Gain­ing space on An­droid after ART->Dalvik switch (root ac­cess re­quired)

I (still) use a Nex­us S phone. I am us­ing Cy­ano­gen­mod on it. After an art­icle in a com­puter magazine I de­cided to give the ART-​runtime a try in­stead of the de­fault Dalvic-​runtime. Un­for­tu­nately I do not have enough free space free (and all what I can is moved to the USB stor­age already) to really use the ART-​runtime.

After switch­ing back to the Dalvic-​runtime, I had only 23 of the pre­vi­ously avail­able space free. After a little bit of look­ing around I found /​data/​dalvik-​cache. I de­leted with a file man­ager the con­tent of the dir­ect­ory (you will get some “app crashed/​died” mes­sages) and re­booted the phone (this is not the same as format­ting the cache par­ti­tion in the re­cov­ery sys­tem).

Dur­ing boot it pop­u­lated the dir­ect­ory again and now I have more than 43 of free space on the in­tern­al stor­age.

Does every geek take a photo of Google in Zürich?

Maybe not all… my col­leagues wouldn’t have gone there if I wouldn’t have said some­thing…

To be hon­est, I would have ex­pec­ted some­thing a little bit more shiny/​geeky/​… to take a pic­ture of (any­way, if you don’t see it: I have a real smile in my face on the pic­ture, so the geek in me en­joyed tak­ing the photo).


Alexander Leidinger in front of Google CH
Me in front of Google CH


Google CH
Google CH


ICS ex­per­i­ence on the Samasung Galaxy Tab 10.1

As told be­fore, I have the ICS as provided by Sam­sung (to it is not the stock ICS, it is the Samsung-​version of ICS)  on the Galaxy Tab 10.1. Now that it is nearly two months of us­ing it, I want to share a little bit of my ex­per­i­ence.

Ba­sic­ally it just works. If you know ICS already, you more or less know how it is on the Galaxy Tab 10.1.

The cal­en­dar app is dif­fer­ent, it is the Sam­sung app, not the nat­ive ICS one. I have a prob­lem to sync it with the exchange-​connector as it is in Horde 4, but I did not take the time to in­vest­ig­ate the is­sue. My Nex­us S con­nects just fine, so it must be some modi­fic­a­tion by Sam­sung which is caus­ing the is­sue.

Some­times the tab­let hangs, and I have to shut­down by press­ing the power but­ton for some seconds. This only hap­pens when con­nec­ted via WLAN. When I start the tab­let again, it will hang again if I am not fast enough to enter the PIN of the SIM, un­lock the screen and to de­ac­tiv­ate the WLAN. But even then it will hang after the de­ac­tiv­a­tion of the WLAN. After re­boot­ing the second time (with WLAN already de­ac­tiv­ated), everything works again.

The email app is also stut­ter­ing some­times. This hap­pens when I open a folder with a lot of emails and the email app is try­ing to de­term­ine if there are at­tach­ments or not. Either the app is not multi-​threaded, or it is not well done.

Apart from that it just works.

The An­droid EMail app on ICS

In the re­view of the Email app of An­droid 3.2, I com­plained that the message-​list moves in a way that the se­lec­ted mes­sage is in the first place of the message-​list. This was an­noy­ing for my work­flow. In the An­droid 4.0.4 app (at least as it comes from Sam­sung for the Galaxy Tab 10.1) this changed so that it is the second item in the list in some cir­cum­stances (this does not hap­pen al­ways). This is bet­ter (some­what ac­cept­able) for my work­flow, but still, I would prefer if it is at least con­fig­ur­able. Do not move the list when I se­lect a mes­sage, ex­cept for mak­ing a par­tially vis­ible list-​item com­pletely vis­ible.

The oth­er point I did not like about the 3.2-app was the folder list moved so that the in­box is first when re­turn­ing to the list. Thank god this changed too.

The two big dis­ap­point­ing points I had about this app are mostly fixed in the ICS ver­sion.

ICS on the Sam­sung Galaxy Tab 10.1

Last week I had a look if there are some news for an of­fi­cial up­date of the Galaxy Tab 10.1 to ICS. To my sur­prise there is one at least in Italy. The one I found to down­load was marked more or less for the European mar­ket. Well… that was good enough for me and the night from Fri­day to Sat­urday I have spend to up­date the Tab by hand (un­for­tu­nately this in­cludes a fact­ory re­set, no smooth mi­gra­tion from an old ver­sion, but at least I still have root ac­cess).

What I no­ticed so far:

  • OpenGL ES speed im­proved from 4.2 to 6.6 FPS.
  • I had some lock-​ups so far, I do not know if this may be re­lated to some re­stored data (app data and e.g. Bluetooth/​WLAN con­fig re­stored with Ti­tani­um­Backup) or to bugs (Dalvik cache and cache par­ti­tion where clean, fact­ory re­set was done too pri­or to restor­ing from the backup). I had to press the power but­ton for some seconds to ini­ti­ate a re­boot. Most of the time it helped to wait a minute be­fore en­ter­ing the PIN for the SIM. One time it did not help at all, the only way to get it work­ing was to take my WLAN Ac­cess Point (AP) off­line, start the Tab, enter the PIN, and to re­start the AP. At that point I had GPS and WLAN in the Tab ac­tiv­ated, in the lock-​ups be­fore I did not have GPS act­ive. I had some­thing sim­il­ar like this with my Nex­us S when it got ICS, some­how this re­solved it­self. Up­date 2012-​08-​14: I googled a bit, there was a bug in ICS 4.0.3 re­lated to WLAN, but I have 4.0.4 on the Tab, so this may not be this. I also got the freeze without WLAN but with the mo­bile data con­nec­tion act­ive. 2nd up­date 2012-​08-​14: If I dis­able ac­count syncing with the mo­bile data con­nec­tion it does not freeze. I have not yet tried this with the WLAN con­nec­tion. Up­date 2012-​08-​16: The syn­chron­iz­a­tion of the cal­en­dar data caused the prob­lem. De­let­ing all data for any app with cal­en­dar in the name and re-​syncing fixed the prob­lem. No freeze since I did this yes­ter­day.
  • When I open/​close a folder (much missed fea­ture in An­droid 3.x), the Tab speaks with me (some­thing like “Folder XXX opened” in the con­figured lan­guage… that is a bit an­noy­ing).
  • I like the de­fault back­ground im­age.
  • Up­date 2012-​08-​14: The bat­tery icon does stay green even when the bat­tery is nearly empty. 🙁

I was not able to test the Email APP yet, I am wait­ing for a warranty-​replacement of the PSU of my serv­er at home (Murphy’s law: Your PSU will break when you just star­ted a big renov­a­tion of your kit­chen and do not have time to take care about it, and when you get time a lot of people from the PSU-​manufacturer which take care about warranty-​replacements are in hol­i­day).

I also need to check the mo­bile data con­nectiv­ity (qual­ity and speed), but I would ex­pect that it is not worse than be­fore. Up­date 2012-​08-​14: The down­load speed test shows sim­il­ar res­ults than be­fore, the up­load speed test is slower, but this may be the mo­bile net­work here where I tested. At least I can con­firm that it works, mod­ulo the prob­lem of the freezes de­scribed above.

Email app from An­droid 3.1 in An­droid 3.2?

As pre­vi­ously re­por­ted, I tried the up­date to An­droid 3.2 on my Tab and was not happy about the new EMail app. At the week­end I had a little bit of time, so I tried to get the Email.apk from An­droid 3.1 in­to An­droid 3.2.

Long story short, I failed.

Ti­tani­um­Backup PRO was restor­ing or hours (the op­tion to mi­grate from a dif­fer­ent ROM ver­sion was en­abled) un­til I killed the app, and it did not get any­where (I just emailed their sup­port if I did some­thing com­pletely stu­pid, or of this is a bug in TB). And a copy by hand in­to /​system/​apps did not work (app fails to start).

Ideas wel­come.

An­droid IMAP cli­ents re­view

My Galaxy Tab was run­ning An­droid 3.1 since I bought it. The in­cluded EMail cli­ent (not the GMail APP) was fine for me. Not as com­fort­able as a real desktop EMail cli­ent (I use Sylpheed-​Claws), and not as good as my web­mail in­ter­face (Horde/​IMP), but OK to handle 100 – 300 EMails a day. I liked the split in­to day/​week/​month in the list-​view for the EMails, be­ing able to se­lect a whole day (and deselect a sub­set) for quick ac­tions (delete/​move).

Yes­ter­day I up­dated the Tab to An­dorid 3.2. While there is now a nice trans­par­ence ef­fect avail­able in some places, and the Play-​Store has a dif­fer­ent user-​interface, the big dif­fer­ence for me is, that the be­ha­vi­or of the EMail cli­ent changed. When I view a mes­sage the message-​list moves the message-​list in a way that the se­lec­ted mes­sage is in the first po­s­i­tion of the message-​list. This is an­noy­ing, and I have not found a set­ting how to change this. This way I can not view the last dis­played mes­sage, se­lect it (or not), view the second last, se­lect it … and so on … and then de­lete all mes­sage at once.

I also no­ticed that the folder-​list is mov­ing. I have not no­ticed a spe­cif­ic pat­tern, but when I re­turn to the folder-​list I found the in­com­ing folder be­ing the first one dis­played, even if I was in a folder sev­er­al pages down. This is an­noy­ing too.

Well… this gave the op­por­tun­ity to have a look at oth­er EMail cli­ents. The first one was K-​9 Mail. The first bad im­pres­sion was, that the boxes to se­lect EMails are too small. I se­lect a lot of EMails to either de­lete them dir­ectly (a sub­set of ver­sion con­trol com­mit logs), or to move them to a dif­fer­ent folder. It is a nice app, but as I need to se­lect a lot, it is not really suit­able for my work­flow.

For the next app, Mail­Droid, I did not had the pos­sib­il­ity to ac­cept the self-​signed cer­ti­fic­ate of my IMAP-​server, so I de­leted it im­me­di­ately.

The next app was Mel­win Mail (tri­al ver­sion). It is based upon K-​9 Mail. The message-​selector boxes are big­ger, but the mesasge-​list does not dis­play the full sub­ject. This does not al­low me to see if I can de­lete the EMail un­read or not. I also did not find a way to en­large the message-​list to see more of the sub­ject (and I want to have the font-​size not too small). Well… this means it is not suit­able too.

I also wanted to look at Kaiten. It is based upon K-​9 Mail too. Un­for­tu­nately I do not find a tri­al ver­sion. Based upon my ex­per­i­ence with Mel­win Mail, I do not want to pay for some­thing, I may not want to use. On the web­site I do not see a link to screen­shots or sim­il­ar, only a change-​log.

All the “best EMail app” postings/​articles I was able to find (and have a look at) told that K-​9 Mail, is the best free one, and a lot of people re­com­mend Mel­win Mail or Kaiten. I can not agree for my work­flow. EMail apps have to go a long way un­til they reach a niveau which al­lows to handle more than a hand­ful of mails per day and a not so simple work­flow like “read all EMails as they flow in”.

Based upon this, I switched back to An­droid 3.1 on my Tab. While the in­cluded EMail cli­ent is not per­fect (e.g. I can not se­lect all EMails at once in search-​results), it is still bet­ter suited than what I have seen so far.

Un­for­tu­nately I can not really test 4.0.x on my Tab, the cam­era does not work in community-​based An­droid 4.0.x ver­sions, and I do not want to miss the pos­sib­il­ity to do a video-​call with my deaf broth­er.