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Friday, November 12, 2010

HTC Droid Incredible Review/Overview(pros/cons) and Tips

1. HTC Droid Incredible Review  - Pros/Cons
2. Sprint (HTC EVO) vs Verizon(HTC Incredible)
3. Iphone Vs Droid Incredible
4. HTC Droid Incredible vs Droid X vs Droid 2 Global
5. Tethering(Using phone as broadband card)
6.  HTC Droid Incredible deals / Phone Buying tips  (All droid phones at amazon at 1cent  this week)
7.   HTC Droid Incredible or Droid x top/best Accessories (TV Out cable/screen protector)
8. Android Usage Tips/Manual
9. Top Android Apps(Droid X/Incredible/EVO) 
10. Battery tips (Android Tuning tips)
11. Why do people root(jailbreak?) their phone ?
11. Developing Apps on Android


Check http://bestandroidphone.blogspot.com/  on factors to consider for choosing a phone.

You may check upcoming Phone: motorola atrix(on att) with laptop docking facility in above blog(but its on enhanced 3g -like tmobile hspa+ - which they call as 4g - ie its not on lte 4g which att will bring next year)


Droid x user may go to this link  for similar information to below blog.
HTC Droid Incredible is top phone (having 8MP camera, amoled screen) running on Android OS(with Skype Mobile/NFL app) on Verizon. HTC Droid Incredible strength is fast response time - along with beautiful AMOLED screen and a great camera(for a mobile phone standard). Of course great camera/GPS is a big bonus - and finally you can get a good phone on VerizonYou may experience delayed shipping time as its sold out - and they are having trouble in getting components from Samsung for the oled screen.
Update(july 5): There are rumours that Droid Incredible will be upgraded to 720p recording(for video) - and may also get mobile hotspot.
Sep 3 update: My phone got android 2.2 update with 720 p recording and flash 10.1 - and mobile hotpost(20$ for 2G on mobile hotspot , besides 30$ data plan). I changed default camcorder setting/recording  to 720 p, clicked on flash light at top - to have led light continously on during shooting. It came with new crapware like amazon mp3 , verizon navigator(paid gps! when you can use free google maps/navigator) etc .  I have problem uploading (share) video - which i did not have with old camcorder/android 2.1(though wifi is fine, and groups are suggesting it to be youtube issue for huge files). The upgrade comes with flash player - but it did not come with Swype keyboard(install manually). Also yahoo mail does not work on wifi(but works on 3G) in default email client. Android 2.2 users should install new (android 2.2 only) - voice command apps like "Voice search"(and google search ).  The battery life should slightly improve, but best thing is to optimize it. eg android 2.2 update may have added slight battery hogs like autosync of stock/news . (ie remove anything that you dont need). If you buy 20$ mobile (or wifi )hotspot, then you cant talk(unless you use skype on computer) -  while being connected. Similarly like using a modem - any incoming call will go directly to your voicemail(without disconnecting your hotspot. Also 3G mobile hostspot may not work on your droid unless you remove tethered apps like easytether/pdanet .). Also with this update - you are forced to install verizon vzcast - even when you plug usb to computer in "charge mode"(and maybe hanging your computer)
Nov 5 update: There is going to be another minor update soon. (ie more crapware )
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/gadgetreviews/htc-droid-incredible-to-get-v-cast-mobile-apps-next-week/19671. This update adds back the verizon tab in android market application (which was lost in sep update) . Also it gives upgrades Mail application- and give the Exchange/Outlook admin the ability to factory reset the phone.(also NoLock application will not work with this update ie you have to enter PIN everytime)

Overall if you dont count the wireless provider(eg verizon, att) -  impact the top phones in order (july 2010) would be HTC EVO,   Droid X, Droid 2 Global(not Droid 2),  Droid Incredible,  Iphone 4,Samsung Captivate Android Phone (AT&T).(however having good wireless provider that works in your area - should be the primary factor - and then you should choose the phones. Check the size to make sure you are comfortable with it - before buying the phone.) I have tried my best to give unbiased review/opinion in this tutorial.(but do confirm/check other people reviews  - in case I missed something). You can get an idea of top selling phones at amazon top selling list.(surprisingly in july 2010 it was HTC Aria Android Phone (AT&T) with 5MP camera -probably due to cost - though Samsung Captivate Android Phone (AT&T) should be best android phone(Cons of samsung captivate: GPS does not lock/work, no flash, NO TRACKBALL, USB charging issues , hard to use as compared with HTC)  in ATT - though you should be aware that ATT (25$ data plan) has 2GB limitation - unlike verizon (30$ data plan) )



Disadvantage/Cons:

  • It does not have front camera(eg video chat) or HDMI port (but has AV output which is also an advantage ) - as compared to upcoming sprint HTC EVO phone.
   However check on "Sprint vs Verizon" below and also check on "tethering" section below for more details.(on how incredible can give free/cheap tethering)
  • It does not have hardware keyboard - unlike Motorola droid.(but that would have made it bulkier - and hence many would consider it as advantage .. Some even argue that due to "Voice Input" - they don't need to type much anyway)
  • I believe there is no automatic blue tooth dialing- in any android phones - per reviews.(though it has support for blue tooth itself) . This may have got fixed in Sep. android 2.2 update.
  • Camcorder voice quality is bad(video is now upgraded to 720 p ).
  • Its easy for thumb nails/dust to sticks easily on to screen. Hence use screen protector like one sold directly at Verizon (3 pack -I wasted one pack - but it worked with minor bubbles on 2nd attempt) or  try : Skinomi Screen Protector HTC Incredible (only 1 pack - check reviews).
  • There is No lens cover for camera. (like any other android phones)
  • It does not have good battery life .(But since its removable - you can buy extra one like : Seidio Innocell 1750 mAh Battery for HTC Droid Eris /HTC Droid Incredible (Warning: This may be sold out at amazon(standard price -41$)  - and hence amazon may have big shipping time or they may sell it at higher price via third party). There will soon be extended battery(for which you have to replace the back cover to make it bulkier) - however that may impact any docking chargers that you may have bought.
  • The trackball(or optical mouse ) is not easy to use.(but again - its at least present unlike in say droid x , samsung captivate etc)
PROS:

  • It has fastest processor(for mobile) yet.. (but just like in netbooks vs laptop it may mean  battery time vs speed)
  • It uses the latest android version 2.2 with update ..
  • It has inbuilt beta GPS(works even when you talk), FM Radio, awesome camera, decent camcorder and removable battery!
  • It can be plugged to TV - via AV output.(if you are doing TV output - it forces you to use wifi for youtube)
  • Android has cool voice search facility - especially after downloading "Voice Search" app - after android 2.2 update .(though not very accurate - but works for common words)
  • The Phone/Voice quality is decent/good. (as compared with Motorola droid)
  • The size and weight is perfect for putting in shirt pocket.
  • The screen is awesome - and I enjoyed watching youtube videos on it..(but it may be hard to see in daylight)
  • It has composite video(AV) output - and hence you can easily do (pdf)presentation  - which should be supported by most of the office provided projectors(unlike with droid x).

Update:  Android 2.2  update should make it faster(better battery life) and finally have good bluetooth support. It also supports mobile hot spot(which is paid ). I am however disappointed that android 2.2 does not support many corporate VPN(eg cisco group user/pass , juniper etc)



Sprint HTC EVO vs HTC incredible:

HTC EVO as a phone is a dream phone compared to Incredible(front camera, hdmi port, bigger screen - nice for watching video or surfing , hd camcorder and hd youtube videos). However if you want better phone (which however may be bulky  - and likely to have bad battery life ) -and are living in areas with reasonable sprint coverage - then buy the Sprint phone. However you should get a preview on Sprints 3G/4G before making this decision - and also note that some apps are exclusive(now) to verizon (eg skype mobile and nfl mobile) as mentioned below. But note - that to use sprint mobile broadband - you will probably have to pay 30$ over your data plan(around 30$ + 10$) - . Also you can can not use "broadband router" + phone at same time on 3G in HTC EVO - just like in verizons (but its possible to do both in 4G). You could get a review/preview on Sprints 4G network - bad reviews(but great design)- using device that already supports 4g like  Sierra Wireless Overdrive 3G/4G Mobile Hotspot (Sprint) I have also heard that Spring has less memory reserved for apps(crosscheck). However this may not be a factor (as you can run app from SD card) - with next android 2.2 version.(but again  I have heard that this update may come slow on all HTC phones like Incredible or EVO  as they use customize android)


The battery life on droid incredible is not great(per expectations) - Sprint HTC
EVO with bigger screen(and broradband wifi router) and on 4G is likely to be worse. Also any disadvantage of htc incredible/android 2.1 (eg no automatic bluetooth voice dialing till 2.2 update or supposedly mediocre voice quality after few days) would apply to this phone.(as made by same company around same time frame)

Sprint HTC data plan is 40$(30 +10) .. Plus you may buy mobile router plan at additional 30.


APPS EXLCUSIVE ON VERIZON:
  • Also due to Skype agreement with Verizon - skype (over mobile ) may not come quickly to either Sprint or ATT(iphone) - http://gigaom.com/2010/02/19/skype-verizon-deal-more-details. But you can still use Skype over Wifi(eg home) on non verizon network.  The cool thing wih Skype mobile is that you chat with your contacts  - and when they call you - its over verizon network. Besides  all internation call that you make (eg 011*) will automatically go over skype(if you set it up)
  • NFL fans - this would be a deciding factor. Verizons paid millions to get exclusive NFL mobile app exclusively for verizon(it used to be on Sprint) - http://www.engadget.com/2010/03/09/nfl-mobile-comes-to-verizon-with-livestreaming-redzone-channel/%20%28However this may be interesting to see how Verizon cope with huge demand on Sun/Thurs night).  Though NFL mobile asks for around 10$ for watching videos(but audio is free).

OTHER TOP SMART PHONES(updated June 2010):
Check cnet latest top smart phones (in case this gets outdated): http://reviews.cnet.com/best-smartphones


You should note that currently(temporarily) - Palm Pre Plus Phone (Verizon Wireless) by verizon also provides wireless broadband for free(ie for only 30$  additonal fee for - data on phone - you get broadband wifi hotspot). If you dont want to pay for data plan then Motorola Barrage V860 Phone (Verizon Wireless) or  Casio G'zOne Rock C731 Phone (Verizon Wireless)  are currently(june 2010) - the most popular choice.

Droid X vs htc droid incredible vs Droid 2 Global:

In droid X vs incredible - droid X would have the edge - if you want bigger screen, (assuming it fits in pocket - with the bulge ie some people may need to wear it on their belt), hdmi output(compared to composite AV video output) , ..  There are reports that droid x interface is sluggish.
Droid x does not have physical trackball  - compared with droid incredible.(which is useful for playing games or moving the mouse cursor when typing)
The advantage that htc droid incredible may have  over droid x is "smaller screen",
amoled screen on older incredibles(Vs lcd) and HTC sense(ie easier to use).
Droid x should have slightly better battery life as compared to droid incredible.

You may have already noted that - Droid X - does not look pretty(especially weird at back).

Droid X and HTC incredible have 8GB internal memory (compared to only 1GB
for HTC EVO which would cause issue for apps till it gets upgraded to adroid 2.2)
Droid X also bundles 16GB of External Micro SD memory(which you can buy for
incredible/evo for around 30$ . Professional cost around 40) - unlike only 2GB(or none) for Incredible.
On internet sites - droid x typically costs around 150$ and droid incredible cost around 40$
The processor speed in Droid X/Incredible is same(though droid x has some extra graphics support - but it has to render/display bigger area). Hence performance
should nearly be the same(varying based on the type of page).
With htc incredible you can watch youtube on TV via the composite cable (but on WIFI ONLY - and hence cant use it while travelling). You can not watch youtube  on TV - with Droid X - per this article .
(In short - for both you may be forced to watch youtube on small screens - instead of redirecting it to big screen in your "bigger portable tv" - while travelling)

Droid X (and incredible ) do not have front camera(compared with HTC EVO and Iphone, but the front camera is anyway limited - in them - for video chatting  - to either wifi and/or proprietory apps).

The only known bug (impacting small users ) is flickering issue:
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2010/07/droid-x-flickering-screen/

In short  - your buying choice may really nail down to "size" that you prefer. (unless
you have preference for AV vs HDMI , usability, battery life etc)Again : You can get more information on droid x top accessories/droid x buying tips , pros/cons and usage here.

DROID 2 Global vs Droid Incredible vs Droid x vs Droid Pro


In droid 2 Global vs droid incredible - droid incredible may have slight edge in some cases like better camera (8mp vs 5mp), htc sense etc..(though incredible has composite video output unlike hdmi output in droid 2 - which is both advantage/disadvantage). However Droid 2 Global has faster processor(1.2 Ghz) , Keyboard
and place for SIM card(you will have to call verizon and ask for unlock code).
However in droid x vs droid 2 global vs droid incredible - i would give edge to droid x for overall specs
(droid 2 global should be good for anyone who prefers physical keyboard eg blackberry users)

NOTE: Droid 2 Global is different from Droid 2.(it has 1.2 Ghz vs 1 GHZ, extra SIM card for global
stuff, besides some Droid Pro software)

Upcoming phones(and maybe rumours) .. Also HTC droid incredible HD (copy of htc evo with front camera and bigger screen) may also come around the same time. However note droid incredible HD may have LTE (4G ) support.. (but in most case like EVO users - you will have to turn it off - if you want to conserve battery - due to it being another reciever like bluetooth etc)

There is also Samsung fascination coming with keyboard.(But do wait for 1 month after release - as it
does not have Droid brand - and to ensure they fixed all issues like GPS etc which was
there in samsung captivate)..

Droid Pro vs Droid X : It should be noted that Droid Pro is meant for corporates(with
increase security)..  But for consumers I would rate Droid pro below Droid X or droid incredible.
(as it has 5 mHz camera and screen etc appear to be smaller - and same 1GHz processor)


Iphone(4G) vs Droid incredible


Currently Droid Incredible easily beats Iphone 4g in some specs (eg 8Mp camera in incredible vs 5Mp in Iphone 4g)  .. However next generation(4g) iphone has front camera- but note that it - works only on Wifi(Verizon customers have to wait till 2012 to have iphone-per cnn.com).  Iphone also has gyroscope - which is similar in concept to wii motion plus - and it may lead to slightly better accuracy in games. However Iphone still DOES NOT have removable battery per below cnet comparison.(though iphone has superb resolution - but its not using the new OLED technology used in incredible). Check http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19512_7-20007000-233.html  or http://www.gadgetsdna.com/iphone-4-vs-htc-evo-4g-vs-droid-incredible-vs-nexus-one/3733/ for more.
Also Iphone free gps(eg mapquest) does not seem to have "text to speech" or live traffic option.
For usability and speed ie battery life -  I think Iphone will be better. But for value for the money - android should be better(eg better camera, removable battery, GPS , cool voice search , corporate apps etc etc) For games - Iphone is likely to be better. However corporate apps(or security) is likely to be better(or easier) with Android phones. Currently(ironically) - Cisco VPN (with group user/pass) does not work on HTC Incredible or HTC EVO - unlike with Iphone(which may also support juniper vpn soon).Whereas apps like Skype mobile and NFL Mobile works only on Verizons Network. The choice between iphone vs droid incredible may really boils down to ATT vs verizon.(but if you have good coverage in both - then I believe Iphone may have an edge due to battery life/apps - or maybe Verizon may have edge due to their exclusive apps)

Future predictions:
Iphone internally use C++(or C) for development - and hence
it will be faster. But at same time it has higher chance
of crashes and virus(and hence apple forces tight control on their apps)
Android internally uses java - and with JIT it may be as fast as C
- but will always take more battery. However developing on Android
is pretty easy - and hence it will beat iphone in apps(except for games)
Its quite likely that flash may come soon on android phone - but that may
impact security and battery time.


Incredible vs Motorola droid vs nexus one

  • Nexus one is not offered by verizon - but it has almost same specs as Incredible.(except camera is better in incredible while nexus one probably has better battery )

  • Motorola droid on the other hand has physical keyboard - and I really wanted one.(but due to its processor/ram appeared to have slower response time in comparison with nexus one in Wirefly videos).
I also heard complaints about voice quality and that its keyboard is not user friendly... However its currently only 20$ - it used to be 200$ around DEC 2009 - and there are lots of accessories for it.
NOTE : : - you should prefer droid 2 instead of motorolla droid(but pay 200$)





Tethering(connect computer to laptop via usb for internet access):

Verizon supports tethering at around 30$ (probably 15$ for corporate) per month per http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/mobilebroadband/?page=plans
 However you may to try pdanet  or easy tether app which would give at least browsing (https may expire - but http will continue) in the free version. . However after trial period you have to buy pdnet or easy tether to use "https" (ie login pages).  However corporate VPN like cisco may not easily work with pda net/easy tether.
Hence - you will choose verizons tethering  - when you need to access
corporate VPN- and I also believe they will provide better speed.(as they may do it at root/hardware level - unlike application level by pdanet).

The verizon plan is 30 for personal(30$) users - and 15$ for enterprise
users(45$ data plan). So in short it make sense to upgrade to enterprise
plan - if you want tethering. Also Verizon will restrict you to 5G while tethering(they will use the VZ software to do it). However per their Sales folk - you can do unlimited browsing while using your phone.

However for most users pdanet/easy tether may be the way to go.
(However check with you phone provider - if pdanet/easytether- tethering software is allowed  as there are  confusing reports. But anyway laptop card or mobile hotspot is what most people need - assuming you can not surf and talk at the same time on this phone.)

However note - while you tether - even though the phone may be getting charged by USB- the "phone discharge/usage" rate is likely going to be more then charging rate(and hence your phone may slowly run out of battery).Hence this phone may not be
a replace for "laptop card" - where you never have to worry about charging that stuff.
Also you may not be able to use it as phone  - while tethering(check this)

I read some forums which says that you can tether for free(don't even need pdanet etc)
by following some steps.You may also try to use VPN directly on this device(settings->Wireless->VPN) - but it does not have support for cisco vpn.

If you want cheap tethering with Verizon- consider buying - Palm Pre Plus Phone (Verizon Wireless) as  this phones data plan of 30$ (temporarily)- includes mobile broadband router.(ie no need to pay extra 30$ and you can even use your ipod touch with it).
So this may be good option in 2nd phone in family plan.(instead of paying 30$ for incredible).But note - if you have 2 year plan - the primary holder is allowed to change phone after 1 year(but not for the additional family members) .Please crosscheck this with Verizon.

While tethering (with wire) - you can also set your computer as a wireless router
to allow other devices to share the connection.



Where to buy Droid Incredible?

First check it out local verizon wireless store or Best buy - and see if you like it(eg is the keyboard usable for us). But you can be sure it currently(November 2010) - among the top phones (second best) in verizon.
If you read cnn article : why all phones are 199$ - you will realize that retail stores(and verizon)
are selling "second best" phone like droid incredible at much higher price(ie no point in buying it from verizon/retail stores unless you want convinience of easy return).


Go to verizon wireless - and see "Total price + sales tax+ activation fee + shipping"
(along with accessories) - and compare with others who gives you the cheapest. Do get estimate on WHEN it will be shipped or available. If the waiting time is too long - consider bidding on ebay (unopened and trusted seller only). You would however typically get best deal only on internet sites eg htc incredible at amazon (add accessories mentioned below) or sites like Wirefly.com(check coupon : WIREFLY2GMC  for free 2g ram or try : WIREFLY2GMC4U ) etc .. You should wait for long week end like Thanksgiving etc for better deals(when new phones may come out). You may note that internet websites will give you droid incredible for only 0.01$(but crosscheck activation fees and total service plan cost) or even FREE(0$) on limited days at wirefly - compared with say 199$ (but buy 1 get another free) - at Verizon. The only cons/catch with amazon/wirefly is that the cancellation (or maybe upgrades also ) will tend to be higher with internet sites like amazon/wirefly - as you paide less upfront(but beware of activation fees which could be extra only on internet stores).
But if you like to return items easily - then use local stores like BestBuy(who may sell droid incredible for 1$ on black friday deal.) . However amazon seems to have nice exchange policy(eg they give you new replacement phone first - assuming its available - and once you activated your new phone - then you can return defective old phone)
Important : Your employer is likely to have discount on VZ plans.
So check if you(or your spouse) have better discount - and do inform Verizon to lower your bill as soon as you order it.

Make sure while buying that you dont buy unnecessary plans(eg use the cheaper
data plan around 30$ as compared to corporate data plan of 60$). Also
dont buy SMS plan unless you use it.
I had done pre-order at verizon wireless - and hence I had to pay 200$ - but I did not have to pay activation fee .. (I also got some extra SD cards). My telephone number also got transferred(ported) smoothly from ATT - the moment - I activated my new phone. I also got employee discount on plan from beginning.




HTC Droid Incredible top accessories:

For droid x top accessories you may go to this droid x top accessory  link.
For Droid Incredible :
a) Any good Screen Protector as mentioned in disadvantage  above (MUST HAVE)
Avoid anti -glare ones and retun back any screen protector which makes it tough to see the screen.
b)  HTC AV TV OUT Cable for Verizon HTC Droid Incredible You should be able to charge it at the same time (with splitter)- even though it has only 1 usb slot). Also this cable is unlikely to work on EVO). On connection - it gave NTSC/PAL options - and i thought the default(and correct option) NTSC-M - meant for US - was not as good as NTSC-J (japanese) on my TV. For watching youtube on my TV - incredible - forced to me to turn on wifi.(but I could watch camcorder/camera pictures directly)
c) Optional - Buy either car charger or if you are sick of so buying so many car chargers
then you can try buying "dc to ac car charger - and then directly use your USB/ac cable to charge it in the car.(Warning: If you buy dc to ac charger - then it will have very loud fan noise - or may not be durable  But to me  for charging at least the laptop(unlike phone) - i did not have any choice)
d) Optionally extra battery. (most battery including bundled one - may last only a year)
e) Buy Silicone gel  cover or professional rubber hard case cover to protect
your droid from minor scratches. There is also another good snap on - hard cover -sold directly at verizonwireless. (The silicone gel ones are easier to hold . The hard cover ones is likely to protect better - but it may itself break down on falling- ulike silicon gel ones)
Phones like droid incredible (or droid x) -LCD - can break easily, as the LCD glass is at level with the edges.  However buying protective cover may raise the height of edges - and thereby giving slightly more protection when it falls. Also protective cover may help you (by avoid direct touch)  - if the phone is becoming hot after use .
e) Optional - Micro SD : If you are going to use lots of HD space(due to apps or camcorder) - then you would need to buy MicroSDHC card. (i think the default  HD space is good enough). Its a good idea to have micro sd card(which will come with
SD card converter to put in your computer etc) to store all your app settings - so that it can be put later on a new phone.
f) Must -(only if you have Aux input in your cars mp3 player to listen to pandora) -
Male to Male stereo cable.(buy any top rated ones - check length/feet size)
g) Optional/Must - To charge incredilbe via your cars USB output (or computer) - HTC Droid Incredible Sync & Charge USB Cable. (NOTE: this cable comes bundled with incredible -  as a part of your main charger - but an extra one for your cars mp3 player/computer may be good to have   )
h) Optional - car charger(instead of USB charger - if you dont have USB output in your car).
i) Optional - Car mount
eg HTC Droid Incredible Car Dock Holster Mount Combo
or Car Mount Adjustable Phone Holder for HTC Droid Incredible
j) Optional - External portable charger
eg New Trent ultra-pack IMP880 8900mAh External Battery pack for 3G iPad, iPhone 4 4G, iPhone 3G 3GS, iPod Touch (1G 2G 3G), Motorola Droid , HTC Android Phones, Blackberry (curve, bold, tour, storm) - 8900mAh
or laptop charger with USB port for charing mobile phones
Energizer XP18000 Rechargeable Power Pack for Laptops
(Warning : most of the portable charger may take too much time to charge or get hot or may not last long )
k) Since droid incredible has a/v output - you can use pocket projector
eg Optoma PK301 Pico Pocket Projector  (warning : most pocket projector require complete darkness)

l) Optional - If you car does not have usb output and "aux input" then
you may consider "fm trasmittor plus usb output device" like :
Griffin Itrip Auto Universal Plus Refresh FM transmitter and PowerJolt Auto Charging for Portable Audio Players
(You may note that most fm transmittor are hard to work in car - as
the antenna is outside and windows are closed. Also the USB output charging
rate may be lower then discharge rate - and hence the battery may slowly
decline if the phone is heavily used at same time)
(Check reviews before buying any stuff)

HTC Droid Incredible Tips/Usage for dummies/beginner(most of them should apply to droid x/samsung captivate/htc evo):

I found android slightly hard to use.(eg no close button - I have to press back
button or check that exit button is getting displayed on pressing on menu)..

But its very powerful - and there is a GREAT(must watch) - video/flash demo at : http://learning.verizonwireless.com/learning/HTC_incredible_player/index.html .

User manual: http://member.america.htc.com/download/Web_materials/Manual/HTC_INCREDIBLE%28Verizon%29/100421_IncredibleC_VZW_WWE_UM.pdf

You can get Basic how to's at : http://www.knowyourcell.com/htc/htc-droid-incredible/

http://www.youtube.com/androidtips


  •    To add new folder to desktop(home screen) do long press on it - and click on new folder. To add program to home screen(or new folder) - just click on up arrow first -> long press on programs(like camera, maps) and then drag it to home screen/folder.
  • For example - I could not find out how to delete stuff from home screen.(you have to press the application that you want to delete for a long time - and once the thrash-can icon appears - delete it). I then realized that I can also move stuff on home screen - and I should probably create a "new folder" on home screen - and keep some of my favorite stuff there.
  • When in doubt - always press home button or back button to go back.. Keep habit of pressing menu button to explore your app. If they keys dont work then reboot it.

  • The other thing I missed was forward button -but quickly realized that I just need to press on home button continuously - and it will show all recently opened applications.(though in browser if you press menu you see a forward button)
  • Similarly if you press on power button continuously - you will get options toturn sound off, vibrate etc.

  • For any opened applications - click on menu button to see settings/quit button (eg for exiting GPS - you need to go back to map - and press on menu button)

  • If you are using camera - then always click on area(in the screen) that you want to focus on.

  • You will find lots of useful stuff in "settings" eg Sound and display or about phone(press menu on home screen)

  • I always tend to forget about the trackball(optical mouse) which can be used to scroll web pages or help in copy/paste etc. The main used of this  is to click on camera. But I later realized that I need it in some games(especially when it says press the "up button" - you then need to flick the optical mouse up)

  • In phones contact person settings - you can set up a seperate dial phone for particular contact or even set it up to always redirect to voice mail(for that contact).
  • To do copy paste - do long press and use the "small circle" to select area and press the copy button. Then do long press on area you want to paste.
  • You can do long press on any address to open in map(and then click navigate/directs to go there)
  • you can do long press on any telephone to call that number.
  • Unfortunately there is now way to block viewing of objectionable apps (R rated) in android market. But you can flag it(at end of page)

Initial Playing around:

I would say initially try :
  • Set up your google/gmail account first.
  • GPS - with text to speech navigation.(which works even while you surf) ... However it may be noted that you may not know that its working in background - and hence to quit it you should press on menu button while its active - and click on exit navigation.
  • Camera - and try uploading it to flickr - or send it via email.
  • Camcorder
  • FM transmitter(headset needed - which also acts as antenna)
  • Normal browsing with "voice search"
  • Try Voice dialing app.(after you added contacts)
  • Using mail client - setup any outlook(office) that you may have. I found a useful comment by on how to manually setup hotmail,yahoo etc at  droid forums - http://androidforums.com/support-troubleshooting/15218-hotmail-droid.html .. However for incredible you DONT need manual stuff for standard things like yahoo, hotmail ie just enter your user/password and incredible will take of the rest.
Warning: Please note that you should check mail settings - to ensure that you don't check mail frequently.  Also once you setup mail client then it may force you to have screen lock - with at least 4 characters - screen password(irritating but secure) - to secure certain email accounts(not for hotmail/yahoo/gmail). 
Removing Screen Lock:
If you have setup screen lock and lost screen password - then you will need to reset the device (and loose all contacts/applications etc) . . However - If you know your password then you can use "No Lock" application from android market - it works on incredible(assuming its running in background)  - you wont have to type the screen lock password(this again may take cpu/battery). Though having screen lock can be advantage - if you dont want others to use your phone.
(however nolock app may not work on startup - and may  sometimes
freeze some keys - and hence you may need to kill it with Advanced
Task manager)


My personal usage/opinion after  nearly 1 month of usage:
  • I tend to use this - mainly as phone, main camera(upload photo/video in one click),moderate quality camcorder(to upload video - unlike in case of uploading photos- it forces you to do vai wifi ) and GPS.
  • I get weather widget directly on home page, use mail client for checking hotmail/yahoo/gmail, places/urbanspoon app for nearby restaurants.I daily check map to see local traffic(turning traffic option on in layer section) daily before commute.
  • I play games and sometimes watch Tv.com app or listen to fm/pandora radio.

  • My favorite use of droid incredible is to charge it via my cars usb charger(check usb wattage specs before trying) - and then listen to pandora (or slacker)radio in my car by putting the headset output of droid incredible into the cars voice(aux in) input. Thereby  I  dont need satellite radio.(ipod users has been doing this for long time - but now you get internet radio with incredible)

  • I have organized my favorites apps on Desktop/home page( and in folders)  so that i can access the favorite apps in one click  - and other ones in 2 clicks.

  • When i bought this phone - I thought that the voice quality was excellent(as compared to old nokia phone on att).. However recently I am getting feeling(not sure) -  that the voice quality is slightly degraded(might be my imagination).. I have been very careful with this phone(ie not hardware issue due to dropping).  I am not sure if it happened due to an update or due to some apps .Hence I found this forum , (the suggestion to use EVRC-B did not help me much-  however dont forget to press menu and commit changes to try it).  I have tried  228 option and removed voice privacy.. However this voice does seem to somewhat resolve on rebooting (shutdown and startup) the phone. Hence- I am so far - very happy with this phone (and the phone quality issue does not seem to have occured after android 2.2 update).

  • I however dont use the browser much  - and prefer to go only to my bookmarked/favorite sites. The small smart phones are not fun to type or read stuff(ie not a replacement for  your netbooks) .You should check Ellen  Degeneres spoof on smartphones.

  • The battery life sucks(1 day if using it as phone only, 3 hours if I am using it for multimedia ). However I dont care as I always have access to "computer usb port" or car mp3 players usb port or AC power for charging it. With android 2.2 update and proper tuning  - I have been able to slightly prolong the battery life.



Android(Droid X/HTC EVO/Incredible) Top APPS(Android market):

Once you are comfortable with the device then go and download apps from android
market.

IMP: Do install (and run) security software/app like "Lookout"  before installing and running any new app.(which also provides a cool free facility to backup  your information(dont backup images - just contacts) - and provides phone locating service)
However lookout may take battery - and hence remove it if you dont need it.

MOST IMP TIP: AVOID INSTALLING "JUST IN" Apps.(unless you are a techie and understand the permissions) 
I would say the top free apps on android are :
a) Advanced Task Killer Free - It will kill any undesired applications running(or really hibernating) in background. Its a good software to free memory - and monitor what application are unnecessarily active in background(using memory - not cpu).
However you should not use it continously.(as to kill it - you are using cpu).
b) Barcode Scanner or Shopsavvy-  It would allow you to scan any barcode of products and give you price comparison.(eg you can go to say rite aid/walmart - and check its online price)
c) Games!!(check any top rated ones like Talking tom or angry birds beta )
d) Skype Mobile(only on verizon) - you can receive skype calls - and make international
call with Skype over verizons 3g/mobile network.(ie no need for Wifi - unlike in iphone)
e) There are lots  of good apps - depending on your taste. (eg Google Skymap , pandora radio(or slacker, yahoo), tv.com, google places, Urban Spoon for restaruants, coupons etc)
f) For techies - you have (paid) like remoteDb , VNC Viewer , No Lock etc
g) Meebo IM Tool- to chat on yahoo, hotmail, aim, google etc
h) Verizon Users   - download NFL mobile now(free app -till dec 2010). Verizon
paid millions to be exclusive provider for  NFL content. You have to pay money to WATCH live matches(but its likely to be free on certain days like Nov 15 to Nov 18). You can however watch "NFL redzone" for free.(but at very low resolution quality)
i) The default photo app does not preview picasa etc - so use "JustPictures" app to view your online photos.
j) I like skyfire browser - as an alternative to default browser.(some sites like google map/cnn seem to work better or give full version on it). Dolphin HD may be another good browser.
k) Google Goggles- This is a good tool to scan and import information from
contact card(make sure - not to select area containing logos). You can
also use it as a primitive "image to text" scanner - by taking photo/scanning two(or 3) lines - clicking on translate button-doing long press on translate text field - and doing copy(and later paste on your emai: l).
The primary purpose of google goggles is to identify images or places(mainly by GPS).
l) Google Voice : You need to first open browser and register google voice online (eg choose number) - and associate it with your telephone number . Once you have done that - you can then download and use Google voice app(else you will be stuck in verifying number). Google voice allow you to control voice mail to be sent to gmail account,  allows phone call to be routed via google voice - and hence google voice number will come in other persons caller Id, allows if some one calls your google voice number (which can be local to that persons area) - it can be routed to your cell/home.
m) Others :Comic strips like daily Strip(dilbert, spiderman etc) , Jokes for kids, bonsai blast, hamster climb, jewels, Connect 4, replica island, Softrace(for jogging etc), compass, weather channel, urbanspoon, Astrid tasks, astro file manager, color notes.
o) Google Voice Search (For android 2.2 + only) : Its a great application which goes beyond
your normal voice search. Read  this link for details.
p) Swype : If you DONt have swype - then you may download swype for incredible/evo
etc from here: https://beta.swype.com/android/get/ (in your mobile browser only - if beta program is still active)
(You can also install myverizon - which will give you your minutes/data usage/balances in one click.)

You may note that per Googles Refund Policy - you can try paid app for free - as
long as you unistall it within 24 hours from point of purchase.

Uninstall/Removing Software:
Click on menu ->settings ->applications.. You can use then use "manage applications" to uninstall/remove software.  Go ahead and check all your running services also - as you dont see it in Task Manager software(and crosscheck that services are what you need)

IMP: If some apps(as seen in advanced task manager) keep coming back or
come up at start up - then consider removing them.(unless they have option - not to start at startup). Similary stop running services (menu->settings->Application-> Running services)  - and check all of them (eg skype) that you dont need.

Droid Incredible Battery Tips(Android tuning):

Make sure that for the first time - you charge it overnight - else you wont get max battery life.
(or wait for complete discharge and charge it fully - to get accurate battery readings)

The best way to get more batter power is to use less display eg Go to settings->sound and display ->Change display to low(and turn animation off)
eg In Menu->Settings->Display turn animation off , brightness low and remove all notification flash(if you dont need it)

Check all the background/autosync (Settings->Accounts and sync) options - and see if you dont have stuff like flickr,stock,news, google automatically doing autosync.(remove weather - if you have removed the weather widget)

Check Application -> Running Services - and stop any unrequired services. However - some of the crapwares may restart back when you reboot the phone(At max you can do force stop on them - which will make it stop till its rebooted).



In order to save battery for each application (eg lookout or mail client) -  open it individually - click on menu button - and see if there is option to limit its usage.
(eg for lookout - I disabled antivirus protect, for mail client -I changed it download email manually)..

When you start phone - notice the running applications in Task managers.
(if you think some application is running needlessly at startup the remove the app)



For playing games (or local music/photos) - you can even go to airplane
mode(where all internet/phone connection may be disabled)

If you have apps like skype - then you may remove option to
automatically intercept international call.(assuming you dont use that)

If you have set up mail - then ensure that you dont sync it automatically or set it to download manually.



Of course you can also use apps like Advanced task killer to stop unwanted
applications.(but its a pain to always use it - and keeping on killing unwanted apps automatically/manually will actually decrease your battery life)

Go to Settings->sound and turn off haptic feedback and audible selections.


Consider disabling live wall paper(if you are using it), wifi(Wireless and networks), blue tooth - if you dont use it.






Monitor usage of application (and remove the ones that are power hogs). You can easily do this by going to Settings->About Phone->battery. This link will show current battery power in more detail - besides it will also tell you the percentage of battery used by all apps - since it was charged. You can then remove any offending applications.


Why do people root(ie jailbreak) their phone ?
I beleive jailbreaking (eg iphone)  you own phone is legal per recent court rule.
(however certain applications may not be allowed eg wireless broadband)
People root their phone to get admin access to their phone.
This allows them to:
a) Get corporate(eg Cisco )vpn working(even though it does not work in android 2.1 or android 2.2)
b) Install cool developement and monitoring tools
c) Do Wifi tether or even set your phone as wifi router.(probably not allowed)
d) Overclock(go faster) the CPU .(will take more battery)
e) Remove crapware like cityId etc(that your carrier may have forced on you)
(The crapwares are installed with root/admin user - and hence the only way to remove/uninstall them is to get root access)
Disadvantage:
Higher chance of virus.
The installation software may mess up your phone(or may itself be a virus)


Development of Apps:

I am currently trying to create a related blog on how to develop/deploy apps on android/incredible at :  http://android-java.blogspot.com/- for java developers.(but there are tons of great materials already out there - and google has done a great job in making it easy to develop apps - except for games - unlike Iphone guys)
Miscellaneous:
I have other blog for best educational games(wii/dsi/pc) for kids .


PS: This blog is my personal opinion(I tried to accumulate all the good information on web). Please crosscheck with Verizon(or additional reviews at say amazon) -  or Sprint - and make your own informed decision.   
Please leave comments (with line number) for any part that needs to be
corrected/changed/removed.

7 comments:

  1. Maybe you got an error - while I was reposting.

    I also had to remove follower feature in this blogspot - as it has some bugs in it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Interesting post from a programmer's point of view. However, If one focuses on recent trends of markets, one common element emerges i.e business decide what deems acceptable as standard and society follows the trend. Windows , blackberry ....i think you get the point. So I am curious to know how secure is Android in comapison to blackberry ? Can it act as replacement to Corporate iphones and blackberries ?

    ReplyDelete
  3. As of now blackberry is perceived to be more secure.. However android - by using unix and java - is designed to be secure. many people(like zdnet articles) are suggesting that blackberry and palm may themself shift to android - and focus on their apps(eg corporate email) ..

    Its now clear that android phone are selling more then iphone - and would continue to do so.(however iphone would remain strong in games/music for quiet some time)

    Microsoft remains another dark horse - but it would be hard for another party to come between iphone and android.

    The simple answer is - if CTOs like their iphone/android , corporate adoption would automatically follow. (and most big companies
    like android use Unix- which is perceived to be secure)

    ReplyDelete
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