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Android Stuff

Apps and Tips for Android…

My car doesn’t have built-in Bluetooth connectivity and only has an Aux audio input (3.5mm Stereo Socket). I had been looking for something which would easily provide Bluetooth conenctivity in the car but won’t need me to change the car audio system or need me to take the car to a mechanic to install something.

I finally found and bought a Belkin AirCast Auto Handsfree from INA Solutions.

Its a very small device that can stick easily on any car dashboard. It connects to the standard Cigarette lighter port for power and also has a USB port so that you can charge your phone while in the car. It can pair with multiple phones (although only one can be connected to it at once). It can play music through the car speakers as well as make/receive phone calls. There’s only 1 button which has multiple uses. It can be used to start/stop the music, accept a call and also long-pressing it starts the default voice search app on the phone, allowing you to make calls by talking to the phone.

Initially I wasn’t very sure about how it’ll work with Android phones but I use it regularly with 2 Android phones (Samsung Galaxy S2 and Samsung Galaxy Nexus) and am very happy with it :).

 

A couple of users of my SMS Backup & Restore app reported that they were not able to see the backup folder (and files) created by the app when using a Galaxy Nexus on Windows 7. For the uninitiated, Galaxy Nexus is a bit different from most other Android phones, it does not have an SDCard slot and it does not support USB Mass Storage mode when connecting the phone to a computer. Instead, it exposes the internal storage as an MTP device.

Initially I couldn’t reproduce this problem (I have the same phone + OS combination) and thought that this may be a problem on their phone or Windows. I could see the folder and the file on my PC. After some more discussions with the user we came to the conclusion that this looked like some type of caching issue where a file created by my app only appeared on Windows after the phone was restarted.

It turns out that only files known by the MediaStore on the phone gets exposed via MTP to the computer.

A simple work-around/solution for this problem is to let the Media Store know that a new file/folder has been created and that file/folder will immediately appear on Windows.

Doing this in code is very simple, just call the MediaScannerConnection.scanFile method with the full path of the file(s) created.

This is an Add-On for SMS Backup & Restore app to:

– automatically upload backup files to Dropbox
– send automated emails after a backup.

This app does not appear in the list of apps in the phone launcher. It is used by the SMS Backup & Restore app and gets opened from the “Backup Settings” screen of that app.

    

This app was developed as an add-on rather than building it within the existing app for 2 reasons: first to keep the original app smaller in size, second keeping this app separate means the Pro version still doesn’t need Internet permissions.

This app uses the binaries provided by the Android port of JavaMail.

Download:

 Instructions:

Dropbox Settings:

This app only has access to its own folder and does not have access to other Dropbox folders.
Check the “Use Browser for Authentication” if you want to use your default/external browser for authentication rather than the built-in functionality.

 

Email Settings:

All the settings on the screen are dependent on the Mail Service Provider that you use. The details about the service can be found on the providers site. Some of the common ones are linked at the bottom of this section.

Sender Email Address: The email address from which the email should be sent.

Recipient Email Address: The email address of the recipient. If you are sending the email to yourself then this will be the same as the Sender Email Address.

SMTP Server: The HostName/IP Address of the email SMTP server. For example: smtp.gmail.com for Gmail.

Port: The port used by the SMTP server. Normally 25/465/587. For example: 465 for Gmail.

Security: The security used for connecting to the SMTP server. Use SSL/TLS for Gmail.

Require Login: Checked if the SMTP server needs you to authenticate before sending emails. Check this for Gmail.

User Name: The user name required to authenticate with the SMTP server. For Gmail, its your email address.

Password: The password required to authenticate with the SMTP server. For Gmail, its your Gmail password.  If you use 2-step authentication in Gmail, you’ll need to generate an application specific password.

Subject: The subject for the email.

Body: The message content for the email.

Google Mail / Gmail Settings

Hotmail / Windows Live Mail Settings

Yahoo! Mail Settings

 

Update Log:

v2.03:

  • Fix for Dropbox Authentication problems on some HTC Phones. Thanks to Metin for all his help and testing.

v2.01:

  • Added some logging to help in investigating Dropbox Authentication issues on some HTC Phones.

v2.0:

  • Added Dropbox support

v1.0:

  • First release.

SMS Backup & Restore Pro is the paid No-Ads version of the Ad-Supported Free app SMS Backup & Restore. All the features are the same with the only difference being that the Pro version does not need access to internet since it does not need to display Ads. It can be purchased from the Android Market.

Click here to read the FAQs About SMS Backup & Restore.

If you are getting an error then I will need to have a look at the logs to figure out and then either make a fix in the app or suggest if there is something wrong on the phone.

The latest version of SMS Backup & Restore and Call Logs Backup & Restore have inbuilt options to Send Logs in case of errors. The inbuilt option to send logs normally appears when the app encounters an error and allows the user to send me an email containing details of the app’s activity and the error it encountered. Sometimes this information is not enough to figure out what could be wrong as there could be other components of the device that could be causing the problem. In such cases I need the System Logs generated on the device.

For devices running Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) or above, you need to have a rooted device to be able to send System logs.

If you have a rooted device or a device running Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich ) or lower, follow the following instructions to send detailed System logs:

  • Install the app CatLog from the Google Play Store.
  • Enable the Logging in the app that you are getting error in (Menu->Preferences -> Enable Logging)
  • Repeat the operation that you were performing in my app to reproduce the error.
  • Once the error has been reported, open the CatLog app
  • In CatLog, open the Menu and select “Send”  it’ll ask you how to send the log, select the Email or GMail option as per your configuration and send the log by email to my email address: android AT riteshsahu DOT com
  • Also send a note on what were you trying, so I know what to look for.
  • Once I’ve received the logs I’ll analyze them and get back to you.

Notes:

  • Make sure you’ve enabled logging in the App before you retry the backup or restore operation and also to send the logs as soon as you get the error, otherwise the logs would not contain the information needed.
  • If you get an Error during SMS Restore then please try restarting the Phone and Restore again. Sometimes the internal database for the messages gets corrupted and gets fixed on restarting the phone.
  • Some users have reported getting errors when doing a Restore with SMS Backup & Restore. The logs suggest the Antivirus App interfering with the Restore. Uninstalling/Disabling the Antivirus app fixes the Restore problem.