Friday, August 21, 2015

A trip to the Dark Side

After praising Windows 10 for an excellent upgrade experience (still loving it btw) I have just had a very different experience with my Galaxy Note 3 which, last week, decided to give me Android Lollipop 5.0. I admit that I had been waiting for this upgrade, largely because of the new features and the look and feel of Lollipop. So, I let the phone go ahead and upgrade.

Bad move. There has been a variety of issues with Lollipop ranging from lag to overheating. The problem I encountered, however, was Bluetooth stability. When you also use a smart watch, Bluetooth is vitally important. What's the point of having notifications come to your wrist if they stop without warning? Bluetooth started dropping its connection several times per day and at least once per day would actually lose its pairing information. This had never been a problem with the previous Android Kitkat.

First, I spent a week reading the web and trying various 'solutions' including a full factory reset of the phone. Nothing improved the flaky Bluetooth. In the end, I had to resort to downloading a Kitkat ROM from the internet and flashing the phone back to Kitkat 4.4.2. A procedure that found me surfing a wave of near panic, in case I bricked the phone. Fortunately, the phone survived and I now have a robust Bluetooth installation again with calming green leaves for a wallpaper.

This problem seems to have been around ever since Lollipop was rolled out, but no one seems to know who should fix it - is it Google's Lollipop OS, Samsung's implementation of Lollipop, or an incompatibility with the Note 3 hardware. Who do I bill for my time? Grrrr...

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