Tag: Android

Use your Android phone like an Ipod touch

Your old android phone can act like an ipod touch for your kids.  It has wifi, music, games, apps.   You don’t need to have the phone activated to use it this way.  I just bought 2 for $50 each (optimus v at target black friday deal) to use for my kids.  They have been bugging me to get them an ipod touch but I wasn’t willing to spend the $200 per kid to make that happen.  So, I spent $55 per kid instead.  I downloaded ~25 games and an app to lock other apps so I can keep them off youtube and google.  I copied over their kidsbop ripped mp3s and tada – android like an ipod touch for <$55.    Christmas this year isn’t going to break the bank!

Optimus V – Rooted with GingerBreak 1.2

I finally rooted my Optimus V phone.  The only reason I took the risk was that I was running out of internal memory and I needed to either get rid of some of the bloatware that comes on the phone or delete apps that I wanted to keep.

I used GingerBreak 1.2 which I got from here.   It worked fine.  Then I used Root Uninstaller Free to uninstall these stock apps:

  • Email
  • Scvngr
  • Twitroid
  • Where
  • Poynt
  • Downloads

Then I used Titanium Backup * Root to force my ATT Uverse app to the sd card because it is the biggest app on my phone (13mb).  I would have just removed the ATT Uverse app but sometimes I really want to remotely set my DVR to record something while I’m out.

After all that, I still have 47mb free.

I looked into adding Adobe Flash.  I downloaded Flash apk 10.2 from some site because the market won’t let me install Flash 11.  It installed OK.  I tried to download the apk for version 11 but it would not install.  Flash 10.2 might have worked but Crackle only works with Flash 11 so I gave up, uninstalled Flash 10.2 and called it quits.

I also looked into overclocking but I don’t think it is worth risking bricking the phone.

Status update

My 3g still isn’t perfect but it works most of the time.  The biggest complaint I have is how it sucks the battery dry from time to time.  I still use the free taob (toggle airplane on boot) app from the Market.  I’m home most of the time so I’m on wifi and luckily wifi works great.   As much as I’ve had problems with the 3g, I still am glad I got this phone at the $25/mo price when it was still available at that price.

I’ve been looking into getting the new Motorola Triumph or HTC Wildfire S or Optimus Slider.  The cheaper 2 have the same problem – low internal memory like the Optimus V.  The Triumph has other problems like the size is a bit big for my liking.

Optimus V.. spoke to soon

Ha, I posted that things were getting better for me.  Then the next day I went out to dinner.  In the hour and a half that it took to eat, my battery dropped from 85% to 15% on 3G only.  My wifi was off.  My gps was off.  I never turn bluetooth on so it was off.  Bummer.

Most of my time has been at home on wifi lately so I think I was just fooling myself into thinking things were getting better with 3G.

 

Optimus V – Getting Better For Me

It has been a while since my last Optimus V post.  I haven’t had problems in a long time.  When I’m home I stay on wifi which works fine.  Over the last few months, 3g has been working pretty well for me.

I have found that leaving wifi on while on 3g (away from home) tends to drain the battery pretty fast.

I think Virgin Mobile has changed their service in some way to help correct the problem.  I haven’t had to reboot my phone in a while.  I haven’t had to pull the battery in a while.   I don’t know what they did but it seems to have seriously helped the issues.

I do use some app (taob – toggle airplane on boot) that puts my phone into airplane mode for a few seconds after a reboot.  I’m not sure if it is still required but it doesn’t seem to be hurting anything.

Knock on wood; The Optimus V seems to be getting better for me.

Android Free or Cheap Calls

I’ve been trying out several options for free or very cheap wifi calling on android phones.  I have an LG Optimus V and most of my time is spent at home because I work from home.  So far here are some options I have come up with.

Free Outbound Calling – Nettalk

Nettalk is a free android app that lets you make free outbound calls to real telephone numbers.  Call quality is sketchy and calls drop pretty frequently.  It is free so you can’t get mad but I still find it too unstable for frequent use.

Cheap Outbound Calling – Skype

Skype out costs $2.99/month.  Call quality is pretty good.  So, if you don’t mind paying a little per month is is a good option.

Free Inbound and Outbound Calling – GrooveIP + Google Voice

GrooveIP is an android application that makes it possible to use a Google Voice account for free inbound and outbound calling.   You have to setup your Google Voice phone number to forward to your Google chat (it is an option in your Google Voice account).   Somehow the GrooveIP app hooks in to the Google chat API.  Call quality is pretty good and this option offers both inbound and outbound calling.  The GrooveIP app costs $3.99 (one time charge).

Free Inbound and Outbound – IPKall, CallCentric, CSipSimple, Google Voice, Google Voice Callback

Setting this one up was complicated but it works well.  You need:

  • CallCentric.com free Call Freedom SIP account.  This allows you to receive unlimited incoming SIP calls
  • IPKall.com gives you a free Washington area phone number.  This number forwards calls to your CallCentric.com SIP account.
  • CSipSimple android app receives SIP calls
  • Google Voice account setup to forward calls to your IPKall phone number
  • Google Voice Callback app makes it so when you dial a number, it instead uses Google Voice to call you back and connect you with the phone  you were trying to call

When you make an outbound call, you use the normal android dialer to place a call.  It tells Google Voice to call you back on your IPKall phone number.  The IPKall phone number routes to CallCentric and then to the CSipSimple app on your phone.

When you receive an inbound call on your Google Voice phone number it routes to your IPKall number which routes to your CallCentric SIP account which routes the call to your CSipSimple app on your phone.

This one has been working pretty well for me.  It was a pain to setup but it is pretty clear and makes free inbound and outbound calling possible.

 

Magicjack – Not Working

After reading a lot about how you could set Magicjack up to forward calls to a SIP app like CSipSimple, I went through the trouble of decyphering my Magjcjack SIP username, password and proxy server.  Then I realized that this option hasn’t worked since 2009/2010.  Apparently Magicjack changed something about their password authentication scheme to prevent people from using Magicjack with a SIP app to make calls from any SIP calling application (android or other).

 

 

Optimus V Review Rejected By Virgin Mobile

So I resubmitted my Optimus V Review again today with this exact text:

great phone but the 3G dropping problem stinks – you lose your 3g connection and it doesn’t auto-reconnect when 3g becomes available again.  I won’t recommend this phone to friends until the 3g dropping problem is fixed.

And once again it was rejected by Virgin Mobile.  So much for a useful review process.

You can follow my progress (and pain) in this category:  https://montykamath.wordpress.com/category/optimusvsucks/

Optimus V Review (Rejected By Virgin Mobile)

My review was honest and fair but it was rejected by Virgin Mobile.  I guess they don’t like people giving honest and low ratings.  Now I see how Virgin Mobile is keeping the rating for the Optimus V at 4.5 stars on their site!

I resubmitted my review again today with this exact text:

great phone but the 3G dropping problem stinks – you lose your 3g connection and it doesn’t auto-reconnect when 3g becomes available again.  I won’t recommend this phone to friends until the 3g dropping problem is fixed.

I’ll post an update to let you know if this review is rejected by Virgin Mobile too.


You can follow my progress (and pain) in this category:  https://montykamath.wordpress.com/category/optimusvsucks/

Optimus V 3G Drops (update 3/24/2011)

Last night around 8pm my 3G connection started working again.  It was slow but it stayed working.  Today it is still working (knock on wood).

Both my wife and I experienced 3G connection problems all day yesterday.  As already stated on the forums I think there are 2 problems here:

  1. Virgin Mobile 3G service is sketchy so 3G goes down a lot
  2. The Optimus V doesn’t auto reconnect to 3G once it becomes available again without doing something (reboot, toggle airplane mode, switch to wifi and back, toggle data off/on)

Yesterday I rebooted 5 times, toggled airplane mode 10 times, switched from wifi back to 3G 10 times, toggled data off 5 times, etc.  It was pretty frustrating.  Luckily it started working around the same time I had to go away from my wifi.

Come on Virgin Mobile, please address the issue!  There are a lot of people with Optimus V phones who are having the same problems that I am.

You can follow my progress (and pain) in this category:  http://trillionth.wordpress.com/category/optimusvsucks/

Optimus V 3G Drops (update 3/23/2011)

I just wanted to mention that there are tons of people complaining (including me) about the same 3G drops with the LG Optimus V from Virgin Mobile.  Here is a link to the android forums where people are complaining and thrashing about trying to find a work around:

http://androidforums.com/lg-optimus-v/

You can follow my progress (and pain) in this category: https://montykamath.wordpress.com/category/optimusvsucks/