New User Problems, Questions

Discussion in 'Motorola Droid' started by hinky, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. hinky
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    hinky Member

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    Hi guys, hope you are all enjoying your Droids. I have a few questions and will preface this to say that I'm not a hater and hoping that my problems are due to some defect or setup problem. I had an iPhone and Blackberry before this, long time Treo user. Perhaps some can share experiences.

    1) Keyboard - It sucks badly, mind numbing design (except for gamers). We knew what it was coming in but I found out that using a case (especially Verizon's stock) makes typing impossible. This is because the small amount of space on the top between the screen and top rows of the keyboard are totally necessary to reach those keys. Is there any case that is thinner and more forgiving in that area?

    2) Pop mail does not work reliably to pull based upon time. I set it to pull from my server and it did a few times. Now I get tons of yellow "error" messages that are unexplained. When I go into the email account and it checks email, more often than not it will then pull the email without an error.

    3) Email is poorly done. Is there a replacement email application? My problems are as follows: (a) Like the iPhone, every time you just go into a mailbox to review mail the damn phone checks for new mail. This will kill your battery and, at least on an iphone, there is no manual way to turn this off or set it. Is there one on the Droid? (b) Using the keyboard means losing the back and forth arrows in email - what the...? (c) I can't seem to put in signatures for POP email but, worse, there is no bcc to myself if I send email from these accounts. (d) How do you get it to download full emails and pics? I travel out of range a lot and just want the phone to download all email from all accounts and get the contents of the email for offline viewing.

    4) How do you auto quit applications or switch between them? It's maddening that apps will stay open forever or even run multiple copies. How can you see what apps are running and easily switch, e.g. on the blackberry you hit a key and can cycle through all the apps. More importantly, how can you quit an app? There is no exit/quit on most of the apps I had.

    5) How can you backup the phone? I have not found any way to backup my apps and the data. I looked at the Palm Pre and I wonder if this is the same maniacal obsession with "the cloud" that is there. If you have a to do application that doesn't sync to a wireless or web based app, I can't find a way to backup your applications you downloaded and the data that was in that application. Am I missing something? On the Palm this is a HUGE hole.

    6) How do you set the LED light to do alerts? Isn't that what it is there for, e.g. blink when you have new voice mail messages, etc.

    7) Is there an app to condense space between icons? It's almost as bad as working on a blackberry. You have 12 icons on the front screen. If you reduced the vertical space you could easily fit another row. How about the left right screens? There seems no way to nicely organize all your apps other than these 'favorite' areas as in the big repository it's all the apps thrown in - and you can't even make stuff invisible that you won't use like "corporate email" or the like.

    8) We have outlook on our PCs, not exchange. We have a LOT of offline emailing where we travel with netbooks and Outlook is great to read and reply to email, sent when you have a connection. I can't find any easy way to sync Outlook contacts and calendar information, including notes and to dos. I downloaded Companionlink and it's a mess, IMHO. It doesn't sync the calendar, only the contacts. Maybe I did something wrong but the only way I can see to even "sync" is to sync Outlook calendar to google and google to the phone. Contacts requires companionlink which is "ok" at best and then they have their own notes and memo app. VERY VERY lame.

    9) I get too many errors com.google.android.phone

    10) I'm worried about the slider mechanism wearing out - how are yours faring?

    That's a lot of text and hopefully some of you can take parts to help me through it. I want to like the Moto Droid but it has a lot of failings for such an expensive phone. The workings are clunky. As much as I dislike Apple and think the Palm will be gone soon, I think Android 2 and the Droid are a somewhat clunky embarrassment. Much of this feels awkward like old Windows Mobile but even less reliable. I hope I'm wrong and that you guys can help me remedy some of the challenges I'm having.
     
  2. R1Lover
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    R1Lover Senior Member

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    The best solution for you is to read the forums and use the search feature here.... all of your questions are answered here on the forums. If you expect us to take the time to explain then all to you when your not willing to take the time to search then I'm sorry.
     
  3. hinky
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    hinky Member

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    Thanks for the informative response. I read plenty. I guess I'm sorry for you that this device is so sorry right out of the box. Standard email just doesn't connect reliably after it may do it once. I did plenty of research and saw posts in other places that there is no backup for apps and data for this device at all. Now I can't tell if these people are all wrong and I hoped some people here might now something more than them.

    I'm getting the feeling that Android 2 is just another very fair, awkward work in progress that may eventually get there but is still at least a year away from useful and somewhat streamlined. Now it has some flashy hardware. I certainly am not going to spend endless hours on top of the hours I searched to search more. Perhaps I should have gotten a Palm Pre. It may not have apps but at least other things work reliably so that I don't need to search for 10 hours all over the Internet to get someone to help.
     
  4. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 DF Super Moderator

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    Not clunky at all. Palm is not even a contender any more. And the iPhone is a smart phone for 'dummies' :icon_ devil: It requires no outside apps because Apple controls EVERYTHING about the device. You have NO SAY. (aside from jail broken)

    The Droid (and Android) requires patience to adjust to and a slight learning curve...but once the 'shock' of having 3rd party apps for certain functionality wears off, you'll find there's nothing that compares. Open Source leans more toward a 'vanilla' OS out of the box, which allows for you to customize the phone exactly to your personal liking.
    Don't bash so quickly, just poke around the forums :)

    ** If you spent hours and hours searching, 1. You didn't search the right places (esp not DroidForums :)) and 2. You didn't search very hard. No offense, but there's an answer and solution to all your queries.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  5. hinky
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    hinky Member

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    Martin -

    Thanks a lot for your answers. I did a lot of searching and came up with some answers for some items, but not all. I'll respond:

    1) Case - Unfortunately there is no little bar for a wrist strap. The phone is too slick (like the iPhone) to carry safely in crowded areas. I may consider a case only on the back and will look at the Seidio 1mm case perhaps. But you may be right about the front needing to be bareback (and I'll get teh invisible shield for it perhaps.) This point I guess is done.

    2. POP email is setup correctly - it's just not reliable. The default port for outgoing mail is poor but I corrected all of it to work. Problem is that I'm finding it not logging in regularly to pull email. All the limited settings seem to be correct.

    3. (a) Auto-Sync seems to only apply to gmail and facebook and some other listed apps if they are there, not POP mail. Unfortunately the Droid searches every time you open the email app and view an account.

    (b) - (d) Thanks much!! I will look in the FAQ.

    4. Thanks for the explanation - I just realized the long press on home key. Excellent.

    5. Thanks - MyBackupPro will seem to do for now but, like most, it sucks that there isn't a simple way to just save onto your desktop computer over USB! All this nonsense about wireless and the most obvious is unfortunately omitted! At least there is a solution although their web site will probably cost money for now. Many thanks for this.

    6. Thanks for this great app. I'm not sure why my device wasn't blinking - perhaps I inadvertently cleared alerts. Either way, awesome.

    7. Will look into this. I realize from description it is a "widget" and not really a hack that changes teh layout as it should. Still, if it works, will consider buying and thank you for this.

    8. Outlook - will look at the FAQ but I am having a horrible time trying to get everything to sync nicely with Outlook. This should have been the case right out of the box.

    9. I'm getting tons of errors that the app had to quit: com.google.android.phone - I'm not the only one apparently from reading. Seems like many others have the same complaint. May swap out my droid for another unit.

    10. Glad to hear the slider is working for most of you.


    OH... THIS IS THE BIG ONE - the voice dialer sucks worse than even the keyboard. I have never seen anything this worthless. Speaking any name into it does not work and provides 5 names as suggestions that are way off. If i say "dial 9343349555" it will do a good job of dialing those numbers. Can anyone get voice dilaing to work at all?
     
  6. R1Lover
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    R1Lover Senior Member

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    The phone listens to the voice talking into it... speak clearly and in english and it works great!
     
  7. jimnutt
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    jimnutt Member

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    You probably don't want to hear this, but the best way to deal with pop email on the droid is to set up a gmail account and have it retrieve the email from the pop server instead of doing it on the phone. Then you can use the gmail client on the phone. Contact and calendar sync is much the same, have outlook sync with a gmail account and the phone then syncs with it. It's a "Google Experience" phone, so it has a strong emphasis and preference for google services, trying to use it with other services will work, but not nearly as cleanly.
     
  8. hinky
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    hinky Member

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    The email program is terrible - the wrong port was just an example which virtually all other apps I've seen get right. K9 is a MUCH superior client and surprised how much better it can be done (although can't find quick delete like on default.) I'm just saying it is surprising that out of the box there is so much mediocrity for Google Android v2 in an important area.

    Regarding the autosync, it should apply to ALL email accounts, including pop mail, not just google mail.



    I'm not sure how MBP works yet but it's a serious hassle having to manually drag and drop backups onto your hard drive every night, in addition to whatever manual tasks you have to do. Backup should be built into a phone. Even the iPhone has a one touch sync/backup that many people use and theirs does full outlook, media and, most importantly, a FULL backup which can restore your phone with a click.

    6. Thanks for this great app. I'm not sure why my device wasn't blinking - perhaps I inadvertently cleared alerts. Either way, awesome.

    8. Outlook - will look at the FAQ but I am having a horrible time trying to get everything to sync nicely with Outlook. This should have been the case right out of the box.

    Again as mentioned, there are many sync apps out there to do this, you just need to learn how to use them is all.

    Perhaps this may be the case, but it is a truly horrendous learning curve for the most important feature of the phone. I've been using various phones for years and every one had standard Outlook sync or some official solution that worked painlessly right out of the box. After doing searches, apparently I'm not the only one who thinks that this isn't a painless process. I'll do this again but CompanionLink just isn't doing what it should and the calendar doesn't sync.


    9. I'm getting tons of errors that the app had to quit: com.google.android.phone - I'm not the only one apparently from reading. Seems like many others have the same complaint. May swap out my droid for another unit.

    Errors are normally caused by a bad app you have installed, if not then get the phone replaced as there is an issue.

    I had almost nothing installed and the apps weren't running. I'm going to get the phone replaced today. Thanks.

    OH... THIS IS THE BIG ONE - the voice dialer sucks worse than even the keyboard. I have never seen anything this worthless. Speaking any name into it does not work and provides 5 names as suggestions that are way off. If i say "dial 9343349555" it will do a good job of dialing those numbers. Can anyone get voice dilaing to work at all?[/quote]

    The phone listens to the voice talking into it... speak clearly and in english and it works great!

    The dialing of numbers works well. Saying "Dial <contact name> at home" is a hilariously bad experience. I showed this off to different friends who were interested and the results were a complete disaster. I'd speak a simple name and get 5 names returned and none close to the one I had spoken. On the iPhone I did the same thing and it works incredibly well with better accuracy than I anticipated. Again, I'm going to the store to replace the phone. I'm hoping it's faulty hardware.

    The above is my answer. i'm being told my message is too short so I am writing this extra part. :) Many thanks and let's hope the new Droid shows a little better reliability than the old.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  9. hinky
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    hinky Member

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    Thanks Jimnutt - yes, I've come to realize that Google wants to force everyone to use their stuff in the same way that Apple does the same but with a little less subtlety. Palm and Blackberry are the two that let you work the way you want to and need to. It's too bad that one won't be around in a year or so and the other doesn't know how to make new phones with some innovation yet. Quite frankly, I find the former propositions unsettling, to say the least. One problem I have with using Gmail is that I don't have archives of my email in the same way I can with a pop server and pop clients where I can backup PSTs. With the iPhone, it has an auto BCC for replies in addition too. I realize that I may need to accept your solution for gmail usage in order for this phone to work reliably.
     
  10. takeshi
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    takeshi Silver Member

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    I am a bit surprised about the lack of Outlook support. I'd also be concerned about the lack of Outlook sync if my account wasn't an Exchange account. However, in browsing this site I haven't seen much in the way of suggestions other than what you're already aware of.

    No. You can't sync with POP accounts. It's a technical limitation of POP.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  11. tcrews
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    tcrews Premium Member Premium Member Developer

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    I bought my Droid primarily because it had a physical keyboard. I hated it at first but after using it regularly for a few days I have adjusted to it very well and can type quickly with little to no errors.

    Absolutely zero issues here. I setup 2 email accounts and a Gmail account, all of them work perfectly with zero issues and all the email comes down. Not sure what's going on for you but I've had no issues with the default email client or the Gmail client.

    As I've had no issues or problems with the installed email client I haven't checked out others. There are others in the Market, K-9 being one I hear most about. Have you tried that one? I have no issues getting emails, pictures or links in email.

    Press the back key until you exit out of the App. Some will continue to run as they are designed that way. Some will quit. Press and HOLD the HOME button to see the latest running apps. Otherwise if you want to quit something you can go to Settings, Applications, Running Services and click on the one you want to stop. You can also download task killer applications though I don't really see a need for them.

    There are backup apps available in the market place. I haven't investigated any as I don't care to backup my phone. My contacts are on google mail, my SMS messages aren't keep worthy and I don't "delete" emails from the server when the phone pulls them down so I still have them available for my computer. Apps I can just re-download if I need them.

    My LED does light for messages, emails and voicemails.

    No, not that I'm aware of.

    Outlook is an email application, Exchange is an email server. You can't sync to an application, only to a server. What server is your outlook configured to connect with on your PC? This is what you need to configure the phone to try to sync with, not the outlook application. Otherwise you can see about syncing your account with Google's calendar and then having that sync with the phone. You could do the same with your contacts, export them and import them into Google mail.

    I'm not sure what you are referring to with #9,
    For #10, my slider mechanism is faring just fine....and it comes out and goes in multiple times daily.
     
  12. nukularpower
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    nukularpower New Member

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    The case does make it suck, I just took mine off. The phone is rather large anyways, and a case on top of it is overkill imo. Otherwise I love the keyboard, and I do have fat fingers. Once you get used to it it works great. I typed this on it :p

    I'm not sure what you mean, unless you're just griping. Why would the tiny amount of power needed to check your inbox kill your battery? How many times do you open the app when you don't have mail? You should get a notification (sound/led flashing) when you get a new one.

    Most apps have their own Quit button, either by pushing Menu or Back. If not, use Taskkiller Free or a similar app to get rid of them, it takes 2 touches. The multitasking feature has saved me a lot of wasted time from accidental closes.

    If yours isnt, there is something wrong with your phone...

    Download a home replacement app of your choice to remedy this with many different ways of organizing apps, from unlimited home screens to various app docks. I personally use GDE cuz I like the spinning screens and slidable app docks, but the Market comments for it seem to indicate it has forceclose issues with Droid in the current version (lucky I didn't update XD, I'm sure it will be fixed soon though because the app is updated constantly.) So you might want to research OpenHome, DxTop, or Home(plus plus). My plus sign key is broke >.>

    Wat?

    Griping about something that hasn't happened yet? What would indicate that it will ever wear out? I use mine constantly...

    Tbh it seems like you are looking for reasons to complain. A clunky embarrasment? Lol. Coming from an Iphone as well, I can say that my Droid does far more for me, and way easier - though you might have to go through all the trouble of downloading a few free apps like Handcent SMS to make it perfect. But if that's too much to handle and you are looking for reasons to hate it, maybe you should just take it back now and save yourself the grief.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  13. hinky
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    hinky Member

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    After spending a LOT of time over the last two days, I'll explain to you why the Moto Droid sucks wind... out of the box. Thank you all for great suggestions and you helped a lot and the phone is far improved but requires a lot of tinkering and know how.

    1) There is no Outlook client sync to the phone provided by Motorola and Google... period. None. ABSURD. From what I understand, HTC is providing this now out of the box. The only solution that is complete (contacts, calendar, notes, memo) is CompanionLink. Like others, I have found it a total mess to setup and tons of problems caused with it you don't realize until later.

    - duplication of contacts
    - completely misses sync of some contacts unexplainable
    - the default is to do last name, first name - seems great and IS right
    -- problem with last name first is phone doesn't KNOW!
    -- once you choose this sync, you only figure out later voice dial is "last, first name"

    Conclusion - unless you want to throw all your private data into Google's cloud and have it sit there for at least a year and a half even after deletion, the Moto Droid is a messy way to use for business. This will eventually be solved but shame on Google (for forcing us) and Moto (for going along with it) and not providing proper Outlook client sync.

    2) The stock Email application on the Droid is TOTAL CRAP. Thanks to some of you, K9 ROCKS - it is what it should have been, at minimum. It's a MUCH better client than standard and far better than the iPhone too... and jeeez.. it's free? Only thing I want to figure out is how to select and delete all quickly on front screen like it is in the stock email app (there is a "delete all selected" in the mass functions.)

    3) No built in backup SUCKS. What kind of stupid idea are these companies like Palm and Google putting into our heads? We have to spend yet more money to do what it should do (see even iTunes, Blackberry and WinMo already do this) just for basic backup to your SD card? Ridiculous. I shouldn't be wasting my time looking for this. There should be a way to backup and restore your phone easily, apps included. Problem partially solved but even more money unnecessarily spent.

    --- Larger minor issues ----

    4) Multi-tasking - I get freezes of the Droid and I can only guess it is memory issues. Having to get TaskKiller Free is ridiculous, no offense. Most of the apps I found don't have a quit button. If I wasn't a bit savvy and more patient than many, I'd dump the Droid with all the freezing that will sometimes go on. I like the press home button and see last six apps but there should also be more control such as (a) docking your most used apps - someone miss this? (b) allowing more than last six to be viewed. This part is TBD - I don't know the device well enough admittedly, to be able to say this is going to be a continued problem.

    5) The online store sucks - Google has no clue how to run distribution of apps. iTunes sucks in the way you can't simply browse in a browser to find what you want and easily navigate and drill down into 100K apps. I know I'll never find anything more than the "top 50 apps." But Google's version is one step worse. Go to Google checkout and you feel like you entered into whitespace and nothingness. Have a problem? Go into the maze of the knowledgebase of how to get support and then you can discover eventually that you have to contact developers directly, etc. If I wanted to deal with developers directly than have a nice big web site that has good drill down and browsing at high speed and I can buy directly from developers.

    When I had my iPhone, disputes and issues were handled directly with Apple and by Apple quickly. As much as I dislike Apple, they did this right instead of Google's "Surprise! We only showcase on the phone and take your money" store.

    6) The interface ain't pretty, that's for sure. It's still very "clunky" and looks and feels more like a developer would design it. Hard to believe that you get a much larger screen yet you can't fit even as many sad looking icons onto one screen as you can on the iPhone. Don't get me wrong - I like the "open" development but with all this time spent, nobody could make Android a more visually appealing experience as well as getting the efficiency of the display right out of the box the second time around? I don't want 16 icons spread out, I want more without widgetizing... and couldn't there be a better way than three side screens and then one big huge repository for everything else? There are some remedies for these but, jeeez... didn't anyone at Motorola and Google just think about doing it right the first or second time? Did they not learn from Apple that look and feel is important to customers?

    7) Moto's Droid disappointments: The internal memory seems like it will become limited. Don't know why they didn't just put in 512MB for storage and I will be damned if I ever upgrade to another Moto device so they can do the "incremental upgrade" thing on me. Not sure how much they had to do with it as Verizon, which is notorious for helping manufacturers create crap (see the HTC phone which had half the Sprint version because Verizon thought they could skimp, save costs, and get customers to upgrade...again.)

    The camera... I don't know if it is just the crappy software but it is as bad as reported, perhaps worse. I can't get it to focus properly on anything. My old Blackberry Curve's camera took better photos. Hopefully someone has a suggestion because this is 5MP worth of zero quality.

    The Media Player - it sucks. Hard to believe that for version 2 it would be this visually unappealing and lacking features my old Palm Treo had in basic media applications. I had a hard time even seeing the hierarchy on the built in skin from artist-album-tracks. Seriously... did nobody think that media players are important to the general public? Unlike the camera... thos DOES work just fine. It's just ugly and doesn't feature basic items it should (basic EQ/balance, better visuals, etc.)

    The keyboard - it's really terrible and awkward. I'm getting better with it but it's that bad and I could easily say it might be at the bottom of the market. Still, I would never buy the Droid without it because I can't type quickly on the virtual screen. Even moto says they will redesign this.
    --------------------

    That said, there are a bunch of bright things that I really like.

    1. It isn't an Apple product. I don't think I need to say more.

    2. Alerts are very good. Thankfully SOMEONE remembered to keep that LED.

    3. In time, the existing apps will improve (e.g. ToodleDroid, Facebook, etc.) and will easily meet the standards elsewhere.

    4. I never have to worry about the word "jailbreak" again.

    5. After you've spent a lot of time figuring it out, it's not nearly as poor as it appears out of that sad looking, cheap bargain store Droid box. I'd rather get a great machine and not waste money on packaging. The phone is built and sold by developers and looks it... once beyond it, it appears better than it is.

    6. The screen. I don't care what anyone says - the browser is pretty quick. The resolution is fantastic. While the processor may become outdated soon it can be overclocked and seems to run zippy enough.

    7. Jury is out on multi touch. Oddly enough I've come to like the double tap. If it opens to the size you like it is way more preferable to do this and time efficient. Hopefully we'll have both soon.

    8. Standard cabling and a dock available. Someone ought to have informed Palm.

    9. Plenty of apps. Lots of them. Most of them suck it appears (and so many dupes) but there are virtually all the ones I wanted from the iPhone and some others too. The problem is finding them. I hate that application on the phone and some of you great people here were able to ID the ones that are really best of breed.

    10. Did I mention that it isn't a proprietary Apple product? (Google must stop Googlizing it though... keep it agnostic and we'll adopt it.)
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  14. MuzzleBuster
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    That's a real bite when you're about 20 pages in on the browser.
    What's wrong with an "Exit" or "Close" button?
    I don't like Dolphin that well but it does have an exit button.
    Sort of frustrating that this isn't on more apps.
     
  15. MuzzleBuster
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    The narrow keyboard is too small for me but I'm doing well with the other two. Just took some practice. Body Glove case is cut out to give space at the top of keypad.


    There's room for improvement, that's for sure. It works OK, just wish it would check with wifi on.


    Astro(app) will back up apps to SD card. Otherwise, make sure sync in enabled to your Google account. I haven't figured out how to save icon and widgets positions (complete back up).


    I think "Missed Call" will do this.