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Thread Author (OP)
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Québec, Canada
Device(s): LG Optimus One P500, Samsung Galaxy I7500L
Carrier: Not Provided
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Here is a newer FAQ, with some more questions. Thanks to Rastaman-FB for the ground work! If you think something else should be added, or if you remember a question you had when you were new, feel free to send me a private message, or message any other mod/guide (inFECT for example).
Questions about firmwares, Android versions and updating.
What are the different versions of Android?
There are different versions of Android. The most important ones are 1.5 (Cupcake), 1.6 (Donut), Eclair (2.1) and 2.2 (Froyo), which is fairly new. The higher the number, the better the version. The Galaxy I7500 was shipped with 1.5, but there are a lot of 1.6 firmwares available. There are two 2.1 ROMs being built, Mustymod and GAOSP. GAOSP is now on 2.2 (froyo!). I suggest reading this page for the changelog of the different versions.
What is NPS?
New PC Studio is an official software from Samsung. On the Galaxy, it can only be used to update your phone to the latest official firmware for your region, which is often quite old (usually Android 1.5). It is sometimes complicated to get it to recognize your phone, and if it says that the device is not supported, it simply means that there are no updates available for you. Check this thread if you experience problems.
What are the different firmwares?
There are different firmwares for every Android version. They're all a little different (they have different bugs, different languages, etc). To find your own, go into settings and select "About phone". The firmware is usually the same as your baseband, unless you've changed your firmware. There are many lists around, you should check out this post.
How do I upgrade my phone?
You should check out the I7500 Tutorials List. In short, if you only want to change the firmware, you'll be using Odin. If you want to install a custom ROM (which requires root), you have to use ADB and a custom recovery.
What is Odin?
Odin is a computer software used by Samsung (and by us) to install a different firmware on your phone via USB. I suggest following a tutorial on how to update your phone, you will be told what to do with it.
What is ADB?
ADB stands for Android Debug Bridge. It's a tool you have to download on your computer to use it via the command prompt. Once again, you will be told how to use it if you follow a good tutorial.
What is root and what does it do?
Android is using the linux kernel. Root access (or SU, superuser), is when you have complete admin privileges over the device. To enable it, you'll probably have to install a custom recovery. It allows different things you couldn't do otherwise, such as overclocking, wifi tethering, etc. Some applications require it.
What is the recovery?
It is possible to boot your phone into recovery mode to do a reset. A custom recovery changes this behaviour. For example, the Custom Recovery 4.3 (made by Drakaz) allows you do enable root, apply updates, wipe your phone, perform and restore backups among other stuff.
What are phone.tar, boot.tar, pda.tar and csc.tar
You don't really have to worry about those, except for the Phone part. It contains the amss, which is different for the different phone models (and if you flash it, you won't be able to connect to your carrier). It also contains the cache.img, which is the phone customization depending on the carrier. I recommend to put nothing under Phone, so when you're done the baseband won't be changed. If you are not sure about this stuff, you should follow a guide specifically for your phone.
Questions about Android issues
Why does my battery suck?
First of all, don't use the "pouch" that came with the phone, if there was one. It presses on buttons thus keeping the phone from sleeping. If you don't use the pouch, you should search the forums or ask a question. Intensive use of 3g, wifi, bluetooth, etc will drain your phone's battery. There is also a bug where your phone might not get to sleep, called the no sleep bug. If you experience this bug, I recommend using the Galaxo rom, as it has been fixed.
How can I add files such as music to the phone?
You have to plug your phone via USB. Then, scroll the notification area down. Press on the USB notification and select "Mount".
How can move or delete icons and widgets on the homescreen?
Press on them for a long time. They will then "pop-up", and you can move them by keeping them pressed. When doing so, the application drawer will turn into a trash can, so move them there to delete them.
How can I rename a folder I created on the homescreen?
Open it, and then press on the name at the top of the folder for a few seconds. A window will appear where you can rename it.
Why can't I see the wifi network at school or at the office?
You are probably using Android 1.5, which doesn't support WPA2 Enterprise. Support for those networks was added in Android 1.6 (Donut).
How can I change the SMS options?
Open the SMS application. Press the menu key (top left on your device), and then select "Settings". You can set it on vibrate, change the sound, notifications, etc.
Why does the wifi turns off when the screen goes blank?
Go into Settings, Wireless controls, Wifi Settings. There, press the menu key, select Advanced and change the Wifi sleep policy to "Never".
Why does the Wifi drop out randomly?
For some reason Android, and particularly the Galaxy, does not like mix mode routers. If its a home router and its not imperative to use mix mode then try and change it to G only and change protection to WPA/WPA2 only and not mixed/auto protection
Why can't I transfer files using Bluetooth?
This affects all Android devices on cupcake and donut (1.5 or 1.6). The only things that work with Bluetooth really are headsets or handfree/carkits. People have tried to make apps to fix it but your phone has to be rooted and it doesn't work so well.
I can't see the market, and when I open a market link (market://), nothing happens. Why is that?
Some of the earlier handheld versions from some euro countries removed the market from the standard firmware apps. The fix for this would be to use ODIN and flash a new firmware onto the device. Have a look at the guides.
I'm having issues with my Dialpad when in calls, is this a known issue?
Yes, there are a few users here reporting these issues, further information can be found there: dialpad doesn't work during call For Informale's fix, check this out.
Where can I find a list of dialpad commands to check things such as the phone status?
The most common one is *#*#1234#*#*, further ones can be found here Galaxy Essentials - Android Wiki
How can I add more homescreens?
The "launcher" application in Android on the Galaxy only offers 3 homescreens. You could install a third party launcher application that allows more homescreen, or a custom ROM such as Galaxo.
How can I zoom using the camera?
There is no optical zoom on the phone, so if you use a digital zoom, the quality of the picture won't be as good. It's better to take a picture and then crop and resize it than to use a digital zoom.
The sound only works when I use earphones! How can I fix it?
Try plugging and unplugging your earphones, it might fix it. If it doesn't, a blast from a can of compressed air probably will.
Once again, feel free to PM me if you want something to be added!
Got a question?
Before starting a new thread, you can search for your query, it most likely has already been answered! If you post a new thread, make sure to post your firmware number and some information so others can help you!