Android App Review: SkyDroid – Golf GPS

Publisher: Paul Goldstein
Platform: Android (1.5 and above)
Cost: $1.99
[AppBrain Link][Official homepage]
Release Date: April 5, 2010 (v. 1.6)
Version Reviewed: 1.6

Apologies for missing my regular Tuesday time-slot.  I was out all day yesterday putting this app to good use.

Are you a golfer with an Android phone?  If so, SkyDroid is the app for you.  SkyDroid is a golf GPS application that provides similar functionality to standalone golf GPS devices for a fraction of the cost.  SkyDroid uses your phone’s GPS function to provide accurate distance to the green and other notable course items (bunkers, water hazards, etc.).  As a golfer, the ability to know exactly how far from the green you are can be invaluable, especially if you find yourself off the main fairway.   No more searching for sprinkler heads or yard markers – the data is right on your phone! Continue reading Android App Review: SkyDroid – Golf GPS

Android App Review: Tweetdeck Beta

Platform: Android (2.0 or higher)
Cost: Free!
[Signup Link]
Release Date: August 12, 2010
Version Reviewed: 0.9.3

With great fanfare, Tweetdeck announced the release of the public beta for their Tweetdeck Android app.  Tweetdeck has been working on the application for several months, and promised to “push the boundaries” of the Android app experience.  Have they delivered?  Read on to find out. Continue reading Android App Review: Tweetdeck Beta

Android ROMs: Source or Tweaked Build?

If you’ve got a rooted Android device, there may be several full ROM builds available for your device.  These ROMs are full system builds of Android with various customizations that often go above and beyond the stock Android experience.

ROMs are generally built for one or more specific purposes.  Some ROMs (the famous CyanogenMod for example), are built with many extra features and options that go way above and beyond the base Android options.  Other ROMs are streamlined for speed, with overclocked kernels and many memory tweaks to optimize the device.

Regardless of the ROM’s purpose, there are only two ways to build a ROM, from the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) source code, or by customizing an existing build of the OS for the device.  Read more about them after the break.

Continue reading Android ROMs: Source or Tweaked Build?

Get the Official Android 2.2 Update for the Motorola Droid!

Good news for the Motorola Droid users out there!  The official file for the Android 2.2 (FroYo) update has been located on Google’s servers by one of the early receivers.  This means you don’t have to wait for the file to be pushed to your device – you can download it and install it now!

This is the official file directly from Google’s servers and is the exact file being pushed out to phones.  The install process is pretty easy and is outlined after the break. Continue reading Get the Official Android 2.2 Update for the Motorola Droid!

Juice Up Your Battery Life!

If there’s a consistent complaint among most Android phones, it’s the battery life. Especially as the screens get larger and higher-resolution, the battery life continues to shrink (I’m looking at you, Droid Incredible!). While there are some options for higher capacity batteries on the market, I’m going to go over some ways you can extend the life of the battery you’ve got.

To discover where your battery issues lie, the first thing you need to do is see what’s eating up your battery. I recommend checking this after you’ve run your battery down most of the way on a normal day of use. To check your battery use, go to your Android Settings -> About Phone -> Battery Use. You should see a screen that looks something like mine. This screen will tell you how long your phone has been unplugged and what applications are using the most battery. Depending on how you use your phone, you can expect to see things like the Display and Phone calls toward the top of the list. If you have any installed applications using much more than 2-3% of your battery (depending on your usage), you might want to see if they have any settings that might reduce their impact. Continue reading Juice Up Your Battery Life!