Category: Andriod

Google Maps on Android

I saw this post about Google Maps on Android, and I thought I would share my comments.  I had the opportunity to use my Google Maps for navigation on a trip a couple of weekends ago to Chicago.  During the middle of that trip, I decided to upgrade my Google Maps through the Market.  Here are some things I noticed.

  • Before the upgrade, I could choose a destination from my history for getting directions.  That was handy because we kept going to the same places in various combinations.  After the upgrade, history was not an option.  I did find that if I could remember some of the address, it would autocomplete from my history and that worked good enough.
  • I like the new feature where I can click on a location on the map and get directions from or to that spot.
  • One feature I would like is the ability to add way points or adjust the route.  If we wanted to force a route or drive past a point, we would have to get directions in two separate steps.
  • I had the opportunity to use some else’s iPhone also.  One thing I missed on the iPhone was the menu button.  When I look for settings or options on my gPhone, I typically press the menu button and find it there.  On the iPhone, it has to be somewhere on the screen because the phone had no menu button.  It just surprised me that I kept looking for a menu button.  I never did figure out how to turn the GPS on and off, but I did figure out how to get my current location and get directions.


Engadget: Google updates Maps through the Android Market

CupCake is Here!

As I was driving home, my phone finally asked if I wanted to install an update.  I had been reading about Android 1.5, and I was ready for that update!  My understanding is that this is the update that was called Cupcake.

I noticed an immediate difference as the phone was starting up.  The logo screen was different as it booted.  I feel like I have a new phone because everything looks different!  Many people say looks don’t have any value, but it did something for me.  I haven’t had time to play with it much, but I did notice the Camcorder application and I had a chance to see the virtual keyboard pop up.

Android: How do I get 1.5?

I found this post on Engadget: T-Mobile is beginning to deliver the new version to phones.  To my knowledge, I haven’t gotten the update yet — my phone hasn’t asked me to update.

The new version was announced at April 27th at the Google Developer’s blog.  In digging around, one of the things that I noticed was that the system image delivered with the SDK includes a video camera application.  I finally found the release features here.

Here are some of the features that caught my eye:

  • Refinement of all core UI elements — looking better is always good in my book
  • Accelerometer-based application rotations — I have a couple of games that use the Accelerometer so I know it works.  It will be nice to have more applications that use it!
  • Faster Camera start-up and image capture — The camera is horribly slow to capture pictures
  • Video recording — This will be cool

New Christmas Present: Google Phone

Well, my wife gave me a Google Phone for Christmas, and so, you will hopefully see some content about the phone and developing for it.  For now, let me just list some various tidbits about it for now.

First, I have noticed a definite difference in the Network.  We switched from Alltel to T-Mobile in order to get the phone.  I didn’t really have a signal problem in my normal stomping grounds.  Now, I get no signal in my parents house and have to walk outside if I want to place a call.  Coming out of church, I had to turn the phone off and back on again before it realized that I had a signal.

Another thing is that the phone doesn’t appear to use the hardware to the fullest extent.  For example, I haven’t found any applications that use the multitouch features, but Engadget reported that Ryan Gardner demonstrated that the phone does have the capability.  The other feature is the accelerometer.  It doesn’t seem to switch from landscape to portrait except when I open the keyboard.

The big feature that I need is a quick easy way to put the phone into etiquette mode.  If I walk into church, I would like to be able to turn the sound off so that it only vibrates.  Currently, the only way that I have found is to either turn off the sound in each individual application (like GMail, Calendar, Phone, etc.) or Silence the phone so that it doesn’t even vibrate.  Furthermore, I would love to have profiles.  When I am out and about, I would love to have it notify me if I get an email, but if I am in the office at my computer, I would rather my computer notify me rather than the phone.  I would like to configure profiles so that I can quickly switch between settings.

I hope to eventually develop some applications for the phone.  I am excited that this is very possible.  I have already installed the SDK.  Here are some links that are helpful:

Here are the applications that I use so far:

  • AcroBible Lite: A complete Bible on the phone
  • Bonsai Blast: An addictive little game
  • Browser
  • Calculator
  • Calendar: I use my Google Calendar much more
  • Camera: the camera works, but it is not the greatest camera
  • GMail
  • IM: I haven’t used it much, but I talked with my sister once
  • Maps: I used it to help with directions a couple of times.  I also used it to look up a phone number for ordering pizza.
  • Market: easy to install applications
  • PapiJump: a cool little game that demonstrates the accelerometer
  • Power Manager: easy to turn on/off things like the GPS
  • Tag ToDo: todo list application
  • The Weather Channel: nice application for looking up the weather
  • WeatherBug: Another interface for the weather
  • YouTube: only to watch Google Tech Talks

I installed the G1 Central application, but it didn’t really work.  I was hoping for a quick way to change the settings for where the phone rings, but it didn’t support those features.

Another thing I would love to have is a VPN to connect securely to resources at home while on the road.  I found an idea about using Juniper, but I haven’t tried it yet.