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General My 2.1 experience, so far.

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by LawDuck, Apr 5, 2010.

  1. LawDuck

    LawDuck Member
    Thread Starter

    Apr 1, 2010
    Updated Below

    Greetings all,

    First, thanks to all the great folks who post information here every day. I've been lurking for some time and following the threads to determine whether I should give up and install the leaked 2.1 v2 or wait. Just as I did with my BB Storm, I decided to stop waiting because I knew this would never get released OTA before this summer (seriously - Eris users have no idea what waiting for a VZW update is really all about. The Storm debacle is the stuff of legend).

    So anyhow, I caved and installed the update last week. I am in no way, sense or fashion enough of a tech geek to get into the guts of the phone or software. I'm just a guy who lacks adequate patience.

    I'm writing this because most of the posts here, as helpful as they are, seem to come from people who actually know what in the hell they're doing. Oddly enough, those people whose comments SHOULD inspire hope instead seem to often instill fear (i.e. I'm not a phone geek, so I shouldn't try this). So this is written for regular non-geek users, by a regular non-geek user (although my wife might beg to differ).

    The setup:

    After downloading the v2 upgrade, I connected my phone via USB to my PC and copied the file to the root (top level) directory of my SD card. I then disconnected the phone from the PC.

    I then signed up for AppBrain and backed up my apps. As I'll discuss below, that was a complete waste of time. I also backed up my apps to my SD card using Astro. I did NOT back up any emails, calendars or contacts, as I keep all of those on my office Exchange server. I did not save any SMS either. (If you got a text with important information and haven't saved it someplace else, then it probably wasn't that important to begin with).

    I then took a deep breath, and followed the update instructions posted here in a sticky. NOTE: I did not backup and wipe my SD card as suggested. That struck me as a waste of time, as still does.

    The installation went smoothly. After my phone rebooted (which took a long time, exactly as described) I did the *228 option 1 and option 2 (so I did it twice). Some folks say it's necessary, others not. I figured "what could it hurt?".

    The phone reboots as if brand new, so I had to go through the set ups again. The GUI looked a bit different, maybe a bit friendlier, but was substantively unchanged.

    Upon getting to the home screen, I proceeded to reconfigure my profiles. NOTE: It would be handy to have a way to save/backup profiles, or "Scenes" so that you don't have to remember where everything went.

    Re-installing Applications:

    First thing I did was go to the Market and reinstall AppBrain. Then I went to AppBrain to sync. First though, I went to AppBrain on my PC and made sure all of my stuff was still there, and it was. I then went to my phone and, probably mistakenly, selected Sync with AppBrain. The result was that the "new" software on my phone was uploaded, and the apps listed on AppBrain were overwritten as if I had never backed up before. It is likely that I misunderstood how to use AppBrain and should have done something on the website to re-push the applications back to my phone. USER TIP: If YOU use AppBrain, be sure to check that the website indicates the apps are waiting to be sent to the phone BEFORE you try to sync the updated phone.

    Having now failed to re-install ANYTHING, I resorted to Astro and my SD backup. Now, the reason I used AppBrain at all was because another helpful user here had noted that installing apps from Astro would cause the phone to believe they were non-market apps, and thus you wouldn't get any automatic updates. I thought that was a bit silly, since certainly the market app would recognize the other apps, right? Wrong. The very smart person who said Astro would restore your apps as unofficial apps was dead on.

    Still, it was my only option. However, in order to do so, I had to change the settings on my phone to allow for installation of non-market apps. At that point, I decided if this is how it was going to be, I'd just go back and re-install apps directly from the Market. Fortunately, MOST of my apps are at the top of the Free Apps list anyway, so it wasn't hard to scroll through and go "oh yeah, I had that. Oh yeah, I had that, too." A pain, but whatever.

    A few apps are no longer available in the Market - i.e. CityCallerID (the guy who got sued), iMusic (they updated to something else). Because it appears those are no longer supported and won't be updated in the Market, I figured I might as well install them from SD card.

    The biggest hiccup I had regarding apps was that I had installed the full version of Documents to Go from DataViz. WARNING: Installing a non-official OS will render some paid apps inaccessible in the Market. Instead, I called DataViz, told them my predicament, they explained why I couldn't access the app (paid version) from the Market, and then performed a free upgrade on the registration of the free version I had reinstalled. So now I'm back in business. Special Kudos to DataViz for having the most responsive customer service for any software company, ever. (And all for only $9.99).


    So far, I am underwhelmed. Here are some observations of the primary concerns most folks (including me) seem to have.

    Battery Life: Probably improved, but only marginally. Certainly not enough to notice a significant improvement. However, I tend to keep my phone charged and have yet to run it a full day without charging. I will probably do that test this week.

    Speed: Some improvement, most of the time. 1.5 had a tendency to bog down. 2.1 less so. Still, I finally had to give in and reinstall a task killer after a day where my phone became slower than my old BB Storm. Not happy about that. Not happy at all.

    Stability: So far phone has only self-restarted once. It happened about once a week with 1.5 (maybe less, but it felt like once a week).

    Phone signal: Many people have reported more bars. I have experienced fewer bars. No lost calls (yet) but I do tend to lose data service more than I believe I should, and more often than before the upgrade.

    Coolness: Seriously lacking. Live Wallpapers are nonexistent (and frankly I doubt the phone could handle the demand on its processor). Pinch-zoom is nice. The ability to see all seven home screens at once is a handy navigation tool, but not in-and-of itself worth the upgrade. New HTC Agenda widget is very nice. In a preview of some upcoming HTC phone, they displayed a new Mail widget that allowed you to see and scroll through email by contacts (rather than the stupid, minimally useful Mail widget that usually only shows you just enough of the email to see who it's from). I was really hoping for that.

    Miscellaneous: HTC widgets can be slow to update. The People widget can be painfully slow, often showing only one contact (when it should show nine). Had to remove and reinstall it once so far just to make it show everybody. Mail and Message widgets will not always remove the notification icon, so it shows I have 1 unread message or email when I don't. The erroneous notification follows me from Scene to Scene, so I had to remove and re-add the icon a few times. NOTE: Since reinstalling Handcent, I haven't had the problem with messages, just email. Also, new Weather animation on screen-wake is pretty cool.

    Missing: Media and Albums. Those default programs are no longer here. Not that I used them all that much, but still.

    Camera: User interface is a little slicker, more options available on screen. Still doesn't take great pictures, but then again, that's why I bought a Nikon.

    Biggest Upside: Google Navigation. Hands down, that all by itself makes the upgrade worthwhile (and in fact was the one thing I decided I could not continue to do without). That said, there is one bug for which I have yet to actively seek a solution - in the Settings you can direct Navigation to sync with your bluetooth (in my case, a JawBone Icon). It doesn't work, EXCEPT when I'm talking, in which case it interrupts my conversation. So, it doesn't work when I want it to, and it does work when I don't want it to.

    Biggest Downside: A tie: Still no voice-dialing and the aforementioned widget lag. Why can't I activate voice-dialing via my headset, and then why doesn't voice-dialing actually work? It was marginally effective on my BB Storm, but here it's non-existent. That's inexcusable for any phone designed in the past 18-24 months.

    Conclusion (so far):

    Not worth the hassle unless you really, really, really want Google Navigation. (I did). I was all worked up over 2.1 because I thought it would convert my phone from good to outstanding. Instead it went from good to a little better than good (and all of that relates to Google Navigation). There are no new apps available in the Market that are worthy of making the upgrade.


    First, thanks to the comments clarifying and/or correcting my post. Albums is indeed now called Photos, and I just didn't notice. I think my reference to a Media app was a flashback to my Storm. Also, the bars do indeed seem to go up when I make a call (although I question why they don't go up when I turn off the Mobile Network?). My suggestion for HTC is to fix that - many people hesitate to make calls when they have minimal bars, and I suspect very few of them realize that the bars they are seeing do not actually indicate signal strength for phone call purposes.

    Battery Life: Yesterday I ran my phone all day without charging. My basic settings are to check my Exchange email as messages arrive, leave Bluetooth and GPS on and only use WiFi at home. Screen is set to max brightness and I manually turn it off (the screen). (I've used essentially these settings on my old Storm and when I ran 1.5 on this phone). I sent and received one text, talked for 45 minutes total on the phone, checked 5-6 emails, browsed the web for MAYBE 30 minutes, ran Google Navigation for about 10 minutes. Not exactly a power user. At 8:30 PM, it was at 20%, and that was before my 40 minute phone call. By 10:00 PM, the phone was dead.

    Is this good or bad? Guess it depends. My Storm was about the same. When I ran 1.5 on this phone, it was about the same. Honestly, I don't see any improvement. In real life, I keep my phone on a charger all day at work and in my car. If I traveled a lot, I'd have to plan ahead.

    Miscellaneous: HTC widgets remain slow. Haven't had to use a task killer for three days now. I've noticed some unusual delay in the time a call comes in until the time it shows up on the screen - basically the screen goes black for about five seconds. I will uninstall City Caller ID and see if that helps (might be a 2.1 incompatibility, which sucks since the guy won't be doing any further updates).

    Still don't see any reason to update except for Google Navigation (which is really well done). If you're at 1.5, you're not really missing out. But if you do update, you should be confident that your phone won't explode or something.


    grvthang likes this.
  2. Way to go on the extensive report, LawDuck (great name, given that attorney's bills are often so oversized :D).

    One other thing I noticed, in addition to your analysis; some users report varying behaviors after a time of having the leak on their phones. Some see bugs vanish for good, others see new ones crop up in areas of the phone that they had no idea were a problem for the first week or so.

    Unfinished updates are predictably not stable, in my observation over time (although I have not installed the 2.1 leak).
  3. gruss

    gruss Well-Known Member

    Feb 16, 2010
    I would tend to agree. Leak is faster though. If I didn't have a 1.5 phone to play with too, unlikely I would notice but the wifes phone lags bad compared to mine. Wish I would have waited and rooted. Oh well very good write up and if you don't like tinkering you really aren't missing a whole lot. Kind of like going from win 2000 to xp. Prettier and some things work better but buggier.
  4. "Prettier and some things work better but buggier."

    That about sums up the reported consensus as I've seen it over time here, with both leaks.

    That might help us understand why the 2.1 OTA is not yet being pushed to us; apparently there still has been plenty of work to do since the 2nd leak.
  5. OfTheDamned

    OfTheDamned The Friendly Undead

    Oct 29, 2009
    Right Behind You
    A very nice and, I think, fair review of the upgrade itself as well as the process. There are a couple of things I would like to "update" you on though.

    Many, including myself, believe that the signal meter is actually showing your 3G coverage when you are not on a call. This has led many to believe that their signal strength is weaker than it actually is. The next time you are on a call look at the signal while the call is in progress. This is when your true bars are shown.

    Albums has been replaced with Photos. I don't remember media. Music is still there, though the icon has changed.

    It is unfortunate, but it this is a global Android problem. It should be on every Android phone, but the OS does not support it at this time.
  6. karib

    karib Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2010
    Dental Assistant
    I was looking into rooting my eris, but it seems that the only things that interested me in doing so are not able to be done (at this point anyways, someone will correct me if I'm wrong).

    1) storing apps on sd card
    2) overclocking

    I'm not really sure there is anything else I would do with it rooted, so I'll be waiting for the OTA upgrade.

    Thanks for the great review though! The only thing I REALLY care about is the NAV and I can wait for that (I think). I have had tons of week moments, but I'm still holding out for now.
  7. Bswartz95

    Bswartz95 Well-Known Member

    You and me both!

    To the OP, OTD said it pretty well with the signal issue. I experience less 3g bars, but when I send a text or make a call, I get 4 bars. You can always go into your settings --> network, and check your signal strength.
  8. grvthang

    grvthang Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks very much for the in-depth, very objective review. It removed any small doubts (which were getting smaller by the day) I had about waiting for the OTA upgrade.
  9. Romparoo

    Romparoo Well-Known Member

    Feb 13, 2010
    Investment Banker

    I had the exact same problem with Doc2Go, I called them up and they took care of it right away and got me back up and running. I have posted in a couple other threads about how great their service was, they were really nice and helpful.

    Have you tried Google Gesture? It works great and only on 2.1, I can easily find anything I am looking for on my phone.

    FYI, if you are using Google Voice, you need to use the downgraded version, v2 Google Docs otherwise the newest version will give you all kinds of issues when running 2.1.

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