Tag Samsung

Don't Upgrade Galaxy S5 to Android 6.0

Samsung is shipping out buggy software like a boss, no doubt about it. I've written a bit about their bugs previously. However I didn't expect them to release Android 6.0.1 and render my Galaxy S5 completely useless with respect to the feature I use the most.


Tell me the weather for Brussels

So on Monday I've let Android upgrade to 6.0.1 to be completely surprised that the lockscreen shows the weather report for Brussels, while I'm based in Sofia. I've checked AccuWeather (I did go to Brussels earlier this year) but it displayed only Sofia and Thessaloniki. To get rid of this widget go to Settings -> Lockscreen -> Additional information and turn it off!

I think this weather report comes from GPS/Location based data, which I have turned off by default but did use a while back ago. After turning the widget off and back on it didn't appear on the lockscreen. I suspect they fall back to showing the last good known value when data is missing instead of handling the error properly.

Apps are gone

Some of my installed apps are missing now. So far I've noticed that the Gallery and S Health icons have disappeared from my homescreen. I think S Health came from Samsung's app store but still they shouldn't have removed it silently. Now I wonder what happened to my data.

I don't see why Gallery was removed though. The only way to view pictures is to use the camera app preview functionality which is kind of grose.

Grayscale in powersafe mode is gone

The killer feature on these higher end Galaxy devices is the Powersafe mode and Ultra Powersafe mode. I use them a lot and by default have my phone in Powersafe mode with grayscale colors enabled. It is easier on the eyes and also safes your battery.

NOTE: grayscale colors don't affect some displays but these devices use AMOLED screens which need different amounts of power to display different colors. More black means less power required!

After the upgrade grayscale is no more. There's not even an on/off switch. I've managed to find a workaround though. First you need to enable developer mode by tapping 7 times on About device -> Build number. Then go to Settings -> Developer options, look for the Hardware Accelerated Rendering section and select Simulate Color Space -> Monochromacy! This is a bit ugly hack and doesn't have the convenience of turning colors on/off by tapping the quick Powersafe mode button at the top of the screen!

It looks like Samsung didn't think this upgrade well enough or didn't test it well enough ? In my line of work (installation and upgrade testing) I've rarely seen such a big blunder. Thanks for reading and happy testing!

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Pedometer Bug in Samsung S Health

Do you remember the pedometer bug in Samsung Gear Fit I've discovered earlier ? It turns out that Samsung is a fan of this one and has the exact same bug in their S Health application.

The application doesn't block pedometer(e.g. steps counting) while performing other activities such as cycling for example. So in reallity it reports incorrect value for burned callories. At this time I call it bad software development practice/architecture on Samsung's part which leads to this bug being present.

Btw for more interesting bugs see Samsung Gear Fit Bug-of-the-Day.

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Pedometer Bug in Samsung Gear Fit Smartwatch

Image source Pocketnow

Recently I've been playing around with a Samsung Gear Fit and while the hardware seems good I'm a bit disapointed on the software side. There is at least one bug which is clearly visible - pedometer counts calories twice when it's on and exercise mode is started.

How to test:

  • Start the Pedometer app and record any initial readings;
  • Walk a fixed distance and at the end record all readings;
  • Now go back to the Exercise app and select a Walking exercise from the menu. Tap Start;
  • Walk back the same distance/road as before. At the end of the journey stop the walking exercise and record all readings.

Expected results:

At the end of the trip I expect to see roughly the same calories burned for both directions.

Actual results:

The return trip counted twice as many calories compared to the forward trip. Here's some actual data to prove it:

|                          | Initial  | Forward trip   |         | Return trip |         |
|                          | Readings | Pedometer only |  Delta  | Pedometer & |  Delta  |
|                          |          |                |         | Exercise    |         |
|              Total Steps | 14409 st | 14798 st       | 389 st  | 15246 st    | 448 st  |
|           Total Distance | 12,19 km | 12,52 km       | 0,33 km | 12,90 km    | 0,38 km |
| Cal burned via Pedometer |  731 Cal |  751 Cal       | 20 Cal  |  772 Cal    | 21 Cal  |
| Cal burned via Exercise  |  439 Cal |  439 Cal       | 0       |  460 Cal    | 21 Cal  |
|    Total calories burned | 1170 Cal | 1190 Cal       | 20 cal  | 1232 Cal    | 42 Cal  |

Note: Data values above were taken from Samsung's S Health app which is easier to work with instead of the Gear Fit itself.

The problem is that both apps are accessing the sensor simultaneously and not aware of each other. In theory it should be relatively easy to block access of one app while the other is running but that may not be so easy to implement on the limited platform the Gear Fit is.

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