsed messing around with the OS so much in order to get the apps I want, not when with iPhone it is simple -- like you said a couple months ago in the thread, it just works. There are very very few apps that I can't access from the app store here in China, I think actually I've run across just one so far, and that's because there's a Chinese version they're selling instead. Even a VPN, is one-click to turn on (and works with 3G), and then I can be on Facebook and YouTube with my iPhone.

If I lived in the States or anywhere outside of China I might still be using Android. It is just that China's antagonistic relationship with Google has made it hard on those of us that need/want a wide variety of useful English language apps. If I justed wanted Weibo and Taobao and Angry Birds I'd be set on a Chinese Android but I'm not a 20 year old Chinese person so there's that.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on April 16, 2013, 03:15:21 PM
Thanks for the input today guys. We were both worried about 水货, but in the end she went for a Galaxy Note I (smuggled). Contracts would require a bit more research and thought and the GF was pretty desparate for a phone since her xiaomi cracked and gave up after being thrown at the floor. Wait to see how things go with this, really hope it's gonna be smooth. The size of the thing is absolutely fuckin' ridiculous though.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Local Dialect on April 17, 2013, 05:38:38 AM
Hope she enjoys her new toy!

I agree about the size of the Note -- you end up looking like a total jackass holding that thing up to your ear as a phone. Hope your gf is cute otherwise! ;)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on April 17, 2013, 07:15:40 AM
Haha, yeah she seems to think so anyway ;-). Besides, she should be used to looking like a jackass by now.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Hiphoppopotomous on April 19, 2013, 08:38:40 AM
Well two nights ago I lost my beloved Xperia Play. I was devistated, but replaced it with a galazy s3, which is seeing price drops now in anticipation for the s4

smooth phone, but nothing will ever match the Play
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on April 19, 2013, 08:48:15 AM
How much did you get it for?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Day Dreamer on April 19, 2013, 09:02:15 AM
Well two nights ago I lost my beloved Xperia Play. I was devistated, but replaced it with a galazy s3, which is seeing price drops now in anticipation for the s4

smooth phone, but nothing will ever match the Play

Why didn't you just get another Xperia Play?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: MK on April 19, 2013, 09:29:27 AM
You can get 'em on Taobao for only around 5-600RMB now.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: The Hiphoppopotomous on April 27, 2013, 01:55:07 PM
Well two nights ago I lost my beloved Xperia Play. I was devistated, but replaced it with a galazy s3, which is seeing price drops now in anticipation for the s4

smooth phone, but nothing will ever match the Play


Why didn't you just get another Xperia Play?

Because I had 100s of hours of game saves on that phone, none of which can be recovered. I feel like I losta pet, and getting another per of the same age would just bring back memories of my beloved pet. I think I was just overly sentimental to that phone
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 01, 2013, 06:46:15 AM
*ahem*

Is this thing on?

*cough*


Okay, so...

It's rumoured that Samsung will update the Galaxy S3 to Android 4.2.2 in June. It's rumoured also that Google will release Android 4.3 in July. So, Samsung, I don't think I'm buying your products anymore. You fuckers.

Android 4.2.2 on the Samsung Galaxy S3 is good. Screen performance is noticeably better than with 4.1.1. The upgrade is worth it. I know because I'm using a Samsung 4.2.2 test rom that was leaked a few weeks ago. I also know because I'd been experimenting with Cyanogen 10.1. I'd still be using Cyanogen if it didn't have major problems running the camera hardware.

See, Samsung doesn't tell the outside developers *something* about their hardware so these devs have to more or less guess code to make the hardware work. And with Cyanogenmod, they don't get the camera right. This is not too surprising since the camera hardware is one of the real innovations Samsung has produced in their phone. Samsung meanwhile take the Google code and make their hardware sing... and the user interface suck large brown balls. Samsung has a fascination for big, muddy coloured squares. The phone dialer they put over the top of Google's code is gross. The childish colouring balloons they did on the stock messaging app is offensive. I really do not understand why they ugly it up so. They can and do design great hardware, and they're like 12 year old kids when it comes to designing software.

By the way, Android 4.2 was released by Google in November, 2012. Six months for this diarrhea to reach my phone? And a month later it'll be out of date again? Thanks Samsung.

And now Samsung and HTC are offering Google editions of S4 and the One. Stock Android is great on a device for which that stock Android has drivers. Are Samsung and HTC going to include these drivers in the stock, and let their devices work the best they can?

Google design used to be ass. Now they're at 4.2+ on Android and have a few things worked out. I have no idea why the phone manufacturers are trying to brand the operating system when their brand names are already right there on the phone anyway and the only thing a buyer has to really do is check hardware--you know, like what a hardware manufacturer would make anyway.

It doesn't seem very likely that the next Motorola will be better than the next Samsung. The next Nexus might. I wonder if either of them will be available in China given how Googley they'll be.

Meanwhile, thanks for keeping me behind the times, Samsung. Appreciate it.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 01, 2013, 07:14:58 AM
*cough*

probably I'm overreacting. I got cranky with the waiting. But I'm not getting the S4. And if there eventually will be an S5, I don't think I'll get that either. Might get a HTC One. The camera on that is already kinda crappy, and custom roms may not make it too much worse. Purchase decisions may turn on whether or not "Google Edition" Roms turn out to be (a) available, and (b) a good thing. Failing that, a Nexus 5 or a Moto X, whatever that turns out to be.

I wonder if one might not have to rethink one's technology strategy. Is Google is making the hardware manufacturers into bad guys or were they that way already?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Guangzhou Writer on June 01, 2013, 07:29:40 AM
But Uncy Calach, does this techno gadget tale has happy ending? When will technology free mankind instead of enslaving us to the next, obviously doled out and controlled-through-cartels disappointing version? Is this the free market, LOL, or the primrose path to digital addiction?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 01, 2013, 07:53:09 AM
You'll notice that no one talks Chromebooks anymore. The future is manufacturer-branded Chrome phones. Moto Chrome X4.

You heard it here second.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Guangzhou Writer on June 01, 2013, 08:28:52 AM
I have no idea what you are specifically talking about, but as a former gear head and computer nerd I hear what you're saying.

I've been resisting a smart phone because I hate phones when the sound quality is poor, hate mobile phones because the sound quality is usually worse than poor, and hate being tracked and traced. However, being with people who used them properly shows they do offer some useful features so it looks like I'll be going that way sometime soon.

I would totally pay money for someone reliable to just get me a good phone and get it up to date with security and features because technology should save time. I just hate the initial learning curve. Once I'm up to speed, I can manage by myself.

Could never use an Apple phone any more than I could Microsoft (used to work for them), and Google/NSA *is* evil, but if their source code is open then at least there's something right about it. My first smart phone was a Motorola that was slow as molasses and locked into MS Outlook for any useful features. ugh.

Save me, Obi Wan Kenobi, save me GNU, save me from technotronic mind control, save me!! Aiieeeeeeeeee...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 01, 2013, 08:34:37 AM
Actually, on the Chrome phone thing, I hope that's not true, but the thing about Android right now is Google is designing particularly the user interface better than the genuine crap the hardware manufacturers dollop on top of stock. The Touchwiz interface Samsung puts over Android 4.x qualitatively worsens the keyboard, the dialer, and the messaging app--the three things any user uses most. The Touchwiz home screen itself is average. The lockscreen, by contrast, is much more entertaining than stock. The ripple and light effects for unlocking the phone are fun. Why such a disparity? More importantly, why set yourself up for pissed off users? Drip feeding updates is exactly what Google does, but the manufacturers make us know that we are waiting for updates. When the originiator of the software keeps you waiting, everyone is waiting. If the intermediary keeps you waiting, only you are waiting. YOUR CUSTOMERS CAN SEE YOU FUCKING WITH THEM!

Right now I have a Touchwiz rom on my Samsung. I have cut out as many of the Samsung pieces as I can, including the actual Touchwiz, and replaced them with mods that mimic, or actually are, stock. I LIKE THIS! The phone looks like Android, runs like Android, and also uses the hardware as well as the hardware manufacturer can make it do.

This is what manufacturers should do. They fuck with stock Android on the grounds that Google should not be allowed to design the interface of their hardware, Google can't dictate how Samsung customers use Samsung hardware, right?! Which sounds like fine commercial reasoning except that Samsung is NOT MAKING BETTER SOFTWARE....



Re security and media... not to be shill, but Android 4.2 actually does for the first time offer sdcard security features, and the HTC One has Beats Audio... variants on Android like Cyanogen offer ways to block tracing... and of course Google clouds all your data anyway so your screwed. I don't know. I just want my toys.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Guangzhou Writer on June 01, 2013, 09:12:56 AM
"I don't know. I just want my toys."

Awesome!! :)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 01, 2013, 11:47:52 AM
I like my toys. I like being able to make them the best toys. I know other people do most of the making and I'm just putting bits together at the end, but it's fun. And functional. I use my phone for several hours a day, mostly as a media collection device. (Actually don't do that many phone calls anymore.) I don't know what real people do with their devices. The internet is a wonderland of mods and tips and tools, but presumably most people don't play with their phones this way. For most people, phones are consumer electronic devices, as customizable as a radio.

I wonder if some perspective (http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNzQ0MTQxMjQ=.html) is not in order.


Pfft, "technology" is everything. Books are a technology. Who doesn't use technology?

Is it always someone else's technology? I guess.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Guangzhou Writer on June 01, 2013, 12:02:23 PM
We're being led by the noses down the primrose path of technology to a place that Orwell never dreamed of. However, stuff like GPS and a good camera in one device is extremely useful for many things, including safety. Mobile phones save lives in mountaineering even when they're not expected to, etc.

Wei Xin (We Chat) application is a good example. In one sense, it allows us to avoid unknown and exorbitant charges for calling other mobile phones in China, especially those from other cities, but it's a QQ app and its source code is not available, so who knows what it might be doing.

It's all fun and games until you get interrogated because a friend of a friend of a friend on facebook was accused of hate speech and you're suddenly listening to a talking head in a closed room telling you your life story in more detail than you could ever imagine.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: piglet on June 03, 2013, 11:02:07 AM
And apropos of Technology impinging on lives try the "Black Mirror" series which shows where the primrose path may be leading.  aoaoaoaoao
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Guangzhou Writer on June 03, 2013, 11:11:03 AM
Thanks for the tip, I'll take a look.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on June 03, 2013, 11:56:21 AM
Love Black Mirror
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 07, 2013, 12:25:15 AM
(http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/audio/video/2013/6/6/1370551886176/Prism-001.jpg)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 20, 2013, 12:13:02 PM
Hello Samsung. Me again. So I've heard the 4.2 update will arrive in Q3. Pundits are saying July or August. So that'll be nine months after it was released. Awesome, eh? Well done. You're doing a fantastic job of keeping technology out of my hands. Can't thank you enough. Good luck with the--what is it? Whatever that alternative operating system is you've been developing. I'm sure people will love it. So I wouldn't normally announce brand dissatisfaction like this, but you know how it is. I spent a little too long maybe announcing that I was using one of yours so, hey, you know, fair do's. Thanks anyway. It's been fun.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Guangzhou Writer on June 20, 2013, 01:05:22 PM
Dear Plebe end-user:

The OECD, in conjunction with the Rand Corporation, has determined the best way to maintain market control in technology is to release products in such a way as to generate anticipation, while preventing market saturation by doling out features that should have been available 10 years ago.

In other words, we're the South Korean phone company. We don't care. We don't have to.

(http://asimplerhapsody.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/lily-as-ernestine.jpg)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 20, 2013, 11:08:56 PM
u so mean.



Also,

http://www.sammobile.com/2013/05/20/exclusive-i9300xxufme3-android-4-2-2-jelly-bean-leaked-firmware-for-the-galaxy-s-iii/

The xxufme leak does not include all of the 4.2.2 features (no Photosphere, for eg), but it works. I don't know what the real technical differences between 4.1.1 and 4.2.2 are, but on my phone, 4.2.2 is a noticeably smoother interface.

Caveats: xxufme has an truly ugly boot screen (the leaked rom was from an Israeli service provider, Hot Mobile, and they logo'd the boot and shutdown screens). There's also a metric shit ton of Samsung bloatware, and something odd going on with the lock screen, some editing option that seems like it shouldn't be there. But... the rom can be rooted and all of those issues fixed: replace the boot and shutdown screens with Samsung stock, install a new lock screen (I used Holo Locker), and get some app like Titanium Backup and pare all the bloat out, Touchwiz and all.

Once you do all that (and have replaced the godawful messaging and dialer apps), you can get the stock 4.2 Clock and Keyboard (the one with gesture typing) and yo goot to go. Nearly Nexus.


On the one hand, it was entertaining doing all that screwing around with the phone. On the other, when Samsung does eventually properly release their 4.2.2, it'll (already be out of date but) possibly run better. I'd rather they didn't make me wait.


When Android 5.0 is released, apparently it's going to be radically optimized, which is to say it'll work for lesser spec'd phones, supposedly even phones with as little as 512 of RAM. So, apparent strategies like Samsung's (where they delay the release of 4.2.2 for their older phones so that you'll buy their newer phones that already have 4.2.2) might start coming unstuck.... actually, that assumes lots of people will root and rom their phones, which is probably not true. But developers know the older phones much better, and custom roms based on this optimized 5...

Eh, probably not.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 29, 2013, 03:54:18 AM
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2340858

It might not last long, and the downloads might be hard to get to, but in that xda thread is the stock android 4.2 camera, including photosphere functionality. People in the thread are saying assorted things about how to install the apk depending on your phone type and android system, but on my S3 (running a heavily trimmed i9300xxufme3 Android 4.2.2) it installs just like a normal apk and leaves the Samsung camera app intact.

YMMV.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on August 10, 2013, 10:19:51 AM
Adventures in Android

Soooo.... Samsung is taking a long time to update Android. The rumoured July/August 4.2.2 update for the S3 obviously didn't happen. The rumour now is Samsung will skip 4.2.2 entirely and go to 4.3... in November/December. Whatevs though, right? There's a leaked 4.2.2 rom out there anyway.... Yeah, well, it's not finished, nor especially optimized, and it runs hot. With the ambient temp around here being 35+, my phone shuttles between 30C and 42C, and gets really hot in the hand. So I decided I'd go back to 4.1.1. Then I decided I update to 4.1.2, which is the official Android of the S3 right now.

Long story short: if you find the right gapps to download (and there are lots of packages--just, without irony, Google "gapps"), you can install all the Google bits on top of a "for China only" distribution of Android.

Next question: do "for China only" firmwares come with spyware? If I do my gmail account on this phone, am I tagged forever? (And I mean, not just by Google, but by.... "them".)

I don't know.

Thus I don't know yet if the gapps works... will decide later how paranoid I propose to be.


Incidentally, the next Nexus, the 5, is due out in November/December too. Buhbye Sammy. (not that the S3 isn't a nice phone, just y'know....)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on August 10, 2013, 10:55:40 AM
Welp, that worked.

I installed a China-only 4.1.1 firmware (I9300ZCDLK1), waited a long time for it to update itself over wifi to 4.1.2. Then rooted (by flashing CF-Root-SGS3-v6.4 via Odin 3.04), flashed Clockworkmod (specifically, recovery-cwmtouch-6.0.3.1-GTI9300, again via Odin 3.04), then used Clockworkmod to install gapps (specifically, gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip). And while rooting may not be strictly necessary, it does let you use tools like TitaniumBackup to ferret out any strange programs that might be running in the background (what is "perso 4.1.2" anyway?).

All that to add the Google stuff back to your phone, and you can register it using your gmail account, and then go on to use the various Google services again.

Hurrah! Except they may be watching everything now.  bjbjbjbjbj
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: psd4fan on August 10, 2013, 01:17:03 PM
Welp, that worked.

I installed a China-only 4.1.1 firmware (I9300ZCDLK1), waited a long time for it to update itself over wifi to 4.1.2. Then rooted (by flashing CF-Root-SGS3-v6.4 via Odin 3.04), flashed Clockworkmod (specifically, recovery-cwmtouch-6.0.3.1-GTI9300, again via Odin 3.04), then used Clockworkmod to install gapps (specifically, gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip). And while rooting may not be strictly necessary, it does let you use tools like TitaniumBackup to ferret out any strange programs that might be running in the background (what is "perso 4.1.2" anyway?).

All that to add the Google stuff back to your phone, and you can register it using your gmail account, and then go on to use the various Google services again.

Hurrah! Except they may be watching everything now.  bjbjbjbjbj
Is any of that English?  mmmmmmmmmm
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: A-Train on August 10, 2013, 03:44:23 PM

I installed a China-only 4.1.1 firmware (I9300ZCDLK1), waited a long time for it to update itself over wifi to 4.1.2. Then rooted (by flashing CF-Root-SGS3-v6.4 via Odin 3.04), flashed Clockworkmod (specifically, recovery-cwmtouch-6.0.3.1-GTI9300, again via Odin 3.04), then used Clockworkmod to install gapps (specifically, gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip). And while rooting may not be strictly necessary, it does let you use tools like TitaniumBackup to ferret out any strange programs that might be running in the background (what is "perso 4.1.2" anyway?).

All that to add the Google stuff back to your phone, and you can register it using your gmail account, and then go on to use the various Google services again.


Holy shitsky, I'm more of a technological dinosaur than I had even imagined. You lost me at "Well, that worked".  Does Apple have some sort of feeding tube I can plug myself into to get somewhere close to functional?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: ericthered on August 10, 2013, 03:45:57 PM
 ahahahahah ahahahahah You and me both, A-Train, the only thing I understood of that was "Odin"... ahahahahah ahahahahah
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on August 10, 2013, 10:31:54 PM
The paragraph does have a certain rough-hewn charm, doesn't it.

Some of it might be technically unnecessary too. I'm not sure yet, but one might possibly use stock recovery without root to install gapps.


I wonder how real people use Android. Probably most people with an Android phone, like nearly all, don't screw around like this. When you have everything lined up on your computer, all this "root" and "firmware" and "recovery" is easy, but the process includes hardware risks every time, and the learning curve is really steep, and probably when people buy a phone, they just want a NSA-friendly homing beacon phone.

I just don't know anymore.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Guangzhou Writer on August 11, 2013, 05:10:03 AM
So CP, any concerns that the NSA helped write the Android OS?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on August 11, 2013, 06:09:37 AM
Nope.

As I understand it, they don't supply proprietary binaries. So whatever code they wrote is available for inspection. Then people like the developers from Cyanogenmod squint long and hard at it. Such defacto inspectors assess the code for whether or not it works in their custom roms, so if there were something hinky in there, *maybe* it'd be spotted fairly promptly.

What I'm personally paranoid about is the stuff you can't spot, like extra elements added to normal Android binaries and then wrapped up as standard firmware. Basically, the same as how malware can be added to your phone piggybacked on popular apps, except this time piggybacking on the Android system itself.

I have no evidence that such corruption of firmware actually occurs. It'd need cooperation between, say, Samsung and relevant offices of the Chinese government. And it'd be really, really bad press for Sammy if firmware wiretapping of every damn phone on the mainland were real. But, Samsung does already customise Android for distribution in China--they take out all the Google stuff (and add in Sina and Baidu and QQ).

I have my hands over my ears and I say lalalala.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Guangzhou Writer on August 11, 2013, 08:26:35 AM
The 1996 Telecommunications Act of the USA, and something similar in Canada (don't know its name), *require* there to be back doors for the gubmint. That's when the NSA spying on telecom was moved from the back, back room, to the junction room.

Looooong before Snowden, someone named Max Klein, who worked for AT&T, revealed that the NSA had a secret room in their San Francisco facilities where all internet data on the West Coast of the USA and traveling across the Pacific was copied.

The NSA, AT&T And The Secrets Of Room 641A (http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-06/nsa-att-and-secrets-room-641a)

These NSA rooms had been known in theory since the 1996 Telecom Act because they were required by the legislation. Other countries have these, as well as requirements for back doors on physical devices and software.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on August 11, 2013, 09:17:02 AM
How to add Google to your China Android Phone - the Samsung i9300 edition

The following will NOT root your phone. It will NOT replace your firmware. However, IT WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY. Also, it might not work. There's no telling how many details I forgot. Plus, note, this procedure worked on a Samsung Galaxy S3 - GT-I9300 - starting with a factory fresh Chinese 4.1.2 Android installation. For other phones and other Androids, YMMV.

Step 1: finding out what you have.

You'll need to find the Settings button. Usually it's in the App drawer. Sometimes you can find it on a screen to the left or right of the home screen. However you find it, let's say you pressed Menu. So, do this:

Menu > Settings > About device > Android version

When I started I had a factory fresh Chinese Android. The Android version was "4.1.2". (The Build number, for what it's worth, was "JZO54K.I9300ZCEMD2" - the bestest Android currently available in the CHN region.)

I also took a look at

Menu > Settings > About device > Status > Device status

When I started, the device status was "Official". By the end of the procedure, the device status was "Custom" - aka no more warranty for you.


Step 2: Acquiring GAPPS

There are lots of "gapps". They are collections of official Google stuff, including Google Play and Play Services. The collections are however NOT OFFICIAL. They are fan-made. More exactly, they are flashable zips put together by amateur Android rom developers because Google asked them to stop including official Google stuff in their custom roms. The zips are used by the community to add Google stuff after the fact.

You'll need to find the right gapps for your Android installation. Take a look at Rootzwiki:

 http://wiki.rootzwiki.com/Google_Apps

I started with Android 4.1.2, so I downloaded:

 gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip (http://goo.im/gapps/gapps-jb-20121011-signed.zip)

Do, for the love of all things not malware, be careful where you get your gapps. All of the commonly used one can be found at Goo (http://goo.im/gapps/).


Step 3: Plugging in

You'll need to be able to attach your phone to your computer. I'm assuming PC. If your PC does not immediately recognise your phone, you need to do something, probably install whatever PC phone management software came with the phone or can be downloaded. For a Samsung, that's Kies. Or you can just install the Samsung USB Drivers.

Once you're plugged in and your pc recognises your phone, copy your newly downloaded gapps to the root directory of your phone. The root directory is whatever directory comes up after you go to My Computer and click on the icon for your phone.


Step 4: Screwing Your Warranty

It would be super if you could use stock recovery to install the gapps zip, but you can't. I tried. There's no option in the stock recovery to make it happen. Thus, you need a custom recovery. When you flash a custom recovery, your "Device status" will change from "Official" to "Custom". Bye bye warranty (unless you use TriangleAway, but that requires root, and a whole other howto post).

Now, this is where we get into device specific details. To flash a custom recovery, you'll need whatever software is commonly used for your phone. For Samsung phones, the tool is Odin (https://duckduckgo.com/?q=odin+3.04). For other phones, I have no idea. As always, choose your download sites carefully, read some documentation, have fun.

To flash a custom recovery, you'll need to choose a custom recovery. There are several that are well regarded. I have only ever used Clockworkmod (http://forum.xda-developers.com/wiki/ClockworkMod_Recovery), so I use that today. the particular iteration I used was Clockworkmod Touch 6.0.3.1 for the i9300. You can find several, plus instructions, at the XDA Clockworkmod for i9300 thread (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1719744). If you have a different phone, and yet you've still read this far, you probably like Google enough to let Google be your friend anyway. Google: clockworkmod [your phone type].

Okay, so this is what you do for the i9300:

Short Version:

1. Use Odin to flash clockworkmod from your pc to your phone
2. use clockworkmod to flash gapps from your phone's root directory to your phone's operating system
3. profit.

Long Version:

Well, let's just say there is a long version, but it's better if you learn odin and clockworkmod for yo'seff. I don't everyone's phones defaulting to "assplode" because of some tired howto I wrote.


The End

Yeah, so I thought it'd be a good idea to write a How to, then I got tired. But anyway, the principle's there: you can set up your Chinese Android phone to work with all the official Google Apps if'n you want, and you don't have to root nor download some strange firmware. But you will, prima facie, void your warranty.

 bjbjbjbjbj
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on August 18, 2013, 06:25:07 AM
Well sportsfans, while Samsung is off catching flies with vinegar, Cyanogenmod 10.2 has appeared for various devices, including the i9300. Between you and me, it's a keeper.  Cyanogenmod 10.2 is Android 4.3 plus.... stuff. Not a lot of stuff. Just tweaks and organizations, and obvious things like the launcher and the camera. Right now, it's all still being organized, but even just a week or so in, the mod is good enough to use. Whatever they were doing with 10.1 that made it feel hacky and cludged, that's not happening this time.

The mod still has weird graphics glitches. It randomly slaps black space over half of some app screens, especially apps with ads. And the built in launcher--trebuchet--crashes a lot. But whatevs, the apps I use mostly work. Battery life is going to be an issue. Right now, battery charge drops like a stone when the phone is in use. It stays nice and level while the phone is asleep, but I doubt I'll be getting the average 22 hours I used to get.

It's faster, smoother, better, stronger, and Samsung isn't going to release anything approaching it until maybe December if even then. It could all still reveal some awesomely horrible bug that makes the experience so much worse than stock, but with Samsung now officially two generations of Android behind the game, screw them for a technology leader.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 03, 2013, 05:15:28 AM
Balky carriers and slow OEMs step aside: Google is defragging Android (http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/09/balky-carriers-and-slow-oems-step-aside-google-is-defragging-android/)

Android 4.3 was released to Nexus devices a little over a month ago, but, as is usual with Android updates, it's taking much longer to roll out the general public. Right now, a little over six percent of Android users have the latest version. And if you pay attention to the various Android forums out there, you may have noticed something: no one cares.


The article goes on to explain, it's deliberate - Google is making Android updates boring. The action, says the article, is moving toward Google Play Services. Google Play Services is the foundation for all Google apps. Also, increasingly, it's the foundation for what might otherwise have been offered as part of the Android OS but are now increasingly being offered as apps for download from Google Play - Maps, Search, browsers, calendars, news, input method editors (as in Pinyin Input), etc. Google Play Services, once installed, updates itself and is compatible with all the Androids. In short, if you get Play Services, you get, increasingly, the stuff that makes Android useable and interesting as a smartphone.

And the good news.... in China, you don't get Google Play Services. Woohoo! You get a phone, and that part of the OS won't be installed. It could mean a renaissance for Chinese app programmers. All the stuff that makes a smartphone useful will NOT come with the phone unless Chinese Android programmers start making, say, MIUI, worth having from the go.


Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S3, which might never officially see even Android 4.2, works pretty damn well with Cyanogen 10.2 - aka Android 4.3. A year or two from now, Samsung is not going to be "the" name in smartphones anymore. God helps us, Motorola might be.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 08, 2013, 12:59:38 AM
GT-i9300_CHN_CHN

Back when I was flashing new firmware on my i9300, I kept running into a problem: download firmware, load it into Odin on the PC, attach phone to PC, start the process of flashing, then somewhere near the end of the flash, the operation would abort and say "FAIL".

Turns out, this is a China specific "feature". The phone I have, as purchased here on the mainland, is the Samsung Galaxy S3 International version China edition. That is, instead of being a standard GT-i9300, it's a GT-i9300_CHN_CHN. And it has a locked bootloader. (No, I don't know what that means either, except that it causes the phone to reject parts of non-CHN-specific firmware.)

You too can discover if you have this "feature": type *#*#1234#*#* into your dialer.


FWIW, none of this is an issue if you use flashable zips and install via Clockworkmod.

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 08, 2013, 02:44:59 AM
ETA: apparently those dialer codes don't work anymore.

Alt method for finding out what model your *SAMSUNG* phone is: boot into download mode

1. power off
2. press and hold vol down + home + power (and release when the samsung logo appears)
3. then when the big yellow triangle appears, press vol up

The product name will appear in little tiny letters at the top of the screen, along with some status info.

To get out of download mode again, press and hold: vol down + home + power. (Phone will power off.)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on September 08, 2013, 03:37:36 AM
Hey Calach, how much time do you spend figuring out all this phone stuff?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 08, 2013, 05:28:55 AM
An afternoon here and there. Most of it's just noticing what other people have already figured out.

Like, I found out about the bootloader because a Chinese guy posted a topic on another forum saying this kind of phone had that kind of bootloader, and it was interesting to know why my phone had "_CHN_CHN" in its name. But I found his post because I was looking for a China-specific software "baseband"/modem that I googled by name, and his post included the name. And the rainbow connection was made.

(And I was looking for the modem because I'm chasing down a particular wakelock that *may* be sucking battery juice and could be fixed by changing the modem.)



It probably adds up.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: English Gent on September 08, 2013, 05:57:40 AM
I've had the latest update downloaded for my nexus 7 for weeks, but I'm waiting for the internet reviews to confirm its stable to use, last thing I want is my UK bought nexus to brick! I should probably back up my work too....!
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 18, 2013, 11:52:03 PM
Cyanogenmod is now a company, aims to be third major mobile ecosystem (http://www.unwiredview.com/2013/09/18/cyanogenmod-is-now-a-business-i-hope-its-next-wordpressautomattic-or-xiaomi-and-not-twitterobvious/)

CyanogenMod – one of the most popular Android ROMs, is now a business. The team behind this Android ROM has formed a company, Cyanogen Inc., and raised $7 million from Benchmark Capital and Redpoint Ventures.

Their goal?

To become the third mobile operating system, ahead of Windows Phone and Blackberry, no less.



And since, as we know, rooting and romming is about the last thing normal people want to do with their phones, coming soon to Google Play, apparently, is Cyanogenmod Installer, which presumably will do all the horrible geek stuff for you.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on September 19, 2013, 01:48:38 AM
iOS 7 is out.

iPhones 4S and up

iPad 2 and up
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 21, 2013, 03:08:12 AM
So Steve Kondik, the CyanogenMod guy, is going to be in Beijing on Sept 23 for the release/announcement/whatever of the Oppo N1 (http://phandroid.com/2013/08/27/oppo-n1-leaks/). So it would seem this'll be the Cyanogenmod phone (http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/gigaom/articles/2013_09_20_is_oppo_releasing_the_first_cyanogenmod_phone.html).

Anyone use an Oppo?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 21, 2013, 07:14:22 AM
Battery is non-removable?

And there's no button to push that'll let you out of recovery?

If it were me and I could still boot into Download mode (press and hold Vol Up + Power), I'd plug into the Windows machine and use Odin to install Clockworkmod (http://www.droidviews.com/root-and-install-cwm-on-samsung-galaxy-note-8-0-gt-n5100-gt-n5110-gt-n5120-all-models/).

I don't know why that would work, but it's enabled me to regain control of my phone a few times. (Especially useful if you have a nandroid backup on the device itself. Might even allow access to the rom you mention on the sdcard. Might work.)



Also, Samsung locks the bootloader in their China-destined devices. They did on the Galaxy S3. Perhaps they did on the Notes too. On my phone it means that non-China firmwares can install only as far as the modem, at which point they crap out and the installation fails. China-specific firmwares WILL install though. If you have one handy, you could give it a try.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 21, 2013, 07:39:10 AM
If you can get CWM installed, do a Factory reset/Wipe data, then wipe cache partition, then try reboot system.

If it still goes screwy then I'd flash a China firmware from sammobile over the top of everything. Or maybe make a trip to the Sammy shop.

But Clockworkmod is magical. I have faith.

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 21, 2013, 02:08:42 PM
Bummer.

Howevaire.. if the Note is now functioning and you can instal CWM and you can copy files to your sdcard...

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2450005

Unless I'm mistaken, that's the UK 4.2.2, but rooted and packaged as a flashable zip. Flash it through CWM, not Odin. This bypasses the lock. I flashed a non-China 4.2.2 to my phone that way and it worked.


Note well: I can't vouch for that zip, you may prefer a different one, but xda usually serves up things that work. (Cross fingers, no jinx.)


ETA: Also, if you go down the flashable zip path, do a full backup in CWM first, then Factory reset/Wipe data, then wipe cache partition, then Advanced/Wipe Dalvik cache, then flash. And be prepared for the change from 4.1 to 4.2. It changes the directory structure on your sdcard. You'll probably find a mysterious folder called 0 and all of your stuff apparently in two places at once (it's not - it just looks like it)

Bon chance.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 22, 2013, 12:20:10 AM
Unless I'm mistaken, that's the UK 4.2.2, but rooted and packaged as a flashable zip. Flash it through CWM, not Odin. This bypasses the lock. I flashed a non-China 4.2.2 to my phone that way and it worked.

Come to think on it (and scan through through this (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1702244) a bit), I don't know if "this bypasses the lock" is true. It might be that you have to go through the process of *failing* to flash a non-China firmware first. The process with my phone was:

(1) flash a non-China firmware
(2) gnash teeth when it failed.
(3) flash CWM, do Factory reset/Wipe data, do Reboot device now
(4) be surprised when the device did reboot.
(5) be even more surprised when the device claimed to be running the *new* Android
(6) putter along for weeks then months using the new android, sometimes getting mysterious reboots out of the blue, but whatevs because it all mostly works.
(7) then get a rooted flashable zip of 4.2.2 from xda and flash successfully through clockworkmod.

So I don't know if all of that was unnecessary or not. I'm pretty sure the "locked bootloader" is still there. Meaning, if I tried flashing a stock, non-China firmware now through ODIN, it'd probably still fail. But flashable zips go through no probs. So I don't know what's up with that except that it works for me.

YMwillundoubtedlyV
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 23, 2013, 12:51:11 AM
Congrats. Ain't devices just hours of fun! ( aoaoaoaoao)


But now I'm curious: what Chinese utility?

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 23, 2013, 11:11:17 AM
Also, something I discovered: nearly all bootloaders are locked. When people talk about "locked bootloader" as a problem, what they really mean is, the bootloader isn't just locked, it's also encrypted.

The bootloader is the first piece of software that runs when you turn the device on. It loads everything else. So for instance it can make sure that only properly signed software can load next. But in the proper sense of the word, a locked bootloader is just a bootloader that can't be altered until it's unlocked. And unlocking is usually a matter of issuing a single command (with the right adb setup on your computer--long story). But if the bootloader is also encrypted, then you can't unlock it until you get through the encryption. Which, usually, you can't.

And, it would seem, that's what we have on (some, new) sammy devices in China: locked and encrypted bootloaders.


 ababababab
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on September 24, 2013, 12:09:20 PM
I don't understand most any of this stuff. I'll stick with the iPhone.

Picked up a iPhone 5s, what a wonderful little computer.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 24, 2013, 01:23:48 PM
I held an iphone 5 the other day. A friend had one. I let her touch mine, she let me touch hers. I will say this for the 5, it's phone shaped.

Apparently the coming Nexus 5 is to be made by LG and will be based on their G2. So, probably bigger than the S3. Yet I've been thinking for a while I might prefer a smaller phone.

It's a puzzle.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 25, 2013, 04:45:57 AM
The handy Chinese app we used is called 完美刷机. It is supposedly made by Baidu.

This thing?: "Perfect Brush" (http://www.wmshua.com/)

At first glance it appears to be a Rom Manager (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.koushikdutta.rommanager) clone.

I have used neither though so I don't know.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Nolefan on September 25, 2013, 05:10:46 AM
I don't understand most any of this stuff. I'll stick with the iPhone.

Picked up a iPhone 5s, what a wonderful little computer.

Stil, what did you upgrade from? I'm still holding on to my iphone 4 and eyeing the 5S...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on September 25, 2013, 04:20:34 PM
From the 4S. Huge improvement in speed. The fingerprint scanner is great. By the time I pull my phone out of my pocket and look at it, it's unlocked. The camera is very good. Everything is better. It is a huge jump from a 4.

There are so many little things in iOS 7 too. For example, if you add the field 'Phonetic Last Name' to a contact and then put a Chinese name in the 'Last' Name' field it auto-enters the pinyin with tone markers into the phonetic spelling field.

I picked the gunmetal colour. I guess they call it space grey. The gold one is very nice, not gaudy at all but I don't like the a white face for my phones.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Nolefan on September 26, 2013, 04:00:36 AM
From the 4S. Huge improvement in speed. The fingerprint scanner is great. By the time I pull my phone out of my pocket and look at it, it's unlocked. The camera is very good. Everything is better. It is a huge jump from a 4.

There are so many little things in iOS 7 too. For example, if you add the field 'Phonetic Last Name' to a contact and then put a Chinese name in the 'Last' Name' field it auto-enters the pinyin with tone markers into the phonetic spelling field.

I picked the gunmetal colour. I guess they call it space grey. The gold one is very nice, not gaudy at all but I don't like the a white face for my phones.

did you get it straight from a dealer or on a unicom package deal? debating both options now.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on September 26, 2013, 04:55:50 AM
After much deliberation, I (think) I am going to get the HTC One when my pay day comes up soon.

I want a phone that's really well-built (like an iPhone), is customisable (unlike an iPhone) and on which I can side load any apps I want.

The One seems tom top all lists of the best phones in the world right now, and tick all the boxes for me.

I did consider a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone, but I'm very concerned that there is no side loading and I couldn't even access the UK/US apps because I'm in China.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on September 26, 2013, 05:49:00 AM
From the 4S. Huge improvement in speed. The fingerprint scanner is great. By the time I pull my phone out of my pocket and look at it, it's unlocked. The camera is very good. Everything is better. It is a huge jump from a 4.

There are so many little things in iOS 7 too. For example, if you add the field 'Phonetic Last Name' to a contact and then put a Chinese name in the 'Last' Name' field it auto-enters the pinyin with tone markers into the phonetic spelling field.

I picked the gunmetal colour. I guess they call it space grey. The gold one is very nice, not gaudy at all but I don't like the a white face for my phones.

did you get it straight from a dealer or on a unicom package deal? debating both options now.


Dealer.

What the dealers do in Changsha is charge 600 rmb over the Apple Store price with the 600 being used for store credit at the time of purchase. But I know a girl who knows a guy who knows a......
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Day Dreamer on September 26, 2013, 06:12:13 AM
After much deliberation, I (think) I am going to get the HTC One when my pay day comes up soon.

I want a phone that's really well-built (like an iPhone), is customisable (unlike an iPhone) and on which I can side load any apps I want.

The One seems tom top all lists of the best phones in the world right now, and tick all the boxes for me.

I did consider a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone, but I'm very concerned that there is no side loading and I couldn't even access the UK/US apps because I'm in China.

A few years back I bought an HTC Desire. Loved the phone. Obviously not enough because I left the damn thing in a taxi and lost forever.  bqbqbqbqbq

So, I bought the One. Faster, and pretty much like the other one. The maps are awesome, used them when we travel and helped tremendously. I'm not big on many apps, but fairly easy to do.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on September 26, 2013, 06:45:31 AM
@Stil: What did you do with the 4S? Give it to the gf?  Keep it as a backup? Trade it in? Sell it? If one of the latter two, how much did you get for it?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on September 26, 2013, 08:25:05 AM
After much deliberation, I (think) I am going to get the HTC One when my pay day comes up soon.

I want a phone that's really well-built (like an iPhone), is customisable (unlike an iPhone) and on which I can side load any apps I want.

The One seems tom top all lists of the best phones in the world right now, and tick all the boxes for me.

I did consider a Nokia Lumia Windows Phone, but I'm very concerned that there is no side loading and I couldn't even access the UK/US apps because I'm in China.

A few years back I bought an HTC Desire. Loved the phone. Obviously not enough because I left the damn thing in a taxi and lost forever.  bqbqbqbqbq

So, I bought the One. Faster, and pretty much like the other one. The maps are awesome, used them when we travel and helped tremendously. I'm not big on many apps, but fairly easy to do.

Shame about the Desire, but I guess the One is the silver lining  uuuuuuuuuu

How much did you pay for it? A store in my town quoted me 5000 the other day  eeeeeeeeee
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Day Dreamer on September 26, 2013, 10:24:00 AM
We got it on a promo. It was listed as 5200 initially but marked down to 3999 We also got her to throw in an 8GB card. She wouldn't do 16 and laughed at us at the 32gig
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on September 26, 2013, 10:37:25 AM
We got it on a promo. It was listed as 5200 initially but marked down to 3999 We also got her to throw in an 8GB card. She wouldn't do 16 and laughed at us at the 32gig

It's a really solid phone isn't it... I mean the build of it?

Also, have you managed to get the full Google Play store on it?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Day Dreamer on September 26, 2013, 10:48:02 AM
It's a really solid phone isn't it... I mean the build of it?

Also, have you managed to get the full Google Play store on it?

Yes it is. Things need to be with me, I can break a diamond! I break EVERYTHING! (I don't mean promises and contracts)

I've used some of the GooglePlay stuff, don't know if I have the full scope. There are trolls with better tech-savvy than me. I download what I want, not just anything and everything. I have a shitload of music and lots of reading material
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on September 26, 2013, 11:22:10 AM
It's a really solid phone isn't it... I mean the build of it?

Also, have you managed to get the full Google Play store on it?

Yes it is. Things need to be with me, I can break a diamond! I break EVERYTHING! (I don't mean promises and contracts)

I've used some of the GooglePlay stuff, don't know if I have the full scope. There are trolls with better tech-savvy than me. I download what I want, not just anything and everything. I have a shitload of music and lots of reading material

Did you actually buy stuff on the Play store?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Day Dreamer on September 26, 2013, 12:00:39 PM
No, nothing I need nor want to use

It's like a cool small computer when I'm out, walkman, and, and, oh yea, it's a great phone
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 26, 2013, 12:08:28 PM
In Foreign, Google Play has six sections: Apps, Games, Movies & TV, Music, Books, and Magazines. You can buy stuff if you plug in your credit card. From China, though, the only accessible sections are Apps and Games, and the only accessible content in those sections is whatever is downloadable for free. This is not entirely useless, but nearly.

Other Google stuff works though. Maps and translations and voice typing and data syncing and whatnot.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on September 26, 2013, 03:15:41 PM
@Stil: What did you do with the 4S? Give it to the gf?  Keep it as a backup? Trade it in? Sell it? If one of the latter two, how much did you get for it?

They offered me 1600 for it. I decided to keep it.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on September 27, 2013, 10:26:31 AM
In Foreign, Google Play has six sections: Apps, Games, Movies & TV, Music, Books, and Magazines. You can buy stuff if you plug in your credit card. From China, though, the only accessible sections are Apps and Games, and the only accessible content in those sections is whatever is downloadable for free. This is not entirely useless, but nearly.

Other Google stuff works though. Maps and translations and voice typing and data syncing and whatnot.

Yes.

However there is supposed to be a way to get the western Play store. Have you heard anything about how to do that?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 27, 2013, 10:41:04 AM
Velvety Pfeffer Nutz. The irony being that some of the better apps for that are paid apps available on Google Play. (Note: apps, not service; you need the service before you can use the app.) However, I don't know if you can make purchases that way. You get the full store and all the content, but does the use of Nutz bamboozle your credit card security? I don't know. Never tried.

There's also a thing called Market Enabler, but that too I have never tried.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on September 27, 2013, 11:07:47 AM
Velvety pf what now?? Just googled it and nothing relevant came up.

I've tried Market Enabler before and it didn't work.

This is why Apple kicks butt for expats. As long as you sign up to their app store with a card from your country, you can access the full store as you would be able to back home. I do this on the iPad mini.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 27, 2013, 11:15:40 AM
Velvety Pffefer Nutz

Personally I find Google Play kind of crap as a discovery engine. If I were ever struck by lightning and woke up with a desire to buy something online without paranoia, I don't know that Teh GooPlah would be my first stop. I do get the impression Apple has this stuff worked out better.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on September 27, 2013, 12:53:35 PM
Ahh I see. You can tell I haven't been on RESLC for a while!

That makes no difference either though. Your google account is linked to your phone number, so they know where you are  llllllllll
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on September 27, 2013, 12:55:45 PM
This is why Apple kicks butt for expats. As long as you sign up to their app store with a card from your country, you can access the full store as you would be able to back home. I do this on the iPad mini.

Yep.

Better yet, you can sign up for multiple Apple App store by country. I'm registered in the U.S. one on a credit card, and the China one using my local China bank account (debit card). I prefer to use the China one when possible because it's easier as I'm being paid in China in RMB into that account, rather than having to send money home to cover a charge on a US card. Most apps (not all) that I want are available in both stores, so I run the purchases through my China account. Apple doesn't care where your phone is located or what language it's using (Apple devices handle multiple languages with the click of a button, not the downloading/flashing of a separate ROM/OS.)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 27, 2013, 01:13:39 PM
Pfft, Android as sourced in China is often limited to two or three installed languages. Android proper has 50-something system languages built in.


But since we're all here, let's not squabble, I have a question for everyone, Googlies and Apples:

how often do you all make a purchase in an app store?

Is it mostly apps?

Does anyone buy media?


Anyone use alternate apps stores? (Appbrain is a familiar alternative to Google Play, and apparently popular; Amazon has its own store too; etc.)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on September 28, 2013, 01:43:19 AM
Yes but from my understanding, and from trying it before, those other app sites like AppBrain just work through Google Play anyway. If you click download on a game for example, it'll just direct you to the Play store. Seems totally pointless!

As for your other question, I download games on the iPad mini as I like playing online, and I download certain apps (like Sleep Pillow which is awesome), but I would never pay for music and videos.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 28, 2013, 10:55:32 AM
Just looking through my apps, it seems like I do use Google Play a bit, but mostly for the free Google stuff--Chrome, Pinyin Input, Translate, Maps, Gmail, Calendar, etc--and keeping them up to date. There's three or four other apps that I've stuck with over the years and possibly could have paid for too.

Actually, one app I use every day, Zite, is downloadable for free from Google Play, and as far as I know that's the only place you can get it. Which is a pity because their most recent update totally rewrote the whole thing and turned it from an excellent news browser into yet another Flipboard clone.

Flipboard blows. (As does Google Now.)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Day Dreamer on September 28, 2013, 12:55:23 PM
Holy Crap Fatman, I just watched the 4 minute advert for the iPhone 5C. What a crock! They spent over 3 minutes telling you how good it looks. With the exception of a prolonged battery life and camera, there's not much else. Talk about form over function

 bibibibibi

Am I missing something?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on September 28, 2013, 03:07:32 PM

Am I missing something?


No. Every year Apple releases a new phone and previous year's model becomes the 'cheap' phone. This year instead of making the iPhone 5 the 'cheap' phone, they discontinued and rebranded it (with some minor upgrades) as the iPhone 5c. So really, it's not any different than what they've been doing before. I suppose it makes sense, especially if their research shows that it was younger people buying it or often used as gifts for teens. It's nicer than I thought it would be though. It seems more like enamel than plastic. There's no give at all, very solid.

The biggest difference for us with the 5c is that if/when they make a deal with China Mobile, the 5c (and the 5s) is supposed to have wiring capable of using China Mobile 3G. (which is not standard)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on September 28, 2013, 05:10:03 PM

Am I missing something?


No. Every year Apple releases a new phone and previous year's model becomes the 'cheap' phone. This year instead of making the iPhone 5 the 'cheap' phone, they discontinued and rebranded it (with some minor upgrades) as the iPhone 5c. So really, it's not any different than what they've been doing before. I suppose it makes sense, especially if their research shows that it was younger people buying it or often used as gifts for teens. It's nicer than I thought it would be though. It seems more like enamel than plastic. There's no give at all, very solid.

The biggest difference for us with the 5c is that if/when they make a deal with China Mobile, the 5c (and the 5s) is supposed to have wiring capable of using China Mobile 3G. (which is not standard)

I thought China Unicom had the only 3g service?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on September 28, 2013, 10:41:51 PM
China Unicom has international standard 3G service. China Mobile has 3G service but it's home grown, so you have to have a handset specifically made to use it.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on September 29, 2013, 03:08:51 AM
China Unicom has international standard 3G service. China Mobile has 3G service but it's home grown, so you have to have a handset specifically made to use it.

Plus China Mobile's is shite and slow.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on September 29, 2013, 10:20:48 AM
China Unicom has international standard 3G service. China Mobile has 3G service but it's home grown, so you have to have a handset specifically made to use it.

Plus China Mobile's is shite and slow.

Yeah.

I have found Unicom's 3G is decent and surprisingly fast.

BUT I have got a LOT more spam and f#@%ing 'push messages' since switching to Unicom. Any idea how to combat this anyone?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: opiate on September 29, 2013, 11:35:30 AM
I'm not running a stock ROM but I can block any number and disallow push messages.
Try looking for a way to do that....if you haven't already...which I'm pretty sure you have...so this was a worthless post. Sorry.

You may have the option to register a number as spam...easiest way is from the message manager or whatever it's called.

I r bored.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on September 29, 2013, 02:50:08 PM
Thanks for the suggestions.

Yeah I can register numbers as spam but the godawful 'push messages' don't come from a number, they just pop up in notifications. There seems to be no way to stop them.

I even tried some apps that purport to detect where the push messages come from, but they drew a blank.

 llllllllll
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on September 30, 2013, 12:39:39 AM
AirPush Detector?
Lookout Ad network Detector?

Push notifications arise from apps, don't they? Find which app is doing it, uninstall, no more pushing.

For plain old SMS spam, it seems no android system is the same, and implementations vary from brand to brand too. But blacklisting is what you want there. Some SMS apps do it for you (I forget which one worked for me, either Go SMS or Chomp.) There are also blacklist apps. Avira antivirus for Android includes a call and sms blocking function.

Some roms, like Cyanogenmod, include blacklisting as an option for any call or sms. Select the call record or offending sms, select menu, select "Add to blacklist". A large number of variations on China Mobile's 10 6586 886 presently reside in my blacklist. Works perf.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on November 08, 2013, 12:38:06 AM
It's very early days yet, but anyone got a Nexus 5? Imma get one, and I'm eyeing the sorely unprofessional-looking Taoabo offerings and wondering what would happen if. Google Play is apparently sold out in many areas so where the Taobaowsers are getting their stock....

Anyway, looking at some reviews, the Nexus 5 will have awful battery life and an inadequate camera. And it's pretty much the same size as a galaxy S3, so there goes my plan to get a smaller phone. But it is the bee's testicles as far as currently new devices go, so there's that. What other phone would a normal person get?


Meanwhile, the geniuses at Samsung have released their version of Android 4.3 for the i9300. But only to Switzerland and Ireland so far. Well screw you Samsung! (a) with a locked bootloader, none of those versions will install properly on my China phone and (b) I already have 4.3.1 courtesy of Cyanogenmod. When the China version of Samsung's 4.3 does finally appear, it'll probably include an updated modem, which will be worth something in terms of local reception, but by then Cyanogenmod will definitely be up to Android 4.4 so whatevs. And with luck I'll already have a new phone.


Goddamn you, technology, and your allure of scarcity!
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on November 28, 2013, 12:58:33 AM
Well update fans, Barbie has a new outfit, Android Kitkat. It's smoo'. For the i9300, this arrives in the form of temasek's UNOFFICIAL CM11 (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1797109). Official Cyanogenmod CM11 for various other devices do exist, but the i9300 languishes in the "CM IS A SELLOUT, LET'S MAKE OMNIROM" excitement. The device maintainers are still working on CM10.2 (Android 4.3), but they are apparently putting their 4.4 efforts into OMNI. (OMNIROM for i9300 (http://dl.omnirom.org/i9300/) is not bad - but for me it's still a bit too generic thus far - and temasek's CM11 is by far getting more of the love.)

Cyanogenmod Installer has had a setback too. It's been removed from Google Play store. (http://www.cyanogenmod.org/blog/cyanogenmod-installer-application-removed-from-play-store)

And Taobao keeps trying to sell the North American Nexus 5s in China. Great plan for early adopters who somehow want neither 3G nor 4G on their 4G phone. (And who buys white phones, seriously?)

That is all.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: ericthered on November 28, 2013, 12:48:44 PM
Grrr...the screen on my HTC is now malfunctioning. It works, it just does not light up, so I cannot see anything on it. This is...hmm...the fourth time this HTC crap has malfunctioned. Went to the phone store today and found that that was a good way of getting a headache...so many phones...so many brands...HTC is definitely not a brand I will be buying again.  asasasasas asasasasas llllllllll llllllllll llllllllll
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on November 29, 2013, 12:26:39 AM
You, sir, are an iphone 5s waiting to happen. But yes, apparently HTC does have build quality issues. My old Desire was a bit less than expected in that regard - the volume rocker crapped out well before it should have.

Meanwhile....

BUYING GUIDE Top mobile phones compared: what phone is best for you? (http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/20-best-mobile-phones-in-the-world-today-645440#articleContent)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: xwarrior on November 29, 2013, 04:53:22 AM
The "Tech Expert" on Radio New Zealand says he carries 2 phones. One is a 'smart'phone and the other is an 'old-fashioned' phone like my Nokia 6120c.

The reason? His old phone has a battery that can last up to a week.

There must be a moral to this story but I think only Calech would be able to find it.

 agagagagag

   
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Day Dreamer on November 29, 2013, 05:30:22 AM
Grrr...the screen on my HTC is now malfunctioning. It works, it just does not light up, so I cannot see anything on it. This is...hmm...the fourth time this HTC crap has malfunctioned. Went to the phone store today and found that that was a good way of getting a headache...so many phones...so many brands...HTC is definitely not a brand I will be buying again.  asasasasas asasasasas llllllllll llllllllll llllllllll

Wow, I was talked into a Desire years ago and fell in love. The only reason I bought a new "One" was because some idiot (me) forgot the phone in a cab a never got it back  ananananan.

I prefer the Desire over the One, but I really like HTC. The g/f has an iPhone somethingorotherIjustdon'tcarewhich and she loves it

For the amount of stuff I do, it's overkill. It serves my needs
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on November 29, 2013, 06:09:45 AM
The moral of the story is NEVER TRUST A TECH EXPERT! Phones aren't a convenience! They're not a utility! THEY ARE COMPUTER BARBIES! You can change their outfits, build up whole play houses on your computer, chat online with fellow aficionados. YOU CAN COLLECT THEM AND DISPLAY THEM IN THEIR ORIGINAL BOXES! It is my Barbie, I am it's Ken.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Day Dreamer on November 29, 2013, 03:19:47 PM
I wasn't coerced by a salesman, a friend who knows shitloads more than me (which is easy) helped me out. She asked for my requirements and budget. She made a few suggestions, explained what I'd get with different machines and left it to me. The only problems i've ever had were caused by me. I'm surprised HTC doesn't have a bigger market share
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on November 30, 2013, 01:03:09 AM
They do make a good charger. The dinky little cube that came with my Samsung popped its clogs a while back and in its place I've been using the charger that came with the Desire. Howevaire... according to "the internet", the HTC One has had issues with build quality (http://www.modaco.com/page/news/_/android/htc-one-build-quality-issues-update-r1192) and users do somewhat often complain (http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/htc-one-problems/).

I dunno. Mobile phone reviews are always, always like highly sophisticated Chinese essays - "everything has two sides". There's always a section of "HOW AWESOME IS THIS!!!" and then always a section of "O, THE MARK OF CAIN! I HOPE WE CAN IGNORE IT BECAUSE IT MIGHT LEAD TO DAMNATION!"
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: ericthered on November 30, 2013, 04:13:45 AM
Well, I got myself a Samsung Galax Trend II G3...that's what it says on the box. It seems to do the job of a phone so far, and now I can also be on wechat, forced to do so by gf. Yay, a phone...seeing as it is a smartphone, I will enjoy until it breaks so I can buy a new one, as that is what we humans do. Which would explain the one gazillion different yet completely similar phones available.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on November 30, 2013, 08:13:21 AM
After trying most other options out there, I recently invested in a Nokia Lumia 720. Have to say it's awesome!

I really like the Windows 8 os. It's lightning fast and all the Bing stuff is fast and reliable in China. I had lots of problems with my Android phone as the Play store didn't work properly and any google stuff was crap and slow.

I paid 1900 kuai for the phone which is an absolute bargain. I'm going to stick with Windows from now on and my next phone will be one of Nokia's high-end offerings.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on November 30, 2013, 11:33:01 AM
How's that for apps and whatnot?

If it's not apparent to everyone by now, I use my phone for entertainment - partly tech toy gizmo stuff, partly media consumption stuff. News is more readily accessible on my phone than on the actual computer, for instance. And there's games and book reading and checking the weather and dictionaries, but that's not Android specific, I guess.


/redundant questioning, since obviously it's working out fine, but I don't know anything about the Windows phone scene, so...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 07, 2013, 01:55:00 AM
So Cyanogenmod has officially recognised Ye Olde Kitkat and started releasing cm11 nightlies (http://download.cyanogenmod.org/). "Nightlies" are the cutting edge of development in device-specific Cyanogenmod versions of Android as released by Google. They incorporate changes to code made as recently as a few hours before the release - and often they include new errors too so one uses them at his own risk. But whatevs, I like the new, and yesterday the first i9300 specific cm11 was released into the wild. Interestingly, this new cm comes with Google Play, Google Play Services, and the new Google Launcher already installed. It has the "Ok Google" hotword implementation and everything.

This presumably is done with the permission of Google, since back in the day when Google wanted developers to stop using Google Apps in their custom roms, it was Cyanogen they made the example of, sending them a Cease and Desist letter. I wonder if it's a new policy or just a one-off. Android 4.4 has changed a few things on the inside and Google Apps don't work unless they're the Kitkat specific versions, so.....

Cross-fingers, CM didn't just make themselves unwelcome in the middle king's dorm.



This conspiracy theory brought to you by data wiping the unofficial CM I already had on my phone and not actually installing the new official CM. Upon actual installation of the true official version, no Google.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 10, 2013, 01:37:21 PM
For what it's worth, Cyanogenmod, in some of its iterations, now includes WhisperPush (http://www.cyanogenmod.org/blog/whisperpush-secure-messaging-integration), an SMS encryption, um, thing. As I understand it, you use your SMS app like normal, but if the recipient is a Cyanogenmod phone (or has the WhisperSystems TextSecure app), then your message, instead of being sent out as normal SMS, gets encrypted and sent through your data connection. The recipient gets it as a push message.

I await news stories explaining how it's no longer secure.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on December 10, 2013, 05:13:21 PM
So that would be like how Messages work on the iPhone OS?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 10, 2013, 11:23:13 PM
Same basic idea, as far as I can tell - a server in between phones that generates or maintains encryption somehow. The technical details are a mystery to me. One detail in particular I don't know how to work out is how the server itself stays secure.

Interestingly, a lot of custom roms, of which MIUI is or was one, build off Cyanogenmod source, and TextSecure is open source too, so this service will be coming to China?

I have no idea.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 11, 2014, 08:26:21 AM
960 OS

China unveils native mobile operating system (http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2014-01/09/content_17227677.htm)

BEIJING - A new mobile phone operating system was unveiled by a Chinese tech firm on Thursday, making it the country's first smart phone system with independent intellectual property rights.

The system, named 960 OS, was developed by the Coship Electronics Co., Ltd. It is a brand new operating system following predecessors such as Android, IOS, and Windows phone, the Shenzhen-based company said.

960 OS is a native operating system based on the Linux kernel and took Coship 15 years to develop, said the company's chair, Yuan Ming, noting that the system can provide better protection for information stored in a smart phone.

As the majority of smartphones in the Chinese market use foreign operating systems such as Android and IOS, the ownership of one system with independent IPR is essential for both national and individual information security, according to Liu Yunjie, an academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering.

It can boost the competitiveness of China's mobile and Internet industry, he added.




Filthy, stupid lies, I'm thinking (and surprising myself with how partisan I'm deciding to be). There's another article somewhere calling 960 OS "wholly-self-innovated". Not sure exactly how that fits with "based on Linux". Nor do I quite see where the "independent intellectual property rights" came from. Whatevs, I guess. Maybe they'll be great.

Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 14, 2014, 12:48:07 AM
[GizChina] were at the OnePlus/CyanogenMod Event in Beijing! (http://www.gizchina.com/2014/01/13/onepluscyanogenmod-event-beijing/)

Although OnePlus was officially launched back on 17th December, and news of a partnership with CyanogenMod just a few weeks ago, today’s press event was the first time the two companies had been on stage together to talk about the why’s, what’s and how’s of the cooperation.

The event was also a great opportunity for Chinese tech fans and Android developers to meet Pete Lau, CEO of OnePlus and Steve Kondik, CTO of CyanogenMod. I also wanted to be a part of the action so hopped on a plane first thing in the morning and attended the event.

Pete Lau was first to take to the stage to speak about his reasons for starting OnePlus and his hopes for the future of his company. Boiled down to just  3 points the reason being, his personal interest in product design, the desire to satisfy customers, and lastly the change in E-commerce and shopping habits which helped made his dream become possible.

Why OnePlus?

Lau went on to explain the reason for choosing the OnePlus name, describing that “one” represented the status quo and “plus” being the desire to do better. The name also has another dimension with “one” being the user and “plus” the thought of sharing the product through word of mouth.

About the OnePlus Phone

Today’s event was all about the OnePlus team and partnership with CyanogenMod. There was no phone launch (although a select few might have gotten a bit of a peek). What was announced at the event though was the fact the OnePlus One flagship phone will support LTE along with a number of other network bands.

We also know that the design of the OnePlus One is going to be something rather special with great attention to detail going in to design and the overall quality of the device.

CyanogenMod and OnePlus

Steve Kondik was also on hand to take to the stage, speak about his company and the partnership with OnePlus. The CTO of CyanogenMod explained how he believed that OnePlus and his team could build the best phone one the market and highlighted that a new CyanogenMod user experience will be coming to the OnePlus device.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 14, 2014, 12:58:49 AM
Presumably no one gives that much of a damn, but there it is.

The possibly interesting thing about Android these days is os updates are not a big deal. They used to be. They used to be all important and shiz. These days, people still run 4.1 and don't care. I personally would have slung my i9300 out the window by now if there were no cyanogenmod. (4.4.2, peaches!). So it's interesting they are a company now. And in China. Therefore to fizzle and die (because, seriously, "OnePlus"?) or to go on to be the number three os of choice around the world?

Wait and see, I guess.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on January 14, 2014, 01:10:47 AM
OnePlus looks cool. When I first heard about them I went on their website and was immediately struck by just how pretty it was for a Chinese site. Hoping for big things from them.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 14, 2014, 01:18:44 AM
They're hiring too.

http://forums.oneplus.net/
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: NATO on January 16, 2014, 01:21:00 PM
Was just thinking of applying to one of the jobs and seems they've taken them down. Too late I guess.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 17, 2014, 12:37:22 AM
Never settle, brah.

http://oneplus.net/contact
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 28, 2014, 07:34:08 AM
Bummer. Still...

Settings > About Phone > Battery Use

And as always, there's the usual to turn off: GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Data, NFC if you have it

Also:

Android 4.3 or higher:
Settings > Wi-Fi > {three dots} > Advanced > Scanning always available > {uncheck}

Android 4.4.x (with a registered Google account):
Settings > Google > Search > Voice > Hotword detection > {uncheck}


My phone sometimes spins its wheels on either email or gmail sync.
Sometimes too it's Google Play Services trying to update something and failing so it just goes on sucking juice.


Doesn't the Moto X also have an Always Listening thing where it'll respond to various voice commands? That'll be draining battery if it's on.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 02, 2014, 01:08:58 AM
Get yer Cyanogenmod while you still can, phone freakers. Or it may just be my connection, I don't know. But the cm touchstones, the forum and the download site, have been increasingly inaccessible.

http://forum.cyanogenmod.com/
http://download.cyanogenmod.org/

Sans vigorously promulgated newsletter, most of the time can't get through.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 15, 2014, 05:07:36 AM
So it's getting near phone buying season, and I'm fed up with the "flagships". I know the HTC M8 is the best phone in the world right now but screw the majors, man. If I'm buying this month, then it's a Nexus 5 or a Oneplus One. The Nexus has been out for a while, is known to not be the best tech, nor even, if price is put aside, the best total package. But it is a developer phone. I can screw around with other people's software to my putative high speed, low drag heart seeking's content. Word is though, the Nexus 6 will be a considerable step up. They're going to increase screen size, ram size, processor speed, and even fix their history of shitty cameras. And how about the Oneplus One?

Mobile Geeks Visit OnePlus: China’s Most Exciting Tech Company? (http://www.mobilegeeks.com/mobilegeeks-visit-oneplus-chinas-exciting-tech-company/)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: xwarrior on April 15, 2014, 08:50:29 AM
Have you looked at Opple?

fox used to be an HTC man but now he has an Opple. Speed of light at less than RMB400.

For further information G@@gle is no use - never heard of them it seems. The plot thickens!

 agagagagag
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 15, 2014, 10:40:03 AM
I have seen the light.

(http://img01.taobaocdn.com/bao/uploaded/i1/T1Jvu_FihdXXXXXXXX_!!0-item_pic.jpg)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 16, 2014, 06:19:31 AM
Ze present list of Oneplus One launch countries (http://forums.oneplus.net/threads/oneplusone-release-countries.914/):

1. Austria
2. Belgium
3. ?
4. Denmark
5. Finland
6. France
7. Germany
8. Hong Kong
9. Italy
10. Netherlands
11. Portugal
12. Spain
13. Sweden
14. Taiwan
15. ?
16. ?


Cambodia? Chile? Chechen Republic?

Maybe 15 is USA.
Maybe 3 is goddamn Canada.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 17, 2014, 12:06:05 AM
Well, crap.

1. Austria
2. Belgium
3. Canada
4. Denmark
5. Finland
6. France
7. Germany
8. Hong Kong
9. Italy
10. Netherlands
11. Portugal
12. Spain
13. Sweden
14. Taiwan
15. UK
16. USA

I don't see how this can be China's most interesting/exciting/whatever-man tech company then.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 17, 2014, 12:30:26 AM
Ah, okay. Apparently it will be available in China through their own online store and Jingdong Mall. And will support Chinese and international 2G/3G/4G: GSM, TD-SCDMA, WCDMA, TD-LTE, FDD-LTE.

http://www.oneplus.cn/

Mah translation software can't keep up, but the Chinese board looks to be bigger than the English board.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 17, 2014, 12:58:30 PM
Anyone own a Sony Xperia Z1 or an Oppo Find 7? These are the comparison phones. The Oneplus One (still a dumb company name) and the Find 7 have very similar parts, while the Xperia Z1 is known to be wider than the One. It is hypothesised that the One is also longer than the Z1.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: xwarrior on April 18, 2014, 10:18:42 PM
I have seen the light ... and it is an Opple light. Which should not be confused with an Oppo ... which is not a light. Which I did.  llllllllll
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 19, 2014, 12:22:06 AM
Ah, well, as it happens, the formal founder of Oneplus is Pete Lau, who used to be an Oppo VP. He left Oppo just at the end of last year to found Oneplus. And Oneplus already has a phone designed and in production? Word is the Oneplus One will have much in common with the new Oppo Find 7. (And, one presumes, Oneplus has production facilities at all because they contract them from Oppo.)

What's interesting about Oneplus is, in English, they're building a brand community on the back of internet interest in Android as tinkerers tech. There are people in this world who know how to program Linux and do hack phones. And there's a wider community of people who appreciate this access without actually being able to do it much themselves. They appreciate the immediacy of a community of hackers changing and developing the tech, and making those changes available as soon as they arrive, even if they don't work. These people talk about the "pure Android experience" of, say, a Nexus device - like that's something worth having - as if Google somehow designed the system better. (Technically though, since manufacturers like Samsung are most often hamfisted hackers of "the pure Android experience", this could be true.) The same appears to be happening in Chinese. The Oneplusers would seem to be following Xiaomi in that regard. (The company has, by the way, already signalled (http://forums.oneplus.net/threads/the-oneplus-invite-system.1150/) the supply they arrange will not meet demand, and that instead of pre-orders, they'll prefer to "satisfy" "true" demand by an invite system - thereby further hyping their scarcity cred - the fuckers.)

But aside for the fact it's probably going to be a pretty good phone (the Find 5 and Find 7 are well-regarded), the Oneplus One apparently will have all the 3G/4G bands (except Band 20). Buy it anywhere in the world, use it anywhere in the world (except maybe far outside the cities in Europe where the 4G will drop back to 3G)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 23, 2014, 12:53:51 PM
(http://c2.bgr.com/2014/04/oneplus-one-official-image-3.jpg?w=700&h=)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 23, 2014, 01:33:10 PM
Well that was interesting. The Oneplus One phone was officially launched today in Beijing, 2pm. The launch conference lasted a few hours. (It was streamed live on Youku.) And on the English language forum, a lo-o-o-t of pissed off talk got posted. Most of it's gone now. There was a lot of bad feeling about this "invite" system. The phone isn't going to be available directly for a while, and instead of server-busting xiaomi-style flash sales, and fan-annoying lengthy waits on pre-orders, you can vie - somehow - for an "invite". And there was a lo-o-o-o-t of talk about how big the phone will be - unexpectedly big - bigger than promised by a hip marketing trick. It was supposed to be "smaller" than a Sony Xperia Z1, and it isn't. Thus, the company lied. Plus, people were seeing a bit too much similarity between this Oneplus One and the Oppo Find 7a.

So it's interesting. Did they or did they not pooch the marketing? I really don't know. But, for instance, where Xiaomi is maybe now and forever basically a China phone, Singapore sales notwithstanding, it would seem that this Oneplus is insta-global. Perhaps it's the breakout China phone.

And it's huge.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 24, 2014, 02:14:36 PM
Lotta heat still in the Oneplus English-language forums. There's some in the China-side forum too, but appears not as much (though there is some grumbling that the China version will NOT support WCDMA FDD). Is Oneplus pooching its marketing? Or more exactly, is the small company showing through the cracks in the big company image?

That might not be such a bad thing. Internationally speaking, they've set up this phone to compete with, basically, everyone - by specs they have a honking huge "flagship killer" which by price is making a move on Nexus territory, and by hype and marketing model is looking to move into the Xiaomi cool zone. That they're not delivering perfectly maybe is okay. But will these negative vibes get turned around sometimes later or will they stay?

Damn interesting marketing project to watch, though.


Full disclosure: I'm not getting one. I reckon I might go Nexus.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 27, 2014, 01:00:21 AM
"Never Settle" turns out to be a bit more... subversive... than expected

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNzA0MDk3NzA4.html
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 28, 2014, 04:06:58 AM
One sun sets, another also rises. I have on order a Nexus 5 (32GB, black, originally from Japan) and a Nexus 7 (the 2013 model, WiFi only, also 32GB and black). They should arrive sometime around Workers Day. Thus, the task of bitching about Samsung should soon pass to some other worthy. May God have mercy on their pockets.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on May 12, 2014, 11:16:28 AM
Android 4.4 KitKat Update: Samsung Confirms Galaxy S3 And Galaxy S3 Mini Won’t Receive New Software (http://www.ibtimes.com/android-44-kitkat-update-samsung-confirms-galaxy-s3-galaxy-s3-mini-wont-receive-new-1582813)

Samsung has confirmed that two Galaxy models will not be receiving the Android 4.4 KitKat update, the Galaxy S3 I9300 and the Galaxy S3 mini 3G models.

What Samsung said was:

“In order to facilitate an effective upgrade on the Google platform, various hardware performances such as the memory (RAM, ROM, etc.), multi-tasking capabilities, and display must meet certain technical expectations. The Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions come equipped with 1GB RAM, which does not allow them to effectively support the platform upgrade. As a result of the Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions’ hardware limitation, they cannot effectively support the platform upgrade while continuing to provide the best consumer experience. Samsung has decided not to roll-out the KitKat upgrade to Galaxy S3 and S3 mini 3G versions, and the KitKat upgrade will be available to the Galaxy S3 LTE version as the device’s 2GB RAM is enough to support the platform upgrade.”

Now, two things:

(1) Cyanogenmod 11 (Android 4.4.2) for i9300 (with 1GB of RAM)

Granted, cm11 has taken a turn for the seriously buggy in the last month, and you shouldn't install it until they get that stuff ironed out, but up until, say, April, Cyanogenmod 11 (Android 4.4.2) was operational (with imperfections - though it works fine on my phone). It multitasks 'n' everything.

And

(2) Shockingly, Nobody Uses Samsung's Annoying Smartphone Bloatware (http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Shockingly-Nobody-Uses-Samsungs-Annoying-Smartphone-Bloatware-128686)

A new study by Strategy Analytics indicates that nobody uses the bevy of bloatware that companies like Samsung include on their handsets. While Samsung recently patted itself on the back for having 100 million users for ChatOn (Samsung's messaging app), Strategy Analytics notes that US users spent around six seconds on average in the app. The firm strongly suggests that those actually using Samsung applications may only be doing so by accident.


In any case, my experiments with Samsung technology have ground to something of a halt. I have a Nexus 5 now, and winter is coming.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Noodles on May 14, 2014, 02:29:49 AM
Just got myself the Sony Xperia Z1 compact (or colourful as it's known in China) and i absolutely love it. Operation is great, fantastic camera and sexy as hell.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on June 05, 2014, 11:32:58 PM
Just got myself the Sony Xperia Z1 compact (or colourful as it's known in China) and i absolutely love it. Operation is great, fantastic camera and sexy as hell.

How's the battery life?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Noodles on June 06, 2014, 01:39:54 AM
Quote
How's the battery life?

It's great. I can get 2 days of reasonably heavy use out of it.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on June 18, 2014, 06:25:52 AM
I have things to do. I'll write a phone report instead...

LG Nexus 5

I honestly forget how much it cost - more than 2500, less than 3000. I got it on Taobao. I had some requirements and I'd known  for a long while I'd be buying one, so who remembers money? Anyway, what I wanted, and got, was

Nexus 5
32Gb, black
Model: D821 (not D820)
Batch number: 311K or later (not 310K)

32Gb because duh! Black because double duh! But the other specs, D821 and 311K or higher, were so it would work outside of the USA and wouldn't be one of the crappy first issue phones with the sound and wobbly buttons issues. The D821 and D820 have different 3G/4G capabilities. Basically, D820 for the US, D821 for everywhere else. And 311K means manufactured in 2013, November. The models produced after that time have bigger microphone holes and better quality volume and power buttons.

Right out of the box, number one, its a good feel phone. Such things are subjective of course, but after a year or so of the Samsung i9300, the square sides of the Nexus 5 are a joy. The phone is a lightweight black slab. People talk of "premium feel" and they're right, the Nexus 5 doesn't have that. It's light, well-balanced, has a soft-touch matte plastic back, but that doesn't add up to whatever this mysterious "premium" is. For me it adds up to a utilitarian feel, and I like that. It feels right in a phone.

The screen is whiter than the i9300. In the beginning it seemed washed out. It's not though. Exactly why this is I don't know, but my old i9300 screen has a really obvious blue tint (which isn't obvious at all until you compare it to the nexus 5). The other thing about the screen is how much closer to the surface it seems.

What I will say though is, right out of the box, I was kinda disappointed. I was used to phones with capacitive buttons, not the onscreen navigation keys of stock Android. That black bar at the bottom of the screen is ugly, irritating to use, and takes up way to much screen space. The Nexus 5 screen is officially bigger than the i9300, but with those onscreen nav keys, the effective screen is smaller (and kind of square, which is not nice). Personally, on-screen nav keys are a deal breaker, except where, as in the case of the Nexus 5, you can replace them with something infinitely better - pie controls.

Pie Controls

I use LMT (http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1330150) for their pie controls (navigation control buttons shaped like pieces of pie that pop up on the side of the screen at the touch of a finger), which are eminently customizable, and fantastic in ways I wouldn't have believed. (I'd wanted to just try them out so I installed LMT on my old i9300 and literally stopped using the capacitive buttons overnight - the pie controls are just so much easier, even when you have dedicated buttons right there at the bottom of the phone.) I also installed the Xposed framework (http://forum.xda-developers.com/xposed/framework-xposed-rom-modding-modifying-t1574401) + Gravitybox (for Kitkat) (http://forum.xda-developers.com/xposed/modules/app-gravitybox-v3-1-5-tweak-box-android-t2554049). The gravitybox module for Xposed Framework gives you customization options all over the place, like for instance, in stock Android the Quicksettings buttons in the notifications shade really are settings buttons - pressing them takes you to a settings page, which is annoying - and Gravitybox lets you turn the Quicksettings buttons into toggles, which is much more sensible. Many of the customizations in Gravitybox are standard interface features of Cyanogenmod, but the one I needed for the pie controls was the Expanded Desktop. With Gravitybox Expanded Desktop, you can make the horrible black nav bar disappear, leaving just the lovely LMT pie controls. Win!

The Wrap Up

So anyway, the phone has a nifty utilitarian chic and feels good to me. It runs everything smoothly and fast. For me the battery lasts 24 hours even with upwards of 5 hours screen on time (gaming and lots of media streaming not included). I get technically better reception (it varies minute to minute of course but the most common signal I get on the i9300 is -67 dBm, while on the Nexus 5 it's -51 dBm). And there's lots of little things too like finally Auto Brightness works well (it's always crappy in low light, flickering from one low setting to another, but medium and bright light handling is nearly invisible). With this phone in hand I should probably one day try out the 3G and 4G capabilities, but to be honest I'm still on 2G and don't care. I get my connectivity by wifi mostly.

Presently running 4.4.3 Cyanogenmod 11 with all of the above and thinking it's kinda cool.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 03, 2015, 06:14:25 AM
Welcome to the New Android Lollipop's Permanent China Exclamations:

(http://i57.tinypic.com/v43z1l.jpg)

With Android 5 ("Lollipop"), Google has introduced the exclamation mark as a notification for internet connectivity. That is, if you have a wifi connection but no "internet connectivity" is detected through it, your wifi notification pie will acquire an exclamation mark. (And, as the rest of the world has yet to find out, the same happens for your data connection too.) That exclamation mark notifies you that for the sake of seamless internet, your phone will default to any available mobile data connection.

Now, apparently, "internet connectivity" is determined via Google servers of some sort. As a result, in China, both your wifi and your mobile data connection never lose that exclamation mark, no matter what strength of signal and connectivity. As captured above for instance, the wifi signal is opaque bold white, indicating full strength wifi signal (zero wifi would be dark grey). As also captured above, there is yet still internet connectivity inasmuch as I browsed to Raoul's before screen capping. A brief test indicates that this web surfing happens through the wifi connection even when my mobile data is on. I suppose this occurs (which is to say the defaulting to mobile data doesn't occur) because both signals are exclaimed.

Possibly custom roms will remove this "feature", but cyanogenmod 12 is still not officially available yet, so there it is. Enjoy!!
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 03, 2015, 06:54:26 AM
The other thing about Android in China is if you have the Google Android (as opposed to AOSP or whatever Chinese manufacturers are putting on their phones), it'll be using more battery than it should. The central element of Google functionality - Google Play services - will be keeping the phone awake trying, and failing, to check in with Google servers whenever there's a wifi or data connection open. To make this stop, I find I have to disable Google Play services, Google Services Framework, and Google Play. This, incidentally, plays havoc with various new parts of Android Lollipop - for instance, Hangouts doesn't work and with it goes SMS, Email has been replaced by Gmail, which doesn't work without Play services, and the Gallery app in Lollipop has been replaced by Photos, which is an extension of Google+, which requires Play services.... etc.

So you keep Google and plug your phone in more often, or get a custom rom, or use whatever they still offer on a Chinese phone.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: El Macho on February 21, 2015, 06:45:34 AM
The handy Chinese app we used is called 完美刷机. It is supposedly made by Baidu.

This thing?: "Perfect Brush" (http://www.wmshua.com/)

At first glance it appears to be a Rom Manager (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.koushikdutta.rommanager) clone.

I have used neither though so I don't know.
Bricked my damn Note 8 again trying to flash Paranoid Android. Using Perfect Brush to fix.

I got the iPhone 6 and like it, but I really miss being able to load up other app stores. The adblocker for android on the fdroid market is great.

It's a hard choice to make. The iOS products are so slick, reliable, and fit so well into my existing workflows. But android has this extensibility that's tempting. But each time I've gotten an android phone or tablet I just haven't been as satisfied with it as I am with my Apple gear.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Nolefan on February 21, 2015, 11:29:14 AM
after years of iOS only, i took the plunge and got myself a test android phone: Huawei Honor with dual SIM slots for a ridiculous 700rmb. Doggamn it it's fast and slick for the price... Honestly, it's getting harder to justify the cost of an iPhone if they keep coming up with this kind of android devices.

That said, after a week of use, the frustrations were significant. It's better than say a windows 8.1 phone but it still feels clucky and not streamlined in the way notifications work, the app management etc.. still, at 700rmb, i'm not gonna piss on the world. For reference, my last sony ericsson dumb flip phone cost me upwards of 2000 rmb
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 21, 2015, 11:59:13 AM
Android 5, you guys.

I'm running 5.0.1 on my Nexus 5, natch, but also I have 5.0.2 on my ye olde Samsung Galaxy S3 (i9300)and it makes that old dinner plate be like a new phone. There're a lot of UI changes and stuff like notifications work differently. Supposedly more like iOS, but I wouldn't know by how much. (The i9300, btw, is not officially a "Lollipop" phone - the 5.0.2 Android I have on there is an unofficial cyanogenmod work-in-progress (http://forum.xda-developers.com/galaxy-s3/development/wip-cyanogenmod-12-t2936990).)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on February 21, 2015, 02:09:13 PM
http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/02/xiaomis-mi-note-phablet-outclasses-the-competition-for-half-the-price/
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 23, 2015, 02:02:10 AM
the other side of Chinese Android:

http://ausdroid.net/2015/02/23/oppo-become-latest-company-violate-gplv2/

"Open" source comes with a legal requirement that source code be released.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: El Macho on February 23, 2015, 05:55:53 AM
I went with cyanogenmod and really like it. It's more complicated/time consuming to get android rooted etc, but now that it's set, I'm pretty happy with it.

Apps are improving, there are quite a few original ones that are as good as iOS-exclusive apps.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 24, 2015, 09:35:26 AM
Double-Tap to Sleep

This is my favourite trick on an Android phone with root access. Cyanogenmod has Double-Tap the Status Bar To Sleep, but , frankly, it sucks balls. Because please, the status bar? If you're reaching that high, you might as well use the power button anyway. Also, it doesn't work. Or, for me, with cm11, it didn't work. It does in cm12. But still, it's the status bar. So, without further ado, how to set up your Android phone to go to sleep when you double tap the screen.

You'll need root access, of course, but you'll also need a launcher that monitors gestures. Apex, Nova, more or less any of the others, but not the Google Now Launcher, and not Trebuchet. I used to use HD Launcher. These days I prefer Nova. Basically, you want to get into the settings for Behaviour and/or Gestures and have the launcher perform a "go to sleep" instruction of some kind when the screen is double-tapped (or swiped, or single tapped, or whichever gesture floats your boat and the launcher supports). Thing is, of course, there is no native "go to sleep" instruction. You have to find a way for the launcher to access one. Thus...

Method Number One: Xposed Framework + Gravity Box.

The Xposed Framework (http://repo.xposed.info/module/de.robv.android.xposed.installer) does nothing obvious by itself. It's only the framework after all. What it is is a powerful access tool for customization modules. The modules introduce changes in the way your Android presents itself to you and what tools you have available. One of the more popular modules is Gravity Box, which comes in Gravity Box [JB] (http://repo.xposed.info/module/com.ceco.gm2.gravitybox) and Gravity Box [kk] (http://repo.xposed.info/module/com.ceco.kitkat.gravitybox) flavours. (It's also available for Lollipop, but Xposed for Lollipop is only Alpha release so far - see Xposed development forum (http://forum.xda-developers.com/xposed) for discussions various.) Gravity Box is basically a big ole collection of popular customization modules that do all sorts of pretty and useful things. If you already have cyanogenmod, many of those things are on your phone already. But one of the things Gravity Box does that Cyanogenmod doesn't, is make Sleep an accessible command. So basically...

(1) Install and activate Xposed Framework.
(2) Install Gravity Box module
(3) Activate Gravity Box within the Xposed Framework
(4) In your launcher gesture/behaviour settings, find and assign to double tap the Gravity Box sleep command.

(I forget how to do step 4 exactly - you're assigning either an "App" setting to double tap or a "Shortcut" setting - whichever lets you find Gravity Box actions.)

Method Number Two: Tasker

Where Xposed is a powerful tool for customization, Tasker (http://tasker.dinglisch.net/) is a powerful tool for automation. It's bizarrely difficult to understand, not at all intuitive, but once the process of creating "tasks" is realized, you can assign pretty much any bunch of Android processes to pretty much any trigger. Or so they say. I personally have never worked out how to do this except insofar as I worked out how to create a task I like to call Go To Sleep.

(1) Install Tasker (http://tasker.dinglisch.net/)
(2) Open Tasker
(3) Swipe to Tasks.
(4) Find and press at the bottom of the screen, "+".
(5) You'll be prompted to enter a task name. Enter whatever you like, but some variation on "Go to sleep" is to the point.
(6) On the new screen you're presented with, find and press again at the bottom of the screen, "+".
(7) Select Action category: Display
(8) Select Display Action: System Lock
(9) There is probably some other damn thing to do here but I just hit the "Back" button until Tasker exits.
(10) In your launcher gesture/behaviour settings, find and assign to double tap the Task you just created.

(For step 10 in Nova for instance, you're assigning a shortcut to the double tap, specifically "Task Shortcut" > "[Whatever you named the Task you just created]".)


Now obviously this is all a bit complex and the instructions are vague and a bit dubious, but the rewards are mighty and the double tap is fun. Whichever method you choose, you get powerful new access to your phone in terms either of customization or automation, and trust me, you'll be wondering how you ever lived without the double tap.

And, yes, there is a double-tap to wake, but that requires a custom kernel and sucks battery like nobody's business. I don't use it.

You're welcome.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on February 27, 2015, 10:53:39 AM
My HTC M8 does double tap sleep/wake up without the need for rooting.

It's a great all-round phone actually.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 27, 2015, 11:40:16 AM
They all should, really. Aside from the creepy "I'm always listening to you" aspect, it's a natural way to use the phone. Pressing hardware buttons, one might as well be using tin cans and a string. And according to techradar, the HTC ONE M8 is le best phone in le world. So there you go.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on March 01, 2015, 11:40:59 AM
Until the M9 comes out I suppose!

Pretty happy I got 'the best phone in the world' for only 2500 Yuan now!
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on March 09, 2015, 07:16:36 AM
Dropped my phone. The power button rattles now.  ananananan

The Nexus 5 has an officially non-removable back, but it's not glued or screwed - it snaps into place, and is really hard to remove unless you pry it off with a special tool or drop the phone. My back didn't actually come off, it just lifted in three places. It all snapped back properly, which is great, but I can hear the power button rattle now when I shake the phone. BUT I DON'T KNOW IF IT USED TO OR NOT!!! MAYBE I'M LISTENING TOO HARD!

The internet is bursting at the seams with fixed for this issue (the rattle, not the not knowing), but I don't know...
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on March 18, 2015, 12:13:34 PM
Update: the Lollipop China Exclamations (http://raoulschinasaloon.com/index.php?topic=5393.msg171452#msg171452), what I was hoping to call Chinexclamations, seem no longer to be permanent. I'm not seeing them disappear under 5.0.1, but under Android 5.1, on my network, with my phone, sometimes they go away. Outside of China they're supposed to be a marker for "no internet connectivity," and it has been thought this was being measured by connection to Google servers, thus their permanence inside China. But now in 5.1 they go away sometimes so who knows what they're measuring. It's easy enough to make them come back: just toggle your wifi. Truth be told, I kind of miss them. The wifi fan and phone signal triangle seem bare now.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: aninvisiblehand on March 23, 2015, 03:12:43 AM
I've yet to own a Windows phone. But I see the new Windows 8.1 phones have introduced voice operated Cortana with Mandarin. Seems like they call it XiaoNa.

Anyone know if the system language is changed to English, Cortana will then speak and understand English?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 21, 2015, 04:19:16 AM
China Mobile seems to be pushing 4G. I stopped off at one of their locations here in podunk to add money and the dude there started telling me I had to change my SIM card. Came back with a translator and I don't know if I actually had to change the card, but change it I did. So I have the same number and the same services as before, but I can access 4G data now. Or, that is, I could access 4G if China Mobile wasn't making up it's own friggen 3G and 4G standards. TD-someshitorother, and with my international model Nexus 5, which can do 3G and LTE, I can only access the local EDGE (aka 2G) network.

Thanks China.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on July 21, 2015, 04:55:42 AM
For those who are interested, if you have the NORTH AMERICAN Nexus 5 (that is, the D820 model), then there's screwing around you can do that will make your phone do LTE on China Mobile:

From: How to unlock LTE bands,so my Nexus 5 can be used in China Mobile's 4G TD-LTE (http://forum.xda-developers.com/google-nexus-5/help/how-to-unlock-lte-bandsso-nexus-5-china-t2600716)

Due to
1. China Mobile have 3 bands (39/40/41, 41 is super set of 38) been allocated, and Nexus 5 supports only band 41, for LTE-TDD.
So, first of all, you MUST MAKE SURE China Mobile is USING band 41 to provide LTE-TDD where you have your tests.

2. Nexus 5 does not support TD-SCDMA, and it seems do not support FR-CSFB. (or China Mobile did not support it yet.)
So, N5 can not go to LTE automatically through the route: 2G (GSM) -> 3G (TDSCDMA) -> 4G(LTE-TDD).
You MUST using *#*#4636#*#*, select "LTE Only" to force it connect to LTE, and then using "LTE/GSM auto (PRL)" to enable it using CSFB for incoming/outgoing voice service.

Ensure you have 4G USIM card and enabled 4G service using SMS.



This will NOT work for the INTERNATIONAL Nexus 5 (that is, any D821 model). LTE on the international Nexus 5 works only on bands 1/3/5/7/8/20.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Phillis on December 20, 2015, 12:50:37 PM
If I buy a Samsung Galaxy Note 5 in Korea does anyone know whether it will work in China with a Chinese SIM card?

Also, same question about my Samsung Tab 8 S2 LTE which I bought in Laos.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 21, 2015, 05:10:54 AM
Short answer:

https://www.frequencycheck.com/

Longer answer:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_mobile_network_operators_of_the_Asia_Pacific_region#China

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_note5-7431.php

http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_galaxy_tab_s2_8_0-7439.php

Caveat Answer:

You didn't say what models.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 24, 2015, 11:22:12 AM
During an extended session screwing around installing Android 6.0.1 (and de-installing, and reverting to 5.1.1 and then to 6.0, and etc), my now no longer miracle phone, which was plugged in the entire time, presently reads 4095% battery. That's a bit unexpected.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: jakel55 on January 06, 2016, 06:17:37 AM
During an extended session screwing around installing Android 6.0.1 (and de-installing, and reverting to 5.1.1 and then to 6.0, and etc), my now no longer miracle phone, which was plugged in the entire time, presently reads 4095% battery. That's a bit unexpected.

LOL - if only that elongated your battery life 40-fold

How do you like 6.0.1? I love the doze feature.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 06, 2016, 07:12:55 AM
Android 6 is a lie. It's a glorified 5.2 and it's the only Android update I have reverted away from.

I held off getting 6.0 because Xposed for marshmallow was taking a while to appear, but eventually it did appear and I duly upgraded, and was like wut? because this new "6" appeared only marginally different to 5.1.1. New notification control options? Pfft. I'm sure there are other things going on under the hood but colour me not impressed. Also, my battery life appeared to have declined. Since it didn't seem I would lose anything much if I went back to 5.1.1 to check for a while, that's what I did. And yeah, for me with my setup and my normal usage, 6.0 was using 3-4% battery per hour and 5.1.1 uses 1-2%.

So then 6.0.1 comes out and I kind of didn't care, but around Christmas I decided I had some time so... I went ahead and lost two days to trying to make the damn thing work. Gaining root access in Android 6 is needlessly difficult. That 4095% battery reading was caused, somehow, by a custom kernel I flashed as part of one of the earlier methods of gaining root. Slightly more current methods are simpler, as I discovered late in day 2, and everything looked almost fine until a very ordinary reboot that shouldn't have caused any trouble became a boot screen bootloop and so I scrapped my 6.0.1 experiments and I'm back on 5.1.1 again. I might try again in a week or so.

Root access btw is a vital precondition for how I run my phone. It allows for adblocking, for making Google Play Services go to sleep, and for making the navbar disappear. (That navbar is the ugliest thing about Android and pie controls are just so much better.) Also, without root access, I'd have a hard time installing what used to be the stock Email app (with Exchange), which, given the way I use email, is the considerably superior choice to all the other options. Also, what is Titanium Backup without root? And so on.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 17, 2016, 06:48:41 AM
The first backup I made in my current attempt at transitioning from 5.1.1 to 6.0.1 is dated five days ago, and today I have finally re-acquired almost all the functionality I had before I "updated". Thanks, google. Five days of screwing around so I can have my phone be almost as good as it was five days ago. That's what i call an upgrade. For people who don't seek root access to their phone, probably none of this is an issue, but you know what you can use root for in China? Letting your phone not forget your home wifi every damn time you use it.

Since Lollipop, Android has come equipped with internet connectivity checks. If you can access wifi and/or mobile data but they do not show internet connectivity, you'll get tiny exclamation marks placed on the connection indicators in the status bar. And in some misguided attempt to be helpful, if your wifi consistently shows no internet connectivity, your phone will "forget" that network. In other words, if your home wifi, or any wifi you use in China, cannot contact Google servers, your phone won't remember that network, and you'll have to input passwords every time. But if you have root....

(1) Open, or install and open, a Terminal emulator.
(2) Type: su
(3) Type: settings put global captive_portal_detection_enabled 0

Then reboot.

I *think* there are apps that'll do this operation without root access, but I don't know for sure. In the above operation, you need root access because you're calling su (Super User). Now, I don't know what captive_portal_detection_enabled really is, but if you're setting it to zero, you're turning it off. The exclamation marks go away. Your wifi passwords are remembered. You can connect to wifi just by turning it on. You know, just like it always used to be.

So there.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 20, 2016, 06:54:06 AM
For anyone playing along at home, the issue I was having was - I'm pretty sure - related to Titanium Backup trying to work on a read-only /system folder. That is, if you gain root access to Android 6.01 using BETA-SuperSU-v2.66, and then start screwing around with Titanium Backup 7.3.0 (and probably lower), then you're going to have troubles - bad troubles - namely, endless bootloops the next time you reboot. BUT if you manually set the /system folder to r/w *before* any and all instances ever of screwing around with TiBu, everything should work fine. That is, you have to do that every time. Root Explorer or something like that will help.

Basically, Google's made it harder to find ways to gain root access to Android and the usual tools made available by the developer community aren't doing exactly what they usually do yet. But if you don't care about root, then don't sweat it. None of these problems will occur for you.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on January 20, 2016, 11:56:44 AM
But if you don't care about root, then don't sweat it. None of these problems will occur for you.

I don't, and they don't.

I'd rather spend my technology time getting productive stuff done and usable in the classroom.

Created one presentation in Keynote this week: "English is NOT a Tool" for my Chinese Teacher trainees. Revised, polished and updated three more for my graduate classes on Technology, Shopping, and Banking. updated Mac OSX on my MacBook and iMac and iOS on my iPhone and iPad all of which updates came out today all without a hitch. (even had the MacBook update downloading through the school Wifi while using it to present in class.) And updated iMovie which I'll be using next week with my Teacher trainees when we do the TV News Project.

Even got one of my best students ever from 15 years ago to go for a new MacBook rather than the Surface Pro she was contemplating. She's now a University Assoc. Prof. and she's been getting in to building lessons, apps and podcasts for young English learners on the side. I pointed out to her that Macs come equipped with built in software organising your media and photos available through all productive apps, and apps for creating mp3s, video, podcasts all baked into the system.

I especially like the ability to change languages on the fly. AND a little known function in all of the productive apps (Pages, Keynote and Numbers). Type in the Chinese characters for a word. Right-click and choose Phonetic Spelling and the Pinyin is added above the characters. It won't help her, but it sure helps me when I try to add Chinese characters to Keynote presentations.

I gave a lecture two years ago at NYU's new Shanghai campus and she snd group of her students came down to watch. NYU-Shanghai is a 100% Mac school. The classrooms, the admin offices, and all the Teaching Fellows (as they call them) are provided with Macs, She remembered how magical that experience was ( I was using video, mp3s, photos,etc.) in fact, one of the photos I used was from her own class in 2001.


One group in her Business English class created a new company and new product  They had to present on the blackboard because this was pre-classroom technology China. But I have a picture. They created a new Watch which they called WatchEr. It had the following functions: 1. ID fingerprint recognition;
2. You can add money to your watch account;

3.You can pay for something by waving your watch over the POS reader;

4. GPS

They missed on the camera thing because it was only 2001, but they got most of the iWatch right quite a few years before Apple did.

Chinese uni students can be very creative given the chance.But I've strayed very far from the original post. Sorry.


and WeChatted me today that she'll go for for the MacBook rather than the Surface Pro.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 20, 2016, 12:21:25 PM
It occurs to me just now that I may have never in fact laid eyes on any icomputer. Macs, they call them. With a little i. Little Macs. I've ever seen them on tv. But now I wonder. This was in movies, after all. iPhones, a literal handful of times I have seen them in the hands of others. And now I am watching old x-files episodes. Coincidence? Now I'm not so sure.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on January 20, 2016, 01:25:10 PM
It occurs to me just now that I may have never in fact laid eyes on any icomputer. Macs, they call them. With a little i. Little Macs. I've ever seen them on tv. But now I wonder. This was in movies, after all. iPhones, a literal handful of times I have seen them in the hands of others. And now I am watching old x-files episodes. Coincidence? Now I'm not so sure.

Watch and learn. There's a reason that more creatives choose Macs.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 20, 2016, 11:43:39 PM
I... want to believe.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on January 22, 2016, 07:47:56 AM
Don't do it Calach! Don't switch to Apple. You fight, the fight and remain free.

People like Old34 and myself who have gone into that Mac world are stuck with our boring machines. We have nothing to talk about. There's no conflict, no excitement at all. The goddamn things just update on their own. I don't even know what OS I'm using anymore. I don't get to spend time searching for fixes and making friends online with like-minded people now.

It's so lonely.

Computers and phones used be thrilling. Any time you turned them on (or tried to) you never knew what you were going to get. Now like a Tv or microwave it's just mundane and I have no choice but to use it for what I bought it for instead of the thrill of the blue screen, and countless hours of delving into technical information online. I've lost contact with some of my best friends because I have no excuse to talk to them anymore for their computer expertise.

I'm a pampered, well-fed pet, now trapped in a beautiful walled garden, yearning to be free, to join the dog-eat-dog world outside but paralysed by my own fear of not being able to succeed out there and though the gate is open, I dare not venture into that vast wilderness I once proudly roamed.

Save yourself from my fate Calach.

Stay away from Apple.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 23, 2016, 12:02:32 AM
Fight the future
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 18, 2016, 07:17:38 AM
Anyone going to be using Apple Pay?

Apple Pay Goes Live In China (http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/17/apple-pay-goes-live-in-china/)

Apple Pay has today launched in China, a move that takes Apple’s digital payments service into its fifth country worldwide....
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on February 18, 2016, 04:46:26 PM
Anyone going to be using Apple Pay?

Apple Pay Goes Live In China (http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/17/apple-pay-goes-live-in-china/)

Apple Pay has today launched in China, a move that takes Apple’s digital payments service into its fifth country worldwide....

I (of course) will be joining Apple Pay in the Apple Orchard-when I next upgrade my iPhone. I currently have the 5c which doesn't support Apple Pay. I don't like watches at all. I've only ever had two in my life-both gifts from old girlfriends-and I never kept them. Neither the girlfriends nor the watches, so as much as
i like Apple gear, an Apple Watch is pretty much of my must-have radar. iPads were too, until
i was gifted an iPad mini from an ex-student. Now, I love it, but my workhorses are my iMac, Macbook Air and iPhone.

So if I want Apple Pay, I'll have to wait until
i upgrade my 5c iPhone. There is a rumoured 5se coming out next month. That's my target. Same small screen as the 5c (which I prefer) with a better chip and camera. Hopefully it will also have NFS and One Touch ID so Apple Pay will work on it.

The other problem with Apple Pay rolling out in China, is that it requires retailers/stores to upgrade their POS hardware. Large conglomerates here-Mcdonalds, Starbucks-will do this. It may take awhile for others. Apple has partnered with Union Pay on this. Already have my ICBC account linked to Union Pay so anyplace that takes Union Pay, I can swipe my ICBC card to pay.

Too, my Union Pay/ICBC card is already linked to both the Mac App Store and the iTunes Store so I can use that for purchases in those stores. Easy-peezy.

But out on the streets, I use my WeChat Wallet quite a lot for purchases. Many small shops and restaurants on and around my campus offer WeChat paying. no need for them to buy special POS hardware. they just open the app, type in the amount which generates a QR code. Scan the code with my phone through my WeChat app. and the money is paid. The Wallet is also linked to my Union Pay, so I can immediately add more money to the Wallet.

Until the hardware requirements of Apple Pay on both ends (consumer and retailer) roll out, Apple Pay will have a slow uptake in China I'm afraid. For now, WeChat Wallet rocks.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Stil on February 21, 2016, 02:32:43 AM

But out on the streets, I use my WeChat Wallet quite a lot for purchases. Many small shops and restaurants on and around my campus offer WeChat paying. no need for them to buy special POS hardware. they just open the app, type in the amount which generates a QR code. Scan the code with my phone through my WeChat app. and the money is paid. The Wallet is also linked to my Union Pay, so I can immediately add more money to the Wallet.


Tencent to charge users in China for transferring money from WeChat Wallet to bank accounts (http://www.scmp.com/tech/apps-gaming/article/1913503/tencent-charge-users-china-transferring-money-wechat-wallet-bank)


Tencent’s popular mobile messaging app WeChat will soon begin charging users in China for money transfers made to personal bank accounts via its built-in digital wallet service.
From March 1, a fee of 0.1 per cent will be levied on digital transfers to bank accounts where the sum exceeds 1,000 yuan (US$153), the company said. The minimum fee per transfer will be 0.1 yuan.
WeChat Wallet, which arrived in Hong Kong last month, can be used in various ways in China. Users can send money, or digital red envelopes bearing money or gifts, to friends or make payments at a variety of offline stores.

The company is imposing the charge to cover bank handling fees for users’ WeChat Wallet transfers instead of absorbing them itself as it has been doing, it said.
“The transaction fees will encourage users to make fewer withdrawals and thus keep more money circulating within the WeChat Wallet ecosystem, therefore increasing the opportunities for other spending within it,” said Michael Yeo, an analyst at market research firm IDC.
WeChat’s biggest rival for mobile payments, Alibaba-backed Alipay, does not charge its mobile users for transferring money to bank accounts, although website users are charged 0.2 per cent of the transaction value.

“WeChat Wallet is very convenient, and I often transfer money to colleagues when we split the bill for restaurants or taxi fares,” said Jade Zheng, a Shenzhen-based administration and human resources manager in southern China.
“But I’ll probably start using Alipay and internet banking [when the new WeChat charges take effect]. The fees may sound small, but it all adds up eventually,” she added.
Li Mei, who runs a WeChat public account providing entertainment news, said she uses Alipay and bank transfers instead of WeChat Wallet when she receives payment for her work.
“Alipay doesn’t charge any fees and I can even choose to earn interest on my money in Alipay via its financial product offerings,” said Li.
“Sending money to a bank account using WeChat takes one or two days. Now that they want to impose charges, I definitely won’t use WeChat for that.”

WeChat said that other WeChat Wallet features such as sending money to contacts, as well as sending or receiving virtual red packets will remain free of charge.
Unlike Tencent, Ant Financial, Alipay’s parent company, will continue keeping its transactions free for mobile users.

“Alipay does not charge users for withdrawing cash, depositing money to their bank accounts or transferring money to others’ bank accounts via the app, and we have no plans to start charging our Alipay users for these transactions,” said Miranda Shek, spokesperson for Ant Financial.

But pundits believe users will continue to use WeChat Wallet instead of migrating to other services such as Alipay, due to the massive popularity of the mobile messaging app.

“With such a small fee, I don’t think that there will be a very large effect on the user base, and migration to other platforms will be unlikely,” said Yeo.
“WeChat Wallet can still be used to pay for a substantial number of activities and goods, and that hold will be hard to break.”

Shiv Putcha, an associate director at IDC, echoed similar sentiments.

“WeChat has scale and is popular enough today that it may not [be affected] too much. If Alipay continues to cross-subsidise their own offerings, then we may well begin to see customers playing arbitrage,” Putcha said.

Although WeChat Wallet is now available in Hong Kong, its uses are restricted to online purchases within the app, such as tickets for trains or public attractions.
The red packet function was released for users in Hong Kong this month to coincide with the Lunar New Year holiday, which officially fell on February 8. Chinese traditionally give cash in small red envelopes to friends, families or staff during this period.
The service means Hong Kong residents can now use the app to transfer money they receive to a bank account of their choice.
People in the city who use WeChat Wallet will continue to enjoy free money transfers to bank accounts despite mainlanders now being asked to pay for the service, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on February 21, 2016, 02:27:58 PM
Don't do it Calach! Don't switch to Apple. You fight, the fight and remain free.

People like Old34 and myself who have gone into that Mac world are stuck with our boring machines. We have nothing to talk about. There's no conflict, no excitement at all. The goddamn things just update on their own. I don't even know what OS I'm using anymore. I don't get to spend time searching for fixes and making friends online with like-minded people now.

It's so lonely.

Computers and phones used be thrilling. Any time you turned them on (or tried to) you never knew what you were going to get. Now like a Tv or microwave it's just mundane and I have no choice but to use it for what I bought it for instead of the thrill of the blue screen, and countless hours of delving into technical information online. I've lost contact with some of my best friends because I have no excuse to talk to them anymore for their computer expertise.

I'm a pampered, well-fed pet, now trapped in a beautiful walled garden, yearning to be free, to join the dog-eat-dog world outside but paralysed by my own fear of not being able to succeed out there and though the gate is open, I dare not venture into that vast wilderness I once proudly roamed.

Save yourself from my fate Calach.

Stay away from Apple.

That's right. Apple stuff is rubbish.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on February 21, 2016, 08:12:54 PM
Quote
Quote from: Arnold J. Rimmer on Yesterday at 22:27:58
Quote from: Stil on 2016-01-22, 15:47:56
Don't do it Calach! Don't switch to Apple. You fight, the fight and remain free.

People like Old34 and myself who have gone into that Mac world are stuck with our boring machines. We have nothing to talk about. There's no conflict, no excitement at all. The goddamn things just update on their own. I don't even know what OS I'm using anymore. I don't get to spend time searching for fixes and making friends online with like-minded people now.

It's so lonely.

Computers and phones used be thrilling. Any time you turned them on (or tried to) you never knew what you were going to get. Now like a Tv or microwave it's just mundane and I have no choice but to use it for what I bought it for instead of the thrill of the blue screen, and countless hours of delving into technical information online. I've lost contact with some of my best friends because I have no excuse to talk to them anymore for their computer expertise.

I'm a pampered, well-fed pet, now trapped in a beautiful walled garden, yearning to be free, to join the dog-eat-dog world outside but paralysed by my own fear of not being able to succeed out there and though the gate is open, I dare not venture into that vast wilderness I once proudly roamed.

Save yourself from my fate Calach.

Stay away from Apple.

That's right. Apple stuff is rubbish.


Note to Stil:

Not everyone here stil understands you (pun intended). You stil (pun) meed to use the [sarcasm] [/sarcasm] block quotes for the Windites.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on February 22, 2016, 02:28:22 AM
Quote
Quote from: Arnold J. Rimmer on Yesterday at 22:27:58
Quote from: Stil on 2016-01-22, 15:47:56
Don't do it Calach! Don't switch to Apple. You fight, the fight and remain free.

People like Old34 and myself who have gone into that Mac world are stuck with our boring machines. We have nothing to talk about. There's no conflict, no excitement at all. The goddamn things just update on their own. I don't even know what OS I'm using anymore. I don't get to spend time searching for fixes and making friends online with like-minded people now.

It's so lonely.

Computers and phones used be thrilling. Any time you turned them on (or tried to) you never knew what you were going to get. Now like a Tv or microwave it's just mundane and I have no choice but to use it for what I bought it for instead of the thrill of the blue screen, and countless hours of delving into technical information online. I've lost contact with some of my best friends because I have no excuse to talk to them anymore for their computer expertise.

I'm a pampered, well-fed pet, now trapped in a beautiful walled garden, yearning to be free, to join the dog-eat-dog world outside but paralysed by my own fear of not being able to succeed out there and though the gate is open, I dare not venture into that vast wilderness I once proudly roamed.

Save yourself from my fate Calach.

Stay away from Apple.

That's right. Apple stuff is rubbish.


Note to Stil:

Not everyone here stil understands you (pun intended). You stil (pun) meed to use the [sarcasm] [/sarcasm] block quotes for the Windites.

Nah I know what he's done there. I just think Apple stuff is rubbish for the price.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 22, 2016, 05:33:48 AM
Cheap is the new cool in smartphones, but Apple users don't buy their products to *save* money. Surveys show Apple users tend to be richer, and to spend more online, than Android users. The surveys, one assumes, don't take into accout China, but then nothing "online" ever does. My impression is Chinese smartphoners are ahead of the rest of the world in general in using phones for connectivity and consumption. Actually, their iPhoners might be as well. Personally, I'm not rich enough, nor consumer enough, to justify owning an iPhone.

For those eager to know, I still like my Nexus 5, it's presently running Android 6.0.1, and my battery consumption has dropped back to Android 5 levels so I'm not complaining anymore.


On an unrelated noted, I used Skype on my phone a few weeks ago to make an international phone call. This blows my mind. Of course, Skype has been around for donkey's years, but I have a prejudice against tethering myself to a computer by headphones. I can do it to listen to music, but it doesn't work for me for talking. Doesn't feel right. So the fact that Skype exists on phones now is, in my humble estimation, fantastic. A one hour phone conversation over wifi used about 300Mb of data, which I suppose is a lot, and would be a lot if I were paying mobile data rates, but on home wifi it kinda seems small
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Arnold J. Rimmer on February 22, 2016, 06:11:30 AM
Cheap is the new cool in smartphones, but Apple users don't buy their products to *save* money. Surveys show Apple users tend to be richer, and to spend more online, than Android users. The surveys, one assumes, don't take into accout China, but then nothing "online" ever does. My impression is Chinese smartphoners are ahead of the rest of the world in general in using phones for connectivity and consumption. Actually, their iPhoners might be as well. Personally, I'm not rich enough, nor consumer enough, to justify owning an iPhone.

For those eager to know, I still like my Nexus 5, it's presently running Android 6.0.1, and my battery consumption has dropped back to Android 5 levels so I'm not complaining anymore.


On an unrelated noted, I used Skype on my phone a few weeks ago to make an international phone call. This blows my mind. Of course, Skype has been around for donkey's years, but I have a prejudice against tethering myself to a computer by headphones. I can do it to listen to music, but it doesn't work for me for talking. Doesn't feel right. So the fact that Skype exists on phones now is, in my humble estimation, fantastic. A one hour phone conversation over wifi used about 300Mb of data, which I suppose is a lot, and would be a lot if I were paying mobile data rates, but on home wifi it kinda seems small

You monitor how much data you use on your WiFi? Wow.

Why?
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on February 22, 2016, 06:32:52 AM
You monitor how much data you use on your WiFi? Wow.

Why?

So I know what would happen if I used it on mobile data.


/thrifty
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on November 19, 2016, 04:43:19 AM
Powerful backdoor/rootkit found preinstalled on 3 million Android phones (http://arstechnica.com/security/2016/11/powerful-backdoorrootkit-found-preinstalled-on-3-million-android-phones/)

Almost three million Android phones, many of them used by people in the US, are vulnerable to code-execution attacks that remotely seize full control of the devices, researchers said Thursday.

Until recently, the flaw could have been exploited by anyone who took the time to obtain two Internet domains that remained unregistered despite being hardwired into the firmware that introduced the vulnerability. After discovering the vulnerability, researchers from security ratings firm BitSight Technologies registered the addresses and control them to this day. Even now, the failure of the buggy firmware to encrypt communications sent to a server located in China makes code-execution attacks possible when phones don't use virtual private networking software when connecting to public hotspots and other unsecured networks.

Since BitSight and its subsidiary company Anubis Networks took possession of the two preconfigured domains, more than 2.8 million devices have attempted to connect in search of software that can be executed with unfettered "root" privileges, the researchers said. Had malicious parties obtained the addresses before BitSight did, the actors could have installed keyloggers, bugging software, and other malware that completely bypassed security protections built into the Android operating system. The almost three million devices remain vulnerable to so-called man-in-the-middle attacks because the firmware—which was developed by a Chinese company called Ragentek Group—doesn't encrypt the communications sent and received to phones and doesn't rely on code-signing to authenticate legitimate apps. Based on the IP addresses of the connecting devices, vulnerable phones hail from locations all over the world, with the US being the No. 1 affected country....



Thanks, China
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 25, 2016, 12:57:29 AM
Well shitfuck and a merry xmas too. Get your CM nightlies while you still can.

https://www.cyanogenmod.org/blog/a-fork-in-the-road

After this year, the infrastructure supporting the building and distribution of Cyanogenmod aftermarket Android ROMs will no longer function. Community builds will exist and likely will be made available piecemeal, and there's this Lineage OS stuff from Cyanogen himself, but there's going to be a gap in production and, I'm betting, a decline in function as time goes by.

http://www.androidpolice.com/2016/12/24/cyanogen-shutting-service-nightly-builds-december-31-2016/
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on December 27, 2016, 01:21:14 AM
Looks like Cyngn (the company) pulled the plug early. Some websites and servers are already offline or too difficult to reach. If you didn't get the last and/or latest download, someone made a (wildly incomplete, but helpful) archive:

https://archive.org/download/cmarchive_nighlies
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 25, 2017, 07:12:39 AM
You can breathe that sigh of relief now: Lineage OS officially exists.

https://download.lineageos.org/

The usage stats are interesting. They're compiled from devices reporting in semi-anonymously (see: Settings > Privacy > LineageOS statistics) and since Lineage only went official this last weekend, they're based on unofficial and pre-official builds

https://stats.lineageos.org/

China leads installs, just ahead of India, with the US in third place followed by Russia and Germany. And by far the favoured device is the Oneplus One (aka "bacon").
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: old34 on January 25, 2017, 04:04:46 PM
You can breathe that sigh of relief now: Lineage OS officially exists.

https://download.lineageos.org/

The usage stats are interesting. They're compiled from devices reporting in semi-anonymously (see: Settings > Privacy > LineageOS statistics) and since Lineage only went official this last weekend, they're based on unofficial and pre-official builds

https://stats.lineageos.org/

China leads installs, just ahead of India, with the US in third place followed by Russia and Germany. And by far the favoured device is the Oneplus One (aka "bacon").


 awawawawaw awawawawaw awawawawaw awawawawaw
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on January 25, 2017, 11:39:27 PM
Lineage OS (http://www.typologycentral.com/forums/images/smilies/kidseyessmiley2[1].gif)

(http://www.androidpolice.com/wp-content/themes/ap2/ap_resize/ap_resize.php?src=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.androidpolice.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2016%2F12%2Fnexus2cee_logo-728x485.png&w=728)

(http://www.typologycentral.com/forums/images/smiliesimport/static.gif)(http://www.typologycentral.com/forums/images/smiliesimport/static.gif)(http://www.typologycentral.com/forums/images/smilies/kidseyessmiley2[1].gif)(http://www.typologycentral.com/forums/images/smiliesimport/static.gif)(http://www.typologycentral.com/forums/images/smiliesimport/static.gif)
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 19, 2017, 10:44:53 AM
In Lollipop, they were exclamation marks. They'd crouch beside your wifi and mobile data icons, and they'd be ugly. But you could remove them....

(1) Open, or install and open, a Terminal emulator.
(2) Type: su
(3) Type: settings put global captive_portal_detection_enabled 0

Then reboot.

Well, they're back. And they're a cross.

As of Android 7.1.1, what I like to call Android Nuggets, the captive portal detection (and detection flags) have changed.

Captive portal detection is, um... it's when your phone looks for internet connections that require web logins? A captive portal is a landing page for, like, when you login on a public wifi network. And ffs I don't know but whenever you connect to wifi or data, Android goes looking for Google servers and when it can't find them it says you're not online, and it marks the connection icon with a cross. Also it screws around with whether or not automatic reconnection will take place. If your home wifi is regarded as "Connected, no internet" for instance, your phone won't automatically reconnect next time you toggle your wifi, and you'll have to manually initiate a connection.

In other words, in China, Android will always say you have no internet access even though you're right there surfing your little fingers off.

But, captive portals and this check for connectivity are related... somehow... and screwing with the flags will stop this connectivity check, and coincidentally make a mess of your captive portal detection. (Might want to think about that next time you're in the airport and don't know why you can't find the login page for the free wifi.)

All righty, well here's what you have to do now. (And note: none of this will work if you do not have root access. )

Open a Terminal Emulator. Type in the following commands:

Code: [Select]
su
settings put global captive_portal_https_url https://www.google.cn/generate_204
reboot

You may have to repeat this procedure for these two as well:

captive_portal_http_url
captive_portal_fallback_url


In the real world? The captive portal server in Android 7.1.1 is

connectivitycheck.gstatic.com/generate_204

What the above terminal commands do is change that server to the only google server accessible in China.
Title: Re: Smartphones
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on April 22, 2017, 10:38:30 AM
So, I think this is right: that "captive portal" stuff is a basic connectivity type check. Cribbed from somewhere in Stackoverflow (here (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/1989214/google-com-and-clients1-google-com-generate-204)), I got basically this:

generate_204 is used to determine if the wlan is open (response 204 is received) closed (no response at all) or blocked (redirect to captive portal is present). In the event of "blocked" (as opposed to closed) a notification is shown that a log-in to WiFi is required...

Now, because Android refers by default to google servers (and in fact to different ones for different Android flavours), whenever you turn on data or wifi in China, the "captive portal" check comes back as closed, ie no internet, and your connection gets rated "Connected, no internet" (even though in fact the internet is connected just fine).

So previously, one could turn off captive portal detection, which, duh, made you no longer detect the captive portals, but also meant you no longer fail the connectivity check. All good, more or less. But, as of seemingly Android 7.1.2, while you can set captive_portal_detection_enabled to 0 (aka "off"), it doesn't have the required effect because.... reasons. So instead, you use the better solution, assuming you have root access to your phone: change the captive portal connection server to one that works in China, namely:

Code: [Select]
https://www.google.cn/generate_204
Result: captive portal detection works as it should.

Boom