I’m still trying to work out which is the best Twitter client to use on my new phone. I’m currently using Touiteur which does the job very well, but I’m wondering about whether to switch to TweetDeck or Seesmic, because ideally I’d like something set up where my desktop and mobile Twitter displays are synced, so I don’t have to scroll to find where I’m up to on each device. It’s a shame because Touiteur is very good, but doesn’t have a desktop version. I will have to investigate further…
Since getting an Android phone I’ve started taking a few tentative steps towards developing applications for it. The obvious place to start is with a soundboard, and I wanted to make a copy of an existing iPhone app called ‘Wrist Apption’ which a fellow Wrist Actioner created. Thankfully a website exists to guide you through this, called Make your own Android sound board.
I followed this at first and created a basic app, and have since learned a bit more about using Eclipse and Android views etc. I’ve given up on the Wrist Apption app for now, it has 9 sound clips on it but the market is a bit limited (apart from myself, only one other band member has an Android phone!) so I’m thinking of making a Fighting Talk soundboard, as one doesn’t seem to exist yet. It’s just taking time trying to find clean samples of the sound effects… plus I’m a bit unwell at the moment so don’t really have the patience for it.
This morning I was playing the Angry Birds demo, and exited the game by pressing the Home button rather than Back. This went back to the home screen but paused mid-scroll, so half the icons from one page and half from the next page were showing. It stayed like this for a short while before a black page appeared with a message saying something like ‘Panic Kernel Upload Mode’. The only thing I could do was take the battery out and turn the phone back on. This seemed to eventually fix it, at first all of my icons had disappeared but they came back eventually. Hopefully it was just a one-off, maybe it’s caused by the Angry Birds beta and will be fixed in the full version…
I’m having real problems with the battery in my phone. Sometimes if I’m lucky it might last a day and a half, sometimes it won’t even 24 hours. It seems the biggest user of the battery is the display – so it doesn’t seem worthwhile turning off notifications etc., it’s not even as if I have that many things running anyway. I’m hopeful that Froyo will make things last a bit longer, otherwise I’m going to have to start looking for an extended battery…
Since getting my new phone I’ve tried a few Twitter clients out. There’s still a few left to try but here are my thoughts on the ones I’ve used so far:
- Twitter for Android – this is the official client. It looked nice and had some nice features, but didn’t keep track of where I had got up to, and always started at the top of my timeline.
- Twidroyd – I used this for a few days but found it to be very slow updating my timeline – not sure if this is just a problem with using Eclair which might be fixed under Froyo, but it’s annoying enough for me to stop using it.
- Seesmic – this was the next client I tried but I also had some problems with it being slow.
- Tweetcaster – I used this in tandem with Touiteur and found it to be very usable, but it wasn’t as quick as Touiteur so ultimately lost out.
- Touiteur – my current client of choice, it updates quickly and doesn’t freeze the screen whilst doing so, and lets me see everything I need to see.
I’m thinking of paying for the premium version of Touiteur just so I can have the lighter display profile, but first I’m going to try Twicca and the TweetDeck beta. Overall though I’m happy with the performance of Touiteur – it’s nice to look at and is easy to use.
I was due an upgrade on my mobile phone and I’ve opted for the Samsung Galaxy S. I was definitely going to choose an Android phone and it was between the Galaxy S and the HTC Desire, it was pretty close but I chose the Galaxy S as it has bigger internal memory and a bigger screen. Maybe the HTC Desire HD will be better but if I were to wait for a better phone to come out I’d be waiting forever as there’s always something better on the horizon!
It’s currently running Android 2.1, although T-Mobile claim that 2.2 will be released in a couple of weeks. So far I’m loving the phone, although the battery does seem to run out very quickly, hopefully after a few recharge cycles it will improve (plus I won’t be playing with it all the time by then!)
I’m currently searching through the app market (AppBrain.com is a very good site for this) and seeing what is possible and what isn’t. I have to say that with just the basic phone it seems like my old Nokia 5800 actually had more capabilities – for instance it had a built in podcast downloader. Obviously Android is designed to allow you to install everything you need, but I’m yet to find a good podcast app, I’ve currently got MyPod which doesn’t seem very intuitive.
The touchscreen is a joy to use compared to the old resistive one on the 5800. It’s nice and big, my only worry is it getting scratched, I bought 6 screen protectors from eBay (it was less than £2!), but have already got through 4 of them as the first 3 wouldn’t apply properly and bits of dust kept getting stuck to them, very very frustrating!
Here’s a selection of the apps I currently have installed:
- Twidroyd – I started off using the official Twitter for Android client which was very nice, but it didn’t remember where I had got up to and would always take me to the most recent tweet. Twidroyd seems very good so far.
- Wikidroid – This is just an app to let me view Wikipedia, but formatted to display better on the screen.
- Weatherbug – Good for checking the weather forecast instead of having to find something online.
- Chess.com – This app is brilliant – I had been using the Java app for the Nokia which was limited to 2 moves a day and was pretty horrible, but the Android version is in a different league.
- CalWidget – This widget lets me see my upcoming appointments from the calendar on my home screen, and also shows today’s day and date which I find useful.
- Angry Birds – It’s rare that I agree with hype but I can see why people have been playing this game so much on their iPhones. It’s only a beta demo at the moment, hopefully the full game will be out soon.
I’m sure I’ll find many more useful apps in the next few days…