Froyo OTA Update for Droid X Brick Your Phone? Try this.

Don’t worry, it probably didn’t actually brick it.

The very first day I had my Droid X I decide to download the OTA update to Android 2.2, the download was quick and painless, install seemed to go fine, at least until my Droid X restarted and seemingly got stuck on the Motorola logo screen.

Interestingly enough, if I moved my finger across the screen where the unlock button should be, the phone would vibrate. It would even ring if you called it, but it still only displayed the giant Motorola M.

Two things you can try to fix this. First:

  • Take off the back cover
  • Remove the battery
  • Also remove the SD card
  • Put the battery back in and restart the phone, leaving the SD card out

For me at least it booted fine, then I shut down, reinstalled the SD card and restarted again. All was back to normal.

If that fails and the unit still won’t boot past the M, remove and promptly reinstall the battery.

  • Hold both the Home and Power button until you see the little Android / warning triangle.
  • Press the Search key
  • Using the Volume keys (up/down) highlight Factory Data Reset. Press the Camera button to select it.
  • Tap Yes – delete all user data; then OK.
  • After 1-2 minutes the process should finish. Double check that “reboot system now” is highlighted, then tap OK.

iPhone vs. Android – Part 1: Acquisition

This series offers a comparison of the iPhone vs. Android experience.

First, a little back story. I’ve owned several iPhones over the years, but all the while have kept a cheapo Alltel/Verizon phone with which to make actual phone calls. And while AT&T has improved the data network quite a bit over the years, I’m ready to move onto something more reliable. That and consolidate to just one phone.

Naturally, since Palm/HP and its webOS has handsets made for midgets and Blackberry’s are about as user-friendly as a porcupine, I decided to go with Android, specifically the Droid X. Over the next few weeks I plan on chronicling the process of switching from iOS to Android.

This part of my experience might be rather skewed, as I never bought an iPhone anywhere near launch. Never waited in line, even for an hour or two, in fact my first iPhone was mailed to be almost 6 months after they were originally released.

That said, the one time I did acquire an iPhone in a retail environment, it was actually rather pleasant. Three months after the iPhone 3G was released I decided on a whim, to go pick one up for work, I pulled into the local mall, walked into the AT&T store and then approached one of the six employees aimlessly wandering around the store and asked for an iPhone. Moments later one was brought from the back, and I walked to the counter to active it. A few simple questions, and I was all ready to go, and out the door. Total time spent: 15 minutes.

Droid X
Admittedly the odds were not in Verizon’s favor when I walked into the store to purchase my Droid X. Even though I fully expected to have them mail the actual handset to me, I was making the trip anyway because I needed to move my current phone from Alltel to Verizon, as well as add my phone to my wife’s Verizon account since she gets a lovely discount for being an employee of the local hospital.

I cleverly planned my appointment to coincide with the commencement of tailgating for the football game that afternoon, in hopes that there would be fewer people on the store. It kind of worked, I only had to sit around for 20 minutes.

After my “short” wait, I got my new phone ordered in about five minutes. One guy told me it’d take seven days to get the phone, another staff member said just two days. I wasn’t able to move my account over until the new phone arrived however, since my old phone was an Alltel handset.

In the mean time I was left dreaming of my new toy, suddenly my iPhone seemed sluggish and bulky, even though the Droid X dwarfs the iPhone.

Actual time for the phone to arrive? Four days.

Thankfully it arrived earlier enough in the day for me to head back to the Verizon store. After a  two minute wait, they moved my account and activated my phone in about ten minutes. Much faster.

The victor?
I’m going to call this one a tie, since if I’d ever bought an iPhone this close to launch there would’ve been some extra waiting involved.

Top 5 Android Apps – Part 1

Thanks to a post on a forum I frequent, I’ve decided to put together a five-part series discussing my favorite applications.  For part 1, I’m going to list my top 5 “everyday” applications, i.e. applications that I use every day and are the reason my wife says I’m “married to my phone.”

  1. Touiteur Premium (Free/~$2.70 Premium) –  Touiteur is my favorite Twitter application.  Since it came out, it’s had the best user interface, and the developers have gone on to make it a full-feature application.  The free version provides many options, but purchasing the Premium version unlocks all the options, and in my opinion it’s well worth the upgrade.
  2. Locale ($9.99 + $0 – $0.99 for plugins) – Locale is my favorite automation application.  It ensures that my phone doesn’t ring at work, but always does at home.  It launches Touiteur when I dock it at work.  It also launches Slacker Radio when I plug in headphones.  I have about a dozen scenarios plugged into Locale, and I can always count on them to work.  Yes this app is expensive, and yes many of the plugins aren’t free, but it’s been well worth it to me.  I did try out Tasker, but I didn’t find it nearly as easy to use as Locale.  I also find the priorty setup of Locale more to my liking. 
  3. Folder Organizer (~$1.35) – Folder Organizer is really much more than the app name suggests.  It does allow you to group your applications into folders for your home screens, but it also allows you to add Bookmarks, Contacts, or other app shortcuts into folders.  Folder Organizer also lets you change the icon and the name of the application, making it easy to theme your icons to match your phone theme. There is a free version that only works with Applications called Apps Organizer as well.
  4. NewsRob Pro (Free/~$6.75 Pro) – NewsRob is a mobile source for Google Reader feeds.  It syncs with Google Reader, maintaining your read/unread status both ways.  While the mobile Google Reader is very good, NewsRob has ways of handling sites that don’t provide the full article in the feed.  NewsRob can auto display the full website, a stripped down version of the website, or an Instapaper version of the webpage if you desire.  This makes it much easier (and faster) to read through my feed as I don’t have to wait for the web page to load.  Background sync means I always have new items to read, and I can even read in areas with no service.  The free version is now ad supported, but the full version is worth it if you’re an RSS junkie.
  5. Slacker Radio – After going back and forth between Pandora and Slacker, I’ve settled on Slacker.  This has more to do with the music service than the application itself, but the app does work well on my Droid.  I found that with Pandora, my stations began to all play the same songs after awhile.  Slacker’s song logic doesn’t run all my songs together, and I can actually keep separate playlists.

These are just five of the apps that I use every day on my phone.  In the coming weeks I’ll list my favorite “stock replacement” apps, “relatively unknown” apps, apps for rooted users, and games.  If you have some apps that you love and use every day, leave the details in the comments.  I’m always on the lookout for great apps.

Android 2.2 Users: Go Get the New Gmail App!

Google announced today that a new version of their Gmail Android app has been made available in the Android Market.  This update is for users running Android 2.2 (Froyo) – (EVO and Droid Incredible users: see the update at the end of the post).   This new update includes several great features, as well as limited support for the new Priorty Inbox feature.  

Read On to find out more. Continue reading Android 2.2 Users: Go Get the New Gmail App!

Android Tablet Fever: Should You Catch It?

Most of the Android buzz over the last month or so has been related to tablet devices. Whether it’s the Dell Streak, the Samsung Galaxy Tab, or the myriad of other announced devices, tablets are all the talk right now. The problem is that right now, it’s just talk. Only a very small number of devices have been made available in the US at this point, and other than the Dell Streak, they’re made by unknown companies that are putting out poor quality devices.

Over the next couple months, the tablet market will take off with new devices. Samsung is going to be launching the Galaxy Tab, a 7-inch tablet that looks like a small iPad. Archos has announced four new devices ranging from 4-inches up to 10-inches. HP, Toshiba, and ViewSonic are building Android tablets as well.

Should you jump on the emerging bandwagon and run out to get an Android tablet?  Read on to find out. Continue reading Android Tablet Fever: Should You Catch It?