Archive | June 2011

Facebook Contact Photos…

…will update themselves automatically when you view a contact, even if auto-sync is off AND you’ve deactivated sync for FiX…

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The Root of all evil…

or at least, rooting evil from the phone.

So, the last couple days with the Arc have been pretty annoying, thanks to the continuing errors with the Facebook Inside Xperia software. Annoying to an such an extent that I switched to my spare locked Arc to hoping not to replicate the problem. Alas, the problem repeats itself on even unmolested phones.

Returning to the original, hacked Arc I decided to play around with Titanium Backup. Never one to pussyfoot about with freezing apps, I deleted the FBCalendarSync and Sony Ericsson Facebook apks from the phone. Attempting to log into Facebook afterwards, I can’t get in…

So I rebooted the phone quickly and tried again. No joy. No Facebook? Brilliant, I hear say? Well yes, if you don’t use the Facebook for Android app to access, er, Facebook. Not so good if you’re part of a social media based team like I am. In fact it’s downright fucking useless!

Looks like my fears with integration are starting to be realised – you cannot use Facebook on the phone without having at least some sort of interaction with Facebook Inside Xperia. Yes you can turn off sync for the calendar, gallery and phonebook etc and run the phone without the interaction between the two.

But, top tip to remember – they rely on each other to work. One cannot exist without the other. In short – we’re bloody stuck with it until:
1) We find a way to remove it
or
2) The next FW release makes it an optional extra, through an app, like Timescape now is. Lesson learned there, but not repeated here.

On the plus side, I did spend my bus journey home listening shuffling the music tracks on the phone and ‘liking’ each one. That works, at least.

Further thoughts on FiX

Using this utility and subsequently seeing it go wrong reminds me of everything that was wrong with Timescape. I don’t know how deep the integration goes into the current OS, but considering the trouble I’m having getting the Gallery to work (when it worked last week on the HK FW) I’m concerned there could be an issue with FiX in the future.

I thought SE would’ve learned more from the debacle surrounding 2.1 and integrated/embedded features such as Timescape and Mediascape – with the advent of Gingerbread on SE handsets, Timescape was reduced to being an optional app. This is really what FiX should’ve been – optional.

Not just being able to turn off the sync, but the ability to not bother with it at all; if you go into Settings>Account and sync and try to remove the FiX sync option it disappears alright, but reappears almost instantly…you can’t get rid of it.

Speaking of synching, there are two Facebook entries in Sync; the Original FB sync works with your contacts in your phonebook. The new FiX entry does all the other fiddly stuff, but still looks at your contacts in order to provide their photos/status etc. If the Original FB sync provides status updates anyway, why wasn’t this utilised to build the FiX sync point, rather than have two sync points?

Bottom line? I’ve turned off the FiX sync as it’s largely pointless for me.

If I feel inclined in a few days to turn the sync back on and the gallery integration returns, maybe I’ll eat my words. Or my hat. But bearing in mind I’ve had the phone on full sync for 24 hours+ (on wifi and mobile data) and nothing’s happened, I suspect I will be going hungry!

Music ‘Like’ + Facebook Albums/Android Gallery Integration

Music: Seems to work perfectly well on a bootloader-intact Arc, which I’ve now switched over to in order to enjoy at least some of the FiX features.

The application does take some time to post the details, I think because TrackID is taking a sample of the music behind the scenes. TrackID doesn’t work on bootloader-hacked phones thanks to removing the DRM information required to make it work. Bad times

Of course there’s no way to test it, using Facebook for Android, to check it’s actually publishing anything, as the app doesn’t show that kind of information! You have to go to touch.facebook.com to view the site. Or use your computer. More bad times.

Gallery: Despite adjusting various options in Facebook itself, the Gallery sync still isn’t working! After exhausting pretty every avenue I can think of to get it working (including deleting data, repairs and full auto sync for close to 24 hours) I managed to view my Facebook albums by the following steps:

* Open the Facebook App
* If you’re on the main screen, select Photos
* If not, and this is the really tricky part, you may have to tap on ‘Facebook’ in the top-left in order to get to the main screen
* Three taps of the screen – at most – job done!

I know the point of this FiX integration is to have Facebook stuff at the touch of a button…but…we already do! You still have to press the screen twice -Gallery>Facebook album – to view the pictures, so what’s the difference?!?

I’m not so idle as I can’t tap a couple extra times to view my Facebook stuff through the normal channels, but I begrudge waiting an age, draining battery to get something that is already readily accessible.

Bottom line? I’ve turned off the FiX sync as it’s largely pointless for me.

Facebook Inside Xperia

Installed the Hong Kong 2.3.3 update last week and got the fabled Facebook Inside Xperia software with it. First problem, the music tagging doesn’t work if your phone has been bootloader hacked. Damn. There is someone on XDA crowing about how his phone is hacked, rooted and tagging music but I think he’s full of shit.

The Gallery option with FiX, that shares your Facebook albums to your phone worked fine for me last week on the HK firmware, in fact I demoed the bloody thing with my wedding album, in the office. However, since installation of the UK 2.3.3 through SEUS on Thursday, starting yesterday my Facebook albums in the Gallery are behaving very strangely.

The albums do appear in the Gallery, but only with a title (no thumbnail). When I move the screen to select/view additional albums the whole lot disappears, along with everything except for the photos I’ve been tagged in – or what may be photos I personally have tagged myself in – and only up as far as 2009. It’s like the phone knows they’re there but is unable to see the actual image.

The phone has been in permanent sync for over 2 hours since I repaired the FW (just in case it was that) – when I installed the HK firmware last week, the phone synched Gallery to Facebook inside of 5 minutes.

From checking the boards at SEUK I can someone has had to change their privacy options in order to allow the app in. From my point of view, this is pretty crap – the whole point of this integration shouldn’t come at the cost of privacy from total strangers.

Not really sure why this is happening, I’ve even tested FiX on my other Arc – bootloader intact – to see if the same problem occurs. It does.Facebook claims I’m tagged in minus 91 photos, so I’m wondering if it’s something going on with Facebook as opposed to the handset, with the sheer volume of people attempting to use the service? It would be great if it worked though, otherwise the much-vaunted FiX is going to be entirely useless on my phone.

SMS

Checked my phone yesterday morning @ 09.25. No messages.

Checked my phone again @ 09.50 and found three text messages; 2 from Rox and 1 from the wedding photographer. Times on these texts were 09.34, 09.50 and 09.51.

This might seem rather dull, informing you about my social life, but the interesting thing is the lockscreen notification told me I had two texts, not three. Even more interesting is that @ 09.40 I checked my phone and there wasn’t even a notification in the status bar to say I’d had a text although I quite clearly had!

This is not the first time the phone has failed to notify me about a text – and it’s only happened since 2.3.3 went live. Now, it could be linked to the way Android messaging groups everything as a conversation, but that doesn’t excuse the lack of a notification.