Soft Key Bar (Bottom Menu Bar) Issue

MrMediaGuy

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First, thanks to the Celio dev team for getting new Redfly firmware and drivers out so quickly. I haven't seen a specific list of bug fixes or improvements, but the device does seem to be a little snappier over both Bluetooth and USB. My only real disappointment was that the documented issue with the bottom soft-key bar being "washed out" at times still hasn't been fixed. In fact, it might be worse.

For those not familiar with this issue, on certain phones and at certain times (on my Mogul for sure) the bottom bar where the menu soft keys appear may be "washed out" (i.e., displayed in an in correct color that is far too light). While this problem seems to happen at somewhat random times, it's almost guaranteed to show up when connecting over Bluetooth right after a soft reset. (It's almost as if the phone "forgets" how to draw the bottom bar after a soft reset.) I can usually count on being able to fix this by soft-resetting the phone again and connecting *immediately* over USB. And sometimes I can restore the correct bottom bar by locking and then unlocking the phone with the PIN/password. Kind of a pain, but really more a necessity to do than just an aesthetic choice, because it's actually very hard to read the soft menu keys when the bar is washed out. Once fixed, though, I could count on the bottom bar to work properly until the next soft reset, at which point I'd have to go through the USB procedure again to restore it.

Since upgrading to the new driver and firmware, however, my workaround seems to be much less reliable -- sometimes I can't restore the bottom bar at all, and often the "fix" doesn't persist until the next soft reset as it used to. In fact, sometimes just closing and restoring the connection to the Redfly will cause the bottom bar to become washed out again, which never used to happen with the old drivers and firmware.

While I've seen reports of others experiencing this problem, I am curious to find out from other users how pervasive it is and what models of phones seem to be the most prone.

(1) Have you experienced this problem with the bottom menu bar? If yes, what is your phone model? Are you running WM6 or WM6.1?

(2) Are you using the latest Redfly driver and firmware? If yes, do you think the problem is better or worse with the new driver and firmware?

(3) Have you isolated any specific events or actions that cause the problem to appear or that seem to "cure" it for a period of time?
 

ckj

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The random washed-out menu bar bug is a known issue but we don't have an ETA on a fix. It's not a simple fix, but we are working on it.

Some phones are much more prone exhibit the issue than others. Generally, a soft reset on most phone models (not all) does the trick.
 

WinTakeAll

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A have a HP iPAQ 910c and I see this problem ALL THE TIME. The proposed fixes don't work even for a second.

Wonder if it might have some strange relation to Windows Mobile's bad habit of displaying any custom Today screen wallpaper similarly washed out, and similarly with white text for super-low contrast and readability.
 

SpriteGF

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This happens on my Palm Treo 800w too, although I am more apt to attribute the problem to Palm's shoddy engineering (constant crashes, poor resolution compatibility, etc).
 

JohnH59

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This happens on my Palm Treo 800w too, although I am more apt to attribute the problem to Palm's shoddy engineering (constant crashes, poor resolution compatibility, etc).

Doubt that since Celio acknowledges it is an issue. I have the issue on my Redfly and I haven't had a crash yet on my 800w.
 

RC46

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Funny you should mention it. My Treo 800w bottom menu bar has always been washed out on the redfly. Its not really a big deal because I use a "black" theme so it is just greyed out. Today for the first time ever it is actually black like it should be. Very strange.:D

Regardless, I love the redfly and think that everyone should take advantage of Celios generosity before October 31rst.;)
 

itsy

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Funny you should mention it. My Treo 800w bottom menu bar has always been washed out on the redfly. Its not really a big deal because I use a "black" theme so it is just greyed out. Today for the first time ever it is actually black like it should be. Very strange.:D

Regardless, I love the redfly and think that everyone should take advantage of Celios generosity before October 31rst.;)


Strange, today is the first day that my mogul showed the proper bottom as well. Normally it is a washed out gray color that is very difficult to read. I also use a black theme if it makes any difference.....

Cue the X-files music
 

ckj

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Yeah, it?s an annoying and very random bug. Some phones are worse than others.

A hard reset will not help so don?t waste your time on that.

So far the best fix on most phone models is to do a soft reset then right after the phone boots and you can see the Today Screen, connect the phone to REDFLY over USB or Bluetooth. You may have to try it a few times. Once you get the normal menu bars back, you usually can keep them displaying just fine even after multiple connect/disconnects to REDFLY or turning the phone on or off.

However, almost without fail over time and out-of-the-blue, the washed out lower menu bar will return. Sometimes it will return to normal on its own after a while (and a few connect/disconnect cycles), but usually you?ll have to do the soft reset thing again.

We?ve spent a lot of time looking at the issue and without trying to pass the buck, we really think we?ve found a bug in Windows Mobile that so far hasn?t been detected since no other device asks the OS to switch resolutions on-the-fly. It has something to do with certain background processes being called before the REDFLY has a chance to connect after the phone boots.

I?ll keep you updated on anything we find out as we?re still researching it on our end.

Please post on this thread with your experiences. We have a pretty big testing staff that is tracking the problem as they go about their day-to-day work, but the more data we can get from customers on when the issue occurs and with which phones may help us trouble shoot that much faster.
Make sure to list your phone model, version of WM and your specific carrier when posting.
 
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Aware

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I found a different issue last night when using RDP.

If I mouse-click on something low on the screen (I was selecting the zoom option bottom-right of IE 7 window) the click was somehow also bringing up the softkeys to overlay RDP. Click still passed to RDP, but then I a second click would go tp soft key. I could work around it, but it was a pain...
 

ckj

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That's the way the BlackJackII handles a “mouse click” anywhere on the bottom of the screen - the RDP client will pop up the menu bars. One of the problems with WM Standard (non-touchscreen phones) is that the OS and most of the apps were coded with the notion that a mouse, touchpad or any other kind of pointing device would ever be used. Some of the apps will accept a mouse input but most have some kind of problem (if they work at all with a mouse-type device).

It’s too bad because it’s really annoying to have to click, the press the right “full screen” soft key to make it go away.

You won’t see this problem on touchscreen phones as the OS is much better at accepting mouse commands throughout.
 

Aware

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All thinkgs considered I can live with that. I didn't buy the BlackJack so I could use the RedFly and Remote Desktop :) So long as I understand what is going on, it's not so hard to live with. Perfect would be better, but ... :)
 

je255j#WP

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It has been my experience (with a Treo 800w) that resetting the phone does not reliably fix this issue. First of all, as stated, one reset does not always do the trick; several are often needed. Secondly, even if the menu does eventually display correctly, there is no guarantee it will display correctly after the RedFly is disconnected and then reconnected. In fact, safe money is on betting it will not.
 

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