2 Must Ask Questions For Picking An Android Phone

I've had numerous people ask me what Android phone to get.  Here is my recommendation using the Verizon Wireless network.  There are two major criteria that I like to ask before recommending phones.

1) Do you want a physical keyboard?
2) Does size matter?

Let's take a look at number one.  Do you want a physical keyboard?  If the answer is yes then I recommend looking at one of three phones.

Out of these three Android phones I personally would go with the Droid or Droid 2.  It would be a matter of which keyboard feels the best.  The new Droid 2 has a slippery feel unlike the Droid.

If a physical keyboard does not matter then I would ask you Does size matter?  I've had both the Motorola DROID X Android Phone (current device) and HTC Incredible Android Phone and love them both.  It came down to wanting a larger screen however, my wife loves the size and feel of the HTC Incredible.

Do your own homework to help you decide.  Take a look at this excellent Droid X Review and don't forget the review of the HTC Incredible.  Might want to compare the Droid X vs the HTC Incredible.  A well thought out review of the Droid 2 is located here.  For those wanting to compare the Droid 2 vs the Droid this is a must read.  I know it can be overwhelming but all else fails walking into a local Verizon store and touch all of them.  Do not hesitate to spend a few minutes at each one playing and calling people.  Well worth the time when you are dealing with a 2 year contract or extension.

No matter what way you decide to go at least your going with an Android device.  

Firefox Beta 4 sync'ing between devices

As I wrote earlier Sending links from computer to android device using Chrome to Phone is a great feature for staying productive on the go. Mozilla Labs is beta testing there Firefox 4 beta web browser and I must say it is running smooth so far.  You can download directly with this link Firefox 4 beta.  What impressed me immediately was the high score of 97 out of 100 on the acid3 test.  The past builds I was lucky to break 93.  Here is proof of the score:

Once you have Firefox 4 installed head over to Firefox Sync.  It is a free browser add-on that lets you stay in sync with your Firefox. Access your history, passwords, bookmarks and even open tabs across all your devices.  Firefox Sync 1.4.4 Add-on download it free.  Then go into the options and click on the sync tab and sign-up.  Remember the information you entered it will be needed in your Android phone like the  Motorola DROID X.

Now go and download the Fennec Firefox mobile browser install it and launch it.  Take time to look around and get to know the browser and stop by and read about some of the features click here. Hit the menu key to see what it does slide your finger right and left to see the sub menus.  Then slide your finger right to left and bring up the options button scroll down and fill-in your sync account information.  This will trigger and automatic sync to your phone.  When ready to see what tabs you have open on your desktop slide your finger left to right and click the monitor button at the bottom (see image below).

Word of caution Fennec Firefox mobile is in alpha testing and will probably contain a few bugs.  This just means you may experience some force closures.  Just keep an eye on this blog and we will keep you updated when new releases come out.

These are great times to have an Android device.  The development of apps and devices are great fun.  If I could I would probably own a new device every 6 months.

Please do not hesitate to interact with this blog by leaving comments and even questions.  We have all levels of expertise participating in this blog or at least reading it.

Good luck and good surfing.

Great Firefox books

TweetDeck Receives Update to Beta

TweetDeck receives an update to its highly anticipated beta program.  You can download TweetDeck Beta version 0.9.5 here.  In case you do not know what TweetDeck is, TweetDeck is your personal browser for staying in touch with what’s happening now, connecting you with your contacts across Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and more.  Even Chris Pirillo like TweetDeck.  See pic below.

Read the changelog below.

  • Full compatibility with all phones running 1.6 and above
  • Added option to remove Facebook, Buzz, or Foursquare accounts
  • Added option to delete tweets sent by you
  • Improved handling and refined UI for Facebook and Google Buzz attachments
  • Fixed bug preventing successful updates containing multiple photos
  • Added multi-Twitter account compose
  • New “More” button on all Twitter user profiles and updates allowing Reply All, Sharing, Translation, Copy update text, Copy update URL
  • Tapping the header when at the top of the column will refresh that column

Need to bone up on your social networking sites?  I recommend the following books.

Follow me: Facebook Twitter Tumblr

Fennec Mobile Working on Android 2.0 plus

Mozilla has released the latest version of Fennec v2.0a1 a.k.a Firefox mobile.  As you can see from image above it is in Alpha testing.  This means it is early testing and potentially has bugs.  To download the fennec.apk file you can click on the image above or click here from your Android phone like the Motorola DROID X.  It will prompt you to download the file and then you can install.  Remember you must go into the Menu on phone | Settings | Applications | Check mark Unknown Sources in order to install apps outside of the Android Marketplace.

Fennec version 2.0a1
Firefox Mobile a.k.a Fennec
Once installed and launched you are greeted with a very clean interface as seen to the left.  It was slow to launch the first time and had me concerned but once it loaded seems to be pretty responsive.  There is tab browsing available by swiping left to right as seen in image to the right.

They do offer pinch to zoom however, I found it a little jittery.  If you click the menu button you are greeted with a menu (below) that allows you to fin In Page, Save As PDF and Share Page.  Interesting that you can save the page as a PDF to your phone.  This will be handy to email to someone instead of just a link.  The Share on Page allows you to share the page with Email, Twitter, Google Reader and Facebook.

As an Alpha version I am pleased to see Firefox still working on the mobile addition.  Firefox is one of the leading desktop browsers if not the leading.  

Things I would like to see added or fixed:
  • Speed up browsing
  • Make pinch to zoom smooth
  • Exit button
  • Make install package much smaller (below 5 MB would be nice)
  • Ability to sync bookmarks between desktop and mobile
  • Link to phone feature like Chrome to Phone UPDATE there is a feature called sync for use with Firefox desktop browser 3.6 and above.

As stated in What android browser to use I will test and post about the other options soon.

Mobile Defense Helps You Find Your Lost Android Phone

Downloaded Mobile Defense for the Android platform.  Specifically for my Motorola Droid X running Google's Android operating system.  Installed with easy from the Android Marketplace.  Once launched it asked me to register I gladly filled in the required information.  Mobile Defense sends a confirmation/activation email you have to click on the link in the email.  Mobile Defense sends you an SMS message with a code in it that activates your phone.  At which time you are required to restart your phone.  Upon restarting your phone the Mobile Defense icon disappears in the programs list.

Surf on over to Mobile Defense and log into your account.  This is where the magic is seen.  When you login your greeted with your recent activity. Things like session started, audible alert enabled and device locked are shown.  Click on the Map tab then on connect phone.  Mobile Defense sends your phone an SMS message again with a code to active there services.  

 Once connected the map zooms into your location and presents you with the dialog box to the left.  Here you can disconnect or lock your phone if you setup the pattern lock feature.  You can also scare the hell out of the person that is holding you device click on Alert.  You will now configure the settings of the alert.  have it play a sound (heck yes you do) and if
you want the alert to require a 4-digit pin to turn the the alert off (I recommend you do) select Require Pin.  Type in a message to appear in the dialog that pops up on the phones screen.
Mine would say something like:
Please call 530-410-6560 to report the phone being found.  This phone is being tracked and if not reported we assume you stole it.  Thank you

I guess that would get there attention wouldn’t?  Oh not to mention the sound it plays is deafening and sounds like a home alarm system going off.

Mobile Defense Tracking Details
Details (see tracking details image to the left) show the information about your device at that moment for example:

 The coordinates of your device, signal strength of the radio and the data connection which shows the SYSID of the router if Wi-Fi.  There is talk of the ability to remote wipe your device in future updates.
Mobile Defense is like having AAA.  It sits quietly in your pocket until you need it.  I have had Mobile Defense on my Motorola Droid X since getting the device and have not seen any battery issues or conflicts with other programs.  This program has become one of my top 5 must have programs for the Android phones.

Just think with Mobile Defense you will always know where your kids are of course that is for another post.

Send links from computer to Android device

Google has a nifty app called Chrome to Phone.  When installed on your Android device and have the Chrome to Phone extension in Google Chrome browser on your desktop computer you can click an icon and it will send the link of the current internet site to your Android device and launch a browser to that site.
Let's say your in the middle of reading about the latest Google news story over at your favorite blog and you have to leave but want to read it at your final destination.  No problem, you click the icon in your Google Chrome browser and it sends the link to your phone.  Depending on what option you selected your phone will either launch your default browser or bring up a dialog asking what browser to open as you can see below.  The browser will launch and bring up the link as you seen it on your desktop before leaving.

What android browser to use?

Droid X
In the midst of testing the following browsers for the android platform.

Default browser
Dolphin Browser HD
Skyfire Browser (beta)
Opera Mini Browser
Watching Fennec aka FireFox Mobile
UPDATE: see Fennec Firefox Mobile Working On Android 2.0 and above.

They each have there advantages and will be sure to report my findings in a later post.

Do you have a favorite?
If you have a favorite have you tried the others?

Posted via Blogaway with the amazing Droid X

Adobe Flash For Android 2.2 Keeps Getting Better

If you are running Android Froyo 2.2 you might find the Flash upgrade useful.  You can find the download at AdobeFlash.zip.  This came courtesy of our friends over at TalkAndroid.com  has quickly become one of the top destinations for the latest Google Android news, rumors, and information.

Not sure what the change log is but it does render flash quicker from what I can tell.  Here are screenshots, thanks to ShootMe, of the Adobe Flash Player I had and the new and improved Adobe Flash Player I now have after upgrading.

Let me know if you take the plunge and what you think?

Droid X Rooted With Froyo 2.2

The other day I used DroidXRoot single click rooting found over at Android Central.  Used it for my Droid X 2.1 build and had zero issues.  I was using ShootMe to create the screenshots you saw at Trillian Goes Droid and Blogaway Over Blogaway Lite Beta.  Then I read the post Hands Android 2.2 For Droid X and got cabin fever to install 2.2.  I used 2.2 on the Nexus One I had for a few months.  The upgrade to Froyo 2.2 was another piece of cake.  I wanted to post a screenshot of my About Phone screen to show I had 2.2 installed.  I clicked on ShootMe and it failed to connect to server.  Immediately figured that the root I had done prior to installing Froyo 2.2 did not follow over with it.  I tried numerous potential solutions like EasyRoot and Universal Root to no avail.  After a day and half of learning Linux commands over at LinuxCommand.org I was tired and frustrated that I could not have root with 2.2.  Then tntdroid over at Adroid Central Forums I was able to determine that I needed to go back to 2.1 and root the phone and move some files to different directories in preparation for upgrading to Froyo 2.2.

I surfed over to Droid X for the instructions How to root the Motorola Droid X. First I followed the instructions to roll my Droid X back to Android 2.1 or back to stock Droid X.  Then followed the instructions to root 2.1 and then upgrade to Froyo 2.2.  I must say after going crazy I was rather pleased at how quick it was to roll back, root and upgrade with the correct directions.

Immediately installed ShootMe to test and as you can see below I am rooted and have Froyo 2.2.

If you have any geekness in you I would recommend rooting and upgrading your Droid X.  Especially after finding out how easy it is to roll back to the original OS.

Happy hacking.

Trillian Goes Droid

Android Guys reported Trillian for Android Now in Open Beta.  So I clicked over read the post and headed for the Trillian download.  I must say for a beta this looks pretty polished. Launched the app and it asked me if I had a Trillian account so I logged in with my account I use on my desktop Trillian.  Low and behold it had all my accounts ready for me to use. This included:

  • Aim
  • Facebook
  • Google Talk
  • ICQ
  • Jabber
  • MySpaceIM
  • Windows live messenger
  • Yahoo
You are presented with a login screen that allows you to select an account you have logged into before on the Droid X or able to select a new account.   Once logged in you are presented with a screen that tells you who is logged in and there status.  You can also see what accounts your logged into with the icons top right.  I started a chat and noticed it took a little longer than normal for the message to arrive at the other end.  Then they replied and game on all IM back and forth was pretty instantaneous just like I would expect from Trillian.

I will be continuing my testing of Trillian against the the other all-in-one IM program I use called eBuddy.  The reason I would choose Trillian over eBuddy is because I use Trillian Pro on my desktop computer and having a consistent platform between desktop and Android device such as the Motorola Droid X makes a lot more sense if practical.

To recap:  What is Trillian?  Trillian lets you connect to multiple IM and social networks at the same time, managing contacts and real time status feeds efficiently.  In layman's terms this means one IM client that handles all my IM accounts in one neat package.

I do have to question how much in touch does a person need.  Tell me how often do you disconnect from all technology devices like a computer or smartphone?

Trillian Download Barcode

Posted via Blogaway using the amazing Droid X!

Don't shoot me instead shootme screens

My good friend David over at  David Louis Harter blog turned me on to a screen capturing program called  ShootMe (screen grabber).

Prior to this great program you had to go through a long process involving the  Android developer kit (sdk)

 ShootMe once activated makes creating screenshots as simple as shaking your android phone.  Yes the picture shown her was created by ShootMe.

Give it a try and let us know what you think?

Posted via Blogaway using the amazing Droid X!

Blogaway over blogaway lite beta

modified with bloggeroid

All righty then ditch the beta version and stick to  Blogaway .  Really was hoping beta would have worked as advertise.  I want, no I need multiple image uploads.  Blogaway also gives the ability to save drafts to your phone.  When Bloggeroid gives ability to save draft to phone it might replace blogaway.  Until then blogaway still has a great interface.

Posted via Blogaway using the amazing Droid X!

Testing Bloggeroid to post to blogger

The images post in the center of post but you can post multiple images. This is a big plus over blogaway.

When you click on publish to blog you are greeted with a login box. You can then publish or save draft to blog. Would be nice to publish a draft to phone. Will test save draft to blog perhaps this a good feature.

They say you put a word in two stars will bold that word. Also, two underscores will _italic_ a word.

Bloggeroid is a basic blogger posting program but does offer multiple image uploads.

bloggeroid says it allows multiple image insertion and publishing. At first glance I do not see a save drafts. Also not seeing where to enter my blogger account information for publishing.

I inserted a picture at start of post now will insert one here this image should be to the right if insertion point is any indication.

I will have to report back later what happens. Of course you will be able to see if it works.

Have fun with Paper Toss.

Cruising the android market I stumbled upon a free game called "Paper Toss".  You are shooting crumbled up paper into a waste basket.  There is a twist, they have strategically placed a fan that blows a various speeds.  You have to figure where on the screen you have to flick the paper for it to make it into the waste basket.

The picture shows the basement for tossing paper.  You choose between 6 playing fields/levels.  You have an office (three levels), airport, basement (pictured) and restroom.

Great way to kill sometime.  Let me know your high score?

Posted via Blogaway on the amazing Motorola Droid X.

Android giving peace on a Sunday

As I sit looking out my car window over looking Shasta Dam.  I realize that my Droid X is helping to provide me with peace and inner calmness.  As you can see by this picture thanks to the Droid X it is a nice beautiful start to my Sunday.

It is cool overcast and there is a hum in the air from the power plant below the dam.  Shasta Lake is calm and currently no boats in my view.

I have Kenny Chesney playing "Be as you are"  as I type this post on the amazing Droid X.  I use the built in swype keyboard to slide my finger to this post entry.

Happy Sunday to all.

Posted via Blogaway on the amazing Motorola Droid X.

Multimedia desktop charger for the Droid X

Picked up the Droid X new Hdmi multimedia desktop charger/dock station at my local Verizon store.  Comes with the dock and an ac power adapter.  Very nice droid x packaging.  The dock station is smooth compact and works as advertised.  Except your Droid X has to be naked.  Means the stock case has to be removed in order to put the X on the station.

I will update when I use it more.  So far I docked Droid X and allowed it to charge.

Posted via Blogaway on a Droid X

Wifi analyzer for android platform

I needed too see the signal strength of open wifi connections in an area for someone.  So I logged onto my Droid X and immediately went to the android marketplace to search for an app that would help.  I tried four or five and kept going back to Wifi Analyzer by farproc.

It gives you five different ways to analyze a wifi connection.  At first log on it brought me to the channel graph.  Immediately it showed me that a neighbor had put up a new access point and we were on the same channel.  I manually changed my router to a different channel to not conflict with there's.   Almost instantly my network had a new purpose.

Wifi analyzer also shows you open networks nearby.  This will be handy while on the road and need to connect.

A second close was wifi scanner.

Have fun and may there be an open network nearby.

Posted via Blogaway on a Droid X

First post by Blogaway

Downloaded blogaway from the android market to post to this blog.  Hoping to full fill a need to post to blogger using my Droid X phone.

Not the easiest to select text to edit properties.  Inserting a picture is rather simple.  Saving post to phones draft is easy as clicking menu and drafts (phone). 

Inserting a link like this one to

 Record Search Light Newspaper 

Was just as simple as inserting a picture or saving to draft.  You can insert video but do not have one to share.  Wait I will save draft and go create one to insert, BRB...

It looks like it replaced the picture I wanted to insert.  We will see upon publishing.  It allowed me to specify a signature to be posted on each published post.

Here goes nothing...

Posted via Blogaway on a Droid X

Zack our new dog


Sent via the amazing Droid X on VZW