What My Droid Does – Part 8

With the upgrade to Froyo (Android 2.2) there are many new features available on Android phones. There’s a complete list at the Verizon website, but here are some of the highlights:

Source: Gizmodo.com
  • Easily switch between the eight most recent applications.
  • Text Message Widget.  You can scroll up and down
  • through the list of all your text conversations in one screen.
    Also, you can call a number back immediately from text messages.)
  • Automatic app updates including an “Update All” feature.
  • Instantly know the strength of your signal with improved
    signal display.
  • Updated People application to accommodate contacts with
    Facebook accounts.

Updates to the Android operating system seem to be coming pretty quickly with the next version, Gingerbread, due out in the fourth quarter of 2010. All the android versions are named after food. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_%28operating_system%29

  • 1.5 is Cupcake
  • 1.6 is Donut
  • 2.0/2.1 is Eclair
  • 2.2 is Froyo
  • 2.6 will be gingerbread
  • After that…Honeycomb??

So, where is a good place to go if you need answers to some of your Droid questions?  My favorite forum is at http://androidforums.com. Here seems to be where I can get the answers to my questions about the operating system.  But Mashable has been a great source for learning about the different apps that are available in the Marketplace. Check out some of these resource lists that they have compiled:

So, that’s a lot of apps to review, so I wanted to bring your attention to one that I think is fantastic.

QR Code for Congress

Congress

I like the ease in which you can contact via the phone your local district reps, keep up-to-date on what laws are bring introduced to Congress and search by “just introduced” as well as by the legislature name, state or zip code. The app developers list:

  • Read the latest bills, laws, and see what bills were recently voted on.
  • Find members of Congress by using your phone’s location, a zipcode, a last name, or a state.
  • Read tweets and watch videos from members’ Twitter and YouTube accounts.
  • Reply to a member of Congress on Twitter from within the app, using your own account.
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What My Droid Does – Part 7

There have been two things that I have wanted my Droid to be able to do in the last month or so that it hasn’t been able to. It’s not really my Droid though. See the cases in point:

  1. ISTE released an app for the iPhone. As I went to the conference this year, I would have liked an app for my Android phone as well. I made due with the mobile app, but I am hoping that next year they play “equal time” as my grandfather used to call it.
  2. I want to be able to tether my Droid to my iPad as I do to my laptop and my netbook for Internet access where there is no wifi. It’s physically impossible as there is no connection that will run from a Droid to an iPad. But I did see while I was at ISTE a link to this resource go by in the Twitter stream. I re-Tweeted How to: WiFi Tether a Motorola Droid to an iPad and was asked by Chris Craft whether I was willing to root my phone. I’ve read up on Rooting quite a bit and have not yet taken the plunge. When and if I do decide to root my Droid, I will then be able to use it as wifi for my iPad.

I looked back at the previous six posts I have written about what my Droid does for me and I have some updates to make on a few of the apps.

What My Droid Does – Part 1

What My Droid Does – Part 2

What My Droid Does – Part 3

What My Droid Does – Part 4

What My Droid Does – Part 5

What My Droid Does – Part 6

First of all, there are so many apps for Twitter. Find one you like and be happy. I have been happy since they updated the Twitter for Android app and then I found TweetCaster.

In addition to the standard Twitter functions, TweetCaster features:

  • Multiple Twitter account support
  • Integrated retweets
  • Integrated Twitter lists
  • Notifications
  • Offline tweet caching
  • URL shortening (and previews)
  • Photo attachment
  • Threaded direct messages
  • Font/Theme customization
  • Landscape support
  • Profile editing
  • Tweet filtering
WordPress for Android

WordPress for Android made some major updates to their app earlier this month.
With the recent version 1.3 you can now:

  • see your page views
  • see your post views
  • see your referrers
  • check out your search terms
  • and view your number of clicks

I have also been happy that I can now moderate multiple comments at once using their new “bulk edit” feature
and should I choose to post from my phone, I can really format my text using their visual editor.

QR Code for Open Spot

There are a few new things that I wanted to mention.

Open Spot – http://openspot.googlelabs.com/

So over time, the concept behind Open Spot is pretty cool. To save time, gas, and to reduce pollution, Google released this app to help users find open parking spaces easily.

It will only find the open spaces of Open Spot users, so until lots of people are using it, the app is not going to be effective, but to make it work, all you so it place a pin on a map within the Android app to share the space you are abandoning. The pins are left color coded as empty to fellow users for 20 minutes until they expire.

Source http://www.slashgear.com

I installed Barnes and Noble’s new Nook app for the Droid today. I received an e-mail from B&N yesterday and was easily able to browse for it in the Android Market and download and install the free app. Once launched, I logged in using the B&N credentials I signed up with for my free iPad books (but that expired a while ago) and there they were on my Droid. Awesome.

I’m waiting for Android 2.2
I’m talking about Froyo – the next update to the Android operating system. If you have one of the newer Droids, you already have it. I have one of the older ones (I bought it waaaaaay back in November 2009) so I have to wait until Verizon pushes the update down to me. I’ll be writing about that and my top 10 apps as well as my experience using my Droid in the UK in my next post.