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Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

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Journeyman

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

Awesome insight CoasterPhotos.  I just looked at my Windows 7 task manager and see that I have 8183mb available RAM and 4827mb free.  Android must be a very efficient operating system to do so much with only 385mb total RAM.   It's reassuring to know that the Android O.S. will dump RAM as needed to run programs.  It hasn't happened with Gingerbread yet, but occassionally my phone use to freeze-up with Froyo, with the only remedy being to remove the battery and reinsert it.   I attributed this to the phone running out of RAM but you say that this doesn't happen with Android.  Oh well.. perhaps Gingerbread "fixed" whatever bug was causing the occassional freeze-ups.  Thanks again for the explaination!

-Allen

Journeyman

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

After the push to download Gingerbread and having some issues, I felt like I should have done it manually.  I regret it now, but I guess there's no going back.  Coaster, I replied to you because I found that most of your responses were quite sincere to people who had problems and showed a decent amount of respect.  Of course, I would look forward to Sprint reps like RC1024 providing feedback as well. 

Here's my list of issues with Gingerbread that I hope we can go through (in case I missed some earlier responses):

1.)  Battery Life - I, too, experienced major battery loss right after the update.  I'd pull up my Task Manager, go to RAM, and clear the memory, knocking out anywhere from 8 to 11 applications.  Now when I do it so often, even after reboots, it only closes 3 applications or so.  So to be perfectly honest, while it was crashing my battery in 5-8 hours before, it seems to have resolved itself over time.  I seem to be getting full battery life now.  Perhaps it just had to recalibrate a few times?  I only have one battery.  Thoughts?

2.)  In-Call Volume - Like someone posted a few pages ago, my in-call volume at its lowest setting was REALLY loud.  I've had to walk out of rooms cause the whole conversation could be heard with my ear away from the speaker.  It acutally was causing damage to the speaker in a way cause you could hear the speaker struggling to keep up.  I just tried the all-the-way-up and back down selections in a call.  I was afraid to with the speaker already blaring.  I'll let ya know if it still seems lower after a few calls.  I don't have any ringer, text notfication, or other sound setting problems.

3.)  Forced Shutdowns (w/ Pulling Battery Requirement) - I've had my phone shut down on me many times with the only option being to pull the battery before powering back on.  If I didn't pull the battery, the hardware ignored my button press, it seemed.  I read somewhere earlier that this could be caused by apps moved to the SD card?  I must admit, every app that could be moved to USB, I did.  Figured it was best for system-space sake.  It's only 7 or so apps.  I guess I could push them back to the phone one at a time to see which app working off the phone causes less shutdowns.  Any pointers?

4-ish?)  Factory resetting my phone will only reset Gingerbread, not take it back to Froyo, right?  It seems like I have to take it back to a store in order to do that unless I want to play with Odin.  I've never rooted or modified anything on my phone, so I'm not really attempting that option.  I wouldn't have a problem factory resetting my phone, but it seems some people had problems with GPS/Wi-Fi once they reset it...  I'm trying to avoid that.  I don't think my GPS is acting up... but I try to use Google Maps over TeleNav if I can for interface preferences.   I was kind of irritated with the update originally, after reading some of these posts, I don't feel like I have such problems.  lol   But I would appreciate any advice I can get.  Thanks!

Journeyman

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

Sorry about the long post, but hopefully I an help with some of your problems.

1) Your battery could very well have needed to "adjust" to the new usage and that could be part of your problem. However, if you are still having battery problems I can recoomend 2 things that should help majorly. The first, is to get a home replacement app (golauncher, launcherpro, adwlauncher). A home screen app is just the area where you put your app shortcuts and widgets, and your app drawer. Its basically all the stuff you see on your phone on a day-to-day basis. They don't look like the stock home but they can be made to by installing a touchwiz theme on them. I would recommend golauncher, because it is easy to use, fast, and saves me battery. The other two are a bitmore customizable but I prefer go. Try them out for yourself though, as they are very much a personal preference. Secondly, make sure you limit widgets to about 1 per screen, (only refering to active widgets like a weather one, not ones that just sit to toggle your call volume or anything). Widgets are always updating and using battery so they drain it faster than just having a shortcut would. Sometimes a shortcut to the app is all you need, and not something thats constantly updating. Also check how often apps like facebook and your email are updating. These should be turned down to the lowest setting you find acceptable. The email app defaults to checking email every 15 minutes, and I only check my email every few hours normally, so I changed it to that and it helped my battery farily well. Also, STOP killing apps. The way gingerbread handles apps is different and killing them will only cause them to reopen. When it says they are "open" they are mostly just background services that do mostly nothing while open. Closing them makes them open again, and while opening they actually are using battery to get themselves running. PC's have these services too and they are perfectly fine.

2) I also have this issue time to time, and the volume up then down fixes it. There are some apps that can control it but you need root and you don't wanna do that which is understandable.

3)This could be a bad app or a lockscreen problem if you downloaded a new lockscreen from the market.

4)I would test out some of the stuff here and some stuff coaster says if he replies, before you go restoring it. If you do restore it though and the gps goes funky, download "gps status and toolbox" from the market. Run it once and it will download some gps data, (very very small download, happens by the time the app loads) and this data will make your gps lock quicker and more reliablly. You can remove the app after that if you like, but I keep it just in case I install something that messes the gps up. I can just open the app again and it works. Good choice sticking with google maps, its way better than telenav. Telenav doesn't even make as much money as Google spends on street view and keeping maps up to date.

Sprint Employee

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

Hello Mister_Jace, I usually suggest Android users leave unused features turned off (GPS, BT, WiFi), set POP/IMAP email accounts to manual send/receive, install/Enable Juice defender, press back button to exit apps, unless they have an Exit option on the menu.

     The Volume glitch should be resolved by ranging the volume while screen is on (nothing covering Proximity sensor), the "forced Shutdown" may be caused by an application. something that may help you determine what's going on would be to wait for the problem to occur again, then from the dial pad type *#9900#, press the dump logcat/sysdump/dumpsys button, then press copy main log / system state / system data, there will be files on the SD card ending with .log which can be opened using ES file explorer or similar notepad type text editors.

     Factory reset only reloads from the stored ROM, which in this case is 2.3, Most people that I have spoken to about the problem with wifi notice immediately after updating.

No longer working Community Response.

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

1.) Battery life issues are quite often caused by an app or other process keeping the phone awake and not letting it enter deep sleep. There is an app in the market called CPU Spy that will show how long your phone spends in various states. There is also an app called OS monitor that will show you what apps are using processor power. I've found a few bad apps this way...using significant processor power when they should have been doing nothing. Leaving apps in memory, if they behave correctly, should not affect battery life. And yes, fully charging and discharging the battery a few times can help by calibrating the battery meter.

2.) I've found that if I am in a call and move the phone far enough away from my face to allow the screen to come back on, I can turn the volume up a notch and then it will correctly work, both up and down after that for the remainder of that call.

3.) I've seen the same issues with apps I've moved to my SD card from time to time. To see if that is what your problem is, put them back on your phone and see if the lockups stop. If they do, move 1 app back and run for a few days and see if you have problems...repeat until all your apps are back on your phone or you find the one that is causing the issue. Of course, it could be something completely not related to this too which in that case the best thing to do would be a factory reset.

4.) Correct, a factory reset will only remove every trace of anything you've ever put on the phone (apps, text messages, call logs, etc) and not restore an old OS version. Data on your SD card wouldn't be affected. If your GPS seems to be working right, I'd certainly try to avoid doing a reset at this point.

Journeyman

Re: Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

RunDMC - I'm not really experiencing the battery loss issues anymore, but if I do, I'll look into some of your suggestions.  As far as widgets, I'm convinced the upgrade actually closed out my widgets.  I don't have them up on my spare home pages anymore.  Fine with me, though... it's not like I can't get them back if I feel the need later.  I did check into all my e-mail settings.  They're all set at an hour, the most I can go.  Although, I can't seem to find where gmail hides their setting for how often it checks e-mail.

RC1024 - I keep all the extra options (WiFi, 4G, GPS, etc.) off until I need them.  For this volume glitch, the volume doesn't seem to be an issue after my first up and down adjustment.  It's an easy enough fix, but can we at this point truly consider this issue a glitch of the Gingerbread release?  It seems to affect a good amount of people, even if is a minor problem.  And thank you for the log file directions.  I will surely look into this if it crashes again.  See my #3 below.

Coaster - It looks like problems I experience at this point are normal and very comparitive to what you experience.  I will be avoiding that factory reset!

Here's what I deduced with my issues, and hopefully it helps others:
1.)  Battery drains right after the update seem to be a temporary issue.  Close some apps, have some patience, and recalibrate the battery with a few full charge/releases.  While this was a pain for a few days, I seem to have full battery life now.
2.)  The volume glitch seems to be just that.  As everyone stated, there's an easy fix, even if it's an inconvenience.
3.)  Force shutdowns have stopped.  And I think I know why now!  Those apps that I moved to my SD card - they weren't updated since I installed Gingerbread.  As soon as those apps were able to find updates (Friday), I updated them.  And... no more crashes!  I have one app left that didn't update, so I moved it to my phone to play it safe.  And I will report that I have not had my phone shutdown on me all weekend!

      This relase seemed hard on my phone at first, but seems to be getting better by the day.  The only app that won't update since the Android update is my "Smart Keyboard Pro" and it's English definition set.  For some reason, when I go to the market and click update, it tells me I did not purchase it, even though it's on my phone.  Ah well.  At least it's not causing errors yet.  I'll leave it on my phone.  Thanks, everyone!

Journeyman

Re: Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

I found the final Gingerbread solution!  Rooting/new ROM.

Overall, Gingerbread was good for me after dealing with the messed up phone from the Sprint update.  Maybe forcing me to wipe everything to get around the update failure was good.. most everything worked well afterward--EXCEPT GPS!

GPS was very bad in the initial OS version (2.1), workable but less than steller in the next (2.2), but terrible in this new update!  It worked for a while then the GPS daemon would lock up after a few minutes of use.  It didn't matter which app was using it.. it eventually quits reporting any location, the icon stays on in notifications even after closing the apps, and the battery was quickly drained.  Each time I had to shut down the phone, sometimes having to pull the battery to get it to shut down all the way.  I tried everything that was recommended to get it to work with no improvement.

Enough.  I finally rooted the phone and applied a custom-built image that was based on the new EI22 Gingerbread roll out but with some important modifications:

  • Applied a GPS fix.. this uses a different GPS daemon.  Now it locks on faster than any other phone I've used and NEVER locks up.
  • Removed many of the apps Sprint threw in that I'll never use.  Now I have tons more internal memory.
  • I can now turn off the corny camera "click" sound and take pictures in quiet places again.  (That came in handy at my kid's piano recital recently.)
  • My battery status icon now shows me the exact percentage used, not that extremely rough icon they were using.
  • Some abilities of the phone that Sprint blocked so they can push their own services now work uninhibited.
  • Several other small fixes and fun additions are included.

I've always recommended against rooting so that you continue to get smooth updates from Sprint, but since this update was anything but smooth anyway, and I have no hope of them ever incorporating a true fix to the GPS that has all changed.  I would be happy to provide informations links if there are others who'd like to root and apply the GPS correction or try a whole new ROM.

========

[Edit, 12/8/2011]

I've put together links to information you could use to apply the GPS fix (and other improvements) to your phone and put them in a new post below (on 12/8.)

You're on your own to learn what they do and how to apply them but the information is all there.  I can only tell you that in the week and a half since doing the update, I've used the GPS to track almost daily bike trips and the GPS has NEVER failed me.  It locks on fast and always shuts down when the GPS apps close.

One other bug fix I've found: The original Gingerbread release from Sprint causes you to lose a few keystrokes here and there when typing on the physical keyboard.  The custom ROM fixed that.

The phone is more solid, the battery life is more predictable and I've kept almost all of the stock Gingerbread features.  Too bad Sprint didn't take the time to test and fix problems before releasing any of their updates.  I suspect that they have one engineer assigned to the task who is only allowed to work on it part time!  Maybe it is that user who keeps posting in defence of Sprint here??  😉

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

BuzzW22 wrote:

  • Removed many of the apps Sprint threw in that I'll never use.  Now I have tons more internal memory.


But it's memory you can't use for anything...it is part of the system partition and apps you download can't be stored there.

Journeyman

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

Buzzw22,

  I am also very frustrated as I use my device regulalry for GPS for work and excercise.  I keep looking at youtube videos and forums, but it's a different language when it comes to rooting.  I'm willing to do this, as I was with the Froyo update back in May of this year.  Can you respond with details or links.  I see videos like one click root method, but I honestly don't get what's going on.  I know a new ROM is being installed, but I also don't see how.  Once you install a custom ROM can you go back to the custom ROM that came with the phone?  Also how does this affect 3rd party apps being installed on the phone?  I've had SPRINT factory reset my phone, been on with customer service, but really all I want; my GPS fixed.  Thanks  jonathanparham@hotmail.com

Highlighted
Journeyman

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

coasterphotos wrote:


But it's memory you can't use for anything...it is part of the system partition and apps you download can't be stored there.

They are only put on the system partition if they are installed that way with the rom. If you repartition the phone and install a custom rom, the apps aren't there and you get the free space. Removing these apps is beneficial for more than just space savings, (I have 200 apps installed and have never ran out of space so I see this entirely unneccessary for space savings) I find it more useful to know that it will never run, never load, and never use data. It extends my battery and gives me the satisfaction of knowing its gone. I hate nascar and football, and I couldn't give the slightest care to sprints "news". These apps are only taking up space and using data, and having them there is also a constant reminder of how ineffecient my device is due to my carrier. Putting a custom rom on my phone made it ages better, and although I think the phone works fine out of the box, it runs like a dream with specialty tweaked custom roms. Its funny that the community of users can create fixes that flash in seconds without a data wipe and don't cause issues, but 2 major corporations can't. The fixes for GPS and battery percentage can even be applied to any rom without issue.

Journeyman

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

I would be very grateful to have step by step instructions to solve this GPS problem. I rely on my GPS and it hasn't worked properly since the upgrade.  It keeps losing the GPS signal. Same thing happens with Wi-Fi and I'm willing to bet that both are connected problems.

Journeyman

Gingerbread update for Samsung Epic

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This is off topic but, since the upgrade, I cannot access this forum on my phone.  Every time I sign in, it takes me back to my account. Am I the only one having this problem? I have to access it on my PC.  My PC was down for a few days and I couldn't reply to any posts.

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