Friday, 5 February 2010

sms / mms issue on android

There seems to be alot of reports of issues with sms messages never arriving on android phones, and seperately of mms messages arriving but never downloading.

from talking to others neither of these issues is rom-specific, nor is it device-specific.

the sms issue seems to be caused by the message not being written to the database if the device is low on (or out of) ram.

I seem to have solved the sms issue on my phone running latest cyanogen rom by:
  • installing the 10mb ram hack.
  • limiting the number of widgets and other background apps that hog resources.
  • culling messages every couple of weeks to keep the size of the database down.
I have installed smstomail from the market (free version) and this was catching all messages and sending them to gmail (hence almost immediately viewable on the phone), I'm keeping it as a backup to check I'm not missing any and for reference a I'm culling old messages.

So far no-one for weeks has said anything to imply I've not received an sms.

I also know of someone who has gone back to the 1.6 dev rom and is having no lost sms, this may also be due to not running out of ram when the message arrives.

the mms issue seems to have something to do with the phone being connected to a wifi network. I don't get many mms messages but one was sent to me recently that I saw, hit download, and it said 'downloading' and just sat like that. I killed the wifi connection and it still wouldn't download it, however when I asked her to resend it (same image, same size), it showed up and downloaded in seconds (3G).
Perhaps the phone sees mms as data and tries to bring it in via wifi but the phone network won't accept that as a valid connection (rightly so it ought to be over the phone network), the phone kills data connections when on wifi as you can see on the taskbar so this makes sense to me, this is a fundamental problem somewhere in the android OS. I need to hear from other people with similar issues and see if the symptoms match before being more sure about the nature of this.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

My updated theme for Cyanogen

I've now updated my theme for the latest cyanogen, Download HERE
Remember, in order to use this you need a rooted android phone, if you don't have that, you can't have this.


Themed Launchers: (click the image to download the zip file, save it in sd card root, flash in recovery)

Lockscreens: (click the image to download the zip file, save it in sd card root, flash in recovery)

For more information on this theme and more updates etc, see the thread on XDA forum -

Sunday, 18 October 2009

MarksTheme - G1 - for cyanogen

I know this is for an older version of cyanogen's ROM but this is still the version I'm running, this theme is for Cyanogen ROM, the last release before it all got 'interesting'.

I've called this 'MarksTheme' because I'm Mark, and I made most of this theme.

I say 'most' because I took some from Enoch and EnochX, some from m_blend (loving the red), and added a load of my own Icons.

The wallpaper you see in the screenshots isn't included, it's one of my photographs (I do that kind of photography for a living).

Credits to the makers of both, particularly Enoch and EnochX which got me started :)

I will update this to whatever version of cyanogen ROM I happen to be using, if you want to use it with another version you can strip the icons out of the zip file and put them into a template or another theme made for another version of the ROM.

I will also tweak and play with this version whenever the mood takes me and time allows.

This theme uses the standard launcher with 5 screens, I found the advanced launcher still a bit laggy.

Download HERE

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Have google f***ed up?

If you are using a regular google / android phone with an official google / android operating system then this whole issue doesn't affect you. If you've rooted your phone and installed a custom ROM then it does. If you've rooted your phone you'd know you did it.

I like google, I use google mail for all my email, I use google calendar to organise my life, I use google analytics for my websites and google maps for finding my way around. I like google.

I like touch-screen phones too, nice big screens, but I don't like on-screen keypads, too slow and still inaccurate.

I also like open-source software, from gadgets to entire operating systems and everything in between, written by people for people, not by corporations for profits.

When I saw T-mobile advertising the G1 phone I was intrigued, to say the least. Integrated google mail and calendar, touch screen phone but with a slide-out qwerty keypad, and it's a linux-based open-source operating system called android, I was a happy man, so happy I even found time for a damn blog!

The G1 out-of-the-box was a damn fine phone anyone could use, no geek credentials needed, but for the geeks, for the tweakers, for those who wanted a little more (in my case I wanted to make it look nicer, and a little more 'zing' please), this involved 'rooting' and 'flashing' a custom 'ROM' (installing a replacement operating system).

Out went googles official release (of an open-source operating system) and in went Cyanogen's tuned-up version, nothing lost, everything gained.

Until Now.

google have now prevented cyanogen (and effectively anyone else) from releasing android roms containing google's apps, this includes gmail, contacts, calendar, maps (which you can download for free from the market anyway) and any others not at the of my mind. Their justifiable reason is that the operating system, android, is open-source (it's a flavour of linux), but the individual apps are not. Google have every right to do this.


By doing this they are locking-out non-official-google-android users out of the features and apps that make the G1 (and similar) great. The message is, use only our OS or we want nothing to do with you.

Many people chose the G1 over an Iphone because of the more liberal approach, because it's open-source, this is the primary strength of the G1 and the google-android system, without it we might as well go to Iphone, people are already doing so, and many others are threatening to, we're talking about tens of thousands of users leaving, thats significant folks.

I have the latest stable and experimental builds of cyanogens roms, as well as some themes and the themes I make myself. Until google release an OS that is better, I'll be sticking with these (they have all the google integration you'd expect).

Google, you gain nothing by doing this, you lose some respect and support from the open-source community, and you lose alot of customers. Thats just not playing nice.

If anyone wants a copy of the last stable or experimental cyanogen roms then they'd best not send me an email as it'd likely be considered illegal distribution if I uploaded them to a file server for you.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Custom Theme

Most people know that I'm the kind of guy who likes to customise things, tweak things, make things my own, and my phone is no exception. When I had a Nokia I got a copy of CarbideUI to make my own themes for it, when I got a G1 I wanted to do the same, but I had to take the step (leap?) to rooting it (hacking in through an exploit and installing a custom version of the operating system), with that came speed and some nice features thanks to Cyanogen and themes, Enoch by DrPFenderson was the theme I liked the most, but I wanted more, I wanted different, so I tweaked it.

Most of the custom icons and changes can be seen on the screenshots below... (click it to load fullsize in your browser)

I'm currently running experimental versions of the Cyanogen ROM so my theme is kept up-to-date with that, and I'm still watching the EnochX theme and using it as a base for most things (if I had the time I'd make a theme from scratch, but I don't!).

If anyone would like a copy of this theme I can make it available, but you MUST be using the latest Cyanogen experimental ROM and you MUST accept all liability for the wellbeing of your phone.

PS, the wallpaper isn't part of the theme, it's one of my photographs and I can't give it out free.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

G1 Themes & Cyanogen ROM

Yesterday I found another cool thing for rooted phones, themes.

Being the kind of guy who likes making things 'mine', I wanted to change even more about the visuals of my phone, I found a Theme HERE which you see below, it changes the look of some basic aspects of your phone, like a nice black bar along the top that blends nicely with my generally 'black' theme.

My screens, screen 1 is currently empty, mostly using it
to try out widgets.

Screen 2 = web apps mostly

Screen 3 is in the middle, calendar and weather is THIS ONE
Handcent sms just added a widget that shows the number of new sms messages, which is handy, so I'm using that for now.

4th screen, most of the apps are on here.

5th screen contains all my little notes using 'sticky note', (they just added a transparency slider, which I like alot).

At some point I'll get around to making a theme myself if it's not too techy, just way too busy with work at the moment.