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#345213 - 17/05/2011 19:57 Re: Android changes [Re: hybrid8]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3730
My deep hope is that Android 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) is so achingly beautiful and well done that there's little room for vendors to improve it, and also contractually locked down by Google so that there's little ability for vendors to screw it up. We'll see.

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#345214 - 17/05/2011 20:00 Re: Android changes [Re: DWallach]
hybrid8
carpal tunnel

Registered: 12/11/2001
Posts: 7738
Loc: Toronto, CANADA
That release will have to wait until Apple, MS and HP release their next OSes, otherwise Google will have no source material from which to draw upon for the improvements to their OS.
_________________________
Bruno
Twisted Melon : Fine Mac OS Software

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#345773 - 16/06/2011 16:53 Re: Android changes [Re: Dignan]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Quote:
It also solidifies my decision to wait until a new Nexus device is released (there's rumors of one at the end of the year).

I was thinking about waiting for the Nexus 4G as well, but if the recent rumors about it being an AT&T exclusive are true, I think I'll have to pass. Plus, I don't think I want to wait another six months to upgrade, assuming it's on schedule.

My Sprint contract is up, so I can get a Nexus S 4G relatively cheap, but I don't like the lack of an SD slot and the relatively weak camera. The T-Mobile HTC Sensation 4G seems to have much better specs, but after reading your experience with the Thunderbolt, I'm worried that the bloatware would ruin it, and while I don't mind rooting and using 3rd party ROMs, I'm worried about what happens if the ROM developers decide to stop releasing for it when newer, sexier phones come out.

I guess I'll probably look at the Sensation 4G in a T-Mobile store once they start getting them in, then decide. Are there any other Android phones coming out between now and the end of the year that I should consider waiting for?
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#345774 - 16/06/2011 17:06 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3730
For what it's worth, a year into owning my Motorola Droid X, which looked great on paper, I wish I'd gone back into the past and told myself to just get a Nexus S or even a Nexus One. Then, at least, I'd know that any wonky behavior I was experiencing would also likely be suffered by somebody working at Google who'd be more likely to fix it.

As it stands today, with Gingerbread finally on my phone, the phone is oodles better than it was a year ago, but it still crashes and behaves weird at odd times. Under Android 2.2, the problem was that anything touching the GPS would have a non-zero chance of wedging the phone. Now, it's after the phone has been on for a while, it just stops being able to make phone calls and needs to be rebooted. Dollars to doughnuts, this boils down to crappy device drivers.

I pains me to have to wait until next summer before my two year contract with Verizon comes up for renewal. Who knows, maybe by then the whole situation will be better.

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#345782 - 16/06/2011 23:47 Re: Android changes [Re: DWallach]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Quote:
Then, at least, I'd know that any wonky behavior I was experiencing would also likely be suffered by somebody working at Google who'd be more likely to fix it.

That's a great point, and one that really hadn't crossed my mind. Do people generally consider the Nexus S to be more stable than all of the HTC, Samsung, etc. offerings, or is this just from your personal experience with the Droid X?

I stopped by both the Sprint store after work today to get a quick look at the Nexus S 4G, and would have walked out with one were it not for Sprint's sudden love of surcharge fees for everything under the sun. I'm paying about $80/month after my employer discount now, but if I upgrade to a new Sprint smartphone, they're going to tack on ten bucks for the privilege. Then, the one that made my jaw drop was the wireless hotspot tethering fee: 30 bucks a month! Unreal.

So I walked out, and headed to the T-Mobile store down the street. The CS reps were mobbed, but I did get a look at the HTC Sensation, and even with just 5 minutes with the two phones, I got a good feel for why a lot of people prefer a stripped down true Android phone over the ones loaded with bloatware. The HTC interface has all this 3D spinning whiz-bang animation crap that totally turned me off. I'm sure I could eventually tweak it to make it more palatable, but it seemed to me that all the extra horsepower of the HTC's faster CPU would be eaten up by visual effects and crappy apps.

It's a bummer, because it looks like my monthly bill on T-Mobile would be significantly cheaper. They only charge $15 for tethering, and though the data service isn't "unlimited" like it theoretically is on Sprint, I'm pretty sure I'd be fine with the plan that gives you 2GB of fast data and then throttles anything above that. Sprint does have 7pm nights/weekends and unlimited calling to any mobile carrier, but I rarely use anytime minutes, so I think I'd be fine with calling.

So, basically, it looks like I want the Sprint phone with but the T-Mobile service. smile I guess the least bloated Android phone available on T-Mobile is the LG G2X, but I didn't get a chance to see that in the store today, and apparently they haven't rolled Gingerbread out to it, so I'm not really sure that's a great fit, either.

Sprint is seriously going to lose a ton of customers with their $10 smartphone and $30 tethering charges. mad

_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#345784 - 17/06/2011 00:56 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
The Nexus S (non Sprint 4G) works on T-Mobile, and beyond supporting Wi-Max, the two devices are identical. Clean Google experience, and same Samsung Galaxy S derived hardware.

As for what the manufacturers are doing under the hood, it seems my experience with the Captivate only exposed part of it. A coworker has been rebuilding his phone from scratch, and discovered his stock ROM was using ReiserFS. Pretty crazy, and gives me a new view on why Google is trying to control things more now.
_________________________
Tom

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#345786 - 17/06/2011 01:38 Re: Android changes [Re: drakino]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
That might be a decent compromise -- I'm not sure if I'd miss the Sprint 4G speeds or not, as I've never experienced T-Mobile's data service (then again, I've never experienced Sprint's 4G either.)

It doesn't look like T-Mobile offers the Nexus S on their web site now, but it appears to be available at some retail outlets. I have a T-Mobile rep I can email through my employer's discount program, maybe I'll ask him about it.

Also, from what I can gather, the Cyanogen firmware for 4G phones is still in the early stages, so it seems like I might be stuck with the bloatware for more than a month or two if I decide to go with one of those.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#345792 - 17/06/2011 12:12 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
frog51
pooh-bah

Registered: 09/08/2000
Posts: 2091
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland
Originally Posted By: tonyc
I did get a look at the HTC Sensation, and even with just 5 minutes with the two phones, I got a good feel for why a lot of people prefer a stripped down true Android phone over the ones loaded with bloatware. The HTC interface has all this 3D spinning whiz-bang animation crap that totally turned me off. I'm sure I could eventually tweak it to make it more palatable, but it seemed to me that all the extra horsepower of the HTC's faster CPU would be eaten up by visual effects and crappy apps.


It takes no time at all to remove all the visual effects and apps and just run a very lean one with excellent battery life. I have the older HTC Desire HD, and I get almost 2 days battery life under normal usage - no silly visual effects, no Sense UI (replaced it with the Go Launcher), no auto-sync, auto shutdown of power hogs (like phone, wireless, sat-nav etc) and it's smashing!
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Rory
MkIIa, blue lit buttons, memory upgrade, 1Tb in Subaru Forester STi
MkII, 240Gb in Mark Lord dock
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#345805 - 17/06/2011 16:48 Re: Android changes [Re: frog51]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12162
Loc: Sterling, VA
I can't express how interested I am in the new Nexus phone. All along my ideals for my next phone have been:

- plain Android
- dual-core processor
- decent resolution screen
- LTE

It looks like there's a possibility of having all my requirements met! I'm still not sure I'm digging the lack of buttons, but if I can get a phone with the specs they're talking about I'll live with it.

Tom, I really wish you could experience real Android. I don't fault you for not having done so, because it's so difficult to do. I'd be thrilled if Google tightened things down.

Tony, I'd also recommend waiting until the Galaxy S II and see if a version of Cyanogen Mod comes out for it. Samsung sent a unit to a Cyanogen dev, so hopefully that bodes well. IMO, Cyanogen is the next best thing to pure Android.
_________________________
Matt

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#345806 - 17/06/2011 17:21 Re: Android changes [Re: Dignan]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3730
I only have one complaint with stock Android: you don't get the magic Facebook contact integration with your Android contacts. Well, you used to, but Google is banning it in their war with Facebook. If you have a proprietary mumble from some other vendor, then you probably continue to have Facebook integration.

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#345809 - 17/06/2011 18:12 Re: Android changes [Re: Dignan]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
Originally Posted By: Dignan
IMO, Cyanogen is the next best thing to pure Android.

I have finally activated an original Droid yesterday. Sort of a birthday gift to myself. I've had it on wifi for a couple of months and was playing around with rooting and ROMs. It's running CM7. Now, as a phone, it seems pretty stable- although there are some issues with CM7 on D1 that I will confront.
My monthly bill will only be going up about $15 or $20 with the changes I've made to my account on Verizon. Should be under $70/mo.

Would I be correct in saying the phone is 'as unique' as the Nexus in terms of customization options?
Sure, it's two years behind in hardware...
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10101466 (2x60GB, Eutronix/GreenLights Blue) (Stolen!)

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#345812 - 17/06/2011 19:55 Re: Android changes [Re: Robotic]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3730
The original Droid and the Nexus One were both in the hands of many, many genuine Google employees, at least back in the day when they were current phones. If you buy my theory, then a Droid is a reasonable way to have non-crap device drivers.

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#345815 - 17/06/2011 22:09 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4912
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
Originally Posted By: tonyc
Then, the one that made my jaw drop was the wireless hotspot tethering fee: 30 bucks a month! Unreal.

Originally Posted By: tonyc
They only charge $15 for tethering, and though the data service isn't "unlimited" like it theoretically is on Sprint...

I'm just going to throw this out there as an AT&T user with grandfathered $30 unlimited data. In the past 6 months, I've used an iPhone 4, HTC Aria, Dell Venue, and Nexus S as my primary phone. Obviously, the iPhone 4 required jailbreaking to tether without a supplemental fee. The Aria was AT&T-branded, but I installed CM7 which included the stock tethering settings menu. The Dell Venue and Nexus S are sold unlocked. The Venue was purchased directly from Dell, and the Nexus is a Canadian variant that I bought from Negri for the 850MHz HSDPA support. Both these non-AT&T branded phones allow open use of the stock tethering capability in Android.

I don't tether much, but I like to have the option in an emergency. Paying full-price for a phone upfront is worth the freedom to me. Naturally, unlocked phones also sell for more money on ebay when I'm done with them. I've actually managed to make a healthy profit unlocking Android phones, installing CM7 and flipping them on ebay while I was working-out which phone to settle on.

FWIW, I settled on the Nexus S. I haven't even rooted it. I'm just that content with it.

I defected from the iPhone primarily for Android's tight integration with Google Voice. Now that I've successfully transitioned my contacts to dial my GV number, I'm free to dump AT&T and move to some other carrier without the worry of number porting. I'm currently still under contract with AT&T, but I plan to make a move to either Straight Talk (AT&T MVNO) or Simple Mobile (T-Mobile MVNO). Both have unlimited data at a reasonable price, and I doubt they will care if I'm tethering a few times per year.
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-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#345818 - 18/06/2011 01:18 Re: Android changes [Re: Dignan]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: Dignan
Tom, I really wish you could experience real Android. I don't fault you for not having done so, because it's so difficult to do. I'd be thrilled if Google tightened things down.

At the time, it was impossible, since the Nexus One was discontinued along with the Droid, and the Nexus S was still a ways out. To be quite honest, Android is not for me, even if it is stock. The media features I use very frequently on the iPhone side simply aren't matched in the Android space without a lot of effort that I'm not willing to go through. I'm not, nor do I plan to be a GMail user, so that leaves me with the subpar stock IMAP client that people at Google don't care about. I've also come to appreciate VPN access from my iPhone, something Android currently can't do, as Juniper doesn't have a proper Android VPN client. As nice as free turn by turn navigation might be (my main interest in Android), it's not enough to offset the downsides for my use.

I had considered grabbing an Xperia Play just as a justification to have an Android device around to tinker with and use for games, but Sony (as usual) dropped the ball here. In the US it's Verizon only (so no SIM swapping for me), and even if I did get a GSM version, it's barley "Playstation" compatible. I was hoping to see PSP games make the direct leap over, and potentially slightly scaled down Vita games. But instead, the plan seems to be mostly focused around bringing back PS1 era games, to avoid cannibalizing any PSP/Vita sales. At the end of the day, $500+ for a portable game console I'll use infrequently is a bit too much for even me to justify.
_________________________
Tom

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#345831 - 18/06/2011 16:10 Re: Android changes [Re: robricc]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Quote:
FWIW, I settled on the Nexus S. I haven't even rooted it. I'm just that content with it.

Yeah, the more I look into this, the more I'm certain the Nexus S is the right choice, even if I have to settle for the non-4G variant so I can defect to T-Mobile.

I've always preferred physical keyboards, but none of the other Android phones in Sprint's lineup are a good fit. Either they're too bulky, too outdated firmware-wise, or bloated with crap. I'm actually pretty nervous about moving to a phone without a real keyboard, but hopefully I can adjust. If the Cyanogen mod was farther along for the Epic 4G or Shift 4G phones, I might give those a closer look.

The other thing I'll really miss from my Pre is the Touchstone charging. It's so elegant and simple, and works perfectly as a car mount for GPS usage. The Nexus S car mounts I've seen look flimsy and crappy, and obviously don't charge the phone without plugging in a cable. I'm frankly shocked that other manufacturers haven't licensed this tech from HP or integrated something similar -- it's such a nice thing to have. It looks like some modders have found ways to hack Touchstone charging into the Nexus S, but the results look very amateur-ish, and the mods aren't the kind of thing you get done in half an hour.

I've got an email conversation going with a Sprint rep now who's trying to put together an offer to keep me from leaving for T-Mobile. I did find out that I only had an 8% corporate discount on my account when apparently I'm eligible for 18% now, so maybe that'll make up some of the distance.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#345832 - 18/06/2011 16:34 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
drakino
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/06/1999
Posts: 7868
Loc: Seattle, WA
Originally Posted By: tonyc
I've always preferred physical keyboards, but none of the other Android phones in Sprint's lineup are a good fit. I'm actually pretty nervous about moving to a phone without a real keyboard, but hopefully I can adjust.

I've heard it's a little harder for people who have used physical keyboards to adjust, but not impossible. I can't provide any direct tips on the transition since I went from T9 (and rarely typed) to the iPhone keyboard. I will say one key thing though is learning to use autocorrect. Don't try and hit every key exactly every time when typing normal english, just go at a comfortable pace and let autocorrect catch the minor mistakes. Make sure you know how to correct the autocorrect system, so it can be tailored to you as you also train with it.

You also have the option on Android to try out a few other keyboards. Initially I'd say stay with stock, just to get a feel for it for URL entry and other non english pieces. Then once your fingers get used to the spacing, you can look at Swype for english text entry. In my short time with the Android phone last summer, Swype was something that did grow on me a bit after trying it out.
_________________________
Tom

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#345836 - 19/06/2011 12:45 Re: Android changes [Re: drakino]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Yeah, the potential to use something like Swype (or that Blindtype thing if it ever gets released) makes me think that I could live with a touchscreen keyboard. There will obviously be an adjustment period, though.

One other wrinkle I just thought of with moving to T-mobile is their imminent acquisition by AT&T. I guess if I sign a 2 year agreement with T-Mobile, I'm agreeing to be an AT&T customer next year when the merger goes through, and I'm not sure if I can deal with that.

The Sprint guy told me that they're not actually enforcing the tethering fee yet, so maybe my best bet is staying with Sprint and using tethering sparingly, in the hopes that they don't release a firmware upgrade that blocks tethering unless you pay the fee (or that the modders release a firmware that works around it.)
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#345855 - 20/06/2011 15:31 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12162
Loc: Sterling, VA
Tony, I moved from the Blackberry to the G1 to the Nexus One, and was always a staunch physical keyboard guy. I took a big chance on the Nexus One because I ordered it (for $550+) without having ever held it in my hands.

Frankly, I don't miss the physical keyboard.

I do think the iPhone's keyboard is a little better for typing than my N1's, but being able to install others is a big help. Try Swype for a while and see if you like it. I never much liked it myself, but it's a subjective thing so it might suit you more. I'm personally a huge fan of SwiftKey, which greatly reduces the number of screen taps to get a sentence out.

At this point I don't suppose you have much to worry about with the merger. I think 2 years is going to be more time than they'll need to convert the towers such that you won't be able to get 3G on TMobile anymore. Just as long as you go into it knowing that your phone won't be desirable to anyone when you're done with it. That's what I'm facing with my Nexus One and why I'm hoping it'll still be sellable when the supposed new Nexus phone is released.
_________________________
Matt

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#345856 - 20/06/2011 15:45 Re: Android changes [Re: Dignan]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Thanks for letting me know about SwiftKey. That looks like it could be a real time saver and make me not miss the keyboard as much.

Phone resale is definitely a concern with moving to T-Mobile, but it's also just not wanting to be an AT&T customer when the merger completes. I was a Cingular customer when they bought AT&T, and had bad experiences with them back then. My wife is still tied to an AT&T contract now on a family plan, and their deceptive billing and horrible customer service have been a nightmare to deal with. Basically, I'd pay a high premium to give any carrier other than AT&T my business. So, knowing the merger would happen during my contract term is a huge point in Sprint's favor.

Looks like I'll be pulling the trigger on the Sprint Nexus S 4G this evening. Thanks for all the help.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#345857 - 20/06/2011 16:14 Re: Android changes [Re: DWallach]
siberia37
old hand

Registered: 09/01/2002
Posts: 702
Loc: Tacoma,WA
Originally Posted By: DWallach
I only have one complaint with stock Android: you don't get the magic Facebook contact integration with your Android contacts. Well, you used to, but Google is banning it in their war with Facebook. If you have a proprietary mumble from some other vendor, then you probably continue to have Facebook integration.


I have Facebook integration and I am running Cyanogenmod. Actually I think the Sprint stock image has the Facebook integration available as well. In any case I have one huge dealkiler complaint with Facebook integration. You can't put in phone numbers for your Facebook conatcts. So say if you learn someone's phone number that you were friends with on Facebook you try to put in a phone number for them in the Facebook contact. Nope doesn't work have to make a completely new duplicate Phone contact for it to work. Dumb.

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#345896 - 21/06/2011 12:52 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the Nexus S 4G last night. My hand was forced a bit by my Pre's battery going from "has trouble getting through a full day, even in airplane mode" to "has trouble getting through more than an hour or two."

I'm still finding my way around the phone, but so far, I'm impressed. It's definitely going to take me some time to get close to my old typing speed, but Swype seems to help a lot. The Netflix and Sling Player apps seem to work nicely over wifi, though I haven't tried them on 3G or WiMax yet.

What other apps should I try out? I found a free calendar app called Jorte that seems nice, and K-9 Email seems to be a better IMAP client than the stock one. What else do you guys use a lot? I'm working my way through the recommendations in Bitt's thread, but I thought there might be some new recommendations since that thread was active.

One app I could definitely use would be something like "Profiles" for PalmOS or "Mode Switcher" on WebOS. Basically, something to change phone settings (ring volume, vibrate on/off, etc.) based on time of day, location, etc.

I'm really sad about losing the Touchstone capability, especially in the car. Guess I need to find a decent car dock to hold it for GPS use at least.
_________________________
- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#345897 - 21/06/2011 13:51 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
msaeger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 23/09/2000
Posts: 3608
Loc: Minnetonka, MN
Get the Amazon app store everyday they have a free paid app. Many times they are crap but sometimes they have a good one like today it's Peggle.

And doodle jump is much better than abducted smile
_________________________

Matt

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#345900 - 21/06/2011 14:12 Re: Android changes [Re: msaeger]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Originally Posted By: msaeger
Get the Amazon app store everyday they have a free paid app. Many times they are crap but sometimes they have a good one like today it's Peggle.

Yeah. You get some good freebies on the Amazon Appstore. I acquired Plants vs Zombies via the Amazon Appstore for free by temporarily borrowing a US friend's Amazon account.

If you've ever played PvZ on the desktop then the mobile version seems to be pretty much identical in features. Only thing I can't find at the moment is the puzzles but that may be unlocked later.

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#345903 - 21/06/2011 14:52 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12162
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: tonyc
One app I could definitely use would be something like "Profiles" for PalmOS or "Mode Switcher" on WebOS. Basically, something to change phone settings (ring volume, vibrate on/off, etc.) based on time of day, location, etc.

It's not the most user-friendly app in the world, but Taskercan do absolutely anything that is at all possible on an Android phone. It can pretty much do anything based on anything. I know that's not very specific, but it really is a pretty incredible.
_________________________
Matt

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#345906 - 21/06/2011 14:55 Re: Android changes [Re: tman]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3730
My current/recent favorite apps:

- Pretty much all the Google-branded stuff. If I'm running in an unfamiliar location, for example, I'll use Google's My Tracks.

- My-Cast Weather Lite to put the current temperature in the status bar and a brief forecast in the drop-down. I used to use WeatherBug, but it had a habit of slamming my CPU.

- SoundHound: pretty good at recognizing random songs.

- DoubleTwist: seems to be a reasonable media player.

- Photoshop Express: useful for fixing contrast/brightness on images from the crappy camera in my phone prior to uploading them to Facebook or whatnot.

- Prey (part of the Prey Project) to recover my phone if it's lost or stolen.

- Swiftkey (which I switched to from Swype) - awesome predictive keyboard.

- Amazon's App Store: good for the freebies.

- Seesmic: useful for quickly posting the same status update to Facebook, Twitter, and Google Buzz in one go.

- RPN Calculator: free, does everything I want.

- Gentle Alarm: a freebie from Amazon, at one point. Very nice.

- PewPew 2: another Amazon freebie, at one point. Nice game.

- Galcon: addictive game (that I actually paid money for).

Root-only stuff:

- ClockSync: gets my phone on real atomic time, not whatever Verizon feeds me (which is often ten seconds off).

- Barnacle: tethering support.

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#345907 - 21/06/2011 14:55 Re: Android changes [Re: tman]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12162
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: tman
If you've ever played PvZ on the desktop then the mobile version seems to be pretty much identical in features. Only thing I can't find at the moment is the puzzles but that may be unlocked later.

I've been waiting for PvZ on Android for what seems like years. I can't stand how slow Popcap has been to adopt the Android platform.

iPhone PvZ players can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure there are several things missing from the desktop version (which I played a long time ago and for which I unlocked everything). I believe the biggest differences are the puzzle games. They're simplified compared to the desktop version. Also, there are no survival modes or whatever they called that place you grew plants in (did they call it the greenhouse? I can't remember).
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Matt

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#345917 - 21/06/2011 17:16 Re: Android changes [Re: Dignan]
Robotic
pooh-bah

Registered: 06/04/2005
Posts: 2026
Loc: Seattle transplant
Originally Posted By: DWallach
My current/recent favorite apps:
This deserves to be a new thread starter!


Originally Posted By: Dignan
Also, there are no survival modes or whatever they called that place you grew plants in (did they call it the greenhouse? I can't remember).
The Zen Garden? That's primarily a place to make money to spend at Crazy Dave's store, right?
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10101311 (20GB- backup empeg)
10101466 (2x60GB, Eutronix/GreenLights Blue) (Stolen!)

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#345921 - 22/06/2011 00:03 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
Originally Posted By: tonyc
I'm really sad about losing the Touchstone capability, especially in the car. Guess I need to find a decent car dock to hold it for GPS use at least.

It turns out that I was so sad about losing the Touchstone that I spent some time tonight taking apart the back of my Pre and transplanting the magnets onto my Nexus S just to use the Touchstone as a magnetic mount for the new phone (without the charging capability.) I got the idea from some posts where people had modded Nexus Ones and Nexus Ses to use the Touchstone as a charger, but I don't have the balls to void the warranty on my $500+ phone, and have read reports that the Touchstone charging can't even keep up with the battery drain of day-to-day phone operation (that was sometimes the case with the Pre, but it usually kept up.)

There was some concern that the magnets would screw with the phone's compass, as I'd read reports of that, but I'm pretty sure I was able to position them in such a way that the impact is minimal or nonexistent -- it's far too cloudy here to test it out with Google Sky, but the cardinal directions seemed close enough to what the maps of my neighborhood show, and it seems to be finding the moon okay, so I'm pretty confident it's not screwing things up too badly.

It's not the prettiest mod in the world, as it involves a couple strips of electrical tape across the back to hold the magnets in place, but the net result is actually a stronger magnetic grip to my Touchstones than I had with the Pre, due to the Pre's slightly heavier weight and the replacement back panel of the Pre being significantly thicker than a piece of electrical tape. I might end up trying to locate a thin gel skin to put around the phone to protect the electrical tape, or I might just leave it as is and replace the tape if it wears down over time.

Other than the aesthetics, I'm really quite happy with the result. I still have to plug in a MicroUSB cable to charge the phone, but I can continue to use my Touchstone mount in the car to position the phone for navigation and speakerphone use, and I can continue to use the Touchstones in my house to hold the phone in place while it's charging. I think it's a good enough setup that I'd probably try to do the same thing in the future with other phones if it's practical.

I actually ended up buying a Nexus S car mount at Best Buy today on my way home, and I think I'll keep that for use in my wife's car, but I'm very glad that I will be able to continue to use my Touchstones with my Nexus, albeit not as originally intended.

Thanks for all the app recommendations, by the way. I'd already planned on installing Prey after seeing it at USENIX a few years back, but I hadn't yet discovered most of those other apps, some of which sound quite useful.
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- Tony C
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#345938 - 23/06/2011 15:13 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
tonyc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 27/06/1999
Posts: 7058
Loc: Pittsburgh, PA
One thing I haven't seen in this or the other app recommendation thread is a ringing endorsement of any particular note taking app. Evernote didn't really wow me when I tried it a while back, but I guess I could take a look at the Android version.

On my Mac, I"ve always used VoodooPad for taking notes, but since it has no Android app, syncing it to anything on my phone would probably involve a cumbersome export/import process. So I'm probably looking at migrating to a new desktop client as well.

I took a look at the SpringPad Android app last night, and it looks okay, but I'd rather use a Mac native desktop app than a web app when I'm at my computer.

Any other recommendations? Or should I learn to love Evernote?
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- Tony C
my empeg stuff

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#345940 - 23/06/2011 15:33 Re: Android changes [Re: tonyc]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
I finally settled on Evernote, but I agree that it's not great. In addition, syncing from the Android client to the Evernote cloud works poorly at best. I don't think I've ever had it sync anything successfully without me babysitting it, which is a huge pain.
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