Letter Of The Month – November 2012 (Part 1)

11/26/2012 9:14:55 AM

Upgrading the Xperia Pro

It’s not that often you publish praise for our hardware and software providers so I thought I would relate my recent experience. I have just upgraded my Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro to Android 4.0 (free) and I must say it’s really good. The upgrade went very smoothly via my home laptop, only taking about ten minutes (I live out in the country so my broadband is a bit slow). All contacts and vital data preserved no problem (yes I did back up just in case!). I also changed my provider to TalkTalk (TT) and that went very smoothly too, at the time they nominated and I was able to keep my old number. TT gave me a better deal than the previous provider, $8/month cheaper and on a rolling one month contract - no long term-very good.

Description: Sony Xperia Pro

The Sony Xperia Pro has been providing a great upgrade to ICS

Only two complaints-first, please let it be known that mobile phones with proper manual Qwerty keyboards should have shift keys duplicated on both sides of the keyboard - just like a real typewriter and computer. The Xperia has two shift keys both on the left, which makes double-thumb operation not that easy. Try capital A with two thumbs when the shift key is next to the A key. Apart from that I can highly recommend the Xperia Pro if you send a lot of texts like me. It’s also just the right size and weight and with Android 4 is very fast, great colour screen, excellent camera stills and video, good battery life and very responsive to touch.

Second complaint - Android 4.0 seems to have done away with the ‘favourites’ touch key in Contacts which I had found most useful, being the quickest way to my most used phone numbers. Also it appears that when silent mode is activated, it also switches off the vibrate function which is hard to understand. I thought that vibration was provided to allow one to know that there was ‘something coming in’ without ringtone disturbance to others around, in meetings etc. Please bring this to the attention of the Android 4.0 programmers so we can have the option of ‘vibrate when silent’ restored again.

Finally a tip. When setting up for email there are two ways that the handset must be set up. The provider must give the correct POP3 server incoming and outgoing links for the handset. This is normally automatic now with a new phone and/or provider. I was having trouble getting my emails on the Pro, and TT could do no more than confirm that I had entered the right TT email settings manually. Even so the handset said “could not contact server” every time I tried to activate. On contacting Sony Ericsson they could not help either. I then realised that the handset’s Wi-Fi settings had to be “told” to look for the specific TT email server and this can be set manually via the settings menu. On setting this correctly, my emails worked fine.

The point is neither TT nor SE told me about this second adjustment and both appeared to be unaware of the need for it. This ought to be passed on to the providers so that both issues can be addressed by them when a new subscriber/new handset user is being “talked through” the setting up process.

We say: Sony has been arguably the best of all the major handset manufacturers for delivering the ICS update, and it’s nice to hear your own experience of it has also been a positive one!

Google Play? Please don’t make me laugh!

As someone fairly new to Android, I have been reading the magazine since its launch and look forward to each issue. However, you should have heard the hollow laughter when I read this on the cover of issue 13, and the gnashing of teeth after reading “... One of the clever features of the Google Play store is the links that can be made from it directly to your device, especially when you access the Store from a desktop computer."

Description: Google Play store

Google Play store

When I try to download an app from the Google Play website it tells me ‘You don’t have any devices’ or ‘no device associated with your account’ despite the fact that I can see My Apps and the device to which they were downloaded. The next piece of nonsense is “You haven’t accessed the Google Play Store app on your device with this email account”, except that I have. Google support does not have a clue and none of the fixes offered works. The last suggestion was that I un-root my phone! I responded that my phone had been working fine for the past nine months and the problems I am currently experiencing is as a result of whatever Google Play has done.

I am thoroughly disenchanted with Google Play and cannot understand why it is unable to rectify my problem. AppBrain is also useless as it wanted to use my Google account. I have tried the GetJar app, but thought it limited so it looks as if IMobile Market may be the last resort.

We say: The ‘no device associated with your account’ problem does appear to be a fairly common one, without a proper solution. As an aside, if you go to dashboard you can view all the information related to your phone that is stored by Google. As for alternative stores, the Amazon Appstore will be launching in the UK soon, and will likely be your next best option until this problem is solved.

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