Android · shopping

ASUS MeMO Pad 8 Impressions: On Battery Life and Launchers!

ASUS MeMO Pad 8 has arrived!
Photo taken with an iPad mini w/ Retina. XD The image has been compressed by Twitter though.

Yes, my impressions about this tablet are a few months late since I just bought it about a week ago online but just received it on Thursday. Since there are a lot of reviews out there already, I’m not going to go into the specs and general tablet information since they can be easily found through a simple search on a search engine. Instead, I’m just going to talk about my experiences with it.

First off, I love the tablet! The size is quite comfortable for me although, admittedly, a 7″ tablet would probably be even MORE comfortable for me to hold and type on but I do prefer the bigger screen.

Since I have a habit of writing a novel for a post, here are more thoughts in point form:

  • Set up was painless!
  • The screen is lovely and colours are quite vivid!
  • I ignored and continue to ignore most of the pre-installed apps since they are useless to me and there are probably better alternatives anyway.
  • Audio seems to hiccup a bit at the lowest or close to the lowest setting. :/ I’m not sure if it’s my device or if this is something that all MeMO Pad 8s experience. (A quick Google search returns with nothing. :()
  • Battery consumption is …. suspicious. I will go into more details about this below.
  • Screen brightness at the absolute lowest setting is strangely bright enough for indoor use without any issue. o_O It’s not like that with my Galaxy Tab 10.1 (where I have to squint to see things at the same setting) or iPad mini w/ Retina (viewable but a higher setting works better).
  • Camera is all right. It does the job. :3
  • Gosh, the Android ROM and customization community sure doesn’t care about this tablet! Can’t find a custom ROM for it anywhere. The closest I got was this: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2550264

All right. Now on with the potential battery problem.

Continue reading “ASUS MeMO Pad 8 Impressions: On Battery Life and Launchers!”

Android

Simple Image Wallpaper: Display Wallpapers in Their Full Glory on Your Android Device

Back in 2011, I wrote about how to set a wallpaper on the homescreen without cropping or getting a force-zoom on the selected image. (This is applicable on 10.1″ tablets.)

For the longest time, I was cheating the system so to speak by using PicSpeed HD Wallpapers to set wallpapers for me since it allows full images to be used without the need to crop them. Of course, given the resolution size of the images, unless they were 1920×1408 by default, they still won’t fit perfectly. But this alternative was better than the tablet forcing me to alter the picture I want to use every single time.

It was until recently — I’m guess it’s probably something with Android 4.1.x? — I’ve noticed that any wallpaper I set with PicSpeed ends up being autocropped and zoomed-in whenever I rebooted the tablet or after the a program or system UI stops functioning. I became annoyed so I searched for a solution. By chance, I came across Simple Image Wallpaper Free.

I honestly don’t care about live wallpapers but there was a review there that mentioned that wallpapers could be displayed without cropping so I decided to check it out.

Using Simple Image Wallpaper could be a little confusing since the instruction in the app description that reads “To use, go to the home menu, then Wallpaper -> Live Wallpaper” means nothing to me. I’m not sure about other folks but I don’t have a home menu at all; long pressing the home button only gives me a history of apps recently used.

Anyway, this is what I had to do to use it:

Long press on an empty spot on your home screen so that a context menu like the above will show up. Select Wallpapers.
Long press on an empty spot on your home screen so that a context menu like the above will show up. Select Wallpapers.
Choose "Live Wallpapers"
Choose “Live Wallpapers”
Tap on "Simple Image Wallpaper Free". You may need to scroll a bit to find it depending on how many items are in your menu.
Tap on “Simple Image Wallpaper Free”. You may need to scroll a bit to find it depending on how many items are in your live wallpaper menu.
You should see an image of your current wallpaper. Even if you don't, choose "Settings..."
You should see an image of your current wallpaper. But even if you don’t, choose “Settings…”
Choose "Select image". You will be presented with either several options of the app you want to use to get the image or the system gallery and its categories. Simply choose an image from there. Hit the back button to return to the screen that had "Settings..." and "Set wallpaper" at the bottom and choose the latter option.
Choose “Select image”. You will be presented with either several apps you want to use to get the image or just the system gallery and its categories. Simply choose an image from there.
Hit the back button to return to the screen that had “Settings…” and “Set wallpaper” at the bottom and select the latter option.

I don’t show the result since I didn’t change the wallpaper I was using for this little tutorial. ^^;

Overall, I’m happy with Simple Image Wallpaper because since I started using this program, my wallpapers stay the way they are even after rebooting. 😀 I’m considering buying the Pro version now due to the fact that it provides the option to use another image for the lock screen.

Android · annoyances · iOS · life

Impressions of Android Honeycomb 3.1 & the Galaxy Tab 10.1

(Crossposted from my LiveJournal.)

I’ve been using the tablet on and off for the past few days so I just thought I’ll throw together some thoughts about them! 😀

Not sure if I sorted some of the things correctly since I’m not entirely sure which things were installed by Samsung and which are available as default in Honeycomb.

TABLET

  • Beautiful bright and crisp display
  • Very lightweight
  • Quick! Opening apps and menus is zippy!
  • Access to a file manager. Unsure if this is a Galaxy Tab 10.1 or Honeycomb feature or not but being able to see a lot of the files on the system is pretty useful. Unfortunately, all hidden folders like for most of the installed apps is unavailable for perusing.
  • Seemingly excellent battery life.I say seemingly since I’m not gaming on the thing like I do with my iPod touch 4G (which seems to drain within 4 hours). Well, the wifi is on too.
  • Doesn’t have any input ports
  • The bloody screen capture button is right next to the history button. I suppose this might not be an issue for most people but I treat the history log like a taskbar in Windows and tend to switch between programs that way so I use it a lot.
  • Not sure if this is a problem with the tablet but sometimes, upon re-enabling wifi after putting it in Flight mode, the system will lag like hell.
  • Not all apps in the Market work with the device. Unsure if it’s a developer problem or a problem with the OS or a combination of this.

OS

  • Next to no learning curve. Well, this was true for me. ^^;
  • Task manager. I use this to close programs that I was too lazy to close myself. XD
  • Hitting the back arrow closes apps. This is unlike bloody iOS where apps will remain open until you close them yourself.
  • Lots of apps have widget versions of some aspect of themselves. And being on a tablet, I actually have room and WANT to use widgets for once. ^^ I generally avoid them like a plague.
  • You can do all your shopping and installing of apps from the Android Market from a Web browser. I simply adore this feature as it’s so quick and painless and doesn’t require the installation of some bloaty program.
  • Cannot put icons into folders. I guess if they included that, it’d give another reason for Apple to sue.

Oh, and another a plus is that there’s a handful of really spiffy tweaks for Android that you wouldn’t see for the iOS unless you jailbreak and visit the Cydia store. I’m talking about such apps like folder and app managers (where you can arrange a bunch of apps into folders) and skins/themes! Certainly, if you root an Android device, you’ll get a lot more freedom but even without doing so, I can see that there seems to be more freedom from Google’s mobile OS than Apple’s~! ♥

I also gotta complain about eBuddy for Android. Aside from the bloody app not being optimized for the tablet, it FORCES landscape mode on you. I already checked the settings and it really doesn’t seem like you can get it into portrait mode. 😡 I suppose it’s all fine and dandy on a phone where the screen is smaller but on a tablet, the chat window just looks plain silly.

Android · annoyances · Kairosoft

Not all apps work on the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 :(

Screenshot of the Android Market from the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
Screenshot of the Android Market from the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1

I just bought this lovely tablet yesterday in hopes of playing some Kairosoft games on it.  Unfortunately, Pocket League Story, their newest and most recent release on the Android Marketplace is a bust on the Galaxy Tab 10.1.  (Well, this is a fact with the Lite version of the game but I don’t think the full version will fare any better since, well, see next paragraph.)

I’ve yet to try their other offerings since I already have Game Dev Story and Hot Springs Story on my iPod touch 4G but I’m sure that they also don’t work well as people have reported on the Kairospot forums that all Kairosoft games exhibit some sort of crash issues on some tablets.  There are games from other companies that also experience problems on the Galaxy Tab 10.1 such as Tap Tap Revenge 4, which instantly terminates upon application start, and Destinia which seems to work for a bit if you adjust the game speed to Normal.  Unfortunately, that simply delays the inevitable force close.

For what it’s worth, my tablet is not rooted and is running Honeycomb 3.1.  I even turned off the volume and wifi to see if that helps with any of the games but alas, neither helped.

So what exactly is the problem here?

I’m no programmer but I take it the issue is the application itself?  I took some screens of the crash report that I fired off to Kairosoft and Google for Pocket League Story Lite and it looks to be a Java problem. D:??

Here are the screencaps.  (I’m pretty sure I’m not disclosing any important device info or codes that will jeopardize Kairosoft, Google, or Oracle. ^^;)

Pocket League Story Lite crash feedback
Pocket League Story Lite crash feedback
Pocket League Story Lite crash feedback 2
Pocket League Story Lite crash feedback 2
Pocket League Story Lite crash feedback 3
Pocket League Story Lite crash feedback 3

I wanted to screencap some of the other logs but there were considerably longer.  Also, I can’t recall if the last 2 screencaps even contained all the lines of the log. ^^;

Here’s a tiny list of games I’ve sampled that worked for me:

  • Zenonia 2 Lite
  • Third Blade