New User Problems, Questions

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

  1. hinky

    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

    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

    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

    Martin030908 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.
     
    #4 Martin030908, Feb 16, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  5. hinky

    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

    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

    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

    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.
     
    #8 hinky, Feb 17, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  9. hinky

    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

    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.
     
    #10 takeshi, Feb 17, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  11. tcrews

    tcrews Premium Member
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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

    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.
     
    #12 nukularpower, Feb 17, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010