04-13-2012 01:57 AM - edited 04-13-2012 01:57 AM
I noticed this a few weeks ago. K-9 wasn't sending mail. I didn't have time to fully investigate though, as my power button broke so I sent my TPT in for repair. It came back yesterday with a new system board, and I spent several hours reinstalling the apps (many using appbrain's list of my apps -- it went pretty quickly . . .)
But now the same problem is happening. From left to right, I have the Back, Home, Apps, and Context Menu buttons on many apps. Pressing the context menu button doesn't do anything. It is there in K-9 email and the UK and World News app (among many, many others.) You need the buttons for options on some apps, and I've just gone through a dozen or two apps, and it just lights up and gives the tactile feeedback but brings up no menu in any of the apps.
Surely I'm not the only one having problems . . .
My build number is:
(It is a Japanese ROM)
04-13-2012 08:02 AM
04-13-2012 10:45 PM - edited 04-14-2012 11:06 PM
I cannot help but think this is a bug with the 0090-JP rom. It cropped up after the last update, and when I did a full system refresh due to having the new system board, the same problems came up. And rebooting has no effect. This is not an intermittent problem. The Context Menu button does not work -- ever -- in any applications.
Seeing how there is something of a chasm between the support personnel here and the developers (as evidenced especially by the GPS debacle), the Lenovo developers need a bug reporting database. We are just not able to see what they are working on and we have no way of knowing when they've been told of our problems. As it has been said here many times, this site is mostly for user-to-user support with Lenovo keeping something of a distance.
So, has a bug tracking site been set up? This topic was raised here: http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-slate-tablets/Lenovo-dedicated-android-bug-tracking-site/m-p/54... but there was no site then.
Doesn't this seem like a no-brainer? Having a buffer between the users and the developers just doesn't make sense.
04-14-2012 04:42 AM
I see no odd behaviour with soft buttons on my slate, in fact, they are responsive and work fine after hours. It is odd that it happens with OTAs on at least two different zones, so it must be a general issue. The only advice I can give now is resetting the slate to factory settings and work with it for some days adding as few market apps as possible. Perhaps an app that both of you have in your slates is making these buttons less responsive. By the way, are your slates rooted? Did you something that may affect the soft buttons like trying to hide the bar?
I fully agree with you, barbfxshow. A public bug tracking system would be an excellent way to track issues, know in which state they are, and confirm that they are known and being tracked by Lenovo. A centralized bug tracking system, known to Lenovo's technical staff, would be a nice way to improve bug fixing.
04-14-2012 09:43 PM - edited 04-14-2012 11:13 PM
My tablet is not rooted, and without the ability to make a full system backup, there is pretty much no way I'm going to remove all my apps doing a factory reset. I just did that with the return and system board replacement.
I can, though, go through my install history and perhaps isolate potential sources of the problem down to some apps installed just before sending my tablet in for repair. It would have to be some app that remains resident in memory, though, right? If the app doesn't run in the background all the time (like a live wallpaper or a live news/weather update app), then it couldn't change such basic settings as the Context Menu, right? If it could, I want an app to disappear my bottom set of capacitive buttons entirely, but that requires root, and I don't have root.
I have found two exceptions to the non-functional Context Menu buttons. Apparatus is a realistic physics puzzle. (Great app, btw: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bithack.apparatuslite (free version)) Once I start it and get into the game play, tapping the Context Menu button gives me a non-standard set of options:
then several options.
Also Leo's RC simulator. ( also a great app https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=leofs.android.free ) Pressing the Context Menu button again launches a non-standard menu with lots of options. (X-Plane 9 is another great SIM, btw: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.laminarresearch.xplane_default ; the non-functioning Context Menu button is there too, but all the options are available in the SIM, I think.)
Comparing with apps on my phone, there is something of a standard interface on the other apps. It comes up from the bottom with a similar layout. The apps that do not use this standard Context Menu format are the ones that are working.
04-15-2012 03:27 AM
I agree with you, soft buttons should not be affected by applications not running on the background. The fact is, however, that the context menu works fine on most tablets (e.g., it works on mine) so there must be something wrong with your set up. As you have not rooted the device, resetting it to defaults (and possibly cleaning the cache from the recovery kernel) should be a way to get it working again. Then you can add applications again one by one.
As there is a chance to get a trojan on the Android markets (either Lenovo's or Google's) we cannot be really sure there is no some app running on background or doing some odd modifications to the slate.
My guess is that resetting it to factory defaults will improve stability on the context menu. It should be a good starting point.
04-15-2012 06:37 AM - edited 04-15-2012 07:10 AM
If I had root and access to a complete backup app (perhaps Titanium), then, as I understand it, I could basically make an image of my system RAM. I could then do a factory reset, check apps on that factory ROM for this Context Menu glitch, upgrade to 0090_JP and look in that ROM too for the glitch. If the error it is there with no apps after the upgrade, then the upgrade caused the problem.
Once I diagnose the situation either way, then I can just restore the backup and I don't have to spend three more hours reinstalling 300 apps and setting up Apps Organizer into some two dozen categories again. Or I can reinstall the last apps I installed before the upgrade to 0090_JP looking for the app that caused the problem, looking for that mythical trojan. Either way, at the end, I just restore my backup and I'm good to go.
That the glitch followed an upgrade to 0090_JP, perhaps twice, lends strong credence to the assertion that it was 0090_JP that caused the problem. Every app/ROM has bugs. The end user always locates more bugs after beta tests. Lenovo is ignoring us as a source of bug detection without a proper bug-tracking database. And not allowing us root is also diminishing the amount of bugs we can report.
Ultimately, Lenovo is hurting themselves. They are in an open-source world with android, yet they are blinding themselves to the strengths of the linux/android programming communities with an old, inefficient proprietary top-down approach.