I've been using Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) since January 19 when my Wi-Fi only Xoom received an update from Motorola. On February 25 I upgraded from a Motorola DROID X to a Samsung Galaxy Nexus and since then all my mobile devices have been on ICS. So I've had a fair amount of time to test drive the OS in both tablet form and phone form and it is a very nice update. Here are a few of things I like in Ice Cream Sandwich followed by some short bullets of things I think could be better.
The Verge ran a story earlier about Canonical creating a docking station that provided Ubuntu desktop access for your smartphone.
I called this at least two years ago. Not the specific instance of Canonical releasing a desktop dock for Android device plug-in, but the idea of how this will change computing. If you discount some of the newest quad-core and 8-core systems out there, the latest mobile phones aren't too far behind laptops in their power. Certainly they don't have the graphics horsepower but I don't see that as an issue.
I imagine a new computing setup where your main - and perhaps only - device is your mobile device. Think Galaxy Note here. You're at the office and instead of using a desktop computer or laptop you use your mobile device alongside a docking station with dedicated horsepower and graphical capability. You essentially "side load" additional processors, RAM, and even disk storage (or you access cloud storage such as DropBox, Amazon S3/Cloud, or the newer Bitcasa). When connected to this system you're able to do most normal things you would do on your computer. And when you're done you disconnect, grab your device and head home.
The thing I haven't worked out is the software aspect. What if you're a huge Adobe Photoshop user. Are you going to have a version of this on Android or does your connection to the docking station bring about connections to typically laptop/desktop-only software? I think this will be worked out in the next 2-3 years and in 5 years we may all be using a setup like this.
When I read on Engadget that Big Red was finally releasing Android 2.2 Froyo I was really excited. That excitement continued through installation and four days after installation. The excitement quickly changed to frustration as my Droid X began exhibiting all sorts of issues that rendered it unusable. More information on what problems I was seeing and how I fixed them are after the break.
In preparation of switching to Android next week I've been compiling a short list of must have applications. Some of these apps were mentioned in a Mashable article while others have been mentioned on Twitter, blogs, or elsewhere.
This list is a decent start but I need your help. What are your favorite Android apps? Which do you use every single day that you can't live without? Chime in by posting a comment after the break.
I was super excited to learn the folks at Agile Web Solutions have released a beta version of 1Password for Android. As a new user to the Android platform and a long-time user of 1Password, I'm glad I won't have to convert my password database to something other than 1Password just for use on Android.
For the time being the only information on this beta release is in the Agile Web Solutions forum. There you'll find information on installing 1Password from the Android Marketplace and copying your password data from your computer to your Android device.
I've been an Apple iPhone user since the first version was released in 2007. I upgraded to an iPhone 3GS when it was released and I've been immensely happy with the device for three years. But that's all about to change as I'm switching to Android.
I ordered an HTC Incredible nearly a month ago and have been patiently awaiting its arrival. With the Droid X announcement I decided to cancel my Incredible order and wait a little bit longer for a device with a 4.3 inch screen. While I continue to wait for July 15 - the date the Droid X becomes available on Verizon - I want to talk about why I'm switching to Android.
I'm three days late blogging about this, but if you haven't seen Christian Cantrell's blog post of the same title you need to check it out. He shows an application he wrote that runs on five screens including Mac, Windows, Linux, iPhone, and Android. I'd argue it's more like seven screens given the different device operating systems. Christian says he wrote the application code once and different wrappers for each operating system. I know this is supposed to be possible given the Flash Player runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux and Flash Professional CS5 can compile a Flash app to native iPhone code. This would get his app onto iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad. But Christian says his app is able to run on all the devices because it's built with AIR. Ok, cool. I want to see /how/ though.
Christian promised to release his code as open source so inquisitive developers like me can learn more about this.
I put off buying a Kindle for a long time as I wasn't sure I would like the device and I was worried about vendor lock in with Amazon. I regret that decision now. I should've bought my Kindle 2 sooner. Over the last few months I've been enjoying reading on my Kindle 2. I devoured Stephen King's Under the Dome, a massive book at 1,088 pages, as well as the free autobiography of Benjamin Franklin and the new release from the 37signals team, Rework. In addition to books I've loaded several PDFs onto my Kindle such as the definitive guide to Apache Hadoop and Google's paper on Bigtable. Since I've spent a fair amount of time with my Kindle I feel qualified to write about what I like and dislike. Continue reading after the break.
The Adobe Connect team has announced the availability of Acrobat Connect Pro Mobile. I just downloaded (iTunes link) and installed the app and it's pretty cool. For me, it's cool because it was built using betas of CS5 and the new compile to native iPhone app functionality. But, it is hard for me to see how the app will be used to attend presentations. I created a new room using the Nashville ColdFusion User Group Connect Pro account and then logged into the meeting with my iPhone 3GS. When I shared my screen from my MacBook Pro I was able to see the screen on my iPhone but there was no detail and the resolution was so small I could barely see what was going on. As I moved windows around on my desktop it took a good 10-15 seconds before the change showed up on my iPhone. Admittedly, this delay could be due to the poor Internet connection I was connected to. In short, the app works but I'm not sure how practical it is. Hit the link below to continue reading what the Adobe Connect team has to say about this new application. Or, you can click here to watch a quick demo video of the application in use on iPhone.
It didn't take long for the release of the iPad to spurn negative reactions from Apple fans and geeks everywhere. In fact, I heard 80% of the buying public was unimpressed with the iPad. Hitler wasn't impressed either as evident in the Downfall video meme you can watch here. But the best Downfall spin-off yet was when Doug McCune put Hitler in the speaker lineup for CFUnited 2009!
I've been using Google Voice ever since it was Grand Central back in the day. I'm quite fond of the service as it lets me display a phone number on sites like Twitter and Facebook without giving out my mobile number. I also like the call me widget that sits in the right sidebar of this blog. If you'd like to try Google Voice I have three invites I can send out. Warning, I'm going to be a bit stingy with these invites. Since I don't have many I want to make sure the folks I sign up actually use the service. So please don't take it personal if I ask why you want to use the service. In fact, just make it easier on me and with your "sign me up" comment to this blog post tell me why you want in.
I recently configured my iPhone with a new Google Sync account. Using Google Sync requires iPhone 3.0 software and includes advantages like push e-mail and e-mail, calendar, and contact syncing in one setup. The setup uses the Microsoft Exchange account type and allows you to choose what you want to sync. Google Sync works with regular Gmail accounts and Google Apps accounts. For a Google Apps account to work the domain administrator must enable Google sync.
The first day I set up my Google Sync account I noticed my iPhone battery life suffering. Thinking it was an anomaly I ignored it. Now, a week later I'm convinced using Google Sync has dramatically impacted the battery for the worse. I did some research and found a Google help page where they mention Google Sync (ActiveSync) may affect the life of your mobile device battery. Here's a screenshot.
This is just a quick post to let everyone know I've been posting content - what I'm calling "digital bytes" - on Tumblr. A friend recommended I use Tumblr a few months ago and I've been posting content ever since. I like how easy Tumblr is to use and how there's an iPhone app (iTunes link) I can use to post photos, videos, and links. The reblog feature of Tumblr is also quite nice. If I see something someone else has posted that I really like I can reblog their content, placing it on my Tumblr page, with a few clicks of my mouse.
I've been following Michael Arrington's Crunchpad for the last several months thinking the device would be perfect for "couch browsing." This is the term I use when describing how I often will sit in front my TV watching a show I'm only halfway interested in while I read news in Google Reader or following the latest tweets on Twitter. This type of work is not overly involved and doesn't require a ton of machine power or things like a physical mouse and keyboard. But it's still important to me, to keep up with the world this way without creating a specific time of my day to do so.
For me, the Crunchpad would be that device. But, the dirty laundry between Arrington and Fusion Garage has been aired and the device now has a new name: JooJoo. I still REALLY want to like this device. I do hate the name, and when the developer/founder of Fusion Garage introduces the JooJoo in the below video I'm not ashamed to say I was certain he said "do-do."
Anyhow, check out the hands-on look at the JooJoo and see what you think. It looks pretty good to me, but for $499, I will almost certainly pass.