I got sick of Android. Again.

After enjoying years with windows phone, I got an Android phone in early 2017. This allowed me to use some apps I didn’t have on my windows phone. Also, my windows phone had some hardware issues, and was no longer software supported in any way.

I got a budget Android from HTC. Desire 628, with the very obsolete Lollipop. A reliable device. Nothing special. Pretty bad camera with awful over-sharpening that ruins most photos. Yet I was able to use some apps I couldn’t before, and the browsing experience is better on Android compared to Windows phone 8.1  Ive had the device a few months and have used it as my daily driver for that time. In that few months, my dislike of Android has grown back. A later version of Android doesn’t make it much better.

When I use Android, I NOTICE that I am using something that needs to be coaxed, forced, to do what I want it to do. I have to expel energy to make it do what I want. Using Android requires effort, even though I am very familiar with it.

My device always finds some little way to make my task unnecessarily difficult. So many little things have some small way that they don’t work properly. The device just doesn’t want to cooperate with me. Entering text into text boxes in Android is a genuinely annoying experience, in many apps, across the OS. I have never enjoyed using my android device.

I continued to use my windows phone quite a lot. For any photo that needed to be decent, and also for entering a lot of text. if I write more than a short note, I will use my windows phone to type it out. its just easier and faster.

When I use my windows 8.1 phone, I just use it and I don’t think about using the phone, I think about what I want to write, or photograph. I don’t notice the device being uncooperative. I just do what I want to do and then go onto whatever is next. Its just easy – except the browsing experience.

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I got sick of Android. Again.

Finally some of us back up our files

For decades, tech journalists and IT professionals kept telling us to back up our files.

Mostly, we didn’t.

It was just too much hassle.

Now, finally, a more powerful motivator has arisen. Malware. Especially ransomware (even pretend ransomware).

All over the world, millions are backing up their data.

Once.

Then, when the media tells us once again that the internet will die, we back it up again. Once. And get back to whatever social media we use.

A small minority will take some thought to the issue of backing up, and decide to use some cloud drive for some important files. Purely for the purpose of being able to stop worrying about backing up files – or because the files are legally important.

However, many of us will just have some old backups that correspond to the time of global ransomware attacks.

Finally some of us back up our files

Windows 10 S – the future of Windows

Eventually, Windows will not allow installation of .exe apps.

For many Windows users, there will grinding of teeth, and suffering at the hands of change. Yet most users will be unaffected by this change, because they will no longer have any need for .exe apps, and not have any installed.

For security and other reasons, the “sandboxed” app model will fully replace all .exe apps. App developers will all port their .exe apps to store apps. Store apps are called “sandboxed” because they have restricted access to the OS and to other apps – and gain access in a controlled way by requesting “permissions”. However, .exe apps don’t have these restrictions and have the power to do a lot of damage.

Note that Microsoft has NOT officially stated that this will happen – but I am pointing out the steady progress toward this outcome.

The app package model is easier to manage, keep secure, control battery life and things that cost the user money. It has many other advantages over .exe apps.

It will be possible to install apps from outside of the store, but they must be application packages like store apps.

When most popular .exe apps have been ported to the store, Microsoft will likely start pushing the transition to ending .exe app installations. This may take a few years. There are many widely installed apps that are available only as .exe, and this even includes the Microsoft software used for making store apps.

There’s no need to panic. It will take a while to happen – and most people wont be inconvenienced.

Windows 10 S – the future of Windows

A Beautiful Android Home Screen IS Possible

People spend incredible amounts of time making their Android home screen just how they want it.2017-05-08 android home screen

Not I.

And I will share with you the secret of making a beautiful home screen.

NO ICONS.

It really is that simple. Icons are just ugly. There’s no avoiding this simple fact.

On the right is my current home screen. Nice, huh? Because its not spoiled by ugly icons.

It only has one widget, the word clock (FiveTime). Most widgets are also pretty ugly, and just cant be on my home screen.

But I still have icons. just a swipe to the left and I have all that ugly stuff. 2 screens of things that I need to access quickly. I don’t mind an extra swipe to open apps – it prevents the trauma of seeing icons when I only want to use the pull down menu.

I used to have the camera icon at the bottom right so that I could open the camera from the lock screen, but it was SO UGLY that I had to get rid of it – and let go of that easier way to open the camera.

Disclaimer:  I haven’t really sacrificed much – I have an old windows phone with a dedicated camera button and OIS, and I just use that as my camera. Even when I had the ugly camera icon on my Android home screen, it was still easier to just grab my windows phone and hold the camera button until it is ready to take a photo or video.

There’s no going back to a device without a dedicated camera button, and not forever missing it.

A Beautiful Android Home Screen IS Possible

HTC Accessories Quality

This isn’t really a review, more of an anecdote.HTC 2010 headphones

My HTC headphones died today. They no longer play any sound. Probably because I started winding them more tightly recently, and broke the wires.

They worked perfectly as my main headphones, for 7 years.

The screenprinted branding had almost worn off. The mesh covers had many dents. And they kept on, until now.

They came in the box with my first smartphone, a HTC Wildfire running Android 2.2 Froyo.

HTC Accessories Quality

Windows fan site recommends android phone for those leaving Windows Mobile

This really amused me. It also shows the mood of those watching the current decline of Windows Mobile.

The fan website Windows Central, has published an article to recommend a specific android phone, to windows phone users that are leaving – especially those not familiar with android.

Recently, a shift happened in the WinMo community. I mean April 2017. It felt like their hope for WinMo10 just slid off them, and they had finally stopped hoping for a recovery of the platform they love to use.

The same thing happens to me at the same time, I really noticed it.

From reading others comments and comparing my own impressions, I put this collective shift down to:

1. Lack of information about Microsoft intention for the platform. They just repeat the same line of being committed to it, without actually producing anything to convince anyone they really are committed to it. Its not enough for people, for too long. Personally, I think they are as they say, they have a strategy, but nothing concrete to announce.

2. An absence of new devices running WinMo10. It has been a while since anyone released a new device for this platform. This says to the world that manufacturers aren’t sure they can make a profit of of it.

3. The latest "creators update", wont support a few older devices (years and years old!), yet there aren’t new devices to take their place. The range of choices is shrinking. Perhaps this was the thing that triggered the recent shift.

Microsoft hasn’t much to show at the moment, but it has made its intention clear, repeatedly. It knows mobile is a huge deal and its looking for a way to get back in. It clearly wants windows running on mobile devices.

Currently MS is doing something successfully by providing its services on all the major mobile platforms. This will help future platform uptake.

What will actually cause people in large numbers to change to WinMo in this unusually poor economic climate? Maybe now is just the wrong time.

Its worth looking back at the very successful windows phone, the Lumia 520. That single device was responsible for so much platform growth. It got people started with windows mobile. Tizen is repeating this right now with budget devices that get people into their new platform, selling millions.

"Its cheap, I’ll try it. If its actually decent, I’ll tell"

Maybe Microsoft needs to return to this with mobile, and get some new fans. A great browser experience with extensions for social media would help too.

Windows fan site recommends android phone for those leaving Windows Mobile

Visual Studio Error: Registration of the app failed. Another/The current user has already installed a packaged version of this app.

This error in Visual Studio has some complicated solutions online, but a simple way can fix the problem. Only the package causing the problem needs to be deleted.

  1. Login to the user account causing the problem
  2. Open PowerShell as administrator
  3. PS C:\> get-appxpackage -all   to find the FULL package name
  4. PS C:\> Remove-AppxPackage example1_1.0.0.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe

More Information:

This error can happen if you deploy your app for testing in multiple users, or you use different users to build and test apps. Or if you decide to play around with your user accounts.

You will see this kind of info in the error message – copy it to notepad or something:

The conflicting package is <<YourApp package short name>> and it was published by CN=<<publisher ID>>. (0x80073cf9)

Using only PowerShell opened as administrator, this package can be removed.

If the error says “ANOTHER USER”,  rather than “THE CURRENT USER”, then login to the other user that you think is the one that has the package installed.

Then, use the PS command to get all the app packages. you may need to >cd C:\

PS C:\> get-appxpackage -all

There will be so many – best to copy the whole output text into notepad or something, and search for the app name in the Visual Studio error message. Copy the FULL app name.

example: package1_1.0.0.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe

Then use this command to delete the package

PS C:\> Remove-AppxPackage package1_1.0.0.0_neutral__8wekyb3d8bbwe

Try again to deploy the app from Visual Studio.

Visual Studio Error: Registration of the app failed. Another/The current user has already installed a packaged version of this app.