Sunday, December 25, 2016

How I mount my Galaxy S7 phone in the car

I had been complaining about the GPS issues with my phone in the past (read about it here). That's because I use them for navigating when I am driving the car. The GPS issues were resolved after buying the Galaxy S7 and disabling the My Optus app (read about it here). But I never talked about how I was mounting my phone in the car.

Initially, I ordered a Handsfree Bluetooth Smart Phone Holder from Kogan as per my cousin's recommendation. However, the ETA for it was a bit too long, so I cancelled the order.

I then went to the JB Hi-Fi and bought the Cygnett Dashview Universal Car Mount which was much cheaper and I could buy it on the spot. It wasn't a great product and the price probably reflects that. The arms of it which held the phone in place scratched the body of my phone's case because they were so tight. The tightening dial (I don't know what it is called, you just have to tighten it for the mount to stay fixed on the windshield) would loosen every now and then, although the mount never came off all by itself. But it at least got the job done.

But few weeks ago, I ran into a new problem.

I was in Beaconsfield and heading towards Melbourne City on the Monash Freeway M1. The phone lost GPS and never recovered. The phone felt hot and very sluggish, so I cleared all apps and when it didn't do anything, I rebooted the phone. Still it did not recover, so I just switched to my wife's phone for the rest of the trip. A few days before the first incident, I installed Optus Sports app to watch cricket on the phone. (I could use it freely with my plan) I thought that app messed up my GPS, just like the My Optus app did a few months ago. The phone had gotten a bit slow as well over the months, so I decided to do a complete factory reset and start from the scratch. I didn't get any issues with GPS afterwards, and I thought that it was just a software issue and that it was resolved.

And it occurred again on another day, around the exact area!!!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Google Play Store Family sharing and Opinion Rewards are a great power couple

Google Play Store now has a feature called Family Library. This lets one person to buy an app and share it amongst all the members in the Family group, without everyone needing to pay for the app individually.

You first have to add family members to your Family Group, from your Play Store Account settings. You can add a maximum of 5 family members. I only added my wife. The catch is that you have to specify a single payment method for all family purchases, and everyone you add to the Family should confirm the payment method. So, you would not want to add anyone else you don't trust with your money to that group.

While it is great that each family member doesn't have to purchase the app, you can take it to the another level if all of them are earning Google Credits through Opinion Rewards app.

I bought Solid Explorer Full Version, Holo Launcher Plus, GSam Battery Monitor Pro and Pixel Icon Pack with my Google Credits since writing about Opinion Rewards couple of months back. Purchasing all those apps exhausted all of my Google Credits. But my wife had been piling up Google Credits in her account and I figured I could use those credits to buy apps from her account and share it with me through the Family Library.

Unified Remote Full was available on sale for Christmas, so I decided to try it out this way. As expected, I bought it from my wife's Play Store account which added it to the Family Library, which allowed me to install it on my Galaxy S7 from my account. Awesome!

Thank you Google for Family sharing and Opinion Rewards. :)

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