Okay here are some tips and tricks for the Samsung Galaxy Prevail. Since some people choose not to root there phones. I’ve split this blog post into two parts. The first part will be for both non rooted users & rooted users. The second part will be just for rooted users. The internal storage of the Prevail is ridiculously small. This has annoyed me since day one. You end up only installing a few apps and because you surf the web make calls and send text messages you still end up getting the dreaded message telling you that your short on storage. At this point most average users will do the following.
- Clear Call Logs
- Clear Text Messages
- Clear App Caches
- And in rare cases they will uninstall apps (Not usually recommended for updated Apps such as Google Maps & GMail, because updates are usually issued to help make the app more stable and secure, even safer to use)
Since the Prevail Ships with Android 2.2 which has the ability to move apps to the SD Card you can do just that by going to Settings > Applications > Manage Applications and choosing which apps to move to the SD Card. Keep in mind not all apps can be moved.
Once enough space has been freed you can save yourself the trouble of checking the app to see if it can be moved then moving it to the SD Card. By simply installing Apps 2 SD. This will notify you each time an app is installed that can be moved to the SD Card.
If your not Rooted you may have gotten a message recently that tells you that a System Update is Availible. This is a fairly large file named update.zip that gets downloaded to the cache partition of your phone. Your then required to restart your phone. When you restart your phone you will be brought into the recovery console where you can upgrade to android 2.3.
With the 2.3 upgrade you can tell android to install to the sdcard by default.
Keep in mind that moving an app to the sdcard has certain things to worry about. Like the fact that the sdcard can read and write data hence you can delete or corrupt your app.
Another thing is that just because the app is on the sdcard doesn’t mean it’s dependencies are on the sdcard. Apps usually have other data and cache that gets stored on the phones internal memory. So moving the apps to the SD Card can help a little.
Installing non Market Apps
You may spend your time looking for just free apps on the market. You may have seen paid apps that you’d like to have but aren’t willing to pay for them. Well the great thing about android is the ability to use 3rd party markets. Plus you can install Android apps from anywhere that you can get them.
Simply go to Settings > Applications
And check the box in the section that says Unknown Sources. Once you have done this you won’t just be restricted to installing from the market. Next you can install the Amazon AppStore where you can get 1 paid app for free every day.
Installing Adobe Flash
With the release of Android 2.2 you can start using Adobe Flash. However the installer for the Adobe Flash app limits you to only installing it on an ARMv11 CPU. Since the Prevail has an ARMv6 you can’t just install it. Now I must say as a software developer I’m against the idea of piracy. However since the Adobe Flash app is already free I don’t really see a problem with what I’m going to tell you. There is a hacked version of Flash that has removed the limitations of the installer. I was unable to install the hacked Adobe Flash 10.1 but had no problem installing the 10.2 hacked version. After you have installed Adobe Flash 10.2 you can install the non hacked 10.3 version with no problems.
Saving Battery Power
You may be very upset when you see how fast your battery dies on your prevail. However I must say that the prevail has very good battery that does have the ability to last long periods of time. The reason the prevail may be draining battery life fast is due to what your doing on your phone.
Since Android syncs with your Google Account and you may have other things that are syncing all the time this can use a lot of juice, and drain your battery faster. Even though you will need to have your Google Account Synced, you wont need to have it Synced all the time. You will still be able to receive calls and make calls. Depending on what parts of your Google Account you have Synced you may also be able to see your contacts. I recommend that if your not using a certain feature with Google or you use it but don’t plan on ever using it with your phone to not sync that feature. This will make your battery life last a lot longer.
Another thing that may be causing your battery to drain fast is WiFi. Yes I love to use WiFi on my phone as often as I can. However it is kind of pointless to have the WiFi feature enabled on my phone when I’m in an area that doesn’t have WiFi. If you disable WiFi when not using WiFi on your phone you can save power as well.
I’ve noticed that I don’t need to have my screens backlight on when I’m inside or when I’m out at night. In fact depending on how dark it is the glare of the backlight on my screen hurts my eyes when I’m in extremely dark areas. The only times I’ve ever really needed to use the backlight is when I’m outside on a sunny day. So if you don’t use the backlight on your screen often you will save power as well.
The same goes for Bluetooth and GPS. If these features are enabled on your phone you will lose power quicker. So when your not using those features simply disable them.
Disabling all of the above features to save power on your phone which is mentioned above can be done in the Settings of your phone. However to save yourself the hassle of always going to the settings on your phone to disable and enable features. You can place the power control Widget on the phones desktop. This Widget ships with most Android ROMs. Once the widget is on the screen you will be able to enable and disable the options with a simple tap of the widget.
Tips for Rooted Users
Storage Saving Tricks
If your running low on storage space I would recommend removing that bloatware. Chances are you don’t use some of the apps that shipped with your phone. If this is the case you can remove them using an app called Titanium Backup. Or you can remove them manually by using a file manager such as root explorer and navigating to /system/app/ this is where you will see all of the apps that come with your Android ROM. You can remove them there. Keep in mind that this directory is read only so you will have to enabled it to read and write.
You may have installed installed updates to some apps that you do actually use. Such as the Aneroid Market or the Gmail app. All apps that are installed by the user are stored in the /data/app/ directory. This includes app updates as well.
Because of this the older apps that shipped with your ROM stay in the /system/app/ directory. So to free up more space you can remove them using your preferred file manager (Do Not Use Titanium Backup to remove these apps if you want to still use the newer versions stored in the /data/app directory)
If you do remove these apps because you have the updated ones installed in the /data/app/ directory you will also want to clear the dalvik-cache. Because it will place the removed app back once you turn your phone on again.
To clear the dalvik-cache you will go to /data/dalvik-cache/ and delete all the files in that directory. You will need to reboot your phone immediately after you do this by holding down the power button.
To save even more space on your phone you can place your apps on the sdcard. However knowing that your apps still store other data on your phone you may still have less space. This is where I would recomend 3 other options.
- Use a2sd which requires you to have the clockwork mod.
- use the link2sd app
- use root all 2 SD app
Even when I was using the cyanogen mod I was unable to get a2sd to work on my prevail. Even after hearing numerous stories about it working. If you do get a2sd working on your prevail I know a few people have. It should start to move apps along with their data and caches to the sdcard. Keep in mind that when using a2sd you will need to have you sdcard partitioned. Their are several ways of doing this. If you have the latest clockwork mod you can partition it in the ext2, ext3, ext4 formats which are needed for the a2sd to work.
You can also get more control of a2sd when you install a Terminal Emulator. When you have the terminal emulator installed you will be able to type commands to move other types of data to the SD Card.
This is the method that I recommend. Not only that but back when a2sd was in development the developer came accrossed the script that link2sd uses and used it for a2sd. So the above a2sd may be recommended by most people but this app works for me and it uses the same script that a2sd uses. This app also requires you to have partitioned SD Card. However this App allows you to format the SD Card in the following formats.
What is great about link2sd supporting the fat32 file system is that Windows user can easily partition the SD Card without having to install the clockwork mod or using a live Linux CD.
However I would recomend formatting it in an ext format since ext is a native format to Linux which is what Android is built off of. I was unable to use the ext4 format when partitioning my SD Card for use on the Android 2.2 ROM, even when using the ShabbyMod and the Bennix Mobile Mod which is built off of the Shabby Mod ROM. So I used the ext2 format option.
However recently I switched to the Cyanogen Mod ROM which uses Android 2.3, when switching to this ROM I was able to partition my SD Card with the ext4 format. With that ROM you can use the Clockwork Mod to partition your SD Card I however put my SD Card in my Fedora computer and fired up gparted, and partitioned it that way.
Once you’ve partitioned your SD Card Link2SD is ready to be used. What it does is moves the apps and all of their dependencies to the SD Card. It then places Symbolic Links in the locations that files are stored in. It can do the same for the Dalvik Cache as well.
Knowing this allows you to move other data to the SD Card as well. You wont have to worry to much about the SD Card not mounting on time. Because the Link2SD Script mounts the SD Card on boot. Plus if your SD Card is partitioned in an ext partition Android will mount it automatically. The script doesn’t just restrict you to the options that you see in the Link2SD app. So feel free to move and make Sym Links to other files as well.
I ended up moving the following to my SD Card. without a problem.
- /system/media/audio/ (I moved these files to a directory called /media stored on my fat32 partiton of my sd card)
- /system/app/alot of my apps (I move most of my apps to the ext4 partition of my sdcard. Then made sym links back to the location)
- /system/fonts/ (I move the fonts to the ext4 partition of my sdcard and created sym links for all my fonts)
Remember if you have the Clockwork Mod to always make backups of your system before messing around.