Archive for July, 2010

Wow, I’ve just been playing with an app called Seepu on my Desire, and although I’d suspected the live wallpaper of being a resource hog, finding out my lovely spiral galaxy was coming in at around 98% was quite a shock.

So, at some point in the near future, I’ll check out all the live wallpapers that come as standard and put the figures up here.

Seepu is one of my recommended apps now, since it allows you to closely monitor CPU, memory, network usage and even kill processes automatically if they get out of hand.

Just started a new job so am a bit slow with posting at the mo. Hope to pick up a bit once I’m settled in. Pretty tired from slight changes

to my hours, god

knows what I’ll be like when the night shifts start!

I’m really hitting App Market hard these days, and I guess it is really just down to the fact that my phone is only two weeks old and I’m searching for fun things to do with it.

I’ve long been a fan of emulation, that being the emulation of long dead computers that meant something to me when I was younger. I’m talking about Atari, Sinclair and Commodore machines of old, and emulators for things like the NES, SNES and Sega consoles.

It turns out there is quite a rich seam of these emulators running through the App Market if you just do a search for ‘Emulators’.

I now have Spectrum, SNES, Amiga and Mame apps for my Droid, but without software to run, they are a bit boring.

This is where the Rom Buddy app comes in. It costs about $2, and it allows you to search for roms and games for many of these emulators. It is on App Market, and can also be found easily by typing Rom Buddy into Google. There is a link here: Rom Buddy.

Clearly if you’re going to be using these emulators, you need to ensure that you’re not breaking any laws, but a good deal of this older stuff is now freely available, so you can go out and go emulation mad without to much worry.

So, get out there and get emulating, your misspent youth isn’t far away!

Or, is it perhaps another tablet wannabee.

There is a great article on the HD here: HTC HD, and the photo makes it look just huge, though going by screen size it is a bit smaller than Dells Streak.

Spec wise, it looks like a Desire on steroids, though it does appear to use the same 1GHz cpu.

I’m sure it’ll be great, especially given that it will be running Froyo (Come on HTC, lets have Froyo on the Desire), but I am getting a little worried about the trend towards devices with 4-5 inch screens.

I think perhaps the iPad has got things right, I mean it is just too big to try and wedge in your pocket, and even with 3G it isn’t really pretending to be a phone.

But the HD and Streak are hovering in that zone that is just maybe a little too big to pocket, and maybe feel uncomfortable as a phone, yet don’t have that out and out ‘I’m a tablet don’t you know’ thing going on like the iPad.

Maybe it’s just me, but I like the size of the Desire and the iPhone, they are phones that can do more, and perhaps have progressed from being Smartphones to Superphones. I have just enough room for them in my pockets with my wallets and keys etc. By adding an extra inch or so to the screen size, I’m thinking I’m gonna need a bigger pocket, and I don’t think it’s a good look.

I guess only time will tell.

I’ve found a few more apps that are making my droid more useful/fun.

First off is the Delicious app that, if you’ve joined Delicious, allows you to take your bookmarks anywhere. I’m a big fan of Delicious since I have lots of  bookmarked sites, and being web based, it means none of that tedious porting of bookmarks from browser to browser, or PC to PC. There are some pretty cool plug-ins for IE and Firefox too, and you can tag your bookmarks to group them together, and send them to friends with an account.

This does the same for my Droid, and since I’m using my Droid more and more for browsing, it’s a godsend.

Other new apps are Replica Island, a great little sideways scroller and Robo Defense, a fairly simple but addictive tower defense game.

All apps I’m describing here are the free versions, and I’m pretty impressed so far, though I have been quite choosy. Paid versions are available too in some cases, and offer extra features.

I’ll be back as and when I find more apps I think you might like.

Well, i’ve now read a few articles about ‘Antennagate’, and it is beginning to look like Apple have truly got no understanding of reality.

Instead of putting their collective hands up and saying ‘Ok folks. We messed up, let’s get things fixed’, Apples illustrious leader proceeded to say that iPhone 4 was no different to other brands like Blackberry, HTC, Nokia and Samsung.

Now that’s all very well, but past experience has shown that running down other peoples products to make your own look better doesn’t always work so well, especially if at the same time you’re giving away something for free that fixes the problem with your own product, and offering refunds for those who want them.

It seems the backlash has already started, with RIM and Nokia fighting back.

I guess only time will tell, but I know that my HTC Desire is not affected by the way I hold it, and does not need a case to make phone calls.

Bad show Mr Jobs, you shouldn’t treat people like nincompoops, because if you do it once too often, it’s gonna come back and bite you eventually.

So far, and I’ve had my phone about a week now, I’ve downloaded and tried quite a few apps for my Desire.

The one thing that has impressed me is the ease with which apps can be downloaded, installed and uninstalled, and also the fact that you can often try demo versions before splashing out on the full version.

So what have I downloaded so far and kept installed:

Games: Abduction, Doom, Pinball, UAE4Droid (Amiga Emulator)

Apps: Advanced Task Killer Lite, ColourNote, Google Earth, Ebay, Endomondo Sport Tracker, Evernote, IMDB, KeePass Droid, MSN Droid, MyPlayer, Google Places Directory, Timerific, WordPress and Wyse RDP/VNC client.

All of these seem pretty good thus far, but if I have anything to report back about any of these, you’ll find it posted here.

Obviously, current versions of ‘droid don’t allow apps to be installed directly onto SD card, but hopefully that will soon be sorted with Froyo. Then i’ll be in app heaven.

I’ve now come to the conclusion that going for the HTC Desire over the iPhone 4 has meant I might have dodged a bullet given the furore over the antenna (Aerial for us UK bods).

Reading this article here: iPhone Antenna issues, it seems that those people making the decisions, blatantly ploughed on and built the device, with the expectation that people would just buy it and love it because of their particularly strong brand position.

Apple may admit to it (The jury is out until the press conference this afternoon), but until then it is a serious blow, IMHO, to their credibility.

I freely admit, I know several people who have iPhones, and none have reported this issue (And I have asked them), but they do have rubber bumpers on their phones. Not everybody is going to want to have to buy an extra accessory to just make phone calls.

And, I must admit that if I’d just shelled out for a new iPhone, and my calls kept dropping out, I’d be mighty peeved.

No phone is perfect, not even my HTC Desire, but surely if you’re going to make a new model of your best selling phone, you’d better be damn sure that it can make phone calls.

I’ll be very interested to see just what Apple come up with at the press conference, which I believe is happening at 18:00 BST today. I wonder if anybody will find themselves joining the unemployment queues. I’m sure Mr Jobs wont be.

Just giving the Android WordPress app a quick run through to see how it does. Better than I thought it would seem and quite workable.

Well, my new batteries are fitted and my UPS seems to be happy again, which is good since we seem to be approaching power cut/brownout time round our way.

Just this morning the power went of and on again 3 times within about 30 seconds, so I’ve had to go around resetting clocks and things.

Still, main UPS is now good and all my other machines have their own UPSs back in place. Power cuts, bring it on!

Well, I ordered my new batteries on the 23rd July, hoping to have them before going on holiday.

Well, no such luck, they never arrived. To the credit of MDS Battery though, as soon as I contacted them, they wen’t off and found they’d been lost by the carrier.

That was yesterday (12th July), and today my battery pack arrived. Hopefully tonight I’ll be able to get my main UPS back on line again and put back the UPS on my wife’s PC.

It’s not been so good for posting for me lately, having been on my holiday and returning home with a sinus/ear infection which makes my head feel like an over inflated world cup football!

I have however been able to look at the iPhones 4’s owned and operated by the fanboys in my office, and my spangly new HTC Desire, received just yesterday as a free upgrade from 3.

The Apple device, whilst good, seems to only score over the HTC in robustness of construction/industrial design. I freely admit, that Apple have got that really right, and if I’m honest, the retina screen is also awesome.

However, the HTCs Android O/S is a complete joy, and I had migrated myself over to the new phone from my trusty Nokia E71 (Also a superb phone) within such a short space of time that I was truly astonished at how quickly it was done.

I feel like I’ve had the phone for years after less than 24 hours, and ok, maybe the App Store is good, the Android equivalent is also pretty good too.

I guess maybe my ideal phone would be an iPhone 4 running Android, and I believe this has been done on older iPhones (see here), but for the time being, I need to spend some quality time with my new toy!

Back soon with more stuff.