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Alex Ethridge's Avatar
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09-Jul-2012, 02:01 AM #1
Solved: Selecting an Android Phone
I know so little about smartphones. I am changing from a Palm Treo 680 to Android and I have little to no understanding of the products available. Here are my requirements:
  • Android 2.2 or later (cannot be Honeycomb, whatever that is).
  • 3.5mm headset jack with microphone
  • screen size specified as Normal or Large
  • GPS enabled
  • There must be third-party software available that will allow me to block or send directly to voicemail literally hundreds of user-defined numbers and private or unidentified numbers.
  • There must be third party software software available that allows the recording of all calls, in and out, by default.
I understand there are phones that use certain chipsets that preclude the last two items on the above list and I don't know which chipsets/firmware to avoid.

TIA for any comments; but, please, no lectures about recording phone calls. I know the laws concerning that.
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09-Jul-2012, 11:09 AM #2
First, you need to always specify your carrier since the selection of phones is entirely dependent on that. From your previous thread, you have T-Mobile.

All current Android phones run 2.2 or later. All should have a standard 3.5mm headset jack.

The ability to block hundreds of phone numbers has nothing to do with the phone or phone's operating system. You have to work with your carrier on that.

I have no experience with recording calls. The laws on this vary from state to state. The ability to do this depends on what apps are available in the Google Play store and has nothing to do with the physical phone you buy.

Since you only intend to use this device with the Square payment service, get the cheapest Android phone T-Mobile offers. You'll be signing a 2-year agreement which is where the bulk of the cost is anyway.
Alex Ethridge's Avatar
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09-Jul-2012, 01:16 PM #3
Yes, I forgot that important detail, it's TMobile
Quote:
The ability to block hundreds of phone numbers has nothing to do with the phone or phone's operating system. You have to work with your carrier on that.
That is a feature available from software developers who write for Android. I currently have that on my Treo 680 and all numbers in the blocked list and all "private number" go straight to voice mail without even ringing.
Quote:
I have no experience with recording calls. The laws on this vary from state to state. The ability to do this depends on what apps are available in the Google Play store and has nothing to do with the physical phone you buy.
According to what I've read so far (and my knowledge is limited), there are certain chipsets that allow a call recording program to access the system in a way that recording calls is possible. Certain chipsets are designed in a way that will record one side only and some that will not allow either. Again, my knowledge is limited; but, I have read that on several web site forums and I don't know which chipset is which. There is one program called Total Recall that says on its web site that it has been tested to work with Samsung Galaxy 2 and Samsung Note.

Alabama is a one-party-consent state, regardless of how many participants in the conversation.
Quote:
Since you only intend to use this device with the Square payment service, get the cheapest Android phone T-Mobile offers. You'll be signing a 2-year agreement which is where the bulk of the cost is anyway.
I've thought about that; but, I need a single phone that does all the functions I require. I don't want to have to be swapping my SIM from one phone to another each time I have to take a credit card for payment and back to do voice calls. But, as infrequently as I have done credit cards in the past, I may go that route, at least to begin with.
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09-Jul-2012, 01:22 PM #4
I've never heard of an Android operating system feature that allows a list of calls to be blocked. Where did you read/hear/see this feature? The Android operating system is absolutely nothing at all like the old versions of PalmOS. It's an entirely different experience.

I also have never heard anything about hardware chipsets and call recording. I've read hundreds of reviews and specs for cell phones, and this has never once been mentioned.

The Android phones on the market vary by screen size and type, memory capacity, processor speed, and Android skins. That's about it. Never any mention of call blocking software or call recording chipsets.
Alex Ethridge's Avatar
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09-Jul-2012, 11:08 PM #5
Quote:
I've never heard of an Android operating system feature that allows a list of calls to be blocked. Where did you read/hear/see this feature? The Android operating system is absolutely nothing at all like the old versions of PalmOS. It's an entirely different experience.
Call blocking is not an Android OS feature. It is a third-party program. Here are a few call blockers and there are others:
http://www.everycall.us/product/call-control-android/
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...etqin.mm&hl=en
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d....blocker&hl=en
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...lblocker&hl=en
http://wmpoweruser.com/samsung-relea...r-its-devices/

Quote:
I also have never heard anything about hardware chipsets and call recording. I've read hundreds of reviews and specs for cell phones, and this has never once been mentioned.
I'm not a developer and know nothing of programming; but, my understanding of what I read is that chipsets, firmwares and API's (whatever API is) are critical in making it possible to write a call recording program work or not work. I can't find all the links I perused through so far; but, most of them were in forums where developers participated. I have seen threads where people complain that only one side of the call is recorded, some where recording works only when speakerphone is turned on and complaints where recording is spotty.

The chipset and "rooting" discussed:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1441643

An app not compatible with jellybean:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...x.callrecorder

Uplink, downlink, API, processors and chipsets are discussed:
http://code.google.com/p/android/iss...l?id=2117#c226

I don't understand much about all of this. I cannot testify to the truthiness of any of it; but, there seems to be a consensus among developers that processors, chipsets and API's are a critical factor in whether a call recording program can be made to work on a particular brand or model.

Quote:
Never any mention of call blocking software or call recording chipsets.
If you are reading spec sheets, manuals and text from manufacturer and provider sites, you won't get anything about call recording or call blocking; but, if you Google up things like RECORD PHONE CALLS API or RECORD PHONE CALLS PROCESSOR and maybe add the word FORUM or DEVELOPER, you'll find links like the ones I posted here. I aimed my search at users helping users solve problems and that's how I found all of this.

I'm still ignorant of programming; but, I'm getting closer to finding a solution to my own problem, which is selecting a phone and a compatible program that enables call recording and another that allows blocking an unlimited number of phone numbers and ALL private numbers.

They say necessity is the mother of invention and it looks like these capabilities are deemed necessary by a sufficient number of people for the programs/phones to come into existence to meet that need and I'm certainly glad about that. Call blocking is easy to find for almost any Android phone; but, call recording has narrowed my possible selections down to very, very few.
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10-Jul-2012, 08:07 AM #6
You're looking for features way outside the normal consumer market. You're not likely to find the answers here. Stick to forums like XDA Developers. If you want to run programs that require rooting, you need to be very choosy in selecting a phone that is easy to root. Not all are. You'll also immediately void the warranty and won't receive any support from the carrier or manufacturer. Rooting is something generally only done by people who are more than comfortable with a few bugs and hiccups on their phones.
Alex Ethridge's Avatar
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10-Jul-2012, 11:50 AM #7
I want nothing to do with rooting as, above all, the phone has to be reliable. It is my only phone. I gave up land lines years ago. I have found one call recording program, Total Recall, and two Android phones the developer guarantees it will work with, The Samsung Galaxy II and the Samsung Note.

The note will be available from TMobile August 8 or thereabouts.

Thanks for all the help.
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10-Jul-2012, 12:07 PM #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Ethridge View Post
The chipset and "rooting" discussed:
http://forum.xda-developers.com/show....php?t=1441643
You posted this link. It requires rooting and installing a custom ROM. If you don't intend to root the phone and install a custom ROM, then you can't use that program.
Alex Ethridge's Avatar
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10-Jul-2012, 10:08 PM #9
I didn't post those links because I am considering rooting. I'll leave rooting phones and over-clocking computers to those who don't care about the integrity of their data or the reliability of their machines. I posted those links in response to post #4, where you wrote you never heard of call blocking, call recording and chipsets and processors making a difference in a phone's versatility.

I'm simply trying to understand which phone and which software for that phone will accomplish reliable call recording and call blocking. From what I have seen, there are at least two phones that will accept and run the programs necessary for those operations and that meet Square's requirements, the Samsung Galaxy II and the Note, and at least one program that is offered by its developer as being compatible with those two phones, Total Recall (no rooting required).

Also, I'm learning about these things pretty fast. I already know a lot more now than I did when I started this thread.
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11-Jul-2012, 08:02 AM #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Ethridge View Post
I didn't post those links because I am considering rooting. I'll leave rooting phones and over-clocking computers to those who don't care about the integrity of their data or the reliability of their machines.
That's rather condescending, Alex, and unnecessary commentary. It shows you're not very familiar with Android.

Android is considered more of geek phone operating system. People who want rock-solid reliability, security, and simplicity of use buy iPhones.
Alex Ethridge's Avatar
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11-Jul-2012, 12:44 PM #11
Condescending? You seem to have taken what I wrote personally for a reason I don't understand.

Clarification:

Respectable people can disagree; but, my mind is made up that overclocking makes a system less reliable. Overclocking forums are replete with complaints that support that belief for me. I put rooting in the same category as it voids my warranty and support.

People who overclock and root have knowledge I sometimes envy them for; but, I think it unwise to overclock a system used for business. My advice to overclockers is have one machine for play and a different one for business, whether it is personal business or commercial business. That is not being condescending; it's being practical.

No, I'm not familiar with Android and I alluded to that lack of understanding in the first line of my first post in this thread; but, I have the understanding that rooting voids my warranty and support and may bring me unexpected results. This, I do understand: I want predictability and reliability above all.
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11-Jul-2012, 01:11 PM #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Ethridge View Post

[*]Android 2.2 or later (cannot be Honeycomb, whatever that is).
It's the OS for the phone.......essentially phones are extremely portable computers these days.
Quote:
[*]3.5mm headset jack with microphone
all have those.

Quote:
[*]screen size specified as Normal or Large
that's your choice. There's bazillions out there.
Quote:
[*]GPS enabled
again, a zillion apps for that, and most phones come bundled with about 4 or 5 such apps.
Quote:
[*]There must be third-party software available that will allow me to block or send directly to voicemail literally hundreds of user-defined numbers and private or unidentified numbers.
Dunno about that one. Never heard of it. If I don't want to answer someone, I just hit 'no'.

Quote:
[*]There must be third party software software available that allows the recording of all calls, in and out, by default.
Good luck with that. Pretty sure that NONE of the makers are going to allow that. Simply too much of a mess to get into. Not sure of the legality, either.

hope that helps.
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DoubleHelix's Avatar
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11-Jul-2012, 01:35 PM #13
Who said anything about overclocking? Rooting is not overclocking. Rooting does not void your warranty.

I suspect owning an Android phone will be quite an experience for you.
Alex Ethridge's Avatar
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11-Jul-2012, 01:44 PM #14
Quote:
Who said anything about overclocking?
I did, and you quoted it in your 'condescending' reply. (post #10)

I compared rooting to overclocking because I lump them together when it comes to their effect on reliability. It was just a tertiary brought in for clarification on what I currently understand about rooting. Sorry for the confusion.

I may change my mind about rooting later as I gain more knowledge about it; but, for now, it looks to me like something that would bring in disappointing surprises. I don't like surprises, especially disappointing ones.
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11-Jul-2012, 03:01 PM #15
Nope. No mention of overclocking anywhere in my posts. Overclocking is not rooting which is not the same as installing a custom ROM. Those are all completely different operations.

Since this is your first modern smartphone, I guarantee you're in for more than a few surprises. Let me know when you experience your first random restart. Happens to every Android phone owner I know. All Android phones are skinned except for the Galaxy Nexus which runs pure Google Android Ice Cream Sandwich. And even it has problems and instabilities. That's the nature of Android.

As I said, if you need rock-solid stability, reliability, and ease-of-use, you need to get an iPhone. All Android phones have their surprises and quirks. It's part of the package.
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