In the future, apparently we’ll only have one computer – a smartphone that plugs into a docking station. If a docking station is needed to work, and I need to work on the move then I still need more than a smartphone.
I prefer the future laid out by Ben Thompson:
multiple devices linked by the cloud.
…what is the smallest screen size Apple could make and still run iPad apps?
The conclusion was that a smaller iPad would need a different resolution. It would still be tough to do fine-grained work.
A reasonably sized smart phone is fine for surfing the net, watching movies and replying to email (although I’m still sad when the keyboard takes over half my screen). For working, although you can make do with one in extremis, either a larger device or a completely new interface is required.
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What are we looking at here? This is the free space of the various mount points of the phone. System is the OS (Android 4.0.4 in this case) and SD should be fairly self-explanatory.
The 147MB data segment is the space for storing apps. It’s supposed to be 512MB, but HTC did something funky… and a lot of the default apps take up space here, so there is really not a lot of space for third party apps. The first thing you do when installing a new ROM on the Desire is to create a new Ext partition, and start linking parts of your data mount to it.
As with all things Android, there’s a choice of what to move off to your partition: Apps, Data and Dalvik Cache. Moving Apps to Ext is essential, but at the same time, doesn’t help much. After four or five apps, I’m still out of space on my Apps partition.
I decide to move Data but it doesn’t help much. This screenshot shows the result after moving data – and data still has 128MB used of 147MB. Surprise surprise – Dalvik Cache is also stored in “Data”.
Unfortunately, moving Dalvik Cache pretty much hoses your performance. It contains pre-compiled byte code and loading that off SD card takes a long time. Apps start taking between 10 seconds and a minute to start-up.
I’m caught between a rock and a hard place. Truly awful performance, but plenty of space for apps. Or moderately poor performance and no space for apps.
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My android set-up has been tweaked and honed over more than three years. It is really a bit more than the original HTC Desire is capable of coping with.
The focus of my home screen is communication. Two email apps – Yahoo and Gmail, Viber (messenging), Facebook Messenger and LinkedIn. My phone calls, SMS and a shared calendar are a fifth, sixth and seventh way of communicating respectively.
This is primarily for enabling and disabling WiFi and 3G to conserve the battery. It’s one swipe to the left and then one button press. It’s not quite as convenient in Windows Phone, even using Quick Settings.
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Posted in Smartphones, tagged android, wp8 on August 5, 2013 |
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My Android Background
I’ve owned a HTC Desire for almost 3 years (100 years in
dog smartphone years) and it has been quite an experience.
- It was never particularly brilliant at being a phone. Calls would often drop, or never make it through at all.
- The Desire had a bug that meant that replying to an SMS sometimes sent your response to someone else. If you had a mistress, I imagine that could have lead to some difficult conversations…
- The amount of storage for apps was ridiculously limited. It was supposed to be 512MB, but somehow HTC managed to reduce that to 147MB. There are a few ways around this limitation.
- The last official OTA update was to 2.2 – Froyo. Yup, not even Gingerbread. The official (7.2) Cyanogenmod release did get you to 2.3. But apart from unofficial roms, that was it.
Fixing (some of) the issues
I finally installed a beta Icecream Sandwich (4.04) rom, but now the phone crashes a few times per day. Downgrading to 2.3 did not fix this crash. Generally, the crash isn’t problematic, but as my phone is my alarm clock, when it crashes overnight, I get to sleep-in.
I stayed with 4.04 as some apps, including the modern, greatly improved google keyboard, simply don’t support Gingerbread.
Also, it is laggy as heck.
- I do use the phone/SMS functionality so that isn’t optional
- Non-phone communication – I have Y! Mail, Gmail, LinkedIn, Viber installed
- Internet browser
- Alarm-clock – I have fairly specific requirements here and Alarm Clock Plus works really well for me
- Evernote, Dropbox
- TODO list (Wunderlist)
- Music Player
Why WP8 ?
I’d be happy to stick with Android, to be honest. But:
- None of the current flagship android phones are particularly tempting, e.g. Galaxy S4, HTC One, Xperia Z …
- It costs £100 for an unlocked smart phone (Lumia 520) !
- It covers most of my use cases
Experience so far
- So far it has been pretty snappy. The specs are not a million miles away from the Desire on paper (1GHz CPU, albeit dual core and more recent I guess, 512MB of memory), but even so, it’s a far nicer experience
- I’m covered with most apps – Mail, LinkedIn, Shared (Google-linked) Calendar, RSS readers, Browser, …
- I’m disappointed with the enhanced alarm apps. There is a limitation in WP8 which means that alarm apps can’t work correctly in the background and in any case, have limited access to the volume. I’d like to have an app that begins by vibrating and then have a sounds that slowly increases in volume. Maybe I could simulate this with an appropriate tune?
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Posted in Smartphones, tagged android, htc desire on June 19, 2010 |
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That’s the Android Smartphone of course, nothing to do with my personal life.
So, I got a HTC Desire a couple of weeks ago, thinking it would help me out in my role as a
content creator blogger.
Writing notes is difficult
Typing on the 3.7" touch screen is difficult. When composing text messages or emails, the excellent auto-correction removes a lot of the pain, but obviously it doesn’t recognise a lot of tech jargon.
The default keyboard has no arrow keys, and key chording is practically impossible. This is probably worse for me as an emacs power user.
No access to wordpress admin
I have not been able to login to the wordpress admin screens using the standard android browser. Admittedly I haven’t put much effort into fixing this problem.
Short Battery Life
This gives yet another resource to conserve on top of the data download limit and free plan minutes. I miss the days that I could go 6 days between phone charges.
It might be my imagination, but I’m having a lot of problems with basic phone functionality – dropped calls, one party being unable to hear the other and that type of thing.
Everything goes invisible in sunlight
and we’re talking about UK sunlight here. When the sun is shining, any task that requires the screen becomes impossible.
I think I would have been better off with a cheap 7" netbook and a dongle for accessing the internet. At least I would have been able to run Perl, Apache, Emacs and use a real, if minature keyboard.
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