Captivate: More on the Froyo update, and a tip

I just wanted to share my continued delight with the long-awaited Froyo update for my Captivate, and also offer a tip.

Froyo absolutely improved my relationship with my phone 🙂 In no particular order, I love the many little visual tweaks, teh speedy, the fact that you can now finally turn data traffic on and off without arcane codes (just long-press the power button and choose from the menu), the ability to talk via Skype (voice only, but still), and the subtly improved Gmail app.

The infamous Captivate lag (see my previous post for details) is less pronounced, but after a week of regular use I have to say that it’s definitely not gone. The temptation to root and "lagfix" my phone is still there. On the other hand, with rumors of Samsung regaling us (or at least some Galaxy S phones) with Gingerbread at some point in the not-so-near (sic) future, I’m a bit reluctant to run the risk of getting myself in serious trouble (as in, bricking my phone). On yet another hand (aren’t we economists known to be multi-armed creatures?), even if the rumors are true, it will probably be so long before we get Gingerbread that I will probably qualify for an upgrade at subsidized prices, in which case why not play with my Cappy a bit? Overall, I think I’ll wait a bit longer before I take the plunge.

Now for the tip. After a few days of regular use, I noticed that battery life was a bit worse than before the update. It was not horrible, mind you—I could still easily make it through the day. However, the charge remaining at the end of a typical day was around maybe 20% or 30%, instead of 40% or thereabouts. That made me wonder if something was amiss: I had not installed any new app and/or started any new background processes.

To make a long story short, I checked the Wifi sleep settings, and noticed that the default was for WiFi to never enter sleep mode. I think this may have changed from Eclair, or perhaps I had specifically set the sleep policy soon after getting my Captivate. Anyway, my advice is to go to Settings, Wireless and Networks, WiFi settings; then tap the menu button and select Advanced, then go to Wi-Fi sleep policy and choose "When screen turns off". This surely does not hurt, and based on my observations this afternoon, I think it is helping.

Bottom line: if you have battery issues, check your WiFi sleep settings. I’ll report back if further issues arise.

One more thing: I think I may perhaps have found a way to partially remedy the "USB connected" issue I was having with my Captivate (see my previous post). The bad news is that it’s most likely a hardware issue—a faulty contact in the vicinity of the USB port. The OK news is that I may have found a way to make the notification (and attendant problems) go away in a very "hands-on" way… but, I want to be sure before I post about this, and more importantly, I don’t want to jinx it 🙂

Coming up: I am planning a post on the different Android keyboards I have tried; as usual, my intention is to focus on the ones that I have actually used for an extended period of time. I will also report on my ongoing efforts to port the LaTeX plugin to the new, shiny, cross-platform version 2 of Sublime Text. Stay tuned!


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