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New toy

So I have finally leaped into the new millennium by buying a smartphone. It's an Android -- a Samsung Galaxy S II. I got it through Credo, which is a company that donates some of its profits to progressive causes. (Denys and I have had a long distance service from them for many years, going back to when they were called Working Assets.) They don't have their own network and are a reseller of Sprint's service.

I've long wanted a mobile internet connection, and we'll see if it's worth the cost. I only activated it yesterday, so I've still got a lot to learn. I'm interested in app suggestions from folks who use Androids. I'm also interested in hints and advice for a newbie. How do you use your smartphone? How do I get the best bang for the buck? (For example, how often do you use wifi rather than the phone network?)

Honestly, I'm so new at this that I don't even know what questions to ask yet.

Comments

( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
johncoxon
Dec. 11th, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC)
If you can use Wi-Fi, that's usually a much better option than going mobile. Also, now you have a smartphone, getting the LiveJournal app (and possibly the Twitter app if you're feeling adventurous) is a good plan.
randy_byers
Dec. 11th, 2011 07:30 pm (UTC)
Thanks, John. I suppose I'll have to think about Twitter now, but I think I'll take my time thinking about it.

So if you make a wifi connection, does that automatically take precedence over the mobile connection?
johncoxon
Dec. 11th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
I presume it does, because that's how it works on my iPhone - it means you get faster speeds and use less data.
surliminal
Dec. 12th, 2011 12:13 am (UTC)
Yes. But increasingly in UK you get wi fi netwks that need a passwd - so it doesnt get you Net but you have meanwhile blocked 3G (phone signal) Internet. Pah. So then I have to turn off wi fi. Your phone may be cleverer than this tho. also it used to be at least that you had way more unsecured wi fi in the US than we tend to, you lucky dogs :-)

My major tip is that if you start really using a smartphone you'll find battery life TERRIBLE. So download an app called Advanced Task Killer and periodically let it kill everything - helps. Also turn off location unless you're actively using maps. And don't ever turn Blue tooth on as far as I'm concerned..

I use FB and Tweetdeck apps loads. I don't really read LJ on phone odd ly - too long form..
randy_byers
Dec. 12th, 2011 03:24 am (UTC)
I'd been thinking the same thing about LJ, although I may get the app just to see what it looks like.
voidampersand
Dec. 11th, 2011 10:01 pm (UTC)
Not an Android user, but my understanding is that power management is a big challenge. Use wi-fi where it's freely available and you will save $ on data charges. But turn off wi-fi when you don't need it, otherwise it will keep scanning for wi-fi base stations just in case, and run down the battery fast. It helps to carry a charger with you and keep the battery charged up — modern phone batteries last a lot longer if you never run them down all the way.
randy_byers
Dec. 11th, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)
Credo/Sprint has an unlimited data plan, so $ shouldn't be a problem, but battery drain, yes. I'd wondered that about keeping the charger with me. Probably a good idea.
(Deleted comment)
randy_byers
Dec. 11th, 2011 11:24 pm (UTC)
What a bunch of great practical suggestions! The Find My Phone app reminds me of a time I couldn't find my old phone and called it. It was in my pants pocket, just not the pocket I usually put it in. D'oh!
(Deleted comment)
randy_byers
Dec. 12th, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)
By the way, what do you use to clean your iPhone screen?
(Deleted comment)
randy_byers
Dec. 12th, 2011 10:25 pm (UTC)
I'd forgotten about those protectors. I think my nephew uses one of those. But I like the sound of the simple approach.
(Deleted comment)
surliminal
Dec. 12th, 2011 12:26 am (UTC)
oh yeh another practical one - LookOut scans apps for viruses. Increasingly necessary..

Layar is fun to play with for 10 mins to pretend you actually live in a cyberpunck world then you'll never use it again..

I live and breathe by having Google Mapson phone these day. Oh lord I'll bever be lost again!
holyoutlaw
Dec. 12th, 2011 12:01 am (UTC)
My suggestions are before: Evernote, which you can install on any number of computers and sync between them.

We use Journey Tracker as our journey tracking app, but there are others. MyTracks allows you to add details to waypoints. Neither allows you to adjust the rate of getting a GPS location, and that can be a battery drain on long walks.

MyCarLocator free is also a good one, but I've never used it. I have a dictionary app and a wikipedia app and use them both.

I use the calendar a lot, more all the time.
randy_byers
Dec. 12th, 2011 12:02 am (UTC)
Thanks, dude. What's the name of the bus app you use?
holyoutlaw
Dec. 12th, 2011 12:11 am (UTC)
OneBusAway. I can help you figure it out if you want. It drove me nuts for a while, but now I find it very useful.
surliminal
Dec. 12th, 2011 12:27 am (UTC)
Oh yeh, god, syncing my Google calendar to my phone has also trnsformed ny life. I gave up a paper diary entirely this year and haven;t missed it, to own amazement.
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )

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