Friday, June 29, 2012

We are losing our 'listening'

I was just speaking with a friend a few days ago that I felt that people were more interested in a 'sound-bite' that somehow effectively sums up an entire issues or topic or field of study.  My opinion (and probably the fact of the matter) is that the sound-byte can almost never take the place of a good, and usually long, explanation.

This TED Talk is about listening, and how we are losing our listening skills and with them our patience.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MIUI 2.6 Without the Battery Drain

It has been a number of days since I made a number of changes to try to increase the battery life of the MIUI 2.6.1 (Android 4) installation on my 1.5 year old HTC Evo 4G.  And presently I'm pretty happy with my battery life, as it is very close to the life I was getting with Cyanogen 7 + Go Launcher.

I'm easily getting a good full day of occasional use throughout the day. Also it should be noted that I leave the Wifi antenna on all the time.

In Menu -> Settings:
* Display -> Brightness -> turn off automatic brightness, set to about 1/3 on the slider
* Display -> Launcher -> turn off Icon shadow
* Display -> turn off Auto-rotate screen
* Display -> Sleep -> set to 30 seconds
* Accounts & sync: everything off except my Google account, and only syncing Calendar, Contacts, and Gmail automatically.
* Developer options -> on both 'Window animation scale' and 'Transition animation scale' turn animation off

Under the MIUI folder launch the ' Toolbox':
* CPU Settings -> CPU Governor to 'conservative', min = ~250MHz, max = ~1000MHz, restore on boot = ON
* MIUI Launcher Settings -> uncheck Allow Rotation

With these settings in place, I've been pretty happy with MIUI.  The only change that I'd make is change out the default browser with Dolphin Mini (or Dolphin HD if you want a bunch of the addons).

Hope this helps!  Cheers!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

MIUI v2.6.1 is easy, beautiful, and very functional

So far, so good with MIUI v2.6.1 (Android 4.0.4) on my HTC Evo 4G.

The interface is simple and beautiful. The settings are straight-forward and approachable. You cannot change the configuration of (literally) everything, like I could on Cyanogen 7...but I'm fine with that. Gorgeous and easy is at least a good set of tenets for a mobile OS.

Their music app is really fantastic. I love that it is very similar to the music player on the iPod Touch. It also has a simple 5-band EQ, which is sweet. You can set it to auto-download album artwork if you like, as well...though I disabled that and just use art embedded in my music files. It has no issue with all the file types I use: M4A, OGG, and MP3.

The dialer, the contacts app, and the texting app are all very well done. The lock-screen is also fabulous...not only showing you if you have messages, but also changing the color of the lock-button if you running out of battery, or are charging, as well as the charging progress. The whole lock screen also changes to the album art with controls for the music player when the music player is doing its thing.

I don't have a 4G outlet in my area...but WiFi and 3G antennas have worked perfectly. Also controls for turning off and on those antennas, along with you Bluetooth, ringer, and even flashlight...are all right in the pull-down notification area.

The only apps that I haven't been very impressed with are the camera and the web-browser. The web-browser, only because it doesn't zoom in on text very that it doesn't reformat that text for the small screen. Perhaps it just isn't sometime I've figured out how to config? After all, I've changed almost nothing from its defaults. The camera is fine, but it just doesn't have quite as many controls on screen as I'd perhaps like.

Overall, I think that this build of MIUI is fantastic. If you want to control every little thing and config on your phone...then this mod isn't for you. But if you like simple, beautiful, and very usable...MIUI is great.