April 1, 2020

Cell Phones

I have been using a cell phone (like most of the so called civilized world) for several years now. I have always intended to learn more about the technology involved and collect some notes .... right here. But I never seem to get around to it.

New phone (google Pixel 6)

After 5 months of stewing about what to do, I ordered a Pixel 6 on April 20, 2022. It arrived on April 27 and I put it into service April 28.



Easy from the phone, but from the desktop? There is a Chrome extension, "Desktop for Instagram" that seems to be the easiest option.


I have always used Verizon and been entirely satisfied with their service. There seems to be some validity to their claims to have a reliable network. Note that there are two "schemes" of cell phone transmission and encoding: They are incompatible, and a phone designed to work on a CDMA network may be hardware incompatible with a GSM network. Apple is the only maker I know of that sells phones that can work on either network -- though this may depend on the specific model number. The carriers have various stupid rules also that may limit your ability to change from one carrier to another, though this is always in a state of flux.

My Phones

Android tips

To move an APP from device storage to the SD card -- go to Settings, More, App manager. This gives you a list of your apps. Visit each one, it should have a button that says "Move to SD card" (sometimes this is greyed out).

Text clients - Chomp SMS

Years ago I switched from the default android client to "chompSMS". I liked it well, but some issues arose that made me want to switch. Namely ads and some bugs sending messages.

Text clients - Handcent (forget it!)

Just today (11-30-2020) I switched from "chomp" to "handcent" which labels itself as "Next SMS". The motivating thing was sending text messages and finding out hours later that the text had not been sent. This typically happens when I am in a remote area and send something very important. I want a notification that slaps me in the face if a message doesn't go out, not just a flag that I will see days later when I revisit the thread. It remains to be seen if "handcent" will do better. But I already like one thing -- when I have several recipients, it shows me all of them up front in a compact way.

I like Handcent, except for one thing. It is murder on my battery life. Others are complaing also, while some are in denial. A common suggestion is to go to "Go SMS". To be more specific, I took my phone off the charger mid morning (10 AM) and by 9PM the battery is nearly dead. I could go for nearly 2 days before Handcent came along.

So we gave Handcent less than 24 hours. It was nice, at least I liked the way it showed conversations with multiple people much better than chomp. I didn't have enough time to get to evaluate other features. I am not sure about Go SMS, I wish Handcent didn't have this stupid battery issue as it looked pretty nice. I corresponded with the handcent team and they sent me various versions to try, none of which solved anything. I gave up.

Text clients - Textra (looks promising ...)

Now it is July 15, 2021 and I am going to try another text app, this time "Textra". Two things are motivating this. One is that about a month ago, "Chomp" started injecting ads. I can pay a one time "pro" fee that is less than $5. For life they say, but do I believe them? Even more annoying is a bug where I get errors trying to respond to multi participant mails and even some old message threads. This could be a global android problem, but switching to Textra may help diagnose that.

Getting photos from an Android phone to linux

Have any comments? Questions? Drop me a line!

Tom's Cell Phones / tom@mmto.org