Following on the series, it's time to give you guys an insight into how I use my Android phone. Generally, I have two phones on the go, and up until recently one of those was a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I've now waved goodbye to the Nexus and welcomed into my life a shiny new (and white, most importantly) HTC One X. It would be a pretty short read featuring the One X, so we'll focus on my other daily driver -- my long serving LG Optimus 2X. The 2X is still the phone that runs my "normal" phone number, it's the one that people actually call and text me on -- yeah, people do still do that apparently. So I never leave the house without it.
After the break, i'll take you through it.
The Optimus 2X is fantastically hackable, and this in some ways is partly responsible for still owning the phone. It's rooted, and it's running a custom ROM. Up until a few weeks ago the 2X was very happy running CM7.1 based on Android 2.3.7. But, after using Ice Cream Sandwich, turning to Gingerbread really is tough. So, i decided to take the plunge and use an alpha build of CM9 based around Android 4.0.3, something we featured when it first surfaced. It isn't finished by a long way, there are bugs which need fixing in the camera, the video camera, and all across the OS. But, the big surprise is that it has been comfortable enough to use on a daily basis. I like to tinker, but how this stuff is built is way over my head. Kudos to the fellas over on XDA, and the CM team who come up with this stuff. Flashing it was easy through ClockworkMod Recovery. For all intents and purposes though, it's a fully functional, as near as vanilla Ice Cream Sandwich build. Looking forward to the finished article very much.
My home screens
Nothing exotic in the way of homescreens I'm afraid. I only use three screens, and there's not much on those either. I'm just not a multiple screen person for some reason. It all stems back to my iPhone days. I hated -- passionately hated -- the pre-folders iOS UI, with 8 or 9 screens filled with apps. I want everything I use regularly close at hand, everything else can go away in the app drawer. That said, I do like widgets, as long as they're for apps I use all the time. This is what inhabits the outer two homescreens
Power widget is pretty self explanatory. While most of the functions are in the notification tray, I like having this closer to where my hand sits most of the time. It's mainly used for adjusting brightness on the fly too. Otherwise we have an Accuweather widget, a widget for the app belonging to the motorsport site I write for -- not a shameless plug i assure you -- and widgets for the three most used audio apps on the phone -- Google Play Music, Spotify (still using the old version on this phone) and TuneIn Radio Pro.
The main homescreen is where I keep all the apps I use, all of the time. No widgets, just folders covering off most of the the things I use my phone for on a daily basis. The dock houses the phone, Play Store, messaging and browser apps. I actually go into the Play Store more than the Gmail app which surprised even me. The stock browser is the only thing that bugs me -- this ROM still isn't playing nice with Chrome Beta. Alarm Clock Free is my chosen alarm app, and deserves a place on my main homescreen. I too often forget to set an alarm, and I like to sleep in. A lot. We'll talk a little more about the apps a bit further down the page.
I'm always on the lookout for new apps, I try out anything and everything. The 2X is a little bare at the moment though, mainly because since flashing the ICS ROM, I just haven't felt like scrolling through the "My Apps" section in the Play Store and filling the phone back up again. What is on there though is stuff I use all the time, across multiple devices. I'll mention a few of the favourites though.
Sitting up top of course, the new Android Central Forums app. This doesn't really need talking about, after all, you all have it already right? At Bat 12 is another favorite though. Being in the UK, getting MLB coverage isn't easy, but this excellent app year on year continues to feed me all the baseball goodness I so crave. Camera ICS+ is there mainly because it works better with this ROM than the stock camera app. The second page is full of things you'd expect to see on a lot of Android devices, so we'll skip past those. Worth pointing out though, is that Google Maps Navigation is still my go to sat-nav. I drive around 40,000 miles a year and so far it hasn't let me down.
Boid is also a new favorite. Twitter clients are many and varying, but I've never found one that truly felt right. Boid has the honor of being the first to fit that bill. When this baby's finished, well, unless Carbon is as good as we all expect it to be, Boid will have a permanent home on my phone.
Delving further into my app drawer, some more pretty standard apps. Netflix is a given, since its launch in the UK I am forever using it. Fantastic service, the app could be better though. Pixlr-o-matic is a definite favourite. Not everyone likes "hipster" filters, but I do. Pixlr-o-matic is everything we were kind of expecting Instagram to be -- just without the social aspect. It's also free. Tweakdeck is still there too, for those times when Boid gets a little buggy. For those who haven't come across it, Tweakdeck is basically Tweetdeck, but better. And finally, Swiftkey X. Until I buy a phone that has it pre-installed, it's the first thing to go on any phone I buy. Like Twitter clients, everyone has a favorite, but I cannot speak highly enough of Swiftkey X. Since starting writing this, I've started to play around with the Swiftkey 3 Beta. Let's just say it definitely isn't leaving my phone anytime soon.
And there we have it. Nothing spectacular, but still a much loved and much used phone. It'll probably get left on the side a bit more now the One X is here, but I do love the 2X so very much. Everyone has that phone which just fits perfectly with them, and this is that phone for me. I've had it about a year now, and for its birthday, I think I'm going to buy it a nice new housing. Putting it on eBay never seems to happen, I just can't bring myself to sell it!
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