satchef1

Not getting on with Android

Had the Note 2 for a couple of days now and I'm not sure quite 'get' it. some niggles are Android, others are the Note 2 itself. The OS seems quite... disjointed. Different bits of the OS seem like theyre cut from different UIs, the stock keyboard is shockingly bad, with basically no auto-correct and I seem to have umpteen apps for even basic tasks like email. What the hell is up with having an email app, a GMail app and then having to download a Live Mail app just to get my Windows Live email, contacts and calendars on the device? On the contacts front, why do I need a separate app to sync Facebook contact photos? More to the point, why on earth does this app need access to basically all of my Facebook data?

Im finding Widgets to be near useless - so much scrolling between pages that it'd be quicker to just open the relevant application for most stuff, or use the (admittedly very good ) notification bar to see what's changed. Full multitasking is nice though, and the split-screen multitasking is great on the very small number of apps it works on. Sane goes for air view/scrolling - great if/when it's present in the application. One last OS gripe - many of the alerts that pop up make no sense to me. "Google Calendar cannot sync with Samsung Kies" and others, they come with no real explanation and wind up being Googled.

The hardware; the screen looks nice and I love the S-Pen and handwriting recognition, but I can't stand the way the screen brightness changes all the time, the cheap plastic the device is built from or the lethargic vibration(/cheap rattle). The charger port is also a bit loose.

Most Useful Answer Pondlife  Nov. 10, 2012 at 18:43

I'd recommend swiftkey, finding the rest hard to read.

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Pondlife  Nov. 10, 2012 at 18:43

I'd recommend swiftkey, finding the rest hard to read.

blizzard7  Nov. 10, 2012 at 19:31

Never personally had a problem with autocorrect though. You sure it's turned on?

JanSt / MOD  Nov. 10, 2012 at 21:29

satchef,
I agree with you about most points. I had the Note 2 for 10 days. And I have used just about every Android 'flagship' of the past 3 years for between a week and 3 months...
I can't quite put my finger on it, but I have come to accept that I like Android on paper, and yet hate it when actually using it.
I have to be missing a couple of genes or hormones or neurotransmitters.
Nothing about it appeals to me visually/aesthetically. From Donut to Jelly Bean... Sense, Touchwiz, Vanilla... and the same goes for apps.
I find the UI inconsistent. I find devs deliver overkill where I want clarity. Comic book iconography...
Seriously: I am not dissing it 'just so' - I'm no Apple fanboy. I dislike iTunes. I'm no M$ fan...
But I find it thrashes me with options - settings, 'personalisation' choices etc etc...
I suspect it's the PERFECT tool for people who like to tinker rather than USE! Which is fine - for a while I enjoyed it (back in the WinMo days).

As to the Note's keyboard: you're doing something wrong! :D I had no such problems at all.
And to the fans: I reckon the Note 2 is a great, good device. It's just not for me size-wise.
And, sadly, it runs Android :p

Jim988  Dec. 27, 2012 at 13:23

You're putting all the blame on android - yet the note 2 runs Touchwiz on top of android. It makes stock android look like a childish colours and has confusing bloatware everywhere. That's probably where most of your problems come from. To be fair though, complaining about having different email apps is pretty funny, you sound like you'd be better suited to a locked down OS with no options like iOS or Windows phone.

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 27, 2012 at 14:17

You're putting all the blame on android - yet the note 2 runs Touchwiz on top of android. It makes stock android look like a childish colours and has confusing bloatware everywhere. That's probably where most of your problems come from. To be fair though, complaining about having different email apps is pretty funny, you sound like you'd be better suited to a locked down OS with no options like iOS or Windows phone.

I mostly agree with your points. Except for the email client issue. It's kinda in-your-face that the gmail app gets better and better (now with input from the Sparrow team), while the stock client is still miles behind even Nokia's 5 year old Symbian 60 3rd app. I too never quite know what to do with my various mail accounts when I use Android.
But granted, it's not the end - there's K9, Enhanced Email etc etc....

ian2606  Dec. 27, 2012 at 15:46

You can set the screen brightness to stay at low or high or inbetween. Looks like you have on auto brightness which changes screen to the light surrounding you.....I have mine set at minimum which is bright enough for indoors use and saves on battery. When outdoors though I put on full brightness....

moosery2  Dec. 27, 2012 at 17:45

the stock keyboard is shockingly bad

No it isn't.

Although I'm tempted to just call your review "iRubbish", or that you're working undercover for apple, despite this, I think most of your points are valid, in a sense, although not really major issues:

No autocorrect: There is. What keyboard have you got? Dont you have the suggested/corrected words across the top?
Live Mail: You can just use the android mail client? This is what I do.
Facebook photo sync: huh? I had to go to lengths to STOP it syncing facebook photos. Although worth noting this is a samsung thing. Android vanilla does none of it.
Widgets: I dont see the point either. But I just dont use them. They suck battery. No biggie.
Brightness changing all the time: Dunno...turn off auto brightness then? Auto kinda means auto...right?
Google Calendar cannot sync with Samsung Kies: No idea. I've had my note2 for a month now, and still can't tell you what Kies is.
Charger port loose: Yeah...it is. It's a point. It bothered me at first but then I realised, well, the note2 doesn't spend a lot of time in the charger unlike most androids.


I think you either got hung up over things that don't really matter or can be easily worked around, or you're stuck with buyer's remorse. Which makes me wonder what phone you'd rather have? A windows phone? :p

Seriously...just let it settle in.

And for the record, the note 2 is a fantastic phone.

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 27, 2012 at 17:58

Mind you the post is 6 weeks old :p
But yes, it seems satchef experienced a bout of buyer's guilt (regret) and got a bit trigger-happy when posting this. He's no iFan, though ;)

satchef1  Dec. 27, 2012 at 18:15

...this post is almost two months old.

Most of the issues I had have been sorted by simply downloading better software. The stock ROM has been replaced with CaponMod, Touchwiz has been replaced with NovaLauncher, I've replaced the keyboard with Swiftkey (closer to what I'm used to - the stock Samsung keyboard gave suggested words but it didn't correct mistakes) and I've found some decent widgets (Android Pro Widgets).

On the other hand, the email client situation is still a mess. I haven't found a universal email application worth using yet - they all annoy me in some way. A shame given every other platform I've used in recent years has a half decent stock email effort - Google seem to have disowned theirs for Gmail (and the suggestion that anyone inconvenienced should add their other email accounts to Gmail).

NovaLauncher looks a lot nicer than TouchWiz, and APW's widgets also have a nice, clean appearance, so I'm much happier with the UI than I was. The settings menu is an absolute mess, but that's just getting picky - I'm not in there often.

Oh, and I'm well aware that I have auto-brightness on. My complaint was that the implementation of auto-brightness on the Note II is, in my experience, crap. It's too eager to change the brightness level to counteract the smallest change in ambient light. Unnecessary and annoying.

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 27, 2012 at 18:22

Agree... email client on Android devices is a joke. Absolutely pathetic. Auto brightness sucks on SGS3 and Note 2 (but to be honest: I find it sucks on most devices, but the garish colours in TW emphasise it...).
Nova launcher is what I use, too, when I meddle with Android phones - which isn't often these days.

Also: lets give satchef some credit - as harsh as the original post was, s/he did title it "not getting on with..." rather than "here's why Android sucks"...

AhmadCentral  Dec. 27, 2012 at 18:33

Android is great end of.

Right i'm off to play some Dynasty Warriors. Ta ra

matt101101 / MOD  Dec. 27, 2012 at 18:41

Ooh, Note 2 talk, yay!!

Email: Yeah, bar El Goog's own GMail app, email on Android is sh*te. No two ways about it.

Keyboard: Samsung's own offering is awful (though the handwriting recognition on the N2 is amazing, it understands my scrawl 90%+ of the time). I've replaced it with the stock Jelly Bean KB.

Auto-Brightness: Is a bit dodgy, but I use my phone on full brightness all the time, so I don't care (side-note, there's a great mod on XDA for the N2 which increases the max. brightness of the display, makes it even more beautiful). The auto-brightness on the S2 was continually improved via software updates throughout the phone's lifetime, hopefully the N2 should get similar support (especially as it's so closely related to the, extremely popular, S3).

TouchWiz UI: Its aesthetics are merely a matter of opinion, at least it's fast and functional, unlike some other Android skins *cough...HTC Sense...cough*.

Loose charging port: Not an issue I'm experiencing, though I'm using the S2 USB cable to charge my Note 2, so maybe Samsung just supply a crap cable with the Note (I haven't even unwrapped mine yet)?

Settings Menu: Yes, it's a mess. On the other hand, it's hard to arrange so many settings in a well ordered manner. You can change so many aspect of even a stock Note 2 that it's no surprise the settings menu is cluttered. That said, once you've set it up to your liking, there's no real need to visit the settings menu too often.

There we go, just my 2 cents on the matter. Feel free to disagree :).

matt101101 / MOD  Dec. 27, 2012 at 18:41

Android is great end of.

Right i'm off to play some Dynasty Warriors. Ta ra

Constructive ;).

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 27, 2012 at 18:50

Ooh, Note 2 talk, yay!!

Email: Yeah, bar El Goog's own GMail app, email on Android is sh*te. No two ways about it.

Keyboard: Samsung's own offering is awful (though the handwriting recognition on the N2 is amazing, it understands my scrawl 90%+ of the time). I've replaced it with the stock Jelly Bean KB.

Auto-Brightness: Is a bit dodgy, but I use my phone on full brightness all the time, so I don't care (side-note, there's a great mod on XDA for the N2 which increases the max. brightness of the display, makes it even more beautiful). The auto-brightness on the S2 was continually improved via software updates throughout the phone's lifetime, hopefully the N2 should get similar support (especially as it's so closely related to the, extremely popular, S3).

TouchWiz UI: Its aesthetics are merely a matter of opinion, at least it's fast and functional, unlike some other Android skins *cough...HTC Sense...cough*.

Loose charging port: Not an issue I'm experiencing, though I'm using the S2 USB cable to charge my Note 2, so maybe Samsung just supply a crap cable with the Note (I haven't even unwrapped mine yet)?

Settings Menu: Yes, it's a mess. On the other hand, it's hard to arrange so many settings in a well ordered manner. You can change so many aspect of even a stock Note 2 that it's no surprise the settings menu is cluttered. That said, once you've set it up to your liking, there's no real need to visit the settings menu too often.

There we go, just my 2 cents on the matter. Feel free to disagree :).


Yes to the handwriting recognition. It's pretty good. Though, in fairness: 5 years ago winmo's PhatPad was as good - minus the good screens of today...

As to auto-brightness - as you say: aesthetics. To me all Samsung screens are too bright. I used 3rd party apps on some to go below 0% LOL...

matt101101 / MOD  Dec. 27, 2012 at 18:54

The only problem with the handwriting recognition is the fact it doesn't auto-space. You have to manually put a space in after every word, you would be able to type a lot faster if the phone did it for you.

You're not wrong. Even minimum brightness on the N2 (which I use in bed, as not to blind myself in the morning), is pretty bright. I still half blind myself when my alarm goes off.

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 27, 2012 at 18:57

there's a 'screen filter' widget - it adds a transparent grey layer over the screen. Good for using phone in the dark. It's in the play store.

AhmadCentral  Dec. 27, 2012 at 19:29

Android is great end of.

Right i'm off to play some Dynasty Warriors. Ta ra

Constructive ;).


My posts are always constructive ;)

andrewt1  Dec. 27, 2012 at 19:44

You're kinda missing the point of Android. It is customizable. Don't like widgets? Remove them. Don't like your e-mail app? Use a different one. Experiment. Get it just the way you want it, then change it all over again, because it's fun.

Pondlife  Dec. 27, 2012 at 19:51

You're not wrong. Even minimum brightness on the N2 (which I use in bed, as not to blind myself in the morning), is pretty bright. I still half blind myself when my alarm goes off.

Confused thought you just said you always had it on full brightness.

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 27, 2012 at 19:56

You're kinda missing the point of Android. It is customizable. Don't like widgets? Remove them. Don't like your e-mail app? Use a different one. Experiment. Get it just the way you want it, then change it all over again, because it's fun.

Point taken. But seriously, the Gmail app shows they could make it better. And to get a half-decent email client for Android you need to spend pretty 'big' money, and they still pale compared to 4, 5 year old devices with different OSs.

kas786  Dec. 27, 2012 at 19:58

1st time poster on here. gotta say i don't like android for 1 MAIN reason only. they give you a micro sd slot then cripple it with their OS, doesn't allow programs/data to be stored on it.
Why release flagship phones with mediocre memory sizes 16gb etc... but give us the option of having a microsd slot only to allow us to put pics or vids only on to them
Games or the sheer lack of them
Before i get the haters having a go at me my dad was an Apple fan but then got the S3, i've got the iPhone. At least Apple say you have 16gb, 32gb or 64gb of storage (like HTC) but companies like Samsung don't.
The rest of the OS brilliant for personalisation, love the live wallpaper, the themes etc...

Pondlife  Dec. 27, 2012 at 20:11

Erm but you can get the S3 with more memory, and you can move programs but as sd memory is much slower it's not a great idea.
Most people don't have a need for more than 16gb of apps on their phone (yet)

How many gb of just apps do you have on iphone then? Most I had on ipod touch was about 3gb before I had to start deleting them to get ever growing music collection to still fit.

Jim988  Dec. 27, 2012 at 20:14

You're kinda missing the point of Android. It is customizable. Don't like widgets? Remove them. Don't like your e-mail app? Use a different one. Experiment. Get it just the way you want it, then change it all over again, because it's fun.

Point taken. But seriously, the Gmail app shows they could make it better. And to get a half-decent email client for Android you need to spend pretty 'big' money, and they still pale compared to 4, 5 year old devices with different OSs.


I moved to gmail and the app client is great, the hotmail one sucked. Removed the stock one because i have no need for it.

Auto brightness does suck somewhat on the Note 2 - never seems to work correctly, but i just have it on full brightness because the battery is so good anyway/

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 27, 2012 at 20:31

You're kinda missing the point of Android. It is customizable. Don't like widgets? Remove them. Don't like your e-mail app? Use a different one. Experiment. Get it just the way you want it, then change it all over again, because it's fun.

Point taken. But seriously, the Gmail app shows they could make it better. And to get a half-decent email client for Android you need to spend pretty 'big' money, and they still pale compared to 4, 5 year old devices with different OSs.


I moved to gmail and the app client is great, the hotmail one sucked. Removed the stock one because i have no need for it.

Auto brightness does suck somewhat on the Note 2 - never seems to work correctly, but i just have it on full brightness because the battery is so good anyway/


You can actually look at the screen on full power? I honestly couldn't. 50% even in bright daylight.

Jim988  Dec. 27, 2012 at 20:48


You can actually look at the screen on full power? I honestly couldn't. 50% even in bright daylight.


When i'm out yeah, inside my house its on lowest. It really is blinding inside, even on the lowest at night it seems.

Outside, full brightness is fine, clear and easy see in sunlight.

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