Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Ebuddy Messaging App



I admit that I haven't done extensive testing of IM apps on my Nexus One but I'm pretty happy with ebuddy. Its a simple IM app that allows you to add multiple accounts for Facebook, AIM, MSN, Yahoo and Google chat. What I especially like about it is the battery saving feature which seems to delay messages by polling them and using less processor power. Contacts are shown with their avatars and status message. The only gripe I have is that my avatar and status message is changed to the ebuddy logo and advert. I guess its a small price to pay for a fantastic free app.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Screenshots! Finally

I feel like a rocket scientist for finally figuring out the instructions on how to get a screenshot on Android! Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, I present....screenshots!


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10 Things I Love (and 5 I don't) about the Nexus One

After a full weekend with the Nexus One, here are some of the things I love about it:

1. Notifications- love the pull-down pane
2. Homescreen Widgets- so much information before even launching a single app
3. Screen- from the size to the resolution; its perfection
4. Dock- no wear and tear on the usb port; drop it in, and the clock shows up
5. Size- its not just the thinness, it seems molded to the shape of my hand
6. Google Integration- Calendar, Contacts, Email....all work seamlessly.
7. Eye Candy- from live wallpapers to the smooth look of apps, it blows Blackberry out of the water.
8. Battery- I was expecting to be horrified by woefully short battery life, but it exceeds my expectations
9. Web Surfing- I can't say why I enjoy this so much more than on the iPhone, but I really do. And its one place where the trackball really does make a difference.
10. Speed- I haven't encountered a single slowdown on my Nexus. It flies through all its tasks like a pro.


And here are the things I'm not so crazy about:

1. Facebook- The app needs a lot of work. Randomly hands over to the browser and notifications are inconsistent
2. Keyboard- I still love my physical keys. Can't help it.
3. Trackball Indicators- I find the interval on the glowing trackball to be too slow. I wish I had more control over the timing and colors, a la BerryBuzz
4. Task Management- I'm using Advanced Task Manager to manually kill unnecessary processes but I feel like the device should be doing this on its own.
5. Slippery- Putting a Zagg Invisible Shield on my Nexus was one of my top priorities; its one slippery bugger! The should have used a soft finish paint which would have been more tacky to the touch.

Extra: Grrr! I still can't take a simple screenshot!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Blogging from Blogaway



Looks like I finally found a solution to post from my device. This is a test post using Blogaway app for Android. 

Nexus Initial Battery Report

Today was the first opportunity I had to really monitor and track the battery life on my new Nexus. Although I used it all day yesterday, I had to have a midday charge as I had evening plans and couldn't risk a dead phone. This morning I took it off the charger at 7 am, and its now been a full 12 hours and my battery is at 12%. I've had it running on Wifi all day, used it heavily (screen on time shows 5 hours) and have had no telephone calls on it. I've done a heavy amount of downloading apps via the Marketplace, taking pictures, and surfing. I was also running eBuddy in the background all day. I'm not sure if using wifi is a pro or con in the battery life of this device yet, but I will say I'm pleasantly surprised- its much more than I allowed myself to hope for.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Nexus One Impressions and Thoughts

If I haven't done enough gushing about my new Nexus One, its only because I've been too busy having all kinds of fun with it

From the moment it arrived yesterday afternoon I've barely had it off for more than a minute at a time. Battery life is surprisingly more than I could have hoped for, although expectedly less than I had been used to. Today is a poor example because I've still been setting everything up, but its been 9 hours of heavy use on Wifi and 3G with eBuddy IM and all syncing accounts and my battery is at 36%.

As you can see, its a horrendous fingerprint magnet. I've ordered and invisibleshield, and I really hope it helps.

There really is an app for just about everything. And once I fired up the Marketplace on the Nexus One, I found that (unlike the backflip), I could find full-version apps to purchase. Here are a few of my top selections:

-Evernote
-eBuddy IM client: I tried a couple, and this is my current favorite.
-TapMoney Tracker: I chose this over ClearCheckBook after I found that ClearCheckbook required an internet connection to operate.
-iReader: an excellent ebook reader that can even read my Mobipocket encrypted books. Joy!
-NewsRob: its a tight race between this app and ReaderScope for my GoogleReader feeds sync.
-BeyondPod: I was pleasantly surprised to be reunited with this Podcast gem that I had grown to love in my Windows Mobile days.

I can't say it enough: I love the widgets on the homescreen. In one or two flicks I can be completely caught up on news, weather, twitter, facebook, my calendar and to-do lists. Its exactly as thrilling as I thought it would be the very first time I saw the Sense UI.

Typing without a keyboard hasn't been as awful as I expected it to be. I suspect that in a week or so, I'll be a pro at it. For now, everyone is giving me a pass on my typos and auto-correct fails.

Case..or no case. That really is the question. I've been using the pouch so far because I'm petrified that I'm going to drop it, but its a bit of a nuisance. But since I also shelled out for the docking station, I'm not entirely sure I can even consider a case.....Hmmmm......

Does anyone know how I can take a screenshot???

And is anyone else irritated by the fact that they replaced the handy contacts and phone shortcuts (on either side of the applications button) with "dots". Waste of space!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nexus One Day!

I've got that familiar itching and general anxiety as I refresh the FedEx page a million times to see if my item has been delivered. I'm having my Nexus One delivered to work, and seriously, today I've accomplished a whole lot of nothing other than wearing my refresh button.
Yesterday I took a look through all my old posts about the apps I had been looking for in Windows Mobile and then in Blackberry, and then looked through the Android Marketplace and found they are all there! Friendfeed, eBay, Google Reader, Flickr, Photobucket, YouTube, TV Guide...all there! The only thing I didn't find was how to get paid versions of some apps, but I will worry about that when my Nexus One arrives (or perhaps my wonderful readers will leave a solution in the comments section!).
There are, of course, some apps that I won't be able to have (at first, anyway). Slingplayer is coming this summer, Skype is a confused state of affairs, and I haven't settled on an IM client just yet (eBuddy is ahead in the race, though). I still need a database app like ListPro.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Next Up- Nexus One?

Around this time every year I get antsy about mobile devices. Blackberry has been good to me for the past year, but there's just no excitement there and I can't pretend that getting by is enough for me. I've loved the hardware of the Bold and the Onyx, but at this point, the only thing I really get a kick from on the software front anymore is the SocialScope app. I keep going into App world to see if there's anything interesting or ground breaking happening, but no such luck.

After looking hard at my Hierarchy of Smartphone needs, I realized that the difference between my Onyx and a device like the Google Nexus one is that with each one I'm getting 4 out of my 5 points. I'm enjoying Android- the layout, the apps, and that old excitement of learning how to tweak and customize....its all come back to me and its making me invigorated.

I guess this is my roundabout way of convincing myself that a move to the Nexus One just makes sense. I've been enjoying my Motorola Backflip, but I know myself well enough to know that I definitely do not want a device with moving parts. In fact, I've been using only the keyboard onscreen, and have found that quite manageable in spite of the chunkiness.





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So my plan now is to order the Nexus One and see if I can do without a keyboard. If I love it, I'll sell off my Blackberry and potentially my iPhone. If I don't I'll return or resell it. In the meantime, I'm going to return the Backflip. Let's start the insanity!

Monday, March 22, 2010

My Hierarchy of Smartphone Needs

After a full day of using Android, I must admit- I like it. I really like it. And once again, its just the form factor of the available devices that will prevent me from making the switch at this point.

As I've gotten more comfortable with the OS, I dug around in the Marketplace to find apps that suit my needs. I realized during my search what I consider to be my hierarchy of needs for a mobile device:

A. Build: A QWERTYbar device that can fit comfortably in one hand

B. Homescreen: A homescreen that allows me to to see at least a few upcoming appointments and weather.

C. Applications: An active community of developers enthusiastic about creating exciting apps.

D. Notifications: I need to be able to have a phone that can silently give me visual cues about whats going on. While in an all-day conference, I need to be able to tell as soon as Seth's daycare is trying to reach me, but not interrupt when I get poked on Facebook.

E. Battery Life: Although I've gotten spoiled by my Blackberry Onyx and its endless battery, if a smartphone was meeting all my other needs, I'd probably be able to work around needing to carry a spare battery etc.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

First Impressions of Android


Backflip Homescreen, originally uploaded by lulugirl896.


After a couple of hours of playing with my new Motorola Backflip I've come away reasonably impressed, even considering that its running the older version 1.5 of Android. A few notes I have so far:

1. Homescreen- I seem to have a love-hate relationship with the homescreen. On one hand, its nice to have 5 screens to spread information over, but on the other hand, the widgets restrict how much I can see "at a glance".

2. Notifications- I prefer the notifications bar to the one on the WebOS because it doesn't shrink your workable area when they come in. The pane that can roll down is nothing short of brilliant.

3. Task switching- I know apps are running in the background, but I can't seem to find them! In a way, its no better than the iPhone because I have to access them via the launcher.

4. Clock Mode- I really like the clock mode and it was one of the deciding factors that broke the tie between the Cliq and the Backflip. My husband saw it on the table and said "Cool clock!" and picked it right up. Had he thought it was a phone, he'd probably have been less inclined to jump right in.

5. So far it seems pretty snappy to me. I read a lot of reviews citing the Backflip as 'sluggish' but I'm not noticing that issue.

If there was a QWERTYbar Android device, I'd give it a dedicated try and see if its an OS I could live on from day to day. For now, I intend to hang on to my Backflip as a way to have access to apps and developments on the platform.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hands on with Android

Its finally here! After one false start a few months ago, I've finally gotten my hands on Android. On Wednesday I decided to finally get one, and I after a careful examination of my finances (bearing in mind I still haven't made a final decision about the iPad!!) I went ahead and ordered a lower end device- an unlocked Motorola backflip.
FedEx delivered it and I've had just under an hour of exploring and so far, I'm impressed. Not quite impressed to ditch my Blackberry (so far) but I'm letting the battery charge and then I'll dive in fully.
So far, the one thing that I'm really happy about is that, like Windows Mobile, it all seems able to function over Wifi meaning I won't have to keep switching my sim back and forth.
I've tested the Motoblur and then removed it (too busy) and then downloaded the facebook application and TweetGenius for a better experience. The mail app looks great and I can see my labels and stars from Google mail. I tried to download wallpaper from the browser but it seems that you can't save images from there.

Sent via BlackBerry Onyx

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Improved: YouTube on Blackberry

After months of squinting at horribly pixelated Youtube images on my Blackberry Bold, I all but gave up on the experience. However, lately I've noticed a vast improvement in my Blackberry Onyx's ability to play high quality YouTube videos. I'm not sure if YouTube did something on their end, or if the stars just aligned, but its definitely a marked improvement on such a small screen.

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Here's a hack to get high quality videos working on your device:

go to YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.
click "start optimization"
test 1/7: click "yes" when you see the tiny grey heart
test 2/7: click "yes" when you see the puppy
test 3/7: click "no" when the flash lite video fails
test 4/7: click "click here" when pressing "5" key does squat
test 5/7: there is no test 5 for some reason - skip to test 6/7
test 6/7: click "YES" - the mp4 test video WILL FAIL BUT CLICK "YES" ANYWAY
test 7/7: click "YES" - the h.263 test video WILL FAIL BUT CLICK "YES" ANYWAY

Monday, March 15, 2010

Palm Finally Does Advertising Right

I must admit-I'm pretty excited about this ad. You see, previously, the only ad that really gave you a feel for WebOS was the Sprint "Now" ad, and even then it was only a momentary shot. This ad is probably the best one I've seen for showcasing the features of a mobile device- and it is catchy rather than creepy (Sorry, Zen girl- no offense).

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Silly names, silly shapes

From the Apple iPad to the new PS Move remote, its clear that companies aren't running their products by women before they release them. So we now have a tablet device that is the butt of endless "time of the month" jokes, and a remote that looks like it should be discreetly stored in a nightstand drawer. *sigh*


Sent via BlackBerry Onyx

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Apple iPad Ad

I want one...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Humpday Humor

There's a nap for that!

 
 

Sent to you by Lulu via Google Reader:

 
 

 
 

Things you can do from here:

 
 

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Cabbie vs Naomi Campbell

This cab driver is a wuss. If he wasn't hit with a cell phone device of some sort, then he has no business filing a complaint!

Sent via BlackBerry Onyx