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Questions from an Android newcomer

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by wildetudor, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. wildetudor

    wildetudor Well-Known Member
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    Hi everyone,

    I've had my Nokia N85 for a while now, but have now upgraded to a Samsung S2, which is great, but there are a few things about the Android OS that I don't get. If anyone can help with any of the questions below I'd very much appreciate it!

    - There doesn't seem to be a direct way - Bluetooth or WiFi - to migrate all my data (specifically phonebook contacts, calendar events, maps places) from the Nokia to the Samsung, and Nokia PC Suite exports phonebook data in a format that the Samsung equivalent (Samsung Kies) cannot import. Can anyone recommend a way in which I can make this transfer?

    - One of the best features of Nokia S60 phones was that the screen would turn into a low-power (but highly visible, on an AMOLED screen) clock, so that you didn't have to press any button to see what time it is. On the Samsung S2 (or rather, in Android OS) I wasn't able to do find anything like that under the Display options. I even tried a few apps, but none did that. Has anyone else tried to have a clock as a screen saver?

    - My version of Android is 2.3.3, and although I know there are newer versions available, going to About Phone | Software Update results in "No update available"! Why?

    - When typing up text, I find it very difficult to make small corrections, due to the lack of a key that erases rightward. You have the Backspace key to delete leftward, however if you just want to delete the letter that's immediately to the right of the cursor you have to first get the cursor to the right of that letter (still takes me several taps to do that), and then use the Backspace key. Is there a keyboard that also has the equivalent of a PC-keyboard Delete key (i.e. one that erases rightward)?

    - Either there is something wrong with my phone's light sensor or there is a serious bug in Android, because the brightness of my screen (which is set to Automatic) varies wildly, even in places where the level of light is pretty constant. For example, I might be in a dark room, with the screen quite dim (as it should be), and all of the sudden the screen brightness will just sky-rocket for no apparent reason, making it very unconfrtable to keep watching the screen. Has anyone else experienced this?

    - I've tried defining a Silent profile (i.e. no tones and no vibration, however the Silent mode available after long-pressing the Power key seems to only cut off the sounds, but leave the vibration. Similarly, when using the volume keys, you seem to only have the options of either sound or vibrations, but not none or both. Have I overlooked anything in the Preferences?

    - Is there any way to sort the icons under Apps alphabetically when they are in Grid View? It seems that they are only sorted in the List View, whereas the Grid View just sorts them by installation date, with no option to even manually alter the order

    - I noticed that whenever I connect the phone to my PC via the USB cable, charging starts automatically, with no prompt as to whether you'd like it to charge the battery or not. I transfer files via the cable quite often, and I'd like to not shorten the battery's life by constantly connecting and disconnecting the phone to a charger. Is there any way to be able to choose, when you connect the phone, whether you want charging or not?

    - Is there an Android equivalent to the Offline mode found in Nokia phones? I know there is a Flight mode, but that one not only disconnects you from the mobile network, it also stops the WiFi, and it's pretty annoying have to then go and turn it back on again. I found I used the Offline mode in many circumstances with my Nokia, whereas the Flight mode seems to only be suited to when you are on an actual flight, and need to stop any EM radiation being received/transmitted.

    - Sometimes when the phone is in Power Saving mode, a screen pops up every once in a while asking whether I want the phone to go into Power Saving mode. Is this a known bug in Android?

    - Sometimes when panning the screen, the pan is constrained to one dimension, i.e. it either only pans horizontally or only pans vertically. Does anyone know whether this is a bug (or "feature") from the OS, or whether it is something specific to certain apps?

    - When the battery is low, I get the message about having to plug up (+the annoying loud beeps) dozens of times before the battery goes out. Is there any way to stop that message from appearing (and thus wasting even more of the already-low battery power)?

    - The VPN application seems unable to also remember your password, only the user name. Has anyone been able to get it to remember the password as well?
     

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  2. sitlet

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    There may not be updates available for YOUR phone. Updates are not pushed out directly through Google, they go through your carrier first. Depending on the carrier and the phone, it may take up to 6 months before your phone sees an update that google did.

    AudioManager allows you to select vibrate at all times.

    Settings-connect to PC-connection type.

    Turn on airplane mode, then turn wifi back on.

    No, why would that be a bug?
     
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  3. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    Export your contacts to a .csv file and import them into gmail contacts using the account the phone is registered to. They will sync nicely and managing them is much easier. Link your nokia calendar to the Google calendar and it too will sync. Google and Android is all about the could services. If you embrace them it will make your experience that much better.

    Sort of. I use an app called Widgetlocker that permits me to put any widget on my lock screen. Any button press wakes up the screen for me to see the time and any notifications without having to unlock the phone.

    The latest version of Gingerbread is 2.3.6 and from what I can gather is specific to the Nexus line of phones. 2.3.3 is plenty up to date. Honeycomb (3.1) is strictly for tablets. The next release, Ice Cream sandwich (4.x) is supposed to re-unifiy Android across all devices and is scheduled for release by the end of the year. I'd be surprised if your phone didn't get it (eventually).

    There are plenty of alternate keyboards in the market. I prefer Swype, but everyone has differing needs. You'll have to explore to see if there is one that works well for you.

    It's not a bug. There is a deliberate delay built into the auto brightness sensor so that the screen isn't constantly adjusting to brief light level changes. For example, if you were walking down a long hall with windows, every time you passed a window the screen would readjust. All that variation would run the battery down pretty quickly, not to mention make it tougher on your eyes.

    Go to menu>settings>sound you can set pretty much everything there. Levels, all on, all off or any combination thereof.


    That sounds like a TouchWiz issue because my apps are always sorted alphabetically.

    Modern LiIon batteries actually thrive on small incremental charges. You are not harming your battery or shortening it's life at all. However, continual deep discharges can harm it, so it's better to charge in smaller, shorter sessions.

    You can use an app like Widgetsoid2.x | AppBrain Android Market to set up widgets to turn on and off whatever you want with a tap.

    As designed.

    Neither a bug or a feature. It the common behavior for screens that scroll as apposed to those what have true panning.


    Honestly, I don't know, but always running the battery down to dead is not good for the battery.

    It's a security feature. Some passwords should never be saved by the device.
     
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  4. Stuntman

    Stuntman Android Expert
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    I have an HTC Desire Z, so your experience may be different. I was able to migrate my contacts from my old Nokia N97 via the SIMM card.

    Phone manufacturers customise the version of Android for each individual phone. You have to wait for the phone manufacturer to properly customise the generic version of Android for the specific phone (if the manufacturer does choose to do so) before it is available for you. If you look at the various Nokia phones, they may all run Symbian, but each phone has their own custom code specific for their phone. One phone may get an update before another.

    I don't know about virtual keyboards. On my tablet I have a physical keyboard and pressing shift backspace will delete the character to the right of the cursor. Can't you just tap the screen to move the cursor to the right of the characters you want to delete and then press backspace? That would mean one more tap.

    I personally use a widget that allows me to manually cycle through 3 brightness settings of my choosing. I am rather unsatisfied with the auto-brightness feature on my phone as I cannot customise the brightness level to the various light levels.

    I used a widget to change between 3 different sound profiles. I have a normal profile, a sleep profile that silences notifications only, and a loud profile for loud places. Perhaps this would work for you.

    You may want to ask this in the device specific forum. On my phone, it is alphabetical.

    My understanding of modern battery technology is that this does not reduce the life of your battery. It was an issue with older batteries from the 90's. The newer lithium ion batteries do not suffer sigificantly from many small charging and discharging.

    There are widgets that allow you to turn off each setting. There should be one that allows you toggle mobile network off an on while not affecting WiFi.

    Mine just tells me once. I actually disable power saving mode on my phone. Do you not want it to go into power saving mode or do you just not want it to ask you?

    It is specific to certain apps and the content that it displays. For instance if you use your browser to a mobile web site, the mobile web site may be organised in a way so all of the content fits the width of the screen. In this case, there is no need to scroll sideways.

    You seem to have many issues that are specific to your phone. You may find better answers if you post in the device specific forums. I have a different phone and some of my responses may not apply to your phone. Although many devices use Android, each has its differences.
     
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  5. wildetudor

    wildetudor Well-Known Member
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    Many thanks for all your replies, I really appreciate the help. A few follow-ups:

    - my phone was locked to O2, and I rooted&unlocked it. I was worried that this might prevent Android updates from being available for my particular phone, but from your answers it seems that that's not necessarily the case.

    -- I do not have a "connect to PC-connection type" option in my Settings, to control whether USB connection charges the battery or not. Although I am now not as worried that small doses of charging are harmful to battery life.

    -- Because the phone *already is* in Power Saving mode, and it keeps asking me whether it should go (again) into Power Saving mode

    -- I was talking about screens that do have true panning, but for which 1 out of 3 pannings will be vertically/horizontally constrained, so an inconsistent (random) behaviour. Not a big problem though.
     
  6. Slug

    Slug Check six!
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    You can't prevent charging when connected via USB. It's actually quite a good safety measure, as shutting down due to a low battery in the middle of a file transfer could corrupt the storage volume.

    It's really asking for confirmation whether to remain in power-saving mode.

    If wildetudor is in agreement, I'll move this to the Samsung Galaxy S2 (International) section?
     
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  7. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    Because the correct way in Android is to have your data on the Cloud, and not phone based. S60 uses phone based contacts instead of cloud based. Using PC Suite, sync all data to Outlook. From there they can sync to Kies to phone, but this would make the data phone based only and cannot be synced through phone. After syncing to Outlook, you sync Outlook to your Google Account (contacts, calendar), which are then automatically downloaded to your phone. Maps places must be exported to Google Maps on your PC, and it will also automatically appear on your phone.

    Its not available by default, some apps may do this but I really dont recommend. Alarm Clock plus has a Clock desktop which shows clock, calendar, weather on a lockscreen type screen which is dimmed.

    This is disabled on most non Nexus phones. updates are only available through Kies.

    Go Keyboard. Tab the "edit" button (a weird symbol beside the language button), and it will give you arrow keys, delete, copy, select, cut, paste, etc buttons.

    Menu>Settings>Volume

    Not possible on touchwiz (not sure on tw4 which you have, but tw3 and prior does not). I actually use a different launcher (GO Launcher) instead of the stock touchwiz interface samsung provides so I can get my apps alphabetically and to scroll vertically (like Nokia).

    USB charging, or even leaving the phone plugged in overnight will not shorten battery life. That is only applicable to older battery types, not like more recent models which actually does stop charging when full already.

    I dont really see any difference between offline and flight?

    depends on app and what you are panning
     
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  8. wildetudor

    wildetudor Well-Known Member
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    That's fine, thanks.
     
  9. wildetudor

    wildetudor Well-Known Member
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    That's not what I meant. I was talking about charging the phone only incompletely and repeatedly, e.g. leaving it to charge through USB for 10 minutes, then disconnecting it, then charging it again for 5 more minutes etc. However, as per the other replies, I now understand that this does not actually shorten battery life in the long run.
     

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