Category Archives: Mobile

Motorola Moto G5 Plus “camera restart” error

My current phone is a Motorola G5 Plus. I really like it.

Except for one thing: sometimes it won’t start the camera. It pauses for a few seconds, then comes up with a camera restart error; you have to try it again. Sometimes it takes several goes to get it to work.

By the time the camera actually opens, whatever you wanted to snap may have gone.

It’s a widespread problem. Some people think it’s a heat issue, but I have my doubts.

There is a partial workaround: clear the cache partition.

This removes some temporary files, but no user files.

This page on the Motorola web site explains how to do it — but I’m going to post the text here, as it keeps disappearing off their site. Dodgy.

To perform a wipe cache partition:

1. With the phone powered off, press and hold the Volume Down button and the Power button at the same time until the device turns on.
2. Press the Volume Down button until the flag next to the power button reads “Recovery mode”
3. Press the Power button to restart into Recovery mode.
You’ll see an image of an Android robot with the words “No Command”
4. Holding the Power button, tap Volume Up once and then release the Power button.
5. Use the volume buttons to scroll to “wipe cache partition” and press the Power button to select it.
6. Use volume down to scroll to YES and power to confirm.
7. At the bottom of the screen, you will see your device go through the process. Once it says “Cache Wipe Complete” the reboot system now option will appear at the top.
8. Press the power button to confirm the reboot.

The above workaround clears it for a little while… then it comes back a few days or weeks later.

Hopefully eventually there’ll be a permanent fix for it.

Android: Ice Cream Sandwich upgrades

Computerworld has a list (that they are continuing to update) of which devices are getting Google Android 4 (Ice cream sandwich).

Alas, there’s no news of some phones, including my HTC Desire S. (The Desire non-S is looking very iffy, apparently.) There is a hacky way of getting it onto a Desire S… if you’re willing to forego being able to use the camera. No thanks. No doubt some other devices have this option available too, for the hardcore.

The bigger picture on this is that with a myriad of phone manufacturers, Android updates are a lot more hit and miss than Apple’s, where Apple’s absolute control clearly benefits customers by making operating system updates available quickly on all recent models of phone.

What’s your smartphone doing in the background?

Fascinating analysis of what goes on in the background on an iPhone or iPad as you listen to the radio or open a few (mostly Australian) apps — both in terms of bandwidth wastage, privacy and security: Secret iOS business; what you don’t know about your apps

Not that I’d expect Android to be much better; it’s all in the hands of the web/app authors, after all.

(via Kornelis)

iPad thoughts

Some thoughts on the iPad.

It looks like a giant iPhone. Having no lid to cover up the screen seems odd.

Some are ripping into its faults, including no iBook feature outside the USA (at least initially), no camera, no USB port, no memory card reader, no Flash support, no multitasking. Yikes.

But I do love the comments about the screen being bigger than an iPod/iPhone, like this is some revelation nobody thought of before.

“A larger screen means that games can be more immersive, as well as allowing for higher detail and bigger animations,” said Peters.

A bigger screen! Amazing!

You mean… just like every other notebook or desktop computer out there?

But hey, it does look pretty nice. I bet lots of people buy them.

I bet it could be almost as successful as the Apple Newton. *grin*

Twitter shuts down outbound SMS

Twitter shuts down outbound SMS updates for all users except in Canada, India and the US. Inbound via the UK number still works.

Understandable I suppose, given the huge cost they must incur from it. But must be annoying to those who use it.

A lot of Aussies in the initial comments, probably due to the timing of the announcements. Introducing an Australian inbound SMS number would have cushioned the blow.

Bloody convergence again

Follow up from this rant.

I got so sick of my stupid Dopod 838Pro being incapable of operating like a phone that I decided to have a trial separation. I borrowed a colleague’s mobile phone and thought I’d have a go at using a separate phone and PDA for a while.

The separation didn’t last long… I’m back using my converged device again.

I was amazed at how hard it was to do common tasks with the mobile. For example starting a text message required 5 button presses on the phone compared to 2 on my device. Then entering the message is so much simpler on the Dopod’s Qwerty keyboard. Admittedly I’m out of practice with numberpad texting. Having a large touch screen is a huge advantage for a user interface.

So now I’m stuck with trying to figure out how to make the Dopod behave better as a phone. I’ve uninstalled lots of apps that probably suck a fair bit of cpu. Hopefully that’ll help.


I’m not very good at keeping a lot of information in my head at the one time. I have found that I need to record appointments and tasks to make sure I remember them.

So I used to record information in a paper diary. I never had much to record, so I used an A5, week to a page view diary that included a contact section for people’s phone numbers and addresses. However, the problem was that repeating appointments and people’s contact information that carry on from year to year had to be rewritten into a new diary each year.

So I bought a Palm Vx. This worked quite well because it would sync with my computer and display all the information I needed.

Then along came smart phones. I thought this was fantastic because I wouldn’t need to carry a mobile phone as well. Plus I only need to keep phone numbers in one place. Perfect! Right? Rather than having a Phone, diary, music player and GPS unit, you only need one device.

I’ve now owned three devices (O2 Xda II Mini, i-mate JasJar and Dopod 383Pro). They’re all great devices except that they are no good as phones! With my current device, I’d say 50% of the time when I hit the “Answer call” button the call is not actually answered, it just goes off to messagebank. A friend who had a Palm Treo used to answer a call and have to wait for 2.5 seconds until the caller could hear him. The JasJar would take so long to draw the screen when you opened it that you’d invariably miss the call.

All of the devices I’ve had will play music, but the interfaces are frustrating and the sound just isn’t good enough.

It’s so frustrating. I’ve bought a stand along MP3 player (a creative Zen that I’m very happy with). I’m nearly at the point where I’m going to give up and just get a standard mobile phone. Can I diverge any more??

The idea of convergence is just fantastic. However, the reality is dragging a long way behind.

Apple announces iPod Nano (and some other stuff)

iPod NanoWell, after much speculation, this morning (AU time) Apple announced a swag of new stuff, including:

  • the quite ludicrously tiny iPod Nano (I reckon I’d lose it)
  • the very expected Motorola ROKR mobile phone, the first to include iTunes (shame it’s a Motorola. I hate Motorolas.)
  • a shiny new version of the iTunes software, featuring parental controls (woo hoo, does this mean no more Lenny Kravitz’s What The F%$# are we saying for my kids?), syncing data with Outlook (at smeggin’ last), playlist and shuffle enhancements
  • some exclusive content to the iTunes store, which therefore means we CAN’T BUY IT IN AUSTRALIA (grumble)