Android Newbie Issues

HnLA

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May 31, 2012
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Just got HTC Evo 4G LTE, updating from tracfone (phone/text), but use Ipod touch(email/apps).
The big screen is really great. Main reason I got it was typing on ipod/iphone was not easy, and LOVING the voice dictation and swype.
I was as clueless about iOS 3 years ago, as I am about ICS today. But the settings in iOS make sense, I have no idea what most of the settings are in ICS. All the info online seems to be for previous versions, and ICS has no similarity to them. No + on main screen, Apps is totally different, so when I keep hitting a wall, I have no where to turn. Friends that have Androids say they just went with things as they came with the phone.

I dont like that you have to use 2 hands to turn on the screen. You can do it with one hand on ipod. Especially if you get distracted for a minute, with the iphone, you just use your thumb to turn the screen on. And the power button on the top of the Evo seems to be asking to get turned on in a pocket. Why is the on button on the left, not good for right handed people.
I am of moderate tech ability. I do not want to spend days getting my phone to work for simple things. While I understand that many love that Android has options, I would frankly like to have a good, simple phone that works easily and elegantly right out of the box. Other than the keyboard and voice recognition, almost everything I have tried to do has been frustrating and unsuccessful.

1 - Emails are too big for screen, even in landscape. If you cannot read the whole email without moving it back and forth each line, it?s a major hassle. You cannot pinch them to make them fit either, I tried different font sizes in settings, same result. This might be the deal killer, as if I cannot read emails quickly whats the point?

1a - No 2-line preview in landscape, so if you want to preview and read you are constantly rocking sideways, which is tedious.

1b - There seems to be only one way to delete emails. Android requires a 3 point touch to delete an email. IOS allows a left swoosh, touch to delete, very simple and quick, as well as the 3-point method.

1c - Is there a way to have the images always open in emails, instead of touching each one to open? Where is that Android flexibility?

1d - Saving as new, needs to hit drop down. On ipod just hit link. And you cannot see difference between new and saved as new on Android.

2 - I spent over an hour to get HTC sync on my computer then it says I need an SD card to sync - huh? Apple may be a PITA with update reminders but the sync works so easily.

3 - Not sure if there is a way to type in contact info from your computer. If you do not have it in Outlook or gmail contacts I assume you have to enter it directly into the phone-which is harder with a small keyboard.

4 - I have read on here how easy and wonderful Android is for putting icons/widgets in different places, but I seem to be limited to 4 on the main screen. I watched a video about widgets, but do not have a + button on my screen, so not sure how to access widgets. With ipod I was able to sync and move the icons around with a mouse on my computer.
I see screenshots of people having different configs, but clueless about how to do that, and have not found any help or guide.

5 - Is there a way to get a different tone for texts, emails and other notifications. It would be nice, like when I am at work, I would ignore tone for emails, as I am on my computer, but would look at texts.

It seems that if you use gmail and other google things, ICS is great, but its really not so easy for other email providers, etc For instance I dont see why they make a difference between getting a gmail email or another provider email, its all the same to me (and I do not get many gmails) Then every address gets a bing when it updates. On the ipod one ding is good enough for any or all accounts.

The first app I downloaded does not work with Andriod anymore it seems, (Currency), but will have to check out some other ones. (I see a bunch of people having trouble with Facebook like me)

While they say that with Android you have a lot of choices, so far I do not see them. Like its a big deal that you can have 4 icons on the first screen. The iphone/ipod has 16, but you do not have the lovely clock.

I got this big phone, as I do like the bigger keyboard for typing and like swype. But I have spent quite some time on trying to synch and it has not worked at all. The people in the store and when calling support are either not familiar with this new phone(as they have not seen it), or tell me that most of these things cannot be done. There are certainly issues with iOS, but it comes out of the box pretty usable. I am not finding the same thing for Android.
While it may be great for tech-savvy people can do all sorts of things, most of us want everything easy, accessible and elegant. Thanks for your help

New issues:
a-I get emails listing postings on yahoo groups. Normally you touch the post and it drops down to that post in the message. It does not do that on this phone. It say #1 cannot be connected, like its looking to go to the internet. Do not have this issue on ipod.

b-Downloaded a few apps, half do not seem to work. Just don?t open.

C - Downloaded doubletwist. Doesnt work as I have the wrong type of USB set up, whatever that means, never hear that before. Downloaded wondershare, and connect the usb cord, it just says initializing HTC Android device and never connects., tried to send email to them from the program-didnt go through. Frustrating!
 

EvilMonkey

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That is a long post, but I'll try to help since no one else has piped in. I will note that I don't have that phone, nor do I have Ice Cream Sandwich (I'm running a custom ROM), so most of this will be from a Gingerbread/Cyanogen perspective (your phone also has Sense running on top of ICS, so not sure what's different there).

I also have an iPad 2 so I'm familiar with iOS (don't have an iPhone though).

In all honesty, it doesn't sound like you've had your phone very long yet or read the manual that should have come with it, but regardless, I'll try to help. I'll stick with software, since there's not much you can do with hardware location buttons (short of trying the phone before you bought it).

1 - Emails are too big for screen, even in landscape. If you cannot read the whole email without moving it back and forth each line, it’s a major hassle. You cannot pinch them to make them fit either, I tried different font sizes in settings, same result. This might be the deal killer, as if I cannot read emails quickly whats the point?

1a - No 2-line preview in landscape, so if you want to preview and read you are constantly rocking sideways, which is tedious.

I think that's an issue with gmail app and HTML messages. I don't use the gmail app since I use the regular mail app which doesn't have this problem (you can set up your gmail account in that app). There are also about 100 different email apps available, so I maybe try something like K9 or something else that has more options.

1b - There seems to be only one way to delete emails. Android requires a 3 point touch to delete an email. IOS allows a left swoosh, touch to delete, very simple and quick, as well as the 3-point method.

I'm not quite sure what you mean, as I see checkboxes beside each message in the Gmail app. Check the boxes and press delete (that's 2 presses to delete an email) Every creenshot of the gmail app in ICS I have been able to find show checkboxes beside each message. Like this shot (which also shows 2 lines in the preview):
http://www.dreambloggers.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Gmail-of-Ice-Cream-Sandwich.jpg

1c - Is there a way to have the images always open in emails, instead of touching each one to open? Where is that Android flexibility?

Unless they changed it in ICS, I see a "Show Pictures" button at the top of the mail which shows all the pictures (it then gives me a second option to "always show pictures from this sender").

1d - Saving as new, needs to hit drop down. On ipod just hit link. And you cannot see difference between new and saved as new on Android.

Sorry, I'm not sure I understand this. Saving an email as new?

3 - Not sure if there is a way to type in contact info from your computer. If you do not have it in Outlook or gmail contacts I assume you have to enter it directly into the phone-which is harder with a small keyboard.

Again, I am not sure I understand the question. Where else are you going to have contacts at? Open up Gmail (or Outlook) on your computer, enter your contact info, and the next time the account syncs, the contacts will be there.

4 - I have read on here how easy and wonderful Android is for putting icons/widgets in different places, but I seem to be limited to 4 on the main screen. I watched a video about widgets, but do not have a + button on my screen, so not sure how to access widgets. With ipod I was able to sync and move the icons around with a mouse on my computer.
I see screenshots of people having different configs, but clueless about how to do that, and have not found any help or guide.

Sorry since I'm not familiar with ICS or the new version of Sense enough to help you out much here. On mine, long-pressing on an empty spot on the screen (holding your finger in a spot for couple of seconds) will bring up a menu to add widgets or shortcuts to applications. if you long press on an existing item, a trash can will appear at the bottom that you drag it into to delete it. If it's a widget and you long press on it then let go, you should get an option to resize it.

The real customizations come into play with a bit more work and a combination of apps, widgets, launchers and just fiddling around. There's a lot that can be done, but if you haven't got a handle on the basics before you get into that. If you haven't seen it already, there's a huge 6500+ page thread at XDA with different screens people have made: Post your Phone Home Screen **BE APPROPRIATE** - Page 6554 - xda-developers. Some of those posts have links to blogs detailing how to do it....I started with a few of those that walked you through everything and after a few of those, I had a good handle on how to create my own customizations.

But again, if you haven't learned the basics of Android (which it doesn't sound like you have), I'd definitely hold off on it before you jump into all that stuff.

5 - Is there a way to get a different tone for texts, emails and other notifications. It would be nice, like when I am at work, I would ignore tone for emails, as I am on my computer, but would look at texts.

There definitely is. Again, I don't have ICS, but on other versions, if you go into Menu->Settings->Sounds you can set your default phone ringtone and notification ringtones. But if you go into you email account settings, you can set a different notification sound for each account (so my gmail emails sound different than my outlook emails). And if you go into your contacts, you can set a different ringtone for each contact (so my boss calling uses a different ringtone than my wife calling).

So I think what you want to do is set up your default notification sound on your phone to be different than your email account notification sound, and that'll do what you want to to.

It seems that if you use gmail and other google things, ICS is great, but its really not so easy for other email providers, etc For instance I dont see why they make a difference between getting a gmail email or another provider email, its all the same to me (and I do not get many gmails) Then every address gets a bing when it updates. On the ipod one ding is good enough for any or all accounts.

I'm not sure what you're asking here. Are you asking why there's two apps (a Gmail and an Email app)? If so, I don't think most people realize how different gmail is from "normal" email like Outlook. Gmail has labels and "conversations" and a lot of other things that other emails don't really use yet, so if you're a heavy Gmail user, the app adds a lot of functionality over the regular email app.

That being said, I never use the Gmail app. I just have my Gmail account set up in the regular Email account (along with my Outlook/Exchange, Yahoo, and Hotmail accounts). I lose some Gmail-specific functionality, but gain having all my emails in one place. I believe that solution would work for you since you "do not get many gmails"). And as noted, you can easily set up different notification sounds for Gmail vs your other accounts.

The first app I downloaded does not work with Andriod anymore it seems, (Currency), but will have to check out some other ones. (I see a bunch of people having trouble with Facebook like me)

There are approximately 14210 results for "Currency" in the Play store, so I don't know what app you're using. Assuming it's a currency converter of some sort, just get one that does work. There are a ton.

As for Facebook, the app sucks on iOS and Android. Although it has gotten better, but it's pretty much a universal truth (Google "Facebook app is bad" and you'll see it's pretty much universally despised). I can't believe they're thinking of making a Facebook branded phone when they can't even get their app right.

While they say that with Android you have a lot of choices, so far I do not see them. Like its a big deal that you can have 4 icons on the first screen. The iphone/ipod has 16, but you do not have the lovely clock.

If you don't like the clock, get rid of it (long press and drag it to the trash can...well, at least that's how you do it on other versions), and you'll have a lot more space. I'm not sure about Sense, but I use a different launcher (Launcher Pro) and I can make my grid of icons 10x10 (meaning I can have about 100 icons on one screen, plus the ones on the bottom/dock). Which yeah, is ridiculous, but I don't have to use all 100 spaces....it means I have a lot more control about where I can place icons and widgets (they don't have to be lined up with each other so I can have one just a tad higher and tad to the left of another one). You can also put some icons on the left of the screen and some on the right or some on the top and some on the bottom. iOS forces rows...gotta have a top row, then it'll start building a second row for you, then a third. You can't have 3 icons on the top row and 2 on the second.. On Android, you can also change the icons to be different pictures (like my "games" folder currently looks like Mario, but it used to look like an Atari joystick)...you can display text below the icons or just display the icons. Heck, you can make a transparent icon (as I've done) and then it's invisible.....which means you can Photoshop your wallpaper and just add the transparent icons where you want them (and you could also make "hidden" icons that only you know are there). You have a lot more control.

I'll just give you another example of things you can do....I use a program called Settings Profiles (Tasker is another one) that iOS has NOTHING like that I know of. This lets me set up "profiles" on my phone and perform tasks based on conditions. Just a few examples:
  • When I'm at work (determined by GPS location), I have completely different wallpaper and ringtones to be more professional. When I leave, it flips back to my personal profile, which has a more "fun" wallpaper and music ringtones.
  • When I have an meeting on my Outlook/Exhange calendar (which is my work calendar), my phone silences itself and then unsilences itself when the meeting is over.
  • My phone is completely silent from 10:30PM to 6:30AM....unless my wife, my parents or my boss calls, or if I get an automated email from the network at work (which would mean a server went down or a backup failed or something).
  • My phone enters "night mode" at 9:00PM - 6:30AM....which means the volume is lower, the screen brightness is turned down, etc.
  • My phone silences itself if I go to any one of the 5 movie theaters I have set up in it (again, determine by GPS location)
  • My phone automatically sends my wife a text when I leave work and when reach a certain point on my commute telling her I am ~15 minutes away. My work schedule is a bit hectic so it's always a crapshoot when I'm actually going to be home at night...this lets her know I'm on my way and when I'm nearing home so she can get her apron on and make me some damn dinner :)
  • When my battery level gets below 25% my phone goes into a powersave mode....lowered screen brightness, polls for email less frequently, etc.

Again, I could go on, but that's just a bit of the stuff you can do if you take some time and set it up. Again, I would focus now on learning some of the basics. None of what I meantion above is hard or "techie"....it's more just taking the time to do it.

Like I said, you have tons of choices, but you really should just learn the basics first.

I got this big phone, as I do like the bigger keyboard for typing and like swype. But I have spent quite some time on trying to synch and it has not worked at all. The people in the store and when calling support are either not familiar with this new phone(as they have not seen it), or tell me that most of these things cannot be done. There are certainly issues with iOS, but it comes out of the box pretty usable. I am not finding the same thing for Android.
While it may be great for tech-savvy people can do all sorts of things, most of us want everything easy, accessible and elegant. Thanks for your help

I don't really know anything about HTC Sync other than what it's supposed to do. I sync everything to the cloud (my email is in the cloud, my photos automatically sync to both Picasa and Flikr). Never really had an issue with it, so I guess I won't be much help with HTC Sync.

And you don't have to be tech-savvy to use Android. Sorry you're having some issues, but it all works pretty much out of the box. iOS is pretty dumbed down for the masses, but it's also very very limited, which works for some people, obviously. For example,
  • you can't use a different keyboard, you can't change your default browser (clicking on a link will always open up Safari)
  • You can't even use different email signatures on different email accounts.
  • Open up Safari and find a website with an address and try to get directions to it. You can't. Do the same thing on Android and you just click the address and you're off and viewing it in a map...one more click on the blue arrow and your'e navigating to it (with voice guided navigation, nonetheless....something iOS doesn't even have out of the box).
  • How about viewing a picture in your gallery and then posting it to Facebook? on iOS the only "sharing" options you have are to email the picture or post it to Twitter. You have to back out, go to the Facebook app and upload it from there. Android you just click "Share" and you have tons of options (basically any app you have installed that can handle a picture in any way will show up).
I could go on, but you get the point.There's this whole business intelligence layer that iOS is lacking (that would be the whole thing with recognizing what you're looking at or doing and giving you options that you might want to do based on that activity).

Sorry...just of the opinion Android works great out of the box,

New issues:
a-I get emails listing postings on yahoo groups. Normally you touch the post and it drops down to that post in the message. It does not do that on this phone. It say #1 cannot be connected, like its looking to go to the internet. Do not have this issue on ipod.

b-Downloaded a few apps, half do not seem to work. Just don’t open.

C - Downloaded doubletwist. Doesnt work as I have the wrong type of USB set up, whatever that means, never hear that before. Downloaded wondershare, and connect the usb cord, it just says initializing HTC Android device and never connects., tried to send email to them from the program-didnt go through. Frustrating!

I really can't be help with any of that. Sorry. I don't know why you're having issues with apps like that. What apps are you trying to use?

I dunno...Maybe your USB cable is bad (have you tried a different one)? Or maybe you have a dud phone. It happens.

Finally, I highly suggest watching these videos. They are long, but worth it and will probably help you a bit understand some advantages of Android (and maybe show you some of the basics)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMiY1kSTHZw&list=FLjHGMArjCSCO6yz-js37nBA&index=6&feature=plpp_video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ayx4XsBaJBI&list=FLjHGMArjCSCO6yz-js37nBA&index=5&feature=plpp_video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsGQ_xts_Gw&list=FLjHGMArjCSCO6yz-js37nBA&index=4&feature=plpp_video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlPKVWv1WxU&list=FLjHGMArjCSCO6yz-js37nBA&index=3&feature=plpp_video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5A4k1bDV0s&list=FLjHGMArjCSCO6yz-js37nBA&index=2&feature=plpp_video
 
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EvilMonkey

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Oh...one thing I forgot to mention above that you might not be aware of: if you buy an app and it doesn't work, uninstall it within 15 minutes and it will be automatically refunded.

Basically you get a fifteen minute trial of any app (something else ios doesn't have). Of course you can only do that once and the second time you install it you can't get a refund.

I would also contact the developer of any problem apps to see if it's a known issue or operator error.
 

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