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OESF Portables Forum _ Gemini PDA - Android _ 8.1 observations

Posted by: graynada May 9 2019, 11:18 PM

Thought after a couple of days use I'd drop my thoughts on 8.1 into a thread for others to add to add detect common themes.

Biggest concern I would say is that battery life has diminished noticeably. Completely unexpected but on 7.1.1 I am on at about 30-40% at the end of the day, 8.1 15% has been the best so far and that was on a day I used it much less than normal.

Slightly frustrating that the Plant apps are now hard wired in so you can only disable. I preferred the evenly spaced icons on the app bar to the bunched left/scrollable version we have now. I would disable app bar but I use the force rotate (must work out how to achieve this and map the Planet key to do it blink.gifsmile.gif )

There are some nuances that come with Android 8.1 I find irritating like 'app x is using battery' nice idea but I want to be able to swipe it away rather than have to disable it.

Posted by: Mithren Ithil May 10 2019, 01:58 AM

QUOTE(graynada @ May 10 2019, 08:18 AM) *
There are some nuances that come with Android 8.1 I find irritating like 'app x is using battery' nice idea but I want to be able to swipe it away rather than have to disable it.


How to disable this please? So far I have gotten as far as swiping right and I can see cog but it disappears before I can do anything.

<EDIT>
Bleh my google fu failed me when I was looking into this yesterday. I found an article about how to disable it.
</EDIT>

Posted by: Steve Goodey May 10 2019, 03:28 AM

QUOTE(graynada @ May 10 2019, 08:18 AM) *
I would disable app bar but I use the force rotate (must work out how to achieve this and map the Planet key to do it blink.gifsmile.gif )

New shortcut of FN+Shift+R now forces rotate.

Steve

Posted by: graynada May 10 2019, 05:29 AM

QUOTE(Steve Goodey @ May 10 2019, 12:28 PM) *
QUOTE(graynada @ May 10 2019, 08:18 AM) *
I would disable app bar but I use the force rotate (must work out how to achieve this and map the Planet key to do it blink.gifsmile.gif )

New shortcut of FN+Shift+R now forces rotate.

Steve


Ah yes of course, but a 2 handed operation practically so I might still give it a go

Posted by: Isurus65 May 10 2019, 10:13 PM

QUOTE(graynada @ May 10 2019, 09:29 PM) *
QUOTE(Steve Goodey @ May 10 2019, 12:28 PM) *
QUOTE(graynada @ May 10 2019, 08:18 AM) *
I would disable app bar but I use the force rotate (must work out how to achieve this and map the Planet key to do it blink.gifsmile.gif )

New shortcut of FN+Shift+R now forces rotate.

Steve


Ah yes of course, but a 2 handed operation practically so I might still give it a go


Useful to know this shortcut, especially when autorotate does not work anymore even when enabled in Settings. Is that just me or do others face the same issue?

Also, what happened to Miravision? Does it mean all those supposed video enhancements have disappeared?

Posted by: bloblo May 11 2019, 08:31 AM

Has anyone tried HDMI + external peripherals, and observed that

1. every app/window transition animation rotates the picture sideways for the duration of the animation, making for a very jerky and blinky experience on a big screen

2. (usb) mouse scrolling in any list is very broken in all native Android toolkit apps including the system settings, and causes random jumps in all directions, mouse clicks clicking stuff that clearly isn't under the cursor?

Because I'm seeing these things on 8.1 and never had them on 7, so that is a bit frustrating! I've even seen mouse clicks not work on some toggles of native toolkit apps at all, and I needed to reach out and tap so it's pretty bad

Posted by: Daniel W May 13 2019, 09:21 AM

So far, I've observed this:


Posted by: bloblo May 13 2019, 10:53 AM

Regarding what I wrote:

QUOTE(bloblo @ May 11 2019, 08:31 AM) *
Has anyone tried HDMI + external peripherals, and observed that

1. every app/window transition animation rotates the picture sideways for the duration of the animation, making for a very jerky and blinky experience on a big screen

2. (usb) mouse scrolling in any list is very broken in all native Android toolkit apps including the system settings, and causes random jumps in all directions, mouse clicks clicking stuff that clearly isn't under the cursor?

I just got an e-mail back from planet computers' support confirming both of these are known issues and they're looking into it, and expecting to release an update fixing it very soon. So fingers crossed for all of us using HDMI with usb peripherals who may run into this!

Since the 8.1 update fixed a very annoying compatibility issue with the Razer USB-C audio adapter leading to annoying artifacts and even audio dropouts later it's still worth it for me, even though I use HDMI a lot

QUOTE(Daniel W @ May 13 2019, 09:21 AM) *
The patch level is now December 2018, which is an improvement, but still pretty far behind. I hope patch updates will resume once the most glaring Oreo issues are solved.

That is the only other thing I really hope they fix, although I haven't asked support about that one. But yeah, a patch level update for security would be very nice indeed

Posted by: RJL May 13 2019, 01:38 PM

OTA stopped in the middle of the download, so rather than faff about with that, I did a manual update. Followed instructions and it worked.

Boringly, there doesn't seem to be much difference of substance. Settings menus are a bit different, but doesn't seem to be much that I want to do different. Thinking about removing the android navigation icons and just using keys to navigate. But I've got so used to the icons being there (which I originally hated), that I am a bit lost without them.

Google Maps persistently crashed on start up with the previous Android, but it now seems to work fine with 8.1.

QUOTE(Daniel W @ May 14 2019, 05:21 AM) *
[*]The physical keyboard works, including localized keys, but FN+Sym or Fn+emoji consistently crashes the Gemini keyboard app. Home and End finally seems to work in my text editor of choice, though.

Oh yay! You are right, HOME, END, PG UP and PG DN, finally seem to work!

Also, FN+Sym and FN+emoji crashes for me too. No great loss as I only invoke those menus accidentally, but would be nice to get this patched.

QUOTE(Daniel W @ May 14 2019, 05:21 AM) *
[*]My device serial number (Settings > System > About phone > Status) is back to 01234567890ABCDEF. Oh, well.

Snap!

Posted by: bloblo May 13 2019, 02:23 PM

QUOTE
Boringly, there doesn't seem to be much difference of substance.


Picture in picture can make an INSANE difference if you use it for productivity, and you're the kind of person that does tasks where some visual distraction & entertainment is useful. You can now use e.g. a spreadsheet, or coding environment, over the entire screen while having a small tiny video continue to play and move it wherever you like. I really love that feature!

But yeah, other than that I haven't found anything significant either. Some more control over notifications, but it's not having a huge impact on how I use them, and USB-C audio is less buggy (but that's not really a "visible" change in workflow)

Posted by: novaldex May 14 2019, 12:23 AM

QUOTE(RJL @ May 13 2019, 10:38 PM) *
QUOTE(Daniel W @ May 14 2019, 05:21 AM) *
[*]My device serial number (Settings > System > About phone > Status) is back to 01234567890ABCDEF. Oh, well.

Snap!


Hey, me too! Not seen that before. I wonder if anyone still has their original serial number being reported?

Posted by: Dixit May 14 2019, 01:25 AM

Same here. And the "bedrijfstijd" (operational time) is 2h55 min, as if it were a brand new phone (it isn't...).
I did not even know this was possible. I guessed that the serial was somewhat hard coded somewhere in a chip.

Battery dropped 12% in those 2h55. Hmmm... that could be a challenge. The Gemini ran 2 to 3 days on a charge - I wouldn't like it if charging becomes a daily activity.

My wife has a Huawei with Android Oreo (since she purchased the phone 1 1/2 years ago). That one needs a daily charge.
Is Oreo an energy guzzler ?

Posted by: RJL May 15 2019, 05:13 PM

QUOTE(novaldex @ May 14 2019, 08:23 PM) *
QUOTE(RJL @ May 13 2019, 10:38 PM) *
QUOTE(Daniel W @ May 14 2019, 05:21 AM) *
[*]My device serial number (Settings > System > About phone > Status) is back to 01234567890ABCDEF. Oh, well.

Snap!

Hey, me too! Not seen that before. I wonder if anyone still has their original serial number being reported?


It was like this originally, when I first got my Gemini (I was in first 1000).

But a previous patch fixed this so that it displayed a real (looking) serial number. However, 8.1 seems to have reverted to the original behaviour.

Posted by: greguu May 15 2019, 09:33 PM

My observations so far:

- Google Maps/Drive work fine compared to Android 7 where it would crash.
- Oreo allows better DPI settings. I currently run at 531 dp smallest width (developer options) and it still shows the navigator bar.
- Battery Life is ok for me. I use black/dark themes where I can and run 2 days on minimal use with 50% battery used. Seems to be same as before, but I need to do more testing.
- Some apps indeed start in portrait and then rotate to landscape, but most apps I use work fine.
- Hangouts still does not like landscape and even in portrait it sucks, almost unusable.
- Notifications can be disabled and adjusted, once done all good. Google it.
- No change in speed/performance, but the animations seem to be more smooth (swipe)
- Missing titles on home screen icons. No drama at all, I like it.
- Bluetooth: Tested headphones and mouse and all seem to work. On first connect the mouse was jumpy, but settled down once re-connected.
- Backing up the device to Google Drive from Android 7 seems to work, but you can not restore it once on Oreo as the firmware does not offer you a prompt to do so on first boot. This is bad.

Installation/Upgrade methods:

- did OTA manually via ota.zip and it went fine.
- did manual flash via Flash Tool and it went fine. (This seems to have been a more clean way of updating in my opinion)
- created custom scatter file and flashed Oreo and Kali Linux with custom partitions -> flashed fine, but it would only boot into the main boot (Android). Planet Computers still need to release a multi boot LK (Litte Kernel) for this to work..hopefully very soon.



Posted by: novaldex May 17 2019, 07:37 AM

QUOTE(RJL @ May 16 2019, 02:13 AM) *
QUOTE(novaldex @ May 14 2019, 08:23 PM) *
QUOTE(RJL @ May 13 2019, 10:38 PM) *
QUOTE(Daniel W @ May 14 2019, 05:21 AM) *
[*]My device serial number (Settings > System > About phone > Status) is back to 01234567890ABCDEF. Oh, well.

Snap!

Hey, me too! Not seen that before. I wonder if anyone still has their original serial number being reported?


It was like this originally, when I first got my Gemini (I was in first 1000).

But a previous patch fixed this so that it displayed a real (looking) serial number. However, 8.1 seems to have reverted to the original behaviour.


Had cause to reflash back to 7.1.1 (see my other thread about the microphone https://www.oesf.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=35641&view=findpost&p=290813).

Found that my serial number appeared to be real (i've not confirmed it is, but it's not a simple string). So perhaps the 8.1 update simply cannot read it & suppresses it to a default value.

Posted by: Kisuke-CZE May 18 2019, 05:16 AM

Well, I am ptertty disappointed with 8.1. It does not comes with 8.1 features like possibility for better battery management (https://www.techrepublic.com/article/how-to-limit-app-background-activity-in-android-oreo/)

I stopped using Gemini after more than 6 months with it. Battery life was pretty trerrible with 7.1 (cannot get more than 1 day). So I was looking forward to better battery management in 8.1 and ability to disable background running for apps which does not need it (most apps does not need to run in background, it makes sense basically only for IM/mail app and VPN Client). I do not get why is Gemini missing this feature introduced in android 8. I have two other phones at home - Pocophone F1 and old OnePlus 3, both have it.

In case of Pocophone F1 i made adjustments of background running to enable it only for apps where it makes sense. With mild usage I can get 3-4 days of battery life (original before adjustments were about 1-1,5 days), which is very good. But PocoPhone has even smaller battery capacity compared to Gemini.

I did not tested Gemini as main phone after update to 8.1 yet. I will, but I am skeptical... That's my reason why I did not backed Cosmo yet...

Posted by: graynada May 21 2019, 10:50 PM

Another thing I have noticed is that I don't get battery usage data, it always reports 'battery usage data not available'. Anyone else seeing this 'feature'?

Posted by: Dixit May 22 2019, 01:14 AM

The Gemini switches itself off if the battery is empty. Of course, after a charge it will need a restart with the rotating planets and so on.
That was already the case with Android 7.

However, now with Android 8.1 it also switches back to the UK keyboard (and I have a US keyboard).
I need to run the Gemini keyboard tool at least twice, selecht US English and the US English keyboard.
This Gemini app then deletes the Gemini's default language (Dutch), which I need to add again and select as first option (swipe it on top of US English).

This 'feature' has been reported earlier, by people actually running Android 7 (and needing Norwegian), but I never had it with Android 7.
That's actually strange: the Gemini's seem to share a common list of bugs, but it is never known when those bugs pop up.

The silver button for Google Assistant suddenly stopped under Android 7. Now it works (again). Nobody knows why...

Posted by: Piloti Jun 2 2019, 10:09 AM

Hate it, hate it, hate it.
I have never been a fan of Android / Google and only use it because I don't have the confidence to flash the device with something else......
But I have spent the last year or so making my Gemini exactly how I wanted it, disabling as much Google as could be and having the desktop set up..... just right.
Then I go and do the migration to A' 8.1 and so much has changed. The biggest single gripe of have is that the menu with the circle/square/triangle will now NOT auto hide. Not a small issue one may think, but actually, it is visually quite intrusive, takes up a disproportionate amount of screen space an impinges on other applications.

I wish, I really wish, I had never migrated to A 8.1. If anybody else is thinking about it...... DON'T.

Posted by: Kero Jun 7 2019, 01:09 PM

wifi-only version

Pro:
- full screen usage
- rooted (couldn't with previous release; now I can run f.lux again)

Con:
- because of full-screen, I have to use Alt-Tab a lot. Thus triggers Caps all too often.
- there is a strong tendency to kill apps when I Alt-Tab away from them, so they have to restart. this usually takes more CPU than leaving it be. At least Termux manages to survive 100%, otherwise this would be unbearable.
- despite this tendency, these "dead apps" are kept around for me to Alt-Tab to (so they restart)
- there is no telling me what the "default #background processes is" and I cannot raise it above four.
- when I activated my sleeping Gemini, it takes sometimes takes up to a second before it actually shows the screen
- settings widgets are cyan on white (i.e. undistinguishable from each other)
- Nova ceased to function
- Yalp ceased to function
- text underneath app widgets gone
- there is a battery usage warning, but I cannot do anything with the info
- one of the two apps using battery is the AppBar, which shouldn't be doing *anything* unless I open it.
- wifi selection app made a few small tweaks, all for the worse.
- NO-SIM icon still there

Something's amiss with the balance, here.
-

Posted by: RJL Jun 7 2019, 01:54 PM

QUOTE(Kero @ Jun 8 2019, 09:09 AM) *
Con:
- because of full-screen, I have to use Alt-Tab a lot. Thus triggers Caps all too often.


Fn + A and Fn + D replicate two of the navigation buttons.

QUOTE(Kero @ Jun 8 2019, 09:09 AM) *
- Nova ceased to function


Nova Launcher works fine for me with 8.1. Have you got the latest version of Nova?

--
RJL

Posted by: Kero Jun 8 2019, 12:24 AM

Ah, had not found Fn+A, useful.

Tried to reinstall Nova, to check the version (although assuming it had to be latest).
Let is take the Laumcher3 config this time. seems to work now.
Solves the cyan-on-white issue, too.
Edit: Solves the text-underneath-icons issue, too!

Thx!

Posted by: gidds Jun 8 2019, 01:14 AM

Can anyone else confirm whether Yalp Store works in Android 8? (I don't have a Google ID, so that would be a showstopper for me.)

Posted by: Piloti Jun 8 2019, 10:26 AM

QUOTE(novaldex @ May 17 2019, 04:37 PM) *
Had cause to reflash back to 7.1.1 (see my other thread about the microphone https://www.oesf.org/forum/index.php?showtopic=35641&view=findpost&p=290813).

Found that my serial number appeared to be real (i've not confirmed it is, but it's not a simple string). So perhaps the 8.1 update simply cannot read it & suppresses it to a default value.



Can you post how you did the reflash back to 7.1 ? With any links etc?
I've been having no luck at all trying to flash mine back to 7.1 from 8.1. Does not seem to want to work on a windows machine or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.
Thanks.
P.

Posted by: mibry Jun 10 2019, 12:29 AM

QUOTE(Piloti @ Jun 8 2019, 07:26 PM) *
Can you post how you did the reflash back to 7.1 ? With any links etc?
I've been having no luck at all trying to flash mine back to 7.1 from 8.1. Does not seem to want to work on a windows machine or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.
Thanks.
P.


Go to "https://support.planetcom.co.uk/partitionTool7.html" you can get the scatter file android, debian, kali and sailfish.

Posted by: novaldex Jun 10 2019, 01:57 AM

QUOTE(Piloti @ Jun 8 2019, 07:26 PM) *
Can you post how you did the reflash back to 7.1 ? With any links etc?
I've been having no luck at all trying to flash mine back to 7.1 from 8.1. Does not seem to want to work on a windows machine or Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.
Thanks.
P.


I had to wipe my device completely as part of flashing back to 7.1. This wasn't a problem for me due to the issues I was having.

mibry's link to the v7 partition tool is correct, although I already had the files from a previous flash exercise.

Posted by: wyrm Jun 11 2019, 10:48 PM

QUOTE(Kero @ Jun 7 2019, 11:09 PM) *
wifi-only version

Pro:
- full screen usage


I love this too! There is however one major issue with that. It seems that there is no way of navigating back in Google Chrome. Does anyone here know of a method of assigning a key to the back function?

Help is appreciated smile.gif

Posted by: Kero Jun 20 2019, 11:31 AM

QUOTE(wyrm @ Jun 12 2019, 08:48 AM) *
I love this too! There is however one major issue with that. It seems that there is no way of navigating back in Google Chrome. Does anyone here know of a method of assigning a key to the back function?

Help is appreciated smile.gif


Using Hermit, which uses Escape.

Posted by: Murple2 Jun 21 2019, 05:33 AM

QUOTE(wyrm @ Jun 12 2019, 06:48 AM) *
QUOTE(Kero @ Jun 7 2019, 11:09 PM) *
wifi-only version

Pro:
- full screen usage


I love this too! There is however one major issue with that. It seems that there is no way of navigating back in Google Chrome. Does anyone here know of a method of assigning a key to the back function?

Help is appreciated smile.gif

Alt+Left arrow key

Posted by: Varti Aug 15 2019, 08:53 AM

I have today noticed another issue on Oreo, I don't know if this was already mentioned elsewhere in the forum: when using the front camera and rotating the screen to portrait mode, the image from the camera is shown upside down. No issue when the screen is in landscape mode.

Varti

Posted by: wyrm Aug 31 2019, 01:23 AM

QUOTE(Murple2 @ Jun 21 2019, 03:33 PM) *
QUOTE(wyrm @ Jun 12 2019, 06:48 AM) *
QUOTE(Kero @ Jun 7 2019, 11:09 PM) *
wifi-only version

Pro:
- full screen usage


I love this too! There is however one major issue with that. It seems that there is no way of navigating back in Google Chrome. Does anyone here know of a method of assigning a key to the back function?

Help is appreciated smile.gif

Alt+Left arrow key


wow great! thanks a lot!

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