Category Archives: mobile

motorola milestone europe android 2.1 update

A Motorola Milestone phone.

I got myself a totally bad-ass Motorola Milestone Android phone a while ago. I was excited about it cause it looks so damn awesome with the black shiny display and all, and it’s got frigging Android on it so it rocks with all the apps and geekness it offers. After a while however I noticed some things are kinda buggy on it too and I started looking for some answers online.

At first, I wanted to figure out if I was having a broken phone (hardware issue) which I could simply return or if it was the OS/software which was the problem. After a long search online finding lots of people with the same issues on Motorola Droid & Milestone phones (and also on HTC actually) it turns out I was plagued by some Android 2.1 problems. The good thing is Motorola is currently sending out updates for these problems for Milestone mobiles all over, including Europe. The annoying thing is that it’s taking them a while and it’s unclear which countries will be next in line. First off, here’re the bugs that are to be fixed in that update. If you’re having any of these issues, that patch should fix it:

  • Improved Stability Prevents the phone from random power cycling (turning off and on), and minimizes force closes in certain applications.
  • Alarm Improvements Resolves issues with alarm functionality.
  • Music Player Functionality
  • Eliminates accidental starting of music.
  • Audio Quality Enhancements Eliminates instances of choppy audio experienced by some users.
  • PIN Lock Improvements Allows users more flexibility in setting the PIN Lock timer when using Exchange email.
  • Proximity Sensor Enhancement
  • Provides more accurate proximity sensing during phone calls.
  • Flight Mode Enhancement
  • Ensures phone service is restored after leaving air-plane mode.
  • “My Location” Improvements
  • Resolves the issue of Google Maps failing to find “My Location” when “Use Wireless Network” is enabled without using GPS.

Quite something, isn’t it? Personally I find the random reboots the most annoying, the failing clock a perfect excuse for turning up late at work and the accidental start of music the best way to scare the crap out of your cat (or yourself when you’re checking your mail in the middle of the night).

The best place to track info on where the update will be launched next for Europe is at the Motorola Europe Facebook account apparently. I’ve looked all over for this kind of info, including various twitter accounts (@motomobile, @motodev), their own owner support forums (unchecked by Motorola it seems) and even direct emails to the guys where I got the phone from. That last one was pretty crazy as they contacted Motorola UK which claimed to not even know about the restart issues which I described in quite  some detail.

For the world-wide upgrade schedule + the schedule for other mobiles like the Backflip, Dext and Quench you can look here, although it doesn’t contain a lot of details.

twitter madness

Photo by Dr Gonzo Photography

Twitter is one of those things you don’t really see the point of until you join is it. In fact I did join it a while ago, and I’m still not seeing the point really. I’ve thought about quitting, but then I went ahead and didn’t. It’s weird so far.

It’s like this public web based IRC network. I already use IRC so why do I bother with this one? I’m not sure, but I think being a geek has something to do with it. If not everything.

The cool thing about Twitter is that even though it’s the simplest of social networks out there, it gives you a tons of way to connect to it. They’ve opened up their API’s (geeks love it when a girl, euhm, service does that) and it shows by the amount of web sites and client applications that have risen that do something with that data. Try the hypnotising Twittervision. Awesome. Besides that you can tweet using text messages from your cell phone. For cheaps! And GTalk keyword tracking is the bomb if you want to keep track of Lindsay Lohan’s nip-slips, iPhone hacks or whatever triggers your fancy.

Recently I came across something called tweetchannels, which are basically a way to build IRC-like channels using Twitter, and #hashtags, which is actually a more flexible (and better IMO) way of tagging your tweets, and thus also a way to create a topical twitter feed.

Because of the open API people are building stuff that is adding value to the network, without the Twitter lads having to move a muscle. How sweet is that? I’m curious to what kind of stuff they’ll come up with in the future. Right now there’s this whole color wars thing going down, with games and teams and pink pussy madness.

Going WTF? Well, just jump in and see how it goes. Follow me while you’re at it, and don’t forget to say hi.

openmoko: the open source mobile phone

openmoko open source mobile phone l33tnessMobile phones are still one of those sectors where hardware and software are for the largest part proprietary. If you’re in tough luck you even have a phone which is locked by your network operator, or one that’s branded with some company logo’s you never wanted but get to look at every time the damn thing starts up anyway.

Well, OpenMoko is intending to change all that by offering you an open source mobile phone. That is hardware and software we are talking about here, yes indeed. The whole thing is still pretty much in a starters phase, but they do have a working phone for sale and an operating system based on Linux which can be installed on a number of supported phones already.

As said, this is pretty much in an alpha phase, so don’t get your hopes up if you want to ditch that OS on your current phone. You might end up with a useless phone afterwards, but if you’re feeling like giving this a shot on a spare mobile you have lying around, why the hell not. You might pick up some l33t skillz on the way, and help this project one step closer to a release candidate.

I love the idea and possibilities of this project. If this grows into a stable and usable phone OS, the advantages will be huge compared to using proprietary systems. Think about porting your data and applications from one phone to another without limitations. Adding software and features to your phone will be your choice, and (probably) free.

Screw the iPhone. This will be the true geeks phone, if it isn’t already.

i love my usb phone

Looking for a new cellphone a while ago, I was going to look out for a few things I learned from my last phone. Now that was a cheap Toshiba model (yup, they make phones as well, or at least made phones…) which did everything a basic phone needs to do, make and receive calls and write text messages.
The phone did have a battery which didn’t last long and sometimes it just died in mid-conversation, which just plain sucks, so it was time for something newer an fancier (oooh). I wasn’t going to go for an odd brand again, but something well known. This at least should make it easier to find spare parts, which turned out to be a real problem when my previous cells adapter short-circuited on me…

Connectivity was also very limited with the old phone. You had to buy an expensive data cable to be able to connect to get some ringtones and more of that fancy gimmicks on it, or use iMode… which is also expensive.

So basically I was looking for a new phone which has the following qualities:

  • priced under 200 euros
  • good looking
  • open connectivity, eg. BlueTooth
  • realtones : no shitty midi-tunes plz as ringtones
  • T9 text messaging, with learning capacity if possible

So while looking over some sites, and comparing models, I fell in love with this baby. The motorola v360.
Yummy innit?

This one has all I wanted, and more. Like a 64MB memory card for tunes and pictures, and the obligatory digital camera of course (it’s hard to find a phone without it these days) but it turns out it’s power cable for recharging is actually a plain USB interface! My digital cam uses exactly the same kind of port to connect to my PC, and so I use the same cable to download and upload to my phone. Don’t even need a bluetooth USB dongle on my PC or anything, ain’t that sweet? The T9 rocks on it as well, but the USB interface is brilliant, and it’s not even in the listed features.
I always liked Motorola, so that doesn’t have to change I guess.

One shitty thing about it though, the phone is branded with the cellphone company logo’s. No way to remove it. If anyone has any experience on how to get rid of that without fucking it up, I’d appreciate some pointers.