Droid Update #3

On 2013.04.27, in Technology, by Greg

I switched to the Samsung Galaxy S3 in July of 2012. So I have been using it for nine months. The verdict: excellent, no problems. Especially good with the latest release of Android. Only complaint is battery life could be better … not as good as the iPhone 5, but good enough. The Galaxy S4 should be available soon, and there is a rugged version planned for this summer.

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Go into the Settings, tap on Display, turn off Auto Brightness and then set the brightness that you want. You can comfortably get by on some of the lower settings.

Reduce some of the connections your phone is making. Every time your Galaxy S3 searches for a Wi-Fi network or seeks for GPS, that eats up battery life. This is especially important in areas where there isn’t a stable connection or the GPS signal is weak. In places like this your device will keep searching for a nearby Wi-Fi or GPS signal. This drains the battery very quickly. If you know that you’re not going to need either of these, go into the Settings and turn off Wi-Fi and GPS. You’ll have to manually turn these on when you want to use it, but Samsung made this super simple to do by including quick access to these in the Android notification bar.

Make sure you know which apps have access to your phone’s location features and adjust accordingly. For something like Foursquare or Google Maps, having location capabilities is a must but you should think about whether other apps really need to know where you are.

Turn off background data syncing. For those who need every single Tweet, email or Facebook notification in real-time, turning off background data may seem crazy but it definitely will save on battery life.

You can download JuiceDefender Ultimate or JuiceDefender to help monitor your Android’s battery.

Make sure to charge your smartphone often and don’t let your battery drain completely before you decide to plug it into the charger. Try not to let it get below 10 percent too often. Once per month you can let it completely die. This is called power cycling, and it is important to the health of a battery.

Keep your smartphone at or close to room temperature. Don’t put it in the sun.

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Droid Update #2

On 2011.03.29, in Technology, by Greg

I’m switching from Motorola Droidx to HTC Thunderbolt. Both run Android OS. Most folks that have compared Droidx to Thunderbolt have found that the Thunderbolt is inherently faster, but also the Verizon network 4G is faster. People are currently experiencing network speeds up to 20Mbps, which is faster than the average US home user experiences from his or her ISP. This is the updated list of Apps:

    Frequently Used:

  • Advanced Task Killer Free – you need this
  • Amazon – scan barcodes to compare price on Amazon versus store
  • CardioTrainer – uses GPS to track walking workouts.
  • Gmail – Google email
  • Google Calendar – to look up appointments, etc.
  • Google Maps – more than just maps
  • Google Sky Map – identify stars and planets
  • Google Voice – telephony from Google
  • Instant Heart Rate – Use cellphone to find out heart rate
  • My Verizon Mobile – shows minutes used etc.
  • Quickoffice – View Mircosoft Office files and PDFs
  • Sincere Prayer
  • TED Mobile – view outstanding 18 minute videos from the TED conferences
  • TeslaLED – use cellphone as flashlight
  • Tricorder – simulates Star Trek Tricorder
  • Twitter – alerts when new tweets arrive
  • Wifi Analyzer – check on wifi signals around you
    Less Frequently Used:

  • 3G Mobile Hotspot – built-in, extra cost service
  • AcroBible Lite – King James version
  • Alarm & Timer – built-in
  • Amazon MP3 – Amazon music store
  • Angry Birds – popular game
  • Backup Assistant – Verizon Application
  • Blockbuster – Movie rentals
  • Browser – Google Browser – Built-in
  • Calculator – Built-in
  • Calendar – Google built-in
  • Camcorder – built-in
  • Camera – built-in
  • Cardock – built-in
  • CityID – trialware built-in displays city and state of caller
  • Contacts – Google contact list
  • Dialer – phone dialpad built-in
  • DLNA – use Wifi to share files – built-in
  • Emergency – built-in
  • ESPN Mobile
  • Files – built-in file manager
  • FM Radio – use cellphone as FM radio (requires headset)
  • Gallery – saved photos and Movies
  • Gesture Search – search your phone by using gestures
  • Google Books – competes with Amazon Kindle
  • Google Earth – advanced mapping
  • Google Finance – quotes and charts
  • Google Goggles – scan business card to add to contacts
  • Google Latitude – find friends nearby
  • Google Listen – search audio feeds for news, subscribe to favorites, then listen
  • Google News
  • Google Reader – RSS Reader
  • Google Search – built-in
  • Google Talk – chat app
  • Google Translate – language translation
  • Help Center – built-in
  • IMDb – Internet Movie Database
  • Kindle – Amazon Book Reader
  • Madden NFL 11 – popular game
  • Market – get apps from Google Marketplace
  • Media Share – share files between phone and other devices
  • Medscape – medical app from WebMD
  • Messaging – built-in messaging like text messaging (requires service)
  • Morningstar – stocks and mutual funds
  • Movies – view Netflix queue
  • Music – listen to books on mp3 – built-in
  • Music Player – Realnetwork app, better than the built-in app
  • My Tracks – Google app like CardioTrainer
  • News – built-in Google app for reading News feeds
  • News and Weather – the Weather Channel app
  • Newspapers – read newspapers from around the world
  • Navigation – built-in Google app – speak destination
  • NFS Shift – Need for Speed Shift – EA sports
  • PdaNet – USB tether or Bluetooth DUN
  • Picasa Tool – works with online picasa account
  • Places – find things near you like restaurants
  • Pocket Agent – State Farm Insurance App
  • Radar Now – show weather radar around your GPS location
  • ScoreCenter – sports scores
  • Google Shopper – find things to buy
  • Skype Mobile
  • Social Networking – Google app – built-in
  • Southwest – airline app
  • Sportstap – keep track of your teams
  • Text Messageing – built-in
  • The Weather Channel
  • Trapster – avoid speed traps and photo enforcement cameras
  • Voice Command – use voice to do things like place calls
  • Voicemail – checks voicemail
  • Voice Search – Google search using voice
  • Voice Search – voice command what you are looking for near you
  • VZ Navigator – extra cost service from Verizon
  • WaveSecure – to locate cellphone if misplaced, and erase everything if stolen
  • Wikidroid – Wikipedia App
  • YouTube
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