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Old January 23rd, 2014, 12:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Restoring carrier removed features

My wifes Verizon S4 is rooted for the purpose of removing bloatware. Last night I noticed that Verizon removed the option to block text messages, I'm guessing so that you have to buy their BS service for doing it. Is it possible to restore features such as this that they have removed? I want to avoid putting another ROM on it as my wife and I are both happy with the stock OS otherwise. Thanks for any help.

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Old January 23rd, 2014, 12:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know whether or not you can restore the feature, but if you can't there are plenty of options in the Play Store that will do that.
I just did a quick search on 'Block SMS' and got several returns. Since I don't use any of them I can't speak to how they work, but perusing the reviews would likely answer that question.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 12:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you,

Yes, that is an option I considered. I didn't like the idea of an app constantly running in the background and eating up memory. But, for all I know the built in text blocking feature could do the same thing and just be constantly running. Does anyone know? Would be interesting to understand how the built in call and text blocking works.
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 02:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you,

Yes, that is an option I considered. I didn't like the idea of an app constantly running in the background and eating up memory.
There is no reason at all why you should care about this. Android does a good job of managing memory and the amount of memory in use is not something a user ever needs to worry about. There are numerous threads here that explain this.

Apart from anything, how do you think the carrier SMS blocker works?
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 02:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Do you want to block ALL text messages, or just those from selected sources?
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Old January 23rd, 2014, 05:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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There is no reason at all why you should care about this. Android does a good job of managing memory and the amount of memory in use is not something a user ever needs to worry about. There are numerous threads here that explain this.

Apart from anything, how do you think the carrier SMS blocker works?
I would respectfully disagree. Some apps start a service that can be higher priority than many of the apps you use routinely. Android has memory management built in, but that doesn't mean we don't affect performance if we install a lot of programs that load services.

I agree with the point that the 3rd party app may be no different than the built in app in terms of resource use.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 10:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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There is no reason at all why you should care about this. Android does a good job of managing memory and the amount of memory in use is not something a user ever needs to worry about. There are numerous threads here that explain this.

Apart from anything, how do you think the carrier SMS blocker works?

I would disagree. Despite the fact that android has memory management built in, that memory is still finite. I don't wont to have to install more apps than needed as it will eventually hinder performance.

As you will notice I did enquire as to whether or not the built in text blocking runs in the background anyway. It may not make a difference if I use a third party app or not. I was curious if someone knew for sure.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 10:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Do you want to block ALL text messages, or just those from selected sources?
Just select sources.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 10:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I would respectfully disagree. Some apps start a service that can be higher priority than many of the apps you use routinely. Android has memory management built in, but that doesn't mean we don't affect performance if we install a lot of programs that load services.

I agree with the point that the 3rd party app may be no different than the built in app in terms of resource use.
Exactly my thougts.

Yes, that may indeed be the case. It would be interesting if I could actually compare them. If there is no way to restore the removed service then I suppose a third party app will be my only option regardless.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 10:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I would disagree. Despite the fact that android has memory management built in, that memory is still finite. I don't wont to have to install more apps than needed as it will eventually hinder performance.
That isn't true though. Although memory is finite, unused memory is useless. If the memory were to get close to being too full, the OS kills off inactive apps. I repeat that users should not worry about how much memory is used, it is not a relevant factor in Android performance. Android manages memory in a completely different way to Windows.

electricpete raised a slightly different point. If an app is actively running, that will have some effect on performance but there is no way that an SMS blocking app would ever consume enough processor time to make a noticeable difference unless it were completely broken.

Having lots of memory in use or lots of apps installed and running will not have any impact on performance unless the app is something like a game that consumes huge resources or is completely broken.

To answer your question about the carrier SMS blocker, it will fundamentally work exactly the same as a third party app. Until a message arrives, it will do nothing. It will briefly spring into action when one does, delete it if appropriate and then go back to sleep again consuming no resources except for a tiny and irrelevant bit of memory that the OS will free up in the unlikely event that it is needed.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 10:44 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I guess I assumed the "call block list" takes care of blocking both voice calls and texts from the listed numbers, but I may be wrong since I have my Verizon account set to block ALL text messages anyway. On the other hand, you might want to block texts, but not calls, from certain numbers although I can't imagine why.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 01:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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That isn't true though. Although memory is finite, unused memory is useless. If the memory were to get close to being too full, the OS kills off inactive apps. I repeat that users should not worry about how much memory is used, it is not a relevant factor in Android performance. Android manages memory in a completely different way to Windows.
Yes, Android manages memory in a completely different way to windows.
Yes, automatic task killers are generally a bad thing.
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I repeat that users should not worry about how much memory is used, it is not a relevant factor in Android performance.
No, that's not quite true. It doesn't matter how many times you repeat it.

Let's start by considering that not all memory is created equal.
Go to settings / application manager
You'll notice you can toggle between "cached process" and "services in use".
These are two different and mutually exclusive types of memory. If you look at the bar chart at bottom, there is some more memory not listed....let's call it system. It is a constant. If you add up system plus cached processes plus running services, you get the total memory available which is some fixed number slightly less than 2GB. Since the system portion is fixed, that means the cached processes have to share the remainder with the running services. There is only a fixed amount of memory available for running services plus cached processes.

Running services does include things that are currently in the foreground. It also includes apps that load a "service", which is something higher priority than a process. Look at your services and you'll see things that always stay in memory: widgets (most of them), swype keypad, firewall, 3G watchdog, Tasker, Call Recorders, swipepad etc. Widgets have to stay in memory so they are updated when you switch to your homescreen. Firewall, 3G watchdog, Tasker, Call recorders, swipepad have to stay in memory because they react to other things going on. Swype keypad is chosen to stay in memory because it supports a variety of other processes, so it's assigned as a service to stay in memory. Again, these services are all high priority and tend to stay in memory.

Now look at cached processes. These are apps you've recently run. Having a program in cache will help load it much faster if you launch it again or pick it from "recent apps".

Now let's say you launch a new app that's not in cache... what happens? Somethings got to get flushed because there is only a finite amount of memory allocated for running services plus cached processes. The services don't get flushed because they have to stick around, so a cached process gets flushed (Probably one that hasn't been used frequenctly or recently.) In other words, the services are higher priority than the processes.

Now, let's say someone follows your advice and installs many many programs without regard to memory usage. And let's say many of these load services ... like widgets and other examples above.... and I'd say very likely the call blocker is a service. All of these services are going to carve their space out of the available space, which means less room for cache. Less room for cache means more often you have to grab your programs from storage which slows things down. When cache gets really low you have to go back to storage every time you switch apps (even if you're just going back and forth between two apps) and things get really slow. If you squeeze it even further so there is no cache whatsoever and services have to be flushed in order to run a new program, then things will start not working correctly becaue the things that rely on services assume they are always running.

So, in summary: all memory is NOT created equal. Memory is not infinite. Installing programs which launch services (visible in the service portion of your application manager) reduces memory available for cache and can affect performance, particularly as the cache gets squeezed to a small amount.

I'll admit - 2GB is a lot of memory. If you've got a new phone you haven't installed enough programs to notice it. Most likely no-one will notice the effect of a single call blocker program. But over the life of the phone if you believe performance of the phone is completely unrelated to the programs you install (and whether they have services), you may at some point become unpleasantly surprised.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 01:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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While everything you said electricpete is spot on, I'd have to say that for the average user, it's not going to make a difference performance-wise. I consider myself a pretty average user with about 120 apps installed, phone use, texting, facebook, a little twitter, some youtube, etc. during the day. Maybe some map use ... oh, and a LOT of Android Forums . Adding another service shouldn't be noticeable.

As for the ops question, a text blocking app will pretty much just sit there until a text is received. Sure it will eat a bit of resources, but if it's a well built app, I doubt you'd even know it was there. Check the reviews and if there are lot of complaints about slowdowns or battery draining, move on to the next one. Now, if Verizon now offers it as a subscription feature, they are blocking it at the network level and your phone will never see it. An app OTOH might actually receive the text, recognize that you don't want them from that sender and delete it without you ever seeing it. Again, you'll need to do a little due diligence to make sure it's what you want.
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Old January 24th, 2014, 02:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Old January 24th, 2014, 03:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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lunatic59,

I thought I was ballin' out on my other forums with 5k posts, but damn dude, almost 23k. That's awesome!
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Old January 25th, 2014, 03:48 AM   #16 (permalink)
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@electricpete

While I agree with your analysis I disagree with your conclusion - I still say it's irrelevant.

Yes, it would be possible to engineer a situation in which too much memory is in use by services but it just isn't going to happen in real life so the fact that it could be done doesn't mean it will ever happen. Users need not concern themselves over situations that don't actually occur in practice.

I just checked on my phone and services are using a grand total of 110MB and only two of them are more than 10MB. Meanwhile, I have 44 cached processes (some of which relate to apps that I haven't used for several days) and still have 160MB free. I have never worried about how much memory was in use and if I had installed five times as many apps that run services in the background, I still wouldn't need to.
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Old January 25th, 2014, 12:07 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I certainly can’t speak for your phone. I don’t believe that anecdotal experience on one phone at one point in its life would logically support an absolute claim (which presumably would be applicable to all GS4’s at all times).

You said you have no running services over 10MB. Here are my running services over 10MB:
Nova Prime Launcher 63MB
Tasker 18 MB
Elixir Widgets 18MB
Swipepad 19MB
Swype 17MB
GSAM Battery Monitor 10MB.
And I am not reckless in installing lots of programs! Quite the opposite.... I scrutinize what carries a running service and how big it is, and freeze or uninstall it if I don't really want it. And by the way, I've only had this phone for one month.... what's it going to look like after two years!!! My point is: there will be quite a bit of variability among users in the number of programs with running services installed after 2+ years life of a phone.

If the memory sucked up by a running service limits the cache, then less will be cached. If the data that would have otherwise been cached (had we not installed our service) is not available when we need it, then the phone will be slower at that point in time (we don’t have the benefit of that cached data).

This is one of the reason people freeze bloatware. According to your hypothesis, we shouldn’t bother because installed programs have no impact on performance.

At this point I doubt either of us has much more to add that we haven’t already. So I propose we agree to disagree and walk away in good spirits. You are welcome to the last word if you'd like...
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