Replace Norton and Avast with my recommended security suite, and new Android phone setup

Quite an easy job this one, uninstalled Norton and Avast, both of which are sometimes hard to uninstall requiring additional tools. Avast caused a problem this time, getting stuck deleting a file, but  I solved that. I then installed my recommended suite of security software which is less than £20 per year compared to the £60+ Norton subscription. I also removed MyPCBackup which had been installed without the client’s informed consent.

This client had bought quite a nice phone from a shopping channel several months ago but not turned it on. I turned it on, set it up (email, Facebook, etc) and gave her some tuition on how to best use it.

HP Print Service Plugin – how to get rid of it (well, at least disable it)

I tried to leave a review on the Play Store, but there is an “unexpected error” and it won’t let me.  Judging by the fact all recent reviews are 1-star, I suspect Google has blocked reviews until they figure out what to do.

So, since I can’t leave a review there, here’s my review.  The review is about this app, which was installed as part of the Android 4.4 Kitkat update.

I don’t own a HP printer. HP and Google have just upset me with this unwanted app. Now, I will never own a HP printer.

It’s unclear what effect it will have, but you can disable this plugin (at least on a Nexus 7 (2013)) by going to Settings, Apps, All, HP Print Service Plugin, Disable. It then doesn’t try to update either.

Nexus 7 is supposed to be pure Android. Adding a propriety app that most users don’t need is annoying. IMO, it’s adware, advertising a service that you don’t currently use. A trojan is something unwanted that you get in addition to something you want. This is therefore a trojan. Bad Google!

If Google later gives a rationale for including this in 4.4, explaining how non-HP owners get a benefit, then I will change my review. If it’s simply because “you may want to print from an HP someday”, then we can expect the same from Canon, Lexmark, and the rest, and Android will be a bloatfest.

Google Calendar and Android Calendar one-way sync problem solved

I was having a problem where events I add on my Android phone would sync to Google, but events added on Google Calendar would not sync to my phone.  I searched Google Help, and a wider internet search on Google, but there were pages and pages of people having the opposite problem; their phone would get new events input on the web, but new events on the phone weren’t syncing.  Synchronizing is a major part of the Google-Android system, but there seemed to be nothing from Google about these problems.

Anyway, I found the answer to my problem.  On the Android phone, go to the Home Screen, Menu, Settings, Applications, Manage Applications, Calendar Storage. Then select Clear Cache.

If you found this useful. Please leave a comment or link to this site from your site.  Thanks.

Syncing Android phones with multiple Google gMail accounts

A rare post from me.  I don’t plan to post much for at least four months, but this one might help others.

I own a HTC Wildfire, an Android phone.  I added my Google account to it and it all synchronised well.  Although there is an option to add another account, after the entering the details it would say “Signing in”, and:

“Your phone is communicating with Google servers and setting up your account. This may take up to five minutes.” 

Well, it would rarely get to five minutes before reporting:

“Can’t establish a reliable data connection to the server. This could be a temporary problem or your SIM card may not be provisioned for data services. If it continues, call Customer Care.”

I finally found a solution:

Go to the phone’s YouTube app

If you have an account, sign in.  If not, create an account using your Google username and password.

That’s it!  The phone now has the new account.  You will probably want to go to settings, Syncing and Accounts, and set it to sync automatically.  You’ll then get your second or subsequent gMail accounts in the gMail app.

If you found this useful, please let me know with a comment.  I might start posting tech-related stuff again in 2011, but want to know if anyone is interested before I spend time on it.  Thanks.