Saturday, 25 September 2010

Using My HTC Desire Android Smartphone On Holiday

(If you're reading this in RSS / email and can't see the video, click here.)

This is the link to the blog / website I wrote about our Isle of Wight Holiday, using my HTC Desire to write the Posts and take the photographs.

A whole week without a proper PC! This was going to be a real test for my HTC Desire Google Android smart-phone, and I have to say that (with one slight modification and plenty of charging) it came through with flying colours.

First up, that modification. You may have heard me mention that the photos from my Desire had become misty, soft and unfocussed. This is because the clear piece of plastic on the back cover that is in front of the real camera lens had become opaque. I couldn't clean it, so in a fit of temper I pressed on it and the offending item simply popped off!

Now my photographs were even better than before. Of course there's a higher likely-hood of crap getting into the phone through this hole, but I always keep my mobile phone in a pouch when I'm not using it, so hopefully that'll protect it.

Taking photographs with my HTC Desire, editing them on the phone, then uploading them to Flickr the same or the very next day, was very good. I used the phone's built in camera app, then I imported the full-res versions into the paid version of Vignette. After converting to Black and White and saving, I used the Desire's Galley app to share them via Flickr.

The only fly in the ointment of these photos is the visible banding in the sky, as you can see here:
View Of Needles From Viewing Platform

This banding is in areas of similar tone, and I think where I converted to b&w there just wasn't enough information to do a gradual transition. The colour versions don't show the banding as strongly.

As I said in the Video, I wrote a blog while we were on holiday, on my phone:

Our Isle Of Wight Holiday

I tried to use Blogaway, but that wasn't working, so I stuck with the HTC Desire's built in Internet Browser, and edited the posts straight on blogspots website. Note though that I could only use the "Edit HTML" box to write text, and not the "Compose" box. I added the photo's when we got home, as at that time the phone's browser wouldn't let me access the drop-down menus on Flickr to grab each photo's URL. With Froyo now installed, the drop-down menus do appear, so I could write the whole posts using my cell-phone.

The Google Maps App, and the GPS Sat Nav Navigation, were great, as long as there was a decent cell-phone signal. Unfortunately on the Isle of Wighht there are plenty of dead-spots, so we had to rely on our trusty Garmin Nuvi 200 (which has al the maps stored in its memory) as our main navigation device.

Google reader, accessed via a shortcut, was a great way to pass the evenings and catch up with my favourite websites, and of course Peep kept me up to date with everything going on in Twitter.

So, my HTC Desire Phone did very well on this holiday trip, mostly negating the need for a lap-top or netbook. Now if I only had a more powerful battery so that I didn;t have to charge it so often...

Thanks, Rob.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Froyo, The Android 2.2 Update Arrives At Last!

Well, I checked the settings on my HTC Desire, and at last it said that the Android 2.2 update, Froyo, was ready to download!

It all seems to have worked ok, apart from my custom keyboard, the imod version that allows voice input, has stopped working. This isn't a problem as the updated Froyo keyboard includes voice input as standard.

What I've done so far is to transfer a few apps to my SD card, which has freed up plenty of phone memory. I've played around with the mobile hotspot option, and had a quick go with the new browser.

Everything seems a little smoother and quicker, so i will have to see how it goes over the next couple of weeks and come back with a video.

Thanks, Rob.

Ps T-mobile why did it take so long?