29 August 2012

Ice Cream Sandwich on Xperia P, thanks to Sony Support

Yippee! Finally got what I think is Ice Cream Sandwich on my Xperia P phone. The microSIM finally got recognised by the way - sometime on the road between Astcote and Milton Keynes the following day so that was one problem resolved. Getting the new software, though, was not so simple.

After a couple more tries at using the Sony PC Companion software I gave up and dashed off a reasonably polite note to the Sony support e-mail. All credit to whoever dealt with it, a couple of days later they accepted that Sony PC Companion wasn't going to work and even seemed to admit that the required software wasn't accessible immediately if one selected the Xperia P on their site! Instead, he or she suggested that I use W205 as my phone at the first stage and see what the Java powered window comes up with. Below are the instructions they sent:

Currently the program is not listed on the downloads section for your Sony Ericsson Xperia and so we would suggest that you select the 'W205' on the Sony Xperia website to be able to download the program. This can then be found by following the below steps.
2. Select Support
3. Choose a handset from the drop down list (W205)
4. Select "View All Software Updates"
5. Update Service
6. Check the requirements and then "Download Update Service"
Once you have installed the Sony Update Service you will need to launch it. Once it opens simply follow the instructions that you will see on screen. The update should then begin.

The Update Service is about 34MB and arrives quickly enough on a PC. The operating system download is ten times that - about 340MB - which takes a while but it installs pretty quickly on the phone. There's that nerve-wracking moment when a low resolution O2 image appears a few seconds after switching on and seems to linger just that little bit longer than you would wish it to. Then it's all go and, with a dark Google search bar and some slightly different application motifs and then a steady stream of application updates.

Contacts, recent calls and messages are all intact but I expect I'll find something missing but nothing that can't quickly be retrieved I'm sure.

So all's well. The system seems very quick but the large RAM on this phone may be as much to account for that as the new operating system. Just need to look out for Jelly Bean now!

26 August 2012

Oh dear O2. Simple questions need simple answers.

My Xperia X10 has been great but lately the need to charge it more than once a day and seemingly random shut-downs when it had way more than 50% charge was getting on my nerves. In a way I am quite glad that I didn't switch my O2 contract to paying a low monthly amount and keeping the phone which is what I probably would have done when my 2 years were up in April. These last few weeks convinced me that I do need another phone, well a battery probably would have done, but the Xperia P looked really nice, is due to get Android's Ice Cream Sandwich now - maybe even Jelly Bean soon - so I set up an upgrade through MyO2 on-line.

That was simple enough and the next day the new phone arrived. In the box was a SIM card which is a two-in-one affair which looks as though it would fit the normal size SIM socket as well as the new microSIM socket. You can break out the microSIM for phones like the Xperia P. As I couldn't transfer my old normal size SIM to the new phone I was wondering how on earth O2 would know that the new SIM was mine. And, presumably, it would have a new number. I suppose if it had been a really really nice new number I might not have minded but the prospect of having to update so many things with a new number wasn't that appealing. A colleague also pointed out that none of the people I'd given cards to or met at various places and scribbled the number down on bits of paper, napkins or hands would ever be able to know the new one.

So, rather than break out the microSIM and stuff it in and hope for the best, I got in touch with O2 via their on-line chat thing. I had tried communicating with Ask Lucy on their site but firstly she only wanted me to type one sentence at a time and secondly appeared just to send me links related to various words she recognised, all of which were useless. The chat worked better and I did get the feeling that 'Diana' understood my query. She said she would send a microSIM in the post which I should use. Well, that seemed simple and I assumed that she would somehow link that one to my account so that when I stuffed it in the phone it would recognise me.

It arrived very promptly the next day, today, and I set about getting the new phone up and running. The fact that I couldn't make calls didn't trouble me as it is a lousy area and that's often the case. GMail and Facebook were almost instantly up and running which was very encouraging. So far so good, I recall posting on Facebook at the time.

Then it told me that a system update was available. Yes, Ice Cream Sandwich already, I thought. Cool. So I plugged it in to the PC which set about downloading the new software. That took ages to get it on the PC and then it was time for the next stage: putting it on the phone. I followed all the instructions but each time it failed so I gave up on that. Try again another day. Over at the PC there was no chance of it getting a connection but putting it back next to the old phone, which did have a connection, I began to wonder about that recognition thing again. Looking in the applications I found the one that would tell me what my number was. No number. Hmm. I looked at Network Provider. None there. It could see O2 was there but wouldn't link me to O2. More or less as I had wondered at the very start.

Back to O2 support on-line. And that's where I spotted something called a SIMswap page. It was billed as the place iPhone users getting the latest iPhone could order these new microSIMs that it said they'd need. Reading on there was a link to a SIMswap page where you entered your number and, although it didn't say so, it looked like the sort of place that would do what I wanted.

I put my number in, entered the code they sent to my (fortunately still going) old phone and that may have done the job. I then got a message on the old phone to say that the switch would take anything between 30 minutes and 24 hours. I would know when it had been effected when my old phone stopped working, the site said. Now, I have no idea when that will be but maybe when I wake up tomorrow I'll have a dead old phone and a live new one.

It'll be fun finding out. But, really O2, you could have made that a whole load simpler by just adding a short paragraph in the box to say "Hey, you've got a phone that needs a microSIM. Your old one won't fit. Stick the new one in and go to our site etc..."

Watch this space. I still have the system upgrade to do!