Is there anyway to make my Samsung Captivate not suck?

raz-0

Supreme [H]ardness
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Mar 9, 2003
Messages
4,704
I have had an iphone 3gs for a while now (my own). Work just got me a samsung captivate and stuck me with the job of being designated hitter for android mobile support.

(For anyone interested, all the bitches you see in captivate reviews about the GPS are justified. It's slow, sloppy, and power hungry)

I'd really like the thing to not suck. I figured you guys might be able to save me the hassle of figuring out the fixes from zero.

1) Probably the biggest gripe is marketplace. Who knew that google, the kings of search, could make something that is harder to find stuff on than the app store? Got any good 3rd party sites for finding good apps?

2) wi-fi. Most of my data use is over wi-fi, I suspect the captivate has a crappy antenna. The reception on it is worse than pretty much every other wi-fi device I own. But if by chance it's due to some OS shenanigans, I'm happy to listen to any suggestions to try improving it.

3) Battery life. Short version is it sucks. Freshly charged with 15 minute syncing, and everything disabled except 3g, it doesn't even make it 24 hours with the screen locked and me doing absolutely nothing. I cleared out the running apps with advanced task killer, so only the basic integrated functions were running. Any more suggestions? In the worst case, I set it up to use wi-fi at home, charged it at work, unhooked it and within 2 hours, it was trying to brun a hole in my pocket and telling me to plug it in again. Don't know what it was doing.

4) Calendaring. It's active sync support is similar to the iphones, which has the same problem of only syncing one calendar. However, with the iphone, there's caldav support. Which allows me to sync all the calendars I need for work. I tried one caldav app that shoves stuff into the local calendar, but it' was pretty broken with regards to recurring events. (calendar sync beta from hypermatix). It's the only thing that shows up in marketplace for caldav.

5) E-reader. I love Stanza on the iphone. Aldiko is ok, but it's ability to search online catalogs is pretty piss poor, and page turns and chapter loads are kind of laggy. Is there anything better? The screen is great, so I'd kind of like to find something just as usable.

6) Keyboard management. Swype is pretty awesome if I am writing an email. Absolutely sucks for URLs, entering passwords and other stuff (maybe it'll learn eventually, but teaching it passwords seems like a bad idea). Is there any way to swap keyboards quickly that I am missing?
 

YeuEmMaiMai

Fully [H]
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
19,240
I dunno what to tell you buty GPS and Wifi haul ass on my HD2 and even with "N" enabled my battery will easily make it a day+ on a charge

is A-GPS enabled? I turn it off on my phone since it only makes a real diference when you are in a crappy area like down town....

is there an option on the phone for wifi performance vs battery life? If there is, move it to the performance option
 

Neurofreeze

2[H]4U
Joined
Jan 11, 2002
Messages
2,523
The Captivate would make a pretty shoddy work phone. It's great for an enthusiast who likes to tweak their phone, but I would never suggest it for work.

First and foremost I'd say that its software support is terrible, as many of us on these boards have stated. All other major manufacturers have upgraded their top-end phones to 2.2 (which is a big step for secure exchange servers) while we're not even sure if we'll get it by end of October.

1) Yes, there are websites for searching android apps. I also find it ridiculous that the king of search has such terrible search functionality for its own app market. There's tons of website search engines for them, but most of them just emulate the poor functionality of the built-in market app (like androlib.com or android.com/market, androidtapp.com looked decent) . I haven't really looked into them. Maybe there's a really good one out there but if there is, I haven't seen it.

2) I really haven't noticed my wi-fi being any better or worse than those around me with other android or iphones, so I can't really help you there.

3) What exactly are you running? 15 minute syncing is pretty high but wouldn't explain the battery drain (mine is normally set to 30 minutes). What does the battery stats say is using up power? Last time I left my phone alone for the majority of the time with the screen locked as you had, I lasted over 48 hours before I decided to start recharging again (and there was still quite a bit left). I also don't use any kind of task manager. I'm leaning on something wrong with the actual battery, as two hours should not be enough time to drain it regardless of what you could feasibly do, unless you were running a flashlight app at 100% power that entire time. Perhaps the battery isn't calibrated or it's simply faulty.

4) Pure Grid and Pure Calendar are excellent widgets that sync with multiple calendars and task schedulers, however they cost money. CalendarPad widget had much of the same functionality and is free, however looks ugly. I haven't tried much beyond that though, and I was very widget-oriented, not pure app oriented.

5) I don't know anything about that as my two e-readers are simply the B&N and Amazon official e-reader apps. However the laggy page turning is likely due to Samsung's terrible file system (RFS). There's a fix for that too (as far as apps go it's somewhat complicated and will void your warranty via rooting; search for OCLF, it'll speed up everything on the phone), however it shouldn't have been needed in the first place. There's also more elegant solutions like making the entire file system ext4. I'm hoping that'll be standard for Galaxy S devices when 2.2 finally comes around.

6) Long-press the text area, a pop-up will appear that says "Input Method". That will allow you to switch keyboards quite easily.

There's pretty much a solution to nearly everything for Galaxy S devices, however a lot of it really shouldn't be needed in the first place.

The GPS chip inside the Captivate is supposedly a very good one (BCM 4751, which is supposedly better than most GPS chips found in smartphones), so the fault lies solely on Samsung dropping the ball with software (again).
 

entropism

2[H]4U
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Dec 23, 2004
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Raz, stop syncing mail every 15 minutes (use push or once per hour) and stop using a task killer. It's linux, not windows, it can manage memory just fine without a shoddily programmed mess mucking things up. 90% of the android problems in my store are resolved by removing advanced task killer.
 

raz-0

Supreme [H]ardness
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Raz, stop syncing mail every 15 minutes (use push or once per hour) and stop using a task killer. It's linux, not windows, it can manage memory just fine without a shoddily programmed mess mucking things up. 90% of the android problems in my store are resolved by removing advanced task killer.
Push would just mean I basically download mail constantly. Anything more than 15 minutes is nearly useless for work. Anything less kills the battery way too fast. I get about 32 hours out of my 3GS with moderate use (for me) and 15 minute sync.

As for the task killer causing problems, Every problem I had was either unrelated to that type of thing in general, or occurred before installing it.
 

SixtyWattMan

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I can get up to two days out of my Captivate. Something is wrong. Attempting to flash Froyo now.
 

entropism

2[H]4U
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Raz, push email uses less power than polling the servers every 15 minutes, depending on how much email you get throughout the day.
 

artimusbill

Limp Gawd
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Jul 29, 2003
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The only suggestion I have is for battery life. Have you turned the screen brightness down? I turned the brightness all the way down on my Vibrant/Galaxy S. Not a huge difference visually for me, and major gains in battery life. I can go a day and a half, maybe two days of moderate use now.
 

Machupo

Gravity Tester
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Nov 14, 2004
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5,193
Wow, I usually get two full days out of my captivate. The GPS issue is a software problem and there are some tweak guides on XDA. If the leaked Froyo rom looks good, I'll probably go that route, otherwise there is a lag fix guide on XDA that speeds the phone and market up quite a bit.
 

ppp353

Weaksauce
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Nov 24, 2005
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I get 2 days as well out of my captivate with moderate use. GPS is not an issue for me since its built into both of my vehicles already, and I just leave it turned off.

I had trouble with the OTA update after using OCLF, and had to use ODIN to get back to stock, then use Kies mini to update. I will wait for the official release of 2.2 to update.

Use launchpro instead of TWlauncher to speed things up a little bit.
 

raz-0

Supreme [H]ardness
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Mar 9, 2003
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4,704
The only suggestion I have is for battery life. Have you turned the screen brightness down? I turned the brightness all the way down on my Vibrant/Galaxy S. Not a huge difference visually for me, and major gains in battery life. I can go a day and a half, maybe two days of moderate use now.
It's not all the way down, but it's far from full brightness. I'll have to try a new combination of the suggestions and do another more controlled battery usage test.

Also, what's the best way to put max load on the cpu? I want to see if my captivate getting really hot was the CPU working hard, or a bad cell in the battery.
 

Jaerb4

Gawd
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May 10, 2008
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AppBrain for a better Marketplace
http://www.appbrain.com/

With Swype, you can still touch type. It's not as good as the iPhone/HTC keyboards for regular touch typing but like you said, it's only for short things like URLs.
 

kllrnohj

Supreme [H]ardness
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Apr 1, 2003
Messages
6,845
Push would just mean I basically download mail constantly. Anything more than 15 minutes is nearly useless for work. Anything less kills the battery way too fast. I get about 32 hours out of my 3GS with moderate use (for me) and 15 minute sync.
Actually push means you are basically never downloading mail. Always, always, *ALWAYS* use push. Likewise, use the gmail app for your gmail accounts, NOT the email app. The gmail app has push, or seems to.

As for the task killer causing problems, Every problem I had was either unrelated to that type of thing in general, or occurred before installing it.
As far as you know, anyway. Task killers are the devil. Remove them. With the way Android is architected, task killers can very easily result in using *more* battery, and basically never cause the device to use less.
 

Thor

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As far as you know, anyway. Task killers are the devil. Remove them. With the way Android is architected, task killers can very easily result in using *more* battery, and basically never cause the device to use less.
this, i have one installed, and only use it if an app is giving me an issue and dont have the time for a full reboot. any app/widget you have on the desktop, be it home screen or other side screens will automatically reload after you have killed them. it eats up battery pretty fast.

my biggest gripe about android phones is that nobody bother to enforce a rule saying that your app has to have a quit feature... the blockbuster app for example.. once you load it, your can hit back, but if you look in ATK, it is still running its service, and syncs all the damn time.. with no way to turn it off... killing it only makes it come back. the only way i have found to get rid of it is to hook the phone up and delete the config files for blockbuster and reboot the phone. (you might be able to see them from the phone if the phone is rooted, but i see no reason to root my phone.. yet.)
 
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