Don't Miss Out. Customize Your Andriod Mobile

The whole point of owning an Android phone is to customize it to your personal liking (i.e., enhance your user experience). This site explains the things you should do to get the most out of your Android Smart Phone. If you are not interested in modifying what came out of the box, then you should consider an Apple or Windows 7+ phone (obviously other excellent choices).

To get started, please read my post Getting the Most Out of Your Android Phone.

Monday, December 12, 2011

My Battery (A Day in the Life)

 Battery life is so important in today's world of smart phones, multimedia, and social networking. For many of us, mobile phones pretty much act like mini computers or portable entertainment systems. Using myself as an example, during the day I rely on my mobile to:
  • Make/receive calls
  • Take/view pictures
  • Listen to music/podcasts
  • Watch movies and photos
  • Connect bluetooth devices
  • Surf the Internet
  • View maps and navigation
  • Play 3D games
  • Store files and other data (as if it were a USB stick)
  • Features like Wi-Fi, Mobile Data Connection, and Google Sync, are by default turned-off. I only turn them on when I need to use them. 
Given the broad range of activities above, I feel the Android battery life issue noted on so many forums is true and hard to swallow----we sort of get stuck in denial a bit. For me, I would be quite happy with one full day's use on a single charge.

Preferred Cyanogen CPU Governor
In my opinion, the best battery life I've been getting is when using Cyanogen mod 7.1.1 with the CPU range set 245-710 and the Conservative governor turned On. It gives me one full day of life-----but I am still testing it out as writing this.

Charge Source Matters?
A more puzzling phenomenon is that it appears the source of charging the phone also plays a role---at least on the ZTE Blade Gen 2 phone. If I plug the phone into my PC USB to charge, it takes twice as long but the battery seems to last much longer. If I use a wall outlet, the battery charges much quicker but the battery drops to about 80% real quick, too quick.

Also the USB charge option definitely makes the phone get hot during the charging time.

Battery Data/Tracking

Test 1

  • Cyanogen mod 7.1.1 with the CPU range set 245-710 and the Conservative governor turned On.
  • Auto Task Killer On
  • Autorun Manager On
  • Screen brightness on max and Bluetooth always On. 
  • With 30 minutes talk time
  • Six  SMSs, 
  • 30 minutes music with bluetooth headphones On
  • 20 min 3D game (NFS)
7am full charge (100%)
11am 94%
12:30pm 92%
1:30pm 88%
2:00pm 84%
3:15pm 82%
4pm 81%
10pm 63%

I feel this is excellent for low-moderate use.

Test 2
Coming Soon!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Root Your Android Phone (The Power of Full Admin Rights)

What is Rooting?
Rooting an Android phone simply means modifying your phone so that applications can have root (administrator) access to the Android operating system. Often these admin rights are called "Super User" access rights. Once you have Super User access, you have total control over your phone's operating system.

So the very first thing you want to do is "Root" your phone. In the old days this was quite challenging and you needed to be a computer programmer to get the job done. However, super-geek's with a passion to improve Android, created a one-click application called Z4 Root. This program will root your phone in minutes.

The only difference between your stock phone and the rooted version is that a Super User icon/app appears in your Apps Tray. And whenever a program that needs root access rights is installed, you'll be prompted to give it permission as the Super User or Admin of your phone. That is all it does.

Note: If you root your phone, it will void your phone's warranty. Which to me was no big deal. After all the warranty is usually a year max and I have hardly ever had the need to use one. Plus, the benefits of a rooted phone out weigh the risks.

Why Root?
Following are my top 4 reasons for rooting your phone:
  1. Remove 'bloatware'. That is remove unwanted stock apps that otherwise can't be uninstalled.
  2. Enable special apps that alter system files and functions to be installed.
  3. Make a complete back-up copy of your entire phone. And bring it back in its complete form or bring back select parts if needed.
  4. Install a Custom ROM. And enter the ultimate Android user experience.
Learn More (Simply Explained)
What Does Rooting a Phone Mean?
Download Z4 Root App