Mobile Tech

This is a basic list of applications for the new android user.  By no means does one need to have any of these installed to enjoy the android experience.  However, this is a good place to start.

BeWeather – Everyone wants to know what the weather is doing.  While there are some other excellent choices there is not much better than BeWeather.  The radar is what truly sets it apart and above the others.  This is without a doubt well worth the money.

Dolphin Browser HD – This is the best android browser available.  (I’ve tried just about everything available)  There are plugins that provide additional features like FireFox on the pc.  (yes there is a FireFox android browser available.  However, it sucks.)

Google Plus aka G+ – This is simply the best instant messaging application available for android.  Personally, I don’t use the Facebook like part of it.  I use G+ rather than Gtalk because I can send pictures and group functionality works nice.

SwiftKey 3 – This is my preferred keyboard.  It functions flawlessly and the predictions are superior to any other keyboard. 

Greader – My preferred rss feed reader.

DogCatcher – One of the best podcast applications I’ve used.

ES File Explorer – Everyone should have a good file explorer.  This is free and among the best. 

Plume – I’ve tried almost every Twitter client available and always come back to Plume.  What more can I say?

TapaTalk – If you love to browse the forums you’ll want this. 

K9 Mail – I have a bunch of email accounts on my android and hate the stock android Mail client.  K9 Mail just works great for me.

DropBox & Box – Both are excellent choices for your cloud storage needs.  They allow you to have access to your important files from anywhere with an Internet connection and a browser.  Upload your files from either pc or mobile device and access from anywhere.  Personally, I use both on a daily basis. 

Ever note – Simply the best cross platform note application available.  Works great on both mobile and pc.

All things Google – I have yet to be disappointed by any Google application.  The only exception being Google Reader and Google Music.  Others may not agree. 


There is no need to run on into a full detailed description of what Facebook is and how the android application functions.  So, I won’t.  What I wanted to say about it this morning is that there is been an update available for your downloading pleasure in the Play Store.  Big deal right?  Applications update all the time so what? 

So what?
In this Aug23, 2012 v1.9.8 update you will find three nice additional features.  Two of which I am personally certain that I will use and one I won’t. 

Change Log
New: Easily create events (something useful I’m sure but not for me)
New: Share photos faster with new Upload Flow
New: Add photos and emoji to messages

One word of caution… I have had multiple force closes with this particular update.  I’m uncertain and haven’t verified with other trusted android abusers if this is a bug in the application or possibly just an isolated case of “application not playing rnice with my rom of choice.”  I will do some checking and if I find in fact it is a bug in the application I will attach a link to the previous version here.

I have checked in with several other trusted android abusers to see if they were seeing the same force close issue that I found. Consensus is that yes there appears to be a bug in today’s v1.9.8 update. If you are experiencing these issues grab the previous 1.9.7 version HERE

Tonight the doors of have swung closed for the final time.  The end of an era.  This has not been unexpected.  In fact, the closing of unfortunately has been eminent for some time. 

The simple reason any site including shuts down is the lack of time available to dedicate to adding fresh content.  The reality of life is that we all have real jobs that pay the bills at home.  The small amount of time left in the day after work is usually filled family activities.  While each staff member at would love to sit and write breaking tech news stories, code hybrids and develop roms we simply can not pay the mortgage that way.  Sometimes real life is just that simple. 

I want to say thank you to everyone that has contributed to the site and given so freely of their time.  Your efforts are appreciated.  To all the staff, MyBBOTA and I wish to say thank you for all that you have done all while putting up with my stubborn opinionated self.

This is an ongoing project that will be added to as time permits.  And as such you may find that at times it looks unfinished… Because it is.

Initial Setup
On initial setup (new device or after flashing a new ROM) skip through the setup screen until you see this…


Enter your primary Gmail account.  Be sure to use the one that you want everything tied to such as your contacts list as well as any applications you may purchase from Google Play aka the Market.

What about adding other email accounts?  You can always use the native android Mail client.  However, it really sucks.  Third party applications rule here.  K9 Mail is efficient & customizable.   Find it free in the Play Store. 

Haptic Feedback
How do I shut off this crazy vibration every time I touch the screen? This is simple. Use the following to navigate to the proper place and uncheck one box.
Menu/System Settings/Sound/
Now scroll down until you find “Vibration Feedback” near the bottom. Simply uncheck the box.

How to add/remove Home Screen icons
The ability to add, remove or rearrange Home Screen elements is simply one of the best features of android.

Long press on any Home Screen icon or widget to move its position or to drop it in the “Trash Can” to remove it from the screen.

You want to add an icon from the application drawer? Simply open the app drawer, long press and hold on the chosen application and then release it on the Home Screen. Now move it to the desired spot.

Adding new widgets is a matter of long pressing on an open space on the Home Screen on which you wish to see the widget. Long press pops up a menu which gives you several options. Choose widget, this allows you to scroll through the available selections.

How do I change the wallpaper?
There are two painfree methods for setting wallpaper. Both achieve the same results.

Long press on the Home Screen and choose “Wallpaper” from the menu. Then choose Gallery, navigate to the proper folder and make your selection, click on the image, click “More”, then “Set As.”

Exiting an Application
When exiting an application there are two easy ways to accomplish this, each giving different results. Simply hitting the “Home” key will immediately bring you from whatever screen you happen to be on straight to the Home Screen. This is ok most of the time. However, this method leaves the application you were previously using in an open/active state. I will often times do this so that I can get right back to what I had been doing at a later time. By far the best method of exiting an application once finished using it is to hit the “Back Arrow” until you arrive back on the Home Screen.

QBall45’s recommended applications
ES File Explorer – you will likely want/need a file explorer. This one is efficient and free.

K9 Mail – simply one of the better 3rd party mail handling clients. It is also free.

BeWeather – this is a fantastic weather application. I highly recommend it. Both free and paid.

Plume – a personal favorite Twitter client.
SwiftKey 3 – this is one of the very best 3rd party keyboards. Very much worth its price. The predicted text is fabulous. Free trial and paid.

I’ve previously written on the subject of mobile application developers.  Most of the time it’s in a positive light.  Once in a while I trip over something that just needs to have a spotlight shown on it.  As is the case today.  Below you will find a screen shot of an email reply from a developer to a paying customer.


This is simply inexcusable behavior by a professional developer.  Period.  I can not begin to imagine what he was thinking. Obviously he wasn’t.

In the case of developers that display poor judgment or fail miserably at providing quality customer service after accepting payment I have no option but to bring it forth to the public.