• Tag Archives Android
  • Upgrading my Samsung Note II (N7100) to Android 4.4 “KitKat”

    A friend posted to let me know that Android 4.4 “KitKat” had just been released for the N7100.


    So I backed up all of my data on the phone (using a combination of Titanium Backup, SMS Backup+, and LifeSaver), and downloaded and flashed the firmware the new firmware using Odin.

    Lo and behold, a (very slow) reboot later, pretty much everything worked.  All my apps and settings are still there, which is nice.


    * Reinstall a custom recovery (TWRP)

    * Re-rooted

    * Deleted startup sound (/system/media/audio/ui/PowerOn.ogg)


    ADWLauncherEx is quite laggy; so perhaps it needs updating for the latest Android. For now I’m using the updated TouchWiz (the Samsung launcher), but it’s still limited to a ridiculous 4×4 icons per screen.  Ridiculous, at least, on the Note 2 which has a very nice large display; might make more sense on a smaller phone. Should be configurable though.


    None yet, really.  Will need to use it for a few days to see whether there’s any real differences..  So far most of the advertised differences aren’t visible, such as the camera button on lock screen, nor does it feel significantly faster than before.

  • Offline Travel Apps?!?

    Ok, time for another rant.

    On the plane over I wanted to set up our itinerary on my phone.

    On my PalmPilot I used an application called WorldMate. Awesome little thing. Had a small database of the most common airports and whatnot included as well as a few useful utilities and pieces of info such as clothes-size conversions etc.  Absolutely brilliant.

    So before I left I installed that on my Android phone, as well as TripCase which seemed to be similar.

    Well guess what. Both of these apps require internet access for just about everything. Most importantly, to create and edit a trip.  What bollocks – just when you are least likely to have internet access (ie, while travelling abroad), apps which manage your trip require it.

    While it is very nice to have these apps pre-populate input fields using online data, this  should always be optional and the user should always be able to edit things offline.

    So a huge thumbs-down from me for both WorldMate and TripCase on Android.

  • Android VOIP clients

    For years I’ve used CSipSimple but lately it stopped working properly on my Note 2 after the last system update.

    Looking around I found Zoiper, another free client,  which seems to work.

    I’ll update this post as and when I try out other clients.

    For now:

    Integrates well with Android dialler. Many  calls, usually good quality. Worked very well up to Android 4.3, since then dodgy. Tried the nightly builds but not much better.  Free and no ads. Worked with DrayTel.

    No dialler integration but can read address book.  2 calls so far,  one great quality the other shoddy. Free and no ads. Works with DrayTel.