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Apps you should have in your Android phone yesterday !

Android Market

Image via Wikipedia

Instead of saying “must have apps”, I exaggerated it a little as my loyalty continues to Android, even though iPhone finally copies Notification Center from Android.

This time I have compiled a list of apps which keeps you busy for this weekend and next. Best part is all of them are free!!!

If you have set up an account in https://market.android.com/ then by accessing links given bellow will directly take you to that app in Android market (web) and then you can install it to your phone directly. Thats because I am a nice guy.

1. News apps

2.  Communication Apps

3.  Personalization Apps

4.  Music and Audio

5.  Widgets (apart from what apps provide)

6.  Utilities

7. If you are rooted (only)

No I haven’t copied these from “Top free List”, I have actually used them
 

-Harsha S Aithal

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Smartphone Poll!!

An Android phone – How to use it ?

Now, if you remove the parts related to Android in this post then, it reads – “how to use a smartphone  “, that is because most parts of this post is true in general for a smart phone as well.

I am writing this post, as I see lot of green robots in the hands of people around me. Whats disturbing is the fact that, they have not realized the true potential of an android phone. Yeah.. I said it. But dont worry.. Read through (I started using Android when there were around 1000 apps, now there are more than 2lacs!)

1. Buy a decent phone.

Android is mainely critisized for its fragmentation. According to the latest stats relased by Google, there are more than 300 phones which are carrying Android. It becomes difficult to update all of them soon after Google releases a new version of the android, this is because Hardware vendors have to recieve the updates first and then they have to modify their phones accordingly. So, as of now we cannot control this thing now. What we can do instead is to buy a phone which has a decent hardware with the following specs at least

  • Around 1 GHz processor
  • 512MB or more RAM
  • Sensors (GPS, Accelerometer )
  • Front and Rear Cameras (look for Front facing camera as newer version of android has GTALK with video call capabilities)
  • Around 4inch Display

My picks (In India)

Full list of android phones in India with their price (approximate)

2. Understand the version.

Like any other OS Android has evolved through different versions. Latest phone version of android OS is 2.3.4 (Gingerbread, 2.4 is also there, but no one has seen it fully except for HTC Flyer), and Tablet version is 3.1(Honeycomb) .

It is always suggested to buy a phone which has Android 2.2 (Froyo) or above. Read this for the full version history, and check their names!!

3. Be aware of first time settings.

When using an android phone for the first time it will bug you for lot of information, including your google/gmail credentials. Normally an android phone will ask for the following things for the first time.

  • Credentials for GAPPS (Google aps – Gtalk, Market, Gmail, Youtube and Maps) – It is always suggested to provide the details. You can skip this but there is no joy using an android phone without GAPPS
  • Location Service – Google will keep track of your location using GPS or Network location to adjust itself when displaying Maps or Search results. I always turn this feature of. I use it only when I am using maps.
  • Backup – This is a useful feature, where in Android will take a timely backup of your contacts and other things so that when you migrate to a new android device then those details will be made available again.

5. Don’t worry – install apps!

I see lot of people who use an android phone without installing or using apps other than bundled ones(may be because of data plans, but check this out –http://www.3gsimplified.com/). But, trust me, you are missing something big. There are lot of apps which are mind blowing and awesome at the same time and there are more 200,000 of them.!! And for your luck lot of them are FREE!! iLove!!

6. Use widgets/home screens

Two wonderfull features of Android is customizable home screens and widgets. Go ahead and install them, but make sure that you have only required, as they suck battery and Data.

7. If you are not satified yet,

If you had done good till now then, i bet you wont need a costly Apple to keep you healthy. But still if you are looking for more fun then sure, android lets you have it.

  • Root your phone – yes, Android is an younger brother of Linux, and hence you can do lot of things at root level (or in other words getting su access). It is 99.99% safe to root a phone but most of the times you will “void” warranty if you do so. So if you know what you are doing then go ahead I am sure you will have lot of fun. (How to root and its benefits here, here and more)


Have Fun

Harsha S Aithal

Categories: Android

iOS or Android – Make your decision

I have been thriving to write this post from a very long time, but was made my self unreachable to the materials. So here you go.

Since the introduction of Android, its a common dilemma for people nowadays to decide between the two of the mightiest, an iPhone and an Android phone.  I am comparing things between an iPhone and Android in an unbiased state, and let you decide what you want, even though I am an ardent follower of the latter.

1. In General


There should be no doubt that its Apple and iPhone which started the craze for smart phones, when the world seemed to be was in the hand of Symbian. People still wait in the queue for 2 days to buy an iPhone on the day of release. And, why not ?  it will go out of stock within 2 or days from the launch day!!. So Apple definetely scores a big plus for starting this craze or I call it a new revolution in the poratble device industry. No wonder why people go crazy about it each time when there is new phone released.

Otherwise, like other Apple products, they were expensive and many people kept dreaming of buying one. in U.S it is a hit, courtesy carrier subsidized prices. But other parts of the world, like here in India it was seen only in the hands of celebrities or “foreign-returned” ! Now the trend in India, is that you wait for a new iPhone to release, so that those old models get a price reduce (about 100$)

Android, on the other hand entered the industry after that of iPhone and had very little success during the launch. But because of “multi-vendor” support, it has now threatening the likes of RIM or Apple for that matter. The big plus for Android has to be its flexibility of getting ported to low-end hardware, hence making it possible for a common man to have a smart phone experience.

No body scores a definitive “Yes” in this round but, I always have an utmost respect for people who start something Good. Who would have thought a few years ago that they will carry such a device ?

2. Usability

Its nothing new in both phones considering the set of feature they provide or types of apps they have. But the differentiating fact has always been the usability. iPhone is sturdy and liquid smooth on the other hand Android is muscled and flexible.

Because, Apple makes both software and hardware for its devices, they offer a very smooth user experience. You take an old iPhone and new non-iPhone phone then iPhone still beats the latter in UI.  Some call it closed aprroach, again who cares ??

Android on the other hand, is open to the core. Much of its success is shared by different vendors. Not all Android phones looks the same, and not all Android phones run at the same speed either. But Its flexibility what makes people like me go running behind it. The levels of customization you can do on an android phone are plenty.

Again, since it comes down to personal preferences, no clear winner in this round either

Few things to notice though…

  • iPhone has a huge App Store. No. of apps are still growing. People say AppStote has more quality apps than in Android’s Market. But it has more paid apps too.
  • iPhone’s Notification system is little irritating at times. It interrupts you when you receive message in the middle of your game or whatever you are doing. Android on the other hand, notifies you silently. It has something called Notification Bar, where you have all your message, mail, call notification. Its even better in the newest version of Android – Honeycomb (3.0)

  • As I said, UI has to go to iPhone for its smooth scrolling of web pages or menu pages. But it doesn’t support FLASH!. Android is not falling behind in other things than UI, but it supports FLASH very well.
  • Android on the other hand gets a huge bonus in terms of customizations. It provides users something called widgets – which are more than Icons, they are live, responsive and displays information without you having to open an app.( like this one below.) And for me this is a big turn-on

So in this round, If you like customization and widgets then Android is a winner and iPhone otherwise!!

3. For developers.

Android Market and Apple AppStore made big money for developers. Apple tend to have more control on what developers publish. on the other hand Android is very open when it comes to publishing. It has minimal set of requirements to meet.

When it comes to real development, Apple follows more closed approach where as Android is open source to the core.  Except for root access, developers can get hold of anything in Android.

Read more: Android Development, iPhone apps development

Conclusion:

If you are a geek and love to own your device then Android is the one for you. But if you enjoy what you are told to do then iPhone continues to amaze you


Categories: Android, Technology

Rooting an Android phone – Gain more access [ Updated ]

Now, just because I know something about android doesn’t require me to write something which already exist in the web. This post will take you to an article which will help you root your phone and tells you more about benefits of doing so. Rooting has hardly done any damage to a phone till now, but you know the rules, do at your own rist 🙂

Benefits of rooting [Here]  
Video Credit: XDA TV
Apps to have after rooting [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3]

Mother of All,  XDA Forums

– Harsha S Aithal

Categories: Android

Quick post – APN settings in Android

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This is a quick post which will help lot of “Nokiatric” people to over come the problem of setting up APNs in an android phone. Even though its relatively easy in Android people find it very difficult to do it.
Now, before starting you should have information required required, say, Apn names, ip adresses etc in hand.
So lets jump in right away

1. Go to settings, and select wireless and network
2. Select Mobile Networks
3. Select Acess Point Names
4. Ckick on new
5. Give any name to Name, but give the exact name given given by the Service provider for the APN name.
6. The press menu and click save
7. Select the newly created APN and you are good to go.

So if everything is correct then you will see an “H” (3g) or an “E” (2G) depending upon the network you are on.
Thats it from me today
HARSHA S AITHAL (via Samsung Galaxy Tab)

Categories: Android Tags: , ,

Welcome to Android – How to Video’s

April 4, 2011 2 comments

In recent times many of my friends have bought android phones and their reactions were as expected(awesome). Being a follower and have experienced Android for almost 3 years now, it’s my duty to welcome them into this community. And this blog aims towards getting more out of an android phone.

First things first, congrats Team India for their jubilant outcome in WC2011.

Preface:

Video Credits: androiddevelopers via Youtube

Android is an operating system developed by Google for hand held devices. It is open-source, means anybody can download the SDKs and develop programs or apps and share the same with all other users. And this is the striking difference between Android and all other platforms.

There are two communities who make use of this feature. First among them are different hardware vendors (like HTC, Samsung, Sony, LG etc..). They acquire public licenses for android and start manufacturing phones which have Android, plus, compnay specific customizations (like HTC Sense from HTC, TouchWiz from Samsung, TimeScape from Sony Ericsson). So the performance of the phone is more because of the hardware and less because of the Android.

The other community are hobby developers, who either get a firmware(ROM) from an existing phone, modify and make it better and release it for the public use or use the available SDK to port it to some devices. This community is equally famous becuase most of the things you get here are for free. And they let you install any android firmware on your existing phone (it’s called, “flashing a ROM”). XDA is one community among them.

1. How to set up an android phone.

A Google account is mandatory to set up up an android phone (even though phone is usable without having a gmail account set up). This is an useful feature because, Android, using your Google account will do timely backups of your contacts, app you have installed on the phone and web history. So when you migrate or upgrade your phone to a new android phone, then those contents will be made available in you new phone, whithout you having to do a manual back up each time. The following video shows how to do that.

 

by doing so will also set up your gmail,  gtalk,  maps and market access automatically. And your phone is now ready to make and receive calls, send and receive text messages. In other words, phone is ready.

2. Setup Exchange Account

If you are working in modern times, then chances are that you have a Microsoft Exchange email account. Android does have a wonderfull client(push client) which lets you sync between exchange and your phone. But beware of your company policies for using them.

 

3. Setting wifi, wallpapers, ringtones etc

Changing wallpapers

Setting Ringtones

Setting up Wifi

4. Installing new apps.

Now there are two ways to install an app onto an android phone. An Android app(installable file) has .apk as extension. You can search for these files in internet and download them and install onto the device. Or Android has a market place called Android market where in you have loads of apps to choose, and which is a preferable method of installing apps onto an android phone. Installing directly from internet is not a prefered method as your device likely to a catch an adware or a virus.

Still, both the methods are shown bellow in the videos

From market

 

From internet

4. Other things you can do with an android phone.

Rooting:

to put in simplest of terms, Android is an younger brother of Linux (file system starts with “root”  “\” ). And hence you can do lot of things on android phone, like, changing the theme, changing the firmware, building your own firmware(ROM) etc etc. To do all these, one should have the “root” access in the phone. By default no one will have the root access(or superuser privileges), this is because, letting access to root means your putting your hands directly to the core of the phone. Slightest of change might cause grave danger to the phone and chances are that your phone will become barely usable and voids warranty if any and hence you have been warned.

Read more here

Installing a ROM onto an android phone

(following method is differs to phone by phone)

 

Install a custom theme

5. not enough..? visit XDA Forums or Theunlockr

All videos have been taken from different channels in Youtube. I claim no credits for those videos.

– Harsha Aithal
Categories: Android