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General questions about S5 and Android

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Journeyman

General questions about S5 and Android

Since I've been having problems with Hangouts and messaging in general (and since I can't uninstall Hangouts), I've been doing some additional learning about my device and the OS. Hopefully, this forum is the correct/best one for such questions. If not, an admin is welcome to relocate it to a more appropriate forum.

I've been looking into rooting the device so I can have more control over it and I have some (a lot?) of questions. The information I can find is that rooting the device will "trip Knox".

  1. While I understand what Knox is, what does it mean to "trip Knox" (or "trip the Knox flag" as I have also seen it put)? Does this mean that if I were to root the device and later unroot the device that it would leave behind something to indicate that the phone had once been rooted?
  2. If I root the device and do not flash a custom rom, will I still be able to get rid of most of the bloatware Sprint so generously gives us for free?
  3. If I have to flash a custom rom in order to rid myself of the bloatware, what criteria should I use to select the new rom?
  4. If I flash a custom rom, is the Sprint rom gone forever? Can a backup of the Sprint rom be made?
  5. What is the likelihood of bricking the device? The only unlock software I can find is by someone with the alias "chainfire" and there are warnings about the possibility of bricking the device.

Another reason I am considering rooting it is because my battery life since Thanksgiving has completely tanked. The phone has been sitting largely idle this morning, has only been powered up since ~06:15 US Central (and it is currently almost 09:50 US Central), and has gone from 100% battery to 78% battery in that time. I ran a game for 10 minutes on the train to work this morning and restarted the device to prevent the game from sitting in memory and consuming power. Before Thanksgiving (when all I really used the phone for was games and ended up having to recharge the phone twice a day for a week), I could go about 40 hours before I had to charge the phone. Yesterday, I had to charge the phone after 13 hours. Is it possible all the power consumption and charge/discharge cycles reduced overall battery capacity?

I've also been poking around in the phone's settings some and have found some interesting things. Under Settings -> Developer options, I have discovered I can change the runtime system from Dalvik to ART. I have done some learning about the differences between the two. Since I will, at the least, be doing a factory reset on the phone this weekend to try to rid myself of Hangouts and a few other apps that don't want to uninstall, I am considering changing the runtime to ART. Is there a place I can find a list of apps that will not run in the ART runtime? Is there any other information, advice, or suggestions you have that I should consider before I decide to switch runtimes?

I also discovered that "USB debugging" was enabled. I have disabled that at this point. Is there a reason that USB debugging should remain enabled? Does having it enabled consume power?

What happens if you enable "Do not keep activities" in the Developer options? What about "Limit background processes"?

Finally, the factory reset is the one accessed by holding the Home button and the Volume Down button and then pressing the Power button, correct? I ask because there is a "Factory data reset" option under Settings -> "Backup and reset", but I am not sure that will actually put the device back to the state it was in when I purchased it in September.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and provide additional information. I really appreciate it!

16 REPLIES 16
Master

Re: General questions about S5 and Android

1. Yes and no.

2. Yes.

3. Make sure it's a ROM specifically for a Sprint Phone.

4. Yes and yes.

5. No guarantee that you won't. That's why the warnings.

You may want to pay a visit to XDA for more information as it's likely your post will be deleted.


--
If my post or someone else's answered your question please mark it an Accepted Solution.

Keep in mind, like you, I am a Sprint subscriber. I am in no way employed by Sprint in any sense. I just know stuff.
Master

Re: General questions about S5 and Android

C.D.Smith,

Thank you for reaching out to us with your concerns. I have looked into this more for you and if you root the device or make any changes to the device that will void the manufacture warranty. If anything was to happen to the device or needs to be replaced or repaired you will not be able to. May I ask what exactly is going on with Hangout and your messaging? I'll be happy to see if there is any other solutions to fixing this issue.

*Randi
Sprint Social Care
Journeyman

Re: General questions about S5 and Android

Too bad if they delete the post. I've already had the warnings about voiding the warranty and Sprint not being able to help if I root the device. I'm not really sure I'll go that far, anyway, really. I work in IT (web development) and I've learned to use the least invasive/destructive options first. I'll have a look at XDA this weekend when I have time to just sit and browse because I am sure there is a lot to know before I really start down that road.

I think rather than deleting, it would be better if Sprintcare just posted up a warning for everyone that Sprint won't help you once you attempt to root your device (whether you fail or succeed). Opacity is never your friend...

Journeyman

Re: General questions about S5 and Android

Well, there are several things going on that other Sprintcare folks seem to be struggling to understand from my post over in the Messaging forum. I will try to delineate the problems and the steps I have taken better here.

First, I am unable to send MMS, group messages, and pictures via Hangouts. I originally thought this was a Sprint problem because when I try to do any of these things, I get this message "SprintFreeMsg: You are trying to send to a carrier/country that is not enabled. Please visit sprint.com and search 'Country Codes'." Now, perhaps that is a Sprint issue, I am not 100% certain it is not. However, it appears there are serious problems in the latest update to Hangouts.

Second, once I started to try to fix the first problem, someone else from Sprintcare said to update my Profile and dial ##72786# (or is it ##72768#?). So, I did this and, while it is a valid troubleshooting step, it made things worse (until this morning - more on that later). After the device restarted, I could no longer send any messages using Hangouts and I could only receive messages using Hangouts. I had to send messages using the default-installed "Messages" app or another SMS app (such as Go Pro), while all incoming messages were always only displayed in Hangouts. I followed some directions from smotrs from in this thread ( Lots of trouble with Hangouts! ) that were slightly different than anything I had previously done and now this morning I am able to send and receive messages using Hangouts (though the first problem with MMS still exists).

Steps I have taken to try to fix the problem

  1. I have changed my default messaging app to be Go Pro and also to be "Messages", at different times.
  2. I have cleared all choices made where Hangouts was the default app for whatever selection was made.
  3. I have uninstalled Hangouts' updates.
  4. I have signed out of my Hangouts accounts.
  5. I have turned Hangouts off (Settings -> Application manager).
  6. I have force stopped Hangouts (Settings -> Application manager).
  7. I have fiddled with every setting I can find in Hangouts, both for the app and for the accounts enabled within it.
  8. I have updated my Profile, my PRL, and dialed ##72786# (or ##72768#, whichever it is).

At this point, I know there is a bad update to Hangouts and I want to uninstall it. However, Google or Sprint or Samsung will not allow me to uninstall it completely. I honestly do not know which company is preventing me from deep-sixing the app and I don't really care. I just want to be rid of Hangouts because I would rather use a stable, less attractive, marginally less capable app (Messages) than deal with the nightmare that is Hangouts. Now, if you have some other suggestions that may fix the problem, I'll be happy to entertain them. If you know how to completely uninstall Hangouts, that's what I am most interested in.

Thank you for whatever help you might be able to offer.

Master

Re: General questions about S5 and Android

C.D.Smith,

I am glad to hear that you were able to pin point the concerns with the app. Unfortunately, hangouts is a default app that was placed on the device by the manufacturer. We don't have a way of completely removing it from the device. You can try to reach out to Samsung to see if they have any other suggestions for you.

As far as the MMS concerns you are having. Are you also having concerns with the data as well? MMS uses data to send the picture mail. Do you notice this happening to multiple numbers that you are sending the message to or is it one specific number?

Let me know and we'll go from there,
- Heather
Sprint Social Care
Journeyman

Re: General questions about S5 and Android

Heather,

First, as regards Hangouts being a default app, it was not installed on my device at all when I first purchased it in September. I installed it on my device and it is currently not present on my wife's device (SM-G900P, as well), who has only ever used the default-installed "Messages" app.

As far as being able to send MMS messages, the only people I can send MMS messages to are those who also have Hangouts installed. I can't send MMS to my wife (including pictures), but I can send them to her brother (who has installed Hangouts). The interesting thing is that if I make the "Messages" app my default messaging app, then I can send MMS messages to my wife. Of course, the problem with that approach is that all my incoming messages still come into Hangouts, even when it is not the default messaging app - including when I had it completely disabled last night.

This is why I want to get rid of Hangouts - because it has somehow taken over my phone and will not allow any other messaging app to receive incoming text messages.

Master

Re: General questions about S5 and Android

C.D.Smith,

I just checked with my co-workers and it was pre-installed on their S5 when they received it as well. It was also already installed on my S4 when I received mine. We tried to remove it from our devices and get the message that it cannot be uninstalled. At this point, you have tried everything that we would have you do on our end. It would be best to take it to a service location to have them look at it.

Hope this helps,
- Heather
Sprint Social Care
Journeyman

Re: General questions about S5 and Android

OK. It comes down to this, as far as I am concerned. I do not believe anyone at Sprint can help me to remove Hangouts - as badly as I want it gone and as much as I would love someone to be able to nuke it from my phone remotely. Thus, to focus on Hangouts any further is a waste of everyone's time and an exercise in futility and frustration. I consider it a foregone conclusion at this point that I will have to do a factory reset on my phone this weekend. I view that as a necessary step to exorcise the evil that is Hangouts.

So, can you help me with some of the questions in the first post in this thread? For example, can you give me any additional information about the difference in the runtimes (Dalvik vs. ART)? Or how I can determine whether the apps I am currently using will function if I switch to the ART runtime?

Can you tell me anything about the developer options I've asked about? Can you find the information if you do not readily have it at hand?

Basically anything after the numbered question 5 in the original post is unaddressed. Any information you can provide in answer to any of those questions will be greatly appreciated.

Master

Re: General questions about S5 and Android

C.D.Smith - After you have performed your factory reset on your device, please let us know if this resolved your issue. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.
- Naomi
Sprint Social Care
Journeyman

Re: General questions about S5 and Android

Naomi

I will do that. One quick question, please: Is the factory reset option accessed by holding Home and Volume Up while pressing Power? Or is accessed via Settings?

Thanks!

Master

Re: General questions about S5 and Android

You can get to it via Settings. I like to do it thru the bootloader. Restart the phone, before any boot screens show up, press and hold volume down button until the dancing Androids appear. Then use the volume buttons to navigate and power button to select.

I think it's the 3rd option, Factory Reset.

Although, judging by how you had to do the cache wipe, yours may not be volume down, but instead Power, Home and Volume Up.


--
If my post or someone else's answered your question please mark it an Accepted Solution.

Keep in mind, like you, I am a Sprint subscriber. I am in no way employed by Sprint in any sense. I just know stuff.
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