Tag Archives: htc

Pure Google, Pure Nexus…

I wondered down to the Orange/EE shop the other day, as I was sure my contract ran out Valentine’s day. Well I was wrong, it ran out in November last year! This was a shock because not only was I paying more than I needed to but I was running around with the HTC1x with the terrible battery and touchscreen problem.

Well I decided to stay with Orange/EE mainly because of the discounts I have built up (25% off my line rental) and I do still like the idea of Orange Wednesdays. So took the free boxed Samsung Galaxy S4 and sold it on ebay the same day for the same amount of money I spent on a brand new Google Nexus 5 (something I should have gotten ages ago)

The Nexus5 is as you would expect amazing. I do miss my HTC1x but I certainly don’t miss the battery life. The Nexus has that LG characteristic of harsh edges. But its a nice size and nice look.I went for the Black one over the White and Red one. Running Android 4.4 KitKat isn’t such a big deal as I have the same on my Nexus 7. Its goodbye to Jellybean, although I’m keeping my HTC1x for now. Not quite sure what else to do with it.

If I sold it on ebay, I would have to declare the fault and that means it won’t sell for much at all. Maybe it can be a back up phone or my new work phone?

What ever happens, I’m looking forward to a pure Google experience not a Google, HTC and Orange shared experience.

HTC 1x battery usage!

HTC 1x battery on super low usage

This is another problem I’m currently having with my HTC One X. Its not unique to that phone but frankly right now, it won’t survive half a day without being charged. This is fine when your at work but out and about its a nightmare.

Luckily I have a external battery pack but today I went to Brunch with friends then headed to Volleyball training and games for 5hours. I looked at the phone and it said 14% battery left. By the time I went to Warrington Ikea and drove back the phone was at 6%!

I have already turned off Wifi, Bluetooth, NFC and GPS. Most of the time off the charge, the phone was in my volleyball bag doing nothing. I hadn’t even looked at the screen for a few hours while I played Volleyball. I also set the CPU speed down using a root app to set the CPU down a lot (Max clock Freq – 640Mhz down from 1.2Ghz) so when it is running it shouldn’t be using much CPU.

I’m at a lost what else to do, but I do wonder if Aviate is maybe causing part of the problem, time to switch to the standard launcher?

Day later with some twitter messages, I had some advice from people thinking it could be the phone trying to get a GSM signal. However it wasn’t that I don’t believe if you look at the screenshot at the top. losttourist recommended a application which tells you whats keeping your android awake and therefor killing the battery. I installed it and interestingly…

Eventbrite why you keeping my phone awake

So I deleted Eventbrite and will be monitoring what happens…

In actual fact I’ve gone back to the idea of using my phone for the things I really need and the Nexus 7 for everything. The Nexus 7 has plenty of battery and I generally carry both around.

Root to extend the ability of your phone

Seriously I think this is the last branded android phone I’m going to buy.

Chris Hernon sent me the bad news

Gutted. Might have to root… RT @verge: HTC’s One X and One X+ won’t get any more Android updates http://is.gd/ww7Xng @cubicgarden

In the Verge article they point to HTC’s tweets where they admit they will not be releasing updates to their 2012 flagship phone.

We can confirm that the HTC One X and One X+ will not receive further Android OS updates beyond Android 4.2.2 with Sense 5. We realize this news will be met with disappointment by some, but our customers should feel confident that we have designed both devices to be optimized with our amazing camera and audio experiences.

This like my disappointment for HTC not releasing Gingerbread on the HTC Desire. The only reason I can see for the move is they can’t be bothered to move sense 5 to the HTC One X.

There’s no problem running Android 4.3 and I’m very sure Android 4.4 will be no problem for this beastie either. I’m sure Android 4.5 lemon-sherbet? Will run fine on it too.

Anyway, thanks HTC, happy they kept their promise to make the bootloader open but this need to put their Sense all over it is painful, specially when holding back a perfectly capable phone from new software.

The complete google experience is what I’m thinking from now on. Be that a nexus 5 or maybe the moto x? As Simon says, I’m so glad I rooted and upgraded to Cynaogenmod 10.1 or Android 4.3.1.

My advice… Root now!

HTC one x touch screen problems

Just when i thought i might be out of the woods with my device upgrades. Seems I may needs to get my htc 1x fixed or upgraded.

A while ago i noticed the touch screen had an area it wouldnt registered the touches sometimes. It seemed to happen when i made heavy use of the gps, say on one of my rides in the mountains. In actually fact I couldn’t use the phone screen most of the time when riding along. This seems fine but what in case you want to pause the tracking app? Text or tweet? I’m convinced my lack of pictures in the mountains is due to this problem.

Usually switching off the device rubbing the screen will solve the problem a bit. Which is better than the reboot the device which I use to do. I once did this in the middle of a ride and had to manually edit the kml/xml together with an editor.

However things seem to be getting worst. Trying to unlock my phone using the android pattern can be a nightmare! Usually i’m locked out of my phone for 30 seconds or worst.

Like all things I should have realised this isn’t just my device.

With not long till my phone upgrade and the phone well out of warranty, i’m kinda at a lost what to really do. Just like the sleep of death of the Samsung galaxy tab 7+ there’s no real way I could sell them to someone without mentioning the problems.
I wonder if HTC and even Samsung would take them back in after the warranty is gone? Plus now its rooted will htc ever touch it again?

What would you do?

Upgraded devices, upgraded life


It was something Steve said a while ago, which got me thinking… It was something like reliable devices are more important than you think.

In the last month I’ve upgraded my work Laptop to the Lenovo (better not let me down guys) Thinkpad X230. Up from the X220. Then I upgraded my Samsung Galaxy Tab 7+ to a Google Nexus 7 (2012 edition) and finally yesterday I rooted my HTC One X and put Cyanogenmod 10.2 (stable) on it. I was thinking about upgrading to the Nexus 5, and that may still happen once my contract runs out and the non-removable and poor battery on the HTC one X drives me up and over the wall.

The only thing I haven’t upgraded or done anything with (as such) is my kindle which I found is completely br0ken now. I did look in the shops and consider buying a Koob from WHsmiths and then the Nook ereader in John Lewis but I decided, unless they supported a wireless delivery system like the Kindle, then its going to be more of a pain than it really should be. So more research is needed, as it might be only the Amazon Kindles support some wireless delivery of your own document (yes I’m too spoiled to plug in the ereader everytime I want to read something new). Right now I mainly use the ereader for instapaper and a couple of work documents here and there. If I’m going to get another Kindle, its going to have no keyboard and has to be one of those paperwhite ones. (i’m sure ebay is full of ones people will be getting rid of, because they didn’t get the Kindle Fire)

So why upgrade?

The Lenovo Thinkpad X220 I had was screwed, not only screwed but it had been in for repair a total of 3 times (see the videos on youtube). It was past its guarantee date and frankly it was totally fcuk’ed for no reason of my own.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7+ I had rooted and put Cynaogenmod 10.1 on it (Android 4.2). Massive upgrade from Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) But there was another problem. Bluetooth didn’t work which was a real pain but the biggest problem was ever since I upgraded it to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), it had suffered from the Sleep of Death (root or no root). Which means you can turn off the screen and the whole thing goes to sleep. Not only does it go to sleep but it drains all the power left and won’t actually draw any power from the mains. Aka, if you get it wrong, you can wake it up after a night of sleeping and it will be totally dead.  Then you got to kickstart it into taking some power, so you can finally power it back on. This is a nightmare, specially in the middle of a conference. I tried and tried to fix it but in the end it was time to give it up.

Originally I wanted to get the 2013 edition with the 322ppi screen. But frankly for £99, I can live without the back camera and high rez screen. You should see the 720p screen of the Nexus vs the 1024×600 screen of the Galaxy Tab 7+. Ok its the same resolution as my OneX but looks just as amazing. The camera resolution isn’t  a problem because the resolution on my HTC One X is great and what I usually use for taking pictures.

Finally the HTC One X. I adore my HTC One X but there are many things which drive me nuts about it. Main one being the non-replaceable battery, but there is little I can do about that. Its a quad core phone, when everyone else was installing dual cores. However the phone was seriously crippled by HTC’s bloatware. Even with a new launcher it felt sucky. Ideally I wanted to buy the Nexus 5 but to be honest, I thought I should root and install a new Rom. To be fair to HTC, they honored the open bootloader option and it worked without fuss.

So there you go, the Thinkpad X220 is back at work expecting another repair from Lenovo. The Samsung Galaxy Tab 7+ is expected to end up on my wall as a replacement to my photoframe project. The Kindle in the bin? The OneX somewhere on ebay in the future depending on how well the Cynaogenmod 10.2 change goes.

Going forward, I’ll be avoiding buying a Android phone/tablet which isn’t a pure google experience. On the Kindle front, who knows. Thanks to Simon for helping me out during the installation (I used these instructions but had to convert them to Unix, due to running Ubuntu) of the OneX.

Facebook try again

No Facebook Home for the Galaxy S IV

I un-installed Facebook home from my HTC One X recently, and it sounds like I’m not the only one.

The European launch of the “Facebook phone” has been delayed following disappointing US sales and negative feedback. The HTC handset runs Facebook’s enhanced Home software, designed to be more integrated into the smartphone than a normal app. UK mobile operator EE confirmed that “following customer feedback” the Europe launch had been stalled.

For me Facebook home was interesting but I really don’t use Facebook enough to really make use of it. Its also a bit of a hog when it comes to resources of the phone. Once again I’d like to upgrade to Android 4.2 for daydream or maybe try one of the other more interesting launchers.

Fitbit One just started working?

Fitbit tracking

I don’t understand what happened but my Fitbit One just started working. As you may remember, I running Ubuntu and the client doesn’t work on Linux (tried libfitbit), so I had hoped the Android app would be my way of syncing data to their website. However syncing was in beta on Android and seems to only work on newer Samsung devices I gather.

It must be one of the following, because my data was update on Friday 4:16pm

  1. The Bluetooth beta syncing is working on my Samsung Tab 7 plus. Even though forcing it to sync never works and its only got Bluetooth 3.0 not 4.0. I do have background sync turned on and the option to sync now is actually there, even if it fails everytime.
  2. The Fitbit sync app works on my HTC One X (which does have bluetooth 4.0), even thought there is no options for syncing the device like on my Samsung Tab 7 plus. However bluetooth is usually on for my headphones and its never failed (mainly because theres no actual button to force sync)
  3. The Fitbit sync’ed via someone elses device on Friday afternoon while at the Future Everything summit.

Option 2 looks like it will happen but not quite yet. HTC’s bluetooth stack is quite different from Samsungs and I guess its the downside of a diverse ecosystem. Option 1 is likely but its strange that when ever I try and force a sync, it just fails. I also have not seen an update to the app for at least a week now and I don’t know how compatible Bluetooth 3.0 is with 4.0?

As crazy as it seems, option 3 is looking likely because the timing looks about right and its never sync’ed before or after then. However does the Fitbit work that way, why only now? And isn’t there major privacy issues with this? (I am aware the fitbit sends its data in the clear over bluetooth already, keep meaning to fire up wireshark to see exactly how and what). Not having to use your own machine does have a lot of advantages. I can sync with a machine which isn’t mine or even a public machine. The password in the clear is a problem but like all my passwords, there just made up nonsense in keepass, so it won’t be used anywhere else. However I must relook at Libfitbit because must be pretty simple for it to work with the Fitbit One?

On the plus side, the Fitbit seemed to keep all the data from the moment I first ever switched it on. I did ask about how much it stored and most people said about 1-2 weeks at a time. But it seems 2 months is more correct.

I should be happy and I am but I’d really like to update it regularly…

HTC One X Jelly Bean update at last!

My thoughts about the HTC One X has changed slightly…

The One X is HTC’s flagship phone for the first half of 2012. It features a highly-acclaimed Super LCD2 720p screen, which many consider to be the best display on a mobile phone to date. The international version of the One X ships with a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 CPU processor that is backed by a full gigabyte of RAM and 32 gigs of flash memory. The device’s software is also notable. The One X comes pre-loaded with Android 4.0.3, featuring the HTC Sense 4 user interface, which marked the slimming of their previously heavy custom skin.

As noted above its an incredible phone but crippled with HTC software and a non-removable battery. I was planning to root it and put Jelly bean on but on the day of the rooting, I saw messages from Chris Hernon on Twitter.

Looked at my phone and there was an update. After that update was applied there was a big 63meg update for Android 4.1.3 aka Jelly Bean! Although I’m very happy about the update, I’m still shocked it took 8 months for the upgrade and its not even 4.2 which luckily doesn’t seem to have much changes. At this rate this means Android 4.3 Keylime pie won’t be sent over the air to my phone till next year! Don’t worry I will have rooted it by then, specially now I’ve almost unlocked the bootloader

The other difference is I’ve stopped using Locale. Its a fantastic app but I’ve found something which is does most of the things I want and doesn’t chew through the limited battery.I tried Llama and didn’t get on with it but Profile scheduler looks perfect for me. I do wish it had as many plugins as Locale but frankly I’ll take a battery which lasts a day over 4hours any day.

So I can happily say not only is the phone bloody fast (thats the butter), has a battery which lasts and now also has Google Now!

Honeycomb to Ice Cream Sandwich and back

I have a whole range of Andorid devices now.

  • Archos 70 running Android 2.2 Froyo
  • HTC Desire running Android 2.3 Gingerbread (cyanogen mod 7)
  • Sansung GT-P6210 Tablet running Android 3.2 Honeycomb
  • HTC One X running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Although I hardly use the first two (actually need to sell my HTC Desire on ebay soon) I do find switching between the Samsung Tablet and my HTC phone a bit of a pain. I have done things to make switching a lot easier like installing the Ice cream sandwich keyboard. But theres enough differences to confuse me once in a while.

To be honest I can’t wait for the tablet to get upgraded to Ice cream sandwich… In between I’m getting a lot closer to installing Cyanogen’s Mod 9 version as it seems pretty stable? on the wifi only version of the tablet.

Also need to attempt the Ice cream sandwich upgrade for my Archos, just to see what happens…

The HTC One X reviewed

HTC 1x

People have been asking me for a review of the 1X phone since I mentioned getting it last Wednesday.

This won’t be a complete review because I haven’t really gone through the features and the like yet. To be honest I only just moved everything across and set it up on Friday. Engadget has a complete review too…

Thoughts…?

The HTC 1x is seriously an amazing phone! But it does have flaws…

Right off the bat, the battery life is poor. So far its lasted just over a day before needing power. Because I’m use to doing this for my old HTC Desire, I tend to be not far from power or armed with some kind of USB cable. What bugs me is the HTC 1x doesn’t have user removable battery meaning I can’t carry around a spare battery like I know some of my friends do for there phones.

I’m hoping the battery life won’t get worst because if it does then, wow! I know some of you are saying, well what do you expect for a quad core phone? And maybe your right, but coming from a single core its a small shock, specially on a brand new phone? Update – Looks like there might be an unofficial fix

On the other side, it charges extremely quickly. Which means my Powermonkey thing should keep it powered up when no plug or usb is near.

The size of the device is just right for my large hands, but what scares me is its so bloody light it feels like I could crush it. Worst still I keep checking my pocket to make sure it hasn’t fallen out because I’m so use to feeling weight in the pocket. Its so light I was able to put it in my shirt pocket while shopping the other day and almost forget it was there. There wasn’t even a noticeable weight in the pocket, although you could just about see it because of its sheer size.

I can’t explain to people how light it really is…! Compared to my desire it feels like half the weight and compared to a iphone 4 it feels much lighter. A iphone owner said it feels cheap based on its weight. But feeling how strong it actually is, I would disagree.

I was lucky enough to get the black 1x not the white one and to be honest it truly looks the business. Everything is beautiful about it, including the micro drilled holes for the speakers front and rear. The multicolour led is pin sharp meaning you can spot it from across the room but also makes my HTC desire’s status light look like a 60w bulb.

I have noticed it get quite warm when charging first time, not noticed it getting warm since.

The sheer size does mean your typing with your phone a lot but its fine with it. Although I’d like to have a decent keyboard as the HTC sense one is pants.

It does come with Android 4.0 or Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box which is really strange. I’m so use to Android 2.3 gingerbread it feels odd coming away from it. On top of that, I’ve gotten a little use to Android 3.2 honeycomb from my Samsung Tab 7+. So I’m in that strange cross over point between all the different versions. For example not having a menu key is bizarre and I keep wondering if I’m missing something.

Photo to unlock seemed like a joke, but I have enabled it and when in decent light it works very well. So well I wasn’t even sure it was working correctly. I tried holding a picture up of me and it didn’t work btw. Mainly because its so quick and if it doesn’t recognise you or the conditions are bad it switches over to the pattern lock in seconds. Google really made the whole thing work extremely smoothly!

Software wise, I’m very tempted to root the phone and put stock ICS on it! Everytime I look at the HTC sense desktop it winds me up that I can only have 4 icons in a row! On my Desire with a much smaller amount of screen resolution I could do 5 or even 6 under cyanogenmod 7. The HTC 1x has a incredible resolution (yes it looks incredible!) but its wasted because HTC limit its capability. However there are some good things about HTC Sense 4, including Dropbox, Evernote, Flickr, etc support (although I still had to download the actual apps?). I was also happy to see the ability to use as a USB drive, Wifi Hotspot and USB tether device put in by Orange. Although I’ve not tried the wifi hotspot with my Kindle or Tab 7+ yet (which was the sticking point before and is now…).

Ice Cream Sandwich has some amazing features including the ability to track exactly how much data each app is using over a month. You can even set your limits which is handy for those on lesser data plans.

So would I recommend this phone to other people? No I wouldn’t. Its a dream phone for many people but its sheer size and the battery issues make it hard to recommend. I would say the HTC One S might be a better phone for those more sensitive to battery power and size.

HTC One X and Dropbox up a tree…

Today I finally received my HTC One X from Orange. I swear I will do a full review once I find sometime to really set it up and play with it. But generally I’m mighty impressed with the weight and the size isn’t so big.

I’ve not really had a chance to set it up except throw in my google accounts and get dropbox working… Nice that it was built in from the get go. And I happy to get this email from Dropbox…

Hi Ian,
Congrats on becoming a Dropbox Guru! We’ve awarded you 23 GB of bonus space for the next 24 months! You now have 75.75 GB of space. Thanks again for supercharging your HTC device with Dropbox.
Enjoy,
– The Dropbox Team

That is a nice ton of space, I’m sure I can find something to fill the space with… I’ve already started syncing my Mixes across…

The HTC, slowly feeling their way around

All my current phones

HTC you got to love them

From obscurity they rose via Microsoft’s Windows Mobile platform. I’ve always been a fan because frankly they packed in a ton of technology into their devices and then sold them at a reasonable price. Mainly because they signed exclusive deals to the likes of Orange in the UK.

When they started producing Android devices, things really picked up and HTC started making a real name for themselves with the general public. Hackers also enjoyed Android HTC devices because they were more like a PC than anything else. HTC must have understood this when they jumped on the Social media bandwagon…

However they may not have expected the 2 way nature of the early adopters. Here’s their backtracking in action

First caseHTC decides to lock all there bootloaders on future devices

Then… HTC changes its mind after all the comments on its own Facebook page

Second caseHTC says the Desire won’t get Gingerbread

Then… HTC backtracks, says the Desire will get Gingerbread after all‎

HTC Incredible is incredible

The story is simply crazy, a man (Garber) takes a stray bullet outside a club in illinois and instead of it hitting him, his phone takes the bullet. Believe it or not its a HTC incredible.

According to the Associated Press, Garber was working at Club Halo when two men were thrown out of the club. Police say that the men allegedly ventured over to a car, grabbed some weapons and began to shoot indiscriminately in the direction of the club.

One of the bullets went through Garber’s coat and was about to do him severe damage. Suddenly, it was intercepted by his HTC phone (yes, it was a Droid Incredible), which he had put into the chest pocket of his jacket.

Garber’s coat is now adorned with a bullet hole. The top left corner of his red cell phone battery now enjoys a dent that signifies it wouldn’t let the bullet through.

No one was injured in this shooting and police happened to be near the club and managed to chase down the alleged shooters, from whose car they reportedly recovered two handguns.

Garber told the AP: "It’s just one of those crazy things in life."