Thursday, 26 May 2011

Google Docs Application

For those, who are using Google Docs for maintaining and sharing files with others, Google Docs is here. Well, this has always been there in the Google App set, but Spice chose to exclude it for some reason.

You can get it from the following blogpost:

Its so much easy for editing your online Google docs.

And BTW, there are a lot of other Android apps available at the same blog:


Thursday, 19 May 2011

Easy way to root Spice Mi-310

Tired of the market problem, I wanted to try out a different ROM configuration.

The first step is to root the phone. After searching for an hour, I found this link of UniversalAndroot. Great!

Installed the App! It gives root access. (Dont know yet if that is true).
On my way to getting a different ROM.

I am using these online guides available to flash my Android:

 Hoping for the best!

Backing up the current ROM!

It gives a lot of options:
Trying Spice Mi7000 (tablet from Spice) failed.
Trying Commtiva... Looks to be proceeding.
Update: First attempt failed. Trying again.

Update: Stalled again for a second time, but this time it proceeded further

USB init ept@ 0x72000
-- suspend --
-- reset --
-- portchange --
-- reset --
-- portchange --
STALL GET_DESCRIPTOR 128 6 1006 0 18

Update 3rd attempt: Looks to be hung. No STALL this time, but hung after portchange, Waiting

The ROM manager software couldn't successfully backup the existing ROM. Without that, it will be too risky to flash the phone.
I have tried it four times, and it went ahead one step with each try. Also, the ROM manager gives a list of options while backig the phone. The correct choice should seamlessly take you through, that is, if you are lucky.

In any case, there is a good amount of information in this post, for anybody, to go ahead and try it, if they want. And so, if you do (try), please post a comment.

I dont think I will get time for that in the next three weeks. Till then, good luck for rooting!

Market problem bugs again

Couldn't resist writing a few words!
I know exactly which app I need, but yet again, the phone doesn't allow me to install it.

For my travel to Vancouver, I need the local train map and bus schedule. How much easier would it be to just open market from the phone, search, download and install it.

Yet again, Spice Mi-310 disappoints. The app uses GPS and is forbidden.
I have wasted the last twenty minutes searching for the app without luck. So, I thought I'll waste two more minutes blogging and forget it!

Monday, 16 May 2011

No response from Spice yet

I havent received a response from Spice yet, which means that, Spice has washed its hands off from the problem. It is pathetic

I will give one last try by calling into their customer service. If that doesnt work out, I am going to use the social media to highlight the problem. I am hoping that would get their attention to the problem.

And, oh by the way, I have had a busy few days attending a conference in Mysore.

I used the Google Maps utility for navigation. Though it works great, I wish I had a navigation application. I had to rely on other person to follow the map while I was driving. Voice-assisted navigation would have been better.

And mind you, while using navigation, the phone eats up battery fast. You can expect 90 minutes of navigation from a full battery. Still far from those handheld GPS navigation devices which can run for 24 hours.

Here are a couple of mapping/navigation apps that you can download:
1. Google Maps: No need to download.Comes with most Android devices. Doesn't support offline maps yet.
2. Locus: Very accurate maps. But the maps are quite large. Be prepared to shell out on bandwidth.
3. Mapdroyd: Very useful offline map utility. GPS isn't very accurate, but makes up for it with smaller mapsize. India map is only 17MB.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

More info on the OEM

Here's more info on the OEM.

Spice Mi-310 is manufactured by the Chinese OEM Cellon. 

Device Configuration for OEM Cellon C8093 variant.
Known device variant:
-Spice Mi-310
-CSL Mi-320
You can also see the same information in Settings > About phone. Thanks Harikumar.
And to answer questions on the battery life, you'll have to charge it on a daily basis or nightly basis. Be sure you install battery saving applications like JuiceDefender to switch off any unnecessary usage of GPS, Wifi, 3G, etc. Carry your charger if you plan to use them frequently.

Lookalike, is it the original version!

Thanks Mohit for pointing out.

Spice Mi310 seems to be a rebranded version of CSL Blueberry Mi320.

Surprisingly, the CSL phone carries the Spice logo. Not sure what that means. 

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Almost through!

I went to the Service Center to get those guys to have a look at the USB problem. Those guys had the phone for a little while, came back, and said. your USB port is working fine.
I asked that they demo it to me, and they did.

It was surprising to me first, because, I had tried several times with both my home and office laptops, and this thing didn't blink an eye. I am not sure if it readily worked, or those guys had to do something. I didn't have the time to ask more questions to those guys, as I was in a hurry.

Ok, that brings us to:
Both the USB and BT have been setup.
We have an open issue on Android Market. I can probably expect a reply from them on Monday. I'll keep my fingers crossed, as to what they say.

I'll make another post with the list of all my installed apps within the next two days.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Another reason why this a computer than a phone

I was trying send an SMS today, and guess what, there is no direct way to open the address book from the Messaging (SMS) application.

That makes me wonder, if I will be able to replace the stock dialer and SMS application with a more custom one.

That brings me to the search for newer apps, one that could have been entirely avoided.

USB and Bluetooth: Teething problems.

First, I though that Bluetooth isn't working. I wanted to transfer some photos from my old phone, and enabled Bluetooth. But the phone wouldn't show up at all.

After searching for a while, I found how to connect using bluetooth.
Settings > Wireless & Networks > Bluetooth Settings > Discoverable:
Follow this sequence, and Mi310 will be open for other devices to connect for another two minutes. You can pair up with another mobile phone or computer during this time. I could successfully dial-up and listen to music on my computer.
The menu also shows up a list of devices that will connect.

The USB interface is still a mystery to me. I remember getting it to work once, after enabling USB tethering. But I can't get it to work now. After having tried multiple times, I have no option but to give up. I will be going to the service center tomorrow, and ask that guy to set it up for me. Will be an interesting experience tomorrow! Will update the blog further.

Oh, BTW, I got a vague reply from Spice Product support. They replied as if they dont know about Android Market at all. Have sent a detailed note to them explaining the Android Market problem, and let us hope that it get some good attention at Spice.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Problem with Android Market

Ok, the basic apps are done! Let me get more apps! How about Tweetdeck for twitter, and I also need Endomondo for tracking my running.

The first search for Endomondo doesn't yield any results. WTF? Try it again. It still isn't there.
Off to my PC, and search in Android market. Endomondo is very much there. Then, what the heck?

Time for a little more research?

Houston, we have a problem! After some research, this is what I found!
All Android handset makers need to register their handsets, basically their ROM code which contains all the device capabilities, like Bluetooth, Wifi, Camera, GPS, etc. If you dont register, your handset will not be recognized by Android.
Or in other words, Android Market will not know what your device is capable of! To be on the safer side, Android will block all apps, that the device isn't capable of.
For example, if your phone doesn't have a GPS, it will block all GPS related apps, like Mapdroyd, Endomondo. From a system perspective, installing such an app will crash your phone, and it is not recommended.

Whats the deal with Spice Mi-310?
Android Market doesn't recognize the handset's capabilites, for whatever reasons. In the past, there have been some complaints about Google not keeping up with all the handsets. Look at the following thread.

So, can I use my apps or not?
Whatever apps that come with the handset, you can use without any issues. There is a good collection of apps to satisfy your appetite. If you still need more apps, you''ll have to get it from the market.

Is there any other way?
I have already sent an email to Spice customer service. Hoping that they'll respond to my question about the problem.
Otherwise, it will be tricky. You'll have to get the app (the .apk file) into the phone using some means. These aren't easy to get by outside of the market. In case someone finds an easy way to get the apps, let me know.

Right now, I am using  Freeware Lovers ( to get the apps. Once you find the app file (.apk), its a cake walk. You can send it to your gmail as an attachment, and open the attachment using Gmail. It installs directly.

You can also transfer the apps to your phone using either USB or Wireless. 
You can use File Expert for transferring files between your PC and the phone. It has a good http and ftp interface. (

I am still looking for other ways to make it work through Android Market, or bypass Android Market. Of course, I would want the apps with the latest bugfixes..

Yippee, finally got Swype

First, I was disappointed that I could not find Swype in the Android Market.

Luckily, they have a beta version open for Android, which you can install on the device. It can be found at the following URL:

You will need to register with your email for it.

It is much better than the standard Qwerty.

Man, this phone sucks the battery

I had about ~60% charge when I started at 8am. It is 1pm now, and the battery is almost drained out.

Ok, do I need all the services to be turned on. 
Cool, Android has a nice tray where all the devices are controlled: WIFI, GPS, BTooth, Sync, Upload/Download and Brightness.

Now, let me turn off, whatever I dont need. Turned off Wifi, GPS!
I still need an app to control the battery life!

There are two paid versions also. Let me try it out for a while before buying one!

Is it a computer of a cellphone?

Oh my gosh? I am looking up contacts and it is showing up only 7. Oh wait a minute! These are not the ones on my previous phone. Oh yes, these are my gmail contact. What happened to all of the contacts in Sim.

Strange, I would expect cellphones to initialize the address-book from the Sim first.

Ok, let me google!

Ah yes, there it is. I followed the procedure in the second post.

"Open the contacts,
press menu,
tap settings,
tap sim contacts importer,
press menu,
tap import all. That's one way to get your SIM contacts on your phone."

and this little bugger imported the contacts from the SIM.

No wonder, Android is for geeks, and iphone is for 'chic's.

I got my Android!

After a long tussle with the online shop, I got hands on my first Android, the Spice Mi-310 on Monday.
Since then, I have been busy configuring the phone. Its mostly like a computer and not a phone.

The wireless is seamless, but I have dont have a WIFI for the phone at my office. So, I am using whatever little time I get away from Ananya (my little baby daughter) to configure the phone.

So far, the reactions have been mixed. Will follow up.