Google, Allegedly, Rather Stupid Sports Cell Phone Option

July 6, 2019:  Tomorrow I want to watch the final women’s soccer match with the Netherlands.  I did a search on my cell phone to find out when the game would start.  Google presented a new cell phone option called “Sports”.  I decided to give this desktop option a try.  After I installed it into my phone, an option appeared: “Who you’re following” and World Cup was right under that text at the top of the cell phone screen.   “World Cup” thus showed up as the most prominent option.  I chose that menu option but it only showed 2018 games only.  I think those games were men’s.    I could not find 2019 games.  I had to go into “News” menu item and scroll down to find The Washington Post story “Locked on and still hungry, U.S. soccer enters World Cup final aware of its legacy.”  I click on that option and the news article shows.  I sill can NOT find the rather impossible male chauvinist, obfuscated, rather incompetent path to find any information on WOMEN”S SOCCER”!  I gave up looking for women’s soccer.  I deleted the Google option form my cell phone.  I am looking for news not history.  Simply incredible.  Simply stupid!  Simply incompetent.

LG V30 Cell Phone Does Work With Fitbit Ionic

LG V30 Cell Phone Does Work With Fitbit Ionic

I had a Fitbit Blaze and was really disappointed using it with my LG V30 cell phone. I did research and found some people claiming the Ionic would properly marry with my phone.   I found a good price in a local store and purchased it.  I have since found the Ionic to be pretty good marriage to my LG V30 phone.

Ionic wrist strap: Odd concept and a bit hard to attach. I personally do not like it. I found that the wrist band needs to be very tight to get best heart rate readings.
Link to phone: Good. Way better than the Blaze.  But, my wife and I went to Alaska where there was no WiFi.  We were in a location where the time change was one hour and the Ionic would not sync with the phone as to time for the whole trip.  I find it incompetent that the Ionic needs WiFi to sync and can not rely on Bluetooth.
Messages between phone and Ionic: Acceptable
Fitbit Cell Phone Application: Very good. (See below)
Global Position System (GPS):  Yes

Ionic Applications:

I did remove all the paid to use Ionic applications. I am nearly totally against paying monthly fees when not a necessity. I make it a habit to check my monthly credit card payments to see if there is any charge that I do not recognize. This is how I discovered money being sucked out of my bank account.  It is really easy to remove or add applications when using the cell phone Fitbit software.

Time: Accurate.
BPM or heart rate beats per minute: Way better than the Blaze but far from being accurate most of the time. The user understands that the unit not tight to the skin can make for a bad reading. When the reading jumps up to about 140, I know it is an error and I wait for it to provide a more accurate reading which does come shortly.
Steps: I can only guess it to be somewhat accurate.  When I get to the steps I set for the day, 10,000, the Ionic gives you a short fire works award display and it vibrates.
Calories: I have no idea how the Ionic comes up with this calculation. On the cell phone, you need to input what you eat using the cell phone application and then the cell phone unit does the math to deduct your exercise to come up with your calorie total.
Timer: Very good. Stopwatch and countdown included.
Alarms: Very good.
Tips: Not impressed.
Wallet: No verdict as I have not used this feature.
Relax: Never used this.?Exercise: Very good. You need to go to your Fitbit application on your phone and look for “Exercise Shortcuts” when viewing the Ionic sub menu. You can choose up to 7 items out of 9. You slide the one’s you like the most up to the top by placing your finger on the short 4 horizontal lines just to the left of the exercise.
Coach: Not impressed. I do not use it.
Settings: Includes some simple settings for you to consider and set.
Vibration: This occurs for alarms, rewards, notifications, etc.  Very good.
Display:  I found this display to be clear, sharp and detailed.  Very good.

Mileage: This pops up when you choose to walk or hike from the Exercise option. No way so far to determine how accurate it is but I just love to see how many miles I walk or hike.

Here are the free Ionic applications I have added:

News: Fair. Not as elegant at the NY Times
NY Times: Very good.
Weather: Pretty darn good. You can also add more than one weather reporting location for a total of 3.
Stocks:  Good for stocks that it offers but it does not track all stocks.
Torch: In case I need a flashlight the Ionic screen turn white and bright.
Med ID: A very nice simple application to show emergency responders some of your important medical information.
Wiki Places: Shows local places to consider visiting.
JayPS Maps: I can not use this application when I walk because I always run Exercise > Walk or Exercise > Hike. The Ionic is not able to run two applications at the same time so this application has never been used.  I am keeping this application as a backup to help me find my location in Alaska.

TIP: when looking at the clock face, use your finger and swipe downward and you should see news and notifications.  It took me quite some time to discover this.

NOTE: I gave my Fitbit Blaze to a friend who has a Apple cell phone and it works perfectly with that phone.

Disappointments:

  • When I set my Ionic to track my walk or hike, the unit seems incapable to multitask.  I can not see my messages or any other application.  Only one application at a time seems the rule.
  • A friend of mine, sent me a image with text message.  The text went to the Ionic.  The image did not and I do not expect it to. But, I think the image locked the text message into my Ionic so I could not get rid of the message.  I tried everything.  Nothing worked to erase the text message.  Finally, I had to press the left side button switch and the bottom right side button for a very long time to initiate a device reset.  The reset did erase the message.

Summary:  I have slowly warmed up to this device partly because it has taken me a lot of time to explore it’s many capabilities.  I have slowly grown to appreciate this Ionic and the cell phone Fitbit application because the marriage between the two really expands beyond them rated and used separately .

 

Posted April 18, 2019
Updated: May 16, 2019

LG-V30 Glass Screen Protector & Case Protection Review

I just upgraded my phone to an LG-V30 and being just over $800, I wanted to protect my investment.  I purchased an OtterBox case which comes with a belt clip.  I then decided to add for $44.99 a PureGear High Definition Tempered Glass screen.  That added screen protection decreased the screen sensitivity to my finger touches.  When I tried to type text, I had to keep going back and hit a particular key again.  I found this product quite annoying.

Otterbox LG-V30 Case Protection = Recommended for men.  For women, this might not look appropriate as it adds more thickness and side bulk.  For women, the belt clip, I just can not see any women using.

Otterbox case protection problem:  The LG-V30 comes with Qi technology that allows you to just set your phone on a wireless charger.  Problem is that there are many reports that Qi chargers fail to work with the Otterbox due to its thickness.   Here is my results so far (November 24, 2017):

  • I just happened to go to my local shopping mall and one of the vendors, Zagg, was selling Otterbox cases.  I asked about Qi chargers.  They had one and allowed me to put my cell phone on it.  It worked.  I did not see the box it came in but using a web site I think this is it – Mophie “charge force wireless charging base”.  Problem with this particular Qi charger is that there are a LOT of complaints that the company, Mophie, does not stand behind its products.
  • Still looking

PureGear screen protection = Not Recommended for careful users.  If you are in some business like construction or you think you might drop your phone a lot, then consider this product.

JayBird X2 Wireless Bluetooth Headset Problem Solved.

I purchased a JayBird X2 headset for about $180 in 2016.  After using them for no more than 20 times, the device failed.  It would ONLY power on just after taking the headset off the charger.  I had been turning the headset ON and OFF each time I needed it.  My son came up with the solution.  He told me to keep the headset ON all the time!  In short, this was the near perfect solution.  He said the battery drain was minimal, so why not keep them ON all the time?  I just carried the headset around until I needed it and linked it to my cell phone. This worked very well for me as I only use the headsets when I go to the gym or take a walk outside with my wife and friends on the weekend.  Soon as I get home with, I put the headsets back on the charger.

This was not a perfect solution because the JayBird would disconnect from my Samsung Galaxy S5 some times.  I never had a disconnect problem between the phone and our RAV4 car so I suspect the headsets were at fault.  If you have this problem, just go to your phone Settings and select Bluetooth.  Make sure that Bluetooth is turned ON.  Look at the Paired Devices list and you should see Jaybird X2.   Finger select that device but not the gear symbol to the right.  By finger tapping that headset you are telling the phone to pair up to the headset.

CAUTION: I found that I had to turn Bluetooth OFF on my cell phone to get the phone speaker and microphone to work without the Jaybird.  The reason is that the phone expects all communications to take place through that Jaybird if the phone and headset are paired. The phone speaker and microphone will be turned off.  If you are NOT using the Jaybird, the phone will act dead if Bluetooth is ON.  Just turn Bluetooth off and the normal phone audio should work.  To make this all simple, just go to the phone and turn Bluetooth ON when using the headsets and OFF when not.

Update:  2018 I switched to an LG V30 cell phone.  The Jaybird X2 also shows problems connecting to my new cell phone.  It times, I need to turn off my cell phone Bluetooth and/or turn off and on my cell phone to get the headsets to connect.  This process is a pain.

Update:  I typically leave my Jaybird X2 headsets sitting behind my neck.  One day I completely forgot to take care of them and they ended up in my wash.  The headsets were washed and dried.  When I removed them from the dryer they worked!  The only down side was that the foam ear attachments that slip on each ear piece dissolved.

Revised April 7, 2018

Samsung Galaxy S5 Often Reboots

I was really getting annoyed that my Samsung Galaxy S5 would reboot as many as three times a day.  The reboots would occur, oftentimes, at the most inconvenient times.  One day I sat down and using my Mac laptop, I perused the Internet looking for a solution.  Nothing came to light except one weird report that some individuals thought the problem was a local cell tower problem.  I used that tip to find a few cell phone settings that might relate.  Following is my last two day notes which reveals the single culprit.

March 26, 2016,

  • BATTERY:  I checked my battery for not being flat and it was perfectly non curved.
  • SYSTEM UPDATES:  I checked for system updates and it is up to date.
  • SMART NETWORK:  I turned off  Wi-Fi > Smart network switch to see if this is the cause.  This automatically switches between Wi-Fi and mobile networks to maintain a stable Internet connection.
  • PASSPOINT:  Under Advance options (upper left corner screen options) I also turned OFF Passpoint.
  • VoLTE:  Select Phone main menu item at the bottom of your main screen.  Once Phone is selected you will see 4 menu items at the top of the new screen.  Highlight the Keypad and you should see all the numbers for making a call.  To the right are three vertical dots. Press on those 3 dots and then choose the following:  Settings > Call > Call Settings.  Then choose Voice over LTE settings and then “Do not use VoLTE”.

April 8, 2016,

  • In over one week, only one cell phone restart.  I was on to a solution but which of the 3 was at fault?
  • PASSPOINT:  To narrow the problem down, today I turned ON Passpoint.
    Settings > Wi-Fi  >  Advanced.
  • VoLTE:  I also turned ON VoLTE.
  • SMART NETWORK:  This left Smart Network still turned off.  For me, this was the problem.

Solution:   From what I read, Smart network switch has had problems.  Once I turned off Wi-Fi Smart network, my cell phone only rebooted once since April 8, 2016.

This is how you can turn OFF the Wi-Fi Smart network switch:

  • Press your screen Settings application which looks like a spiked wheel.
  • Choose Wi-Fi once you are into the settings.
  • Once you see the Wi-Fi screen look at the top of that screen and you should see “Smart network switch”.  Turn that off.  This automatically switches between Wi-Fi and mobile networks and also between 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, to maintain stable connection.

Give this a try and if it does not work for you, come back and follow the above directions to turn this back on.  Good luck to you.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Update

In my previous post where I found the Samsung Galaxy S5 unsatisfactory because, for me, battery life is my prime concern.  I chose the Samsung Galaxy S5 because reviews stated that it had a very good battery life.  My experience found the phone to be quite awful.  I had to charge the phone one or two times to achieve usable service in an 8 hour period.  After poking around at the cell phone settings, I think I found a usable configuration.  My cell phone lasted the whole day.  Here are my setting changes:

Go to Settings.

Choose Power saving.

Turn Power saving mode “ON”.  You are then given 3 options:

  • Restrict background data (Turn ON)
  • Restrict performance (Turn ON).  This in turn has four sub menu items:
    • CPU performance (Turn ON)
    • Screen output (Turn ON)
    • Turn off touch key light (Turn ON)
    • Turn off GPS (for some reason this was greyed out and I could not change this.  So I guess it was on).
  • Grayscale mode (Keep OFF)

I did have to go into the Settings again and turn “Display” > “Brightness” > Automatic brightness off and revert to manual screen illumination because the screen went way too dark.

I did NOT turn Ultra power saving mode on.

Now if you think that the Samsung Galaxy S5 is now the best cell phone for extended battery life, think again.  I compared my cell phone with my son’s HTC One M8 just before dinner time and my phone had about a 38% charge while my son’s HTC had a 57% charge.  He uses his phone all day long and plays video games on his phone.  And, he did not have to cripple his phone at all to get such good battery performance.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Product Review

Samsung Galaxy S5 Review

I have been greatly annoyed with my Samsung Galaxy S3 for not lasting a day’s worth of charge.  I finally realized I qualified for a phone upgrade recently and spent about two days doing research to find the best phone that would last, hopefully a whole day on a single battery charge.  My son tried to talk me into buying the HTC One M8 which he said was a better phone for the reason it lasts more than one day on a single charge.  My Internet research and looking at Consumer Reports seemed to point to the Samsung Galaxy S5 so I went into T Mobile and did the upgrade to that phone.  The results were very disappointing.  My opinion is that the Galaxy S5 has the same battery life as the Samsung Galaxy S3!  The S5 does have some nice new features but one of them is NOT better battery life.  If you are looking for a phone that can retain a decent charge for one full day, I do not recommend the Samsung Galaxy S5.  You might look closely at the HTC One M8.