dimanche 3 juillet 2011

Android stories

During the last month I decided to renew my geek license, so I bought a pad (Asus Transformer, android 3.1) and a new smartphone (Samsung Galaxy S2, android 2.3.3).
All in one both products have been very satisfying, with a special mention to the Galaxy S2 screen, which is amazing, both in picture quality and reactivity. The funny thing is that both products work perfectly on their own, but are (almost) unable to properly communicate ! A bit frustrating considering both use android (though different versions).

The whole story : I wanted to share the 3G+ connection of my smartphone with the pad, so I decided to use bluetooth PAN tethering as I did between my old WM6 smartphone and my Asus Transformer. First surprise : Android 2.3.3 doesn't support bluetooth PAN as server unless the phone is rooted. The Galaxy S2 being brandly new, I decided to wait a bit before tempting the devil and to use bluetooth DUN instead (less efficient, but oh well). Second surprise : Android 3.1 doesn't support bluetooth DUN tethering as client ! I
was starting to be a bit nervous at this point, until I remembered the USB tethering option offered by the Galaxy...Third surprise (you saw it coming), Android doesn't support it on the client side either ! I was on my way to the window to throw all this junk away when I noticed android 2.3 could make a wifi hotspot off my phone. Eureka, it works ! And it drains the battery in a few hours, but who cares, as long as the phone is plugged to the Asus dock :-)
Next step is to have bluetooth PAN working, either via Galaxy S2 rooting or via android
2.3 update. More about it later.

About the Asus Transformer, I can say I am very satisfied with the product : even if theOS is rather young, it's quite stable and the lack of applications in the android market is less and less noticable every day. I'm pretty confident it will catch up with the apple market in the next few months. About the hardware, the dock is a stroke of genius : to be able to transform a pad into a netbook in two seconds is unvaluable, and so are the
6 hours of battery life added. The gorilla glass screen is very pleasant to use as well, altough it suffers from two small issues : a few light bleeds here and there that are quite noticable in the dark, even if they don't really alter the user experience (most of AT suffer from this problem), and in my care TWO DEAD PIXELS !  hardly noticable except with a black screen, and who uses a pad to stare at a black screen ?!)

The Galaxy S2 is even more awesome, as Android 2.3 is a lot more mature than Android 3.1, and the hardware is just brillant as you can see if you look at the different tests made on the internet. There is one drawback, battery life is around one day or two, even less (8 / 10 hours) if you play with your toy all day long (GPS, screen use and wifi hotspot drain the power a the speed of light - no kidding...-). However, I got told this problem is common among the new generation of smartphones, so it shouldn't prevent you to join the
ranks of the Samsung fashion victims :D

About Android, I've been playing a lot with it lately, more about it later when I find the time to make a list of all the good apps I've found around the internet (last to date : PSX and SNES emulators ^^)

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