2011
02.17

Motorola Rambler

My Motorola Rambler arrived from BoostMobile.com yesterday. So I finally have a Boost CDMA phone and can begin testing apps for compatibility. There were a lot of surprises with the phone, some good, some bad, I’ll write a full review of The Rambler eventually but I wanted to do a post tonight just about my experiences loading and running apps on it

I’ve heard that all the CDMA phones use the same Qualcomm Java runtime so I’m hoping that the Rambler will be representative of the whole CDMA line and apps that work on it will also work on the Juno, Mirro, Seek and Incognito etc.

I installed a bunch of apps and games from BoostApps. Almost all of them work but there are serious issues with using the QWERTY keyboard with some of them.

Like the QWERTY keyboards of most phones all the keys have either numbers or symbols like ? ! ; $ on them. You press the Fn key plus the other key to type the number or symbol. This generally works OK in the messaging app and the built in browser. But you can’t hold down the Fn key to type a bunch of symbols or numbers in a row. You have to press Fn and then a number or symbol and then release Fn and press it again for the next character. The trick is to press Fn twice which is Fn-lock and then type as many symbols or numbers as needed. Press Fn once to turn off Fn-lock

I’ll start with Opera Mini 5.1 because this is my favorite app and I really wanted it to work. Opera runs surprising well on the Rambler.. It’s fast and smooth, with no display issues and multiple tabs are not a problem.

But the keyboard gave me a lot of headaches. When using inline text entry typing lowercase letters and symbols using the Fn key is OK. But typing numbers and capitalized letters is a pain. Fn + number doesn’t work. The phone treats each number key like a key on a non-QWERTY phone that’s in abc mode, To type numbers you have to press Fn twice to enable Fn lock and then press each key multiple times to cycle through the letters like a-b-c-2. The caps key doesn’t work either. To type a capital letter you need yo press F twice and then use # to switch between lower case, first letter capitalized and upper case. At least Opera shows you which mode you are switching to.

Full screen edit is better. Everything works as expected cept for typing passwords. In password fields the Rambler doesn’t show you what you typed, just a star. It also doesn’t tell you if it’s in caps or lower case plus it automatically capitalizes the first letter of the password. Really frustratimg.

Opera Mini 5.1 has a couple of other issues. You can press Fn twice and use # and * shortcuts which is great. But if you try to use 2 and 8 for page up and down the browser always jumps two pages up or down instead of one. The other bug is that if you try to install an app using Opera Mini the phone locks up and you have to turn it off and on to recover.

The other apps I tested on the Rambler wer:

  • Bolt 2.5 – works well except for the keyboard. In inline mode only the number keys do anyting. Fullscreen edit is OK except for passwords which have the same issues as Opera. Downloading apps works though.
  • Bolt Lite 2.5 – Loads and runs but gives a connection error
  • Gcal – Loads and runs but complains of an invalid security certificate and won’t connect
  • MultiCounter – Works well.
  • Mail by Google – Loads and runs but won’t connect saying a certificate is not recognized
  • First Aid Mobile 3.0 – Works perfectly
  • Mobile Task Manager- Works without problems
  • Locate A – Gets a java error and won’t run
  • SubBrain – works fine
  • Nimbuzz – works but the soft key mappings are wrong. Entering your password is hard because Nimbuzz doesn’t show you what you’re typing and it always capitailizes the first letter. I managed to log in by typing the first letter of my password twice and then going back and erasing the first one.

I ran into one other problem that seems to be a phone or network bug. Every now and then when I tried to download an app it failed with the message Forbidden from webserver – 951 Forbidden. Once that messaged occured i got it on every app I tried to download. I found that if I turned the phone off then on fixed the same download would work.

I’ll contine to test more apps and update the individual app download pages with compatibilty notes for the Rambler which will hopefully apply to the other CDMA phones as well.

  1. My phone is not working for calls how can ??? I get calls
    It is to Bad is not working

  2. Thank you

  3. that phone will buy in all cellphone station?

  4. Can you listen to full songs on the rambler?

  5. Can you install google maps on this phone?

    • Google Maps 2.3.2 works well on the Rambler. There’s no GPS support with it or any other third party app on any of the Boost CDMA phones AFAIK.

  6. Sounds like the Rambler would be less useful than my current phone. Ringtone control would be nice, but I care about that less than I do about the general file transfer issue.

    My Mirro *does* have a filesystem, and I *can* upload from and download to it through Opera Mini, Bolt, and UC Browser. I can even FTP to sites on the Internet with Mini-Commander.

    I just can’t get the files into that filesystem *from a computer*, or get files that I’ve downloaded into it *to* a computer.

  7. I am considering upgrading to a Rambler in the next couple of months, and would like to ask a couple of things about the phone. Does the Rambler have a card slot that actually works? Can ordinary computers mount and read/write to the filesystem on the cards? In general is it possible to get files back and forth between a computer and somewhere that Opera Mini in the phone can read/write to?

    The purpose of my making such an upgrade would be to remedy the inability to do this with my Sanyo Mirro.

    • Like the Mirro, the Rambler doesn’t have a memory card slot. Apps, including Opera Mini can’t save pages or upload or download. It’s not possible to browse the file system using a PC or any app.
      However, you can send images and audio files to the phone with Bluetooth from a PC or another phone. Full song MP3s sent by Bluetooth can be used as ringtones and 176x220px images sent by Bluetooth can be used as wallpaper. Contacts can be sent or recieved one to/from another phone.

  8. can this phone play youtube video on the web i like to find out be i bye this phone and is it better the the i465 caz that what i have new

    • Yes, the Rambler can play videos from the YouTube mobile site at http://m.youtube.com/ Quality isn’t great but the videos do play

    • U know i have more app but im not risive pay my account

  9. when i turn on my motorola rambler from boost mobile all i get is a blue screen with the motorola simble on it and under it it says bootloader usb init and it wont finish powering up and when i hit the power button it just restarts and returns to that scren what is wrong and how do i fix it?

    • It’s probably dead but a few things to try are:
      Take the battery out for at least 2 minutes then put the battery back in and turn it on.

      If the phone got wet take the cover and battery out and put the phone in a bowl of dry, uncooked rice for at least a day.

  10. How would i transfer a java app file over bluetooth? I have been trying to do it for a while but it won’t work. When i had Tmobile, i had a Sony Ericsson TM 506 and i could transfer anything to that phone…

    • Boost CDMA phones only allow apps to be installed through the browser. Bluetooth will not work.

  11. does at&t carry this phone??

    • No, only Boost

  12. I have to agree with Dennis . A quick web search shows that tethering of Boost CDMA phones is disabled . Sprint wants you to upgrade to their broadband cards and such .

  13. can you use this phone as a dial up dial up connection on you pc like i use my i465 boost mobile but it to slow to us it like 2 kbs or so jast wot to no be for i biay this phone

    ps i have usb cble and all that

    • I have never heard of anyone getting tethering working with any of the Boost CDMA phones. I don’t think it’s possible.

  14. Yeah… Incognito does the same thing with the password fields in full-screen edit. All my passwords are random sequences of numbers and letters (upper and lower case) so I usually just use the password field as opposed to the full-screen since it flashes the character and I know when I goof up lol

  15. Hey dennis. Anything new for cdma ? Been waiting along time for this to happen . Need some games and apps. To work on my INCOGNITO. Thanks
    JOE

    • The most of the games and apps from this site that I’ve tried worked on my Rambler so they will probably work on the Incognito.
      I tested a few more today and these all work: Mobidentica, Army Sniper Academy and Virtual Cat
      I will eventually test them all and add a line to each post:
      “Boost CDMA Compatible: (tested on Motorola Rambler): Yes (or No)”
      You can help by trying the ones you are interested in and posting whether they work or not

  16. Hint for typing numbers with Opera Mini (assuming it works the same on the Rambler as the Incognito and from what you wrote it sounds like it does): Instead of scrolling through, as your example, abc to get to the number 2 just press and hold the 2 button for a second or so. I still almost always go into full-screen edit when typing anything with a few numbers.

    • Thanks Adam. Hitting Fn and then holding a number key down does type the number on the Rambler too.

      Does the Incognito have the problem with password fields too? (On the Rambler, when typing passwords in the built in browser and in Opera and Bolt’s full screen edit it only shows an asterisk, rather than briefly showing you what you typed before displaying the asterisk.)

  17. Sounds like a cool phone , but at least I don’t have to feel so bad about the i 465’s keyboard problems anymore , misery loves company . 😀

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