Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Tasker - Can you help?

Okay, I'm hoping someone out there who knows Tasker fairly well can help me out. I'm trying to create a profile to have WiFi calling automatically turn on when connected to one specific WiFi point, but turn off once I leave that area, and not turn on for any other hotspots. Here's what I'm using, and while it will work when I force-test it, it doesn't work for normal use, so I'm not sure what I'm missing. Any help anyone can send my way would be appreciated!

If WiFi connected to SSID (name of network), then:
Load App >WiFi Calling
Input > Dpad > Down
Input > Dpad > Press
Go Home

The exit task is the same thing, trying to turn it back off when I leave that WiFi SSID. Anyone have any ideas why this isn't working, and/or have suggestions on either how to make this work, or a better way to enable WiFi calling when connected to a specific hotspot? I've been Googling it (and will continue to do so, and will post an update if I figure it out) but so far I'm not finding exactly what I need, only profiles on turning WiFi itself on and off at certain times.

UPDATE: Hmm, well, today it seems that the entrance task is working - it did exactly what it was supposed to do. No idea why it didn't do it yesterday. And the exit task yesterday evening didn't shut it off - I had to manually turn off WiFi calling when I got home. Very odd. Maybe today it will shut off the way it's supposed to. Or do I need to add something to the exit task? Curiouser and curiouser.

Monday, April 11, 2011

It's official!

The official release version of cyanogenmod 7 is out now! I just installed it, and I'll post here if I find anything "hinky". I didn't have any problems with RC4 once I stopped messing with it, so hopefully this stable release version will be smooth. I haven't poked around too much yet, but it doesn't seem like too much, if anything, has changed from RC4 to the stable. If I find anything, I'll update here!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Android music player?

Reports are starting to surface on the Internet that a new version of Android Music Player including some streaming options is to be found in what will be the next version of the Android Market. I don't have all the details yet, but I just have to say - I am really, really, REALLY hoping someone, be it Google or someone else, will give me a decent amount of space to store my music online and stream it directly from whichever device I choose, thus cutting out iTunes and the need to take up gigs of hard drive space, and then not have access to said music when I'm anywhere except in front of my laptop or in my car where the iPod lives.

I don't want to store the music on my SD card, I don't want to have to pay a fee to access my own music, I just want a reliable, frills-free space to store and stream, with some security to ensure only myself or someone I specifically authorize can have access to it. I know this is the Impossible Dream of most of us techy music lovers, but I'm hoping this is one step closer to making it a reality. I'm even willing to pay for a little extra cloud storage space if the extra could be used to store other types of files as well.

A note to the Recording Industry who is holding back this dream: I don't buy music from you anymore. I don't pirate it either. I just listen to what I already have because I am so fed up with your BS. I have more than 10,000 songs in my personal collection, so there is no fear about getting bored with it any time soon. You aren't losing money because of technology. You are losing money because you are pissing off an entire generation of techy people who would rather listen to oldies than support your draconian beliefs and practices.

Monday, April 4, 2011

SMS Programs

When I was installing Go Launcher this past weekend, I noticed that the developers also had an SMS program, appropriately titled GO SMS Pro. So, since I was feeling adventurous, I decided to try it out.

I had finally caved a few months ago and installed Handcent SMS since, which the default messaging program is adequate, I text a lot and I was finding I wanted a few more features and customization options. I haven't had any problems with it, so trying something new wasn't because I was unhappy. I really like all the options Handcent offers, and to be honest, my only gripe with it is that the theme I'm using doesn't have a background for when the phone is rotated. All my fonts are set up for a light background, but when I rotate the phone, I can't see anything since it's now against a dark background. It's a minor issue that isn't Handcent's fault so much as me just not getting around to fixing it, so I don't hold it against the program.

GO SMS is, for all intents and purposes, the exact same program. It has some different themes since it's from a different developer, but honestly, I felt like I was using a clone program rather than something different. Even the menus for customizing felt and acted exactly the same. There might be some minor differences, but if there are, I couldn't find them. However, GO was lacking a few features of Handcent that I like, such as the picture of the person next to each message. I have some long threads, so it's nice to be able to tell at a glance who sent what.

I had already uninstalled the GO contacts manager, which I installed at the same time as the others, because while I LOVE the ability to sort by the groups I have in my Google account, there was just way too much lag. It was taking upwards of 60 seconds to load my contacts every time, even to get into the dialer. So it had to go. And with being unsure if I want to stick with GO as my primary home launcher, to be honest, there wasn't anything keeping me with GO's SMS program. I just felt like it doesn't bring anything new or exciting to the table.

My Verdict: GO SMS Pro is essentially a Handcent clone missing a few features that aren't major, but if you use them, it stands out. If you're not already using Handcent, and you have other GO products, this is something to check out, since I did like that you can theme all your major programs to look alike. However, if you're already using Handcent, even if you are using other GO products, there really is no compelling reason to switch.

No crashing!

Okay, so far so good. After going through the weekend, my phone is still up and running. However, after going the weekend with Go Launcher EX, I was finding there was a HUGE battery drain. I installed Launcher Switcher, and I'm going to play with ADW (which I usually keep frozen via Titanium) since it's part of the CM install package and I have it. If I'm going to play musical launchers, I might as well do all three. So far, LauncherPro Plus is still my default. It doesn't have the customizable app drawer options that I liked in GO, but, to be honest, the calendar widget that comes with the Plus version of LP is still the absolute best I have found. I use my agenda widget as my "heads-up display" for my life, and it takes up all of my default home screen. So it has to be clean, and it has to work well. I have the Android Agenda Widget installed as well for use on the other launchers, but I just don't like it as much. I'm going to keep playing to see if GO or ADW ultimately have enough features that make me overlook that, but right now, I just find LPP smoother and easier to use. Of course, I've played with that one the longest since I've been running it for months now as my only launcher. So that's why I'm going to play when I have the time, and see what I think of the others once I've had time to really figure the others out.

But right now, LPP is still my default.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Spoke too soon...

So, my wireless connection was being a little flaky today too, so I decided to just go ahead and re-flash the radio. Big mistake. All the problems I had before with the connecting-disconnecting loop came back and I couldn't lock on to wireless at all. After flashing the radio twice with no luck, I had to revert back to the backup I made before I flashed RC4. Wireless working again, I'm now on round two of RC4 installation, with another full wipe.

UPDATE: And crap. Getting the same wireless problem in RC4 now. GAH! This is very frustrating. I have nothing but mad respect for the CM dev team, but I really, really wish they would figure out why so many people are having so many WiFi problems with CM7 and get it fixed. Sigh.

UPDATE2: Ah ha! Got Wireless working! (As embarrassing as it is, I had the wrong WiFi password... But it was right for the flash, so that wasn't the problem there! Just for the update above.) So, now on to getting everything installed again!

UPDATE3: Okay, everything re-installed and it seems to be working. This time, instead of accidentally hitting  "yes" to Google asking if it wanted me to restore everything, thus having it try to download every app I had from the market all at once and crash me, I said "no". I just grabbed Titanium from the Market, then restored everything else from my backups. I was actually being a lot more picky this time around with what I installed. For example, I had an App2SD app, but Titanium will do that as well, so why take up the space? I also decided that, while I love LauncherPro, I wanted a change. So I'm giving GO Launcher EX a try. It has the features I liked from LP, but with additions I'm really liking. The ability to organize the app drawer is a serious plus. After I've had a chance to use it for a few days, I'll write a review, so keep an eye on this space!

RC4, Amazon Apps and cell jammers, Oh my!

I installed the RC4 of cyanogenmod yesterday, and overall, I'm really impressed. I had been having some memory problems (in that I had none) with RC3 - I had about 20MB of free memory on RC3 versus more than 50MB on RC2. That 30MB difference was causing the hated "running low on space" message to pop up quite a bit. Now, I can't give all the credit to RC4. Admittedly, I don't wipe my data and cache every time I install a new ROM. Well, I do if it's brand new or major upgrade, like going from 6.1 to the 7 RCs. But between RC versions, I just installed over the top of the current version. But this time, because of the memory problems I was having, I did the full wipe. So I'm honestly not sure if it was that or the new version that solved the problem. But either way, I'm back up to 50+MB of free internal storage, so I can go back to installing random apps to try and play with at will. Whoo hoo!

One thing that is driving me crazy, and again, not sure if this is CM or the app, but even with CM, there are things included in the installer that I don't want. I use the full version of Titanium Backup, which will allow you to uninstall system apps. So I just went through and took out all the stuff I was reasonably sure wouldn't break my boot. However, on the next reboot, there they all are again, back on the phone. This is driving me crazy. I even wiped all the backups of those apps, but somehow, they keep coming back. I actually suspect it's a CM problem and not a Titanium problem because of that. I'm still trying to figure out what's going on, so when I pinpoint the culprit, I'll post an update here. In the meantime, after every reboot, I go in and uninstall those useless apps that just take up space.

In other news, the Amazon App store officially launched! I have to say, I was a bit skeptical, since it now means I have to manage apps in two places. (AppBrain, if you want to put out an update that will let you manage third-party app stores, I'd actually pay for that!) So originally, I was curious and thought it would be good for competition, but I wasn't really planning to get my apps there. Until I discovered that, like for their eBooks, they offer a lot of paid apps for free for limited times.

I am a sucker for free.

Free digital anything I will take. I grab every free Amazon eBook they offer whether I plan to read it or not because I like to have them, just in case. The same is holding true for apps. And while the majority of the offerings so far have been things I didn't keep installed or already had paid versions of, there have been a few notable exceptions. Angry Birds was the first. All three versions. This is the only place Rovio is offering a paid, ad-free version, and until this week, was the only place to get the new Rio version. I hated the ads and they actually caused some lag, so those were snagged on the first day of the store opening for business. Soundhound was another one I enjoyed, although, admittedly, I uninstalled it later. I knew I wouldn't use it enough to make keeping it installed worth it, but I like knowing I can quickly install and use it when I know I want to ID a song. I also was happy to see Weatherbug Elite today, since I've been a user of the free version for a while now as my weather app of choice, I just never got around to upgrading it. Now I don't need to worry about it anymore.

Yesterday's Fruit Ninja, however, has proven, thus far, to be the biggest draw. This is like app crack. I had heard of it, first as an iOS game, and later people talking about it on Android, but I thought they were crazy. I apologize to all those people for thinking there could be nothing fun about slicing fruit. It is like a Zen moment. In fact, I got my best friend to grab it yesterday on her phone, and then went and actually paid for it on my husband's iPod Touch so we could all compete for high scores. In a day, I have become a Fruit Ninja junkie. If you haven't checked it out, do so at your own risk, as it will consume many, many hours of your time. Although, if you're already giving that time to Angry Birds, like I was, then it's not so much losing time and diversifying. And that's a good thing, right?

The final thing I wanted to talk (rant) about today is cell jammers. I have a feeling someone near my house is using one, and it is really pissing me off. I used to get a full, steady signal with no problems, then all the sudden, in the last few weeks, my signal has gotten really erratic. I loose it at the same point driving home every day, and in my house, I fluctuate between a full signal all the way down to none. And then back. And that will happen in the space of minutes. I stood last night, waiting for an important call, and almost missed out on it because the signal choose then to get bad enough to drop the calls, then come back as soon as I had hung up. I love my phone, but I was ready to throw it out a window.

I thought maybe it was RC4 causing signal problems, but then I realize everywhere else I go, there are no problems whatsoever. So either T-Mobile has something going on with the tower in my town, or someone is using a jammer and my house is right on the fringes of the signal range. This makes me incredibly glad I'm buying a house where, I am happy to say, I tested the signal and it works just fine. (More on the house at a later date, I don't want to jinx it since we're in contract, but you never know what could go wrong.) In the meantime, I will just have to live with it, I suppose, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.