The Android Conversion
Here's a brief breakdown on our recent transition over to Android on our phones from Blackberry. If you have any remaining questions, ask.UPDATE 05/31:
Additional thoughts on this process and some changes have been made since this post. See here
. I especially recommend people who feel it necessary to root their Intercept and do as I have done despite my insistence that you don't do it to read the post first!
As it has been mentioned, we're on Platinumtel - and we've recently migrated to the Samsung SPH-M910 Intercept phones. Other than being very pink, they're very competitively priced at $60 (especially with their current $50 airtime card promotion
) which puts the effective price at $10. The downside? Stock configured, the Intercept has the reputation that people love to hate it. The processor isn't the fastest (667 MHz ARM11), the internal memory is only 256MB, they're loaded full of Sprint bloatware, the keyboard is mediocre (it certainly isn't a BB keyboard), and the battery is a bit gutless... but in the right hands, has great potential.
After rooting the device
, I gutted the Sprint software using Root Uninstaller
, disabled most of the remaining unneeded software from loading using Autostarts
to keep things running smooth (best dollar spent on this phone), Onavo Count
to keep tabs on data usage, Easy Battery Saver
to disable/limit data usage when off WiFi and extend battery life, Unlock With WiFi
to simplify usage, reduce input and battery use on WiFi at home, Chomp
for (mostly) free SMS usage (between registered users), Kik
for a BBM replacement, K-9 Mail
for a better IMAP push/compression supporting e-mail client, and Google Voice. There was other stuff, but those are the important pieces.
The performance was so improved by using Autostarts, my initial plan of dropping in Crappy Kernel
has been delayed as it doesn't seem necessary (I may do it eventually anyway after the future VOIPo transition just to see how much performance improves and get better support for Sipdroid
on the device, though... if I do, I'll report back). With Easy Battery Saver set to 15 minute/30 second network/autosync updates on 3G and autosync disabled on everything but Kik, K9 and Chomp and a nine hour sleep period at night, I've gotten a baseline 24 hour network usage without added communication of about 225kb a day with no WiFi access factored. If we didn't bother with WiFi at all, we'd at most only have about 7MB a month in worthless base traffic (70¢ on P'tel) using these settings. It's a bit higher on average than the total used data traffic we averaged with the Blackberries operating 24/7 on network. With the addition of the WiFi access, hopefully it'll balance out and the monthly average won't fluctuate much. With the software installed and the network updates done via network data and WiFi off, unmolested, the phone can sit for roughly 40+ hours before the battery dies. Not great, but not terrible either.
I had been a bit disappointed to find that Nephi's report
regarding GV text message overhead on Android wasn't too far off (I got between 15-25k each), which is what prompted the search and install of ChompSMS. I'm pleased to report that under real world usage, both Chomp and Kik both live up to the napkin math figures from the other thread with an average of around 1-3kb a message depending on length which means the 10,000 texts for a buck option is within the realm of possibility again. Kik's got a bit more overhead due to live status updates of message delivery and typing, but it's trivial. Of course, Chomp doesn't have the benefit of GV where all
messages are sent via data, but it a) does integrate in seamlessly for system text messages, and b) does send for the cost of data between registered TextFreek
is surprisingly inoffensive. We actually got all but one frequent texter on board ourselves easily enough and the trickledown on text package savings is already taking root with others we know. Added bonus, one less pie Google now has a direct thumb in with our communications.
Finally, Onavo Count deserves a bit of commentary. It works great for monitoring traffic and appears to report accurate numbers from the overview page on network data usage. What it doesn't
report accurately is bandwidth usage when broken down by application. The numbers simply won't jive between app level reports and overview. I'll see if I can get an answer as to why. Anyway, there you go. An entry-level Android turned into a lean, mean, frugal communications machine so badass a bearded man can do the "aww yeah" strut down the street holding the thing despite it being all pink and frilly.
In other news, I'm beginning to try and overhaul, update and restructure the guide (you may have noticed the edited first post already). It's a mess for trying to find specific information, so I'll be trying to fix that. I may break a few links in the process, though. It'll be slower going than the initial post, so expect changes next couple weeks.