Off and on for a while I have been wondering why my tablet hasn’t been syncing with the phone calender, after all, they are both connected to google calender right? I did a quick internet search and there are others having the same issue and you always get the answer “go here, google has the solution as they give instructions”. Well they are wrong in some cases!
After tonight’s investigation as to why the calender on my phone is not showing the same things on my Nexus 7 and when I checked in my browser with the account used for both devices. I found that the events that I have been putting into my phone religiously so I don’t miss anything were not showing on either. Since getting the phone I thought that I was using google calender, I was wrong. Has it turned out I was using the phone calender which doesn’t get backed up to my google account so what I was adding was only staying on the phone. Yes, the calender was set to show google calender events for the account in question but as I found out, I wasn’t actually using it. It is highly likely why nothing showed in Sunrise calender. I only found that I had this situation because I was checking the version number of the app was the same as what was showing on the web page. The only way I could do this was by going to play store and searching for google calender. This was because of very few setting options in the opened app. What I found was that the google app it self was shown as not being installed.
The end solution was to redo my calender by adding events via the browser, installing the proper google calender to check that it was syncing properly. The result was yes, it worked and now I have my stuff available on all of my devices. The other result was that I decided that the google calender was really boring and plain and reinstalled sunrise calender which is somewhat more attractive.
I take it that most people who read this own a smart phone and I suspect that many just add stuff such as apps and themes, etc and don’t bother or even think to have the occasional clear out or tidy up. Personally I have only had android so that is what I only write about.Its the system I prefer because its supposed to be open source but I have my doubts sometimes. I find the idea that I can customise it to how I want in feel and look. I am currently very happy with its looks (Aviate to thank for this). But the app situation was just plain stupid, not only in number but what I had, for some reason I had 2 or in some cases more that do the same thing. The aim of my weekend project was functionality while keeping apps to a minimum. My current aim is to only have apps that make my life easier.
The first part of this project was to decide the functions that I actually wanted. Then, then which apps to carry out those functions or tasks including those that allow me to integrate with things such as chromecast and watch. The second bit was simple, delete any data such as in the browser (in my case firefox). Next, was to go through and disable apps I don’t use but cann’t delete until I get around to rooting the phone (chrome browser, g+, and others for example).
Now the good bit, App removal. At this point I need to point out that even though the apps will no longer be on the phone they are still available in the account back up app locker so if you find that you cann’t be without or want them back you can still reinstall them later if you decide you want. If its an app that you paid for then you will not be charged again if you reinstall them because they are held on record as having been paid for.Its no good just deleting an app for the hell of it but if you don’t use it any more or found a better one that has the functionality and customization that you wanted, then it goes, you have to be strict with yourself. I found that there were a number of duplicates such as 3 car home screens and 2 of these went. However, I soon removed the last one when I realised I didn’t use that one much either, I prefer to go straight to the app that I want to use. Once I had finished I had what I wanted, a decent set of apps that I can find and use easier.If you use Aviate then you have the collections, these basically keep certain type such as travel or now watch. The past week as seen an up date which allows you to have custom collections, first thing I did was add one for my watch apps. While I was at it I added a couple of others such as Costa coffee which replaces the card, hopefully (one less thing to carry). I don’t have or intend to add bank or paypal until I am confident with the security but there again, I don’t have need to have them. Occasionally I find the need to go through and clear data for certain apps to stop the phones memory getting full of junk, etc. Last but not least, install a file manger which allows any folders made and used by apps to be deleted.
I started this about a month ago but put on hold until now. The previous post may have given hints as to why but it basically boiled down to two things. The first, which affected nearly all my pebble apps, was a communication issue with the pebble/pebble app which mostly those running android 4.2.2. yes, I know its been updated since but now updates have come through for my phone and to be honest I don’t want them because I want the permissions to be available which have gone with recent update (so much for user control, Google we want this back !!! I am currently considering my next phone which I hope to install a custom ROM on.
The second problem lay with Awear itself, as hinted at before, there was a problem with the Gmail side of things but thankfully it is now back and fixed. Now bare in mind that this app is still in Beta so it may not be perfect but it works and is very useful. I regard it as the next step up from Glance which I still use occasionally because it still as features that I like. The app requires a phone companion app which is no problem because it helps with the settings.
The settings are nice and simple but its one of those things that you need to check carefully. I missed the bit in the email settings that said about what email alerts you require. I found on double checking that you can select all or set it to curtain tags. Mine was on tags and nothing was selected! Which was why no email alerts came through when everything else worked. Its now set right and I get to delete boring emails or ones that I can read on my wrist with out taking the phone out.
The app also allows you to reply to texts but only with preset ones. OK if its texts that you can repeat or simple answers but otherwise its out with the phone. This is fine but if you want to send a simple text that is not a reply to a alert text then you are stuck ( one thing that glance did allow). I am currently testing a different app which may cover texting from the watch.
The app has a web site http://awear.io/
And forums can be found here http://forums.awear.io/
This has become my mainly used pebble app and gives me what I expect out of a smart watch. Personnally I see the pebble competing favourably against the google OS watches for several reasons, cost, battery charge time and most of all, you can see the screen in daylight!
Since I heard about the Googles Chromecast I have been sort off interested in it. Then when I had my run in with Amazon who cann’t be bothered (read to lazy) to update their lovefilm app for my 18 month old TV (they claimed over 2 years, so they are dumb sxxts) and finding out that Samsung are also too lazy to keep their customers happy by keeping their products updated, my interest increased. I saw it has a way to update my TV. I also found out while I was going through google shop thingy to see what TV shows and films they had that I like that netflix don’t have but Sky does. I don’t have Sky (its over over priced for what it is) and Netflix seems to be reducing the good stuff these days (no Castle after season 2 and no CSI/NCIS).
So at the beginning of the month I went out to visit my local, friendly neighbourhood Curries digital and got my grubby hands on one. While I was at it I also got some google credit (I really wanted to see Falling Skies). Once I got it home it was really easy to set up. I also found added benefits as I searched through the apps. I found Netflix easier when controlled through my Nexus for a start, much quicker to go through whats available and loading is quicker too. I also found Allcast which I put on my phone so I can see my pictures on my TV.
I’ve barely scratched the surface what this thing does but I feel that it has updated my TV as planned. Controlling the TV through my nexus 7 is easier than the old fashioned TV remote. But One thing that is missing is Spotify, people have complained about this but I really don’t care because when I am at home I’m playing vinyl these days.
Actually various things have been frustrating me the past couple of weeks. As much as I try and solve the problems, nothing works. The normal check of the forums and any where else has failed, others have tried what I have tried and no solution has been found. I am tempted to go back and restart but will likely get the same results.
Most of it started with an upgrade to the pebble app but the problem emerged in the previous release and nothing seems to be fixed. It appears to be a bluetooth connection issue in android 4.2.2 which the pebble people have admitted to and are working on but its made several of my favourite apps unreliable. On top of this one of my favourite apps which shows one hell of a lot of promise, Awear, has been seriously screwed up since a recent update which included G+ notifications, my understanding is that some rewriting had also been undertaken on the Gmail stuff. Sorry guys but I think you should have sorted the Gmail stuff first and then sorted the G+ stuff out later. I have tried a number of solutions to all this including reinstalling the app, etc and while it worked OK for the about an hour or so it then went back to how it was before. So to try and fix the pebble issue (last ditch), I can see the app on the phone getting the uninstall reinstall treatment and the watch getting factory reset (again) just to try and get the functionality back.
I’ve also had the frustration of updating apps on the phone and they haven’t been right either. Take podomatic for example, every time an update comes through it becomes useless. The last two times it doesn’t show my stuff such as alerts, notices or the shows that I follow. So once again I will have to install and start again. I also have a feeling I’m going to have to redo musicboss, it doesn’t work with Spotify like it did before the latest update. I have a sneaking suspicion that its gone back to default settings ( listen dev people of all apps and other forms of software, this really annoys the users of your releases when they see their settings set back to default).
I’m going to head over to do my Linux foundation course and then
get try to fix the problems out.