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Old 07. Jun 2014, 06:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Android: A newbie question

I purchased my first android phone (a Samsung Neo), which currently runs 4.2.2 Jelly Bean.

A couple of questions (sorry if this has been already covered and rehashed!):

1. It's kind of frustrating that the rolling out of updates is slow and unpredictable. You're literally at the mercy of Samsung, HTC or what not until the update is rolled out or worse still, if no update for your device, it sucks. At least for PC OS's (Windows, Mac and Linux variants), one could download and install the updates manually from the manufacturer's site. No such option here. Samsung kies appears to be useless. Any advise would be welcome.

2. I am yet to travel to the world of rooting as the phone is about a month old. Don't want to end up bricking the phone.

3. The pre-installed stock apps AKA crapware are just plain frustrating. First thing I did was disabled Samsung chat on, Samsung print service etc...etc.. Too bad that they can't be removed completely.

4. Based on my experiences with windows, I am steering clear of "antivirus" and "tune up" apps for android. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


Sorry for the rant, let me stop here.

A small PS: Don't get me wrong, Android appears to be wonderful, but the way they have implemented it across various devices seems to be kind of screwy.

Last edited by Concerned User; 07. Jun 2014 at 06:42 PM.
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Old 07. Jun 2014, 09:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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In theory, any device should receive updates for 18 months. The problem begins when the fineprint says those 18 months are counted from the launch date, so if you bought a 2012 model phone you are probably screwed by now, as you won't receive any update from the phone's maker. Another problem is most companies focus on updates for their flagships, leaving the middle and low range models on their own, or provinding one or two 'manteinance' updates during those infamous first 18 months.

If your phone is working fine, there is no need to update ASAP. Some updates are not bug-free so it is advisable to wait for the reaction of early updaters and their comments. Companies like Samsung publish a list of products to be updated, so you could check if your phone is going to get Android 4.3 or 4.4 any time soon or not. If not, but you really want to update your phone, installing 3rd party ROMS is your only choice. To do that you'll have to root and unlock the bootloader of your phone, which will void your warranty (especially the unlocking part). Also, make sure there is a ROM available for your specific model, installing an incompatible ROM could brick your phone . Be careful with that.

The best way to learn about how to do any of the above is visiting XDA Developers. There is a big device database there, and very active forums that include detailed information about rooting, unlocking, and the ROM installing process.

You can remove stock crapware completely, but you need SU privilegies (root) and Titanium Backup. I am very careful when installing apps, therefore I never used an antivirus and most of the tune-up apps I used where bogus, so I cannot recommend any on particular.

Last edited by rickybobby; 07. Jun 2014 at 09:19 PM. Reason: fixed typos
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Old 08. Jun 2014, 09:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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@ rickybobby: Thanks so much for taking the time to respond. Yes the phone is working fine as is. There are some custom roms out there, though I would wait and watch for some time before taking the "plunge"
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Old 09. Jun 2014, 03:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You're welcome mate. My very own experience tells me updates are not always for the better.

I've got an Xperia 2013 that came with 4.2.2 installed and it was close to perfection. Then, I updated it to 4.3 and the performance took a hit, so I waited for bug fixes with the next update, which came indeed, but was more of the same. I finally received the 4.4.2 update a pair of weeks ago and I must say I was really dissapointed. Too many bugs and problems to account for, especially for an official update.

After doing some research, it turned out I cannot blame the manufacturer for all the problems. Most of the issues point at Google and its faulty 4.4.2 Android source code along with Gapps.

Now I'm back to stock 4.2.2, and believe me when I say that I'm not that eager to update anytime soon. There is a ton of cool apps I'm missing for not having Android 4.3 or up installed, but my phone's functionality is my top priority right now.

Rooting is not an easy process and may void your warranty, therefore it is not the first advice I give. Nevertheless, it is the safest way to gain control over your device without putting your hardware at risk.
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Old 26. Jun 2014, 04:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sorry to be late on this... I don't have much time nowadays. I will try to answer your queries though, and I hope you find the replies useful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Concerned User View Post
1. It's kind of frustrating that the rolling out of updates is slow and unpredictable. You're literally at the mercy of Samsung, HTC or what not until the update is rolled out or worse still, if no update for your device, it sucks. At least for PC OS's (Windows, Mac and Linux variants), one could download and install the updates manually from the manufacturer's site. No such option here. Samsung kies appears to be useless. Any advise would be welcome.
Nothing much you can do about it. It's up on the companies how much update they want to release for that particular model of the phone. Of course they would want their newer handsets to sell, and therefore, you won't get any updates after a period of time.

So, you are only left with two options, either keep using the phone as it, without updates, or install a custom ROM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Concerned User View Post
2. I am yet to travel to the world of rooting as the phone is about a month old. Don't want to end up bricking the phone.
Bricking is a risk when you root a phone. However, contrary to what you read, there are two kinds of bricking, soft and hard. The soft one is reversible, and most of them are soft ones. So, it can be undone. However, you will need to go through a process.

Also, rooting would void the warranty, so, if you are looking to keep the warranty intact, do not root the phone. Although, once the phone has been rooted, it can be unrooted too, but I don't know if then the company people can find out if the phone was rooted earlier, or not.

Regarding rooting, I did it, and found it's a fairly easy and quick process. However, you need to make sure that the files for root are for your particular phone model, and not of any other, otherwise you run a risk of bricking your phone. XDA forum is a great place to find the root files and instructions for your phone.

My advice would be to look for your phone model and read on rooting, and prepare yourself mentally, and with proper resources and all, till the time you decide to wait out the warranty period, or, before you make up your mind about rooting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Concerned User View Post
3. The pre-installed stock apps AKA crapware are just plain frustrating. First thing I did was disabled Samsung chat on, Samsung print service etc...etc.. Too bad that they can't be removed completely.
I too found the pre-installed stock apps pretty frustrating. Atleast in the newer Android versions, you have the option to disable the apps. It wasn't there in the previous versions.

To completely remove the apps, you have to root the phone, no other option. However, even after you root the phone, the option to uninstall apps won't appear automatically on the phone (like I thought ) .... to uninstall the apps, you will need to install a third party app like Titanium Backup, which is an excellent app, and quite popular too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Concerned User View Post
4. Based on my experiences with windows, I am steering clear of "antivirus" and "tune up" apps for android. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
I would advise you to install an antivirus on your phone. There are many free ones out there, and you will find an excellent review on our site for antivirus by IO.Hazard. With many malware apps out there, it's best to be on the safe side, and install an antivirus, as Android is susceptible to malware and ransomeware.

About tune-ups, I too am not for them. However, there are certain apps which you can use. Like I use 1Tap Cleaner, to get rid of the junk that builds up... and also, cache, history, etc.

There is also Clean Master, which I mainly use for task/memory management. It has good cleaning features too. However, I guess it has become a heavy app, and on my older phone, I suspect it is causing problems. Still, you can try it out and see for yourself, if you need it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Concerned User View Post
A small PS: Don't get me wrong, Android appears to be wonderful, but the way they have implemented it across various devices seems to be kind of screwy.
Same here. I do like Android, but the way Android is being filled up with Google apps, and being integrated into Android so that it makes them difficult to remove... I am kind of frustrated with it.
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