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Recently got a 4G Gemini (second batch), and began the long process of migrating my life over to it!  It's a tough job to replace my mobile phone, iPod, AND the Psion 5mx I've been using every day for 20 years…

(Not yet sure whether Android will cover everything I need, but Linux isn't sufficiently stable, supported, or suited to the form factor.  Sailfish sounds interesting.)
Joined: 13-January 18
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Local Time: Mar 22 2019, 08:42 AM
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10 Oct 2018
My Gemini (4G x27) has just offered a firmware update!  When I clicked Download, it crashed; but I was able to download it by going to Settings -> About phone -> Firmware Update.

It promises:
• The latest Android security patch has been applied, device security has been further enhanced.
• Optimize keyboard settings and performance.
• Optimize speaker sound quality.
• Optimize performance and stability.
• Fix other bugs

The PatchID shows as ‘Gemini-7.1-Planet-12062018-V2.<2018-06-1216:54>’.  (2018-06-12 was about when the last one was released; perhaps the ‘V2’ is the significant bit here.)

I'm about to try installing it — fingers crossed…  I'll post my experience here.  Please do comment if you've tried this and/or can confirm what it does!
26 Jun 2018
What's the best way to preserve the Gemini's battery lifetime?

I charge mine overnight; I have a charging cable on my bedside table, and plug it in when I go to bed.  Is it best to use the power adapter supplied with the Gemini, or a standard USB adapter?  The supplied adapter is a fast charger; will that stress the battery more?  (A standard USB adapter charges much more slowly — though fast enough for my usage, as it's always fully charged when I wake.)
25 Jun 2018
In Android, you can directly type all the characters you can see on your physical keyboard (assuming it's set up correctly): letters, digits, and all the common symbols.

You can probably also type some extras: for example, in some apps, Alt+E seems to be a dead key for an acute accent, so Alt+E followed by E enters é (just as on a Mac).

And you can also type many more characters using one of the pop-ups; in my UK layout, Fn+. pops up a list of emoji that you can tap on, and Fn+, pops up a list of symbols.

However, there are still many other symbols not covered by the above — including some I use a lot, such as long dashes, curly quotes, hard space, ellipsis, degree, and fractions.  How can you enter characters such as those?

The only options I know about so far are:
  • Copy and paste from somewhere, e.g. a file in an editor or browser: very slow and awkward.
  • Install an app providing a special on-screen keyboard with those characters: very awkward, and limited to a particular selection.
  • Install an app providing key shortcuts, and configure it for the characters you need: not sure if that's possible, and again necessarily limited to a small selection of chars.
Are there any better approaches?

(On the Psion 5 series, you could press Shift+Ctrl+Fn+C at any time to get a pop-up list of every character.  Though that used CP1252 AKA Windows Latin-1, so there were only 128 chars not already covered.  And you could also hold down Ctrl and type the decimal number of the character — less intuitive, but it did provide a way of entering any possible character.  Does Android have any equivalent to either of these?)
14 Jun 2018
What Android games would you recommend?

Of course, this has to come with a health warning: games that are too good are likely to suck up too much time that could be spend doing productive things (especially given the Gemini's nice keyboard)!

The games I've always returned to are puzzles, as they can fill a couple of spare minutes, while still giving an interesting challenge (either a single small game, or returning to a more complex one).  Currently I'm enjoying:
  • Simple Solitaire Collection: a nice app with 17 solo card games.  Fairly configurable, with a range of difficulty levels and themes.  I'm already spending far too much time playing Simple Simon and Spider…
  • Shortyz Crosswords.  This comes set up to download daily ‘American-style’ puzzles (straight clues, few black squares) from several free American sites (Washington Post, Newsday, &c).  However, as a Brit, I eschew such puzzles (and such spellings)!  Luckily, it can also download cryptic puzzles from CruCryptics — and it can use any puzzles in Across Lite format (.puz) that you throw at it, which gives quite a range of options.  It works well.  (Niggle: it's set up for portrait mode, with the current clue across the top; a landscape option would make better use of the screen space.)
  • A crossword solver is also useful (for finding words matching given letter, solving anagrams, &c).  The best I've seen so far is Lexeme which seems to have a big dictionary, a large variety of search types (using its own entry format), and tapping on solutions can jump to their definitions in another app (e.g. Aard 2).  Only niggle is that the large font size doesn't work well in landscape mode, showing no more than 3-4 solutions at a time.
  • Simon Tatham's Puzzles.  This is a collection of 39 Japanese-style logic puzzles: sudoku, hitori, fillomino, light up, nurikabe, slitherlink, and many more (though given different names).  This is also available for Windows, Linux, and macOS, and accounts for most of my wasted time on the desktop!  The puzzles don't work so well on the small screen — especially in the more difficult modes, where the finer detail in larger puzzles is hard to tap on.  But they're all playable from the keyboard too.
  • Fabularium is a player for interactive fiction — i.e. text adventure games.  These have come a long way since I played them on my BBC Micro many years ago…  Now there's a huge range available free in standard formats (Infocom, TADS) that can be played with a variety of apps.  There are several such for Android; this one seems good, but I've not compared them.
What other games or puzzles are worth looking at?
14 Jun 2018
What Android apps do people use for playing music?

I have a large iTunes library (3.5K albums), all fully tagged, so I'm looking for something that can play that (or as much as will fit on the SD card!).  I don't use manual playlists much, but have a few automated ones (selecting by genre, play count, date added, rating and/or comments).  I also tend to shuffle by album (especially within a single genre or playlist), and like to view the track info (especially composer, comments, and lyrics).

I don't use any streaming services; it's all local files (mostly MP3, with some AAC).  Obviously, if you use streaming, you'll probably be looking at a different choice of apps!

The best I've seen is Rocket Player.  The interface is a bit whizz-bang (though they all seem to be), but it looks pretty powerful, handles all my tracks, and can shuffle by album.  It shows all the tags, and can even do automatic playlists (though they don't seem as powerful as iTunes's).

Any other recommendations?
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