Google+ For Android: Selective Photo Upload?

T-MOBILE-G2-G-PLUS One of the nicer things about Google+ is its integration with mobile platforms. The updates for my Android cell phone have been coming at a regular pace. Certainly more often than most of the other apps I routinely use.

One of the most convenient features is the auto upload of photos taken by the phone. Such a feature is actually so convenient that’s it’s seriously bothersome when, for whatever reason, it doesn’t work as expected. This is what’s happening with my G2 for the past few weeks. It only uploads some of the photos I take.

Now, I should be clear, when I bought the G2, about a year ago, I merely moved the 2GB micro-SD card from my old Blackberry 9700 to the new Android phone. That memory card presently holds just over 800 photos and a handful of video clips. It also holds a few hundred songs & podcasts.

In recent weeks it seems quite random with respect to which pics it will upload to my Google+ profile. If a pic doesn’t get uploaded there seems no way to upload it without also sharing it in a somewhat public fashion. This seems problematic.

It’s not clear if this is an issue with the Android or the Google+ client for Android, but it sure does bug me. It makes me wonder how the combination would handle the storage capacity of a more modern micro-SD card, with as much as 16 GB of space for photos.

T-Mobile: Houston We’ve Made Some Progress

Today I decided to try a little experiment with my G2, and put it back on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network. For the past week it’s been using the 2G EDGE network in order to ensure a practical battery run time.

It seems that T-Mobile must be tinkering with the network, because today I’ve managed almost 11 hours of normal operation and only consumed 30% of the battery. A week ago it was draining the battery dry in under 5 hours.

I would guess that they’ve backed off on the channel bonded access for the moment. The Speedtest.Net app on my handset currently measures my connection to Comcast’s nearest server as 3100 kbps down and 328 kbps up. That’s not bad, but certainly less than their much trumpeted network upgrade should permit.

Given that they have few devices in the market that can actually take advantage of the faster network performance it makes perfect sense that they’d back off on the network changes in order to ensure that the bulk of their 4G customers have workable battery life, at least until HTC releases the firmware update that provides a more permanent solution.

T-Mobile Officially Acknowledges HSPA+ Issue With 4G HTC Handsets

Earlier today T-Mobile staff started a new thread in their support forum polling users for reports of unusually short battery life starting over the past week.

Hello everyone,
A small group of T-Mobile customers are noticing battery drain. As of around July 28, 2011, their phones haven’t been holding their charge as well as they used to.

We’re working aggressively to resolve this issue, but if a you find that the battery drains more quickly than it has in the recent past (starting around July 28th), or phone is not holding a charge like it was, please reply here with the following information:

Device Make & Model
Start date on the issue
Where are you located (Market, City, State)?
Are you in a 2G, 3G or 4G area?
When battery indicator shows ‘No Power’ does the device still work or is the power drained?
Does “3G only mode” improve the battery drain issue?

Thank you to everyone for helping us out with your examples!

As of this moment 80 people have responded, including myself.

It’s curious that they refer to “3G only mode” as the G2 at least doesn’t have such a mode. The related setting in my G2 is labeled as “Use only 2G networks.”

Sorry for the blurry photo. That’s what sometimes happens when I take a handheld shot and defeat the flash.

Like everyone else responding in the forum, we have found that enabling this setting drops the phone to the EDGE network, and restores battery life to an acceptable norm.

At least with this acknowledgement there can be the expectation of some action toward solving the issue. Maybe they can even inform their customer service staff, who have been handling the matter haphazardly for the past week.

T-Mobile Network HSPA+ Issue Plagues Users of HTC Handsets

T-Mobile-G2-Landscape-300 In the last week of July a number of T-Mobile subscribers began observing that the battery life of their HTC handsets had fallen away dramatically. Both my wife and I have the G2 (aka HTC Desire Z) and have found that typical battery life has dropped from 8-10 hours to less than 4 hours on a charge.

In fact, I noticed that the back cover of my G2 was warm to the touch even as the phone was sitting idle all morning. Even in a completely idle state the phone was drawing enough current to make the battery warm.

There’s a long thread about this issue in the T-Mobile support forums. Over the past few days others have noted the issue in various places, including; Phone Arena, T-MoNews & Phandroid.

Continue reading “T-Mobile Network HSPA+ Issue Plagues Users of HTC Handsets”

A Complicated Way To Join a VUC Call

counterpathDuring this weeks VUC call I was at KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh PA. I was sitting monitoring some equipment in the Art Department, which is  is physically located in the basement of the building at One Gateway Center.

There in the basement my cell phone was only able to get an EDGE connection to T-Mobile. Of course, CBS won’t let me on their network with my laptop or netbook. As a result, all week long I’ve been making use of my now aged Sprint 3G Mifi for general internet access.

Last week I installed the very latest version of Counterpath’s Bria Android Edition on my G2. To this point I’d only used it to make a couple of test calls around my office. This day I used it to join the ZipDX wideband conference bridge.

Continue reading “A Complicated Way To Join a VUC Call”

Skype For Android Now With 3G/4G Support

T-Mobile-G2-Skype-AndroidIn the recent past there was an issue with the Skype client for Android suffering a vulnerability that could expose private information to third party applications on the phone. This week Skype released an update to address the matter. That’s not especially interesting really, at least not to me.

The more interesting thing is the fact that this new release of Skype For Android now supports calling over 3G/4G wireless service. Until this release Android devices were only allowed to do voice calling when on Wifi networks. The exception being Android devices offered by Verizon Wireless.

In truth I’ve made little use of Skype on my phone, at least to this point. Limiting the voice aspect to wifi really constrains its utility. While in NYC this week I allowed my G2 to update its Skype installation and did a few cursory experiments with the new release.

I was happy to hear that the new Skype client seems to support the latest SILK codec. Calling the Skype call testing service I heard both their outgoing message and my own voice back in very clear wideband audio. I may yet run some test signals across a Skype call to get some measurement of what I was hearing.

I was also happy to find that the Skype client supports the use of the Bluetooth headset with wideband capability. This is in marked contrast to the release of Counterpath’s Bria Android Edition, the SIP client that I currently run. It simply does not access the Bluetooth capability of the handset. I must admit that I am at least one release back in Bria Android Edition.

As this weekend I am working to complete a review of the Plantronics Voyager Pro UC Bluetooth headset I tried also it with Skype. The call was obviously wideband, very bright and cheerful sounding. I tried making calls both on my local wifi and T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network. In both modes that calls sounded great. It will be interesting to see what happens when the phone falls back to its EDGE mode, outside of HSPA range.

It’s great that voice calling using Skype over 3G/4G is now more broadly available. I’m betting that causes a considerable uptick in the use of Skype on mobile devices.