What My Droid Does – Part 5

If you are a Droid owner, you should have by now received your system update. It came with some pretty cool enhancements like:

  • New support for voice-to-text entry – tap on the microphone whenever a text-entry box appears on the virtual keyboard and speak (this has worked fairly well for me)
  • New Gallery application with 3D layout. (This reminds me of http://www.cooliris.com/)
  • Supposedly there’s a new night mode in Google Maps Navigation that automatically changes
    the screen at night to adjust to the lighting, but I haven’t had a chance to try it.
  • Read about the rest on the .pdf that Verizon sent out to Droid owners here.

Also, If you haven’t already, take a look at the Google for Android web page. Your Android powered phone most likely came with these applications already installed, but here you can find videos, more information or even the link to download the mobile app should you want it. Some of the applications listed here are:

Many of us have been waiting for Skype to come to the Android phone. Actually, I have blogged about using Skype Lite on my Droid to use the chat feature of Skype, but this is the full application – WITH ONE THING MISSING. Verizon has set the limitation that you can only use Skypemobile on the 3G network. So if you thought you were going to save on data charges by using your wifi to make Skype-to-Skype calls, it’s not going to happen.

Here are the Terms of Service that come up when you go to install it on your phone:

“Skype mobile is available within the National and Extended National Enhanced Services Coverage Areas, but not when using WiFi. Skype mobile features may vary from Skype on your PC. Domestic calls made from Skype mobile are carried by Verizon Wireless, not Skype, and are billed according to your Verizon Wireless plan. Skype calls to international numbers are billed by Skype at Skype international rates. Calls to 911 will be completed by Verizon Wireless. Skype mobile is not available when using per-line or per-call caller ID blocking. In the event of a conflict between these Verizon Wireless Skype mobile Terms and the Skype EULA, Skype TOS, or any other applicable terms, the provisions of the Verizon Wireless Skype mobile Terms shall apply.”

Yet, this is pretty cool as I communicate with many educators via Skype that I don’t have cell phone number for, and now I can talk to them without being tethered to a laptop/desktop.

I know from some Tweets I’ve seen that many Android users have been waiting for a version of Tweetdeck for the Android to be released. In the meantime, we have HootSuite. As listed on their site, here are some of the benefits of HootSuite that I would utilize when away from my laptop. (Actually, I frequently recommend Hootsuite to educators that use Twitter in school but don’t have the administrative rights to install Tweetdeck to their computers.)

  • Managing multiple identities and accounts
  • Creating custom views for tags and searches
  • Adding followers to lists and accounts
  • Sharing photos and shortening URLs

There’s a paid version for $2.99  and then the HootSuite for Android Lite for free.

ChaCha Droid

ChaCha – this neat little app allows you to query by voice and returns the answers by text right on your screen. Some of us have used ChaCha in the past by calling their 1-800 number or using a text message to send our question in, but this bypasses that process and the bonus is you can query by voice. I tried a few with success. If you go to the ChaCha Droid for Android page, their is a QR Code you can scan and install the app on your phone.

If you were a user of wpToGo to edit your WordPress blog from your Android phone, you may want upgrade to the new and improved WordPress for Android app. I don’t typically post from my Droid, but I will approve and reply to comments right from the WordPress for Android application. wpToGo is going to be discontinued, so upgrade soon. Here’s their video:

Google Buzz for the Android used to be just a web shortcut. Now there’s a widget that can be added to your Android desktop one of two ways. The first way is you can find it in the Android Market. The second way is you can scan the QR Code.   I scanned the code using my Barcode Scanner and then it brought me to the Google Buzz Widget.

I read the four points listed on the installation screen

  • Quickly post buzz publicly or privately
  • Add photos to your post from the camera or gallery
  • Share your location or place
  • Quickly access buzz.google.com

and realized that this widget was for posting to Buzz and not for staying connected to your Buzz contacts. So I went back to the site to read some of the comments. There was some concern about this as well as it not working on all Android phones and a desire for the QR Code (which had been added). Still, if you are using Buzz, this is a handy widget to have.


8 thoughts on “What My Droid Does – Part 5

  1. Here you go:

    HTC Incredible vs. Motorola DROID | Wirefly Learn http://ow.ly/1wRZz

    The Sense UI is what I’m most excited about. This video is for a different phone but showcases the Sense UI and what the phone will be like in daily use:

    Hope it lives up to the hype…


  2. Outstanding post, Lisa, and a terrific series. Thank you!

    I am probably a few weeks away from Droid-ness, most likely will be the HTC Incredible, which is said to be coming out this month.

    Tagging this post to review again once I’ve got that phone in my grubby mitts!


  3. I am a student in Dr. Strange’s EDM 310 class at the University of South Alabama.

    Great pitch! Im very interested in all the new cell phone technology, but since I am on what I like to call “the broke college student budget”, I try my best not to look into it too much because I would only upset myself. I am stuck with the average phone and basic utilities. I was assigned to comment on a few of your post for my class and when I saw this one I said, “oooo!”. The technology these new phones are coming out with is wonderful! Cell phones are becoming so useful and technilogically advanced that I think one day desk top computer will become obsolete, much like the vcr, and you won’t be able to find one even in Wal-Mart. Well, it was nice day dreaming about a new phone, but its back to the real world for me.

    1. Well, keeping up with what’s out there is important Matthew. Thanks for taking the time to read my posts. I think you are going to find that Smartphones are going to become even more mainstream and that the concept of minutes is going to disappear and that we will all just pay a fee for our data.

      We shall see.

  4. Hey it is Jenny again I think that this is a great pitch I love learning about all the new cell phone technology. I have to say I am pretty stuck on my blackberry though but now it seems that they have so many new cell phones out that can do more than my blackberry or the internet explore is more advance that I am considering getting a different phone but it is hard to change when I have been so used to the same type of phone for so long. The way you listed all the things that your phone can do has made me reconsider because we are in a new age and need to keep up with technology.

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