1. Are you ready for the Galaxy S20? Here is everything we know so far!

So many things. So confused

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by MeLittleMe, Dec 27, 2011.

  1. MeLittleMe

    MeLittleMe Newbie
    Thread Starter

    OK, so I first used Unix in 1983 and the internet in 1985 and have an advanced degree in engineering but it doesn't help with this Christmas present.

    My first smart phone and while it may be smart, it just makes me look dumb. I just joined this forum but I have been reading and searching the net and the downloaded user manual for answers but they don't help enough so I am going to start with simple questions. By the way, I don't feel comfortable rooting the phone just yet. Seems awfully complicated.

    On my old ordinary phone, you could mute all sounds (like when at a concert) by just golding down one phone button until it told you it was done. You then just did the same thing to undo it. So how do you do it on this one?

    I tried charging this phone with the plug-in charger from my old one. It seemed to think it was charging but wouldn't. The Samsung charger works. I guess not enough oomph. Hate that as I have two old ones (home and for suitcase). Hate to buy another one. Since obviously compatibility is not just the USB connectors fitting, any suggestions?

    Every time I touch the phone, I somehow seem to unintentionally hit a button on the sides or front or hit the screen. Such a pain when one is old. I turned on the PIN screen lock because as a retired computer security consultant, I am concerned about protecting myself but this means I either have to type in my PIN every few seconds (vs just sliding the puzzle piece) or I have to leave the screen active long enough to wear the battery down faster. any other alternatives? Would love a real fingerprint ID capability rather than that phony one in the app store.

    On my old phone, even when locked, I had the capability to do two useful things (1) I could put my pic as the background (it made it instantly identifiable to me and everyone else) and I could have a banner with short msg & my home phone number so someone would know who to call if they found my phone. Can I do that?

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  2. Scur

    Scur Android Expert

    You can actually do it in the phone in settings, but the volume buttons still work. Just hold the volume down until it slips into vibrate. Hold up to bring back your ringer.

    I've messed up more than one battery by using the wrong charger over the years. Either make sure the charger specs are the same, or go ahead and buy a new one if you need extras. You can also charge from your computer. Plug in the USB and it's charging. If you want to transfer files between your phone and computer, just pull down the top notification bar and tap the USB connected message, then tap Connect storage to PC. You'll get a pop-up on your computer. Open to view files, and you can drag and drop across folders and windows.

    Do you mean you'd rather not have the phone lock so soon after the screen goes to sleep? I suppose there are apps that have a widget to turn your lock screen on or off quickly. I'm not sure if there's an app to delay the time it takes for your lockscreen to kick in, though it seems to me like there is one, I just can't remember what it was. And there's no setting in the phone to do it.
    If your tired of typing in a pin, you can lock your screen with a pattern. It's much quicker, and my preferred method.

    Mine shows my wallpaper on my lockscreen. There are apps out there to change you lockscreen background, but I'm not sure what works on the strat. To change your wallpaper, long-press on a blank part of your homescreen, and options will pop up. Just select wallpaper and explore. WidgetLocker does a lot of what you're looking for. It will put banners as well as a bunch of other customized stuff on your lockscreen.
    MeLittleMe likes this.
  3. MeLittleMe

    MeLittleMe Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Aha! I'l have to see how it works but definitely sensible.

    I have done the PC charging and copying files back and forth. Of course, if I had the PC on a trip, I wouldn't need the phone so much. Planning to take only the phone on our 40th anniversary trip to Alaska in June. We old, slow guys need lots of time to figure out how to use this newfangled technology.
    Any suggestions on a decent cheap charger that will work with the Stratosphere?

    Another aha! I made a camera pic my wallpaper and I suppose I can put some text on it with my home phone in case someone finds the lost Strat. The Wallpaper found preset wallpapers in what I suppose are internal directories and it found pics I took. I sure wish it allowed you to create a wallpaper directory on the SD with your user wallpaper.
  4. Scur

    Scur Android Expert

    Sure, you can create folders on your sdcard. You can do it with most any file manager, or by connecting to your pc and looking at it the same as any window, or by pulling out the card and putting it in a card reader. I keep a wallpaper folder on my Dropbox. With Dropbox you create a Dropbox account, download the Dropbox program to your computer, grab the Dropbox app from the Android Market on your phone, and it will keep them synced. Put or create a folder in your Dropbox on your computer, put whatever you wish into it, then open the app on your phone. You'll see whatever you put into your Dropbox. It doesn't download anything until you export it to your phone, so you don't have to worry about filling up your phone's storage. There are other developers who do this kind of thing, but Dropbox is the big dog, and has the least problems and limitations. I probably have 75 wallpapers in my file, and can change them whenever I want, wherever I am.

    As far as chargers go, I have no idea. My phone is brand new, so haven't had the need to look into that yet.
    MeLittleMe likes this.
  5. shrpshtr325

    shrpshtr325 Well-Known Member

    so far i have successfully charged my stratosphere with the following chargers

    the included one(of course)(1A)
    the wall adapter for my zune (using a compatible usb cable of course)(1A)
    the wall adapter/stock charger from my rogue(700MA=.7A)
    my laptop usb port (500MA = .5A)
    the wall adapter for my jawbone (i have 2 of them since i have had 2 jawbones)(500MA=.5A)

    the last 2 are on the slow side since they only put out 500MA while the factory charger and the one for my zune both put out 1000MAs

    if you go to radioshack they should be able to sell you one which will work at full speed or reduced speed based on the current output (they should all be regulated to put out 5 volts

    iGo Dual USB-AC Charger : iGo power adapters and tips | RadioShack.com

    like this one, and then a usb cable with the correct ends
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  6. marcus531

    marcus531 Newbie

    For unlocking ... suggestion that you try this free or $3 program ...

    Basically, the free version lets you define one wifi network that you consider "home" and every time you are connected to it, your device auto-unlocks without passwords or lockscreens

    The $3 paid version gives you unlimited safe zones so I could set safe zones atmy house, workplace, friends's houses, etc but while you are at walmart, driving, etc out in public your phone will require a code or pattern to unlock
    (the paid version also allows a series of auto-toggles like GPS, bluetooth, etc)

    I installed this app just to write this comment (I had not code locked my Stratosphere until this comment either)

    So for your daily use, if you are retired and/or have only one place you need auto-unlocking for convenience, you just need the free version ... if you have more than one place when you spend massive amounts of time, get the paid version.


    There are a large number of good chargers available, but determining which is often a matter of trial and error ...

    2 basic things matter:
    The phone has a certain power draw rate on its own ... I don't know this whatsoever, so I will pick a number based on my loose observation ... 400mA

    So a 500mA charger (i.e. 100 over baseline) *will* charge your phone, but at 1/6 the speed of a 1000mA (1A) charger (which is 600 over baseline)

    (VERY loose approximations, but accurate-ish based on observations of a very new-to-me phone and *plenty* of tests from my previous android phone)

    So whatever charger you get, make sure it is 1000mA ...

    IMHO, don't get anything rated higher (like the higher-power (1600mA?) chargers for an iPad until others here and elsewhere confirm the Stratosphere doesn't catch fire with the added possible-draw-power)


    Secondly, the cable you use *really* matters (much to my annoyance)

    If you use a perfectly good 1000mA charger pod and a cheap 6' cable (ebay especially) .. I've seen power DROP while plugged in and supposedly charging my old LG Ally (and I think yesterday on my 2nd-to-last-not-thrown-out-yet-6'-cable with the pod we got with the Stratosphere (done as a test ... probably will throw out those last two 6' cables now) )

    I have now gotten several batches of 3' and 6' cables ... all of the 6' cables seems to be not-good for power transfer due to resistance or wire-weakening or something ... the 3' cables have a 50% or so rate of problems ... essentially, learn from my mistakes and don't buy the cheapest amazon stocks and stay away from ebay altogether for electronics or wiring things

    Basically, the cable that came with my Ally, with wife's original droid, my new Stratosphere, and about four other 3' cables seem good power-transfer-wise ...

    Similarly for power pods ... if you buy the cheapest, they will do poorly ... the original power-pods, the power-pods that came with our bluetooth headsets, and the ones I paid over $10 for all worked great ... the cheap-from-china ones tended to be weak / flaky / junk.

    The problem for you is that you only have one (between 3 droids and 3 headsets, I now have 6 OEM-good and 1 good Trans4m, 2 OEM-bought-via amazon, 4 or so not-ideal supposedly-1000mA pods from China, a few tried-cheap-and-threw-out, and a few 500s from previous devices that are nearly useless and of the car-power-pods I got, no cheap one worked well or survived)

    One seemingly good power pod is the Trans4m that I got on Amazon for $15 ... it is both wall-power and car-power in one pod (and theoretically AA/9V also, but those never seemed to work well vs the heat generated internally)
    MeLittleMe and Scur like this.
  7. MeLittleMe

    MeLittleMe Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Good information.

    In reply to Scur. I had already tried putting a file in a folder I had created. What I didn't realize is that your file needs to be a jpg for the wallpaper to recognize it. That now works. I'll edit the pic to include text and that will allow me to put an "If found" message on the screen.

    In reply to marcus531 and shrpshtr325, here's what I found out about my charging situation. My old LG charger worked great with the two LGs we had but fails to charge the Strat. Worse than that, it will not work as a USB communication cable either. I was hoping to use the old LG chargers. I have tons of USB cables with all sorts of A, B, mini-A and more but no others with the required mini-B other than the Samsung charger. I'll get a second one since it seems to be a cable and charger current issue.

    That unlock app seems to be what I want. I'll try the free one and buy the pay one if the free one works good.

    Thanks to all of you. Now if I can only find an "undo" button as I have this tendency to accidentally hit things then spend an inordinate amount of time figuring out what I changed and how to undo it.
  8. Scur

    Scur Android Expert

    sidenote: I use Kaspersky. Not only does it have some actual virus protection, but I can text my phone from any other phone and have it locked up tight. A custom message will pop up as well for anyone who tries to use it. Plus, I can have it send back info to me of it's GPS coordinates. There are a few apps out there that do this sort of thing. Kaspersky is $10.00, but Lookout does a lot of that too. There are actually lots of apps out there that does these types of things, most of them are tied to anti-virus and security apps. The anti-virus of most apps is near-worthless to worthless, but they do have lots of other neat security features.
  9. MrDangerous

    MrDangerous Android Enthusiast

    There's a free program on the market called "OS Monitor" on the MISC tab you can see the charging state.

    I have my old MINI-USB wall charger and cable from my old phone with a Mini-Micro adapter on the end. When I plug it in it says the charging state is "USB" but when I use the Samsung charger it says "AC". I tried the car charger that my mother in law got at the VZ store for her old LG phone and it says "AC"

    You can use this to easily test different situations.

Samsung Stratosphere Forum

The Samsung Stratosphere release date was October 2011. Features and Specs include a 4.0" inch screen, 5MP camera, 512GB RAM, processor, and 1800mAh battery.

October 2011
Release Date

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