Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cyanogenmod RC2

Once I got everything working correctly, was I content to leave well enough alone? Of course not!

The second release candidate for Cyanogenmod 7 came out yesterday, and I, of course, had to rush out an install it. I would like to point out that I am learning from my trials, however. Before I did anything, I made a new Nandroid backup, just in case.

Using ROM Manager, I still had the same problem that Google Apps wouldn't download, but since the actual ROM seemed to download fine, I went ahead and flashed the new version.

WiFi and GPS worked fine. My Google Apps, however, did not.

Most of my Google suite of applications were immediately giving force close errors, so I manually downloaded the latest apk from cyanogenmod itself, dated 3/7/11, and flashed the new gapps package. Unfortunately, I was still getting the force close errors on the majority of my Google apps, with the exception, fortunately, being the Market. So before I did a full wipe and re-flash, I decided to try uninstalling all of the Google applications, and re-downloading them from the Market.

Fortunately, that seems to have worked just fine. I opened all my Google apps after using this method, and they all appear to be working without problems. And my WiFi and GPS are still up as of right now as well.

There are some bug fixes in this version, although I don't notice too much of a difference in speed versus the RC1 I was running. I did notice that there is an option now for Profiles in the Cyanogenmod settings menu which I intend to explore and report back on. I use Tasker to automate settings changes for things like when I'm at work or at night already, so we'll see if I prefer the profiles method better once I have a chance to see what you can change and how well it works.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

CM7 Problems...

Hmmm, I wasn't having any problems with RC1 since I installed it, but today it started acting screwy with my wireless. So, although I probably know better, I am going to try flashing Nightly 12 to see if that fixes the problem. Don't worry though, I have Titanium Backups of all my apps that updates three times a week, and I've learned to keep a minimum of 4 nandroid backups from various points on the SD at any time. So hopefully, if the nightly is too buggy, I can reflash and try a prior version. I'll update once I know if this fixes the problem!

UPDATE: Okay, nightly 12 didn't work to fix the wireless, and GPS decided not to work on that one as well. (I didn't go check out anything else other than wireless and GPS on the build, so I can't speak to any other changes/improvements.) I'm trying to restore my nandroid I made just before I left on this trip where everything worked fine. So we'll see if that works...

UPDATE 2: Okay, restoring seems to have gotten my WiFi sort of working again... It's still doing a lot of Connecting.. disconnecting.... routine but it is seeing the networks again, and it is eventually connecting to them. GPS I'm trying to test, but I'm also sitting inside a ballroom, so I won't count that out until I have a chance to test it outside.

Apps for on the Go

I'm traveling this week, and as I type this I'm in San Diego soaking up the warm, fabulous weather. I head back to Long Island tomorrow, but I thought I would take this opportunity to share with you what my top travel apps are.

TripIt - This is my go-to Android travel app. I make sure all my travel details get uploaded either by forwarding them or letting the site pick the details up out of my Gmail account before I leave to go anywhere. I use it to make sure I know where I'm going, when I need to be there, and what the confirmation numbers are if I run into any trouble. I don't have a pro account right now, but I use this app enough that it's only a matter of time before I get around to upgrading.

FlightStats - There are several flight tracking programs on the market, but I've been using FlightStats for a while now, and I have no real reason to switch. It works, every time, perfectly. Usually it knows if a flight is delayed before they get around to updating it at the airport. I also sprung for the paid add-on that allows FlightStats and TripIt to sync, so now I only have to forward emails to TripIt, and all my details are in both apps. A total time saver.

Google Maps/Latitude - Okay, this one comes with pretty much every Android phone unless you rooted and decided to boycott Google applications. But I like being able to use it to check in where I'm at, particularly since it has a history so I can go back and see where I was when. I should note that I only share my location with a few close friends and family members, so it's really more because I'm interested in looking back and seeing my travel history than anything else.

USB Tether - This is built into my Cyanogenmod ROM, but when I travel, it's a must-have. Too many airports want to charge too much money for an hour layover's worth of Internet access. I much prefer being able to tether my phone and just use the data plan I already pay for on there. I do have wireless tether as well, but I find I usually use the tethered variety mostly because I want to get a bit of a charge on my phone while I can between flights while I wait anyway, and that allows me to do both at once. Plus, I don't have to worry about someone else breaking into my signal and siphoning off bandwidth. I have unlimited data, but there are limits.

And those are my basics. I have other apps I use, of course, but those are my travel-specific apps of choice when I'm on the road. (I don't usually remember to use Latitude at home, only when I'm out and want to document it.) If you have any other suggestions of apps you think I should try, leave them in the comments!