Ed. note: Sorry for the problem, everybody. The column's now here in its entirety.
Hey everybody. This week lets talk about the thorn in Android's side – efficient task management.
Before we get started, yes I'm one of those people who will say “Stop using the task killer” as a first response to some weird questions. Lots of other pretty knowledgeable folks will say the same thing. They (we) are right. Task killer applications tend to cause a lot of problems simply because using them properly can be a bit confusing, especially with all the conflicting information out there. Follow us after the break and let's figure this out once and for all.
Hey everybody! Jerry here again for our weekly get-together. I hope everyone survived another crazy week of things like data outages and Eris leaks. And Droid users, don't fret – your time is coming soon, I'll bet.
This week let's talk about apps! Everyone loves apps, and they're one of the biggest draws of the Android platform. The Android Market is growing by leaps and bounds, and I for one am loving it. But there's a whole internet full of stuff beyond the Market, and we're gonna explore it.
Maybe you saw our hands-on with Sense on the Nexus One and wanted to do it yourself. Or maybe you're finally ready to take the leap and give CyanogenMod a try. Either way, our forums guru Jeremy Sikora has put together an excellent guide on how to load custom ROMs onto the Nexus One. It's a must-read for anyone looking to get the most out of their device. [AndroidCentral Forums]
Hey there, everybody! This week we’re going to talk about something everyone seems to forget - system maintenance and clean-up. Like any computer, our Android devices can get clogged with old info that builds up until performance starts to be affected. Unlike a computer with Gigs of space, our device's storage space is limited so this can happen in a much shorter time span. If your phone is starting to act a bit sluggish this might be the reason. Freeing up some space and getting things back as they used to be isn’t hard at all once you know where to look for the clutter. Join us after the break!
One of the biggest complaints from those migrating over from a Blackberry to an Android device has got to be e-mail. We get used to doing things a certain way, and feel lost when things change. Even if you’re not used to Blackberry’s push mail this is a great method to not only get things more organized, but save some battery as well. Join us after the break!
Hey, all. Introducing a new feature to our AndroidCentral readers. It's a little space where we can discuss and feature the weeks best in the Android modding and hacking community, in terms that even those new to Android can understand.
This won't be device or carrier specific, so think of it as a showcase of everything Android has to offer us because of its open nature. Our seasoned veterans may find some of this redundant, but we're going to try to keep things on a level all can understand so we stay on the same page. This week's version is going to be a bit long so we can introduce some things, so bear with me.
Please keep in mind I can't be everywhere at once (until I perfect my cloning machine!) so it's possible I'll miss something that you didn't. The best way to keep that from happening is to send me your tips and links about all the cool ways we are customizing our phones. Just like the customizing community let's make this a joint effort!
For as easy as Android can make your life, the simple task of getting photos, video and music from your computer to your phone isn't quite as straightforward as it should be. We're going to put an end to that right now. After the break: How to get your storage card to show up on your computer. No rooting. No extra programs. Just a few simple steps.
If you're the type who just can't wait for an update to be pushed out (erm, like some of us around here), you're in luck. You can manually apply today's update to your Nexus One, enabling multitouch and (hopefully) fixing that pesky T-Mobile 3G issue. Here's how to do it: [via Android Forums]
Download the update from here (Google official) or here (mirror).
Rename the file to update.zip. Note that if you're using Windows, just rename it to "update" (no quotes, of course) because it's already a zipped file.
Copy the update.zip file onto your microSD card.
With your Nexus One off, hold down the trackball and press the power button.
You'll be booted into a white screen with three Android robots on skateboards. Select "Bootloader."
On the next screen, select "Recovery."
Your phone will reboot, giving you a picture of the Android robot and an exclamation point inside a triangle.
Now press the power button and volume up button at the same time. It could take a couple of tries.
Now (using the trackball this time) choose "Apply sdcard:update.zip" and let things run their course.
You may have to soft reset a couple of times after this. (I got a picture of the Android guy outside of a box. But a couple resets later and all was well.) But now multitouch is enabled, and we can sit back and relax, knowing that we have zero patience and just can't help ourselves.
For Android 1.6+ If your battery isn't lasting as long as you think it should (does it really ever?), there could be a rogue process or application sucking down more juice than it should. And keeping an eye on what's hitting the battery is pretty simple.
Just go to Settings>About phone>Battery use and you'll get an easy-to-read chart showing what's been going on since your phone was last plugged in. Chances are the display (as in the phone's screen) will be near the top of the list, so turning down the brightness might be one of the first things you try.
Sure, being able dictate e-mails, text messages -- anything you want, really -- to your Nexus One is pretty darn cool. But it comes at a price: There's no comma directly on the on-screen keyboard. OK, you can hold down the period, or switch over to the symbols to get it. But for me, that's one step too many. But you can put the comma back on top of the keyboard, if you don't mind trading voice input to do so. Here are the steps:
With the on-screen keyboard open, hold down on ?123 (in the bottom left corner)
Choose Android keyboard settings from the pop-up.
Uncheck Voice input.
That's it. You'll now have a comma back on top of the on-screen keyboard, at the expense of voice input. You can always turn it back on, though, doing the same steps. [@bck via @palmsolo]
Two words phrases we throw around a lot: Soft reset and hard reset. The former is what it's called when you turn your phone off and on, or pull the battery. The latter is a bit more drastic. But sometimes things go wrong, and you need to restore it back to its factory settings, wiping all of your applications and personal data. Here's how you hard reset the Google Nexus One:
With the phone off, hold the Volume Down button and press and release the Power button.
You'll boot into the menu you see above with the little skateboard guys. Select Clear Storage from the list by pressing the Volume Down button.
Press the Power button, and confirm by pressing Volume Up.
Sit back while your phone reboots in its virgin state.
The first thing I was told after being handed a Motorola Droid was: "Be careful with that battery cover. It loves to come off." And, sure enough, it does.
The good news is that Bryan at The Gadgeteer has posted up a quick video showing a few quick seconds with a small flathead screwdriver can help keep that cover in place, so long as you don't mind some very minor surgery to your device. (We're not worried about it, but isn't really an official fix or anything.)
Check out video of Bryan's fix after the break, and let us know if it helps you any.
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