What’s On Your Home Screen

September 6, 2010

Kindle, Mobile Phone, Technology, Wireless

Now that I have a smartphone of my very own, it’s time to highlight what is on my home screen.  But before I do that, I need to note how I got the screen capture.

For those who have rooted their system, the process of a screen capture is quite simple.  But for those who are still clinging to a stock firmware build (like me), the process is slightly different. Nevertheless, the process is relatively straightforward.  You need to update your device driver on the computer system that will be connected to your phone.  Then you need to download and install the Android SDK.  Finally, you need to make sure you update your copy of the Java Development Kit.  [Note: The current Java build as I write this is JDK SE 1.6.21.]  The entire process is fully documented over at Simple Help.  And the results of my first screen capture are shown above.

So what do I have on my home screen?  Well the current favorite apps are as follows:

Location-based tools: Navigation (from Google), Places Directory (from Google), Yelp, and Foursquare.

  • With Navigation, my phone can literally answer the question of “Where Do I Want To Go Today?”  And it can tell me how to get there.
  • I use Places and Yelp to find cool places to visit and explore.  Places is very simplistic.  But its simple approach saves time when you’re in a hurry.  And for those times when you absolutely, positively need to know everything that is around you, Yelp is an astonishingly good tool to find all the hidden things that are close by.  Finally, I am like many techophiles.
  • I use Foursquare to tell folks where I am.  And I have fun trying to be the mayor of someplace other than my household.

Messaging Tools: Google Voice (from Google), GMail (from Google), Text Messaging (from Google), and Seesmic.

  • I use Google Voice for all my voice integration needs.  Indeed, it is my voicemail – even for the mobile phone itself.
  • As everyone know, GMail is my email client.  I love and use it for everything – including integrating other mailboxes across the net.
  • I used Text Messaging for just that: texting.  For the most part, SMS messaging is a dying art.  But my kids still use it a great deal.  I use Google Voice for most of my SMS needs.  But if someone does send an SMS message to my carrier, this app fills the bill.
  • Finally, I use Seesmic as my main tool for Twitter.  Have I used other tools?  Of course I have.  But Seesmic is always current.  It allows me to integrate multiple Twitter accounts.  And it look quite good.

Commerce-related Tools: Mobile Banking (from BoA, of course), Barcode Scanner (from Google), AppBrain, and Google Goggles (from Google).

  • I like having instant access to my bank statement.  So the banking app is self-explanatory.
  • The barcode scanner allows me to read UPC codes and determine the best prices in my local area.  It also reads QR codes.  So you can point your phone at a QR code and jump to the URL embedded within the code.
  • The AppBrain tool is an excellent market system for Android apps. It won’t replace the Android market. But AppBrain has a great review system to go along with the software inventory it houses.
  • Finally, I do use Google Googles to take pictures of things and see what the web has to say about the things that I snap pictures of.

Words and Thoughts: Dolphin Browser, Congress (from Sunlight Foundation), Kindle (from Amazon) and DailyBible (from Joansoft).

  • The Dolphin Browser runs circles around the basic Android browser.  When I needed to download an email attachment whose extension wasn’t registered, the basic browser failed while Dolphin succeeded.
  • Congress is an exceptional app that can tell you how your representatives are doing in Washington.  You can see pending and passed laws.  You can see what your Congressman or Senator has done.  And you can get their direct phone number – and call them directly.
  • The Kindle app is an excellent tool for e-reading.  For me, I have downloaded a few important books – but not my whole library.  For that, I still need my Kindle.
  • Finally, I use DailyBible to ensure that I geta great Bible verse to start each and every day.

There are a few other apps that I should note.  First, I use NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) for my screen saver.  I use ConnectBot to securely log into my servers at home.  I use Astro to perform miscellaneous file management tasks.  I use the Astrid Task Manager for my day-to-day task entry. I use Google Sky Map for really cool nighttime star-gazing. I use Pandora for streaming music. Finally, I use Shazam for recognizing music and buying miscellaneous songs while I’m on the go.

All in all, my Droid 2 is getting a good workout.  I’ve even updated the SD card already.  This is so reminiscent of PC systems in the nineties.  It’s kind of like the wild west and Star Trek – all at the same time.  I guess that means that the first movie I must play on my phone will be Joss Whedon’s “Serenity.”

-Roo

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One Comment on “What’s On Your Home Screen”

  1. Jerry Says:

    Very cool, Lorin, thanks for sharing all that. Great explanations too!

    Reply

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