[clug] Optus MyTab and Android 2.2

Bob Edwards bob at cs.anu.edu.au
Wed Jun 8 09:09:19 MDT 2011

On 07/06/11 15:15, Denise Bates wrote:
> On 06/05/2011 08:26 PM, Grant Allen wrote:
>> (reviving a slightly old thread)
>> The MyTab has now dropped in price to $99 (including 3GB of data - no
>> plan/contract), I've seen them in stock at a few places in Sydney and
>> Brisbane ... not sure about supply in Canberra. The 2.2 update and
>> carrier unlock are both 60 second tasks, and there are a few custom
>> images out there that look interesting. At this rate they'll be giving
>> them away for nothing by the end of the month :)
> I have one of these things, and I guess that it has finally settled down
> to a price which reflects what it is really worth. The touchscreen
> control is terrible: I find myself digging the tips of my fingernails
> hard into the screen, even to get a barely tolerable level of control.
> The thing decides to scroll wildly to the top or bottom of a web page
> and to reload pages for no apparent reason. Web browsing is made even
> worse by the poor Optus coverage here in Goulburn.
> The only positive feature is a long battery life.
> The update to Android 2.2 may have improved things slightly. I couldn't
> see any provision to upgrade via a Linux machine, so I dragged out my
> elderly laptop (the only one that runs Windoze) and anxiously waited for
> several hours for the upgrade (having USB 1.1 on the old laptop didn't
> help).
> On another Android-related matter, Is there any easy way to disable the
> tendency for web-sites to come up in a goofy "mobile" version? Some of
> my favourite sites still appear as "mobile", even after I have edited
> the URL bookmark. I guess that the device would have to appear to have a
> different processor than it actually has.
> Denise

Hi Denise,

Sorry to hear that you are having so much grief with your MyTab. I
wonder if you have a defective unit?

My wife and I each have one and neither of them have any of the
problems you seem to be getting. I never use my fingernails on it -
the tips/balls of my fingers work just fine. I seldom see mine
scrolling uncontrollably other than when a child makes a grab for it
and presses all over the screen...

I admit that I was disappointed that I couldn't upgrade without using
one of the kids machines that still has 'doze on it.

Still, compared with my SmartDevices R7 which I imported from Hong Kong
middle of last year for around A$180, this thing rocks. Much better
touch screen, slimmer, much better battery life, 3G, bluetooth, GPS,
twice the RAM, solid metal case etc. etc. and I thought the R7 was OK
when I first unpacked it. To me, the MyTab is worth a lot more than $99
even without the 3GB of pre-paid (no contract) data included, which is
only useful if you can actually get an Optus signal. I have no problems
but I understand that Optus don't have a great reputation for coverage
outside of the major cities.

My wife is even considering buying a third one for the 6-year old when
he turns 7 in a month or so as he loves playing Angry Birds on hers and
at $99, it is much cheaper than a DS etc. and can do a lot more.

And I wonder why people still buy $300 GPS receivers for their car -
this thing has a larger screen and can do lots of other useful stuff.

I'm beginning to sound like a late night TV advertiser. Sorry about
that. I don't work for Optus. But I do think these things are a steal,
even at the $280 I paid for mine at the start of the year. And they run

I don't know how to make websites treat the browser as non-mobile. In
Wikipedia, you can click a link to permanently disable the mobile mode,
presumably based on cookies.

Has anyone played with alternate browsers? What about web-proxies? I am
keen to "sanitize" the web requests that my 'droid sends out as the
built in browser is necessarily a lot less configurable than the Firefox
I am more used to and I am wondering what sorts of extra data gets
leaked out with the web requests. There appears to be no interface to
control cookies, for example. Or certificates etc.


Bob Edwards.

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