I had time to kill, and I've been around since a while now; I now own a ZEN Touch 2 since more than 6 months. I figured out I'm able to help quite a lot of people about this device, actually (even though I don't have an astronomic number of posts), and I felt like writing a little guide about common questions about the ZEN Touch 2 could help, why not?
First of all, this is a guide applying to the ZEN Touch 2, I don't know about the ZiiO. Maybe my tricks will work on both devices, but I can't be sure about it.
LAST UPDATED: November 23th 2012.
Q: Why does my ZEN Touch 2 freeze so often?
I've got 2 theories about why these freezes happen so often: I own another Android device, which have a fairly weaker processor than the ZEN Touch 2, and it does not freeze at all. So the ZEN Touch 2 is quite powerful! But even on Android 2.2.1, it's perhaps the installed stock firmware that is unstable. That cause the problem.
Second theory, I believe the ZEN Touch 2 don't have much RAM availible! Around 200-256 MB. What's interesting here, is that my other cellphone does have a weaker processor (600 MHz VS 800 MHz), but it also have more RAM, 512 MB! That could be the reason why the ZEN Touch 2 freeze so often, when the device is basically running out of RAM.
Or it could be both! An unstable firmware installed, and no enough RAM. Who knows?
Q: Okay, but how can I fix this issue?
There's no magic way to make your device running super-fast like any other smartphone, especially if the problem is the lack of RAM, rather than the unstable firmware. The number 1 solution, it's obvious: uninstall APPs. The more APPs are installed, the more RAM they use. The more your device is going to freeze/crashe. Myself, I don't have many APPs installed, only 17 (Some of them being like 500 Ko, or even extensions or themes, that are only 150 Ko). I use my ZEN Touch 2 only for listening to music, and browsing the Internet using Flash Player. It does the job well enough.
What you could also do, is install the APK/APP Fast Reboot Pro. I have it installed, and it free your phone memory everytime you unlock your screen, or press the widget. Extremely usefull. That'll help to prevent the ZEN from freezing, a bit.
Well, even though I have 17 APPs installed, including Fast Reboot Pro, my Touch 2 still crash, rarely. I've been experiencing a serious issue about my ZEN booting loop, for no reason at all! Had to boot in recovery mode, and wipe the data. Which lead me to think the stock firmware can also be the problem for unstability.
Q: How do I install APPs on the ZEN Touch 2 ?
Since the Market is unavailible (I've tried to install it without any success. However, seems like some people managed to install it, most probably with root. I've tried, but cannot get it to work, myself), you'll have to download APK files. You have the choice to download from ZiiO Space, or from any other website. Download an APK file, save it anywhere on your SD Card, then open the built-in APP "Explorer" on the ZEN. Lauch the .APK, install it, and you're done.
Remember to check "Enable unknown sources" on the "Manage Applications" menu!
A fastest method, you could manually download and install "SlideME". I've used it for a while, and it's a Android-Market / Google-Play "Like". It'll work without any problem on the ZEN.
Q: Is the ZEN Touch 2 rootable ?
Yes it is!
First thing first, rooting your device will void your warrantee. I did it, since I live in Canada, and I have no intention of returning the device in California if it break. I am not responsible if you brick your device doing the process, even though nothing wrong should happens. If you don't know what is Root Access, you better not doing this.
I've used the following method. It worked like a charm.
Install the Z4Root APK. Now your Antivirus (Computer maybe, and ZEN Touch 2 antivirus as well, if you have one) will warn you it contain a malware. Z4Root is not a virus! Simply because it perform actions that can be dangerous to your device, that's why you get a warning.
Launch Z4Root, and press the "Root" button (Not temporary). Z4Root will do the rest automaticly! Then your device will reboot, which is normal. Don't do anything during the rooting process, however!
If the rooting worked, you should now see the APP "Superuser" in your APP Drawer.
You still have the option to Un-Root your device - assuming you want to return the ZEN to the store, for example - by launching Z4Root again, and press the button "Un-Root". Simple as that.
Q: Can you install a Custom ROM such as Cyanogenmod ?
I've tried without any success... I was hoping install another firmware would make the device as stable as it should be.
I installed ROM Manager, but when the APP ask you to backup your current bootloader and select your device, the ZEN Touch 2 isn't in the list, so I couldn't perform the backup.
There are more complex ways of installing another ROM, but I haven't tested those. This is becoming quite dangerous.
I requested help on XDA Forums, but haven't got any, sadly.
Q: The GPS doesn't work !
Okay, so I don't know if your device really is defective, but I can tell you about my experience; I always disliked Google Maps APP, since it requires you have a Wi-Fi connection availible to use your GPS. Not pretty helpful when outside.
What I recommend you, is to install the APP Locus (Keep that in mind: the more APPs you install, the more your device will freeze.). Free version is powerful enough. What I like about this magical APP, it allows you to download maps, so that you can view them offline (They are pretty big in size)! Download a few maps, and activate your GPS, it should seek your position.
I believe when people says their GPS doesn't work, it's mainly because the ZEN Touch 2 GPS is really slow to find your position. Really. I first had trouble with this too, and for the GPS do to his things, this can takes up to 15-30 minutes, no kidding. And when the GPS work, it have chances to loose your position randomly.
So yeah, sad to say that, but the GPS on the Touch 2 isn't the best. My position is find instantly on my other 600 MHz smartphone (LG Optimus One).
Q: What is the Recovery Mode, and how do I access it ?
You can access Recovery Mode by holding the HOME button and then turning ON your device at the same time. This menu can be really useful, and even save your device, like it did for me.
Here are the options availible:
- Reboot System Now;
- Apply Sdcard : update.zip;
This is used to update your firmware if you're still on Android 2.1. You could also install Custom ROMs with the filename update.zip that you've put to the root of your internal storage. Highly not recommended to install any Custom ROM, since these ROMs aren't customized for the ZEN Touch 2, simply!
- Wipe Data / Factory Reset;
This delete all of your data on the ZEN, to bring it back to his original state. For some reason, when I used this option, it kept everything that's on my internal storage (Music, Pictures..). GLAD that did. What I've lost, were the APPs I installed, and my Android settings. My APPs were all backed up, so that was no big deal. I wiped the device 3 times, and I can confirm that the data in /mnt/sdcard (The internal storage where you put your music, on USB) isn't deleted. All you have to restore is APPs (If they're backed up, that's fast) and ZEN settings.
Also, be advised that wiping the device does not "unroot" the ZEN - Superuser APP is still there, and the device is still rooted. Notice that if you have uninstalled system APPs (see below), the APPs won't be reinstalled automatically. You'll have to reinstall them manually, if you want them back - hope you have a backup of these APPs!
I had to use this option to stop my ZEN from booting in loop. I thought it wouldn't change anything!
- Wipe Cache Partition;
Wipes the cache partition of the device to clear all the data accumulated there over use.
Thanks to Haroon Q. Raja from AddictiveTips for the info.
Q: Would you qualify the ZEN Touch 2 as a durable unit ?
Well, "on the outside", yes. People (Not me! :P) dropped my ZEN twice, without any consequence (That freaked me out).
Maybe I was lucky, don't know. But durable "on the inside", the firmware and all this stuff, it's a no-no. I should you have more chance that your ZEN will die for no reason because of the firmware, rather than die because you dropped it (Well, just don't drop it in the pool...).
Q: The stock music player suck, I have no control at all !
What I recommend you to install (Personally) :
PlayerPro for the look;
PowerAMP for functionalities. I used PowerAMP, since it sort my music better. I've switched to NRG music player, since PowerAMP became glitchy, for some reason.
Both are shareware, but since there's no access to the Market, you have no choice, but to download illegally. I apologize Creative, for approving the download of APPs, but what else can we do? Simply make the Markey availible, that will sove this issue.
If you plan on getting PowerAMP, get it here, along with the Full Version Patch (You HAVE to be rooted for this to work! Tested, and work in my case):
1. Unistall your current version of PowerAMP.
2. Install PowerAMP.188.8.131.527 APK (Do not run it!)
3. Install PowerAmpPatcher by ChelpuS APK
4. Start the Patcher, and press the button.
5. Reboot the ZEN, then start PowerAMP. That should do it.
Warning: You will loose all your previous PowerAMP settings, however!
Since the ZEN Touch 2 is not a Google cellphone / has no Android Market, this is the only way to have PowerAMP all the time on your ZEN.
NRG Music Player is pretty decent as well, it can play different formats that PlayerPro can't. Still a shareware, but easy to download and install without hassle.
Q: Which Photo Gallery do you recommend ?
Everyone agree, nothing is worst than the Android stock Gallery, super slow, and doesn't sort your pictures at all! Again, I have 2 recommendations:
Grab Quickpic or Picturen. Both are extremely light (500 Ko), fast and there are a lot of zoom steps, for us ZEN Touch 2 owners without any multi-touch support! You can also hide the useless folders, or add a password to these hidden folders, if you prefer!
JustPictures! is also excellent, as well. Take a bit more space, a bit slower, but the interface is more attractive, and One-Touch zoom is supported. Some functions that are in QuickPic aren't in this APP, but I feel like JustPictures sort my photos better. I can put differents "accounts" or "folders" to sort all my pictures.
Screw the original 3D Gallery!
Q: Any browser I should get ?
That really depend on what you do...
Read this article, from november 2011:
Opera Mini is lightning fast, but unfortunately, Flash Player is unsupported on this browser!
Note: Avoid browsing the Internet with a ZEN full of APPs, you'll get in trouble. I did this, and this was a nightmare, freezing all the time, have to reset...
I do this now, but with my 17 APPs installed. It's quite OK, I should say. Especially that I use Flash Player a lot.
Q: Any Home Replacement you recommend ?
I've been using Go Launcher Ex for a while, because it's resonably fast, beautiful and way customizable; ADW Laucher is pretty fast, too. I've now switche to Nemus Launcher - way lighter (The GO Dev Team applications really are getting bloated by useless features, sadly), and still pretty beautiful. Go Launcher Ex is more customizable, but is getting bigger and bigger in size (And RAM, maybe. Not sure.). 8-10 MB or up for an APP? Even for a Home Screen, I hope you're kidding me.
Both APPs allow you to add folders to the APP Drawer ! Excellent!
Q: I want to disable / customize the lockscreen.
Disable the lockscreen: NoLock;
Customize the lockscreen: WidgetLocker.
Q: Does the games play well ?
Yes, pretty good, with the 800 MHz processor of the ZEN Touch 2 !
Comparing it to the 600 MHz processor of my LG Optimus One, there really is a noticeable differece in fluidity. The vast majority of the games doesn't lag on the ZEN Touch 2, that's great.
If you want to try those games emulators (SNES, Genesis...), go ahead, they work decently. Unfortunately, since the Touch 2 doesn't have multitouch, that's a problem, but try to set Left-Right as volume Up-Down to move your caracther, it's pretty playable and fluid enough. The best games are the RPGs, for sure, since multitouch isn't necessary at all.
There are also 3D emulators, such as N64oid or PSX4Droid; these also work, but watch out! At that point, 800 MHz is not enough for these games to be "playable". Super Mario 64, for example, is the most playable game availible for N64oid, and still then, it is really slow (Not that enjoyable, seriously).
You're free to try N64oid or PSX4Droid for fun, but just saying, if you want to freeze your device, this is the way to go.
Super Mario 64 shouldn't freeze instantly your device. However, Mario Kart 64, Donkey Kong 64 or Tony Hawks (Tested) freeze your device for sure - you wouldn't even get past the "Press Start" screen. My advice: only try Super Mario 64.
Still then, the ZEN does play games (2D or 3D) smoothly enough!
Q: My ZEN keep booting in loop! What should I do ?
That happened to me once in a while, and this is freaky.
"ZEN Touch 2" screen, "Touch the Sound of Perfection screen" again, and again, and again...
First: wait. Maybe it'll boot
If your launcher still doesn't start, reset button (Inside the SD Card slot, very tiny) is your only choice, of course. Reset, then power it up again. It booted for me all the time, except once.
If that still doesn't work: Recovery Mode, like stated earlier.
Now, here's what could happen if you reset during the boot sequence; I got this extremely annoying problem like 3 times. Hooray, you can get to the launcher!
Now, what can unfortunately happen, is that you get random popup like "SmartKeyboard Pro Force Close", this stuff. You'll keep getting these popups. That mean the vast majority of your 3rd Party APPs are corrupted, and you'll have to uninstall, then install again almost every single APP... This is a serious pain!
Now, don't install again. It is very important that you uninstall first, then reinstall. Otherwise, it won't work. Luckylli enough, your stock APPs will remain intact (Default Music Player, ZiiO Space, Explorer...)
Hope you don't get this problem!
Q: The ZEN freeze at "Touch the Sound of Perfection" screen...
I would suggest you to wait for a while; I guess it's because the ZEN is getting too hot. Reset the device so it can power OFF, and wait for the ZEN to cool down a bit (Do not reload it, unless you don't have the choice to.), and try again later. Also try to connect the ZEN to USB, it'll power ON on it's own, perhaps it'll get to the Home Screen. If it still freeze, too bad: do a factory reset (that should work).
Q: Can I uninstall preinstalled System APPs (ZiiO Space, Audible, Default Browser) ?
Yes, you can! I'll show you the easiest way to do it!
If this isn't appropriated, ask me Creative, I'll remove this question.
First, you HAVE to be rooted, again!
Second: doing this can be seriously dangerous if you delete a APP that is required for the system to work, you could really kill your ZEN! Again, I take no responsability if you kill your ZEN because of this!
Okay then, download the APP SDK Stock APP Removal (Thanks to the developpers!):
Install it (If you have an antivirus on your ZEN, it'll detect it as dangerous. Ignore it. It's normal, since the APP allow you to delete system APPs, which can be dangerous), run it.
You can now see a list of every single APP installed on your ZEN, including the system APPs. ALWAYS make a backup of the APP when you delete one! The APP itself being extremely easy to use, no need to explain how it works, you'll understand it by yourself, for sure.
Just keep in mind, it is your responsability to verify if it's safe to remove an APP or not! Always check!
I used the APP to remove ZiiO Space, Audible and the default Browser (Without any consequences), since I never use those. Not sure if it's safe to delete the default 3D Gallery.
Mainly because I want to free up the most space as possible on my ZEN to avoid freezing issues, of course!
Q: How can I backup my APPs ?
It's quite easy to do. I've realised backing up my APPs was very important, on the ZEN Touch 2, since you never know when the device is going to freak out, when you'll have to do a reset, and that your APPs get corrupted!
You can of course use Titanium Backup, but I would recommend Smart App Protector / Pro, for his simplicity.
The main purpose of this APP, is to password/pattern-protect your APP (Which does the job perfectly well), but you can also backup (on SD Card, well, ZEN internal storage) and restore your APPs extremely easilly. No root required, here!
This APP completely saved me, when I wiped my device...
Q: What about my contacts ?
In the stock Contacts APP, there's an option to do a full backup of your contacts, on the ZEN internal memory.
If for some reason, you can't find it, download the APP Go Contacts Ex (In my opinion, the best contacts APP availible). This APP also have an option to backup and restore your contacts super easilly.
Q: In some cases, the ZEN Touch 2 isn't loud enough!
Something I would recommend is using a different music player with an equalizer. PowerAMP + PowerAMP patcher should do the job. Open the equalizer and increase the value of the first bar on the left. You'll get a small volume boost. I do use it for some tracks that have the volume REALLY low.
Q: The Agenda / Calendar does not work at all! When I start it, I get the message "You have no calendar" !
Dear calendar... It's always been a pain to set the calendar on the ZEN Touch 2, since it's not a cellphone...
First: forget it. I've tried, and seems this is possible to get this to work, but quite uneffective. First, you should download the APP Calengoo, a more than excellent calendar. It'll sync with your Google Calendar, so try using a Gmail account, to get it to work. It seems to have troble with the sync, and it doesn't work all the time.
Haven't done this in a while, this is seriously a pain. I'm using the calendar on my LG smartphone anyways. I won't be able to help that much about this issue.
Second: what you could do instead, is to download the calendar Jorte. It's a standalone agenda, so it does not requires sync to work at all. It'll work without any problem on your ZEN, you don't have to set-up anything.
However, I fairly prefer Calengoo over Jorte, way more powerful.
Q: Where's the reset hole?
Inside the micro SD slot. You can use a lockpipe (recommended) or a linguee mine (less safe).
Q: Is the battery removable?
Unfortunately, no. Unless you manage to open the ZEN in a very specific way, using a knife and a hairdryer to make the glue melt, I've read. You should probably gain access to the battery this way, but I've been completely unable to know the exact battery type (Lithium-Ion, but details), so replacing it would be a real pain. Creative couldn't help me, since they do not encourage self repair; they recommended me to purchase another device if this case happen, which I honnestly find pretty ugly.
Q: The default Android keyboard is not good enough...
The APK "Smart Keyboard Pro" is the answer.
Q: I would like to quickly turn ON WiFi, and ajust screen brightness without going in the Settings all the time.
Grab the APK "Extended Controls".
That's it, hope this guide was helpful!