Smart(ass) phones

Santa came early this year and gave me a new cellphone😀
After all, it is holiday season which means Christmas sales, sales of everything, including cellphones😀 And my old cell was indeed old.

So, I’ve had the thing for about two weeks now and just want to compare these smart phones with “stupid old” phones. Note that stuff I write here is pretty much based on my phone – Sony Xperia Miro. Googling, I came to the conclusion that things about a smart phone pretty much depend on the operating system and not on the model. I have Android, so stuff written here should apply to all Android phones. Anyway, if something is different to you despite having an Android, the reason probably is you having a different model.

No one’s questioning the shiny features of a smart phone, but some simple things were really simple on old cellphones. And still are ’cause some companies, like Samsung, still make “stupid” phones😀

Content

To easily navigate through the rest of the post, use Ctrl+F codes:
Alarm clock (cf1)
Personalization (cf2)
Messaging options (cf3)
Receiving MMS (cf4)
Touch screen (cf5)
Screen rotation (cf6)
Flash Player (cf7)
Applications (cf8)
Battery (cf9)

Alarm clock (cf1)

On pretty much every other cellphone I’ve had, the alarm clock would have rung if the thing had been off. I became so depended on it that I stopped using my real alarm clock😀 (I turn my cellphone off for a night ’cause I see no point in wasting battery over night). Actually, because working with Nokias and Sony Ericssons a lot (especially Sony Ericssons), I think there isn’t a single “stupid” Nokia nor (Sony) Ericsson model that wouldn’t ring the alarm when it’s turned off. At least, all the models I worked with could do that. But can smart phones do that? They can my ass.

What was the trick? All phones have a built-in clock that works when the phone is turned off. Otherwise, you’d never get the correct time once you restart your phone. So, all the alarm clock needs is access to that built-in clock so it can set the time when the phone must turn itself on. The phone, then, turns itself back off when you deactivate the alarm.
Smart phones depend too much on the operating system since everything, including the alarm clock, is part of the operating system. Android has no access to the built-in clock once the phone is turned off, so it cannot sound the alarm. I tried searching for an app, but apps depend on the operating system too, so you can’t find an alarm clock app that works when the phone is off (in case you do find such an app, do tell me😀 ).

Personalization (cf2)

By personalization, I mean changing themes, backgrounds and stuff.

Personalization is quite simple on old phones. On smart phones, on the other hand… Okay, you do get a few themes on Android. However, they’re pretty much the same, just coloured differently. Even the colour is similar, so I’d just say they’re “hued” differently. I did download a theme or two, but if they worked, they were just apps.

Now, changing the background… Unless the picture is just of a precise format, you can fuck yourself. Luckily, those taken by the phone camera are the right format. I just don’t understand why a bloody pic can’t be resized to fit the screen and by that I simply mean making a large image small. I’m not even asking for keeping proportions, just resizing so the bloody thing can fit the bloody screen. Although to be honest, I’d probably ask for keeping proportions if just resizing the pic to fit the screen was possible😀

SAM_3179
The same picture as a background on my old and new phone (click on the image to enlarge it)

Messaging options (cf3)

Messaging options on Android are just scarce. You can’t set where to save the messages (I’d like to save them on the memory card, so I have them on a different phone). You can do shit with MMS attachments (I would very much like to resize a picture I’m sending from time to time)…
All the little things that are quite easily set up on “stupid” phones can’t be set on Android

Receiving MMS (cf4)

Although you can send MMS without Internet connection, you can’t receive MMS without Internet connection (very logical…), at least not the attachments.

How do “stupid” phones go around this problem? They connect to the Internet to download the message and disconnect after the download is complete. They do all that automatically.

Now, what about “smart” phones? When you get an MMS and you’re not connected to the Internet, you’ll see a “downloading message” bar. The bar is gonna stick until you connect to the Internet. After the download is complete, the phone won’t disconnect automatically; you have to do it yourself.

You can connect to the Internet via a wireless Internet connection or by enabling data traffic. Both just eat the battery, so you do want to disconnect after the download. In addition, data traffic is charged. Usually not much, but still… Especially since you never know what shit is being downloaded in the background…

Touch screen (cf5)

Touch screen is definitely the shiniest thing of smart phones (at least to me).

However, it has a huge disadvantage: You can’t type with gloves. That is, you can, but you gotta buy “special” gloves.
Winter is coming (at least to the Northern Hemisphere) and it can get quite chilly especially in some regions, so I don’t think you’re gonna be too happy to take your gloves off when the phone rings. Using your nose to slide can be “dangerous” when it’s too cold…
Most people that can afford cellphones and to whom cellphones are common, live where gloves are needed at least in one period of a year. Therefore, selling “special” gloves is good for business😉

Just today, I had to ring a buddy for directions. It was snowing and I’m pretty sure, gloves would have come in handy😉

You can find out how to make an ordinary glove a touch screen sensitive glove here. Well, you still need to buy the thread.

Anyway, if you can, buy a model with at least answer and hang up buttons.

Screen rotation (cf6)

You want portrait screen orientation… most of the time. Sometimes, though, landscape is quite shiny (e.g. for viewing photos).

If you want landscape orientation, you have to turn automatic rotation on. You can’t manually rotate the screen (something old phones have no trouble supporting), not even when viewing photos.

The problem is that the bloody automatic rotation works like the phone wants, not like you want😡
Now, have you ever just woke up and grabbed your phone to turn it on or check notifications or what ever? Anyway, you’re drowsy and you’re not able to be careful how you hold your phone. Then all of a sudden, the bloody thing changes orientation! Sometimes when you move your phone, the orientation changes again, so you can’t get it right and you just woke up! That is especially confusing (and very bad for your nerves when you just wake up😡 ) if you’re typing on a numeric (which is available only on portrait orientation…) instead of a QWERTZ keyboard. Furthermore, the orientation on my phone goes to landscape as soon as I put the phone on a surface despite it facing me vertically…

Luckily I was able to find an app which controls the rotation, but… apps eat battery.

Flash Player (cf7)

My old phone could browse the web (G stands for Generation web). I searched the web with it very rarely (mostly to see if there’s any difficulty in public transport😀 ).

Anyway, surfing is a very popular smart phone feature. Every other site there requires Flash Player. What did Adobe do? They stopped Flash Player support for Android. Their excuse is that they’re “focusing” on new technologies, the “technologies” being HTML5. So until websites across the globe start using HTML5, we’re fucked up without Flash. At very best, the sites using Flash are displayed incorrectly without Flash.

I found out about the thing when I wanted to listen to my favourite radio station, [Bavarian (German)] Rock Antenne😀 The webradio requires Flash. Luckily, I found Rock Antenne a app on Play Store.. but that’s just Rock Antenne.

Applications (cf8)

There are a lot of shiny Android apps😀 Most can be download for free or bought on Play Store directly from your phone.

The disadvantage of apps is that they consume battery, at least when they’re active and the point of an app is to be active😀 Furthermore, some things you don’t need apps for on “stupid” phones, are only available through a smart phone app.

Here’s a list of apps I have installed:
Unit Converter Pro – shiny unit converter which can literally convert every little shit (yes, including kilcks and miles);
Best World Clock and Time Zones – time difference calculation and display [only works with cities – search for Reykjavik when searching for GMT (read more about GMT and stuff here)];
Precision Time – stopwatch (and alarm clock I think);
My Boy! Free – a Gameboy Advance emulator (honestly, I haven’t tried the thing out yet, I just installed it😀 );
Battery Booster – controls the performance of the battery trying to extend its life [the shiny thing about the app is that you can always terminate apps running in the background and, thus, consuming the battery for nothing; I have it on “Ultimate Saving Mode” pretty much all the time and everything works fine😀 you have “Sleep Mode” which shuts down everything expect the alarm clock (nevertheless, about 3 % of battery is wasted over night)];
Rotation Control – controls rotation… decently;
Voice Recorder – records sound (I couldn’t find a built-in sound recorder😮 );
PDF Reader – reads .pdf and .djv(u) documents (unlike Adobe Reader, this one doesn’t require Internet connection and I doubt Adobe can read DjVu documents…);
Firefox – a web browser (surprise, surprise…) (I got two browser on my phone – one, called just Browser, which sucks ass and Google Chrome, which is for some reason unstable, so I decided to install Firefox, which I’ve been using on the computer for ages😀 );
Rock Antenne – an app of Rock Antenne radio stations (I recommend you use portrait screen orientation for this app because sliding between Rock Nonstop, Heavy Metal etc. is almost impossible on landscape);
RealCalc – a scientific calculator (with square, root, logarithm and shit).

I have another app called Light Flow Lite. My phone has a LED indicator which, of course, can’t be customized without an additional app. I really want to personalize the colours of my LED to know exactly what a notification is about. I tried many apps and none worked (yes, I tried them without Battery Booster). Light Flow doesn’t work to me either. I tried it on Mom’s phone (Samsung Galaxy Core) and no luck on her phone either. Since people just say that Light Flow works and is the best LED control app, I keep the thing installed and hope that an update, or something , is going to make it work one day🙂

Be careful of what applications you update. No point in updating ones you don’t use. You only waste memory and battery (and data traffic when you update the app via data traffic). Uninstall the apps you don’t use. Unfortunately, some can’t be uninstalled😦 One such is Google Talk. Yesterday, I was stupid enough to tell the phone to update all apps. Google Talk was then updated to Hangouts. The problem with Hangouts is that the app takes control over SMS. That can probably be disabled, but I didn’t find out how. Furthermore, Hangouts overrode the nice message sound I had set. Instead of looking for a way to disable Hangouts, I just downgraded it back to Google Talk😀 You can do that at Settings\Applications.

All the links I provided should load in English or your default lingo. Note that most of the apps I mentioned are multilingual with English among the lingoes. Those that ain’t multilingual are only in English😀 The phone should recognize your default lingo. If the default lingo ain’t available, the app will usually be in English unless specified differently.

Battery (cf9)

And, in the end, something about the most hated thing of a smart phone – battery life.

My old phone required a charge like once a week or even less.

The fact is that smart phones are just too advanced and with all the features they have (starting from the screen itself), they must consume more energy. However, battery life can be extended. My phone lasts 3-4 days without recharging. That ain’t a week, but it is significantly longer than a day.

Okay, I usually do use the phone only for phone calls and messaging (mostly SMS), but here are a few things you can try to do to extend the battery life:
Turn your cellphone off during the night;
Disconnect from the Internet when you’re not using it (WiFi and/or data traffic). I’m pretty sure you can take a shit without knowing the current weather conditions…
Make sure Bluetooth is turned off when you ain’t using it.
Try using a battery saving app like Battery Booster;
Every now and then check what apps are running and terminate those not needed (Battery Booster can do that automatically).

Just a word or two about how browsing the Internet, for which the God created computers, eats battery: This morning I surfed on my cell for like 20 minutes. In that time, I managed to waste 5% of battery. Now, if the battery usually holds 3 days for me, it means that I usually spend 5 % of battery in 2.5 hours, probably even more. That is one hundred fifty minutes. Yes I did take 15% from 100 % ’cause that is the battery level I usually charge my phone at.

That’s all folks! Hope you found what you were looking for. Happy holidays and cheers!


Posted on December 17th, 2013 at 23:08 GMT
Use Time Zone Converter to quickly convert the time

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