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Friday, November 28, 2014

Problems With S View Cover for Note 3

Note 3 is already more than a year old and is superseded by Note 4. However, I have had it for slightly over 6 months.  I decided to treat myself with the S View cover mainly because it allows me to take pictures without unlocking my phone. I missed a few photo opportunities while struggling to unlock my phone.

Sadly, I was not aware of the many issues plaguing this product. The following are the ones I am aware of.

Repeating Calendar Events

Calendar events keeps repeating themselves even after we dismissed them. Initially I thought it was because I did not dismiss the event correctly. However, I found the following thread discussing the issue. The problem is the S-Planner for Note 3 which comes with KitKat is not compatible with S-View cover.

A temporary fix is to install the S-planner for S5. The apk is available from XDA Developer. Note that you will need to reinstall the apk each time you reboot the phone.

This problem does not affect everyone. Some of my friends are not affected.

Google Apps Device Policy Hangs the phone

A few of my friends who connects their Note 3 to our corporate email system. In order to do that they have to install Google Apps Device Policy.  The S View cover will cause the phone to be unresponsive and sometimes cause the screen to go blank.

They have placed a card between the chip and the phone in order to regain the use of their phone. However, they lose all functions of the S View cover.

Issues with S Voice

I used to enable the hands free mode while driving. However, with the cover, I get a message that S Voice can only be used with the S Cover open. Sometimes the message goes away on its own. However, the message stays and cannot be removed unless I reboot the phone.

The message blocks the row used for swiping to access the various functionality of the S View cover (take photo, play music and action memo).

Conclusion

I was told that there are three windows in S View, the third window option will appear when I receive a message but I have yet to see that option.

I am aware only these problems, feel free to comment on other problems you face with S cover and Note 3. I am really disappointed, to find out Samsung’s accessories do not work with its own products, more so since I have to pay a premium for it.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Android Phone Mobile Data Leak

I recently noticed that my android phone was incurring data charges (while I was not on data plan). Initially, I thought it might be due to a virus, rogue app or some setting I may have accidentally activated.

In order to trace the issue, I started removing apps from my phone, but the data charges kept happening. On the first day the charge was RM5 but subsequently it ranged between 2 cents to 20 cents. In order to stop the hemorrhage, I activate a one month plan. The one month plan was RM 30 for 30 days, but the unknown data usage had already cost me RM 15 without any benefit to me.

I also tried resetting the phone to factory mode, but found that the phone automatically restored some of the applications that were still installed - great feature, but not when I am troubleshooting this data leech on my phone. Resetting the phone helped in resetting the data counter and allowed me to see the amount of data consumed. It was the background data were incurring the cost of my mobile data. The foreground data was primarily from wifi.

Other things I tried was to restrict all background data. The bleeding continued, but I noticed that all the data consumed by the system. At the end, I finally concluded that Google Now was the data leech.

I was unable to confirm my finding earlier (because of the mobile data subscription) but its been one week since my data subscription ended and I have not seen any strange mobile data usage.

My primary concern is that the phone was still incurring mobile data usage even though the mobile data was turned off. Good thing I was not travelling. If I were, then I may incur roaming data cost as well.

I am surprised that Google Now does not respect our setting of keeping the mobile data off. So for now, I will do without Google Now. It was fun to use, but should respect our settings.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mini Comic Fiesta in Penang Times Square

Recently we had the opportunity to visit the mini comic fiesta held at Penang Times Square.  My son noticed the banner promoting the event and wanted to learn more about it. The event lasted for two days.

We had to pay an entry fee of ten ringgit per person for a one day entry pass. We arrived at Penang Times Square around noon and decided to have lunch before going into the exhibition. At the food court there were quite a few people dressed up in comic characters. A few of them carried props of giant guns and swords. Some of the costumes look extremely uncomfortable, but was interesting to look at.

When we finally entered the hall, there were a lot more people dressed as comic characters. The place was filled with anime related merchandise. There were also a few stores promoting online games. My son bought buttons and a t-shirt. My daughter felt bored and told me that she came along for lunch and was not really interested. 

My son commented that this was called a comic fiesta but did not see any comics at all.

Here are some photos taken at the event.











When I took this picture, his friend asked me if I knew that it was a guy I was taking a picture of.



Even Anna from Disney's Frozen was there.


War Machine.









I am not familiar with any of the guests at the event.





















The entry pass to the event:








A 3D stickers at the event.