Saturday, 3 April 2010

Battery Life And Blogging On The Move

So today I put my HTC Desire through its paces again, learning as I go.

As I posted earlier,  Blogaway  seems to be a decent local app for posting to Blogger / blogspot sites and I'm using it to write this article. (Did you see how I slipped that link in there too!)

I did have a problem though, when I tried to insert a photo into my last post, the upload kept failing. I guessed that this was because the photo was far too wide and the file size too large for either Blogaway or Blogger to handle, so I had to find way of resizing my photos.

The photo app that comes with the phone doesn't include resizing, nor does the PhotoShop app. I checked the Android Market and there wasn't anything obvious there, but the answer was already on my phone:   Picsay.

Picsay is a great free little photo app that let's you do some basic image editing, including resizing then saving your image. (The feature is under Transform option). This is perfect for making photos around the 400 pixels width that fits this blog template. There is a catch with the free version of Picsay, you're always limited to working on Lo res versions of your photographs.

So if I want to post to this blog from my android phone, I've got a few options. I can use Blogaway, but have to make sure I resize my photos first. I can access this blog through the Android browser, but I can't easily add links or photos. lf I want a post with with a link to a hi res photo at the top I have to first upload the photo to Flickr, then blog from there, but I can't easily add tags or links that way (but its the best for photos!)

Time and practice will decide the winner, but I think that ill probably be using Blogaway for this site, and maybe the Flickr method for my photo site, if I want a nice hi res image.

As you can guess, photo editing on my HTC Desire has been one of my top priorities, and this is what I've learnt so far. The in-built apps have little options to edit your photos after you've taken them, nothing beyond crop and rotate.

The trick with the HTC camera app is to select the style you want before you take the picture. Increase the contrast, change to grey scale or boost the saturation, the press the shutter release. This will give you the highest resolution images to upload to Flickr.

If you want more of a creative look,  Fxcamera offers loads of great looks, where again you've got to choose the style before you shoot. (The toy camera black and white is excellent). The down side is that you're shooting at a lower resolution than the native camera app.

If we're looking at post processing both Picsay and PhotoShop reduce the resolution of your photographs.

Finally my simple battery life test that I did today. I've made a customized scene (the look of the home pages) that has a plain black background and includes the Android power control widget. I left the phone radio on all day, made a few calls and text messages, took some photos and did some web browsing. The phone had a full charge and lasted ten hours, pretty good, but I was hardly using it. Time to buy a spare battery and a car charger!

Cheers, Rob.

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