Speed boost for Dolphin browser

What if the fastest android browser (Dolphin) is running slow?!

It’s pretty dead simple: just don’t use themes !!!

From the day i put a theme on Dolphin, i saw a drastic decrease in speed so after a few weeks i removed the theme and stayed with the plain default green color.

How to remove the theme:

  1. slide your finger from the right (facing the phone) edge of the screen;
  2. tap Themes;
  3. tap Color and chose a plain color of your taste;

NOTE: i’m doing this on my super fast as a slug Motorola Defy plus, so on other devices, Dolphin will work great with Star Wars running live as a background.

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Open/save .xls email attachments on Android

It comes a time in your android phone owner saga when you will receive an email with an excel file attached, you open the email with the stock email app, and surprise, “unsupported file type” and you can’t view or download the file.

Of course if you use the Gmail app with your Google account it’s alright, you can preview and download an .xls file but what if you don’t use the Google email account?!

So what?! Why should Google care if you want to use another email app or some crazy email account you use for 15 years?! How they can filter your life?!

Luckily there is a solution:

  1. Install K-9 email app from F-Droid, check the installation process here;
  2. Setup your email account: i entered the email and password and K-9 handled all the setup process.
  3. There are lots of settings, but all i did was to setup the download folder to /mnt/sdcard/Messaging (in the K-9 app, tap Menu > Settings > Miscellaneous > Save attachments to…). The default path is the root of your sdcard and i don’t find it convenient.

K-9 is a full featured email client and you can open and save excel files.

Have fun! ^-^

Opensource apps on your Android device

If you don’t get the most from the apps you find on Google Play store or you want to use opensource apps on your android phone, you should definitely install F-droid.

From the official website:

“The F-Droid Repository is an easily-installable catalogue of FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) applications for the Android platform. The server contains the details of multiple versions of each application, and the Android client makes it easy to browse, install them onto your device, and keep track of updates.”

How to install:

  1. On your phone, go to Settings > Applications > check Unknown sources;
  2. On your phone browser go to www.f-droid.org;
  3. At the beginning of the website you will find the link to install the F-droid app (apk);
  4. Open the app;
  5. Tap the Menu button on your phone and tap Update repos;
  6. Wait;
  7. Again Tap the Menu button on your phone and tap Search (or you can just browse the apps);
  8. Search the app you want and install it. NOTE: When you get an app you want to install, tap the app and tap the Menu button and the Install button will appear.
  9. Once in a while do point number 4 and 5 to check for updates.

Have fun! ^-^

How to optimize performance on your Android device

Device used: Motorola Defy Plus (MB526)

When you buy and Android device, it will run as smooth as velvet, but as time passes, and you install more apps, more background services will run because those apps will synchronize, check for updates etc.

My device have 512 MB of RAM and a 1 GHz Cortex-A8 TI OMAP 3620 processor and things were getting heavy and the device started to move like a slug.

What have i tried:

  1. I installed Advanced Task Killer Free – the app have a very low footprint, it installs a shortcut on the taskbar and i made a habit to swype down the notification panel, tap on the app and tap on kill processes and boom, RAM freed.
  2. Things were not getting as smooth as i wanted because i wanted besides a RAM booster, an app that can also clean junk files (and yes, an Android device will get lots of junk files that occupy space) and i searched on the internet ways of how to boost performance of an Android device and i came to 2 apps: NQ Android Booster and Clean Master.
  3. I enabled first NQ Android Booster, an app that won numerous awards. It has this big and simple Optimize button that can free RAM in a breeze. It also have a data plan watcher that requires you to set in the settings the billing date, maximum traffic and how much have you used by now and it manages all in the background and warns you when you’re about to finish the traffic in your data plan. The second great thing is a battery manager where you can set different presets that are also customizable. What i have found also great is the widget that enables you to do lots of things in one widget: boost the RAM, enable/wi-fi, enable data, dim the brightness of the screen. The thing is, after a few days with NQ Android Booster, my device was working like hell so i tried Clean Master and i am now, the happier Android device owner in terms of performance.

I uninstalled NQ Android booster, because i found it a big memory hog, BUT, and hear me, i say BUT, you guys having those new and powerful quad-core, 1000-core processor devices with tones of RAM, please give NQ Android Booster a shot, the widget is awesome and the simplicity of the Optimize button will save you. It just doesn’t do the trick on my device.

I also uninstalled Advanced Task Killer Free, not because it suck but because Clean Master does what Task Killer is doing.

So my setup for a smooth Android experience:

  1. Turn OFF, GPS, WI-FI, Data, Bluetooth, if you’re not using them.screenshot_00008
  2. Tap Menu button > Settings > Display > Brightness, uncheck automatic and set the brightness to around 25%. Again, it works ok for my device.screenshot_00028 screenshot_00030 screenshot_00032
  3. Go back to Display settings and tap Animation and set it to No animations. You wont get the animations when you navigate to the device screens but you will notice a boost in speed.screenshot_00034 screenshot_00035
  4. Also on Display settings, go to Screen timeout, and set it to 30 seconds or 15 seconds.screenshot_00039
  5. Exit the Display settings and enter Battery & data manager > check Data saver. It will save you data plan traffic. Beware: on data you will not be able to install apps, the Play Store will wait for a WI-FI connection, so if you want to install an app, make sure to uncheck that.screenshot_00051screenshot_00049
  6. Go back to Battery & data manager and go to Battery Mode. Check Maximum battery saver.screenshot_00055 screenshot_00057
  7. Now setup Clean Master:screenshot_00101
  8. You get those four buttons: Junk files is used to clean those junk files, Standard is for starters, Advanced enables you to chose what to clean and it also scans more stuff then Standard mode so use it it wisely.screenshot_00129 I don’t use Privacy and App Manager. Memory boost gives you a list of all open apps and a Clean button to close those apps. Also here, on the upper right corner you have an icon with a house and a plus sign, tap that to place a widget on the screen for a cool Memory boost widget button. That way you don’t have to go in the app to boost the memory, just tap the widget.
  9. Tap the vertical three points on the upper right of the up and go to Settings. Those are my settings and work great for me.screenshot_00101 screenshot_00103 screenshot_00105 screenshot_00108

So to summarize, all i did was play with the Settings of the device (Display, Battery & data manager) and setup Clean Master and that’s it, those are all the apps that keep my device snappy.

Again, i’m not saying other apps are bad, the apps i’m using do the job well on my device. Any suggestions are welcome!

Have fun and enjoy!

Google Android fails (or not)

In the past months i’am using an Android smartphone and i’m trying to see the in and out of the software. For me is the best OS, that’s why i bought one instead of an iOS or Windows Phone smartphone but adding in the desire of Google to know everything about everybody lead to some great fails in my opinion. Some will consider fails, some can say it’s arm twisting, some will say it’s Google’s business model and strategy, or some may say it’s their freakin’ business and they do what they want with their OS and if you don’t like it get something else, all this i consider being fair points of view.

Like many others in the world, i got disappointed in Google because they want to know absolutely everything, period. And they very pushy about this, here is why:

  1. As you search more and more on Google, you will get as time passes, the same results even if you’re searching for variations of a topic;
  2. A friend told me he searched once for a washing machine or something, for his mother and for months, all the adds he saw were all with washing machines. Ok, i searched, maybe i bought it, i’m not searching anymore, screw the washing machine;
  3. When you search for a driver, the first links are with websites that first request you to install some obscure driver scanner and through that you should install the driver you want. Wouldn’t be normal to get the official driver page as the first results?;
  4. Android: In the Favourites, Most likely contacts there is ALWAYS the only contact i have on Google+ and i call him once in two weeks. In the Frequently contacted, he is ALWAYS in the first 5, although there are more then 5 contacts i call more frequently;
  5. Android: You can’t add birthdays in the calendar but you can when you sync your contacts and calendar with Google;
  6. Android: If you don’t use the stock browser and use let’s say Firefox, and don’t use the Google Search and you use DuckDuckGo, if you have turned on Google suggestions i think it’s like using the Google search. Even if you tap on other search engine link, typing in with that option on, it’s sending the request to Google and receiving the suggestion;
  7. Putting on the best Google proof vest may protect you, but that doesn’t give you the certainty you’re invisible.

There are many flows and limitations in Android but i’m pointing out the most annoying for me.

Yes, i’m using an Android phone and yes, i’m doing what i can to avoid Google services but i don’t go extreme on that and i don’t suggest getting paranoid over that, if a service will really make my life easier, i will use it. If some people or organizations really want to know something about you, trust me, they will.

The majority of people with a normal life don’t bother putting their life online, they don’t do anything wrong, they don’t have anything to hide and hey, you’re more interesting online then in real life.

On the other hand, if you plan on bombing something, opening a Facebook page to post your progress for that, might not be such a good idea.

How to bypass Motoblur on Motorola Defy Plus

motorola

motorola (Photo credit: Adam from another planet…)

I always wanted to do a review of a device and being a proud new owner of a Motorola Defy+, gods have smiled upon me.

But! … you have to wait for a while and here is why:

People have mixed feelings about Motoblur, a system designed to hold in that Motoblur account all the phone contacts, e-mail accounts, messages, streams from social networks etc., lots of people didn’t want to have all personal data in one place without the option to limit that “backup”. I am one of them.

When you first power up a Motorola device with Motoblur, you are asked to make a Motoblur account and the obvious question is “How to bypass Motoblur?”. You have tones of responses on the internet, many of them going way too far like rooting your phone, installing a custom ROM, gaining access to Pentagon after setting up 3 computers from NASA and NORAD as proxy servers.

Many of the answers online are for permanently disable/remove Motoblur because simply bypassing the creation of a Motoblur account will left some processes running in background.

My simple tutorial on simply bypassing the creation of a Motoblur account:

  1. power up your phone;
  2. if it asks you for SIM card activation/PIN code, insert it;
  3. at the Motoblur account screen, press the Menu button (the first button from the left, that with the 4 boxes, 1 white and 3 black);
  4. if you don’t see a Skip button, choose More and then press Skip;
  5. you’re done!

What you will miss:

  • All your contacts, e-mail accounts, social network streams, messages synced in one place. Some Motorola made widgets won’t have data to show on the screen.
  • Operating system updates can’t be made without a Motoblur account. First, some say that if you’ll wait for Motorola to update the Android version, you’re life will pass by blazing fast. Second, you can always root your phone and install a custom ROM.

What you still can do:

  • Manage your e-mail accounts;
  • Use social network apps to stay in touch with your friends;
  • Sync your data with any service you like;
  • Enjoy a plain default Android experience.

Don’t get me wrong, lots of people love this all in one sync stuff and Motoblur is in fact the key selling point on a Motorola device so if it’s ok for you, you will have a full Motorola+Android experience.