My Android Settings
The Back Story
My android phone died.
OK. There it is. That should be enough of a back story.
OK. I'll try to do better.
The screen on my Android had the habit of lighting up whenever I received an incoming phone call... or maybe even a text; truthfully, I cannot remember at this point, a mere two months later.
No wait! I can remember!
My phone screen would light up whenever I received a phone call or a text; and based on the current sound settings, would also either ring, vibrate, or both.
All was fine if I looked at my phone and turned it off again, right away after receiving either a phone call or a text. But one day I did not. And after having turned itself on after receiving a text, my phone interpreted the random rubbing of its screen against the fabric of my cargo pants pocket as an attempt to login... ten times in a row.
For whatever reason (perhaps because it has an ironic sense of humor), my phone did not know its own password; and so, failed to login correctly ten times in a row: an event which triggered the 'I have been stolen. I should reset myself' protocol, which basically means, wiping itself clean.
And thus, the next time I looked at my phone it was spontaneously rebooting... or it had been taken over by a virus, but that seems unlikely.
Whatever the case (virus, no virus: something else, something even worse), whenever I reboot (a phone, a computer, that alien spacecraft some silly squid left lying around in my backyard), I tend to take notes on what actions I take, so (in theory) the next time I go through the reboot process (and/or pre-flight checklist), I can do it a little bit quicker... but since, I hardly ever look at my notes, that rationale is getting (more than) a little thin at this point.
Any-the-way, these be those aforementioned notes for the last time my Android Phone (some sort of Galaxy Model) died.
I have the subject for a new post.
The Base Reboot
I don't know if you want to play along at home or not, but if you do, hit reboot or something. My phone did it for me. And truthfully, I cannot come up with a single reason (save system failure or a viral infection, which is essentially the same thing) for ever doing such a reboot voluntarily.
Anyway, after the OS was up and running, these are the major (corrective) steps I took.
First, I enabled Developer Options, which on my phone means hitting
Settings -> Security -> About Phone -> Tap Build Number Seven Times
. And, viola! Developer Options Enabled!
Secondly (after entering a super secure four digit pass code), I encrypted the phone and the SD Card, which will keep all of my private data private and safe from the prying eyes of noobs and idiots alike for centuries to come, while criminals and Government Officials (if there is indeed a difference between the two) will simply need to copy the flash memory as a whole (I'm not really sure how this is done, but I know it is done) and cycle through all 10,000 pass code combinations in about 45ms. Still, I feel better when my phone is encrypted, so that's what I do.
Thirdly, because I mostly use my phone for making and receiving telephone calls and little else (what a lie), I disable most of the Default Apps... basically, all that I can.
Fourth (and finally... and because I am a rather solitary person who spends much more time walking down the street talking distractedly to himself than to others), I go to
Phone -> Settings -> Call -> Call Rejection
and set it to reject ALL incoming calls, so everyone goes to voice mail right away and my phone never (like, ever-ever) rings. And from there, if I am not returning your calls, it's because I don't like you (nothing personal, I just think that you are a jerk).
And there you are: a stripped down phone ready for service, which I use almost exclusively for:
- Phone Conversations
- Text Messaging
- I use the default (Voice Recorder) app.
- I, also, prefer my Galaxy (i.e. my Android powered phone) over my iPhone for this, as downloading the finished recordings from an Android powered device is as simple as a
copy / paste.
- Location Tracking
- But since Location Tracking is what most of the next section is about, I'll cover that there.
Of Apps & App Managers
I was having problems accessing the Google Play Store, so I:
- Force Quit the app
- Deleted the Cache
- Signed In
which allowed me to start downloading apps once again.
Time to go crazy!
But first, yet another aside. I like data, so much so, that about the only reason I can see for wearing an iWatch (or similar device) is to access such a device's data collection facilities. Unfortunately, Apple does not make it easy to remove data from their devices. So, there is really no reason for me to buy an iWatch, as of yet.
In the meantime (which may well be for a very long time, as I am not a fast adopter of new technologies), I use the following applications for purposes of Location Tracking:
- GPS Logger by Mendhak
- which is a lightweight logger.
- Net Monitor Lite by Vitaly Vologdin
- which is a heavier duty logger, whose database has a much larger footprint.
- My Timeline in Maps by Google
- which if this worked a year ago as well as it seems to work now, I doubt I would have downloaded either of the other two applications, in the first place.
The first two applications save easy to copy files right on my phone, while Google Maps allows one to download their data via a web interface, which in the end is far from ideal.
Finally, since posterity will (obviously) be interested in my text messages, to save them I use:
- SMS Back Up & Restore
- This used to be provided by Carbonite.
- But they sold the app to SyncTech.
It works medium well, as photos and emojis are not saved in a usable format (or at least, not in a format I can use). But then, being a slow adopter, I am not really on that whole emoji bandwagon just yet.
In Praise of the iPhone
I've complained about my iPhone elsewhere (i.e. in other rants
) enough that I felt it was time I gave a device that I use so often and so much (once again, my iPhone) a little (but just a little... joking, sheesh) praise.
Right after my Android spontaneously rebooted (likely from some nefarious virus; and here I have been thinking that it's been something more benign like repeated login attempts by my pants, as if), I walked into the Apple store to talk about their devices. After all, in the back of my mind, I like the idea of consolidating everything down into one simple to us device that will solve all of my problems (of which, I am told, I have many).
I won't consolidate my devices, because (if for no other reason) I also like the idea of owning dozens upon dozens of different specialized devices... just like in the good old days... when the sky was blue... ellipsis were used sparingly... and there was a television, radio, typewriter, telephone... and so on... and so forth... in every room... of every house... in this great country of ours... God Bless America!
Gads! But I do love a good run on sentence... complete with Unabashed Patriotic Overtones!
But as to the purpose of this post (which brings to mind, the fact that these posts might be a lot more useful if they were a lot more focused), I currently use my iPhone for:
- Taking Photos
- Of course, I'm comparing the version of the iPhone I have with version of Android I have (some sort of Galaxy, like I can be bothered to open up
Settings and look up the exact model) and neither one is on the cutting edge.
- Reading Documents
- I prefer the smaller size of the iPhone.
- The screen flickers less.
- Once again, both concerns being model (if not item) specific.
- Reading Email
- I believe a selectively connected WiFi device is more secure than one constantly connected to a widespread wireless phone network.
- But then, a device not utilized for generalized browsing would be even more secure, still.
- Handling Finances
- Mainly from habit, it's what I used first.
- And for reasons of security, as given above.
- Browsing the Internet
- Which as I may have mentioned, since I use my iPhone as my default browser, it's actually presents a wide surface of attack... which more than makes up for it not being connected to a wireless phone network (from an in-security perspective).
- But I'm not ready to get another device.
- And if I did, I do not know what that device would be.
We're on Fire Now
Amazon Fire's were on sale for like $50 last year, so I bought one. Some day, I should switch all my Amazon accounts over. In the meantime, I use it exclusively (and I don't mean almost exclusively, but exclusive-exclusively) for watching YouTube vidoes, which actually turns out to be a fantastic way of watching YouTube videos, because (I believe) Amazon and Google are having some sort of pissing contest; and so, YouTube over Fire comes with absolutely no (additional) advertisements (you know, over what I see on the Fire's login page).
As to the Future
Like I said, I am continually torn between adding new devices (say a dedicated surfer) and consolidating everything back into one single solitary device. But I doubt I will make any decisions in that regards until something fails and forces the issue.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to stop writing on my Safe Computer (never connected to the Internet) and switch to my Hot Computer (what I use for the Internet related stuff) to do some Internet stuff (hence, why switching to an Internet facing device makes sense at this particular juncture), because, yeah, in the end, multiple devices for specialized purposes really is the future for me.
© copyright 2018 Brett Paufler