Friday, September 28, 2012

Treating your android right (software)

Last time, I have given you tips on how to treat your android right on the hardware side. Today I'm going to give the tips and how to treat your android well in the side of software. Wary users, don't worry, this guide will mostly not involving root or even installing custom rom. It's just a way to keep your android device healthy and fluid.

1. Never let the battery drop below 16%

I' sure that most of you just dismiss the battery low warning and keep on playing till it drop to zero. Well stop. Dropping your phone battery well below 10% will degrade your battery life. Worse if you let it drop to zero. Once the 16% warning go off, stop playing with your tablet and turn it off or put it on airplane mode to conserve power till you can charge it. And it matter of charging, don't worry to let your android devices charge all night long. It won't overcharge. Why? Because there's a special chip in your phone that prevent it from happening. When the battery hit 100%, it will actually stop charging and let the battery drop (with the indicator still pointing 100%) and once it's reach 90%, it will then charge again. It's a necessary lie the manufacturer have to put in in order to keep the battery healthy. That's also mean that the first 10% drop is not the real sign of your battery life, it's the drop after 90% that really indicate the discharge level of your battery. So don't worry about it and just leave your phone charging all night.

On the note of battery, there's one thing that I forgot to add in my previous post : If you want to use portable charger don't be cheap! Cheap portable chargers is tempting but it will destroy your device's battery if you are lucky and destroy the circuit of your phone if you don't. My phone have once fallen prey to cheap portable charger and have to be sent back to be repaired. Invest in more expensive charger that have at least Li-ion based. Something more than $20 buck is probably fine. But of course, nothing substitute for users review of said products.

2. Choose the Apps you installed

Don't install apps so blindly. Look at the review and filter for your devices. But don't depend too much on review. There's cases where the developer pay people to spoof up their review. Look at the review closely and determine whether it's lazily written (most spoof do) or a genuine review. And also look at the list of permission and if something is not right, don't install it or ask the developer on why the apps need that sort of permission.

3. Lock your desktop

If you use third party launcher or homescreen replacement, most likely they have the lock desktop feature. It's useful as sometime when you lend your device to friends or family, they will mess up your homescreen. And if you invest in complex layout like mine :
I have five screens set up with variation of above and when people mess it up, it took quite a while to recreate it again. So it's a better investment of your time to lock your desktop and keep your homescreen safe, especially since the fling up to remove feature of jelly bean made it so much easier to easily mess up your homescreen.

4. Don't use task manager

Please, don't be a control freak no matter how tempting it is for you. Android already have a good memory management. It will shut down any idle apps and prevent it from sapping the battery and memory of your devices. Using a task manager would be pointless and would consume more power as it will always active to the background. Of course there's exceptions on apps that is not written well like the developer wrote the apps in such way that it prevent the android system from killing it. Of course, that kind of apps is rare and as long as you carefully select which apps to install, you are fine without at task manager.

5. (Root user) Don't overclock

No matter how hard the temptation is, don't overclock your phone. The risk is simply too terrifying. If you are on dual core, chances are that it's already enough. Of course if you still want to overclock, I can't stop you but just remember why risk burning out your phone for a little extra boost of speed?

But still, if you still persistent to overclock, adhere to this one rule, stop using your device when it got warm. And with overclock, your device will get warm more often and faster.

5. (Root user) When choosing a custom rom, read first

If you are not patient, then it's better to wait for a day before installing a newly announced custom rom. The reason is that you can read on the threads to know the bugs and weakness of the rom. If you fell it's okay, then do it. I don't recommend installing a beta rom, specially for non nexus device. The reason is that unlike nexus, the custom roms are always newer than the official version and might have something missing from it as the developer build it. Second is simply the nexus device are easier to develop. For some devices, ICS and above is very buggy due to lack of driver (I'm staring at you, LG optimus 2x), and it's simply not worth it to use it more than a few days.

 If you still decide to is install the buggy rom , then back up every two days. There's a high risk that it will be bricked. It's also recommended to pull the back up out of the device as I have once experience with my brother's galaxy tab 10.1 when it's bricked beyond recovery repair and I have to use odin to full wipe everything, including the storage.

6. (Root user) When install custom rom, be meticulous

Installing custom rom can be fun. You acquired a new smoothness (if you use non-nexus device) and a hell lot of new features. But I already see people bricking their phone from installing custom rom. It's not because of the bad installation but it's the failure to follow instruction. Read the thread really carefully and follow the instruction to the letter. If the developer want you to full wipe before install, do so before install, not after!. If the developer want to bath your device in holy water and kill that sissy sparkling sorry excuse of a vampire, do so. If you follow the developer's instruction to the letter, the installation would go smoothly and  your device  will have a new better software

That's it for now. Thanks you for reading and feel free to subscribe to this blog or just simply check in every day as I will always publish a post everyday. If you have something to ask, comment or something that you disagree, just simply comment below.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Treating your Android right

Today on this blog's first post, I'm going to list a few things for you to do to treat your android device right physically. I will skip the obvious one like use a case or don't dip your device in liquid (duh) and go to the specific thing that can keep your device clean and keep it in the state of brand new even with months of use.

1. Buy LCD cleaning kit

If you use a cloth or a tissue, you run to two risks. One, the rough surface of some clothes or tissue might scratch your screen and second that it's not enough to clean stains from the screen. Sure you got screen protectors or even corning grass but that won't make your device's screen protected from scratches. Screen protector is designed to take the scratch intended for your device and thus it's prone to scratch and you should replace if it's already accumulated. Corning glass is tough but it's not perfect. It's still prone  to scratched. Even if you don't believe me, would you risk it? It's much better to buy special cloth and the cleaning solution that would harmlessly clean any stain from your screen.

2. Clean your screen regularly even if it seem there's no stains

Look can be deceiving and stains in screen is very skillful at that. Most of the stain will not be really visible indoor and thus you're likely to not spot it. But then when you take it outdoor and turn it on, you will see the stains clearly and it will be annoying like a mosquito flying in your ear. So clean it every two days even if you feel it don't need cleaning.

3. Bring the cleaning cloth everywhere

Why? Simple, you will not be able to keep your hand clean at all time. You will handle food and others that will cause your hand to be dirty and oily. When you touch your screen, it will leave a smudge. It my seem harmless but trust me it will harden in few minutes and you will not be able to remove easily. Cleaning cloth will help and the cleaning solution will do wonder so be sure to take those two everywhere.

4. Don't let use your device extensively in hot environment

It's midday and you are waiting outdoor for your friend. Your got bored and take off your tablet and start playing games. This is a dangerous scenario as it will cause your device to overheat without you knowing. The case prevented us from feeling the actual heat of the tablet and it actually restrict flow of air that conduct the heat out. The hot environment is not helpful either. There's few way to reduce heat like turning all connection before playing games or even taking the cover off that it will still overheat. If you feel your device getting warm, stop playing! Overheat won't break your tablet instantly but long usage in that state will cause it to degrade faster. My phone is on that state usually for an hours and now the battery life has decreased drastically  and it keep on losing signal. I know you buy your android device to be use on that occasion but don't treat it like a slave, treat it like your companion. When on occasion you want to use it extensively like playing graphically intensive game, take the cover off. If you're not sure whether your device is already warm or hot, put the screen up to your cheek, you will immediately feel it. If it's warm, exit the game and stop using it. If it's very hot, turn off the tablet immediately and let it cool off.

5. Specific for Nexus 7: if your cover don't cover the sides of your tablet, don't let it land with the sides

I'm serious, if the case don't cover the silver sides, don't ever thing of using that silver sides to touch the ground first. It is very prone to breaking. What?You don't trust me? Take a look at this :

And it didn't suffer a drop, just a five centimeter gentle toss to the floor. That's a scary consequent. So please if your nexus 7 is not protected, don't toss it around.

And that's it for now.  And remember, treat your android well and it will serve you well beyond expectation. Next time, (probably tomorrow), I will post how to treat your android right in the software side.