Blog: Android

I was about to make a call on my Android phone, and when I went into the phone app, I noticed all my contact names were gone, instead it was just the phone numbers.

First I went to make sure Google contacts were turned on. Then I made sure they were properly synced, but still nothing.

Google suggested installing the Google contacts app and restoring from the latest backup. So I installed the app and there was a suggestion to restore from yesterday's backup. Did that and still no contacts. I went into Google contacts using a web browser and realized it wasn't just missing from my phone, my contacts were missing from my Google account period.

Further research found another setting called Undo Changes. This setting will let you revert your account back to a previous state from any day within the previous 30 days. I reverted back 1 week and all my contact data came back.

I then immediately made another backup and made sure daily backups were still set. You can also do the same thing from the web. Sign into your Google account online and Contacts is one of the apps you can open. (Same place you'll find gmail, drive, photos, etc)


If you're frustrated with trying to edit text on your mobile device and placing the cursor in the correct location, try this:
  • Press and hold the space bar on the virtual keyboard
  • When the keyboard goes blank (on iOS), drag the cursor where you want to edit then release
  • This also works in all directions so you can move the cursor up and down, or left/right. You don't have to stay in the area of the virtual keyboard.


My Android phone was frequently losing the connection to the SIM card, causing me to miss calls and text messages. Several online forums point to battery and system monitoring apps as causing the problem. I had one of these apps installed, so I uninstalled it, but the problem remained. I even tried resetting my phone to factory defaults, but that did not work either. The solution turned out to be really simple. I found a forum a few months later that suggested removing the SIM card tray and placing a small piece of tape over the back of the SIM card to hold it more securely in the tray. I did this over a month ago and have not had the error happen since then.


After carrying an iPhone for about 4 years, I recently made the leap to Android…with some trepidation. My iPhones had always worked with few hiccups.

The reason for the switch, you ask?

First, Apple hasn’t gotten a clue yet that their iPhone screen size compares poorly to many Android smartphones.

Secondly, I hate iTunes. I’d never had an Apple product of any kind until my first iPhone. And, with it, the necessary installation of iTunes. Most of my 4,000 song music library are WMA files ripped from my own CDs. iTunes doesn’t play WMA files but it will gladly convert them to MP3 files and, in so doing, create duplicate files on your hard drive. Since my music library already consumed almost 20GBs of HD space, duplicate music files are not insignificant. But, wasted HD space wasn’t the worst of the process. In the conversion, the metadata on many of the files did not convert correctly...album info, artist info, etc. was fouled up and album art was, too. I don’t know how many hours I wasted trying to clean up the mess – when everything was perfect in Windows Media Player before. And, of course, Windows Media Player saw the new (duplicate) MP3 files and added them to the WMP library. Lovely. And, iTunes invariably charges more for music than Amazon. And, you get their stupid proprietary music file format. And, you better hope you have a backup because, according to many friends, you’re out of luck if your HD dies. Did I say I HATE iTunes?

Lastly, it has always gotten under my skin that Apple refuses to include memory card slots in their devices. Forcing you to spend $100 for an incremental increase in storage capacity. Shameful!

Well, I bought the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. I could go on and on about the ginormous screen and cool S Pen. The quad core processor and 2 GBs of RAM make for a blazing fast response. But, you can read all about it here:

As to the reasons for my conversion:

  1. The aforementioned 5.5” HD Super AMOLED display is massive compared to my old iPhone 4 (and even the only slightly larger iPhone 5)
  2. No more iTunes. I copied my music library by dragging and dropping it into the Music folder on my Note 2, which is recognized on my Windows 7 system with a cheap, non-proprietary USB cable. Boom…done!
  3. I doubled the phone’s 16GB memory capacity with a $10 microSD card.

I did lose 2 apps (of dozens) in the process: A disc golf scorecard app and the T. Rowe Price app. Every other app on my iPhone was available in the Google Play store. I haven’t even gone looking in the other Android stores.

Don’t be afraid to free yourself from the Apple shackles! Life is good on the other side.


A while back I started receiving unwanted automated calls on my Motorola Android phone at night.  It was an automated service calling my number frequently.  It was only a recorded voice on the other side.  I didn't want to turn off my ringer incase a call I was expecting came through.  It's easy to effectively block a number on your android phone without installing any apps.  Just follow these steps: [more]

  1. Add the number as a contact.
  2. Edit the contact.
  3. Tap the menu button and then select "Options".
  4. Select "Send calls directly to voicemail".

That's it.