Update 2 – Google Play Store Errors

In another update, my phone has been updated on several fronts:

  • My phone has gotten the Android 4.4.2; build number KXA20.16-1.31.1
  • The Google Play Store has been updated to version 4.6.17

It’s still broken. The Play Store app is still showing all the problems as mentioned in my last two posts (post 1 and post 2).

I did find a Google Product forum with people complaining about the same issue though.

Posting a link of these few blog posts there.

Update – Google Play Store Errors

As mentioned in a previous post, I have been having issues with the Android Google Play Store App.

I tried my Moto X’s Google Play Store App while my Xoom was powered on – it did not work.

Just trying a hunch, I attempted to access my Google Play Store on my Moto X while my Xoom was powered down – it worked fine.

Afterwards, I powered back up my Xoom and tried it’s Google Play store – it worked fine. Trying my Moto X while the Xoom was now powered up again, it worked.

However, a restart of my Moto X showed that the Google Play Store App was again not functioning upon restarting, with the Xoom powered on.

Seems that the issue is tied to multiple devices, using the same account.

Google Play Store Errors – Connection Time Out – Retry?

I have recently been having issues with my Google Play Store. When I start the app on my AT&T Moto X, and WiFi Xoom, it hangs for 20 to 30 seconds before showing this:

Google Play Store Timed out

The Play Store Home Screen

Searching for solutions provided some workarounds:

  • Change the date and time. By disabling auto sync of date & time and time zone; waiting a moment, then enabling them again
  • Remove, and re-add your Google Account
  • Change your password
  • Clear the cache of the app
  • Uninstall the Play Store updates
  • Update the Play Store
  • Reset all app preferences
  • Enable any disabled apps
  • Factory reset

I have tried all of the above methods in turn. At best it was a temporary fix. The method that had the best track record of helping was, strangely enough, changing the date & time/time zone preferences.

The problem persisted after a factory reset. Everything was stock at this point, with no chance for a rogue app to interfere – leading me to believe that it is a Google problem.

I am able to work around the issue – I am able to search for apps, and even access the top left “hamburger menu” after a quick orientation change; giving me access to the “My apps” section.

Google Play Store Timed out After Rotation

After a quick flip of the wrist, I can access the top left menu

Oddly enough, my wife’s Moto X does not have this problem; even though we have a very similar setup with apps. However, I know I am not alone. I managed to find 2 Android Central Forum posts describing the same issue along with the above workarounds mentioned, but also showing that people are having no luck.

User Michelle Keenan posted that she had been in contact with Google and they are aware of the issue.

I guess all I can do now is wait.

Am I Addicted to Online Reviews?

Ratings

Online reviews are a great tool. Most websites have adopted a 5 point ranking system; allowing you to know the overall quality with a glance. Reviews are perfect when you have to make a decision about something you know little about.

I have come to learn, however, that reviews can also be an addiction.

Lets go back to September 2012. One year into my latest 2-year contract with Verizon Wireless. My Motorola Droid 3 was barely limping along. I was frustrated with the fact that my phone was never going to see another update; and with the glacial pace at which Verizon releases Android updates all together. I began polling people I knew for experiences about their networks.

After polling came the comparing of coverage maps. Followed closely by tracking down complaints and reviews around the internet.

Fast forward to October 2013. My  contract was ending with Verizon Wireless. I had spent the entirety of a year researching various mobile carriers to decide whether I would leave Verizon. I had several pro’s and con’s lists weighing my options. Ultimately I left.

Now it was time to pick a phone. Dammit, back to the reviews.

During my year of carrier research, I began to read rumors of a new Motorola phone. The phone would be fully customizable – colors, resolutions, cameras, everything! The phone turned out to be the Moto X, and really only allowed color customization, but it had piqued my interest.

The Moto X scheme I ended up with - Blue with Red Accents.

The Moto X scheme I ended up with – Blue with Red Accents.

When the Moto X launched I read every review, watched every unboxing, and hands on video I could find. Hundreds of blog posts, tech reviews, and videos later I found that the phone hit every check box I had in mind. The main points were:

  • “Stock” Android, or damn close to it
  • Useful features added instead of bloat (Active Display, Touchless controls)
  • Fast Updates (during my review, an update had already been pushed to the phone; with promise of the next Android OS Kit-Kat coming)
  • Affordable (this leads into my ultimate decision)

I was sold. I was going to leave Verizon Wireless for AT&T, and get a shiny new Moto X. When suddenly, the only event that could impact my decision happened:

The Nexus 5 was announced.

Just great. All that time researching, only to have the one stipulation I had show up at the last possible second.

Now how would I decide? Both phones hit all my check boxes. Both would be great phones and I would be happy with either one.

I did more research. More reviews. More videos.

In the end, the Moto X won out thanks to the Motorola Trade-Up Program. Since my Motorola Droid 3 was “abandoned,” it qualified for this program. Motorola would send me $100 for my old phone as long as I purchased a new Motorola phone.

A brand new phone for $50? Yes, please. When it was all said and done, I felt like I made an informed purchase.

But at the end of the day, I spent the better part of a year researching a phone. That’s excessive. I find myself doing this process on nearly everything I purchase. Not every research period lasts a year, but they last longer than I feel they should.

The ease and sheer abundance of reviews has made it too easy to lose hours in them. A recent Lifehacker Article hit close to home. Here is an excerpt:

“I’m what Malcolm Gladwell would call a maven. Purchasing is a sport, a hobby, predicated on making the very best decision based first a learning of everything you can about a product category. I once spent 40+ hours researching a storm shell (a hyped-up rain jacket). I looked at the weights, limitations, and benefits of every breathable clothing material available. I looked at the variations in seam sealing techniques of every major manufacturer. I watched online videos of jacket owners performing tests and looking for flaws in design and build. I looked for features like pocket designs, hood configurations, and adaptability.”

That could be me, if I wanted to purchase a jacket. I am trying to work on this issue in two ways: researching less and purchasing less.

I am hoping the two approaches will work in tandem. If I research less, then I won’t make as many purchases. And if I purchase less, then I won’t be researching as much. I know some things will still take some research (because I do not know everything); but I hope I won’t spend an entire year on one topic.

Then again… CES just ended… and there are a lot of smart watches

2014 Resolution

I currently have 1 resolution for 2014: Do More.

Blog more. Program more. Play more. To just do more.

To not get caught up in thinking about all the “what if?” thoughts and just do something.

We’ll see how I do.