AntennaPod on AGM M7 feature phone?

Sadly, my current phone is falling to pieces and in need of replacement. While trying to decide which one to get, a lot is suggesting the AGM M7 could be right for me. The main question is, would it be powerful enough for AntennaPod?

App version: Preferably the latest
Android version: 8.1 (Heavily stripped by AGM)
Device model: AGM M7
Desired behaviour: Usable AntennaPod
Current behaviour: Unknown

I welcome any comments which could bring me some insight on whether attempting to run AntennaPod on such a limited device is a horrible, or merely a bad idea.

Environment: I’m a laptop person, without the need to update social media while out and up on my feet. I consider a phone best used primarily for calling, occasionally for texting and also for podcast listening. That last part, which honestly is my major use, is only due to the fact that carrying multiple headphones would be a pain. The only apps I ever use are AntennaPod and a tiny personal one I’ve written myself.

The perfect phone for me seems to be the above mentioned one. It’s a device with a proper keypad, and a user interface which seems close to as useful as most phones used to have a decade or two ago. It was released as recently as this year, and does run a stripped down version of android.

Unfortunately the hardware specs are also a bit stripped down, and its 1 GiB of ram might be on the low side. I’ve tried examining the numbers though, and it seems using AntennaPod on this memory poor device should be possible.

At 37:53 in this review by SMOOREZ we see that at least 462 MiB of ram should be available for user apps. Is that enough for AntennaPod? (This hour long video also shows that side-loading apk:s work even though google services is stripped out of the platform.)

My current AntennaPod.db is currently 93 MiB, which admittedly is a significant portion of that amount. While examining the numbers for the de.danoeh.antennapod-process, ps shows 779664 KiB for VSZ and 123784 KiB for RSS during playback.

Memory usage on android is a bit of a mystery for me, but I understand it should be heavy on using mmap() and that the actual memory requirement might be closer to RSS than VSZ.

I understand extreme resource minimization is probably not a goal for AP, and that the decision and consequences of which device to buy is entirely mine. Yet I ask; How bad of an idea would you think it is to attempt to run AP on an AGM M7? Is there anything except for memory which might be a severely limiting factor?

I cannot answer your main question but do suggest that you do not limit your choice of phone just because you do not want to use all / most of the functionality it offers over and above the feature phone you mention. In your position I would be looking at all phones with a physical keyboard (not that many I think) which fall within your budget.

Not sure what you mean by having to carry multiple headphones. I carry one set of headphones which I use with my phone or my PMP or my DAB+ radio as the need arises. That said, for use with the phone I also carry a small Bluetooth receiver that I have clipped to my belt and a USB/phone adaptor lead in case I misjudge how much battery life there is left in the adaptor which fits neatly in the side pocket of my key pouch so can always be sure I don’t leave home without it.

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The idea to chose another phone is interesting. Please help me understand which other android-based feature-phones there are. There are indeed not many AntennaPod capable ones with a physical keypad.

When searching, the only ones with keys I’ve found are Cyrus CM17 XA, CAT S22 and the mythical ntel N1 Nova. There are also some BlackBerry ones with tiny-sized unusable qwertys.

It seems ntel (Wikipedia) was a telecom operator who creatively brought their N1 Nova to the Nigerian domestic market a few years ago. An amazing story, but obtaining this device for real world use in Europe is not an option.

While to CAT S22 is more contemporary, it shares much with the ntel N1 Nova. It too is also only available through a telecom service contract, in some other remote post-colonial remainder of the former British empire (T-Mobile US, only). So, that one is also not an option.

Are there any others?

Regarding pairing headphones with multiple devices et cetera, it is for me also a matter of convenience in carrying few things.

I can add that further research led me to, where it is possible to learn about a few more android devices with keyboards. Yet essentially no real alternatives to AGM M7 seem to exist. It’s truly one of its kind.

Have now placed my order and expect (or at least hope) to see it showing up within eight days or so. Will follow up with a report on how it works with AntennaPod once it has arrived.


App version: 2.3.2 (7b87b9cd0) from F-Droid

After having had the AGM M7 for a about a week, I can now report that AntennaPod works fairly well on it. There are a few annoying issues though.

Playing podcasts works well. Even in the background, when actively using other apps. Navigating and operating the user interface generally feels quick and responsive. The database from the old phone, with a couple of hundred feeds, was imported.

So far I’ve encountered four issues:

Updating the feeds tends to result in many failed downloads, every time. Keeping the app active in the foreground and limiting to only one in parallel download makes things better, but it is a bit of a pain having to scroll through the list of failed downloads and selecting to retry them one by one.

AntennaPod is not designed to be easy to use with a traditional keypad. After configuring the back button to open the menu, most functionality actually seems to be available. However the order in which elements will get focus is very hard to predict. That, in combination with that focus does not tend to scroll objects into the screen when they are outside of it, kind of practically makes it necessary to revert to performing most actions using the touch screen.

Bluetooth reconnect resumes playback but resets the volume to a super-low volume, making the feature a bit pointless. Guess that is completely out of scope for AntennaPod to try to mitigate?

Background image of the lock-screen remains even after completing listening to the last queued episode. I would expect it to go away once playback ends, but maybe this is the intended behavior? I’ve never used AntennaPod on a native android phone before.

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Thanks for reporting back!

Any idea why this is the case? You seem to be suggesting that this is a performance-related issue (?)

What do you mean with ‘traditional keypad’? EDIT: Ah, I saw the pictures of the device you bought. How does it navigate? Like 2 is up, 4 is left, 6 is right and 8 is down?

That doesn’t sound good. If the order is not logical this might also impact accessibility (?)

Could you give an example or two?

Yeah, that sounds like something out of AntennaPod’s control. As far as I’m aware AntennaPod doesn’t interfere with the system in that regard.

Hmm. I would also say it should go away, but I haven’t really paid attention to this so I wouldn’t be able to tell what happens on my device. Will keep an eye out for it :slight_smile:

FYI, we have this tracked here: D-Pad Navigation inconsistent · Issue #445 · AntennaPod/AntennaPod · GitHub

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Glad to see that I still have the same thoughts as 6 years ago :sweat_smile:

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The cause has become a bit more clear now after using the device for longer. What generally happens is that it takes a while for the network to connect. Long enough for downloads to fail due to DNS not yet resolving names. Typically the first couple of feeds fail to update, but it’s easy enough retrying them at the end of the update.

Can’t remember if performance was a thing resulting in other errors too. I’ve left the number of parallel downloads at one.

D-pad, seems to be the term as became clear in the thread. Good to know there is a ticket pointing out where to start. I don’t really have a working android development environment at the moment though, so currently I’m unfortunately not considering fixing it anytime soon.

A few months later it has become routine to increase the volume without even thinking about it when connecting the headphones. I’ve also started using the tap-headphones-to-pause functionality rather than turning them off when taking brief listening breaks, which occasionally leads to unintentional resume of playback. But it is seldom enough and easy to rewind when it happens.

I disabled setting the background. Turned out that didn’t at all affect the listening experience! :slight_smile:

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