Android Still has Low Phone Storage Space Problem

A couple years back I though that Android had a big problem with Low Available Phone Storage Space for apps and after reading Ausdroid’s recent review of the Medion 4, it seems that this is still an on-going issue.

The device in question is the Medion 4 which is advertised with “4GB Memory” on Aldi’s site, but according to AusDroid, there is only 500MB allocated for apps (the rest of the space can still be used to store photos/files but not apps without some rooting and hacking).

Filesystem             Size   Used   Free   Blksize
/data                  503M   151M   351M   4096

My 16GB Nexus 4 has 12.9GB allocated to the /data partition which is a bit less than 13.6GB of a 16GB iPhone 4 (can’t seem to find a definitive answer for the iPhone 5) but is still a majority of its storage unlike the Medion 4. The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a separate issue which is not exactly the same but gives the same results to the end user: a false sense of storage space (only 8.8GB free from the 16GB model due to Samsung’s customization of Android with its own skin & apps). While it’s not as bad as the Microsoft’s Surface RT storage debacle (15GB free in a 32GB Surface RT, 28GB free in a 64GB Surface Pro. Source: Microsoft’s Surface Disk Page FAQ), both of these situations don’t give me much confidence when recommending non-Nexus Android devices with X GB of storage.

At least if it is just Android customization (ala Samsung), flashing a custom ROM should be able to solve the problem. I’m not sure if the partitioning (ala the Medion 4) can be solved using a custom ROM, but even if it does, you will need to find a ROM that supports your device: so you hope that your devices isn’t a weird obscure one.

So when you buy an Android device, you can’t say for certain that you have a majority of the advertised storage available for apps. I can only assume that Nexus devices would give you the best experience in terms of not being ‘cheated’ for storage space, but I guess this gives more credence to the fact that Google has lost control of Android and that some manufacturers are still giving Android a bad name.

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SMARTER eVCS Android app source

It is now available at: https://github.com/thewheat/SMARTER-eVCS-Android

The Android app is currently meant to be used in conjunction with the SMARTER eVCS webapp but hopefully I’ll get time to upgrade both the Android app the make it a standalone app.

Also once again, anybody interested in helping in this community development project, do get in contact or just get the code, make some changes and submit pull requests.

So You Want to Develop for Android – Google I/O Extended Brunei (2012)

An overview of Android development with a quick and easy way to get started in cross platform development (including Android) with PhoneGap, presented at Google I/O Extended Brunei. The presentation aims to provide attendees with basic understanding of Android development and providing them tools to create an actual application.


(this is a recorded presentation done after the actual event due to Internet connectivity issues during the event prevented an ideal recording environment)

Links

  1. Hackathon file list

    linked at http://tiny.cc/googleiobn complete with installation guide, tutorials, sample code and presentation slides used for the presentation

  2. PhoneGap Sample Code on GitHub

  3. “So You Want to Develop for Android” presentation slides

I prepared the materials assuming attendees would have no or very little Java programming background (which is needed for Android development) and thus a platform like PhoneGap was ideal as it provided an easy starting point into app development utilizing HTML and Javascript which are easier technologies to understand, and that more people would have exposure to. Based on the actual session, this assumption proved to be true and I believe was a good starting point and it has even spurred @mfirdaus to dabble with some Android development.

I highly encourage Brunei developers out there to contribute and give back to the community. During our time, there were no such developer events to my knowledge, and with social media, it is so much easier to get the word and out and just meet up and provide the young developers in the country with opportunities that we never had.

Footnote: Background

I was contacted by Cikgu Azaman (@azlinux) over a month ago regarding having a Google I/O Extended in Brunei. A hackathon was to be conducted and after throwing around a few ideas, I was put in charge of presenting an Android development session as in intro for the hackathon.

The event was held at iCentre on 27th June and while Internet connectivity didn’t allow a proper Google+ Hangout with a live video presentation (i.e. there was gagal-ness in trying to get things up and running) so we resorted to an audio Skype call while @mfirdaus went through the presentation slides at the Brunei side. So I thought it would be best to do a recorded presentation after the fact for a more complete presentation.

UBDFM Android App Version 1.5

Today sees the release of the unofficial UBDFM Android app that allows you to stream the online radio station right from your Android device (requires Android 2.2 and later).

Features:

Note: when listening via headphones, you will hear audio mostly from one side due to the stream from UBDFM not being balanced.

Hope you guys like it and do let me know if you have any feedback or feature requests!

Android Google Maps Zoom Limit

A couple of months back, I noticed that the Google Maps app on my LG Optimus One phone couldn’t zoom in as far as it could before (unless my memory is failing me). Below is the maximum zoom level on the phone

This is not the maximum zoom of the Google Maps android application as my ZTE V9 tablet can zoom in much further as shown below

While you may think that this is a trivial matter, it really rises as a problem when I look for tram stops and street names here in Melbourne. Take a look at the CBD of Melbourne in the screenshot below and see how problematic this is: I can’t see the names of the smaller streets and I have to tap each tram stop in order to see the stop name.

To rub salt into the wound, apps that use a map view can zoom in further than the Google Maps application! Below are screenshots via the Domain.com.au app.

I’ve tried to search for a reason for this discrepancy and have yet to find one. The map settings are both the same in the tablet and phone. CPU and RAM-wise, both devices are comparable: 600MHz each with about 420MB of RAM. Both devices are rooted with my Optimus One running the official Android 2.3.3 ROM from LG and the tablet running Android 2.3.7 via CyanogenMod. The only other difference would be screen size and resolution: 7″ 800 x 480 screen on the tablet and 3.2″ 480 x 320 screen on the phone.

Anybody who has a clue what’s going on, do let me know. Any help would be well appreciated.

[categories Android, Technology]

The Brunei Times Unofficial Android App beta

After hearing that the Brunei Times introduced their iPad app and discovering that there is a mobile e-paper for iOS devices that served regular jpg files, I thought it would be great to have an Android app to do something similar to the iPad app.

Features:

  • Downloads current days paper and saves to SD card (/sdcard/Pictures/bt/date)
  • Pages download in the background
  • If all pages are downloaded, no further network connection is needed

Todo:

  • Add home screen for listing all previously downloaded papers
  • Possibly find the high resolution images used in the iPad app
  • Notification of download status
  • Carousel image gallery with multi-touch zoom as seen in image viewers (swipe to move page to page)

So after dusting off some Android development cobwebs I have managed to get the following beta app for your feedback =)

Direct APK download

draft

MovemberBN Android App

Been super busy finishing up contract work and now MovemberBN. With KristalFM being the official broadcast station for MovemberBN and their recent relaunch with an online streaming option, I thought it would be fitting to have an Android streaming app for KristalFM.

Direct APK Download

This app is still very beta and there are quite a few improvements I am looking at implementing on a standalone KristalFM app

To-do

  • Notification & Background service
  • Track/Buffering information

If there is anything else you would like to add for a standalone app, do let me know in the comments.