I recently purchased a Pantech Burst Android phone. It’s a nice budget phone with LTE capability. When I set it up initially, I noticed a strange thing about it. I disabled mobile data at home because I have Wifi access. However, the mobile data feature got enabled automatically when the phone woke from sleep mode.
The first thing I did was to contact Pantech support, but they only suggested that I reset the phone. A factory reset would reset the phone and erase all apps and customization, which meant that all the works I did would be lost. Before doing that, I tried to find a solution that would still retain the customization and files.
An online article pointed the right direction for me to solve the problem. This is the quote from the article.
Apps need a special permission to turn on or off mobile data. There’s no built-in way to search for apps that use a particular permission, but you can look at the list of apps in Settings → Apps. In the “downloaded” list, if you click on a suspect app, you can see what permissions it uses. The permission you’re looking for is “change network connectivity“. Any app with that permission might be connecting or disconnecting networks. If you found one in the “downloaded” list, and you don’t think it should be allowed to do that, there’s a button to uninstall it.
You can also see what permissions each app wants before you install it, in the Play Store’s install screen.
I followed the directions to check my downloaded apps. There were a lot of apps to check. Fortunately, I found it within just a few tries. The culprit for this problem was the app Battery Defender. I have this app on my HTC One X and it works beautifully, but apparently it does not work properly with a Pantech Burst. After I uninstalled the Battery Defender app, my phone does not enable mobile data automatically any more. I have included a screenshot of the permissions. The specific setting is under SYSTEM TOOLS section.
I recently upgraded my phone to an HTC One X android phone. The phone performs very well. I have used some Android devices before, including the highly rated Asus Transformer. I was not impressed at all by those Android devices’ performances. This phone actually changed my view of Android. It has a large bright screen with high resolution. Every operation is responsive and does not lag at all. It’s way faster than my iPhone 4. There is, however, only one thing I do not like about this phone: the battery life is way too short. By default, it cannot last for even a day!
I have spent some time learning how to better manage the battery usage. Most of the suggestions I found can help to increase the battery life only by a little bit. Of all the tweaks I found, there are only some that would significantly increase the battery life. Here are the tweaks that I want to share.
Configure Accounts & Sync
On my HTC One X, this is under Settings -> Accounts & Sync. If you turn auto sync completely off, you will notice a dramatic increase of the battery life. However, turning everything off defeats the purpose of having a Smartphone. Instead of turning auto sync off, I just turned off syncing for some apps. For example, I never used the Stocks app: there was no reason for it to sync with the server. Go through all the apps listed under Accounts & Sync and turn off the apps that you do not use. After configuring this, I can now use my phone for two days without charging.
Turn off Fast boot
I usually turn my phone off when I go to bed. The phone is supposed to keep the charge when it’s turned off, but I found that it still consumes quite a bit of power when I turn it off at night. I estimate it loses about 15% to 20% of battery life. This had me worried a bit. I thought my phone might be defective. I then found out the reason why the battery still drains when it’s off. That’s because I have this feature called fast boot. This is turned on by default. With this feature, the machine is not completely turned off. The phone is put into sleep mode, which still consumes power. I turned fast boot off and the phone no longer drains battery when it’s off. This setting is under Settings -> Power.
Always Exit out of an App
If you do not exit out of an app when you are done, the app is still running in the background. Some apps can drain out power quickly. I learned this when I found out the Weather Channel app used over 60% of my battery because I did not close it. Be sure to check the battery usage from time to time to make sure nothing is out of the ordinary. You can check this info by going Settings -> Power -> Usage.
These are the 3 tweaks which I found affect the battery life greatly. There are, of course, some minor tweaks. I am listing these here:
- Turn off wifi, mobile data, GPS or Bluetooth when they are not in use.
- Lower the brightness of the screen.
- Lower the screen time out.
- Do not use live wallpaper.
- Install battery saving apps.
- Limit use of widgets.
I use an Asus Transformer at work. It is one of the company’s higher end models. It has a Tegra 2 3D processor, which is great for gaming. However, I do not use it for gaming that much. I found that, because of the mini-HDMI output, it is easy to use it as a media player. The price is kind of steep if I use it solely for the media player function. I set out to find a low cost Android tablet for my personal use. My criteria are: Android 4.0, mini-HDMI output, USB port and 7 inch display.
Here is a short list I found. I like the NOVO7′s low price and large storage. However, the company has no US service center. It would be a hassle if you need to contact their support.
Which one you think is the best? I’ll update the list once I find more tablets meeting my criteria.
||1 GHz ARM Cortex A8
||800 x 480
||Front: 0.3 MP
|Ainol OVO7 Advanced II
||1.2 GHz Many Core A10
||800 x 480
||Front: 2 MP
|X10 AirPad 7p
||1.2 GHz Allwinner A10 Cortex A8
||800 x 480
||Front: 1.3 MP
||1024 x 600
||Front: 0.3 MPBack: 2 MP
||1 GHz Boxchip A10 Cortex A8
||800 x 480
||Front: 0.3 MP
Starting on the 24th of March, Blockbuster is bringing its OnDemand service to Google Android and Windows Mobile phones, with the release of the T-Mobile HTC HD2 smartphone. This phone will allow Blockbuster customers to download and view new movies instantly and gain access to queue management and movie locators tools. They are currently working on an Android application for specific Motorola phones. With Netflix and Redbox challenging the company’s business, Blockbuster has directed its full attention to consumers’ mobile phones, with many applications for various phones, including the iPhone.
The difference between Blockbuster and Netflix is the fact that their OnDemand service downloads content to whichever hardware it runs on, while Netflix’s streaming service provides “back catalog” content. Also, the company’s free mobile applications will allow customers to download rented or purchased movies to the handset and protect it using DRM technology.
There are currently no available downloads on Apple devices, as Apple does not allow applications to save movies to their hard drives.
Current iPhone users, however, can expect an improved mobile application with improved remote control options, tools that help them determine Blu-ray store inventory, games store availability, and the availability status for movies in the Blockbuster queue.
A few days ago, I read an article about Google Android is gaining popularity among cellphone makers. One research firm predicts that it will grow to 14 percent of the global smartphone market in 2012. The Android will be the number 2 platform after Symbian.
The popularity of Android has also expanded to other devices. Acer today announced the availability of the Aspire One AOD250 netbook with a dual-boot option including Android and Windows XP. The inclusion of Android gives the system instant-on ability that users can quickly turn on the system and surf the internet in no time.
If you want to try out Android, you can download Live Android, a LiveCD version of Android. Here is a tutorial on how to run the LiveCD on VirtualBox. The version of Live Android used in this tutorial is 0.3 and the VirtualBox version is 3.0.8.
- Download the iso files from this site. There are two files to download: liveandroidv0.3.iso.001 and liveandroidv0.3.iso.002.
- Combine the two files on Windows by using this command in a command prompt.
copy /b liveandroidv0.3.iso.001 + liveandroidv0.3.iso.002 liveandroidv0.3.iso
- Run VirtualBox. Click on File -> Virtual Media Manager. Click on CD/DVD Images tab and then click on Add to add the iso image. Click on OK when you are done.
- Back to the main windows of VirtualBox, click on New to create a new virtual machine.
- Enter a name for the virtual machine and select the OS type. Click on Next to continue.
- Set the memory size. 1024MB is plenty. Set it to 512MB or smaller if you do not have a lot of memory for your machine. Click on Next to continue.
- Uncheck Boot Hard Disk, since we are not using the hard drive for this virtual machine. Click on Next to continue.
- A warning pops up about not having a hard drive. Click on Continue.
- Click on Finish to finish creating the new virtual machine.
- Back to the main window, with Android LiveCD selected, double click on CD/DVD-ROM.
- Check Mount CD/DVD Drive, click on ISO Image File and select the Live Android cd image we added in step 3. Click on OK to continue.
- Back to the main windows. The virtual machine is configured to mount the Live Android.
- Start the virtual machine and select the resolution if you want and press Enter to boot.
- Live Android boots up. You are ready to try it.
Note that this can be adapted to other LiveCD. Use the Virtual Media Manager to add a different iso image and choose the newly added cd image in step 11.
For those who are new to Android, there are some special keys.
Left Windows key: Home
Application key: Menu
ESC key: Back
Here is a pic of Home and Menu keys on your keyboard.