Getting the most out of Android

The conversation that kicked off after my post earlier today made me even more sure that I’ve not been trying hard enough with Android. I can’t really stress how much I want to stay on the Android platform, but equally I know for a fact I’d get more use out of the iPhone.

Either way, I’m not going to be splashing out on either for a month or two yet, and that seems like a good period of time to knuckle down and try and get the best out of my Android phone. If I can prove that I can do whatever I want to do with the Desire I already have, then there’s no reason I need to change.

My Android phone, then, is on trial, and I am keen to get all hints, tips and suggestions for how to make life a bit more comfortable with my Froyo phone. What apps am I missing out on? Which third party browser do you use? What day to day tasks do you think Android excels at? Just how do you get your music on the damn thing?

Up to this point, I’ve used RunKeeper, Twitter, Kindle, Google+, Mail and Maps, with iSyncr for getting music on there.

I draw the line at modding my phone, because it’s a whole world I don’t understand and have little desire to learn about. I want the convenience of whatever the manufacturer’s give me, but I’m more than happy to app my way to success!

All thoughts gratefully accepted, and I will promise to try as much as I can – and blog about my progress too, of course!

12 thoughts on “Getting the most out of Android

  1. Browser: Dolphin HD is great, you can get lots of Add-Ons for it too, which is great. I haven’t tried Firefox mobile though.

    Music: I spent ages going through music apps I HATED. But the Winamp one is brilliant, imho.

    I use Wolfaroid, which is a mobile Wolfram Alpha app. It’s useful for BILLIONS of things.

    RealCalc is a great Sci Calculator App.

    Sky+ App has been a lifesaver, for recording stuff when you’re not at home.

    Springpad and Dropbox are good for synching documents and projects across platforms.

    Alarmdroid is a very versatile alarm app.

    Drop 7. Oh my god, Drop 7.

    Fast Reboot quickly kills everything is your phone is getting sluggish, without turning off the phone.

    OI File Manager is useful is you’re ever uploading and downloading files – makes the phone more file/foldery

    RingGo! For Parking!

    Waze, for social Sat Nav!

  2. I like the Google Goggles app. You snap a picture of, say, a QR code, or a landmark, and the app does a Google search for it. Or, if you’re a Spanish student (like me) you can take a picture of a foreign language and it translates it for you. It’s all very nifty. And course there is F1.com Live Timing app.

  3. If you can stand a hit on your battery life then I love to have a live wallpaper. A slowly rotating gallery of photos is a nice surprise every time you unlock the screen.
    I use google listen together with reader to get my sidepodcasts (and side-less ones too) automatically.

    I also suggest playing around with some different keyboards.

  4. I have an HTC Desire, with the following;

    Screen 1 (far left):
    Twitter.

    Screen 2:
    Agenda. HTC’s own app, integrates with Google Calendar.

    Screen 3:
    Messages (SMS)

    Screen 4 (middle):
    Clocks for local & Houston TX times
    Weather for local & Houston TX
    Gmail
    Camcorder
    Camera
    G+ Messenger

    Screen 5:
    Contacts

    Screen 6:
    Spotify Premium,
    Last.fm,
    FM Radio.

    Screen 7 (far right; my main apps screen):
    Google Sky Viewer: Hold the phone up towards the sky and it tells you what stars you’re looking at.
    Google+
    YouTube
    Google Reader
    NASA
    BBC iPlayer
    F1.com 2011 Season: The official free timing app.
    xkcdViewer
    Flashlight. I walk a lot, and sometimes at night. In winter, I routinely commute in the dark and some bits that I have to walk (or else take a 20 min longer detour) aren’t lit. A necessity.
    Call History
    Internet
    Google Maps
    Google Talk
    Solitare
    Pong
    GAA; the Gaelic Athletics Association app, as I enjoy Gaelic Football.

    Nothing special really, but works for me. I’m in the UK but I’ve got family in TX which may explain the clocks bit 🙂

  5. Not getting off to a good start when I get an error trying to buy any paid app in the store!

    i’m laughing at the time you’re wasting right now 😉

    *not helpful*

  6. Have you bought apps before?
    If you need to set up your credit card it’s easier to do it from checkout.google.com, and it’s easier to search for and install apps from market.android.com

    My favourite apps are (in random order):
    Chrome to phone.
    2Cloud: Chrome to phone in reverse – send links from the phone to the browser.
    Chromemarks: to sync bookmarks
    DolphinHD for my browser
    Handcent SMS for text messages.
    For Twitter: Plume (also like Tweetdeck)
    I use NewsRob for GReader, includes offline reading.
    Alarm Clock Plus for the Alarm
    For security I use Cerberus – tracking the phone and remote wiping (and can take a picture with the front camera if the code is entered wrong)
    Doggcatcher for podcasts
    Dropbox
    Folder Organiser for creating folders and links. Great for organising the homescreen.
    Skitch for editing pictures

    Locale/Tasker: For automating actions (Tasker is cheaper, but harder to use). My phone knows when I’m in work and turns on vibrate mode, knows when I’m at home and turns on wifi. It’s why I bought an Android phone.

    Smooth Calendar: calendar preview widget
    Titanium Media Sync: syncs folders from the phone to dropbox. Use it to sync photos.
    Touch Calendar: Nicer calendar interface

    Swype: Best keyboard. Could not use the phone without it.

    I use Launcher Pro as my homescreen, but since you’ve a HTC there’s not much need for you as it’s similar to HTC Sense.

    3G Watchdog if you’ve a data cap to worry about.

  7. Music — I’ve signed up to spotify premium and just listen to that now. It supports making playlists offline. premium is £10/month but you can listen to anything.

    Google Music is another option which will sync all your PC music up to the cloud, and then back to your phone — no PC sw or cable syncing needed. Google music is free

    I’m not sure of the specs of the desire, but I do worry you may suffer from storage space & memory — the latest handsets have upped this significantly.

  8. Personally, I use my iPod Touch for music, podcasts & video and my Android phone for internet connection, social networking etc. I like having two devices with two lots of batteries so I don’t have to worry about not being able to make a call.

    On my phone the apps I use the most are: Plume for Twitter, Kindle, Facebook, Flashlight (the hall light has gone in my flats!), Hot Email. I use Posterous for uploading pictures

    What I really like are the widgets. I have one for my calendar showing the next couple of days and one for bookmarks, I use the built in internet browser. I also use the Favourites widget which has the people I call the most on it to make life easier.

    I’ll be interested to know what you choose as I’m due for an upgrade in the new year and I’m trying to decide what to go for next.

  9. ‘Personally, I use my iPod Touch for music, podcasts & video and my Android phone for internet connection, social networking etc. I like having two devices with two lots of batteries so I don’t have to worry about not being able to make a call.’

    sammmeee!

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