LG needs to fix their software

This is a discussion on LG needs to fix their software within the LG Ally Help forums, part of the LG Ally category; Okay, I've had my Ally for a few months now, and gone through 2 OTA updates. Each update brought with it more instability, slow performance, ...

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Thread: LG needs to fix their software

  1. #1
    Android Lurker FalconFour's Avatar
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    Okay, I've had my Ally for a few months now, and gone through 2 OTA updates. Each update brought with it more instability, slow performance, crashes, and bugs. My one lifeline to keeping the phone running smoothly, QuitIt, which quits the background process that ALWAYS CONSUME RESOURCES despite what so-called "experts" have an opinion on... and the latest update caused QuitIt to begin disappearing from the apps list.



    Let's go down the list:

    1) Pull down the notification bar at the top of the screen like a shade. Read that there's nothing to see. Throw the bar back up.

    1b) throw it up again since it just bounced back down from the top of the screen without a downward finger swipe of any kind (it'd be kinda hard considering the "throwing" action)

    1c) throw it up again in rage, watch as it hits the top of the screen and bounces back down again

    1d) throw the phone across the room

    2) Make a voice recording/memo using any recording app on the market. Watch as it works beautifully.

    2b) Listen to some music

    2c) After "Elevation" by U2 plays, hear your recorded notes about mountain elevation and/or elevator repair in the music player.

    2d) Awkwardly fumble the screens to get back to the music player and skip your recorded notes from playing during your DJ session.

    2e) Find that there are no options in the music program, and absolutely no place on the SD card that a voice note or otherwise "non-music" file is "safe" from the clutches of the MUSIC LIBRARY. To the music library... every piece of audio is a song.

    3) Take a photo of a label you need to copy some numbers from, because it's easier than typing it into your phone, then the computer, right? Hit the camera button on the side of the phone.

    3b) Instead of the camera coming up, it comes up with the last photo you had open. wtf?

    3c) back

    3d) back

    4) Focus to take a macro photo of a dimly lit paper. Flash comes on, focus adjusts, lighting adjusts to compensate for the flash, the picture looks perfect, it indicates it's ready to take a photo.

    4b) Click the shutter. The flash comes on briefly this time, and you're presented with a washed-out bunch of unreadable sh*t for a photo.

    4c) Try again. Same thing... pre-photo, looks perfect... snap it, washed out to hell because the camera app didn't store its settings from the calibration portion of the photo. Piece of sh*t.

    4d) Give up on storing the perfect image shown on the screen during preview. Take a different angle so the flash is more diffused. Place a paper over the flash to diffuse/dim it.

    4e) Finally get as "good a shot as you can get", some watered-down, poorly lit image.

    5) Go to the gallery to see your photo.

    5b) Wtf? I just took like 10 photos of this thing trying to make it show up. None of them are here. Here's all of last night's crap... where the heck did my photos go?

    5c) Go into third party file manager, browse to dcim folder, sort by date, there's the photo you just took. Tap it. Open with gallery, yes.

    5d) Gallery refuses that the photo exists, and just shows the last photo it remembers. Being that Gallery isn't file-based, it has no concept or indication of what photo you're viewing.

    5e) Finally convince Gallery that the photo exists by opening 4 of the last 10 photos you took directly using file manager. You see at least one "acceptable" photo of your subject that you had to photograph 10 times.

    6) Zoom in on the numbers in the label. Pinch.... zooom... huh? It's blurry.

    6b) Come to realize that even though you took the photo at 2048x1536 or something, Gallery will only decode and process the first ~640x480px of the image, so even though you're zooming in to see more detail that's contained in the image, it won't display more detail. Only way to display more detail is to use a third party utility on the phone you took the photo with. wtf.



    I can't see how these programs made it out of usability testing...

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  3. #2
    Android Sr Member blackmetalbuick's Avatar
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    Haven't had any of these problems. Use music player 4 times a week at the gym, works great. Camera works fine for me but I don't really expect a camera phone to be able to do well in low light or certain other environments. I use it for outdoor or well lit pix and it's fine.



    I used to believe in task killers until I became more educated about the subject. It takes the phone just as much effort to hold "empty" memory as it does to have background processes running, so it's a moot point. I get 48 hours out of my battery with no task killer now. Having a third party app constantly killing processes and then the phone having to restart them just causes more problems.



    Every piece of audio becomes a song? Not for me. I have a folder called music, and have lots of other sounds under ringtones, notifications, etc, and they don't come up as songs in my media player.



    Sorry that you're so disappointed in the Ally. The best thing about Android? You can download other apps. If you hate the LG apps, get a different media player, get a different camera, and see if you like them better.
    LG Ally - SW V 8 - Rooted - Velocity 0.3

  4. #3
    Android Lurker FalconFour's Avatar
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    Problem is, the media players LG bundled are hardcoded into the OS... for example, I can never replace Gallery because the camera button is tied to it.



    But first let me tackle the burning misconception about the "misconception about task killers" (meta, eh?). It has NOTHING to do with memory usage. Being a multitasking OS, the phone allows these background tasks to do crap while they're running in the background. For the music player, that means listening for headphone jack activity (plug/unplug, wiggle, twist, etc) to pop up some random crap, pause/play music, etc. If the program's open, that is. For the browser, that means leaving pages loaded and running. For Pandora that means competing with the music player for "who starts first when I plug in the headphones" (even though none are "active" and I just want them both to stfu). For the OS that means juggling a bunch of empty, pointless applications I don't want running - voice search, voice dialer, city ID, THREE different messaging apps (two built-in, hardcoded ones, AND Handcent, which I used to replace the buggy built-in one), Gallery, Settings, Backup assistant, Skype, Amazon MP3, Visual VM... about two thirds of that crap I have NO interest in running, and yet the OS is automatically launching them and letting them take up valuable battery life with interrupts and status polling... oh my god if there's a way to tear through the Android scheduler and rip out all these damn garbage useless apps, I would in a heartbeat. I know they're eating CPU and battery resources. The system becomes sluggish as hell, for example when I'm receiving an incoming call and can't slide to answer, or I'm on the dialer page and can't mash the "call" button... I can just go to QuitIt, mash "close all", and the whole system SPRINGS back to life. The only reason the "misconception about task killers" exists is because the botched Android task scheduler allows many (but not all!) of these programs to re-open themselves moments later, negating the huge performance increase realized by running the task killer. It's got nothing to do with memory or "holding empty memory", it's got to do with what these greedy, irritating, pointless programs want to do with the phone-off time.



    With that said, not understanding the issue is hardly a reason to call it a non-issue. The camera issue is pretty well described: try to take a photo with the flash, it'll compensate for the flash, discard the compensation settings for the flash, indicate that the compensation settings and focus is set and ready, then try to make a quick mis-judgement of the exposure when the flash goes off the second time. That's just downright, disgustingly, disturbingly sloppy programming. Nothing at all to do with being a phone camera... it's just sloppy software.



    Hey, other than that, I'm very very happy with my Ally. It can do pretty much anything my laptop could do on the road, and as a result my laptop is seeing much more desk time. It's my first real Smartphone and I think I made an extraordinary choice. But it's just that these things are so obvious, so simple to fix (just usability issues and lack of testing for the most part), that bugs me. Probably also that they're so "little" things, that nobody ever really brought it up to LG or Google.



    Speaking of Google... Google isn't without their own glaring issues. I can't be the only person that thinks the pinch-zoom functionality in Maps is absolutely appalling next to Apple's implementations? I can hardly get pinch-zoom to zoom to a spot reasonably close to where I let my fingers off the screen...



    edit: Though I would love to know how you managed to keep the music player from pulling all your ringtones and stuff into your music collection...

  5. #4
    Android Jr Member Darkhorse153's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FalconFour View Post
    QuitIt, which quits the background process that [b]ALWAYS CONSUME RESOURCES despite what so-called "experts" have an opinion on... and the latest update caused QuitIt to begin disappearing from the apps list.
    Yup, this is really annoying. But remember certain apps are fundamental to android (browser, phone dialer, google voice, gmail to name a few) and killing them is pointless. You are using more resources by stopping them and forcing them to restart.



    Now I digress, other processes (most of the VZW installed services) dont need to run all the time. Most android apps that programmed properly should terminate upon closing the app. Others stay live and do need to be killed.



    Quote Originally Posted by FalconFour View Post
    1) Pull down the notification bar at the top of the screen like a shade. Read that there's nothing to see. Throw the bar back up.
    I had this same problem as well, like they coded some sort of rubber band effect into the notification bar. Know thats something that LG did but most custom roms fix that. In fact I would say just using laucher pro could fix it, but I dont have a stock ally to test it on.



    Quote Originally Posted by FalconFour View Post
    2e) Find that there are no options in the music program, and absolutely no place on the SD card that a voice note or otherwise "non-music" file is "safe" from the clutches of the MUSIC LIBRARY. To the music library... every piece of audio is a song.
    I havent had this issue, did you make a folder on the root of your SD card called music and put all your music there?



    Quote Originally Posted by FalconFour View Post
    3b) Instead of the camera coming up, it comes up with the last photo you had open. wtf?
    Quote Originally Posted by FalconFour View Post
    4d) Give up on storing the perfect image shown on the screen during preview. Take a different angle so the flash is more diffused. Place a paper over the flash to diffuse/dim it.
    I highly recommend ditching the stock camera app for Camera Magic. It opens so much faster and takes pictures alot faster and better than the ****ty one that comes with the Ally.

    I think you would be pleased with it and its free. The really did mess up by not having a dual stage led flash though.



    Quote Originally Posted by FalconFour View Post
    5b) Wtf? I just took like 10 photos of this thing trying to make it show up. None of them are here.
    Never had this issue either. Maybe the files are still getting written to the SD card because you took 10 images to fast?



    Quote Originally Posted by FalconFour' date='11 October 2010 - 10:25 PM' timestamp='1286853909' post='1000008275

    6b) Come to realize that even though you took the photo at 2048x1536 or something, Gallery will only decode and process the first ~640x480px of the image, so even though you're zooming in to see more detail that's contained in the image, it won't display more detail.
    I havent seen this either, my photos open in a pixelated view and after a second or two the phone uncompresses the jpeg and I can see and zoom any part of the pic. Maybe your software is faulty, but Id like to hear if others are having the issue....



    Quote Originally Posted by FalconFour' date='11 October 2010 - 10:25 PM' timestamp='1286853909' post='1000008275

    I can't see how these programs made it out of usability testing...
    Understand your frustration but the beauty of having a android phone is if you dont like something about it, you can fix it. Maybe not out of the box but if you look around you find the tools you need to get it done, unlike the iTurd where your stuck with what apple gives ya.



    Android isnt for everybody.






  6. #5
    Android Lurker FalconFour's Avatar
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    Camera Magic, aye? I'd been looking for a replacement but Market seems to be going out of its way to make finding photo apps difficult... like Google itself, the results are flooded with irrelevant entries - theme packs for various apps, photo packs, whatever, but no camera apps. Thanks for the tip!



    As to the zooming problem, yeah, it behaves just as you describe it - it starts off pixelated, then it uncompresses a larger version of the image, but it seems that in its infinite quest to be a "3D photo viewer" (wtf?), it loads a certain resolution of the image into a flat object texture, so when you zoom around all it does is move the shape around. Problem is, it's a fixed resolution texture, that doesn't improve when you zoom in. So you can zoom in and see slightly more detail, but if you have a 2048x1536 image, you'll only end up being able to see about 800x600px of detail - zooming beyond that, it blurs even though there's more detail in the original. I downloaded "Large Image Viewer" to view the rest of the detail in some of my photos and it works great - very smooth to scroll and pinch-zoom. Just wish the original Gallery did the same.



    And the gallery 10-images-at-once thing, it even sometimes happens when I take 1 photo... it could just be that I have too many pictures in my "camera" folder, I was thinking of renaming that folder and starting a new one. Worth a try...



    I have a "music" folder on my SD card but my music is split between Downloads and Music - most of the music I have, I transferred via HTTP download from my server over WLAN (not a portable "music library" kind of guy, more "mix playlist"). Some of them I've moved to Music, others are left in Downloads, but even the MP3 files I've got stored in, say, the Photos folder, or the "recordings" folder, get picked up by the media player. So it's put me in a sort of position of "no folder is safe"... if I've got recordings or other non-music audio files I want to keep on there, there's no way to take them out of the music library! So if I have my whole list on shuffle, I end up stumbling across those non-music files waaaay too often. Only non-music file I've had it *not* pick up is a ringtone I made and added to it (on the PC). That's kinda surprising...



    Definitely considering rooting the thing, though, if nothing else, to be able to take screenshots.

  7. #6
    Android Lurker FalconFour's Avatar
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    Just as some more experience that task killers are a necessity on Android, I just had an unwanted alarm start going off (that I forgot to shut off), and I couldn't mash the "Dismiss" button - it just kept blaring while it was trying to draw the screen and activate the "dismiss" button... slowly churning along with "Doo-doo-doo... good morning!...". It then buffered my repeated screen mashings and opened the calendar app (which was under the dismiss button, unrelated to the alarm function). Went straight for the task manager, found out that, sure enough, if it's not the Bluetooth driver causing hangups, it's the g***amn gallery app!! Something-something "cooliris" eating up all remaining CPU time. Tap it, Gallery comes up. Killed the task, phone came back to life... wouldn't happen at all if gallery would quit when I exit it...

  8. #7
    Android Sr Member jcsallyuser's Avatar
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    A couple of things here. FalconFour, I have had some of these same issues, and pretty much dismissed them as quirks of a $50 smart phone. I have dealt with the issue about photos not showing up in the gallery in a timely fashion. In my experience, that's happened when I've taken a lot of photos, and when I've taken a lot of photos quickly. My theory is that it is slow writing them to the card, and the gallery can't see them until they are in the DCIM folder. And the more information you have stored on the card, the slower the writing process, I suspect.



    And yes, there are apps out there that will probably solve some of your issues. But some of your issues I think are probably the result of the operator working at or beyond the limits of the phone. The Ally doesn't have a Snapdragon processor, and the internal memory is also quite small. You might need to upgrade to a more-powerful phone, such as the Incredible from HTC or the Droid 2 from Moto.



    You shouldn't have to be so frustrated with your phone. I am curious: Did you talk to Verizon during your first 30 days, when you could have exchanged the phone for a more-powerful model?

  9. #8
    Android Junkie allyAndroid's Avatar
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    Just as an FYI, the class of the SD card makes a difference in how quickly something is saved. Class 2 is the slowest and Class 10 is the fastest. The LG came with a Class 4.
    Motorola Droid 4

  10. #9
    Android Lurker FalconFour's Avatar
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    Unamused. I'm not even talking about slow performance or lack of memory or any of that stuff.



    I'm talking about buggy software. Low price point is no excuse for buggy software. Yes, I realize it's a $50 phone (which is all I paid for it too). I'm talking about buggy software with usability problems that should have easily been fixed before it got out the door, or at least during an update.



    But if I'm the only person that can see these problems, then oh well, at least I tried. *shrug*

  11. #10
    Android Lurker Taten91's Avatar
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    I have that problem with my notification bar every once in awhile. I've become accustomed to just tapping the bar at the bottom of the screen to close it rather than trying to "throw" it.

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