Apr 07 2012

Samsung Galaxy Nexus – personal review

Category: Android DevicesFarhan Sabir @ 03:39

I got a new phone this march. Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I believe the only official phone from Google with Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) or Android 4.0.2. This phone is really amazing. I will not go into specs as they are available everywhere. Some of my observations are as below:

1. ICS 4 has a limit on number of screens you can get. That is 5 only. Although, i am sure with Launcher Pro and other software like that you can increase it, but its not needed.

2. Related to above, there is an add on. Each icon on desktop or status bar is actually a folder. So basically you can drag one icon on another and it becomes a shortcut to both. Which is very convenient. You can easily group similar apps together and name the folder whatever you like.

3. WiFi speed and Data speed have become extremely fast compared to my old HTC Magic keeping in mind Nexus is not LTE. On full WiFi signals (g), SpeedTest.net App returns: Ping=21ms, Download=15,038kbps, Upload=544kbps (my connection limit)

4. Using Skype Video calling, or playing games for about an hour makes the phone so hot, you start thinking something might go wrong if i don’t power it off NOW. The area that becomes hot is where the back camera is and obviously effects front-top as well.

5. Battery life is not so good. If i am playing games or doing video calling, it can survive may be 3-5 hours approximately. On normal usage i.e., just skype chat, FB messenger, GPS, and few calls … it normally lasts 8 hours approx. But comparing with others in this class, it is considered to have a better battery :-) I was just thinking what do others do ;-)

6. Speaker volume is really low on this device. So you have to install or buy the utility Volume+ to increase the base volume. With that, everything seems to be okay.

Will further update it if i find more stuff that is mentionable.

 

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Apr 07 2012

HTC Magic upgrade to Android 2.2.1 (CM6)

Category: HomeFarhan Sabir @ 03:17

[This post is only to express my recent experience. Please check the links and read thoroughly before doing any upgrades. I will not be responsible for any damage to your phone or if you brick it. Please also check your device for 32A or 32B; You should also know your radio version and recovery version etc.]

I had HTC Magic 32A for a long time (Basically Rogers HTC Magic). I rooted it so no more warranty, no upgrades from rogers and no support. This one had an old hero ROM with HTC Sense and Android 1.5 and i wanted to upgrade it to at least 2.1 as this has become minimum requirement for several apps. I tried several ROMs available, but they did not work. Then i tried the most famous and reliable CyanogenMod 6.1.0 stable. The process was fairly simple with one major problem described at the end. So i thought i better share my experience. Their website described the process in detail.

Cyanogen Mod 6 a.k.a. CM6 bring you Android 2.2.1. Here are the links i followed:

Page-1: http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/wiki/HTC_Magic_%2832A%29:_Rooting_%283.22.x_radio%29

Page-2: http://wiki.cyanogenmod.com/wiki/Upgrading_from_CyanogenMod_4.2_to_CyanogenMod_5/6

Just a quick note, if you have the same phone from rogers, after upgrading the radio and recovery, (and optionally wiping everything), you need three updates:

1) update-cm-6.1.0-DS-signed.zip

2) bc-6.1.0-ebi1-signed.zip

3) gapps-mdpi-tiny-20101020-signed.zip (optional, but i guess you have to)

This upgrade process went so unexpectedly smooth, couldn’t believe i have Android 2.2.1. However, there were a couple of problems with the new CM6.

Problem-1: The phone became too slow after a couple of days i.e., after installing all the apps i had before. icons would disappear for a couple of minutes; at times will become totally non-responsive and i have to takeout battery to restart etc.

Solution: “Home Switcher for Froyo”, “Launcher Pro” with some tuning. Sorry i do not have a link to the original post right now. Will try posting it later.

Problem-2: Auto Rotate did not work :-( This was a big mess, no leveling games (teeter, speedcar etc). And above all Google Sky Map doesn’t work anymore.

Solution:

a) replace akmd from an older version and reboot. The link i followed was:

http://forum.xda-developers.com/showpost.php?p=4456785&postcount=23

b) Use app “GPS Status & Toolbox” and recalibrate.

 

It seems pretty simple, but searching for right solutions took me really a long long time. I just hope it helps someone else.
I love using https://play.google.com/apps. If you have Android 2.1 or above, you can easily install all the apps from a computer. No phone connections needed. Your phone has to be connected on WiFi though and using a google account.

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