Android

PCs, laptops, macs, mp3 players, consoles, peripherals
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Uncle Ants
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Re: Android

Post by Uncle Ants » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:00 pm

tompony wrote:The guy I work with has one of those - I just asked him about the camera, he says it's "pretty fuckin' slick".

I don't think the touch screen has multi-touch though, if that's a deal breaker. I quite like being able to zoom into webpages with a sneaky pinch.
I'd rejected it from my list because it's still on 1.6, with no plans to release even 2.1 until near Christmas apparently. It's pretty offputting as it suggests Sony aren't all that fussed about their software release schedule - how much does this matter??, but I just found a review and the camera was raved over*.

*Edit ... although most of the reviews rave about the camera, they mostly suggest that everything else about it sucks. slow, unresponsive, dodgy keyboard input ... oh well.
Last edited by Uncle Ants on Tue Aug 24, 2010 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Android

Post by Your Funny Uncle » Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:00 pm

Final Loan wrote: Smile detection?
That's quite a common feature in cameras these days. You can set it up to wait until the subject is smiling to take the photo. Technically impressive but artistically cringe-worthy.

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Uncle Ants
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Re: Android

Post by Uncle Ants » Wed Aug 25, 2010 11:51 am

I just went down to the Vodaphone shop for some hands on with some of these things.

I concluded that I want an HTC Desire, with the HTC Legend's case, the Sony X10's camera and the iPhone4's keyboard.
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Re: Android

Post by Final Loan » Wed Aug 25, 2010 4:53 pm

Some manner of Frankenphone!

That's a pretty sweet wish list, but I'd want the Vivaz camera - HD innit?
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Re: Android

Post by tonieee » Fri Oct 01, 2010 7:12 am

I wrote my first Android app last night! It's just a simple "hello world" program. Unfortunately my eeepc doesn't seem quite up to running the development environment. It took ten minutes to launch the emulator and start the program! I was going to look into using vim to do the coding anyway so hopefully not having eclipse running as well will make it all run a bit smoother...

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Re: Android

Post by tonieee » Tue Nov 23, 2010 5:55 pm

My phone has finally got an update to take it up to Android 2.1 and it turns out that you need to use Windows to install the upgrade. I'm really annoyed! Why should you need Windows to upgrade a Linux based operating system?

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Re: Android

Post by Your Funny Uncle » Tue Nov 23, 2010 9:31 pm

tonieee wrote:My phone has finally got an update to take it up to Android 2.1 and it turns out that you need to use Windows to install the upgrade. I'm really annoyed! Why should you need Windows to upgrade a Linux based operating system?
Weird! My Desire just updated itself. Didn't need any sort of PC to do it...

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Re: Android

Post by humblebee » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:24 am

Mine shows no sign at all either of updating itself or of asking me to help it along by using Windows.

I'm starting to think I chose the ZX81 of Android phones.

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Re: Android

Post by tonieee » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:21 am

Mine has a thing called "PC Companion". Every time you connect you it to a computer it asks you if you want to install it (the phone installs it on the computer itself) even though it is a Windows only program and I'm connecting it to a Linux computer. It's through that that you upgrade the OS. I've emailed Sony Ericsson about it and they said I can only get an upgrade via a computer running Windows.

Android is not turning out to be like the wonderful world of open source software that I'm used to and thought it was going to be. I probably won't get another Android phone.

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Re: Android

Post by tompony » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:24 am

I upgraded mine manually by downloading the update and copying it over to the phone. It sounds like it's Sony Ericsson that are the problem rather than Android itself...

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Re: Android

Post by Your Funny Uncle » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:35 am

Ah right... One of the criticisms of Android is that due to its open-source nature, manufacturers and networks get to dump their own stuff on top of it making the user-experience different depending on the phone you have...

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Re: Android

Post by SophieC » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:38 am

yeah, mine downloads automatically as well, i've never heard of it doing it any other way until now. sounds like it's definitely the phone, not the OS. this PC companion sounds like a massive, pointless ball ache.

the only problem i have is orange sits on the updates for a couple of months before releasing them. i could root my phone to get round it, but i will admit it, I'M SCARED.
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Re: Android

Post by tonieee » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:39 am

tompony wrote:I upgraded mine manually by downloading the update and copying it over to the phone. It sounds like it's Sony Ericsson that are the problem rather than Android itself...
Yes it's definitely Sony Ericsson. That's kind of part of the problem with Android - that it's not completely open so you're reliant on the manufacturer to do the update. And that virtually none of the apps are open source either and the vast majority or them seem to be of low quality and you have allow them the ability to collect data about you and send them to somewhere on the internet.

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Uncle Ants
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Re: Android

Post by Uncle Ants » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:15 pm

Your Funny Uncle wrote:Ah right... One of the criticisms of Android is that due to its open-source nature, manufacturers and networks get to dump their own stuff on top of it making the user-experience different depending on the phone you have...
That's how I understand it. Each manufacturer "improves" (or possibly fucks up) vanilla Android with their own proprietary software. Making it updatable only via Windows is presumably one of Sony's "improvements".

Having messed around with a few Android flavours now I've got to say I'm not on brief use, super impressed with any of the versions I've seen, though HTC's is better than most. I wouldn't be all that surprised if vanilla Android was actually better than these custom versions but I don't think anyone uses it. It's a shame Apple are the devil incarnate ... The iPhone/Touch OS is a lot easier and more obvious to use ... I think anyway.
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Re: Android

Post by tonieee » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:33 pm

Your Funny Uncle wrote:Ah right... One of the criticisms of Android is that due to its open-source nature, manufacturers and networks get to dump their own stuff on top of it making the user-experience different depending on the phone you have...
Why doesn't that happen with Linux on computers then?

Maybe Android hasn't had time to build up a Free/Open Source infrastructure yet. There are a few open source apps available and I always use open source apps when I can find them (and support them financially when I can). I'd like to get involved in writing some myself but haven't really got the time. I bought a book on it but not got past writing the first simple "Hello, World" app.

My problem with most of the stuff to do with Android seems to be focussed around making a profit and not about making quality software that does a job that's needed. I'm probably a bit too ideological when it comes to computers...

I'm not sure how much of a life Android has got anyway with Oracle currently trying to sue it out of existence. Maybe if they're successful then Google will rewrite it in something other than a Java derivative.

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Re: Android

Post by tompony » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:43 pm

I'm pretty happy with Android (on an HTC Desire), it's great for quick internet browsing and I've managed to find decent apps for things I've wanted to do, often for free. There is definitely a ton of crap on the marketplace but it's generally quite easy to avoid. I'll be interested to see how things have changed by the end of my big long contract, but Android does everything I want it to for now.

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Re: Android

Post by humblebee » Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:50 pm

I don't have any big complaints with it, really. Even if my phone isn't as good as everyone else's, it still amazes me what it can do.

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Re: Android

Post by Your Funny Uncle » Wed Nov 24, 2010 1:45 pm

tonieee wrote:Why doesn't that happen with Linux on computers then?

Maybe Android hasn't had time to build up a Free/Open Source infrastructure yet. There are a few open source apps available and I always use open source apps when I can find them (and support them financially when I can). I'd like to get involved in writing some myself but haven't really got the time. I bought a book on it but not got past writing the first simple "Hello, World" app.
Well for a start there are loads of different linux distros, which kind of underlines the point. More importantly though Linux isn't being distributed by big companies who are out to make a profit. Both the hardware manufacturers and the networks have commercial interests and reasons to try to give their versions unique selling points and/or restrict the user so that they are tied to the services that they are "supposed" to be using. These attempts at differentiation are what lead to the uneven experiences.
tonieee wrote: My problem with most of the stuff to do with Android seems to be focussed around making a profit and not about making quality software that does a job that's needed. I'm probably a bit too ideological when it comes to computers...
I think that's the problem with the tech sector in general not just Android. If you're not growing your business exponentially then you're somehow deemed a failure.
tonieee wrote: I'm not sure how much of a life Android has got anyway with Oracle currently trying to sue it out of existence. Maybe if they're successful then Google will rewrite it in something other than a Java derivative.
Oh the tech companies are forever suing each other. I wouldn't worry too much about that. Android phones are selling like absolute crazy so I'd say its future's bright.
Uncle Ants wrote: Having messed around with a few Android flavours now I've got to say I'm not on brief use, super impressed with any of the versions I've seen, though HTC's is better than most. I wouldn't be all that surprised if vanilla Android was actually better than these custom versions but I don't think anyone uses it. It's a shame Apple are the devil incarnate ... The iPhone/Touch OS is a lot easier and more obvious to use ... I think anyway.
I guess Nexus One users do... I agree that the iPhone user experience is more intuitive but for me the price it pays is in being way more restrictive. Also having to "sync" your phone using the monstrosity that is iTunes is a soul-destroying experience.

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Re: Android

Post by tonieee » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:14 pm

Your Funny Uncle wrote:Well for a start there are loads of different linux distros, which kind of underlines the point. More importantly though Linux isn't being distributed by big companies who are out to make a profit. Both the hardware manufacturers and the networks have commercial interests and reasons to try to give their versions unique selling points and/or restrict the user so that they are tied to the services that they are "supposed" to be using. These attempts at differentiation are what lead to the uneven experiences.
That's kind of the point I was trying to make.
Your Funny Uncle wrote:
tonieee wrote:My problem with most of the stuff to do with Android seems to be focussed around making a profit and not about making quality software that does a job that's needed. I'm probably a bit too ideological when it comes to computers...
I think that's the problem with the tech sector in general not just Android. If you're not growing your business exponentially then you're somehow deemed a failure.
But again Linux doesn't seem to be like that.

It's not that Android is bad compared to the rest of the commercial IT sector. It's my expectations that were at fault thinking that because it is based on Linux that it would be similar to Linux distros on desktop computers.
Your Funny Uncle wrote:
tonieee wrote: I'm not sure how much of a life Android has got anyway with Oracle currently trying to sue it out of existence. Maybe if they're successful then Google will rewrite it in something other than a Java derivative.
Oh the tech companies are forever suing each other. I wouldn't worry too much about that. Android phones are selling like absolute crazy so I'd say its future's bright.
You're probably right. Google are unlikely let it fail.

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Re: Android

Post by Your Funny Uncle » Wed Nov 24, 2010 2:27 pm

Oh yes sorry I misunderstood you. Open source is definitely a very different beast when the ideology behind it is capitalism.

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