Tag Archive: Nexus One


There has been a lot of talk about Google all across the internet since their conference this week. The internet giant unleashed details on their long awaited GoogleTV project, and proved that they are finally a serious competitor to the iPhone with the details of Android 2.2 – codename: Froyo. What exactly can you expect from the new update?

The Home Screen

There has been a slight update to the home screen that surely does come in handy and will have you wondering how you lived without it in the past. There are dedicated Phone, Application Launcher and Browser shortcuts on the Home Screen which are easy to access across all five home screen panels. Aside from this we are offered a new Home Screen Tips Widget which will show users how to configure their home screens with shortcuts and widgets. Aside from these two features you won’t notice much of a difference, but having that browser shortcut on all of your home screens does come in handy.

Microsoft Exchange Support

For those of you using your Android device in a Microsoft work environment, Exchange support has been giving a substantial upgrade to make your life easier. Some of the features included in 2.2 are.

Remote Wipe: Exchange administrators can reset to factory defaults to secure your data if you lose your phone or it is stolen, all from the comfort of an office chair.
Exchange Calendars: Now supported in the native Calendar application.
Auto-discovery: No need to memorize all those pesky server addresses or port settings, for those using Exchange 2007 or higher all you need is your user-name and password to setup your Exchange account.
Global Address Lists: Directly from the Email application you can perform name lookups from your Exchange Global Address Lists, pretty handy for users on the move.

Portable Hotspot

Rumors had been floating around that some form of mobile tethering system would be implemented in the next Android Update and I am glad to report that 2.2 delivers. Devices such as the Nexus One can be turned into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot that can be shared between 8 devices. Or if you prefer you can plug your phone in via USB to a laptop and share the 3G connection for internet access. In other words no need to pay the extra cash for the 3G iPad, just get the Wi-Fi version and connect it to your Nexus One while you are on the go!

Speed Demon

Early reports stated that Froyo was going to be a speed demon when compared to 2.1 and I’m happy to say Google have delivered on this promise. A new engine called the V8 makes loading Java-Script a breeze, with Google now holding the title of the fastest phone browsing experience in the world. Let’s not forget that 2.2 allows support for Adobe Flash 10.1! Sorry iPhone/iPad users, Apple kinda let you down in that department. It still remains to be seen if Flash on a phone is a good idea, but at least 2.2 allows you to make that decision.

Along with the vast browser improvements the implementation of JIT (Just-In-Time) compiler you can expect a 2x-5x speed performance boost across the board of your applications! This also allows for smoother transitions and faster application switching.

Over The Air Updates

Soon the Android Marketplace will be accessible from your PC where you can download applications to your computer. Utilizing Over The Air updates, the application will then be automatically installed to your android device. Same goes with the music you buy from the Amazon store, no need to sync your device with your PC!

Another great feature utilizing OTA updates is direct streaming your iTunes Library wirelessly to your Froyo enabled device. Note this will only work on non-DRM content.

Tidbits

Along with these key points you will notice refined pinch to zoom controls for browsing and other applications, hardware compass access to the browser that is handy for real time map reading, accessing camera form the browser, voice support for Google Translate, installation of applications and running them from the SD card and many more.

So When Can You Expect It?

2.2 is being rolled out across Nexus One users right now. For those of you using any Android devices from 2010 or perhaps the very end of 2009 the update will be coming in the next few weeks. For those on older devices I’m sorry to report that you are shit out of luck. Don’t worry though, the very talented and active mod community will have something running for your device shortly no doubt! 🙂

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Twitter has quickly risen from a new Social Networking tool to becoming an integral part of every day life for people on the go. This is largely due to the vast majority of users Tweeting on the go from various web based clients and applications from their mobile devices. Finding a Twitter client that is suited to your wants and needs can be hard, especially without guidance. So to help you navigate the vast jungle of clients available on the Android Marketplace, I have compiled a shortlist of the ones that are worth checking out. All of these clients are free, and the review is based upon usage on a HTC Nexus One. So without further delay, let’s get Tweeting!

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Twidroid

Twidroid is the most popular Twitter app on the Android Marketplace and has a loyal following. The free version certainly has a lot of features, but the paid version will unlock additional features such as the ability to link multiple accounts and to upload video.

What Twidroid Does Right:

  • Easy to navigate User Interface. There is never screen clutter with the toolbar down the bottom to navigate to Home Feed, DM, Mentions and search.
  • Tapping on a tweet brings up a clean overlay that features the mentioned links, profiles and hashtags. Then there are easy buttons to Re-Tweet, reply and view a tweeters profile.
  • Configure Twidroid to do what you want it to. Set the frequency of notifications, font size, the number of tweets in your feed. Set it up how you want it.

What Twidroid Needs To Improve:

  • When viewing user profiles you can’t select tweets. This makes it hard when viewing a new followers profile, or tweets that are missed out in your feed due to the maximum size of your timeline.
  • Slow and unreliable. I found that Twidroid had performance issues and often crashed. Updates fix this on certain devices but it still is rather sluggish compared to some of the other clients out there.

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Swift

Swift is quickly picking up a fan base among Android users. While the interface may take some time to get used to, the functionality in this application makes it worth a look.

What Swift Does Right:

  • Performance is where it’s at when it comes to a mobile Twitter clients, and Swift has that in spades. Loads quickly and updates feed fast and furiously.
  • Unlike other Twitter clients that limit the number of tweets appearing in your feed, Swift keeps a constant feed, allowing you to back track and respond to everything in your backlog. Don’t worry, there is a convenient “Jump To Now” button so you don’t have to scroll all the way back to the top.
  • Ever tried to send a Tweet and lose network connection, and have your awesome joke just vanish? Well Swift will automatically resend failed tweets until they get onto the internet! A very handy feature!
  • When selecting a tweet with a shortened link Swift will show you the full URL so you can decide if it’s worth loading up on your mobile browser.

What Swift Needs To Improve:

  • You can’t view your own profile unless you search for yourself or select a tweet mentioning you, and sometimes you just really need to check your profile out.
  • While the user interface is clean and free of clutter, it just isn’t as intuitive as other solutions on the Android platform.
  • Sometimes you won’t receive confirmation that your tweet has been successful, so when in doubt check your feed to avoid double posting.

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Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a robust Twitter application that has been available on the iPhone for a while now, but is relatively new to the Android platform. Offered in a free version that limits the user to three accounts or a full fledged version which offers limitless accounts plus stat tracking.

What Hootsuite Does Right:

  • Gorgeous and functional user interface. The screen is never cluttered and each feed is hosted on a separate screen which can be viewed simply by flicking across the screen like the home screen function of the Android Home Screen.
  • Fast, speedy and reliable service. Hootsuite is one of the fastest Twitter clients around and I have yet to have it crash on me.
  • Background notifications. Even when the application is closed Hootsuite will notify you when you have been mentioned on Twitter. More often than not it notified me before my desktop PC client would.
  • When you have a lot of mentions from one person if you click on that tweet it will backtrack the whole conversation for you in one screen. Certainly comes in handy!

What Hootsuite Needs To Improve:

  • Getting used to so many screens can be intimidating to some users.

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Xeeku

Xeeku is one of the most feature laden Twitter clients I have ever used, some of which seem strange to say the least. If you can get past a user interface that looks like a Witch threw up on your screen, Xeeku could become a deadly tool in your mobile arsenal.

What Xeeku Did Right:

  • A comprehensive selection when viewing tweets. You can reply, retweet, go to the user profile, mentioned profile, open up a link or search Hashtags. The best option of all is the Gmail Share option which allows you to share the tweet with your friends and family who aren’t on Twitter via your Gmail account.
  • Much like Hootsuite, Xeeku will put all the @replies you have received from one user onto one screen so you can refer to your conversation.
  • Opening a user profile will bring up their “Friends Draw” which will show photos of the users they are following, much like the Twitter web page.
  • There is a Gallery option which opens up a random selection of featured user photos from the Xeeku website.

What Xeeku Needs To Improve:

  • Nasty user interface. A horrible selection of colours and gradients that makes it look like a Witch threw up on your screen. Messy and confusing row of buttons at the bottom of the screen also add to the horrible user interface.
  • If you want a customise your Twitter experience then stay away from Xeeku. It has no settings menu what-so-ever, as soon as you put in your account details, what you see is what you get.
  • Unreliable and inconsistent comes to mind when thinking about Xeeku. The app often crashes and is quite slow when compared to other clients out there.

The Final Verdict?

At the end of the day each of us are different and we all look for different qualities in a mobile Twitter experience. Some features will appeal more to others, but if you want a good base to start I highly recommend checking out Hootsuite. It’s gorgeous interface and reliability makes it my Twitter client of choice on the Android platform.

google-nexus-one-android-mobile-smartphone-g9flenajdgal.jpgSo you have been eyeing off one of these glorious Nexus One’s for a while now but still unsure if you want to go through all the trouble of importing one? I was just like you a few months ago, but my recent trip to the USA soon made owning one of these bad boys an easier task to handle. Before making the crucial decision I really wanted to know one simple thing: How does the Nexus One handle the Australian Telecommunication Climate. The answer to this question seemed too hard to find, so I hope this blog post will make it easier for you to make an informed decision.

Purchasing A Nexus One: Price and Delivery

Currently the Nexus One is not available in Australia for purchase and Google won’t ship one out to you. Here you have a few options. If you are like me you can just order one while you are on holiday in the states and get it delivered to your location overnight. Unfortunately I doubt many of you will be heading to the USA anytime soon and you want this phone now right? If you have friends you can simply get it delivered to them, and they can ship it across to you. There are also a number of mail forwarding companies that will accept the shipment, and then pass it on to you for a fee. Your only other options are Ebay or a select number of stores in Sydney who are importing these phones and selling them for a large profit.

Buying the phone direct from Google will sting you $520 USD which equates to roughly $560 AUD.

Network Profiles: Will It Work On Australian Networks?

Just recently AT&T released their version of the Nexus One, and I am happy to say the AT&T version is 100% compatible with the Telstra Next G Network. If you purchase the AT&T version it will work fine with Telstra and every other carrier within Australia. If you purchased the T-Mobile version then you will get 3G speeds in Metro Areas on Telstra, but when in the country you will only be connecting to the EDGE network. T-Mobile version will work fine on the Optus or Vodafone networks with 3G speeds. If you want to be sure, I’d say get the AT&T version if possible.

How Is The Nexus One?

I’ve been using the Nexus One in a country area for two weeks now and have had no issues with network performance what-so-ever. It runs like a dream and has superior speed and call quality to my iPhone 3G. While it won’t take over the iPhone market, the Nexus One is the first true Google Phone that pulls no punches in being a worthy alternative to the ever popular Apple device. Well worth the money in my opinion.