Discussion in 'Technologics' started by Rasputin, Jan 12, 2011.
Snagged a Nexus 4 today because I had nothing to do at work other than refresh the Play Store page.
I wonder what the battery life will be.
It's about time for me to upgrade from my two-year old Samsung Galaxy S Captivate. I'm torn between getting the Samsung Galaxy S3 and the Note 2. The former is $159 with a three-year-contract and the latter is $199 with a three-year-contract (I'm with Rogers). The Note 2's Wacom-base S-Pen and 5.5" diagonal screen is very tempting.
I have the original note and love it but to be honest I almost never use the pen. For me it's all about the screen size. I know the S3 is a good size as well but it just seems so small compared to the Note.
Was using Kobo - it seems to be the best in a very sorry, spammy, sickly lot of ereaders. But then the 4.2 Android update broke Kobo and while the Kobo makers have pledged they have a fix coming, it's been a few days now…
…tried Aldiko, then uninstalled, and then reinstalled after the Kobo debacle. While Kobo is missing many features, I don't get the appeal of Aldiko -- the formatting is off (adds superfluous indents, squashes paragraphs together, etc.…), the page flipping (and UX in general) is s-l-o-w… …but it better than MoonReader, FBReader and the many pitiful others, too sorrowful to mention (or recall).
Even the Kindle app on Android is less feature full than the early iOS implementations ~2.5 years ago.
OTOH, the Nexus 7 does most of the Google app-sphere really well -- I like the Chrome browser better than iOS Safari. Currents and gmail are done a lot better on this platform. (Though that really shouldn't be a surprise). But the Google Calendar app is a train wreck and whoever is leading that ship ought to be flogged for the hideous UX.
Rarely have I disagreed more with a post. Google Calendar is great. So is Moon+ Reader.
Are you using these on a tablet or a phone?
Have you ever used ereaders on the other more mature mobile platform(s)?
Perhaps I've confused Moon Reader+ with some others -- will reinstall tonight (for some reason, new work firewall is blocking the Android installs), but IIRC, UX was slow/dork-tastic and it plastered an ad banner over the content pane. I see there has been an 11/17 update so I shall give it another try, but seriously, compared to Stanza (which hasn't been updated in eons since Amazon bought-to-kill), Kindle, iBooks (and some other iOS ereaders not on the tip of my fingers ATM) these choices blow odious chunks compared to what is available on iOS platform. I understand the app eco-system is newer, and still oriented to phones (evidenced by all the "read from SD card" features, useless for a tablet). Most important, don't fugly up the formatting and when I tap or slide to advance pages, there should not be a delay (or in a lot of these, complete failure until 2nd/3rd swipe/tap). The Kobo app, while missing cool features the others have and having some other shortfalls (mainly, forcing you into seeing a "store" display on the bottom half of your shelf), at least gets the formatting and snappy page turn parts right -- well, at least until the 4.2 Android update…
You can turn off page animations in all of them, which makes page flips basically instantaneous. SD features are not useless for a tablet, as many tablets have SD cards. Moon+ does have ads in the free version, which are removed in the for-pay version; this bothers some people, but seems reasonable to me.
But the important thing about a reader app to me is not what the UI for selecting a book is like (where Moon+ is slightly clunky, though still streets ahead of Kindle), it's the reading experience, where I spend 99% of my time. And there Moon+ is nearly perfect. I can adjust brightness by swiping the left margin, I can set tap zones so it's easy to use one-handed with left or right hands, I can sync my progress up with Dropbox so that it can resume where I left off on a different device, and I can pull books off my Calibre server or Dropbox-synced library.
Is Moon Reader the favored ereader this days? I really like Cool Reader because of the level of customization you have over your experience. I use it on my Galaxy S3 and used it on my Droid X. My wife uses the same app on her Galaxy Tab 2.
Not the "page animation" (which, yup, I always toggle off, if I am able) but just the page turn speed -- most all of these Android readers seem to have a slight delay -- it's an irritant, maybe not one if that is what you are used to, but like I wrote in earlier post, once accustomed to snappier UX, it is irksome.
Those tablets with SD card features are the ones only the dorks are buying (and in small numbers) -- the ones selling in significant numbers (Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD) do not have these and these are likely to be extinct (same for removable battery) for tablets. I don't know about phones future direction, but Nexus 4 has no SD card either…
It's an interesting question, because SD card slot + comes with a large enough SD card for most users has been a popular configuration in phones. I suspect that the presence or absence of that feature has little or no impact on device sales and the fact that the tablets that have been successful have been the ones that do not have that feature have been successful for other reasons entirely (price). However, if the SD card slot is notably more expensive or otherwise disadvantageous for the device maker, we could see them being offered less and less. Anyone know if that's the case? And if so, why do they show up on phones? Just because phones are more expensive than tablets (which by the way is pretty weird) so the cost is more easily absorbed?
Well, with Apple + Amazon (and now Google doing their earnest with flagship Nexus product) driving the market trend to less moving/removable/added parts -- but in the non-iOS phone ecosystem manufacturers skimped on storage (a lot of phones only featuring 2G or less flash memory) and it was more economical to feature the SD card (and piggybacking on cameras/other gadgets) as a way of hurdling over that. But the success of Apple, Amazon and finally, Google with their Android tablet (would anyone challenge that it's a success - selling millions, as opposed to other doomed efforts from others and/or cheap Asian knockoffs of dubious quality) is pushing the "mobile" (another quandary, does *mobile* mean tablet too) market in that direction.
I wouldn't take Apple's decisions as necessarily a driver of what will work in the Android world. Keeping their devices as locked down as possible has been a major priority for Apple forever, so of course they're not going to have removable storage.
Eliminate Apple from the equation if you must (though Android devices compete with iOS and if consumers prefer that setup, it will seep over, just as other elements have too) but Amazon and the Google flagship Android products do not have removable storage and removable batteries. I don't think it has to do with "locked down" as much as (a) makers pushing the consumer shift to "the cloud" and (b) better gadget(s) for the consumer without these (yes, contestable), but just from the perspective of the maker.
Even the recent Amazon Kindle upgrades the devices feature less on-board memory and storage ("hey you, get onto my cloud!")
It's favored by me, mostly for the Dropbox reading-position sync, which lets me switch between phone/tablets and keep my position synced up. (I also used to use the Calibre ODPS wireless syncing, before I just put my whole Calibre library on Dropbox.) Other than that, Cool Reader was pretty okay, in that Foobar way.
So my mother-in-law got me a Galaxy Tab 2 (7" version) for an unexpected Black Friday gift. So sweet! Anyhow it's my first tablet and my first ICS device; what do I need to know? In particular:
- Should I root this bad boy?
- How can I disable syncing when not on wi-fi? They got me the 4G version and put it on their data plan, but it's limited so I'd like to use the 4G sparingly.
- Can these things stream video/access files on a network shared drive yet? If so, how?
AndSMB is an app for accessing SMB shares. BubbleUPNP is a DLNA server/client, so that it can stream videos from your DLNA server, or act as a DLNA server and stream them to your Xbox. MXPlayer is a good video player if you have stuff in formats the built-in one can't handle.
Dice player or bs player are able to stream from smb well.
As for the rooting: Root it if you have a reason to. Use it as it is, and when you find something you want to do but can't do without rooting (like installing Busybox, although the Terminal IDE app installs it in a quasi-VM type way that may satisfy your needs), then root it.
"Remove the annoyingly-placed screenshot button" may be the reason, depending on how smooth the rooting process for this one is.
I upgraded my Samsung Galaxy S Captivate to a Samsung Galaxy S3 on Sunday as part of Rogers' Black Friday sale. They had offered 1 cent for a S3 for new activation but I got mine for $29.99 ($79.99 minus $50 mail-in hardware upgrade rebate).
As part of a similar sale with Telus, I also picked up a Samsung Galaxy S3 and have been acclimating to it and the version of Android it includes.
Having used an iPhone 4 for the last 20 months, some things have been easy to adjust to and others...less so.
Preliminary good and bad below. Note that I have not spent a lot of time exploring many of the phone's features (giving only a cursory look at widgets, for example).
- the larger screen is groovy. This is probably my favorite feature of the phone.
- the notifications screen is very nice, though I actually prefer iOS for how notifications pop up
- adding a microSD card to boost storage is pretty handy (I've added a 16 GB one to store music)
- it supports 4G and is very speedy with downloads
- some apps are better than the iOS version (all of Google's, oddly enough!)
- battery life is noticeably worse than the iPhone 4, though not 'Holy cats, I need to recharge and it's only 2 pm!' bad
- the music player kind of sucks. Then I grabbed Google's music player and it sucks, too. No gapless playback? Really?
- a lot of my music didn't transfer over correctly, with albums missing tracks, some mislabeled and so on
- voicemail is buried under speed dialing rather than being a dedicated function (or I haven't found it)
- some apps I use on the iPhone are not available (my credit union only has an iOS app, though they at least have a mobile version of their website you can log into)
- some apps that are available are notably inferior to the iOS version (Kobo, for example)
I've quickly moved beyond the 'neat new toy' phase to the 'if this doesn't work, I shall curse under my breath' phase and at its worse I almost contemplate taking the phone back and sticking with what I know.
But for now, I'll simply ask: Is there any music player that supports gapless playback? Because of all the little things that bug me right now, this is the one I'll experience the most often.
Both PlayerPro and PowerAMP support gapless - hell, even the latest Google Play should if you're running Jelly Bean.
EDIT: PlayerPro needs the (free) DSP Plugin for this though.
Apparently the Google Play Music player supports gapless with 4.1, but not 4.0. So when that system update goes out, that'll work. Otherwise, just search the market for "gapless playback" and you'll get a bunch of apps (including WinAmp, amusingly), none of which I have any firsthand knowledge of, since I pretty much just use Rhapsody.
I also have no knowledge of how voicemail would work, since Sprint integrates with Google Voice, and I can use the excellent Google Voice app for texts/voicemails. (You can use it without carrier integration, but you'll have to give out a different number to people.)
The Galaxy S3 is running 4.04, which gets me an Ice Cream Sandwich but no Jelly Bean. I've read that supposedly an update to 4.1 or 4.2 may be coming 'soon' but apparently Samsung is not known for speedy OS updates.
I'll have a look at the alternatives you suggested to Google Play, though. Thanks!
I'm on a 4.1 S3 in Australia, so they exist! Hopefully your carrier will pick up Jelly Bean soon.
Rogers has delayed 4.1 to the Galaxy S3 to December instead of late November.
A note of caution: Not all apps that show up in the search for 'gapless playback' offer gapless playback. Fortunately the first I tried was a lite version that didn't cost anything. At this point I'll probably stick with the Google player and just live with the lack of gapless playback until 4.1 comes out.
Or maybe I'll take the S3 back and stick with the iPhone. My nerd rage level fluctuates wildly over this and other niggling issues I'm having and Google is kind of anti-Canadian when it comes to music, anyway (can't purchase music from them) and music is one of the primary uses for my phone.
Mortplayer is pretty good for gapless, I use their audiobook app.
Is there a good app for syncing files from a network share? There are a ton of sync apps in the store, but a lot of them seem fairly specialized and sorting through them is getting tiring. I've tried SyncMe Wireless, which seems like exactly what I want, but it just generates a lot of errors and partial copies.
I've only used FolderSync for Dropbox syncing, but it supports SMB and SFTP in addition to a whole bunch of cloud services, and it's worked flawlessly with Dropbox.
Perfect, thanks! All the cloud stuff is overkill, but it's working just the way I want for network shares too.
Went from a first generation Galaxy S (Captivate) to a GSIII a couple days ago and.... ummmm..... it's dreamy.
Played around with the new Droid DNA they sent us at the office. It's a gorgeous phone, and damn if that quad-core Snapdragon isn't just fast as hell. My phone is smooth, especially for a two-year-old device, but the Droid DNA is just glorious.
Sense is leagues better than on my Inspire 4G (which is still on fucking Gingerbread, thanks much you dicks), but still has enough annoying shit that I would replace it with LauncherPro or whatever.
The improved amp is really noticeable. Definitely a plus if you listen to a decent amount of music with decent headphones.
Not sure how I feel about a permanent move to a 5" screen, though. My current phone is about right at 4.3, so I'll probably stick to that size.
Overall, it's a damn nice phone but I'd still buy a Nexus 4 if I were getting one today.
Although the Droid DNA doesn't compete too closely with the Nexus 4 -- DNA is Verizon-only, N4 is ATAT/T-Mobile only.
You could get an unlocked one and put a microSIM in it if you really wanted to, but yeah.
Realistically I'm never signing a phone contract ever again, so I'll almost certainly pick up whatever the latest Nexus is when my current contract is up in any case.
Can you? Verizon is CDMA, so I assumed the DNA was a CDMA/LTE phone and wouldn't work on GSM/HSPA networks at all.
Looks like it has a GSM radio as well.
I have a question about the Galaxy S3. First, I want to marry the Galaxy's screen because it's so sexy and in Canada I think this is actually legal. But that's not my question.
The S3 seems to gobble through the battery way faster than my iPhone 4 did. By way of comparison, doing the same sort of stuff I find the battery at the end of the day looks like this:
Galaxy S3: 40-60%
I've made sure to turn off the obvious battery vampires like GPS but the battery still drains pretty quickly. After leaving the phone to charge overnight, it will drain to 96% without even being turned on (ie. I turn it on an hour after unplugging it from the charger and it's at 96%). This doesn't seem right to me so I'm wondering if I'm doing something wrong, if the phone is not working right or if there's some rogue task still running that is bleeding it dry every day?
Or is this just normal behavior and as long as it doesn't get to 5% charge I shouldn't worry so much?
You just need to be more of an optimist. Your battery isn't half-empty, it's half-full.
(Really, that seems pretty normal.)
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