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A few questions on Android phones

On the one hand I am too lazy to google this, but also the internet is full of crap and even the dedicated forums on android are not much good for getting answers from people who really know the stuff… so I wonder if the collective IT wisdom here can answer

I am looking at getting the Samsung S6, whose camera possibly approaches the Nokia 808 and of course the phone is a lot more functional. Most importantly you get a web browser which works on modern websites most of which have been coded with exceptions to specially handle specific named browsers, and nobody bothers to cater for anything beyond Chrome, Safari and IE10+ which is why browsers like Opera just don’t work anymore in a general way. For example on the EuroGA router I can do everything in Opera Mobile but the very last bit – the filing of the flight plan – displays a dialog which has an inaccessible Confirm button, and same for delaying etc of the flight plan.

But…

  • is there a VOIP functionality (in which you configure the SIP server details directly) which is integrated into the Contacts book i.e. for every entry you get a “VOIP call” option? Rather than a separate VOIP app which makes a copy of your phone book, or tries to use the phone book while spending ages working out what has changed since it was last run…
  • is there a camera app, or built-in functionality, which allows you to email somebody a selection of Gallery photos, resized to say 1024 wide, without screwing up the existing ones (like e.g. Outlook Express can do when emailing photos)?
  • can one upload a load of pics to a newly specified dropbox folder and obtain the DB link for that folder and just drop it into an email?
  • can one do the above dropbox stuff but (for a speed limited connection) with the pics resized to say 1024×1024 max
  • can one do a windowed screenshot and upload it to an FTP server (active or passive FTP) and obtain the URL to the uploaded screenshot for pasting into an email?
  • can one upload a video to Vimeo?

This functionality (except the VOIP bit which is what you get on a Nokia) is trivial on a laptop, which is why I always carry one on trips. Upgrading the phone would not be worth it unless one got the remainder.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

is there a VOIP functionality

There are free app store VOIP apps (such as CSipSimple) which integrate seamlessly with the phone book

The problem with Samsung phones (apart from Samsungs Android “tuning”) is that the display often breaks without you doing anything bad to the phone. Samsung won’t cover it under warranty (so you need to sue them), and a spare display is almost as expensive as a new phone. It’s not really surprising the way the phone is designed. It is very easy to bend, doesn’t require any significant force. While the gorilla glass front can handle this, the glued on OLED carrier glass often can’t, and cracks.

So buyer beware.

LSZK, Switzerland

The problem with Samsung phones (apart from Samsungs Android “tuning”) is that the display often breaks without you doing anything bad to the phone.

I will not buy a Samsung any time soon.

They break. They sometimes heat up for no apparent reason and consume battery. They exhibit all kind of weird bugs. They slow down significantly with time.

Other than that they have a great screen which is readable in bright sunlight which is the only thing my HTC One does not have…

LFPT, LFPN

Most importantly you get a web browser which works on modern websites most of which have been coded with exceptions to specially handle specific named browsers

That’s largely a thing of the past. Modern websites use a few libraries (such as jQuery) which contain some browser abstraction but the modern browsers are quite compatible. I rarely hit a problem that is browser specific and most often it’s because I do something wrong and one of the common browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE, Safari) is less forgiving than the others. The last terrible browser was IE9 but that’s a thing of the past.

The Samsung S6 hardware is beautiful but very expensive. I currently use the Google Nexus 6 which I also think is overpriced but I don’t like the “improvements” to Android done by the incompetent software engineers of the phone makers. You will have to adapt to different workflows, a modern phone will not have 1:1 equivalents of your current SOPs.

For example on the EuroGA router I can do everything in Opera Mobile but the very last bit – the filing of the flight plan – displays a dialog which has an inaccessible Confirm button, and same for delaying etc of the flight plan.

I have set aside a bottle of champaign for the day you migrate to a 21st century phone and I can delete all those horrible workarounds for Opera…

I thought you already deleted them, which is why it doesn’t work anymore

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

This:

Administrator
EGTR / London, United Kingdom

Nexus 6. Made by Motorola and using default Android. I find 6 inch just too large to be practical, so I stick with my Nexus 5. The -6 is several notches better though, amoled etc.

ENVA ENOP ENMO, Norway

I find 6 inch just too large to be practical, so I stick with my Nexus 5. The -6 is several notches better though, amoled etc.

For me, the Nexus 6 has removed the need to carry a tablet. I use the phone to read the newspaper in the train, for navigation in the airplane, approach plates, etc. Even SSH to servers to fix problems. It’s the first phone with real productivity value. The smaller Nexus 5 is now my 2nd phone and it’s always a strange feeling when taking it — so small! iPhone 6 has a similar size.

I don’t want an IOS phone because I have used an Ipad2 and an Iphone4 and tore my hair outdoing the simplest things

The advice I tend to get is that I should “go with the flow” but actually I want a device which has a real file system, which can copy a PDF from an email to a USB stick, etc.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter,

To answer your questions:
I’ve a Samsung Galaxy S2 (about to get an S6). The S2 runs Android Jelly Bean, which is a few years old now, so some of this info might be out of date.

•is there a VOIP functionality (in which you configure the SIP server details directly) which is integrated into the Contacts book i.e. for every entry you get a “VOIP call” option? Rather than a separate VOIP app which makes a copy of your phone book, or tries to use the phone book while spending ages working out what has changed since it was last run…

I’ve used CSipSimple. It’s a free app, and fully integrates with the phone function. Before calling you’re asked if you want to use the phone or CSipSimple (VOIP) to dial. You can enter all the SIP Server details into it.
I got fed up of the integration (as I rarely make VOIP call, and VOIP is only suitable on a WIFI connection in my experience) so I turned that integration off. As a result I need to go into the app to make a voice call now.

•is there a camera app, or built-in functionality, which allows you to email somebody a selection of Gallery photos, resized to say 1024 wide, without screwing up the existing ones (like e.g. Outlook Express can do when emailing photos)?

The gallery app allow me to select multiple photos and then email them. When emailing I’m asked if I’d like to email as original size, Large (70%), Medium (30%) or Small (10%). This if for all selected photos. You can’t choose individually, unless you email individually. You can’t choose a specific size.

•can one upload a load of pics to a newly specified dropbox folder and obtain the DB link for that folder and just drop it into an email?

You must have the dropbox app installed. Then you can upload a single or group of photos to a specific folder in Dropbox. To then share the photo or folder, you must go into the dropbox app and from there you can either invite someone to join the folder or give them a sharing link. The link can be sent by email or sms, or simply copied to the clipboard.

You can also see your photos to be automatically backedup to Dropbox, without you having to manually send them. Then all your photos go there once taken (or only when connected to wifi if you wish).

•can one do the above dropbox stuff but (for a speed limited connection) with the pics resized to say 1024×1024 max

No. Photos shared to dropbox are sent full size. I’m sure you can use image editing software to change their size, but that would be an intervening step that would probably be more fustration that it’s worth except for the most dedicated of people!

•can one do a windowed screenshot and upload it to an FTP server (active or passive FTP) and obtain the URL to the uploaded screenshot for pasting into an email?

I’m not sure that I can fully answer that. You can certainly do screenshots. I have an FTP app called AndFTP (It’s free). I can upload the screenshots to an FTP server. I’m not sure about getting a URL back from it, but presumaly you can figure out the URL yourself. However this isn’t automated. You need to take the screenshot (pressing two keys at the same time). Then start the FTP app and find the file you want and upload it. It’s seperate steps.

•can one upload a video to Vimeo?

No idea. I never use it. Presumably Vimeo have an app for this though.

Apart from the phone integration with VOIP, you can try out all of the above on your tablet and make sure that you’re happy with the integration first.

Colm

EIKH Kilrush
126 Posts
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