[kwlug-disc] Android everywhere ...

Khalid Baheyeldin kb at 2bits.com
Mon Sep 13 17:25:07 EDT 2010


On Mon, Sep 13, 2010 at 11:47 AM, Eric Gerlach
<eric+kwlug at gerlach.ca<eric%2Bkwlug at gerlach.ca>
> wrote:

> I too have been loving my Android phone (Nexus One) since I got it.
> The base Android is great, but it gets even better when you can add
> apps.
>
> I'm a huge fan of Remember The Milk, Seesmic (for Twitter), Evernote,
> VLC Remote (awesome now that my fiancée and I are watching lots of
> video on a computer), the Dolphin HD browser (way better than the
> stock one), and K-9 Mail (way better than the stock IMAP email
> client).
>
> Oh, and how could I forget ShapeWriter, which is an awesome keyboard
> replacement (not officially available anymore, but you can find it).
>

Some of the apps that I find useful:

- Quick Settings: loads of useful stuff, such as turning on and off Mobile
Data and WiFi at will. Also has a flashlight app and a useful battery
indicator.

- Facebook. Comes installed on the phone. Extremely fast photo sharing with
the fewest clicks possible. Desktops cannot compete here, since you still
need one more step of copying the photos from the digital camera to the
computer (using a USB cable or SD card).

- ConnectBot: an SSH client. On such small screens, it is kind of
frustrating, but can be useful in a bind.

- Opera Mini: Can be faster than the built-in browser, and potentially use
less data traffic since it uses a proxy at Opera. Smooth user interface.

- Compass: Useful and nice for demos too. Tried the GPS today. Works when I
run only (needs motion). Magnetic compass works well after you calibrate it.

- EmWeather: useful for weather in Canadian cities.

- WeatherEye: the official The Weather Network weather. Sort of looks
browserish, not appish, hence visiting mw.theweathernetwork.com has the same
net effect.

- Bubble: nice for demos.

- Barcode Scanner: Scans QR codes (2D barcodes that look like squares with
black and white markings in them) so you can visit a URL without typing. For
regular barcodes, it is useful if Google supported Canada (only USA and UK
currently supported). Still fun to use and demo.

- Gmail Notifier: nicer Gmail notifications, and you can even select a
different LED color than other notifications.

- Astro file manager: allows you to backup your apps to the SD card, among
other useful stuff.

Calendar Snooze: nicer calendar notifications. Only snag is the ads on it,
which will eat data. Interface does not look the cleanest, but still
functional. May consider the paid version later.

So, instead of me writing a review, it is all in this email now ...

It also works quite well as a phone, though not as well as my old Nokia
> 2125i.
>

Compared to my older HTC Hermes/TyTN, the user interface is light years
ahead of Windows Mobile. Can't complain here.

I think Android is going to be the eventual winner, though I'd love to
> see WebOS and MeeGo get into the game in a meaningful way, too.
>

I hope Android wins, and the others go away, even if they are Linux based.
Because if Linux fragments, then Nokia's Symbian and Apple's iOS will be the
winners.

Choice is good and all that when we are talking developers as the audience.
So having different distros is good for developers. When we are talking end
users (consumers) as an audience, choice is bad, since it causes
fragmentation
for the market and slows adoption overall due to "wait and see" or confusion
on
the part of app developers.

Emacs vs. vim = good.
KDE vs. Gnome = bad.
-- 
Khalid M. Baheyeldin
2bits.com, Inc.
http://2bits.com
Drupal optimization, development, customization and consulting.
Simplicity is prerequisite for reliability. --  Edsger W.Dijkstra
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. --   Leonardo da Vinci
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