Tag Archives: htc1x

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?

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.

Facebook home tried, tested and almost uninstalled

Facebook home launcher… What more do I need to say?

Facebook Home

I made the step of replacing Nemus launcher with Facebook home on my HTC One X just to see what its like first hand. And to be honest the reviews on the play store sum it up.. Currently with 2.2 out 5 stars the reviews are worst still.

Derrick Baird – April 14, 2013 – Samsung Galaxy S3 with version 1.0

A good start

I like it, takes some getting use to, but so far I have had no issues with it. I do miss widgets. And it needs some more customization. Its a good start, but has a long way to go to become a permanent UI replacement. Most of the 1 star reviews seem to be by people who dont know what this is or how to use it.]

Demir Bracic – April 16, 2013 – Version 1.0

Its a start but too limited

I think Facebook is on the right track but to me this would be better served as a live wallpaper. If I wanted a phone with no widgets and customization I would have bought an iPhone.

Nathan Watrous – April 14, 2013 – Version 1.0

Too Much…

I tried it ,and to be honest, it just was too much. I would like it better if it was just the lock screen, but it gets annoying. Plus, it hid most of my other apps (namely google ones lol).

Alex Blackie – April 14, 2013 – Version 1.0

Pretty slick

I was hesitant due to a lot of 1 star reviews but if you pay any attention to what you’re getting then it’s not an issue. Sure you can’t use widgets but I never do anyway and the people that complain about that probably rarely use em themselves, akin to dvd players in computers. If youre someone that appreciates minimalism then you’ll like how clean and intuitive this luncher is. You can still use your Phone as you always have, it’s just different.

Horriable Facebook App screen

So what do I think having played with it? Well I still have it on my phone for now but its going to get uninstalled any day now. I hate the window manager, its poor and crappy. On top of that it looks like something out of Android 1.6. Yes say hello to Eclair again, as that tragic shade of grey makes a re-entry on Android. The swipe positioning of your mini head is a little bizarre although to be fair I was introduced to them when I installed Facebook messenger. I also can’t understand why the launcher only shows a small subset of apps? Luckily there is a mode where you can see them all. As mentioned already theres no widgets just apps.

Facebook home daydream

The only part of Facebook Home I actually quite like is the screensaver/lock screen. When turning on the phone, your shown the latest pictures of what your friends have posted to the their timelines with what ever comment they left. Not only that you can actually like and comment back right there without unlocking the phone. Security wise I couldn’t get into the main Android or launch any apps without using my pass pattern, which is invoked when ever you get to deep (I couldn’t work out if this was because I got fed up of using Facebook’s UI and binded the home key back to Nemus launcher or not.

Replying to a friends status

Yes this does mean if you currently pick up my phone, you can write a stupid comment in reply to a random friends post or even like something which I wouldn’t normally like. This for me isn’t the end of the world but could cause some embarrassing circumstances once in a while.

Frankly this is the only part of Facebook home I quite like (although I also don’t like the battery usage) as a screensaver its quite neat and the ability to reply and like is very useful. I wonder why Twitter and more likely Google Plus haven’t done the same before?  Scratch the rest of Facebook Home, this is the bit which is cool.

Liking Chris's status

Interestingly when installing Jelly Bean (4.2 not 4.1)  on my tablet I found a new feature which I had heard about but had been pretty much ignored in the press. Daydream. Daydream can work like the parts of Facebook Home I like. In actual fact I already found a few nice extras I’m looking to give a shot soon. Maybe this a serious reason why I should root my HTC one x too?

Back to Facebook home… This comment sums up my thoughts too

Holden Kass – April 14, 2013 – HTC One X with version 1.0

Good lock screen

That’s all I use it for it runs great with adw launcher

Or for me it plays nicely with Nemus launcher, but its going to get removed once I find a decent Daydream app.

My Nemus Launcher setup

Android 4.2 here I am

Rooted my first generation Kindle Fire and installed an Android 4.2.2 ROM.  It's like having a new device.

I had enough of waiting for Samsung to officially update the Samsung Tab 7+ to Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean). So one night when not able to sleep I rooted my Tab 7+. Its very easy to root and with something like AirDroid (which I swear by since Android doesn’t support mass storage anymore) its even easier. Yes middle of the night at about 4am, I looked over and thought I reckon its time I just rooted the Tablet. Within a 30mins I had found the correct files and done the rooting. Then went back to sleep…

About a month later, Android 4.0.4 was bugging me, specially since I have Andorid 4.1 (Jelly Bean) on my HTC One X phone. What bugged me the most wasn’t the Samsung touchwiz crazyness, it was a bug in the copy and paste system which Samsung are not going to fix until the Jelly Bean update. The bug meant copy and paste failed to work at all!

So I found decent up to date instructions and went through the process and installed the latest and greatest… Thank you cyanogenmod for once again extending the life of devices. Crazy to think it shipped with Android 3 (Honeycomb) and its now up 3 versions to Android 4.2 already. Root your devices people!

Of course before my phone was ahead and now its behind, so expect there to be some midnight rooting once HTC Sense bugs me enough.

Replacing your home launcher

The news world is a buzz with Facebook’s Home (check out the background video).

When I first heard about Home, I thought wow thats really smart… Now with some more time, I’m actually impressed with Home. The guardian shares my thoughts…

…what did Zuckerberg say on Thursday? “We’re not building an operating system. We’re building something that’s a whole lot deeper.” That’s exactly congruent with what Dediu said. Quite possibly what the Facebookers were told matched what they were already thinking. Google’s Android has the advantage that because Google makes its source code available, it can be tweaked endlessly by hardware manufacturers (such as HTC) and software companies (like Facebook). And so, the Facebook phone.

Back to Zuckerberg again: “The home screen is the soul of your phone. It sets the tone. We feel it should be deeply personal.” And: “It’s putting people first in your phone.” Sure, but it also shows Facebook which people you do and don’t pay attention to, by whether you bat away messages from them (useful for its news feed). And it knows what you’re looking at.

And for some people, the idea of those two being so closely linked will be attractive. Don’t forget that as Sir Tim Berners-Lee remarked to John Naughton recently, “there are 200 million people in the world who think Facebook is the internet”. Some people really love using Facebook.

Facebook Home is a launcher and there is a number of them on Android. Most users stick with the stock launcher aka Samsung’s Touchwiz and HTC’s Sense, but they are easily installed without rooting. Now to be fair, in my experience HTC’s Sense was much more flexible about allowing another launcher. Samsung’s touchwiz still bleeds through when pressing certain buttons. End of the day launchers are a great feature of Android! Although its important to know and realise how much data flows through the launchers and what Facebook could learn about you. Of course HTC, Orange, Tmobile, Samsung, etc already benefit from this data already!

I personally use Nemus Launcher on my HTC one X and Samsung Tab 7+ and enjoy its speed, lightness and simple gui. If you want more complex launchers check out Regina 3D. Windows phone 7/8’s gui is copied in Launcher 7.

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!

Replacement for those #kindle tweets

Amazon kindle 3

I use to tweet from my Kindle to tweet interesting things I was reading but people and followers complained there was no link to the actual article or post. And to be honest they were right.

Its frustrating that the Kindle can do so much but Amazon’s ecosystem refuses to support self-published content.

However I finally given up on the Kindle for tweeting interesting news bits. Don’t get me wrong, its still my device for long form reading – because frankly the e-ink screen is still the best screen to read text on for me.

This change was made easier with GReader and Plume Twitter client on the Samsung 7+ Tablet. Plume will hold the twitter messages in a queue till I get back online, which is usually at home or work. This also slightly eases the need to enable wifi teathering on my HTC One X (something I can no longer do, till I root it).

The only issue is, when I’m finally back online, all the tweets are posted one after another, which can look like a bit of a tweet flood to some.

I’m also thinking about paying for Instapaper because its rather handy for sending stuff to my kindle (I know I can do it via the free.kindle.com address but I quite like the fact it groups them and sends one a day when theres something new). On top of that Ars Technica’s subscription model isn’t so bad. And access to the full text RSS feeds would be very handy.

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…