allankintz.com

Overall I'd still say I'm more than satisfied with my Galaxy S II. The device itself is fantastic. It's thin, light, powerful, has a gorgeous screen, and decent battery life. I really cannot find any faults with the hardware. Some of the software, on the other hand, I take issue with.

Android as a whole is nice. But there are some things that either don't make sense to me, or I don't care about.

The font sizes for one. For having such a large screen, it feels like everything is HUGE on it. Like I just bought a 24" LCD and set it to 800x600 resolution or something. WHY? One of the first things I've done in almost any app is look for text size options and make them as small as possible. I realize some things need to be larger to make for a better touch-based experience... but come on.

GPS is SLOOOOOW. My iPhone 4 would lock on GPS and let me check into foursquare REALLY fast. It feels like it takes the SGS2 a lifetime to get a GPS lock and load the correct venues. Apparently there are worse devices out there - but comparison-wise this feels like a lifetime.

Pre-loaded apps, aka: bloatware. AT&T and Samsung can shove these things up their asses for all I care. There's no reason to put so much crap on a device and then NOT allow someone to remove it. And in my case not allow me to turn it off and make it stop working.

I'm specifically referring to the AP Mobile news widget. I added the widget once to see what it would look like - hated it immediately - and proceeded to go into the settings to make it go away. There is a scroll setting and a refresh setting. I set both to None - thinking this would kill it. Then I removed the widget from my home screen. This was when I first got the phone weeks ago...

Fast forward to this weekend and I was reviewing my AT&T data for the billing period and decided to install a data manager app on my phone to see what uses data. Mostly out of curiosity. Turns out... AP Mobile is a data-hogging bitch. Even when not in use. Remember me turning it off before? Ya, it was still off. I added the widget back to my home screen and verified the setting was still set to refresh of None. It was.

I then set it to refresh of an hour, removed the widget, added the widget back, set it to none, and removed it again. Still using data. And when I say this thing is using data, it uses 3-4 MB every 10 minutes or so. Add that up over a month and that's a LOT of data. Unacceptable. Next step was to Force Stop the application in the Settings menu. This worked... for a while. It decided to start itself up again and use more data. And since it's a pre-loaded app, there is no uninstall option. Awesome.

To AT&T support we go. This was the first of 3 chat sessions where I try to figure out what to do about this.

info: Welcome to AT&T Chat. My name is 'Vicki Clay' and I’ll be happy to assist you today.
Vicki Clay: I apologize for the inconvenience caused by the app using so much data Mr. Kintz. Thank you for completing the pre chat survey.  We're happy to have you as part of our AT&T family and I will be happy to assist you today. It is my priority to resolve any issues and respond to any other questions or concerns that  you may have.
Allan Kintz: so is there any way to remove this app or stop it's data usage without rooting the device? i'd like to avoid that if i could
Vicki Clay: I'm checking the tutorial on how to remove applications on your device. I'll send you a link to what I find.
Allan Kintz: well i do know how to uninstall applications - but this one does not have that option
Allan Kintz: and like i said, i'm not even using the widget and have set it to not refresh for data - but it continues to do so
Vicki Clay: I'm sorry but I do not find any tutorial on the device you are using. Is it an AT&T phone?
Allan Kintz: yes... Samsung Galaxy S II.
Vicki Clay: Did this application come embedded in the phone?
Allan Kintz: yes
Vicki Clay: I apologize, but you will not be able to remove an application that is embedded into the software of the phone. I can suggest contacting the manufacturer to see how to manage the software if you like.
Allan Kintz: but doesn't at&t decide what applications go on the device? i'm confused.
Allan Kintz: thing is though that i dont even need to remove it - i just want it to stop using data when i'm not using the app or widget
Vicki Clay: The number for Samsung is 1-888-987-4357.  They are open Monday - Friday: 9am - 8pm EST and Saturday: 10am - 7pm EST.            The web address is http://www.samsungusa.com.
Vicki Clay: Is there something else I can help you with Mr. Kintz?
info: Your chat transcript will be sent to akintz@gmail.com at the end of your chat.

So... they punted it to Samsung. At least she gave their contact info.....

Keep in mind, at this point I've seen enough on the internet to know that I'm not the only one with this problem. Lot of others have run into this and there's always the same answer. Root it. I'm sorry but that is not a solution. That is a "work around." It does not solve the problem of the app I'm not using eating up my data. Anyway... Samsung was next. I'd like to find an actual answer...

Phillips: Hi, thank you for contacting Samsung Technical Support. How may I help you today?
Visitor: Hi, I have a Galaxy S II on AT&T and have a problem with one of the apps. The AP Mobile app continues to use data - even though I am not using the widget for it, and have set the widget refresh to None. There is no way that I can find to uninstall the app and if I Force Stop it, it starts up again. I have talked to AT&T and they decided it was a Samsung problem.
Visitor: This specific app has used over 10 MB of data just this morning already. I'd like to either make sure it is dead - or completely remove it. And I'd like to avoid rooting my device if I can - because that is an option.
Phillips: I understand that you are experiencing data consumption issue with AP Mobile app on your Samsung SGH-I777 device and would like to uninstall the app. Am I correct?
Visitor: Yes.
Phillips: Thank you for the confirmation.
Phillips: I will assist you with the required information.
Phillips: Let me confirm if you have downloaded the app for Android market.
Visitor: No, it was pre-installed on the device.
Phillips: Thank you for the information.
Phillips: I am sorry, we can not uninstall the preloaded apps on the device. They come with Android Operating System.
Phillips: However, let me check if there are any settings for the app.
Visitor: There are settings for the widget. There are 2 refresh settings, I have set them both to None. In fact, I added the widget, set the refresh to 1 hour. Removed the widget. Added the widget back, set the refresh back to None and removed the widget again and it still uses data.
Phillips: Thank you for the information.
Phillips: Would you mind holding 3 minutes while I gather the required information on your request?
Visitor: sure
Phillips: Thank you.
Phillips: Thank you for holding.
Phillips: I have checked with the information and found that the app uses more data to check for updates. As you have set the refresh time to none and still find the data is consumed.
Phillips: I suggest you to remove the widget and check if the issue persist.
Visitor: But I have removed the widget......
Phillips: I apologize for the inconvenience this might have caused to you.
Phillips: Did you try removing and re-inserting the battery on the device after deleting the app?
Phillips: This refreshes the circuit on the device and brings the settings to normal.
Visitor: I have not pulled the battery since removing the widget, no. I suppose I can try that.
Phillips: Sure, please go ahead. This should fix the issue.
Visitor: It is coming back up now. I'll keep an eye on the data throughout the day and see if it is better. Thanks.
Phillips: You are welcome.

So... that did not help. At all. Took about 10 minutes to figure that out so I went back into yet another chat...

Sierra: Hi, thank you for contacting Samsung Technical Support. How may I help you today?
Visitor: I was actually just in a chat a few minutes ago with someone named "Phillips" ... and the problem is not resolved... here's the short summary:
Sierra: Okay, please go ahead.
Visitor: New Samsung Galaxy S II on AT&T (new being bought 10/4). The AP Mobile app that came pre-installed on the device continues to use up many MBs of my data - even though I'm not using it. I have set the refresh setting of the AP Mobile widget to "none" and removed the widget and it does not help. The previous person I talked to "Phillips" suggested pulling the battery since I had not done so after removing the widget. I have done that and the app has used another MB of data in just the last 15 minutes. Need a better solution.
Visitor: I have the option of rooting the device if I want to - but I shouldn't have to do that just to remove an app or get it to stop using my data. Already talked to AT&T and they said it was a Samsung issue. Feel like I'm getting the run-around.
Sierra: I understand that you area experiencing issue with the AP mobile application on your SGH-I777 mobile device. Am I correct?
Visitor: yes
Sierra: Thank you for the confirmation.
Sierra: May I know from how long you have been experiencing this issue?
Visitor: Likely since I got the device - but just noticed it last night when I installed a data tracking app to see what was using my data.
Sierra: I am sorry for the inconvenience caused to you.
Visitor: I was checking my AT&T bill and noticed my data usage this month was abnormally high. That's what prompted me to install an app to check on it.
Sierra: Let us troubleshoot the issue.
Sierra: Please let me know if you have removed the widget from the phone.
Visitor: Yes.
Visitor: I have also added the widget, set the refresh to 1 hour. Removed the widget. Added the widget again and set the refresh to none. Then removed again.
Sierra: I am sorry to hear that.
Sierra: I have gone through your previous chat correspondence with Philips. As you have removed the widget and still facing the issue, the issue might be with the device.
Sierra: Let us perform a hard reset on the device.
Visitor: Is that anything like pulling the battery?
Sierra: You may lose the data when you perform the hard reset.
Sierra: No, hard reset is restoring the device to its factory settings.
Visitor: Ah...
Sierra: I will provide you with the steps.
Sierra: Please follow the below steps to Hard reset the Captivate Phone :

1. Turn the power off. Pull the battery out and replace it if the Power button doesn’t work.
2. Press and hold the Volume Down and Power buttons.
3. Release the Power button while continuing the hold Volume Down until a menu appears prompting you to select Fastboot, Recovery, Clear Storage, and Simlock.
4. Select Delete all user data using the Volume Down button.
5. Press the release Power button.
6. Select Volume Up for Yes.

Sierra: Please let me know once you are done.
Visitor: So will I get any of my apps/data back after this? I realize it'll wipe everything at first, but how much of that is backed up?
Sierra: You may lose all the third party applications installed on the device when you perform hard reset.
Sierra: All the pre-installed applications will be there as it is on the device.
Visitor: I'm going to have to take some time before I do this. I need to back some stuff up and move some things to my SD card. I will save the instructions and try this later today when I get a chance.
Sierra: Okay, you can try with the above steps after backing up the data. If the issue still persists, you can contact us again through chat. We are available 24x7.
Sierra: Do you have any other questions for me?
Visitor: Not at the moment, no. Thanks.
Sierra: You are welcome.

1) I don't have a Captivate... as I mentioned already. I just ignored that part. But the instructions weren't exactly the same anyway. 2) Don't any of these people read what is right in front of them? Like the 2nd chat above where the guy asks if I've removed the widget yet. Yes, I did. Like I mentioned to him twice already at that point.

But as hesitant as I was to do the reset, I did follow through and try it. It was annoying, but I did it. I actually thought this fixed it too... for a while. Then it started up again. AGAIN! This time I decided to swing by the AT&T store on my way back from lunch and see what they say. Absolutely no help there... but my main reason for stopping was to make them aware of my data issues and if I couldn't get this app fixed or removed and I went over my 2GB limit, I wasn't paying for it.

I have yet to go into another chat with Samsung... not because I don't want to find the answer but because I'm sick of having to explain the same damn thing to different people every time I try to get help and still getting no solution. I rooted it (if you saw my previous post, you already know this). I'm actually bothered that this was the "answer" to my problem. It shouldn't be. I should be able to remove this crap if I don't want it or worse yet, it causes problems. The fact that I cannot is annoying.

Ya, my iPhone had apps that I couldn't delete either (Stocks, Calculator, etc) but they didn't chew up my data just sitting there.

I'm still pretty frustrated about it... but I'm still trying to give this a fair shot.

6 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “My Android Data Problem”

  • aaron

    October 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Thanks for writing this down. I am having the exact same issue and given the same run around by at&t+samsung. They have no solution and I am contemplating to go mass media on this. My theory is that a lot of people are still holding onto the unlimited plan, that is why we don’t hear about this issue as much as we should. I should not have to root a phone just to use it.

  • Joseph

    November 15, 2011 at 9:59 am

    Wondering if you’ve made any progress since your article. I went the same route as you, same response, so no one is even acknowledging the issue. Going to the AT&T store today.

  • ack154

    November 15, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    @Joseph: Sadly, no. No change. But that’s more because I have yet to pursue it any further. There also has been no official software update yet that I’ve seen, so nothing has been done yet that I’m aware of.

  • Joseph

    November 15, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    Just an FYI, I followed some forum advice and set the widget on my desktop and set the refresh to every 3 hours, and damned if it did not work, no more data usage. After chewing up over 31 MB in 18 hours, it has only used about 1 MB over 7 hours or so. I was about to return the phone, but this has saved it.

  • Joon

    December 5, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Hi guys, same problem here.

    1MB for 7 hrs, while better than before is still not acceptable I would say! If you want to stay under 200MB/month then really every MB counts. Why should you have to pay for data you are NOT using?? I had no problem staying under 200MB with Blackberry Torch and iPhone 3GS, if this forces me to go for 2GB then I would consider returning the phone (I just got it 4 days ago).

  • Shirley

    January 24, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Guys its same at the other side of the world.
    I’m from Singapore & I my Samsung phone not too long ago. The app uses up my data like crazy. Whatever method had been used but no way to stop it. I realised this happens once you did the fateful click to check out the app. Phones with this app but did not start it does not have this problem at all.