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Thread: All thing Android.

  1. #1
    condemned to wires and hammers ebby's Avatar
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    All thing Android.

    So, we have a thread for iPhone users, but nothing specifically for Android users.

    I have an HTC Desire at the moment, and just discovered that the Gingerbread update of Android won't be made available for HTC Desire: http://androidcommunity.com/no-andro...sire-20110614/

    This makes me sad, especially as I'm still in contract with my Desire for another while yet.

    Anyone else an Android phone user? Tips, tricks, apps, joys, headaches?

  2. #2
    Fake news. beanstew's Avatar
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    Not yet but I'm getting increasingly tempted to get an Android powered tablet of some kind.
    Maybe for once, someone will call me "Sir" without adding, "You're making a scene."

  3. #3
    Ebby, if you think that's bad, a week after I got my Xperia Mini, Sony announced they won't be updating it beyond 2.1. And my contract for this phone is looooooong.

    My favouritest apps are My Tracks from Google Labs and Evernote. I'm not really using as many apps as I used to these days.

  4. #4
    condemned to wires and hammers ebby's Avatar
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    ^ that's such balls. I hate it when you get something that is still "new" only to later discover that you've been had.

    Apps wise, I don't use that many on android - I've even uninstalled facebook app down to the basic one that is included in HTC Sense as I couldn't be arsed with facebook, and the mobile version of the website is pretty comprehensive if you just need to use the site a little bit on the go.

    The one that I love and hate equally is DoubleTwist - which I have the OTA syncing with my iMac set up. But it's such a memory hog, (as was the facebook app), and the doubletwist program on my iMac is as sluggish as iTunes and doesn't always find my phone on the network. But still, it's bloody handy and the best music app I've come across for Android phones so far. It's nearly as good as iTunes on an iPhone imho.

    My Tracks looks pretty awesome, actually! I love Latitude, despite the fact that it has decided I work in one of the local cafs - though scarily that's pretty accurate, as it's where I go to write scores. I could change it, but it makes me laugh. Handily/stalker-y you can select to share your location with other android using friends and see their location anywhere. I only have one of my best friends shared on it, and we just nerd out over being able to see where each other is.

    I tried Evernote, but I think it was just trying to be too many things at once for me. I just wanted a quick simple little notepad to take notes and ideas when I'm on the go. I switched to mNote, and it's ok so far. Nice syncing with Simplenote which covers some of the stuff that swung my favour to Evernote initially.

    Other than that, I use Seesmic for my Twitter client at the moment, and the syncing between my gmail account, contacts / address book, calender etc is so seamless and hassle free. I find that works for me much easier than when I was trying to do the same with my iPhone, iPod touch, iMac, and Gmail contacts. This way everything just syncs with my gmail contacts and any time I add a phone number in my phone it is added to my gmail contacts and not just to the phone memory or sim memory.

    I do also have DropBox on my phone as I use it for work stuff and to have access to some files on the go.

    Oh, and Feedly is my RSS reader, and it's fucking awesome. Especially on my phone. I prefer the phone app to the website version at this stage. It takes your RSS feeds from Google Reader, and displays them in a wonderfully easy to read magazine format, with sections divided by the folders in your google reader account. It's brilliant.

  5. #5
    Oh, I use DropBox too! Obviously. Forgot about that.

    I use TweetDeck for Facebook and Twitter (hate the Facebook native app, load of old shit), but it's been a bit sluggish and buggy recently. I may just need to update it.

    My Tracks is useful for me so I can remember where I've been when I'm out exploring on foot or on bike, and so I can get a rough idea of how far I've gone. I like being able to upload all of the data into Google Maps and Docs. It's handy.

    I love the idea of Latitude and stuff, not sure that anyone else I know uses it. I'm also unlikely to bump into friends in Northampton! Maybe one day I'll add it.

    I'm at a loss for Gmail. Same for my calendar. The Gmail native app is horrible to me (doesn't update, autodeletes mail for some bizarre reason), and the pre-installed email app on my phone is bollocks that similarly won't refresh until I tell it. It's useless.

    I did use Google Reader when I first got the phone, but the screen's not ideal for reading articles on - I'll read one or two, but otherwise I'm laptop-based for that, so I just don't bother with it anymore.

    I've also got Layar and Wikitude on there to play about with, but I've...yet to do that.
    Last edited by Whappo; 06-15-2011 at 12:14 PM.

  6. #6
    to the loneliest city in the world other pete's Avatar
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    HTC Desire checking in here too.

    What do you good people use for a music player, if beyond the basic? I paid a couple of quid for PowerAmp and am happyish, great graphic equalizer, but it won't believe tracks are on the same album if they're in different sub folders, regardless of the mp3 tags, and it wants every track on an album to have the same cover art. This thwarts my desire to have b-sides added to the end of an album but still have their single's cover art displayed when it gets to those tracks - I guess I'll have to manually embed the pics into the mp3s if I really want it but that'd be labour intensive. (i.e. I am that anal, but I can't be arsed)

  7. #7
    I don't, really. Haven't got a big enough memory card yet, so I just bung random tracks on if I think I'll want them and then I use the inbuilt Sony Ericsson music player. 's quite good.

    I have never paid for an app. I dunno, I'm too fickle to want to invest 1.31 or whatever in something I might not use next week.

  8. #8
    condemned to wires and hammers ebby's Avatar
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    The only music app I've liked so far has been doubletwist, but the downside is it is a bit of a memory hog and won't install on the SD card, just onto the phone memory, but plays tracks you store on the SD card. I've found I don't really listen to music on my phone that much tbh though.

    The gmail app on my desire is ok. Again, I think the mobile version of the site is handier sometimes.

    Oh, you know what is rubbish? Youtube app. In any form. It was rubbish on the iphone and it's rubbish on android. Again, there's a mobile version of the website which is much better and handier to use.

    The preinstalled email app is a bit awful isn't it?

    One thing I hate about the HTC Sense is that it launches "Peep" (twitter client), and their mail app, and stuff, and I don't use them ever. Must get around to working out how to bloody well uninstall them completely as I've no interest in them.

    The only app I've paid for so far is the AirSync add on to doubleTwist, as that is handy for transferring photos and syncing files. But after a few months of using it, I'm kinda leaning towards just using dropbox for all that instead. Handiest app I've used for anything yet.

  9. #9
    I have a Samsung Galaxy S (Epic 4g) and just barely forced a Froyo (*droid 2.2) update on it. I got tired of waiting for Sprint and Samsung to get off their hands. It is rooted, though I had to use an external app (SuperOneClick) to do it. z4root worked when it was 2.1, but won't work on 2.2 -- at least not on my phone.

    * Titanium Backup is the best backup/recovery app ever; however, it only works on rooted phones. You can back up settings and the app itself, and when you restore it, it's as if nothing changed. And, with the "donate" version, you can freeze apps, meaning that the phone thinks the app is uninstalled, but it really isn't (I guess the phone won't update its firmware if any built-in system apps are missing).
    * Go Launcher is the best home replacement. You can have as many screens as you want and as big of a grid as you want. 4x4 is the default, but you can go 10x10 if you want (I don't know why you would, but it's there).
    * Go SMS is the best messaging replacement.
    * Go Contacts.
    * Go Dialer. (those guys at Go do a good job)
    * Widget Locker (not free) is an awesome lock screen replacement.
    * Amazon Apps has numerous apps that the Android Market doesn't have and offers a free not-free app every day.
    * Lookout is a free A/V app that scans any app post-install as well as on a schedule, has a backup function (it backs up contacts, call logs, messages, etc. to its website), and you can "scream" your phone from the site if you can't find your phone.


    Disclaimer: This post was posted in Computers and Technology...
    Last edited by Lord Raven; 06-15-2011 at 02:13 PM.
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  10. #10
    condemned to wires and hammers ebby's Avatar
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    Actually, looks like HTC did a 180 on the Desire announcement: http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/15/h...ing-to-desire/

    So, here's the tally: as of June 14th, there's just "not enough memory" in the Desire for Gingerbread to run properly. As of the 15th, however, there is. We won't pretend to understand what changed so drastically in the past 24 hours, but what is clear is that the aforesaid handset maker is listening to its most demanding of users. While it's safe to assume that the Average Joe (or Jane) wouldn't be able to recognize the difference between Android 2.2 and 2.3, folks clamoring for the update seem to have coerced the company to make things work. In other words, it looks like the update is back on... now it's just a matter of making it run well. Kudos HTC, and godspeed.

  11. #11
    skeptic. Chalk's Avatar
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    Well, I think it's good that they're doing the update on the Desire anyway, because it's barely a year old. I myself got the Desire HD, and it's been updated to Gingerbread. I really can't see the differance other than a few design wise and that the apps are much better categorized (i.e. into categories "all apps", "frequent" and "downloaded").

    I have a few apps, tried some more but I'm more on the basic and simple level. I like technology and shiny things, but I also know myself too well to control those impulses. I get bored really easily, so my entuasiasm over getting a new phone and learning about all the new wonderful things a smart phone can do has cooled off for a couple of months now.

    The few that I have been using these past three months are: Kindle/Aldiko (I downloaded and bought a ton of books on both formats because back then in the dark ages i.e. ix months ago I could find some books in one format but not in the other. Now, well I can't be arsed to choose. Although, Kindle is kind of winning on the new books). Dropbox, it's a wonderful app and a freaking life saver on numerous occasions.

    Tapatalk. It's just so much easier to browse through here than on Firefox or OperaMobile. Skype, even though it's really shit on Android. When I think about it, it's been lately also shit on pc (and no, it's not the internet connection). The battery icon(It's not an app, but a widget that you can download on HTC widgets), I was always annoyed having to guess on what percantage the battery was until this came along. Adobe, Calendar and this notepad thing I can't remember what it's called. I did tried Evernote and thought it was awesome, but sometimes simple is better and with Dropbox, there is simply no need.

    Now, when I travel and have the battery capacity I try to put a film or a couple of tv episodes to watch on the go, and I use Rockplayer. The HTC player is horrible, and kept crashing.

    Also, I've been attempting to learn Japanese for a while, so I thought I'd see what's available and stumbled upon Human Japanee Lite, a language software. It's like having the book and the audiobook together. I also like that it's explained in a unformal and not so dull way. I find it to be quite thorough, for an app that is. I'm still on chapter three or four out of forty, I think. But that's not the apps fault, I blame Amazon for giving away a few classics for free.

    I tried downloading a few games, like Assassin's Creed (yawn), and this game called Math Workout. The latter was actually fun, and I obsessed over it for a couple of weeks, until I made through all levels and I lost interest.

    edit: I also tried out a couple of those workout apps, but the gps was shit and never working even though I was on top of a freaking mountain. One was Endomondo, I think it's called. Any recomendations? I really don't care about the Cal counts, I just would like to keep track on the lenght of my hikes/walks.

  12. #12
    skeptic. Chalk's Avatar
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    [Double post. and all I wanted was just to edit the first one.]

  13. #13
    whack ass bitch forever Autumn's Avatar
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    Can someone explain the Android OS updates to me? WTF is Gingerbread, etc. I'm not keeping up on this stuff, I just kind of expect Verizon to push an update to my phone if there is one. But I haven't got a system update for awhile. I have the Samsung Galaxy S, and it's running 2.1-update 1, and Google tells me there is a 3.1 (is that just for tabs?), and some other 2.whatever updates! What the hell?! Is there somewhere I need to go to download the current update, or at least the most current one my phone can handle? Or do I have it? Where can I go to find out this stuff? HALP.

  14. #14
    skeptic. Chalk's Avatar
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    The 3.1 is for the new Android tablets and I think a few of the newest smartphones has it too. Otherwise, the current Android version for smartphones is 2.3 (aka Gingerbread).

    edit: I forgot to add (from my simple understanding of it all is) that the Android OS needs to be adapted to the different brands and models of smartphones. It's mostly the latest smartphones that are most up to date with the newest Android OS, but not always the case with "older" types. . Which, sometimes it has to do with the phones capacity, but I think it has mostly to do with them not wanting to wasting more money on the older phones.

  15. #15
    What? Peter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Autumn View Post
    Can someone explain the Android OS updates to me? WTF is Gingerbread, etc. I'm not keeping up on this stuff, I just kind of expect Verizon to push an update to my phone if there is one. But I haven't got a system update for awhile. I have the Samsung Galaxy S, and it's running 2.1-update 1, and Google tells me there is a 3.1 (is that just for tabs?), and some other 2.whatever updates! What the hell?! Is there somewhere I need to go to download the current update, or at least the most current one my phone can handle? Or do I have it? Where can I go to find out this stuff? HALP.
    This is where Android can get a bit frustrating- the 3.1 that's being referred to is the TouchWiz User Interface, which is the software that Samsung put atop Android so that they could have their own distinct version. Assuming TouchWiz isn't updated automatically, you can probably start it through the Verizon website.

    As for version info: here's the Wikipedia article.

    Despite the occasional frustration, I love my phone. I'm using a Motorola Droid. I rooted mine through SuperOneClick, which was fast & easy. I only did it so that I could use my phone as a wireless hotspot. It's not great as one, but it works. As for apps... I have my homescreen replaced with Slidescreen, which I would recommend for anybody. The pro version costs, but the free version is equally robust, it just has an ad at the bottom. (I have the pro version. I have no patience for ads). I replaced my IM client with Chomp SMS, and I use imo for my chat client, which is similar in function to trillian. I also use dropbox, occasionally music grid, musical pro, and yelp. I use Amazon mp3 all the freakin' time. Love that app. I'm looking forward to getting something with 4G coverage later in the year.

    -Pete

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