Saturday, January 15, 2011

More Dell Streak

Dell Streak second look - Dec 6th, 2010
Dell Steak first look - Dec 1st, 2010

So far very satisfied with my Dell Streak. The five-inch screen is great, its use is intuitive, there are a ton of great software programs, and it is easily pocketable! So far, I have only run into a few minor annoyances, viz:

Although the build is very solid, I'm not at all impressed with the back door. It's a chore to put on. When I first received the Streak it was a good fifteen minutes before I got the back door on after inserting the battery... OK, so I was smart enough to line it up correctly, however every time I pushed it on it would pop right back off. After a dozen or more unsuccessful tries I was ready to toss the Streak out the window! Fortunately I persevered and manged to get it to stay on.

The first order of business after charging the Streak was to download a reboot program, because I knew I wouldn't be casually popping off the back to do a battery pull. The back appears rather flimsy, see picture below. However with it on and the Streak ensconced in an Otterbox Commuter case (sans screen-protector, relying on the Streak's gorilla glass) it's as solid as can be... However, having to have a "How To Properly Close Dell Streak Battery Cover/Back Door' video (see link below) is probably not the sign of a well though-out design!

I mentioned the reboot program above... I found that it and a number of other programs (e.g. every screen capture program I've looked at) require that you "root" your Streak. Well you can follow these instructions, or you can download and run Z4root for a much simpler method. You get a 'Superuser' icon in your apps, and can then install and use programs that require root/superuser access...

About a week after I had my Streak, all of a sudden I started getting an error message "The process android.process.acore has stopped unexpectedly. Please try again." Quitting didn't help, nor did rebooting, etc. - the message seemed to pop up every thirty seconds or so, essentially rendering the Streak useless.

Googling the term "android.process.acore" showed that a pretty large number of people were wrestling with the same issue! Reading through the various threads, it appeared that folks were mainly attributing this to the syncing of contacts and other records and the possibility of a bad record causing the problem However, I had no contacts and syncing was not enabled, so after being unable to discover the cause, I finally gave up and did a factory reset. This cured the problem, albeit at the cost of having to reinstall all my programs.

Another annoyance is the foolishness associated with changing the wallpaper. Adding an image appropriately sized for the Streak does not simply work, see below. Although the image you are using might seem to be sized appropriately, you are presented with a box, and when you drag it to make it as large as possible it only covers part of the screen. Then when you save you usually end up with something distorted...

As usual, Google is your friend, and an explanation is available courtesy of Lifehacker. Apparently "... The perfect wallpaper, no cropping necessary, is 1*height by 2*width where the height and width value are the hardware screen resolution values of your phone ..."

All in all these aren't very big problems, and in fact they are rather small issues which can be fixed with some homework. However, their annoyance is probably in inverse proportion to their size, so this sort of thing needs to become much more polished and bulletproof for Android to overtake the Apple-world equivalents for the majority of non-techie people...

How To Properly Close Dell Streak Battery Cover/Back Door
Benefits of rooting your Dell Streak
What's the Deal with Android's Weird Wallpaper Requirements?

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