Thursday, September 22, 2016

Allo is Awesome! Don't Trust The Haters

Allo is here! And it's great.
Assistant, Ink, Stickers all made very well. Easy to setup. Download, and you're good to go. You can tie in your Google account to store your messages securely and get full use of the assistant.

And here's the thing: The tech press don't get it, because this chat app was not made for them. Period. They install this thing, uninstall and cry about messages lost. How about tie to you Google account, no? Yes it magically works just like this.
But I have the feeling some Android sites want to ignore features or want to do it wrong just to bitch about Allo.

Even people like +Koushik Dutta starting to post utter bullshit about Allo. Mainly because, yupp, it's not the target audience.
Here is my comment in a Google+ post from him:
The Assistant is something new on the table. And it can be big.
Outside the chat app it doesn't help you much. This assistant acts in the conversation and for all in the conversation. That was demonstrated. Sadly again with restaurants (why always food? Geez). But think about the possibilities if you have smarty pants right in the conversation when you need it.
So it's a big point. And Google made clear it's THE feature of Allo. You know Google make mistakes by not telling people in time what it's all about clearly. Same with the new Google+ redesign. Same with the Pixel phones. Now people start bitching "Never Pixel. I want stock Android Nexus device"...
But one thing is clear, Allo will be a major step forward in messaging. If it succeeds (whatever that means) is on another page. Especially when influential websites bad mouthing this thing for weeks. You know what, sometimes I wished Google would have the same "Sheeple" as Apple. Then Allo would be the greatest thing on the planet, revolutionary and a game changer. Then at last it would get a fair chance. With all this well known people crying about the lack of a fucking web interface, which the vast majority of chat users will never ever looking for, it's doubtful.Maybe we're in luck and those people never read those articles anyway. Oh wait... they hear it in CNN how bad bad bad it is...
"People live by their phones..." Sundar Pichai said. Well he didn't thought about the tech journalists and developers. They live by their desktops. Maybe Google made it for the vast majority, not for YOU dear devs and tech guys. Maybe they understood, that many people choose messengers because of other reasons. Sometimes for the stickers and emojis. Yupp. Last time I tried to convince an important contact (intelligent, nice beautiful woman which works in a software company) to use Hangouts, I showed her the many technical advantages of Hangouts. She wasn't impressed. We came to the stickers, and she installed it before I could finish my sentence.
And Allo has great stickers...
And this drawing on pictures... umm doodling.
Ah another feature that Allo has over WhatsApp, or did they add this feature?
Yeah sorry, I'm not keeping behind about popular posters. Unfortunately he is not alone. What some "Android-sites" are posting is a shame for them and they either have not try it or they simply lying. Personal statements are cool. But should be marked as such. Like this posting.

Yes my personal thing with Allo is: I like it, I'm using it, Hangouts is history for me. But the haters gonna hate I'll guess. Or how I put it in another comment in an official Google Play posting:
That's totally fine. If it's not for you then it's okay. Don't use it. Hangouts is still here.
But Hangouts failed miserably for mainstream users.
And one reason is the way it works on setup. People are used to get tied in on the phone number. WhatsApp made a huge huge success out of that. And to that date does not support Desktop or Tablets directly. Did that stop it from being the NO.1 messaging app in the world with 55.6% of all users using it.
Because desktop is not relevant for the mass market. "People live by their phones" Sundar Pichai said at the Google I/O 2016. And that counts more and more.
I use Hangouts on my phone only, despite sitting most week in front a computer. I have it with me everywhere and it feels nice having it separated from my desktop works.
But really, if you want to use your computer to chat, you're not the target audience of Allo.
What I don't get is why Hangouts users are going so mad about Allo. Why? Just leave it alone and don't ruin it for other people.
Assistant? Ink? Simple install? NO need to add people. They are just there. But that all seems irrelevant. I only hope that mainstream adopts Allo a bit better than Hangouts users do.
Yes I WAS a hangouts user since yesterday. Now the question is will I use Allo tomorrow or WhatsApp/Facebook Messenger because I must. Forward forever, backward never.
But Hangouts is still here and nobody gets forced to use Allo.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Workaround for using external storage easily with Termux

Since the internal memory is so valuable on most Android phones, I wanted to use external storage directly. That should be no problem with Termux, the awesome terminal for Android.
But the inconsistent naming of sdcards in Android can always be a problem.

So, there is a directory "~/storage/external".  It points to "/storage/sdcard1/Android/data/com.termux/files"

This doesn't exists on my device (Sony Xperia Z3 tablet compact), and probably not on your device, too. It's the name of the sdcard in my case (5XD3-4FF1)... So for me "/storage/
You can find it with "ls /storage". There should be the sdcard besides other devices. Normally you can easily find it from there.
You can read most files from your sdcard there. But no write access. In Android >=Jelly Bean the write access is pretty much a mess and restricted. But you can write in Termux' own files directory. 

Be brave and (at your own risk) go to "~/storage/". With "ls" you should now see a list like that:

Run these commands:
# cd ~/storage/
# rm external
# ln /storage/5XD3-4FF1/Android/data/com.termux/files external -s

Please replace 5XD3-4FF1 with the name of your sdcard.
Now you can store things easily by accessing "~/storage/external/" from Termux.

Have fun.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Pokemon fever is on...

Call the CDC or the WHO. It's on!
FEMA has no chance against this kind of pandemic. Pokemon GO is out. Literally!

In this came you have to go out and catch Pokemon in the wild. I mean you have to go out in reality. A dream for parents apparently. Now they don't have to tell the kids to leave the video game console and go out. They actually do it voluntarily! Shocking!

As a geocacher I have no problem to do so, and last weekend I hit the woods to get as many as I could. And yay, I've got some.
You can read how to play everywhere on the net. So I just brag about my Pokemons :)

That's what you get on opening the app. You should definitely follow that warning. My Ghastly appeared magically in my room. I almost shrugged :)

The reason for the delaying of the Pokemon GO launch: The Hype! Not even the current regions can be served without problems due to the insane demand. I knew it would go huge, but this... wow. No mainstream media that won't cover Pokemon GO.

Yay, got those while geoaching. Eevee is so cute. Those Zubats are really getting on my nerves.

And here. A Zubat attacks another geocacher. I could help by catching it right away. And today on my netcasting equipment, A Zubat tried to bite my cables. I showed them!

Walking, walking, walking. About 8 miles and not even closely enough. Tomorrow I'll travel over the border and try to catch more.
At Poke Gyms you can train your Pokemon, battle others, and take over if you're strong enough. Team Blue for the win, btw. While travelling you can come across Pokestops where you can get items for free.

Oh one thing, you need Pokeballs. I had never a problem till now, but this could be an issue. After all, you can play it for free but there are in-app purchases possible to get more balls and other items that will make your Pokemon life much easier. And your pocket emptier. Whatever ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Then I have more rooms for Pokemon...

Monday, June 27, 2016

Constantly Low Memory

You should think manufacturers have learned, but nope. They still spreading out (sometimes quite expensive) phones and tablets with 16 GB of RAM.
The microSD card option is only a weak replacement, since on most versions of Android it is just a data memory for files and even this is not widely used. It's not easy for devs to get their stuff working on an sdcard or they just don't care.

Google apps almost never works with the sdcard, rendering it useless. With no games installed, but using major Google apps, the storage is quickly filled up.
You'll guessed it. Many apps not even uses the sdcard for simple and profane caching memory. Horrible.

When does manufacturers finally learn? I don't know. After Google introduced adoptable storage on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, most vendors kicked the feature out on purpose. But still selling phones with way too less storage, at high prices.

My device is not even 1 year old and I'm constantly have to delete apps when I want to install others. I literally have to chose what's more important. But I needed much more apps than I can install.
A mind buckling 8GB are gonna be used from Google apps only. Not much left for games, right? Screw it Sony, screw it Samsung and screw it LG. My next device will either have 128GB+ for a decent price or adoptable storage. Sorry, no exceptions.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Aplus GV18 SmartWatch

Yepp, I tried the $28 Dollar Smartwatch from Aplus. And you know what, it's better than you might think.

Sure it is something uncomfortable to get the notifications working, and it has some weird issues on reconnecting when out of reach of the smartphone, but on the other side it's a full featured phone and can be used completely without a smartphone.
The battery lasts about 1 1/2 day with quite some usage. Might be 2 days with less often turning the screen on. You have to press a button to see anything.

The new theme you can see here is the only one. There are 3 analog watchfaces. That's all. The new version of the GV18 has a new processor and also a new software. You might wonder if you see other reviews. These are the old versions and they are not compatible to this one.

You can write and get SMS either on your smartphone or on your watch. All normal apps' notifications appear on your watch when connected via bluetooth. And yes, you can enable flught mode on the watch and still have bluetooth on to stay connected with your phone.

It can't compete with a Android Wear or a Pebble on an overall look, but there are things where this watch is even better. If you need notifications and a emergency phone, this might be an interesting options.

Hardware Parameter
  • CPU: 533MHz MTK6260A
  • Memory: 128M+64M, Suport microSD Maximum 32G
  • Display: 1.5'' inch TFT HD LCD; 240*240 px
  • Bluetooth: V3.0
  • Camera: 1.3M
  • Battery: 450mAh Polymer
  • Accellaration sensor: 3D acceleration, step counting analysis sedentary reminder, sleep monitor, Anti lost, remote camera 
  • NFC Support: Adapt automatically and data sync 

Function parameters

  • Call function: GSM/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900 four frequency call
  • Dial, hands-free, phone records, phone book; Bluetooth headset
  • Message: local SMS; SMS Bluetooth synchronization push
  • Entertainment: MP3, MP4, AVI format for local playback; Bluetooth music player
  • Reminder: tone and vibrating alert
  • 3 clock display themes
  • Bidirectional anti lost: anti lost to remind; bidirectional search
  • Pedometer: exercise step counting, calorie consumption calculation, the movement distance record
  • Remind: Sedentary long seat to remind
  • Sleep monitoring: monitoring the quality of sleep
  • Photograph: watch photograph; local memory storage;
  • Image display: PNG, JPG
  • Camera watch mobile phone to mobile phone remote control
  • Other functions: alarm clock; calendar stopwatch; calculator

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Google Brings New Messenger and Separate Video App - Allo and Duo

So now we have it.
Google's new messenger app and video calling. Allo for messaging and Duo for video.
End-2-end encryption and the messenger with a chatbot and chat suggestions.
Will be released this summer for Android and iOS.

Photos: Screenshot from Google I/O Livestream. © by Alphabet. All rights reserved 

So what I feared came true. Hangouts is dead. That explains why there was no feature boost for long.
I don't know why there is a separate app for video. But well, that is not important.
Or? People need to install those. I really hope they replace Hangouts via an update with the two new services automatically or both will go nowhere.

Heres the official blog post from Google: Say hello to Allo and Duo