Hi faithful readers, just a quick note to let you know I’m still well and alive although I must apologize for the very long time away from updating with new posts. 2 major reasons for my disappearance: 1) HTC taking ages to release 2.1 for HTC Hero (hence I got pissed and neglected my HTC) and 2) I bought a new Blackberry Bold 2 and have been using it. But not to worry, both system have their hits and misses, and I will continue to update.
Today’s update is not an original post that I wrote up but nonetheless a good one. It’s a switcher’s guide from iPhone to Android. Hold the gasping but yes, there are people deflecting from the Apple camp to Android. While it is not a contest of fanboyism, I see it as a good thing since these people will be exposed to both OS and as consumers, would be able to come up with good feedback for companies to bring their game to a higher level.
Well Google has done it again! Deviating from the usual pastry code name, we’re getting Froyo (frozen yoghurt) in place of Flan! But you know what? I don’t really care what it’s called, I just want my goddamned update. Hurry up HTC! Or I’m gonna go Droid.
What you see in my post title is synonymous. Google is taking the mobile world by storm first with Android and now, the Nexus One. Competition often leads to innovative products, with consumers standing to gain with their spoils from the bloody aftermath of corporate marketing.
And right now, Nexus One is live. Currently launching in UK, US, Singapore and Hong Kong as test markets, you can purchase your very own Nexus One here, contrary to previous statements that the phone will only be available on an by-invitation basis.
On Google’s website for Nexus One, you are able to click on the icons to see how each app works as well as a 3D tour of the phone. I am most excited with the Maps app as Google flexed their prowess to show us the next level turn-by-turn navigation complete with what seems to be street view coupled with layers.
Merry Christmas from GirlmeetsAndroid! I’ve been clearing pre-holiday work and enjoying the long weekend. Now I’m back to post on the Android. This post will be all about Singapore apps from the local developers since I’m based here. Seems like there’s not a lot of exposure to local apps so I just want to give them some exposure.
This app tells you the arrival times of buses and allows you to send sms to Iris for their service arrival times. A must have for me since I commute to work by bus. 99% accurate based on my experience with it. However, it does not support SMRT buses.
Evernote users would be happy to note that they have released an app on the Market, adding to the number of good apps for Android. From what I understand, the app is pretty robust and does not open up webpages of the mobile site unlike the Facebook app for Android. It also happens to be my favourite note taking platform apart from AK Notepad on the Android. It beats RTM as it’s a trial app that requires you to pay. Evernote is free on market, either download it or if you need more convincing, you can check out Evernote on their site.
Something might just be brewing. Google has updated their official Android webpage to introduce Eclair 2.0 to the mainstream. Ideally we should start seeing HTC tweet about 2.0 being ready with HTC Hero in the month of December. Please play Santa Google, and give us our Eclair 2.0 now!
Quick Contact Multiple Google Accounts Combined Inbox
This is probably what Hero users might just be waiting for with bated breath! Android 2.1 was spotted to be running on HTC Hero, from what was originally thought to be the popular Motorola Droid. It’s good news, at least Hero users know that an update is in the works, only doubt left would be if Hero is to receive a 2.0 or 2.1 Android update.
Just a note, HTC mentioned that they are working on an update for Eclair aka 2.0 but let’s not forget that carriers play a part in distributing the updates.
After getting my phone back and setting it up, I noticed that both Straits Times and Channel News Asia respectively have apps for news on the go. I’m only beginning to try The Straits Times as I read in the comments that Channel News Asia’s app doesn’t seem to be working at this moment.
So if you’re keen in local news apps, just these a try.
I’m a fan on the GTD system and will try things that makes my life easier. So here’s a list of what I personally use to get things done easily and usually quicker. I can say that this list is 90% powered by free apps so rest assured that it will not dent your pocket.
Gmail, Gcal, Google Maps – Default in phone
I pretty much live in the Google cloud using these apps. I’ll fire up Gmail on my laptop to type quick thoughts into drafts or any interesting links I come across. Why don’t I use something like Delicious you ask? That’s because I can access it anywhere in the world when I have access to any computer that’s connected online. And this same reason applies for Gcal. Not to mention that collaborating between 2 individuals using Gcal makes things breezy by sharing cal
For Gmaps, it’s simply for navigation purposes. I don’t drive yet, I read maps the way 90% of the girls read it which is really looking and taking a bit of time understanding. But all this should get better once the 2.0 update is upon us. Dealing a stong blow to many GPS companies, Google is getting Maps to give directions on a turn by turn basis. All without the hassle of setting up your Tom tom, Garmin, etc. If I can use it and get to where I want (time taken is not counted!), I believe you can do it, and get there faster.
Gdocs – Free on Market
This is the app that syncs with your Google Docs. For now, it’s limited to being able to download .doc for editing purposes. Clicking on other file extensions merely brings you to the mobile page of Google Docs. But this helps me to note things down for reviewing on a laptop later, and yes, it goes safely into the great Google cloud. Till the MS Office apps start to allow creating and editing, I will definitely be using this to fill the gap.
Locale – Free on Market
I use this to set situations and how my phone responds under those situations. For example, I get off work at 6pm. I decide that 9pm is my daily research time on Android so that I can generate content for my site, I create a situation in Locale that makes the phone silent from 9pm to 10pm. This way I get 1 hour of time dedicated to what I want to do without having to manually set my phone on silent each time. Locale is really flexible but to a certain extend since there’s just so much settings/situations to customize, with little plugins from 3rd party apps. But given normal situations, I’m sure Locale will serve you well.
Remember the Milk – 15 day free trial on Market
Yes I have an account with RTM for my to do lists. Why not Gtasks? I find that Gtasks is really a basic, no-frills to do list app and I need a little bit more under the hood. Hence RTM comes into the picture and the recently released app on Android makes users of RTM a happier bunch of people. Check out more on the app on their site. Only downside is you have to pay for the Pro account so that might turn some people off.
AK Notepad – Default on HTC Hero, Free on Market
Comes installed by default on my HTC Hero so I thought, why not just use it? It’s pretty spiffy, giving you options such as colour themes, auto link that makes email addresses, web urls etc. clickable, export/import notes to/from your SD card, that sort of thing.
EasyMoney – USD $5.95 (Special introductory offer)
This is a finance/expense tracking app. I’m using the trial version available on the Singapore Android market right now but unfortunately it has expired since it’s a 30 day trial. I’ve tried a few, but nothing fits me better than this. But again, I am comparing it against free apps so it is a flawed comparison in a way. It allows me to backup my data, set reminders for bill payments, track expenses in a well organized manner and it’s easy to use straight out of the app. So for those who are looking for a solid app for money management, give the trial a go and if you like it, all you need to do is to buy it off their site thru paypal.
Astrid - Free on Market
Who can forget Astrid? Backed by google and integrates with RTM, this is one much-loved to do list app within the Android community. Astrid boasts a to do list with a tags function, widget for your homescreen, easy to use interface and a really cute icon! (5/5 people have always been intrigued by that cute octopus whenever they see my phone)
Sticky Notes (by Bratag) – Free on market
A small note that resembles a post it note that resides on your homescreen. Pressing on the note brings up a full screen post it with your quick notes up for viewing. I use it for handy little reminders and have a few littering my screen. I recommend this for ease of use and of course, aesthetics!
SG Buses – Free on market
This is limited to the Singapore users since it tracks the bus system locally, giving you pretty accurate time of arrivals for buses, from both SBS and SMRT. The ability to bookmark your favourite bus services for quick access to check on arrival times is a strong plus point. It also integrates with Iris but I have not used that since timings provided are 99% accurate so far. The remaining 1% is in line with the adage, nothing is perfect.
I must say that most of these apps work with a data connection. And if you don’t have a data plan on your Androids, you are not getting the full user experience that Android (and my HTC Hero) provides.
P.S: I do not get any referral fee from EasyMoney, in case you were wondering.