1. slimp's Avatar
    I'm losing faith in the Redfly. I originally bought it when I owned a HTC Touch phone and it worked great. I upgraded to a Diamond (running MightyROM 4R3BORN WinMo 6.1 OS) two months ago and was dismayed with the "my first laptop" look when using my Redfly. Actually, I am embarrassed to use it in a public location. But, I figured Celio would tackle the issue since VGA (at a min) smartphones are becoming the norm.

    I tried using RealVGA but either that or the Redfly driver caused major stability issues. Even when working, the required reboot defeated one of the best features of the RF. So, on my last reset, I didn't install the RF drivers and decided to wait for an official release.

    Yet, I haven't seen anything to suggest VGA devices are being addressed. There isn't even a peep on this forum so either a) people don't mind giant fonts b) RealVGA works well for everyone else or c) people have abandoned their RF. I understand why the fonts are huge but is it a technological roadblock? Is RealVGA THE end-all solution? If so, I'd like to know so I can move on and, regrettably, sell my RF.
    05-26-2009 07:02 PM
  2. anon159272's Avatar
    I think you're right that higher-res smartphones are becoming (or going to become) the norm. At least in the US we're not quite there yet...once the TP2 comes out then you're going to have a flagship phone with the same native resolution as the Redfly, which will present an interesting challenge.

    I hope Colin doesn't mind being quoted from another thread. I remember reading this post in the Touch Pro / Diamond thread, though it took some manual searching to find it:

    lynnpreston, the Fisher Price look (or as we like to call it in-house, Meatball mode) is a major issue to fix. It's something we hate too and have spent a lot of time on, but we don't think it will be fixed in the near future. We most likely will have to move the Touch Pro/Diamond driver from beta to released status before this issue is dealt with. When you think about what must be done, it's a huge task. Since the resolution on those screens are already 640x480, when you move the output to the current REDFLY screen (800x480) you are going from a 3-inch screen to an 8-inch screen without really changing the pixel density and everything just naturally gets larger. Fixing the issue involves changing the text size and the menu bar size dynamically and is pretty tough. It also will likely involve HTC giving us some help around how they are drawing to the screen etc. We have not given up, but it most likely won't be fixed when the driver is promoted out of the beta stage (currently planned for sometime in March).
    Based on the way the current driver works (the connection delay and the font/menu resizing), I'm guessing Redfly makes a series of registry entries and other things to change font size on the fly. This is why you sometimes see a super-tiny font on the handset screen when you disconnect before it changes back to your text size setting. Everything between the taskbar and the softkey bar can apparently be handled for the most part, but the top and bottom (and I suppose the program icons, etc.) is proving more difficult. It appears to me that they've found a way to brute-force a series of changes that handle the majority of the screen. If they had a systematic way of changing DPI for the entire system that didn't require a soft reset, it would be a cleaner implementation, but I get the sense that is a sticking point at the moment. This is all speculation of course. IIRC, none of the RealVGA builds allow you to change resolution on the fly without a reset either (though I've only used RealVGA on the 800w). Must be something about WM.

    I'm sure Celio wants to solve this as soon as possible. With higher-res phones coming out all the time, this issue isn't going away. Larger screens and WM 6.5 are both on the way, and the Redfly will have to support those in order to stay relevant. I agree, I would very much like to see more blogging and posting about progress, but they have chosen not to do that. I'd love it if they had a technet/blog where they could talk about the challenges, similar to what Microsoft does. I know there are blog and news pages but they are marketing oriented, not technically oriented.

    Anyway, I've gone back and forth on this myself a lot lately. With the recession, I want to make my current investment in technology work. In response to your multiple choice question, I've done both A and C. I've set everything up and said "Ok, I can live with this" (I find meatball mode as frustrating as anyone else - I love super high res screens so this drives me crazy), and at times I've flashed a newer ROM and left the Redfly on the desk.
    05-27-2009 10:34 AM
  3. BengtBeier's Avatar
    I see this as a major problem as well.

    The problem is that if you are using a phone with vga resolution (i.e. with a 480x640 px resolution) and connect it to a screen with 800x480px what you get is not really a higher resolution but merely a different ratio.

    The one and only solution to the problem in my oppinion would be to enable the Redfly to display the screen in an even higher resolution (i.e. 1024x600 or even bigger). And we know it can do that because the Redfly Viewer allows it.

    So, the question has to be: when will the 1024x600/1024x768 available on the companion and will even higher resolutions be possible?
    05-27-2009 10:57 AM
  4. slimp's Avatar
    I agree, I would very much like to see more blogging and posting about progress, but they have chosen not to do that. I'd love it if they had a technet/blog where they could talk about the challenges, similar to what Microsoft does.
    I can appreciate the difficult task that faces the developers and I don't mind waiting for a solution. I can live with a reboot (obviously not a first choice), but my phone becomes unreliable with either RealVGA (my guess) or Redfly. An official stable solution with a reboot is a heck of a lot better than nothing.

    Having been on the wrong side of dying tech too often, the lack of feedback from the developers is what I find most concerning. If they are busy trying to find a solution that I'm happy. If the silence means they have written off the product then I want to know so I don't waste time hoping. I'm never going back to a QVGA phone.
    05-27-2009 12:00 PM
  5. slimp's Avatar
    I see this as a major problem as well.

    The problem is that if you are using a phone with vga resolution (i.e. with a 480x640 px resolution) and connect it to a screen with 800x480px what you get is not really a higher resolution but merely a different ratio.

    The one and only solution to the problem in my oppinion would be to enable the Redfly to display the screen in an even higher resolution (i.e. 1024x600 or even bigger). And we know it can do that because the Redfly Viewer allows it.

    So, the question has to be: when will the 1024x600/1024x768 available on the companion and will even higher resolutions be possible?
    That was my hope... that the Redfly could tell the phone to output 1600x960 and resample that to 800x600. Not that I have a clue if that is even possible.
    05-27-2009 02:03 PM
  6. Aware's Avatar
    So the Mobile Viewer can do higher resolutions: but the Redfly has a fixed number of pixels and the processing to compress 1024x600 or whatever back down to 800x480 is fairly significant.

    I think it's great that everybody keeps asking for more features for the Redfly (I've done it too!), but each "cheap and easy" upgrade adds significantly to the cost and complexity of the device. Simplicity is its greatest strength - sort of like Twitter. Adding features breaks the intent and attraction of the original design, IMHO.
    05-27-2009 10:40 PM
  7. BengtBeier's Avatar
    So the only solution might probably be new Redfly hardware with a screen with higher pixel density and higher resolution?
    05-28-2009 07:48 AM
  8. anon159272's Avatar
    Throwing more money at it for new hardware won't form an acceptable solution in my particular case, so I'm still hoping for a software-level enhancement that will reduce the relative size of the meatballed graphics elements.
    05-28-2009 09:52 AM
  9. slimp's Avatar
    So the Mobile Viewer can do higher resolutions: but the Redfly has a fixed number of pixels and the processing to compress 1024x600 or whatever back down to 800x480 is fairly significant.

    I think it's great that everybody keeps asking for more features for the Redfly (I've done it too!), but each "cheap and easy" upgrade adds significantly to the cost and complexity of the device. Simplicity is its greatest strength - sort of like Twitter. Adding features breaks the intent and attraction of the original design, IMHO.
    How does this "break the intent and attraction of the original design"? As a consumer, all I want is the intent and attraction of the original design on my new phone. The meatball mode is unacceptable and I would have never purchased a RF if I had seen screenshots of ole MB.

    Part of the attraction of the design (to me) was scalability with new phones. I would be shocked if the developers didn't see the VGA shift approaching. Essentially, the RF is for QVGA phones only and should be marketed as such or else it is misleading.

    Lastly, I can understand the challenges and that the potential NRE to address this issue might be too significant. It's not like I dropped $2k on this device. However, I would appreciate feedback from the development team (this is the Developer Forum..) regarding their strategy. If they are throwing in the towel, I will too and sell. I love the concept of the RF but it's current state does not work for me.
    05-28-2009 05:24 PM
  10. dsteinschneider#AC's Avatar
    I know this is radical solution but I set up a dedicated remote desktop connection as 800x600 and I remote into that for the majority of my work from the redfly. I assigned the web button to remote desktop. Open the redfly, press the bluetooth button, press the web button with and I'm on my desktop with everything sized right. I also set programs just for when I'm using the redfly. I'm writing this from opera mini which I use mostly with the redfly. I don't use realvga much but when I do it works fine with my SSK 2.0 ROM based touch pro
    05-29-2009 05:34 PM
  11. mknollman's Avatar
    I too have utilized the remote desktop option at times. The issue is that it takes extra time to get functional and negates one of the biggest advantages of the RF. For now, I just deal with the font size and move on.
    05-29-2009 08:35 PM
  12. Aware's Avatar
    There's a difference between supporting newer phones at the existing resolution of the Redfly screen, and adding additional graphics processing facilities. If you want scaled 1024x800 or whatever to display on the Redfly, you either need more processing on the Redfly itself (no hardware upgrades available to existing devices) or more processor load on the phone. Newer phones might manage it, and I'm sure Celiocorp can come up with something, but it may not be what you intentended.

    My point "break the intent and attraction of the original design" was in reference to the continuous requests to add more hardware to the Redfly. Perhaps I misunderstood your original point, but just to be clear:

    Each time we request an upgrade to the Redfly that requires more processing and/or more hardware on the Refly itself, then the Redfly becomes more complex. Adding complexity to the Redfly is what breaks the original intent of the device. IMHO ;-)
    05-29-2009 10:13 PM
  13. BengtBeier's Avatar
    After thinking about it, I believe the VGA issue might be one of the biggest problems for the Redfly. There are in my understanding two ways to overcome it: a new hardware generation which comes with a higher resolution screen just for VGA phones or new software (on the phone most likely) that can scale a high resolution like 1024x600 down to 800x480.
    The problem with the first approach is that it would mean current users would have to replace their RedFly, the second approach would most likely lead to crappy image quality (but maybe a combination of a high resolution, downscaled to 800x480 but with big fonts might work...).

    But then again, I see it as a bit of a sign that Celio has implemented higher resolutions in the RedFly viewer, they might be working on something.
    06-01-2009 10:17 AM
  14. slimp's Avatar
    But then again, I see it as a bit of a sign that Celio has implemented higher resolutions in the RedFly viewer, they might be working on something.
    Or, they might have given up on the issue. The lack of response from the development team since March and the marketing push on the viewer makes me think this is the unfortunately reality.

    I love the idea of the Redfly but it's too niche and Celio can't achieve enough sales to compete with the emergence of Netbooks. If the Redfly had the same production runs of these computers, it would probably be a $50 device. It's the pitfall of being a small fish in the computer market.

    At least that is my impression...
    06-01-2009 12:52 PM
  15. slimp's Avatar
    I don't use realvga much but when I do it works fine with my SSK 2.0 ROM based touch pro
    Which RF driver / firmware and what version of RealVGA are you using? I'm scared to install either on my phone because one of them caused my diamond to go off the rails the on my last two attempts.
    06-01-2009 04:01 PM
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