How to get the most out of your Android phone

I’ve been using an Android phone since April, and it took me a while to get used to Google’s OS. I’d had two Symbian devices before getting the HTC Desire, and as it turns out, I made a few mistakes in getting used to my new phone that ended up keeping me from fully enjoying my new phone. I found myself needing to unlearn old habits in order to use Android as it was intended. Here’s what I learned.
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Opera just made browsing on Symbian fun again

Opera logoI while ago I wrote about how Gravity, a native Twitter client for Symbian added some much-needed sexiness to that somewhat outdated operating system. But what Symbian was really lacking was a good, modern browser. And it seems like Opera has just fixed that.

Symbian’s built-in browser is painfully slow to use. It loads pages and then seems to re-render them using the attached style sheet (meaning it’ll first show you part of the page’s content and then appear to start all over again). It also does not play well with modern web apps that use lots of javascript and AJAX. I used it only if I had no other option, and greatly preferred the browser on my iPod Touch.
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Ovi Store won’t sell me Gravity

calvin gravity bill cartoonThe launch of Nokia’s Ovi app store doesn’t seem to be going very well. Both TechCrunch and Allaboutsymbian are reporting issues, and my initial impressions also weren’t so great either. I tried to find the only Symbian app I’ve ever paid for on store.ovi.com, and I couldn’t. It was available, but just not for my phone.

Gravity has been humming along nicely on my Nokia E71. I love it so much I sometimes tweet from my phone while I’m sitting behind my PC. But if I select the E71 on the Ovi Store, Gravity disappears from all listings. Meanwhile, Mobileways, who created Gravity, even use the E71 as an example of a phone you could use with their product.

It looks like you need to select a touch screen phone in order for Gravity to show up, even though that app absolutely does not require such a phone. Luckily, it seems the mobile version of the website doesn’t seem to filter based on your handset.

Gadget history: Mobile phones

Nokia 6150This might turn into a series of posts. I thought it’d be cool to list the gadgets in a certain category that I’ve actually owned and used, and do a sort of short hindsight reviews. I’m pretty sure there are people out there who’ve used a some of the same devices and share (or disagree with) my experiences. First up: mobile phones.

I’ve had seven up until now, if you count the first one which I actually shared with my girlfriend. Cell phones, and the contracts that came with them were terribly expensive back then. Both the first and last ones are from Nokia, but that’s just about the only thing they have in common.
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Nokia E71 – And I thought the E51 was impressive!

Nokia E71Around this time of the year, my mobile contract comes up for renewal. For a gadget freak like me that means shopping for a new phone. I could have gone for a sim-only contract and cut costs a little, but with so many shiny new toys available every year where’s the fun in that? I did consider keeping my beloved E51 because I really really liked it, but the E71 was just too darn shiny.

Wired magazine called the E71 an “iPhone killer“, but that really doesn’t do it justice. In fact, except for being roughly the same size, it’s pretty much the opposite of Apple’s offering. It has a physical keyboard, it runs an OS that was designed for mobile phones, and it’s software is an open platform.
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