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Support Getting ready to "throw in" the android "towel"

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by pjw73nh, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. pjw73nh

    pjw73nh Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I am very frustrated. I've had the phone about a month, invested 40-50 hours of research, forum, download, install and uninstall time and I still have a device that can't do 50% of what I am asking (which is not that much). If I can't get any more success out of it, as much as I like the large screen, fonts and a few other features, I may have to switch back. It just isn't worth it for me to settle for something that SHOULD work but doesn't.

    I can make and receive calls, text, email, and do SOME web surfing.

    I want more.

    I want all my music and pictures stored on my external 16 gb SD card. I want to be able to EASILY sync my playlists, podcasts and pictures. I want to be able to conveniently do a complete backup of my phone so that if the need arises, I can reset it to factory, and restore it with relative ease.


    Aside from several minor issues: Finding an app that can notify me OVER a security lock screen. Getting auto-rotate to work reliably (it rotates when it feels like it. If lock the screen and reopen it rotated 90 degrees, the rotate will work fine... For a while. I can accept a FEW of these little nuisance things. But, really, shouldn't a device this advanced work reliably?

    Doesn't open PDF files. I can't find a reader that works.
    Doesn't run flash (isn't this the big deal with Apple devices too?)

    I can't find a decent program that can do a true sync. I have tried Kies 2x (wired, don't want to use air). The first time, it worked OK, but was not a true sync. It was only one way. Nothing NEW on the phone would sync UP to the computer. Mostly I was interested in pictures. I gave up and just copied my pictures manually. I have a 10 GB itunes library that I use to sync with my ipad and my family uses as their music repository for their apple devices. While much of the repository comes over, it is hard to find when searching. Sometimes I have to search by artist rather than song. Other times by album. Sometimes the songs have no names, and shows the song name as the album name. sometimes there are songs missing from the album. I have tried importing playlists and it just says "no playlists to import." The second time I installed it, it wouldn't even connect.

    Tried Double Twist. Different issues, but similar, I tried this program once.

    I tried Winamp. 2 times. No luck. No playlists import, and other intermittent issues.

    I uninstalled each app between each trial.

    So for now I am using the built in PLAY program, and copying my music manually. Cumbersome but at least I have SOME music.

    For both pictures and music this is a time consuming task that I just don't have the time to spend on every time I want to add or copy some pictures or music. It shouldn't be this difficult.

    I've posted in and read the forums. I've read the reviews. Sometimes there is good info, other times it becomes a waste.

    I posted a query regarding my Kies issue, and if I recall correctly, the only response I got was "Kies sucks". Hardly helpful.

    My phone is stock. I don't use any widgets (that I know of). The only additional apps I run are Cerberus, Google Voice, GSAM battery, Chrome, Assistive light. The device is really not taxed hardly at all.

    I will admit I am new to android, but I am by no means a technology newbie. I have been making my living as System/Network admin for 20+ years.

    I don't want to get into an apple/android pissing contest. I have no loyalty to apple. But I have to say, I think I've given the S3 a fair shot. My main reason for switching was for a bigger screen, larger style fonts, and ease of customization.

    Have I just not found the right app(s) to do what I want? I REALLY want to make the S3 work.

    Thank you in advance for any constructive insight you may be able to provide..



  2. laptopquestion

    laptopquestion Android Enthusiast

    Just curious, what kind of smartphone did you have before?

    In my experience, my S3 has been fantastic and I have not experienced anything *close to your angst* :(
    THH209 likes this.
  3. Metfanant

    Metfanant Android Expert

    You're assuming it SHOULD work...

    Please elaborate as to what web surfing you cannot do on the GS3...

    I want more. [/QUOTE]of course you do...


    easy...root and you can do a complete nandroid backup..saves a complete image of your phone...just a flash away from restoring everything...

    what does that even mean?

    sounds like a faulty/miscalibrated gyroscope...rotation works fine on my phone...you can try to manually calibrate it in the settings

    I've got like 3 PDF viewers on my phone that have never failed to open a PDF...might want to check the file...

    my phone does just fine talk to adobe about no longer supporting mobile flash...its easy to find the .apk for flash to install it...

    you're asking your device to interact with software that is inherently designed NOT to interact with your device and vice versa...this is common sense that iTunes and Android are simply never going to play very nice...and any solution that sorta works is as good as its gonna get

    Maybe because again... These programs cannot be designed to function completely with iTunes? How about using winamp on your PC as well as Android? I bet you have much more success...

    Its that difficult because your asking the phone to interact flawlessly with software designed to work with the devices biggest competitor...

    frankly it does suck...I freeze the app with titanium and never touch it...

    Have I just not found the right app(s) to do what I want? I REALLY want to make the S3 work.

    Frankly...the changes need to be made on your end...use a different media software on your computer that is more open than iTunes...iTunes is designed to work with iOS...not Android...
    silentwitness likes this.
  4. motoracer1486

    motoracer1486 Android Enthusiast

    Tunesync syncs your iTunes library extremely well via wifi.
  5. xmr405o

    xmr405o Android Expert

    Hi pjw73nh

    I totally understand your frustration coming to a new OS. I'll try to help with some of the stuff you're going through.

    You can store all pics and music on your SD if you want to. I have all my music, picture, and videos on my external sd. Its a simple copy and paste procedure either from within your internal memory and external memory or from your pc to external memory card. ITunes syncing has been hit and miss for me with doubletwist when I first tried it about 2 years ago. I had some success but I eventually gave up. I just ended up redoing everything.

    As for notifications on the lock screen, there's a new app that I found in the Play store that allows an apple type "notification center" functionality from the lock screen. Its still at its early stages but it shows promise, IMO. Its called Lockscreen Notifications. I know that Android 4.2 introduces widgets from the lockscreen so future development of lockscreen notification widgets will start to pick up.

    As for opening pdf files or auto rotation issues, I have not encountered those issues. I was able to open PDFs from day one.

    I hope I helped a little bit. Have a good one.
    pjw73nh and dan55 like this.
  6. SUroot

    SUroot Extreme Android User

    ...just a note, if you ever HAVE to factory reset, you would not want to restore everything as that would restore the problem.
  7. dan55

    dan55 Android Expert

    or you could try widget locker app - i used this all the time on my desire - ive not tried it on s3 yet, just cause im trying to keep it looking as different as poss
  8. Roadie1015

    Roadie1015 Well-Known Member

    Google Play is the easiest way to manage your music. But instead of copying it manually, install Music Manager on your computer and upload your music to Google Play. Then you will be able to see it on your phone, and you can either stream your music or keep it on your device.

    I use Mediamonkey though, it is not as easy because android seems to have an issue with playlists, but if you want the details just let me know.

    If you want to do a true sync, you can use a program like FreeFileSync if you have a windows computer. You can set it up to backup your pictures, your music, and/or your whole phone. After you get it set up correctly, you just have to plug in your phone via USB, open the program, and hit a button. Or you can just copy and paste the contents of your SD card onto your computer.

    I don't understand your lock screen issue.
  9. Mabashi

    Mabashi Member

    For Picture syncing, you can use dropbox to automatically sync all pictures and video you take to their servers and if you set it up on your computer, it'll automatically be downloaded there too. In the camera settings, you can tell it to save pictures to external storage or memory card.

    The best way to keep music synced is with google music manager to sync your music to the cloud then you can select what you want to download or just stream it all. You might need to recreate your playlists but after you've done it once, it'll be saved and you won't have to do anything in the future.

    As for PDF files, adobe has an official adobe reader app and theres plenty of 3rd party apps that can read pdfs as well.

    You can dowload flash player at http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1931671 and sideload it.
  10. Ez Duzit

    Ez Duzit Newbie

    For everyone saying "use the cloud", that works if actually have LTE or even good 3g speed. But if you have sprint you are probably stuck with their overloaded, under performing, slow-as-molasses 3G which during daytime hours can be painfully slow to even load a single web page. It will be 6-18 months until sprint LTE gets to a majority of areas. Until then, Sprint users in all but a few cities can't even think about using the cloud with their cell phone. And personally, I prefer to keep all my data, pictures, and music on my sd card. I don't want to be dependent on a good connection to access my own stuff.
  11. TheGeek

    TheGeek Android Enthusiast

    This sucks.

    I have a Verizon GS3 and I don't have any issues -- period.

    I try to be unbiased but damn if there are not more and more rant postings of things not working--I wish I could experience that. I guess I'm one of the fortunate ones who has a working phone. I've flashed the hell out of it with custom ROMS since day one--I still can't break it.

    Good luck; my useless post. :)
  12. Noxian

    Noxian Member

    I use iSyncr and it works great.

    There is also solutions from, itunesexport, Winamp, Samsung Kies, and Doubletwist. You'll need to experiment to find which one works best for you.

    This is my 2nd attempt at moving from a iPhone to Android, first attempt didnt go well and ended up selling the Droid 3 I had bought and going back to the iPhone.

    This time however I couldn't be happier,
  13. Pookeysgirl

    Pookeysgirl Well-Known Member

    I believe Missed It shows notifications similar to iPhone on the lock screen. You can find it in the Play Store
  14. pjw73nh

    pjw73nh Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Folks, I started this reply early this morning. Well before a lot of the others had posted. I'll post it now, (so folks don't think I am ignoring them) and it also explains my notification issue a bit more. Then I'll comb through the rest of the replies. Which it looks like there's a lot of.

    Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I appreciate it.

    I came from an ios platform. I found the display and fonts too small for my eyes, and I like a little more control over the OS than Apple allows.

    I guess I was including in my "web surf" comment, the lack of PDF support (which according to you should not be an issue so I am going to look a little deeper and see what I can find), and lack of flash. Also, In most cases I prefer to surf the web in classic mode. I don't like to use mobile enabled sites. They tend to lack the ability to pinch zoom the pages to a point where I can clearly see them. Yes, some sites, have a selection on them where you can select the "classic" site. Many don't. Some have it but it doesn't work. There should be a means of saying "never use mobile sites".

    I was hoping to NOT have to root (brand new) my device to get what I consider to be reasonable/standard functionality (easy backup and restore). But if this is the way it has to be, then I will have to weigh this out. What does rooting do to a warranty? Anything?

    I keep my screen locked with a pin. I also use auto lock and screen time-out. I keep my phone in view on my desk. I would like a notification program that will pop up and tell me the very basics of what the notification is. IE what medium (txt, email, vmail, im, vmail), from, and maybe subject. I have not been able to find one that will override the lock screen. The ones I tried will "wake" the screen up and show the pin pad. Until I plug in the pin, I do not get any notification. So really all it does is illuminate the screen unnecessarily. There's got to be a notification program that will override the lock screen and show me the basics.

    I tried the calibration. Didn't seem to make a difference. It's really strange because I can't reproduce it on command. But it happens several times per day. It just won't rotate. Then lock the screen, change the orientation of the device, open the screen and auto rotate works again. for a while.

    Can you suggest a PDF viewer?

    I'm not sure I know what you're suggesting re talk to adobe re flash. Maybe point me in the right direction for a known good flash .apk?

    In the sense that I had hoped I could import my itunes playlists, yes, I am asking android and itunes to play nice. But that's where it stops. My music is located on a NAS share in its own folder. There are no other files in that folder except music. Any itunes program files or support files are on any particular computer that I run itunes from in the C drive.

    As far as any music program is concerned it only knows (whether on a computer or my S3) I have a network share M:\ that maps to a music folder. It has no way of knowing anything about itunes at that point. Now I grant you, the folder structure was structured by itunes, but it is only music. No other files. Just a bunch of mp3s in artist and album folders.

    Yes, when I installed WinAmp on the S3, I also had the PC counterpart installed. Regretfully, I can't remember exactly what didn't work with it, but if it had worked even SOMEWHAT I probably would have kept it.

    Maybe I haven't been clear all along. Other than my playlists (which we can disregard for sake of this discussion. I've written them off.), I am not trying to get " the phone to interact flawlessly with software designed to work with the devices biggest competitor". I am asking for some basic functionality here. Sync, backup, restore.

    Let me reiterate what I am looking for. A convenient, easy, reliable means of doing a true sync of my pictures and music, as well as a full backup of my device in the event I need to do a full restore. This is basic functionality that comes with most end user devices in the personal electronic market. It shouldn't be this difficult. This should should be "out of the box" functionality.

    Again thanks to all for taking the time to reply and help this convert stay an Android convert.
  15. Pookeysgirl

    Pookeysgirl Well-Known Member

    Wouldn't Adobe's android app give you what you're looking for?


    or ezPDF reader: https://play.google.com/store/apps/...=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsInVkay5hbmRyb2lkLnJlYWRlciJd

    I use Office Suite Pro and have never had an issue with it. Here is the free reader app if you don't want to spend the $:
  16. fdbryant3

    fdbryant3 Android Expert

    Research how to change the USER AGENT STRING in your browser of choice. This basically tells the browser to tell web sites that it is whatever you direct to. Thus websites start thinking your browser is IE and shows the full site. For what it is worth Firefox, Chrome, and the Default browser has a menu item (hit the Menu button to bring it up) to request full site on what looks like a per site basis (it may be a persistant on/off switch, you'll have to play with it to find out). DolphinHD has an option for "desktop browser" in its settings which would be global and persistant.

    Google "Backup and Restore Android without Root" and there is a lot of hits that claim to show how to do it, so it seems possible.

    Try looking at GoLocker, or maybe WidgetLocker. I think other have some suggestions.

    Sounds like a hardware problem that you may need to have checked out. That said try to keep an on the Screen Rotation button in your notification screen, you could be brushing this on and off without realizing it.

    Others have done so.

    Adobe has abandoned support for mobile Flash. Search around though, you can get the APK.

    You probably need a SAMBA CLIENT which should allow your phone to see the network shares that your music resides on.

    Actually I think what you are looking for is a way to sync, backup, and restore to your PC and/or Network. This is not what the Android OS is designed for. It is designed to operate independent of a PC or LAN. Specifically it optimized for using Google services to provide these fuctions into the cloud. By working with Google Mail, Contacts, Music, Calendar, Plus, Drive, Picasa, and the Play Store you can pretty easily backup and restore all the data you might put on the phone. Since it is in the Google Cloud it is then easy to sync with other devices pretty much so long as it least has a browser. So if you want an easy way to do these things, then prepare to embrace the Google way and go with it.

    If though you really want to keep it local, well that is possible to. However it is not going to be as easy and you will have to cobble together your own collection apps and services to do it. Start with embracing rooting and maybe even custom ROM's. It is more work, but it is how you get what you want.
  17. boofer

    boofer Member

    use dropbox and dropsync to sync music and photos between different folders on your computer. easy peasy.

    viewing PDFs should be fine with the built-in PDF viewer. if you install amazon kindle, you can also view PDFs with that. i've never had an issue with opening PDFs.

    which "end user devices in the personal electronic market" are you referring to when you mention a full backup of your device in the event that you need to do a full restore? iPods?

    as the previous poster said, the idea behind using your google account with the phone is so that you can restore your content and settings and propagate them across multiple devices. as someone who has wiped an HTC Evo 4G several times and my GS3 once, i can assure you that restoring 95% of your phone's settings and cloud content is seamless and painless. it remembers things like my wifi networks and other convenient things.

    if you root your phone, there are things called nandroid backups that do a comprehensive snapshot of your phone at that time. you can effectively delete anything you want, restore the nandroid, and you're back to where you were.
  18. Metfanant

    Metfanant Android Expert

    there are plenty of PDF viewers out there...adobe makes one themselves..

    youre going to have to find the flash player .apk out on the net...Adobe has ceased support for mobile flash...there is nothing Android can do about this..

    the stock GS3 browser has this feature...if a mobile site loads you can hit the menu button and click "desktop view" it doesnt stick however...i know if you use firefox mobile there is a plug in to force desktop mode (basically it tricks the site into thinking your accessing it with the desktop version of firefox)

    you can also google how to change the UA string in the stock browser...but i always had spotty luck with this setting working on previous devices...

    what exactly are you trying to backup that you feel is "reasonable/standard?"

    if you want to get technical root will void your warranty but its as easy to unroot a device as it is to root it in the first place and root allows you to truly unlock the potential of the device...there is about ZERO reason for an Android user not to root their device...

    you're asking for a third party app to have the ability to override the security that you yourself have chosen to put in place...its not going to happen the way you want...you're asking for others to not have access to your phone...without a pin...yet you're asking for access without the pin...can't have it both ways...

    i know iOS has a little notification that pops up on the screen that gives a a little preview...but until Google decides to code that into Android natively or a custom ROM developer codes it themselves...i doubt you're going to find a third party app that can override the security...

    seems like a wonky sensor then...have you tried a different launcher? it could make a difference (search Apex or Nova in the app store)

    have you tried Adobe's official app?

    i believe i saw it posted somewhere in the thread...you've got to install it manually because its not longer available in the store...

    as for music...to be perfectly honest...i just use the drag and drop method...i simply take my entire music folder and drag it to my phone and its there...

    not very elegant, but works just fine...

    all your apps are "backed up" to your Google account by default...simply have to open up your store account and download them after a factory reset...

    this is NOT basic functionality that comes with "most end user devices" that is simply untrue..

    as for backing things like texts and such up there are apps for that...or titanium backup (root required) can take care of all that as well...sms/mms, call logs, accouts, all your apps (with settings and data)...

    a lot of things are backed up to the Google servers by default (assuming you opted to allow the phone to do this)...whenever i do a clean wipe to flash a new ROM my contacts are always back as soon as the phone boots back up...and things like wallpapers and certain settings come back as well...
  19. pjw73nh

    pjw73nh Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Well, It appears I have some homework cut out for me over the next week or so. Thank you all for taking the time to reply. You have given me renewed hope that I may be able to be satisfied with my S3. I will be taking this one step at a time. Thanks so much for all the help. I will report back with my results.
  20. hbryder

    hbryder Android Enthusiast

    It's truly just about thinking of things a different way. ios and android are so different. Once you discover what android has to offer beyond what you expect to be native you might never look back.

    Music: you are not stuck with any one player or any specific player to sync, your pick from at least 5 excellent apps that I can think of off the top of my head. With Google music you can upload all your music from your pc, mac and play on your device anywhere,

    also they have alot of free tracks offered daily.

    Photos: You can save to google drive, skydrive, sugarsync, dropbox (my favorite, every pic I take on my phone goes straight to it, no thinking required, it also sends it to any device that I have dropbox set up on.)

    PDF: There are several to choose from as stated previously

    Flash: Yes you can download it, I have success with flash via stock browser but not with Chrome or Firefox.

    Ps I'm not sure anyone covered this but, screen rotation only works with apps in touchwiz. It won't rotate homescreens. Not sure if that was your issue just thought I would mention.
  21. Easilyamused

    Easilyamused Android Enthusiast

    wow... time limited so im not going to quote everything... but overall i have none of those issues...

    pdf works fine.

    flash works fine - however since i've had my phone adobe dropped the app, you can still download an .apk and manually install. lots of directions available if you search.

    screen rotation works fine. perhaps yours needs calibration or has a faulty gyro?

    sync with itunes? easy peasy. get isyncr. does it flawlessy, and works over wireless.

    i am a network admin/engineer as well. slow down, take a breath, and approach it logically as you would when solving a network issue - you're making us look bad :p
  22. GTWalling

    GTWalling Android Expert

    For Flash here is the link to the Adobe site. Scroll down for the Flash Player for Android 4.0 archives.

    Archived Flash Player versions

    Open from the phone browser and select the top one and it will download to the phone so you and install the apk.
  23. pjw73nh

    pjw73nh Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Well, I spent the weekend working with some of the suggestions that you nice folks here recommended.

    Here is my success so far (I think there is hope). I was able to get adobe flash installed. I was also able to get PDFs to display as well.

    For music syncing, I used Easy Phone Sync that CyHawk recommended. Not perfect, but certainly does the job. It allows me to keep my "itunes folder structure" on my NAS drive so my family can use it with their apple products, and allows me to sync to it pretty effortlessly with the S3.

    Still working on the rest.

    Thanks to all.
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