Sunday, November 08, 2009

A Battery of SMS Problems

I've enjoyed the Hero so far - it's been a nice device. The battery life had left something to be desired however - it only could make it about eight hours. I also noticed that SMS messages just... stopped. There was silence whenever I sent a message via the old short message service.

Then I started reading about a litany of problems with HTC's SMS client. First, several found that the "Messages" app never lets the handset suspend. While the display may flicker off the engine keeps revving, eating up cycles and draining the battery. In a maybe related issue, many people have also been reporting their Hero cannot receive SMS messages, although this doesn't seem to happen for everyone.

I installed Handcent SMS for Android and have been using it in lieu of HTC's Messaging. It is definitely a superior SMS application to begin with and it is much more gentle on the battery.

I contacted Sprint support about the lack of inbound SMS messages, and they had me update my handset profile over the air. Basically I had to:
  1. Shutdown the handset and remove the battery for two-ish minutes
  2. Start up the handset, open up the Android settings -> About phone -> System updates -> Update profile and update yon profile
  3. After the profile update, reboot the phone again
I'm not sure if having a service rep on the line is integral to the process or if they tweaked my profile. Maybe they did and I was just sync'ing up the handset with the central office. Things seem to work now however.

I've had a few crashes, especially with Android widgets embedded in SenseUI. All-in-all it's working wonderfully however. Astrid has been great for organization, and Meebo has been a serviceable IM client. My one dearest wish is multi-protocol Off-the-Record Messaging for Android - then I would never need to turn on my laptop again.

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