Vacuum Now Available! Be lazy, make money playing games!

| Monday, March 22, 2010
Well fortunately the developer Door-6 knows what a bunch of lazy dorks we all are, and decided to capitalize on this by creating a game that will allow you to win CASH prizes, starting April 1st and ending at the end of May. So for the time being you're going to have to put down your Homerun Battle 3D, and pick up Vacuum, now available on the Market for $1.99. I blogged about this sometime ago, but now we are actually seeing this come to life for real.

Here's what the developer has to say:

“Navigate through a perilous, asteroid-filled obstacle course, and compete for the top score and cash prizes! The first contest runs April 1 to May 31 and features prizes of $500, $250, and $100 (USD) for the top three competitors!
“We appreciate your feedback and hope you enjoy Vacuum: The Global Competition!”
Below we have a video of the game, which reminds me of a rudimentary Starfox for SNES type graphics engine. I'm not sure what the Vegas odds are for money return, but to me it's worth a shot for the cost of a Starbucks coffee...well maybe a soda or something...Droid owners don't wear Birkenstocks, go to Starbucks, or drive Toyota Priuses - that's for iPhone users. Anyhow:


Writing for AllDroid

That's right, you heard it here first. My first big break as an amazing blogger was being asked by the owner of AllDroid.org to write for their news section.

Have no fear, I will still be running this blog concurrently with my posts on AllDroid for all seven of my followers.

Thick Buttons (new software keyboard) Released on the Market


Time for another app suggestion post

Here are all the apps I am currently running on my phone, courtesy of the WONDERFUL app "AppBrain". If you click on the app it will take you to a description. Hopefully this will give you some nifty ideas.


Attention NHL Penguins Fans! Penguins Droid App Released!

What an amazing day for Penguins fans/Droid owners!

I checked my Twitter just now and noticed a Tweet from the Penguins telling me that they have recently released an app for the Droid called "Pittsburgh Penguins Mobile". Basically this application gives you news stories, stats, standings, scores, videoslive updates (also has access to Penguins' Tweets within the program)...and best yet (well not for me since I don't live in Pittsburgh anymore due to being active duty Army) it allows you to watch replays when you are in the Arena!!!

Even if you are missing out on that amazing feature, this is still a great app. Talking with your friends and want to let them know some key Penguins stats or NHL standings? No problem. Want to see some video that was played on the Jumbotron recently? No problem.

The only thing I think it's missing is a link to the live radio like they have on their website. But have no fear, you can get that feed from iheartradio for free since 105.9 the X is a Clearchannel station!

Zillow for the Droid

| Sunday, March 21, 2010
Thanks to the guys at DroidLife.com we a video review which makes my job here at Droid-Does astonishingly easy. Zillow is a website that gives you estimates on how much houses are worth, how much recent houses have sold for, etc...to give you an idea of how much money you have lost since the economy took a crap.

Like a fellow Droider mentioned on Droidforums.net, "I don't like to use this app because it keeps telling me I'm losing money".

But if you're in the market for a new home, this might just be the app for you.


Over 1750 Free Custom Icons For Download

| Saturday, March 20, 2010
Sick and tired of getting custom icons only to have to "settle" for some icon that doesn't really match what you were looking for but that's all that's available? No longer! Simply post the app you need and I will include it in my icon packs. Now you will never have to settle for the wrong icon ever again! I can also come up with new backgrounds/styles, just give me your suggestions! All icons are labeled by their program as well. So no more cryptic, unorganized icons. Looking for an icon for a phone, for example? Guess what? It's called "phone", not "a342907". If you see a /2/3 it means you have several options for that particular icon.

As usual, all I ask is that you check out my blog or link people to my blog (trying to build up traffic there): http://Droid-Does.Blogspot.Com

Here are some examples (the smoked glass icons do not have a white background, this was added to make it easier to see):

Carbon - Carbon/Gold - Blue - Black - Black/Gold - Red - Orange - Pink - Gold - Smoked

To install:

1. Unzip icons into a folder called "Icons" on your SD card.
2. Download Bettercut for 2.99 on the Market.
3. Open Bettercut, choose "Edit Shortcut"
4. Pick the shortcut you want to choose
5. Click "Change Icon"
6. Choose PICK PICTURE (not icon pack)
7. Find the photo, select it then hit create

Version History:

v1.0 - Advanced Task Killer, Advanced Task Manager, Alarm, Aloqa, Amazon, Apps, Astro File Manager, Barcode Scanner, Bluetooth, Browser/2/3, BT File Xfer, Calculator, Calendar/2, Camera, ChompSMS, Clock/2, Drocap2, eBay, Email, Entertainment, Facebook, FeedR, Flight Director, FML, GMail/2, Google Maps, Google Sky Maps, Google Talk/2, Google Voice/2, Handcent, Homerun Battle 3D, iHeartRadio, K-9 Email, Locale, Mabilo, Market/2, Metamorph, Music/2, Myspace, Pandora, Phone/2, PhoneMyPC, Photoshop Mobile, PicSayPro, Profiles, Quickdial, Quicksettings, Remote Desktop, Robo Defense, Root Explorer, SetCPU, Settings/2, Shazam, Shop Savvy, Solitaire, Tapatalk, Terminal Emulator, Titanium Backup, Touiteur, Voice Dialer, Where!, WiFi, Wireless Tether, Youtube ... color in Red, Blue, Black

v1.1 - Bank of America, Ringo Pro, Contacts, Sports Tap, xScope, Epocrates, Bloo, Touchdown (will upload soon) ... added color Carbon.

v1.2 - Tweetcast, TripIt, Tag Reader, Shopper, Uninstaller, Key Ring, Gem Miner, Email/2/3, News, Weather Channel, Weather (generic), Movies, BatteryLeft, Bettercut, Colorix, Dock Runner, Google Goggles, Meridian Media Player, TempMonitor, Pure Calendar, Visual Voicemail, Tower Raiders, Zedge, Contacts/2/3, Tip Calculator, NPR News, Yelp, Google Earth, Layar, Opera Mini, Gallery/2/3, Calendar/3, Sega Genesis, Nintendo, Aim, Music (folder), Movies (folder), Pictures (folder), Tools, Multimedia, eBuddy, YouMail, NRU by Zagat

v1.3 - Smoked Glass icons

v1.4 - Droid Light, Astrid, Google Finance, LED Hack, Places Directory, Quick Boot, Quick Pedia, Quick System Info, BBC News, Brightness, Yellow Pages, Wiki Mobile, SpeedX3d, Slacker, Jewel Lust, Shoot U, Live Scores, Golf Channel, Gigbox, Phone/3/4/5/6, News Room, Evernote, USA Today

v1.5 - Blank template, Urban Spoon, Geodelic, Cardio Trainer, Tv.com, My Verizon, Minesweeper, Yahtzee, CopyCat, USB, Battery

v1.6 - Gameboid, Xbox/2, Penn State, FriendRing, MLB, NBA

v2.0 - Pink/Orange/Gold/Gold w/Carbon/Gold w/Black icons

Download link for ALL icons v2.0 is here. Always check the version before you download to make sure I am not in the process of editing the first post I had to make it one file because I can only attach five files at a time and the max file size is like 10mb and the file size is around 12mb total. Each color has all 177 icons.

100 Android Games in One Video!

Before we had a video with just 50 games. Now as the Droid gains such an incredible market share, we now have doubled this is such a short period of time. I bring to you (courtesy of AndroidTapp) 100 video games (for those that complain that the iPhone has better games):


And so probably you're wondering if I fell off the planet...

| Wednesday, March 17, 2010
But I have been a little tied up with this new beautiful piece of machinery:


Custom Launcher/App Tray for your Droid

| Sunday, March 14, 2010


- Changing out your launcher will remove all the widgets from your home screen, you'll have to re-add them.
- You will need to be rooted to follow my instructions. If you don't know what rooting is or need a guide to root, go here.

1. Download the Launcher.zip file attachment from here.

2. Rename the Launcher.zip to Launcher.apk (DO NOT ATTEMPT TO EXTRACT THE .ZIP FILE, that extension is simply so that the forums where I have the file hosted will recognize it, it's not actually a zip file!!!)

3. Download Root Explorer from the Market (yes you could do this via ADB but Root Explorer is ten times more simple)

4. Open up Root Explorer, navigate to /system/app and find Launcher.apk. Long press and copy. Back out to / (the root of your phone) and navigate to /sdcard. Paste the original Launcher.apk to a folder on your SD card (I usually use a folder called APK to make it easy to find). Long press and rename to Launcher.bak. This backs up your original Launcher just in case you don't like mine.

5. Place the new Launcher.apk that you downloaded from this thread on your SD card (again I use a folder called APK). You should now have Launcher.bak (your old Launcher) and Launcher.apk (the new one).

6. Open up Root Explorer and navigate to your SD card, find the new Launcher.apk file you just put there. Long press and copy.

7. Navigate to /system/app. In the upper right corner it will say MOUNT R/W. Hit that button. Paste using the button on the lower left. It will ask you if you want to overwrite, hit yes. It will take a few seconds to copy and then leave you where you were.

8. Find the new Launcher.apk that you just pasted into /system/app and long press. Choose permissions. Change the permissions to the following (where X is checked and O is not) and hit ok:


9. Reboot your phone.

10. Enjoy!

It should be noted in the second screenshot I am dragging the tray and the third I am just touching it. If you take your finger off of the tray it will revert back to the first screenshot.

If you like the icons I am using, feel free to check them out here.

If you want to make suggestions for updates to this app drawer, go here.

TripIt Travel Organizer and Flight Track Pro

| Saturday, March 13, 2010
I saw over on AndroidTapp that they were reviewing TripIt, and it made me wonder why the hell I have been using this program for about two months and never said a single word about it.

I travel almost incessantly for work, sometimes for five weeks at a time, but usually 10-14 days. This app is well worth it and almost invaluable to me when I travel, especially combined with Flight Track Pro.

Here is the description from AndroidTapp.com:


TripIt Android App is an extension of the popular travel organization website TripIt.com. If you’re not familiar with TripIt, it’s a great website for travelers that conveniently organizes travel itineraries why adding a social aspect to it sharing recent travels with friends. They offer a premium service that allows you to receive alerts if your flight may be canceled or departure gate changed at the last minute.

The app however is fairly limited yet very useful for how it organizes travel itineraries in an easy to read fashion with icons versus a huge block of ugly text you typically get from your itinerary confirmation emails. Each line item can be drilled down into further detailed to give you a booking details, directions to/from your airport or hotel via Google Maps, estimated hotel check-in/check-out times, and more.

If you have friends using TripIt, you can see their shared travels as well as you can share your travels or not. The shared data consists of sharers’ name, to & from destinations and the miles racked up.

TripIt also offers a subscription service which keeps track of your flight changes, status, gate changes, etc. However, you can get Flight Track Pro for just a few dollars and it automatically will pull your itineraries from TripIt and place them in Flight Track just like the more expensive subscription service. Flight Track also has a widget, and the ability to notify you in the notification message bar when flights change, get delayed, when the gate changes, etc.

Before I was rushing to the sign on my connections that tells you what gate the flight has moved to or not, wasting valuable minutes when you are talking about major airports like O'Hare, DFW, Atlanta, etc. Now I just pull up my Flight Track which pulls from my TripIt and I don't have to sweat it.

The best part about the TripIt/Flight Track combo? It's literally too easy to set up. You sign up for an account with TripIt and sign in. It will ask you to authorize the app in your browser (like when you have to authenticate Flickr or Facebook).

Once you get an account set up, you simply send your travel plans to plans@tripit.com. Within (usually) about 10 seconds, your travel plans are populated into the TripIt and Flight Track programs (provided you have them running).

From there, everything else is automatic. You don't have to change anything...

Now, I work for the government and we use SATO travel. I thought for sure that they wouldn't recognize the PDF document attachment that they send me (auto generated) but sure enough, they do.

Here is a list of travel plans that Trip It supports.

If you travel a lot, there is literally no reason you shouldn't be using these programs. For the cost of a Starbucks coffee or two you could be saving yourself countless minutes at the airport, and having to drag around less paperwork.

Another Icon Update

For updated post see here.

(this page is kept intact for Google search purposes)

Sorry for no posts yesterday!

I sold my CTS-V and bought a 2010 Camaro SS in Victory Red! So I was tied up all day yesterday selling my old car to someone and buying my new car :)

Top 10 reasons to root your Droid

| Thursday, March 11, 2010
A friend from the Droidforums has posted his top ten reasons for rooting your Droid, and so he let me steal his work to make my blogging day a little easier (long day today editing icons, I apologize for the lack of news :( ):

Hey everyone! Just wanted to let you all know that I've been working really hard on my Droid to get it just where I want it. I'm going to be shooting a video very soon on the top 10 reasons why you should root your Droid. It's going to have a lot of great stuff, so keep checking back!

Disclaimer: If you Root your Droid it will void your warranty with Motorola. I, nor the Calebnance team are held responsible for you wanting to make your Droid awesome by Rooting it, only to have it bricked. Enjoy!


I've had time to compose my thoughts, and figure out exactly what I want to say. I do plan on doing a video soon, but I figured I would give you a taste of what's coming soon. Here are my top 10 reasons to root your Droid, based on my personal experience.
10. Cachemate

This is a great app for clearing up that unwanted cache on your phone. Having the ability to clear your cache can help some apps or even your phone run faster and smoother. The newest version will allow you to clear you market seach history. This was the best thing for me. I just have a pet peeve when I can see everything that I have searched for, that I will never need again.
9. Terminal Emulator

With this app you can push, move, or do basically anything from a command prompt form. As long as you know what you are doing, you can really see how this app comes in handy. (You can use this app without root, but it's basically like having the keys to a Porsche that you don't have)
8. AdFree

Seeing ads while you are browsing is never fun, especially when you are on your beloved Droid. With the AdFree app you no longer have to worry about that. Not only does it take away all those pesky adds, but it does help to load your pages faster, which is always a plus in my book.
7. Boot Animation/Gscript

I love having the ability to have a phone that is fully mine from start to finish, literally. Now, you can change your boot animation without root, but believe me is a PAIN to do. Having root, along with Gscript or a file explorer, will cut off some of the work load you have to do. With Gscript you can simply type in the correct command, and then just launch it.
6. Root Explorer

This is another app for rooted phones only. This app will allow you fully explore your phone without the use of a computer. You can do anything from backing up your apps, to changing fille names for certain hacks or mods. This great app will allow you to keep modding your phone even on the go.
5. Wireless Tether

Every been out with your computer, but didn't have a WiFi around to check us out? This free app will solve that problem in a second. You can use your phone as a mobile hotspot to get online on the go. It may not be the fastest connection, but when you are in a pinch I don't think it really matters. Now before you get worried that someone else might mistake your wireless broadcast as an open network, don't! This app allows you to make a secure connection, setting up your own password, so you get the best speeds possible.

Time for the top 4 reasons to root your Droid everyone!
4. Metamorph

When the guys over at Google were designing the look of the UI for the Droid I know they were all thinking of us, and how we wanted it to look right? Wrong! Don't get me wrong, I think it looks great as it is, but I always like to have things look they way I want them too. Metamorph allows you to do this completly. It can be anything from changing the notification panel, to making your browser icon look like Firefox. Metamorph is very simple to use as well, just download the theme you want to use, move to your SD Card, and select it within the app.
3. Overclock

We all know the Droid is snappy out of the box, but then again we all like to speed things up just a bit. With root access you can do that. The Droid is 550 Mhz stock, but with the ability to overclock it can easily go up to 1.2 Ghz! Speeding up your phone may cause some heat issues, but when you are flying through apps, who cares right?
2. Nandroid (sprecovery/clockwork)

Ever made a mistake on your computer only to be breathing a sigh of relief when you find out you had a system restore point created not too long ago? Sprecovery gives you that same sigh of relief with your Droid with the ability to create nandroid backups. You can use these to restore after a new hack didn't go quite as planned. I've been stuck in a boot loop before, but thanks to sprecovery I was out of it in no time. It will also allow you to apply updates to roms, kernels (for overclocking), and simple patches.

Now time for the number 1 reason to root your Droid... Drum roll please.... I said Drum Roll PLEASE.... Screw it... here we go
1. ROM Use

Roms will basically take everything I have stated above and roll it into one big goodie bag. ROMs can combine a number of things such as: pinch to zoom browsers/gallerys, themes, overclocking, ported apps, and many more. ROMs change the way your whole phone operates, and it's always for the better! I know we all were bummed when 2.1 didn't come in January like we had all hoped, but thanks to some devs like Chevy and Pete, we now have a very official (and stable) build. Roms will even give you those live wallpapers, and 5 screens you have seen around, but could never quite figure out how to do. Right now I am running Bugless Beast V0.6 ESE53 Build, this is the most official, stable build I have used, but there are a few others out that may work for you better. The ability to use a ROM was the main reason I rooted. I no longer had to do all the work to get the live wallpapers, or figuring out how to overclock my Droid, and I think you would all agree when you think about it.

Well, there is my list, and I'm sticking to it. Follow me on twitter here and tell me what made you root your Droid.

The original article link can be found here.

I just wanted to to add my .02 to it though (why else post about it, huh?)...the ability to EASILY take screenshots. A simple program called Drocap2 from the Market allows you to easily take screenshots of just about anything, but you have to be rooted to do so. Also, the ability to use Root Explorer to do things like move Bootanimations and whatnot instead of using ADB to push them to your phone saves countless minutes of my day that I would rather be surfing porn or something else.

If you want more information on rooting your Droid, hacking, installing icons, you name it...check out this article I wrote awhile back: click here

Updated Custom Icons Available for Download

For updated post see here.

(this page is kept intact for Google search purposes)

New Free Custom Icons for the Droid!

| Wednesday, March 10, 2010
For updated post see here.

(this page is kept intact for Google search purposes)

Droid Battery/Charger reviews

| Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I have tried so many different batteries and chargers for the Droid that I thought I should share with everyone what I have found to be worthwhile or not. Sometimes it's really tempting to go the cheap route, and sometimes that pays off, and sometimes it doesn't.

One thing to understand about the Droid charger is, it is 850mA and 5v. You can pretty much use any charger to charge your Droid but anything less than 850mah is going to charge slower and 1000mA (1 amp) is going to charge faster. Going to 1000 is not going to fry the phone, because the phone only draws as much power as it needs.

Where you run into some issues is some chargers are poorly made and so the charge jumps around. I haven't found this to damage my phone in the least bit, but it might make it difficult to type or something while having it plugged in.

1. Non-OEM battery. Example from eBay

I bought a battery like this, not really expecting much for 4 bucks. And I pretty much got what I paid for. It isn't that it doesn't work at all, but it only lasts maybe 4 or 5 hours with moderate use.

You can tell a non-OEM/OEM battery from an OEM battery because the OEM battery has Motorola written across the top of it. See picture below:


In addition I bought an OEM battery for 20 dollars shipped on eBay, with no issues. Both of the batteries you see above are from eBay, and the OEM one works just as well as the one that came with the phone.

2. Cheap car/home charger. Example from eBay

I got these from eBay and they work perfect. Like I said above, 1000mA isn't going to fry your phone per se, only the quality of the actual charger. And I haven't had any issues with these. Great replacement chargers and only cost a few bucks. Since it's 1000mA instead of 850, it charges quicker than the stock as well.

3. Slim wall charger. Example eBay auction

This thing is a life saver for me. Toss the battery in, plug it into the wall (it's pretty small and easy to travel with), and bam you can charge a battery without having to have your phone plugged in. So as soon as a battery is done you can swap it out. Before I was charging a battery to full in the phone then charging a second battery to full in the phone. Way too much time plugged into a charger!

This charger is only going to be as good as the cable you use to charge it. I use a 1 amp (1000mA) charger from the review above. See picture below:


Mypace is the most popular social app for Android

Uh, what? People still use MySpace? I thought everyone (myself included) has switched to Facebook? Perhaps users are sick and tired of the lack of truly awesome Facebook apps (surprising) or perhaps users are going back to MySpace because Facebook refuses to stay simple and now they have that God-awful center strip notification area...or maybe it's because some of the navigation is not very intuitive (and I consider myself pretty computer illiterate...err...literate).

Either way, here's the article (so you know I'm not just pulling this out of my ass):

By Chris Crum

MySpace announced today that it has the most popular social app in the Android Market, and the third most popular app on Android altogether.

"Our deep integration with the Android platform is one of the reasons why we’ve seen a surge in usage," says MySpace's Scott Goldberg. "Unique to this app, we have three home screen widgets. One of them allows voice-enabled status updates. We also allow users to set MySpace photos as background wallpaper on their phone's home screen. Close integration with the native Android camera contributes to the customized experience and makes it easy for MySpace users to take, upload and share pictures of their friends out having fun."
MySpace Mobile on Android is the most popular app in the Android Market's social category

"Even beyond Android, MySpace Mobile has also proven to be a very engaging experience across all platforms with 70% of MySpace Mobile users checking in three or more times per day," adds Goldberg. "As a nod to our popularity on the mobile web, MySpace was the fourth most popular mobile web destination according to Morgan Stanley’s report on The Mobile Internet in Dec. 2009. We have also found that the average MySpace Mobile user translates into a more engaged online user, dedicating more than an hour of additional time on the site per month."

Currently, looking at the Android Market's social category, MySpace Mobile is followed by Facebook for Android, Tweetcaster, AIM, and Truth or Dare. The top two most popular apps overall are Pandora and the Weather Channel.

One of the best parts about having the most popular slot in any category in the market is the visibility that comes along with that. Any user who gets a new Android device, and goes to look for apps, will see MySpace Mobile right at the top of the list, and that could could drive continued growth.

Mobile should play a key role in the continued success of MySpace. Meanwhile, Facebook and Twitter are seeing big mobile gains themselves.

Are you surprised that MySpace has the most popular social app on Android?

HTC Incredible rumored to be replacing HTC Droid Eris on Verizon

Those of you interested in the Eris, or still within your 30 day return window might want to consider this:

HTC Incredible rumored to soon be replacing HTC Droid Eris on Verizon
Phil Nickinson on Android Central
published from 8 minutes and 51 seconds

If you're in the market for an HTC Droid Eris on Verizon, you might want to hold off for a few weeks. BerryScoop has it on good authority that the HTC Incredible is going to replace the Droid Eris, the end-of-life date is April 1, and that we may see the Incredible about the same time.

Also, BerryScoop's source says that the Nexus One won't actually be sold in Verizon stores, which is what we've been saying, too. ...

gTasks now available for free on the Market

A new ToDo list that syncs with Google, allowing you to easily sync the things your wife makes you do before you can come home from work with your phone/Google account.

From AndroidTapp.com:

Price: Free

AndroidTapp.com Android App Review:

Pros & Cons:


* Easily sync tasks with Gmail/Google Apps tasks
* No account/credentials sign in… just works!
* Features Android Widget to quick launch the app
* Create tasks offline and sync later


* Would be cool to have Android notifications with Tasks


gTasks Android App conveniently allows you to sync your task/to do lists from your Android phone to your Google Tasks from either Gmail or Google Apps email accounts. gTasks offers a solution to an issue surprisingly not solved by Google in their Gmail client. More beautiful, you don’t have to login nor grant permission to the app as it just works with your Gmail/Google Apps account(s). For Android 2+ devices, you can sync tasks with all accounts created. Features an Android Widget to quickly launch the full app. Create tasks locally offline and choose when to sync or set it to do so automatically.

What does your phone background look like?

See my other post from today to get your phone looking spiffy like this :)


Customize your Droid: Root, Overclock, 2.1 ROM, WiFi tether, you name it!

I just finished a huge write up on Droidforums and want to make my readers aware of it. It's easier to link to it than it is to copy and paste it here. Basically you can't go wrong, it teaches you how to root, overclock, install a custom rom, install custom icons, wifi tether, monitor cpu temps, you name it.

You can go from being a Droid noob to a Droid genius just by reading this thread. And that's how you know I'm a Droid genius because I wrote it :)

Learn how to hack your Droid here!

Good luck, and post over there if you have even the smallest question!

Three new games out for the Droid in the Market:

1. iDemolished

2. WWII: D-Day 3D FPS

3. Age of Conquest Beta


9 Alternatives to the iPad...most running Android

| Monday, March 8, 2010
Below is a writeup from the guys over at Mashup from about a month ago. Not very "new" news, but I wanted to follow up my story about the other tablet I had wrote about few days ago. There is also a 95 dollar (yes, you read that right) alternative being developed, but there isn't really enough information on it at this point to really write an article.

I didn't want to steal all their bandwidth copying their images, so you can find the various images and videos here, in the original article.

The point to this is just this: as usual, Apple comes out with the technology first. And while their products always look stunning...there are usually viable alternatives for up to half of the cost that do twice as much shortly behind. A lot of the tablet alternatives coming out have better resolution, Flash support, a camera, an open platform, don't require iTunes, etc etc. Something you won't find for twice the price on the iPad.

9 Upcoming Tablet Alternatives to the Apple iPad

The Apple iPad cat is officially out of its bag, but it’s not going to be the only tablet game in town. There are a number of other devices out there in various stages from “barely announced” to “working prototype,” many of which were shown off at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

Apple may have snagged first-mover advantage in this year’s tablet renaissance, and we have scant few details on things like pricing and release date for some of its upcoming competitors. Still, it’s worth a look at what other tablet contenders are going to be emerging with in the near near future. It might be worth reigning in that Steve Jobs-induced credit card trigger finger for a bit.

Let’s have a look at what alternatives to the iPad are likely literally just around the corner.

1. HP Slate

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer showed off this HP tablet prototype very briefly at CES this year. It wasn’t the Apple iPad (Apple Ipad) thunder-stealing moment predicted by the media, but it is one of many indications that the tablet form-factor is about to become practically ubiquitous.

This particular HP slate will run Windows (Windows) 7, setting it apart from the field of tablets running Android (Android) you’ll be seeing on the rest of this list. More details about the device were recently revealed by HP in the video below.

2. Dell Streak

During its CES 2010 keynote, Dell talked about working on multiple “upcoming slates,” including one prototype it showed off, which is currently called the Streak. This particular model is only 5-inches, though, which puts it less in the direct path of the iPad and makes it more akin to the existing line of mobile internet devices (MIDs) like the Archos series of Internet tablets. Not much else is known yet about the Streak, or what other kinds of tablets Dell might be cooking up, but Engadget did snag some hands-on photos of the device.

3. Asus Eee Tablet

Asus is the company responsible for kicking off the entire netbook craze. They were also showing off a prototype of a 9-inch tablet at CES this year. The device has four control buttons reminiscent of the favored layout for an Android-powered phone, leading to the logical speculation that the Asus tablet might well run Google’s (Google) mobile operating system.

4. Compal Tablet

This working prototype was shown off at CES 2010. Made by Compal, the 7-inch Android 2.0 tablet runs on the new, high-powered next-generation Tegra 2 processor NVIDIA announced at CES. With this chip, a device can support 1080p video playback, yet retain startlingly good battery life. NVIDIA says it already has several partners lined up to make Tegra 2-based tablets, so expect more of this type of device in the near near future.

5. Notion Ink Adam

Another tablet running Android and powered by the Tegra 2 chip is the Adam, a 10-inch tablet from Indian startup Notion Ink. It uses a screen technology from Pixel Qi that combines the best of a full color multi-touch LCD display with a low-power reflective mode that’s readable in direct sunlight.

Notion Ink says the Adam should come to market in the second quarter of this year, with a target price somewhere between $300 and $800. Slashgear got a lengthy video demo (embedded below) and oodles of pics of the device.

6. MSI

Wait for it: It’s another tablet prototype running Android and powered by the Tegra 2, this time from MSI. Engadget found it “a bit thicker and heavier than we’d like,” but on the plus side its 10-inch screen is “plenty responsive.”

7. Quanta

One last prototype running Android on the Tegra 2 chip: the Quanta tablet got some early dings in terms of usability. Still, it is only a prototype, so the Wi-Fi and 3G-enabled tablet device could still be a contender in the about-to-be-crowded tablet space.

8. ICD Vega

Seattle-based startup Innovative Converged Devices announced its Vega tablet back in November 2009, and now the device is officially headed to T-Mobile UK sometime before the end of 2010. Yet another tablet based on Android, the Vega will have a large amount of screen real-estate at 15.6-inches. Check out the full spec list and a hands-on demo video embedded below.

9. Google and HTC

This one is sadly of the purely rumor variety, but it’s worth mentioning for its potentially game-changing effects. Like it did with the Nexus One, if Google were to take a direct hand in developing a tablet computing device with a trusted partner, it could be a serious contender in the newly emerging tablet wars.

The cited report says the Google Tablet has already been in development for the past 19 months. HTC is a plausible logical choice for the trusted partner as well, given its existing relationship with Google and the Android operating system. Still, with nothing yet official on the books, the Google Tablet is the most speculative entrant on this list for now.

New App: Porn Video Player

| Sunday, March 7, 2010
I know what you are thinking. Not only is it Sunday, a holy day for some, but seriously...have I run out of things to talk about that I am reviewing a porn app for the Droid?

The answer is yes to both. It was a slow news day, so not much else to talk about, and yes it is a holy day for some. But I decided that many Droid users probably use their Droid to watch porn (honestly I prefer to WiFi tether and use my laptop, but I digress) and so I might as well review an app that I saw under the Applications > Just In on the Market. If this offends you, don't read on...but the porn industry generates billions of dollars a year and some people might be interested in this app.

If you don't like porn, check out the other blog post from today: TAT Home, because if porn doesn't give you a boner or get you wet, that certainly will.

So anyhow, I see this app on the Market and it has 5 stars, so I decided to look at it. Essentially what it is, is an app portal to popular porn video sites like PornHub etc so you don't need Flash like on their website.

Honestly I found it to work very well. That's really all it is to the review because all it really is, is a portal to those type of sites, so if you like those sites, you will like the app so long as you have a good enough internet connection to stream the video. The app installs as PV Player so it's not blaringly obvious what you have on the phone...and it's free.

The only bug I found was that it was difficult to close the program. There was no menu>quit option and I couldn't hit the back key enough times to close it. The trick was to simply hold in the back key.

Anyhow, happy porning. All you pimply faced, horny teenagers can shake my hand later. Actually, don't shake my hand. Just thank me.

New Home Replacement for the Droid, TAT Home...coming soon?

At least I hope so. I've been watching and keeping an eye on the release of this amazing home replacement for the Droid for several weeks now, and so now it's time to share this amazing piece of future Android goodness with the few loyal readers that I have :)

If you haven't seen this yet, be prepared to go from six to midnight if you're a geeky guy and turn into Niagara Falls if you're a geeky girl....

You can join up on their website to be notified of future updates and releases...

Gesture Navigation

The widget fan gives you a stunning overview of all widget panes and lets you know in a glance if anything has happened across your widgets. Thanks to the ingenious gesture-powered design, you can instantly jump to any pane, including the application launcher, with the flick of a thumb. In a matter of days your muscle memory will know where widgets are placed and navigation will be completely seamless.

3D and TAT Cascades effects

TAT Widgets can be 3D, take multi-sensory input, smoothly transition between compact and full screen modes, be TAT Cascades for Androidsurrounded by particles, have physics in them or between them - pretty much anything you can think of, really. This all thanks to the fact that TAT Home is powered by TAT Cascades, the world´s leading UI engine for mobiles.

Smooth transition between Compact and Full

The compact mode shows conditions and temperature right now as well as the rest of the day and night. When expanding the widget you get a longer forecast that is represented as bars,Smooth transition between Compact and Full which is easier to glance at than digits.

The interactive Alarm clock widget lets you set an alarm by tapping on the clock and dragging the indicator to the desired time.

Android widgets are supported too

We don´t want you to miss anything. TAT Home comes with a widget compositing engine that seamlessly blends in standard Android widgets. We are also keeping a close eye on upcoming widget standards for inclusion in TAT Home the minute they gain market traction.

Picture from today's game

| Saturday, March 6, 2010
Penguins vs. Dallas Stars...not the greatest picture. Not sure if it was the settings I was using with 5X Camera (3rd party Market app) or just the lighting or what. I'll try to get some better pictures at tomorrow's game versus the Rangers.


How To: Root ("jailbreak") your Droid, install a custom ROM, etc.

I have posted a guide on how to root tucked away in a previous post (one of the first ones, actually).

Some people just want to root. For those people, I suggest heading over to RootYourDroid.info to see this article. However, this article only teaches you how to root. It doesn't show you how to overclock, monitor temps, etc.

If you want to install a custom ROM, overclock, monitor temps, etc etc, you can try Pete's Bugless Beast v1.1 from Alldroid.org by following my incredibly in depth, idiot-proof guide that I wrote up for Droidforums.net here. This ROM is a 2.0.1 based ROM with MANY features from 2.1. I have used Pete's ROMs since I got my phone with ZERO issues. It just takes a little patience, research, and know how to do.

Lastly, some people, Pete included, have made 2.1 ROMs as well. Really your choices are endless. For other ROMs, questions about ROMs/rooting/you name it, head here on Droidforums.net.

Good luck, and definitely let me know if you run into any issues. You can also PM me on Droidforums.net...my username there is Matth3w.

Nexus One coming to Verizon March 23rd...

It's very tempting for me to pick one up...but I don't think that I could ditch the gorgeous hardware keyboard I have on my Droid :)

Google's Nexus One coming to Verizon on March 23
By Tom Warren, 26 February 2010 - 22:10 25 comments

Verizon will release Google's Nexus One Android device on March 23 according to sources familiar with the matter.

The Nexus One, originally released on T-Mobile in January, has passed FCC inspection for use on Verizon's CDMA network and according to a Google worker who wishes to remain anonymous it will be made available on March 23.

Verizon will introduce the Nexus One on the day the International CTIA wireless show begins in the US. It's not yet clear whether Verizon plan to hold a press conference at CTIA regarding the launch. Pricing and tariffs are not yet known but our source said they would be "competitive."

The Nexus One is available unlocked for a price of $529 currently. Consumers can also order the phone through T-Mobile for $179 with a two year contract. In related news the Nexus One is expected to be available in Europe from April on the Vodafone network.

Article Link

Droid OTA Update will include Live Wallpapers

This may be a huge deal to some people...but just for the record, I have live wallpapers on my rooted and ROM'd Droid and I can tell you this much:

They are cool for about five minutes, and then you realize that they lag the phone (even if only slightly) and most of your icons cover them up anyhow.

But if you care about this sort of thing for your phone for whatever reason:

DROID 2.1 update DOES include Live Wallpapers
Posted by Simon Walker on 6th March 2010
We just received this tip from AndroidSPIN user John… Thanks John about the upcoming Android 2.1 update for the Motorola DROID.

Drum roll please…..

According to John, The Motorola DROID 2.1 update (Android 2.1 ESE53) will include live wallpapers. We were given this link to a YouTube video that shows a Motorola DROID running 2.1 with Live Wallpapers. There is no real way to tell what build this is running.

Not too exciting, but a fun feature to have at least!

Here are 50 DROID Games in 2 minutes!

We all have seen the article about how Apple users are more likely to be playing games and searching for games than Droid users. I'm actually trying to find a copy of the article for you, but I think the reason they are playing more games is clear:

iPhone users are on the abyssmal AT&T network. And since they can't consistently surf the web, check their email, text message, or make phone calls with any sort of consistency, they have to resort to playing games and listening to music.

So in response to that article I want to hook you up with a video that shows you 50 games in two minutes that you can download and enjoy on your Droid.


Raging Thunder 2...now available

Remember that game I told you about yesterday? Well, it's out in the Market for 4.99. Gotta have a Droid or Nexus One to run the game and use the 20MB of space it requires.


Take that, Steve Jobs...Android tablet due out...

...with better specs and better pricing than the iMaxiPad...err...iPad. Better HD resolution, bigger screen, longer battery life, more expansion ports, memory expandable, has a camera...

The folks over at AndroidTap will give you even more specs (see link):

I'm actually glad that the iPad came out, because it puts the Android tablets in the spotlight. For example, I've had an Archos5 portable movie player with WiFi for about six months now...250GB and absolutely amazing for someone like me that travels all the time...so I'm sure this device will put mine to shame.

The iPad is your typical Apple device that doesn't really come with anything, leaving you dragging around 47 cords and external things.

But Steve Jobs is smart. He knows that if he took a dump an encased it in that shiny plastic Apple uses and included a Starbucks giftcard and a pair of Birkenstocks every hippy would rush out to buy one.

Tosh Destroys an iPad
Web Redemption2 Girls, 1 Cup ReactionDemi Moore Picture

New App: Cache Killer

There's a new app for root users on the Market for about $1.10 (or sixty million yen) called Cache Killer. For those with OCD personalities like me this sounds great...one touch to clear all cache and free up some space and potentially speeding some apps sounds really promising.

Only one problem though: it doesn't work. Or at least it didn't for me. Even though I'm rooted, have a custom ROM, overclocked, BusyBox installed, etc...it told me I didn't have root access.

It was worth a try and you get a refund pretty quickly so perhaps you'll have better luck?

Flight Director Game

What a fun an addicting game this is for less than the cost of one of those floofy Starbucks coffees. Basically this game shows you a real life airport using an image from Google maps. With different skill levels available, you use your finger to draw a path of three different types of aircraft (WWII style slow planes, helicopters, and more modern jets) from their entry point on the map to their respective airfield. Its a pretty easy concept (the correct runway will light up to show you the way) but get hairy pretty quick as more and more planes start to come out.

Fittingly, one crash ends your game.

I mention this game today not just because I've been playing it all morning, but because there was an update out this morning on the Market that adds an extra airport.

On an unrelated note, do you ever wonder why flight attendants tell you where the emergency exits are? I figure in the event of a real crash - assuming I even survive - there will be plenty of holes in the fuselage for me to exit from.

In any case, enjoy the game and keep all your virtual passengers alive!


iPhone loses some market share to Android

Obviously the Android isn't going to overtake the iPhone soon but this is still good news for Google and Android. Oh, and Steve Jobs is an asshole.

Verizon iPhone Needed: Apple loses market share to Android
By: Peter Chubb | March 6, 2010

Just a few months back the Apple iPhone had been enjoying a healthy lead in the cell phone market, but now figures suggest that they are beginning to lose their market share to – Google Android. Although the iPhone is still the top selling phone, a constant barrage of new Android devices, such as the Nexus One and Droid, has hurt its lead.

We can take two things from this, the first is that Apple are still doing an amazing job in the market – as they only have one handset – and the other is that a Verizon Wireless version o f the iPhone is needed. The Inquirer reports that Apple took a huge blow at Mobile World Congress in February, as Google are to launch a host of new Android powered handsets in 2010.

They then ask the question – are iPhone sales in a free fall – one that is certainly hard to answer at this time. Android’s market share grew by 8.3 percent in February, taking them to an overall 15.2 percent share in the market. Apples still has a healthy 63.7% share in the cell phone market but – a drop is still a drop.

Do you think a Verizon iPhone will be enough to stem this drop in sales, or do you think the iPhone 4G is needed now?

Vacuum: The Global Competition

Keep your eyes peeled for this upcoming game on the Market...sources on Phandroid say that starting March 15th the developer is going to start offering cash prizes! So practice often when it comes out...so at least you can get some money for your Droid addiction :)

I'll keep you guys updated when I see it come out.


App suggestions

| Friday, March 5, 2010
Well, here you go....all of my apps. Proving to you just how little of a life I really have :)

Let me know what you also use, and what you like better, or some app suggestions for me maybe :)

- 10001 Cocktails (for making drinks)
- Actioncomplete (to do lists)
- AdFree (for rooted phones, disables all ads from webpages, etc)
- Aloqa (uses GPS to see what stuff such as ATM, gas stations, movies, restaurants, take out food, etc are near you)
- App aware (see what apps people are installing)
- App Organizer (allows you to tag apps and create "folders" that you can see on my desktop, like Entertainment, etc)
- Autostarts (for rooted users only, choose what apps start up with the phone)
- Barcode Scanner (scan barcodes and search for deals on the net, better than ShopSavvy IMO)
- Bettercut (custom icons, icon text, etc)
- BettrFlickr (upload straight to your Flickr account)
- ChompSMS (allows you to customize your SMS)
- Dictionary
- Documents to Go Full (open any document, XLS, PDF, etc)
- drocap2 (screen shots of your phone, must be rooted)
- EbayPktAuctions (basically MyEbay in an app)
- Fandango
- FeedR (app for reading RSS feeds, comes with a widget as well)
- Flight Director (game that allows you to direct flights onto real runways using Google Earth images)
- FlightTrack Pro (tracks your flight status and pulls from TripIt app)
- Gentle Alarm (best alarm app I've seen)
- Homerun Battle 3d
- iheartradio (listen to streaming audio from Clearchannel radio stations all over the country)
- LiveScores (updates sports scores every 30 seconds)
- Mabillo Ringtones (best app for getting free ringtones)
- Mobile Package Tracker (get UPS package updates, etc)
- More Icons Widget (make more space on your home screens by putting 4 icons in the place of one)
- Multi-touch (pinch zoom) Browser from the Milestone
- MyLock (eliminates the unlock screen when not on a call, must press the power button to unlock the phone)
- News/Weather Widget
- QuickProfiles
- PhoneMyPC (view, monitor, control your PC via your phone)
- PicSayPro (edit photos for hue, saturation, etc)
- Pure Calendar Widget
- RoboDefense (the most addicting game I have ever played on a phone)
- Root Explorer (file manager for rooted users)
- Rooted Droid using Beautiful Beast 2.1 ROM
- Scan2PDF Mobile (scan in documents with the camera and turn them into a PDF for easy mailing)
- setCPU (must be rooted, allows you to over and underclock the phone)
- Shapewriter (change the way you type!)
- Shazam (identifies music for you by the lyrics on the radio)
- SNESoid (SNES emulator)
- Titanium Backup
- Terminal Emulator
- Touiteur (Best damn Twitter app)
- Trap (a game like the old Jezzball from Windows 3.1)
- TripIt (forward trip itineraries to plans@tripit.com and it adds everything for you into your phone)
- Unit converter (convert things like inches to mm, etc)
- USAA app (access your account, pay bills, use your camera to scan and deposit checks, etc)
- Webshare (simple way to use WiFi to xfer files)
- WikiMobile
- Wireless Tether (turn your phone into a wifi hotspot)
- Yelp (reviews on business, entertainment, etc)

HTC Sense UI installed on a Moto Droid

I haven't the foggiest idea what would make someone want to install Sense UI on their Motorola Droid, but people have. I think it's pretty ugly, but hey...if someone could get Windows 3.11 for Workgroups onto the Droid just for giggles they probably would, no?

Here's what the folks at Engadget have to say:

If you work for Motorola, cover your ears and say "Blur Blur Blur Blur" at the top of your lungs over and over again for the duration of this post, because what we're about to present is an unholy marriage the likes of which neither Sanjay Jha nor Peter Chou ever intended. It's not the first time we've heard of a version of Sense finding its way onto Motorola hardware, but developers over on AllDroid have posted a bunch of video and stills claiming to have ported an HTC Desire's (née Bravo's) Sense-enabled firmware to Moto's beast -- and what's more, there's footage of it running Flash. Bear in mind that the speed at which Flash is running here looks downright painful -- and we fully expect official Flash support on the Droid later this year anyhow -- but anyone conflicted between the Droid's muscular lines and HTC's lovely skin might want to keep an eye on this project. It's still very early in development, but the most important part of the port has already been finished: it shows the proper Droid logo on startup. Follow the break for video.


Google poised to take over voice recognition developer?

Some experts say no, but speculation and rumors are more fun than no news at all, right?

Article Link

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Shares of Nuance Communications Inc. (NUAN) climbed Friday on chatter that Google Inc. (GOOG) might be interested in buying the company.

Nuance, which develops speech-recognition software, has been mentioned as a takeover target in the past, and analysts doubted the validity of Friday's speculation.

"There are always rumors Nuance is going to be bought, and they're never true," Wedbush analyst Scott Sutherland said.

Sutherland and other analysts said it's not likely Google would buy the company as Nuance's speech technology is used in virtually all mobile phones, including those using Google's Android operating system, Research In Motion ...

Maybe if they get better speech recognition my phone will recognize my voice :) right now I think my north eastern accent that I swear I don't have but my midwestern wife swears I do is holding me back.

How to: Install APKs without the market

Sometimes you need to install an apk file instead of using the Market, like when installing Swype. The process is quite easy.

1. Go to menu > settings > applications and check "install apps from unknown sources". It will give you a warning about being potentially dangerous but you have to have this checked if you want to install apk files.

2. Download astro file manager for free from the market

3. Download the apk file and put it on your sd card, either by plugging the phone into the computer and mounting or downloading it from your browser. I put all of my apk files into a folder called "apk" on the sd card just to keep the card from getting cluttered

4. Get to the file in astro file manager and open the file with the installer.

5. Enjoy!

Change the way you type

Personally, I am a huge fan of the physical keyboard. Even though I have big, fat thumbs, I can type close to. 50wpm with the Droid keyboard.

That being said, there are two really awesome alternatives to the soft keyboard. Developed by the same people that developed T9 years ago, these apps allow you to never lift your finger from the keyboard to type. The first, one that I prefer, is Shapewriter. I like it for two reasons: first, it is available on the market for free to end users and the developer is easy to contact. The second is it auto capitalizes your first words.

The second option is a little smarter with recognition but is only available with a leaked beta apk file that needs to be manually installed (see my next post to see how to install apk files). It's called Swype, and it's being developed only to sell to OEM companies like HTC to include on future phones, so that means no updates.

Here is a link to a review and download location of Swype:.

In either case you need to go into your menu > keyboard and language settings and enable the new keyboard.

Stay tuned with instructions on how to install apk files.

Touiteur update 1.08 on the Market

Just a heads up that a Touiteur update is available on the market that allows threaded views, etc. I think this is the best Twitter client by far as it is...


This app is amazing! It allows you to Tweet what apps you have installed and uninstalled for your Droid and see others' app installs/uninstalls to give you app ideas!

How on Earth have I been missing out on this app for so long! Go check it out, it's free on the Market!

Discover New Android Applications With AppAware
By Frank McPherson on Feb 22, 2010 08:14 PM

One of the knocks against the Android Market is that it is difficult to discover new applications. The Market lists Featured Applications on the top page, but beyond that you have to start drilling down through a list of application categories to see a list of the top paid and top free applications. AppAware is a program that lists the Android applications that have been installed in the last several minutes, and shows the top applications installed in the last hour, day, and week.

After you start the program you see a list of applications that have been recently installed by AppAware users who are contributing to the stream of information. Application names are displayed in blue, green, and red. Blue applications have more installations than removals, red applications have more removals than installations, and green applications have about the same installations and removals. If you tap the application name, a screen displays showing the details behind the colors, and you also see a button that you can tap to open the application in the Android Market.

If you chose to, you can have AppAware post Twitter notifications about your application activities. You will need to configure AppAware to login to Twitter in order for this to happen, and the feature can be turned off. The application monitors all activity with the Android Market and will tweet those changes even if AppAware is not running, so be sure to turn off this feature if you don't want this activity broadcasted on Twitter. For an example of what is shown on Twitter run a Twitter search on #AppAware.

You should also be aware that your Market activity is also sent to AppAware, which is how it displays on the application's main screen. The information is published on the application's web site and published in an RSS feed. If you do not want to share your activity with AppAware, you can turn off your contributions in the program settings, but doing so means your activity will not count in AppAware's rankings.

On AppAware's home screen you can tap a button to list the Top Applications installed, updated, and removed in the last hour, day, and week. For example, by running the application I have learned that the top installed application this week is DroidBooster, which is a benchmarking application to test improvements of Java optimization by the developer. Not surprisingly, DroidBooster is also the most removed application since it is the type of application you try a few times and then remove.

Some people may not be comfortable with the social networking and information sharing features of AppAware, but fortunately the application provides easy ways for turning the features off. I have found the program provides an interesting way to discover new Android applications, so for now it will remain on my T-Mobile myTouch 3G. However, my Twitter followers will be happy to know that after a brief bit of experimentation I turned off the Twitter notification feature of the application


Are you having problems opening PDF documents?

This thread is for people having this issue, which mainly occurs with PDF documents. I hope that if we direct everyone having this problem to this one thread, and it becomes more and more common, maybe we can get some answers on this instead of sporadic threads with only a few responses each.

This issue is NOT about the program used to open the PDF files, as this is definitely a problem with either the email client on the Android or the way the Android retrieves messages from the server. This is an issue no matter if you are using Documents to Go (full), Beam Reader, you name it.

Here is a description of the issue you may or may not be having:

You go to open a PDF document (sometimes other documents as well, not just PDF, but PDF is definitely the most prevalent) and the email client (purportedly a problem with both K9 and the stock email application) and it says "Fetching Document" followed (after a long time) by ""This attachment cannot be displayed."


Here is how you know if your issue is the one being discussed in the thread or something entirely different:

If you check the same email on your home computer, save the file to the desktop, and re-email it to yourself in a new email and it works, you have the issue. Otherwise, it might be something as simple as installing a different document reader.


The issue, as far as I have found in hours of trying to research this via Google and other Android websites, is that if a file is automatically generated (for me, I only notice this problem from my travel agency that auto generates my itinerary in PDF format), and/or has the file name contained within << *.pdf >>, this causes the problems. There could be more problems, or I could not be entirely understanding what is causing the problem, but thus far, this is what I have found.


The only solutions that I have found thus far are not really what I would call solutions to the problems, but rather, bandaids.

1) If you are getting this problem because it is a travel agency auto generating like in my case (probably rare, but worth mentioning)...downloading the program TripIt and forwarding your PDF flight itinerary to them works perfect.

2) It somewhat defeats the purpose of having a phone to check PDF documents, but if you save it to your computer and re-email it to yourself, you can 99% of the time now view the PDF document for some reason.

3) At least one user has reported that using K9 instead of the default application will solve the problem.

How to improve battery life...

One of the major "problems" we have with the Motorola Droid is, of course, the battery life. I put "problems" in quotes because the phone lasts a pretty good while if you use it like you would use a lot of other smart phones. But the problem lies within the fact that Droid Does. If that sounds like a stupid marketing line that I slickly inserted into this post...well, it probably is.

Anyhow, with all of the things that Droid truly does, we tend to use it more and more. When you think of bad battery life, think about this - what do you use your Droid for? Here is a typical day for me:

- Check POP eMail with K-9 app every 30 minutes
- GMail pushed to my account every time I get an email
- Play a few games of Homerun Battle 3D
- Post at least two blog posts from the phone browser
- Have a Twitter client running and checking feeds every 30 minutes
- Three RSS feed widgets (I use FeedR) bringing me Android news to pass on to my (few) loyal followers
- Weather and news Widget using GPS and updating every 30 minutes to check weather and custom news topics
- Some phone calls
- Hundreds of text messages
- Various other misc things

Now my previous phone was an LG enV3 that would last about 3 days on a full charge. I get maybe 10-12 hours out of my Droid on a daily basis. But this is what my list looked like with the LG enV3:

- Hundreds of text messages
- Some phone calls

See the difference?

So let's get to the point of the post: how do we squeeze what little juice we have to last most of the day? The first thing you need to do make a shortcut somewhere to the battery life so you can check it at the end of each day before you put the phone on the charger. Long press somewhere, hit shortcuts, system settings, and battery usage.

1. The biggest drain on battery life is almost ALWAYS the screen. So almost all power saving options are going to revolve around the screen/display. If you get to the end of the day and the number one cause of battery drain isn't the display there is probably something wrong. The problem with the display is we want to use the gorgeous screen to it's fullest...the Paris Hilton sex tape just doesn't look the same when you can barely see the screen.

The best way to save power over all is to hit the power button and lock the phone IMMEDIATELY after you finish using the phone. So if I get a text message, I reply then lock the phone to shut off the screen. I have my screen timeout set to one minute, but it never sees that one minute.

Another way to save battery is to adjust the brightness of the screen. You can do this quickly by long pressing the homescreen and going to widgets > power. The far right button cycles through the brightness settings, and you can keep it as low as you can tolerate during the day. Personally, I ignore my own advice here and keep mine set to autobright.

Yet another way to keep your screen usage down is if you are using a third part messaging application like Handcent or Chomp, to turn off the "screen on when pop up" option. If you miss the text message and it's in your pocket, that's 20 seconds or more at a time that your screen is lit up when you're not using it. If you are driving or working and you can't get it to the text immediately, that could be 5-10 minutes of full bright screen on that is unnecessary.

2. Another great way to save battery is to underclock your phone's processor (CPU) in certain situations. This particular option is a little more complicated than turning off the screen, because your phone must be rooted to do it. If you want to root your phone, please take a look at this well thought out and amazing guide (coincidentally I wrote it, surprise surprise) here. If you want to root and install custom roms and whatnot, just read the whole thread.

Once you install SetCPU (as described in the above thread) you can overclock and underclock your phone. There are more technical details described in that thread, but essentially what I do is underclock the phone to say 400MHz or less with a minimum of 250MHz (stock the phone is set to 550MHz) in certain situations. I underclock mine when the phone is sleeping, when the battery gets hot (usually about 39-40C), and when the battery is under 30%. You wouldn't believe how much battery this saves...why does the phone need to be working at max capacity when it's not even being used? Some people set the sleep profile to a min and max of 250MHz.

3. Turn off Bluetooth when you're not using it. Again if you have the standard power widget somewhere, you can turn Bluetooth on and off as needed. If I keep Bluetooth on all day but don't actually use it in a call or anything, it still amounts to about 5% of my total battery usage. If you figure 10 hours of battery life, 5% of your battery is approximately 30 minutes. It should be noted that turning off GPS and Sync is not recommended. The GPS never shows up in battery usage unless you are actively using it (like Google Maps, etc). If you turn off Sync you won't get your GMail etc.

4. Other people also swear by the app Screebl to save battery life. It uses the orientation of the phone to shut it off, etc. I personally don't use it because I always shut mine off.

5. Check your running services. How many widgets that automatically update every 30 minutes, for example, do you have running but never actually use?

6. Monitor your GPS usage. If your GPS icon is flashing when you aren't using a program it is really killing your battery quickly. Go back into that program or running services (via the menu > settings) and shut that program down. If your browser seems to keep the GPS on, don't use Google as your default home page. Make your home page about:blank and simply use the search hard button to do your searches.

7. Lastly, and it doesn't really help you save battery, but try to make sure you have extra chargers to plug in while driving or just sitting around. Personally I bought a second OEM battery for about 20 bucks from eBay and a slim wall charger (cordless) for another 20 bucks and keep one battery charging at almost all times. The batteries for the phone are pretty slim so I don't even notice an extra one in my pocket, and with the cordless wall charger you don't have to charge one battery at a time while it is in the phone. If you are a little shorter on cash you can forgo the wall charger I mentioned and get a cheap knockoff battery from eBay for 3-4 dollars. I actually have a cheap OEM knockoff battery, and it doesn't last as long as the actual Motorola one, but it gives me about 4-5 hours of charge which is easily enough to top off whatever my OEM battery came up short.

Want to improve call quality?

| Thursday, March 4, 2010
We all want the best call quality that we can possibly get. Usually Verizon does a pretty decent job of giving us that coverage we need to make 1-900 calls from just about anywhere...but how is the call quality when you actually connect?

Here are two tips for better call quality:

1. Go to menu > settings > call settings and turn off voice privacy. Quite often this causes an echo for someone else on the other line.

2. This next tip might not always work, depending where you live...so if your call quality gets worse after trying just change it back...go to the dialer and on the standard phone screen type ##PROGRAM and enter 000000 when it askd for the password. Then choose VOCODE. the default is EVRC. Try changing this to ERVC-B. This is a newer call standard that isn't completely in effect yet....also you can try 13k which is the oldest of the standards. Let me know how it works.


Earthquake! app in the market

For those of you living in an earthquake prone area or perhaps those just curious after the quakes in Haiti and Chile, Earthquake! on the market shows you earthquakes that have occured in the last 24 hours, and even plots them for you on Google maps...even with alerts. Reportedly the app uses a lot of battery power...but nonetheless, an interesting app to try.

Raging Thunder 2 to be released on the Market at "any time"

This is the sequel to the hot game for the iPhone and Droid from 2008 'Raging Thunder' (obviously). Here are some of the features from the game:

Raging Thunder 2 features:

* Six single player game modes: Career, Arcade, Single Race, Time Attack, Survival, Instant Race
* Online or local, cross-platform multiplayer with pre and post-race chat
* Choose from a fleet of tuner cars with the ability to upgrade wheels, body, wings, and engine
* Multiple upgrade options for each area with visual enhancements
* Ten beautiful, varied and animated track environments with tons of hidden shortcuts
* Stunning, console quality 3D graphics using OpenGL 2.0

Word is that it could show up on the Market at any time, but as of 930pm EST it isn't there yet. For those of you always saying that there aren't any games available for the Droid...bite your tongue! I'm not a racing genre fan but I'll definitely try this out when it comes out.


Fighting with 3G today

Verizon swears that there are no remaining service issues but since yesterday my phone internet has been pretty sketchy. Some web pages simply don't load past, say, 10%. Hoping to reprogram my phone and have that fix it. It is sort of a catch all problem fixer and rarely does much good but it's always worth a try...

Dial *228 and then when you hear the voice try picking option 2. Then I usually pull the battery out and reboot the phone.

Steve Jobs is an asshole

Well it wouldn't be a full day in the android community if yet another opinion on the patent lawsuit between HTC and Apple didn't pop up...so I'm going to chime in as well since it's a relatively slow news day otherwise.

If you're just crawling out from under your rock and didn't see the news over the last few days, I'm here to enlighten you: Steve Jobs is an asshole. All of the people most likely interested in what I have to say in my blog probably already knew this but I'm just repeating what we've all been thinking for years.

Essentially Apple is suing HTC for alleged patent infringement with some of Apple's inventions. Why are they suing HTC do you suppose? Because not only is Jobs an asshole, but he's a coward too. Most likely Apple is using some of Google's patents as well and so he'd rather tangle with HTC who has very little patents instead of tackling the giant, Google.

For years we have heard about what an evil monster Microsoft is, especially after the ridiculous anti-trust lawsuit with Netscape Navigator...yet Apple fan boys are quick to sing praises for Jobs even though he is 100 or more times worse than Gates ever was. He controls what software his users must install, what format, etc. Hell, iPhone and iTouch users can't even ever have Flash.

What is Apple seeking from this frivolous lawsuit? Unspecified damages and the cease in production f HTC devices that allegedly use these infringed patents.

The timing, however, is what makes this story interesting. The first Android device was the HTC G1 which debuted long before Android was a threat to Apple. But now that the Droid beat the iPhone on Engadget and Apple is watching its market share having to move over a bit for the Android, Jobs decides to launch a smear campaign.

Jobs is running scared, because like Congress, he is realizing that the general public prefers less control in their life as opposed to more. He realizes that his position near the top is in jeopardy now that the mobile public has gotten their first taste of freedom ala Android. Much like Congress can expect to be ousted in November for trying to shove taxes and healthcare down the throat of Americans after being told "no", Jobs can expect to have his position at the top ousted by Android now that the public knows what it's like to have freedom on their phones.

You can see a copy of the filing here.


Gesture Search Comes to the Android 2.0 and Above

| Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Google has just released Gesture Search on the Market. No, this isn't an app that gives Steve Jobs the finger, this allows you to make a gesture, such as an "m" which will bring up contacts, music, apps, bookmarks, etc that start with the letter "m". Then you can continue to gesture to spell something out (one letter at a time though) to narrow your search. I see this being a great "contacts" replacement. Instead of scrolling through your contacts you use the gesture. Very intuitive. I downloaded and tried it, and even with my sloppy and careless writing it didn't make a single mistake. Another quality app from Google.

I ordered my wife some new slutty lingerie...

...and I used Mobile Package Tracker to track the package via UPS. This nifty little app allows you to input the tracking number and package carrier (FedEX, UPS, DHL, USPS, TNT - whatever T.F. that is). It's like 2 bucks on the Market and worth every penny. For awhile I was trying to re-input tracking numbers every time I anxiously awaited my next batch of adult material in the mail, and it got tedious. Now I get notifications every time the package status changes.

PS - I didn't really order her slutty clothes. Sorry to disappoint, it just sounded like a good title.

Hootsuite: Seriously, do we need another %$!#&ing Twitter client?

Apparently there is good money in Twitter apps because I saw my news feed alert me about yet another Twitter application for your Android phone. I think that there just might be more Twitter apps than there are -isms apps and fart soundboards...maybe even more than all the Euro metro stop apps.

This Just In: The Moto Devour Sucks

For those of you considering the Motorola Devour instead of the Droid on the Verizon network just to save a couple of bucks...allow me to sum up a bunch of articles for you so you don't have to do all the tedious research that I've already done for you:

It sucks.

That's the general consenus of just about every review and opinion of every owner I've talked to. The only bigger flop that I can think of in recent memory is Kris Angel's "Believe" at Luxor in Las Vegas. My wife and I were going to see that show but after talking to guests leaving the performance we decided to bail as quickly as possible. Here is a review from the New York Times, but keep in mind this review is the general rule, not the exception.

New York Times article.

MLB At Bat 2010

The MLB At Bat 2010 app has made its way to the Market for Android as of today. I'm not into baseball but this should be good news for fans of steroid users. :)


Watching the NHL trade deadline from my phone

Here's to hoping that next year I am doing it with Flash enabled so I can get the whole experience. Go Pens!!!
Not much news today for Droids other than the network outage unless you care that Apple is suing HTC for patent infringement or that VZW is selling N1 batteries

Verizon has nationwide data outages

From the Christian Science Monitor:

Verizon outage strikes nationwide

Users of phones such as the Droid and the BlackBerry are reporting a widespread Verizon outage. The company says it is working on the problem.

Verizon outage? You're not alone. Verizon says it is working on fixing widespread outages on its data network.

By Matthew Shaer / March 3, 2010

Hundreds of consumers are flocking to online discussion boards to report a Verizon outage across the carrier's network, a problem that Verizon says it is working to fix. Outage time appears to vary, but some Verizon users say they have been unable to access the Web or email for hours. Crucially, the issues center on faulty Internet and data connections – Verizon phone service appears to be unaffected.

."I haven't had Internet or email access all morning (4:30 am EST when I woke up). How sad that this could happen," a user in Cincinnati wrote today on a Droid forum. "How pathetic that Verizon doesn't post something up on their site." Judging by the message boards, the Midwest and South seem to have been hit harder by the outages than the coasts. "Mine started going haywire last night," an Indiana Droid fan posted this morning.

Tim Stevens at Engadget confirms that Verizon is aware of the outages, although the company has not said how soon the issues could be resolved. "We'd advise not calling and bothering the support folks about this – based on how long we were on hold we're guessing they have their hands full at the moment," Stevens counseled. Many forum participants seem to agree, although that hasn't stopped others from flooding switchboards with complaints.

The outage comes at a time when Verizon is jostling with AT&T for shares of the US market. AT&T, of course, has outage problems of its own: Heavy traffic from iPhone users has bogged down the AT&T data network. Meanwhile, there are widespread concerns that the forthcoming Apple iPad, which will utilize a 3G connection, could bring AT&T data speeds to a screeching halt.

Custom Tray Icons

Thanks to StanRC and mvezz over at Droidforums.net, we now have some very clean and nice looking tray icons available. They are a nice contrast to the boring stuff you usually see, and look great especially if you are using a smoked glass theme from a ROM (see the customization blog post from yesterday).

The original thread over there can be found here.

I changed mine if for no other real reason except to have a nice new GMail icon. If you use the stock messaging application instead of Handcent or ChompSMS, it really spruces up your notification icon for that as well.

The only kicker is, you have to be rooted and have MetaMorph (MM) installed from the Market as well as BusyBox. Several programs install BusyBox for you, and you can also install it using the ADB shell. There are a ton of guides for doing both over on Droidforums.net and Rootyourdroid.info.

The hardest part is getting Busy Box installed. Then you can just download the Metamorph program from the Market (I bought the donate version), put the zip file(s) from StanRC's thread into the AndroidThemes folder, and start the program. The rest is pretty easy.

Here is a guide to install Busybox:

How to install BusyBox.