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Posts Tagged Bluetooth

Must-have Android apps?

I initially had my list of must-have Android apps posted in my review of my Samsung Moment, but I thought they deserved a mention apart from my awful experience with that phone.

I’ve recently updated this list to reflect my current list of must-have Android apps, rather than the old list. Quite a few of my recommendations have changed. These are recommendations for Froyo and newer. So here they are, in no particular order, and now with Market links. Note that some of these application descriptions have been taken directly from Market where I feel the author has explained it better than I could. If you have an iPhone, feel free to check out my list of must-have iPhone apps as well.

aCar
An all-in-one application to track and manage your car: maintenance, fill-ups, fuel mileage, expenses, business trips and more.

Advanced Task Killer (ATK)
Simple, easy-to-use task killer that supports automatically killing tasks as well as force-closing unwanted system tasks.

Astro File Manager
In my opinion the best free file manager / file explorer program available for Android. Easy manage files on your device and SD card. Easy to use, free, and powerful.

Autokiller Memory Optimizer
An outstanding and powerful automatic task killer with manual-kill features and additional tuning for rooted phones. Does have some advanced tuning features, so novice users may want to consider ATK above instead.

Barcode Scanner
A fun little app for using the camera to extract human-readable info from 1D and 2D barcodes. Supports many different barcode formats and recognizes codes quickly.

Barcode2file
The natural compliment to Barcode Scanner. Save your scans in a text file or send them via email with a simple touch. Supports batch scanning as well.

Battery Indicator
A free, simple, no-nonsense application to display your remaining battery as a percentage in your notification area.

Battery Widget
This widget displays the battery charge level as a percent on the home screen and offers one-touch access to the Wifi, GPS, and Bluetooth power toggles

Data Counter Widget
A must-have for those who are on data-limited plans. This widget displays your cell and wifi data usage for the month (or another configurable period of time) as a home screen widget.

Dolphin Browser HD
Puts the stock browser to shame. Easy full-screen browsing with swipe access to plugins and gesture  support for quick access to your favorite websites. Supports a variety of plugins as well.

Eternal Legacy HD
If you’re a fan of the turn-based fantasy RPG’s (think Final Fantasy) you will LOVE Eternal Legacy HD. This one is NOT available on Market, but is available from Gameloft.  Check the link for actual phone compatibility.

Evernote
This is one of those apps that once you have it you’re not sure ow you got along without it. Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity. Evernote lets you take notes, capture photos, create to-do lists, record voice reminders–and makes these notes completely searchable, whether you are at home, at work, or on the go. Since Evernote’s notes are synced to all of your devices via the cloud, you don’t have to worry about losing them.

FBI Child ID
While the Android app is still in development as of  the date of this update, FBI Child ID is a must-have for anyone with a child that they are responsible for. You can store photos, identifying information, and have the comfort of having it with you whenever you have your phone. With the ability to send it to authorities with a few taps, FBI Child ID can save valuable time in the event of a lost or missing child. See the FBI’s official Child ID page for more information.

Facebook
What can I say? Facebook app. Much better with recent improvements.

Hackers Keyboard
I don’t like Swype — It lacks some of the extended characters that I use and I’m a tap-typer rather than a swipe-typer. When I do inadvertently swipe my finger across the keyboard it tends to mangle whatever I was trying to type. For me, Hackers Keyboard is better — and free!

JuiceDefender – Battery Saver
A freemium, easy-to-use application to monitor and extend the life of your phone or tablet. Features widgets that give you one-touch access to status and features.

JuicePlotter
Great app to show historical data about battery life and usage, as well as a widget to show time-to-charge and time-remaining on your battery life. Very useful, and gets more accurate over time.

LastPass
A great password manager. LastPass web site. With fast and easy access to your LastPass password vault, the LastPass mobile app is a must-have. (Note: Requires a LastPass premium subscription – $12/year)

Lookout Mobile Security
Contains an anti-virus element, phone location, and backup/restore services. Excellent service for free, and a quite reasonable paid subscription service.

Meebo IM
A multi-protocol instant messenger for Android. Supports AIM, Facebook, Google Talk, ICQ, Jabber, MSN, MySpace, and Yahoo messenger protocols.

Parcels
Track FedEx, UPS, USPS, DHL and more right from your handheld. Also allows you to scan barcodes before shipping to be informed on their progress to the recipient.

PayPal
Handy for sending money via PayPal while on the go.

Spare Parts Plus
This is a handy utility for editing some hidden functions of your phone or tablet device. Settings should be changed carefully. The most useful reason for this app is enabling/disabling compatibility mode.

Twitter
It’s Twitter. Do I need to say any more?

Waze
Waze uses your devices GPS to not only provide turn-by-turn navigation, but also provides crowd-sourced traffic data to other Waze users  about traffic, delays, police presence, accidents, and other road incidents. Waze allows you to report a road incident with just a few taps on the screen, and Waze works well in both portrait and landscape orientation. (Thanks Jeff T. for the recommendation!)

WeatherBug Elite
Shows up-to-date weather information, forecast, radar (supports multi-touch), and more, with configurable widgets and “follow me” support. WeatherBug Elite is nice, but they do have the free WeatherBug app available too.

WordPress
A real must-have for anyone with a WordPress.com or self-hosted WordPress blog.

Z-DeviceTest
Handy app for testing various functions and sensors on your phone.

If you’ve read this far, you might also be interested in a list of apps specifically for rooted phones, yes? Well, here they are:

AdAway
Open-source ad blocker for rooted phones.

AdFree Android
Another ad blocker for root phones. For more information and to give feedback, visit the XDA Forums.

Chainfire3D
An intermediary OpenGL graphics driver which may increase video performance on some devices. Requires: Root, 1ghz+ device, Android 2.1+. See the XDA thread for more information and a list of compatible devices.

Samba Filesharing
A Samba server for your Android phone. Allows you to access your Android phone’s SD card over your network.

Titanium Backup
EXTREMELY powerful tool. Backup ALL apps, Market links, remove bloatware & MORE! Backs up your apps to your SD card and can restore them with their data even after a hard reset, factory reset, or even a new ROM install. It’s fantastic!

Have an Android app you just can’t live without? Please let me know in the comments below!

Last update: December 7th, 2011

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Meet the Samsung Moment

I finally got my Samsung Moment from Sprint, and all I can say is… wow!

Loaded with Android 2.1 (Eclair), the Moment is a great phone.

The roughly 3.25″ 320×480 capacitive touchscreen AMOLED display shows bright, crisp, clear colors (even against sunlight glare), and responds well to finger touches without requiring pressure. Notable is the fact that it does not respond to object touch, only finger touch. Directly below the screen are three touch keys: Home , Menu, and Back. Holding the home key brings up the task list. Below that, hardware Send and End keys, and an optical trackpad complete the front keys. The optical trackpad is a wonderful asset, especially when browing the web; small elements (such as links) are sometimes hard to touch accurately, and being able to select them by scrolling and clicking the trackpad is great.

Around the sides, hardware volume up and down keys, two-position camera button, and a voice command button give quick access at a touch, and rubber-plugged USB (charging) and 3.5mm headphone jack add ruggedness to the ports. The two-position camera key allows the user to have the camera focus with a half-press, and take the picture with the full press.

The 3.2MP auto-focus camera with flash is great for taking both casual and macro pictures. The auto-focus feature is also great for use with apps such as Barcode Scanner, Parcels, Google Shopping, and more.

I found the slide-out full QWERTY keyboard to be essential, as I don’t favor on-screen keyboards (though it’s there if you prefer). The only thing I’m still getting used to is the particular layout. Though, each manufacturer has their own quirks when it comes to QWERTY layouts, it’s not an unbearable layout. In fact, I’m getting used to it already.

So now on to the apps. I thought fitting to put together a list of some of the apps that I feel are must-haves, at least for me, in no particular order. You can read about them on my list of must-have Android apps.

Now, the one really bad thing I found about this phone is the ubiquitously-mentioned poor battery life. In it’s stock configuration, the 1440mah battery will barely last the day, even on the fullest charge. I haven’t been able to find an Extended Life battery for this phone on the web yet, so I had to do some troubleshooting to find ways to extend the battery life. The results? The default radio settings have Wifi, GPS, and “background data” all turned on, and the phone never takes a break. Head to Settings > Wireless and Network Settings and tick off Wifi, and Bluetooth when you don’t need them. Under Settings > Location and Security Settings you’ll find Use GPS satellites which can be ticked off when not needed. Going to Settings > Account and Sync Settings you’ll find Background Data which will also save you data and battery life. Of course, you can always add the Power Control widget to your home screen to have these controls available to you at a single touch. I’ve also heard of some running the battery down to about 5% then plugging the phone in and letting the battery charge completely to supposedly “recalibrate” the phone’s battery meter. I’m experimenting and if I find anything significant, I’ll post it.

Use the Samsung Moment and have a tip to share? Any advice for extending the battery life on this phone? Please leave a comment below.

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Logitech Devices on Ubuntu Linux (and others)

A friend presented me with an issue a while back where certain buttons on his Logitech keyboard, specifically the zoom bar, didn’t work properly under Ubuntu. After some searching, I found a site that codes Linux drivers for these devices, and directed him to it. They have drivers for Debian, CentOS, Fedora, Mandriva, Mint, RedHat, Suse, and Ubuntu. The full list of supported devices is below.

After testing, he came up with a set of instructions (originally posted at another site) and I have rewritten them here in a [hopefully] more accurate process.

  1. Head over to HIDPoint
  2. Fill in the requested information on the download page (mouse/keyboard/OS/etc…), you can ignore the email field if you wish and select download. Make sure you select correctly if you’re using a 64-bit or non-64-bit OS.
  3. On the next screen, select the link “Download Now“, and save the file to your hard drive.
  4. Navigate to wherever you downloaded the file to.
  5. Right click on the file, and go to Properties > Permissions and check the box for execute.
  6. Double click on the file and select “Run In Terminal“. Type “Y” then hit “Enter”.
  7. Follow all on screen prompts.
  8. After Installation is complete, you will need to reboot.

Supported devices:

Keyboards: Mice: Mice:
  • Logitech Comfort Keyboard
  • Logitech Cordless Desktop
  • Logitech Cordless Elite
  • Logitech Cordless Ultra-Flat
  • Logitech DiNova
  • Logitech diNovo Edge
  • Logitech diNovo Mini
  • Logitech EasyCall Keyboard
  • Logitech EX 100 Keyboard
  • Logitech EX 110 Series
  • Logitech LX 300 Keyboard
  • Logitech LX 500/501 Keyboard
  • Logitech LX 710 Keyboard
  • Logitech Media Keyboard
  • Logitech Media Keyboard Elite
  • Logitech MX 3000 Keyboard
  • Logitech MX 3200 Keyboard
  • Logitech MX 5000 Keyboard
  • Logitech MX5500
  • Logitech Numeric Pad
  • Logitech S510 Keyboard
  • Logitech S520 Keyboard
  • Logitech Wave Corded
  • Logitech Illuminated Keyboard
  • Logitech Wave Cordless
  • Logitech Cordless Click!
  • Logitech Cordless Click! Plus
  • Logitech Cordless Mini Optical Mouse
  • Logitech Cordless Mouse
  • Logitech Cordless Mouse for NoteBook
  • Logitech Cordless Optical
  • Logitech Cordless Optical TrackMan
  • Logitech Cordless TrackMan Wheel
  • Dell BT Travel Mouse
  • Dell BT/XPS M2010 Mouse
  • Logitech diNovo Edge
  • Logitech G1 Optical Mouse
  • Logitech G3 Laser Mouse
  • Logitech G3/MX518 Optical
  • Logitech G5 Laser Mouse
  • Logitech G7 Cordless Laser
  • Logitech Laser Corded Mouse
  • Logitech Laser Tiltwheel Mouse
  • Logitech LX3 Optical Mouse
  • Logitech LX5 Cordless
  • Logitech LX6 Cordless Optical
  • Logitech LX7 Cordless Laser
  • Logitech LX7 Cordless Optical
  • Logitech LX8 Cordless Laser
  • Logitech Marble Mouse
  • Logitech Media Play Cordless
  • Logitech MX 1000 for Bluetooth
  • Logitech MX 518 Optical Mouse
  • Logitech MX 600 Cordless Mouse
  • Logitech MX Air
  • Logitech MX Revolution
  • Logitech MX Revolution Bluetooth
  • Logitech MX1000 Laser
  • Logitech MX1100 Laser
  • Logitech MX310 Corded
  • Logitech MX320/RX1000 Laser Mouse
  • Logitech MX400 Laser Mouse
  • Logitech MX510 mouse
  • Logitech MX600 Cordless Laser
  • Logitech MX610 Laser Cordless
  • Logitech MX610 Left-Handed
  • Logitech MX620 Laser Cordless
  • Logitech MX700 Cordless Optical
  • Logitech MX900 Cordless
  • Logitech NX80
  • Logitech Optical Tilt-Wheel Mouse
  • Logitech Optical Wheel Mouse
  • Logitech Optical Workstation Mouse
  • Logitech RX250 mouse
  • Logitech RX300
  • Logitech RX650 Cordless Optical
  • Logitech TrackMan Wheel
  • Logitech UltraX Optical Mouse
  • Logitech USB Optical Wheel Mouse
  • Logitech V200 Cordless
  • Logitech V220 Cordless Optical
  • Logitech V270 Bluetooth Mouse
  • Logitech V320 Cordless Optical
  • Logitech V400 Laser Cordless Mouse
  • Logitech V450 Laser Cordless Mouse
  • Logitech V450 Laser Mouse
  • Logitech V470 Bluetooth enabled Mouse
  • Logitech V500 Cordless
  • Logitech V550 Nano
  • Logitech VX Nano
  • Logitech VX Revolution
  • Logitech Wheel Mouse
  • Logitech Workstation Mouse

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