I am slowing starting to get used to my Triumph. It takes a while for my brain to reprogram itself from iPhone thinking to Android thinking. I have finally straightened out my contacts list, learned more about my battery life and reception, and looked at some of the top Android apps (non medical).
Sigh… This by far is Android’s worst feature. My sister works for a cell phone company in Chicago and her husband works for an even bigger telecom company. Her company does not have the iPhone, his does. She uses an Android. (Everybody recognizes iPhones and it would be really gauche of her to have one indicating she is not even using the carrier she works for.) He has had an iPhone almost since they were a glimmer in Steve Jobs’ eye. So, when it comes to cell phones I can call for help. I called my sister and asked her about my contacts list problem. She made a big sigh and glumly said that it is awful. She said iPhone does a much better job and that Android and Google have made a real mess of the whole thing. Judging from the Internet and the Android help boards, a real mess is mild. The boards are full of people in the same or similar situations as I was with their contacts list. My sister said her husband helped her with her contacts list and she still has duplicate entries, old emails, etc. that she can’t fix. Unfortunately in the Android contacts list there can be information that are from FB, Gmail, Yahoo, or anything else you have synced and if that information is a duplicate or wrong you can’t delete it. You try and it says you can’t delete information because it is from FB. Once I discovered the mess and realized it was from syncing things I turned off syncing. You would think that would eliminate the duplicate entries and all information in my contacts from FB and Yahoo. Nope, still there and still couldn’t delete it. That is what was the most frustrating.
I would like to say that now that I have fixed my contacts list that I have learned something that I can repeat back on this blog. I would like to say that, but I can’t. Have you ever been working at a problem trying so many ideas that get you partially to where you want things and only by constantly plugging away at it do you eventually get it to work? That is what happened with my contacts list. I tried so many things, turning off syncing, turning on syncing, entering my contacts directly into Google, downloading Contact Analyzer 2 (an app that supposedly fixes Android/Google contacts), and manually deleting some info (when it allowed me to). I tried so many things that I am not entirely sure what worked when, how, why, or whether some things ever worked. Long story short, I got my contacts list fixed, but I don’t know how. Sorry.
Supposedly the Triumph battery has 500 min of talk time and 300 hours of standbye time. Uh huh. Well if they mean standbye time as the phone is sitting on your desk not synced to anything (email, FB, etc.) and you have perfect reception so it doesn’t have search for a signal, then it probably has 300 hours of standbye time. In real life, like the iPhone it all depends on what you are doing with your phone as to what your battery life is going to be. I learned very quickly with my iPhone that I needed a car charger. I would use my iPhone all day and it needed a charge going home. I often used my iPhone in the car for directions and geolocation is hell on a battery. So I didn’t even blink and bought a car charger for my Triumph. I also downloaded and installed the free JuiceDefender app, upon recommendation from my husband. (He said the free version is just as good as the pay version, we’ll see.) In general I have noticed my Triumph gets about the same battery life as my iPhone. If I didn’t have JuiceDefender would I notice any difference in my battery? I don’t know, maybe. But it all depends on the apps running. Listening to my Sirius satellite app sucked the battery life out of my iPhone just as quick as my Android.
Eh. The Triumph does not get good reception inside. This has nothing to do with VirginMobile’s network (which is Sprint) it has to do with the phone. If I am outside I can get a signal, if I am indoors it depends. Like I said this all depends on the phone. If you are interested in an Android I highly recommend hitting the boards to get as much information as you can about signal strength for the phone. Not all Androids are alike, some get a better signal, some don’t. Don’t forget the iPhone 4 had signal problems too.
Another quirky thing, I am able to text and receive calls when my signal is too low to place calls. I am not sure why receiving is better than placing calls.
Starter List of Android Apps (non medical):
AndroidStatic tweeted me a list of the “Must Have Android Apps for Your New Android Phone -July 2011.” I agree some of the apps they list are must haves, but others I don’t think are as essential. But apps are a very personal thing, one person’s essential apps is another person’s waste of screen space.
The apps I use that I feel are essential for my normal Android life are:
- Facebook -mentioned on the list
- TweetDeck -Twitter was mentioned on the list. I hate Twitter’s web interface, its mobile isn’t much better. TD has way more features and options.
- DoubleTwist -They recommend Amazon MP3 but I spent way too much time and money on building play lists. So I am keeping my iTunes and using DoubleTwist. Plus DoubleTwist is so easy, it just uses iTunes, there is no moving files, converting files, etc.
- A good radio or music app
- Sirius Satellite app – I have Sirius Satellite radio and I love it. The app is free but you have to pay for a subscription to the radio content. This app is all I need for live(ish) radio and music.
- Tunein Radio and Pandora are on the list. I used to use Pandora and it was fine but I pretty much stopped using it when I got Sirius.
- Good news and weather app. I actually like the on that came with my Triumph.
- Juice Defender -Helps prolong your battery life.
- Prey Anti Theft – I didn’t have a theft app on my iPhone because I didn’t have a Mac (MobileMe) and at the time I investigated the anti theft iPhone apps a lot of them got very bad reviews and were little more than window dressing. Prey appears to work pretty well. I tested it by “losing” my phone in my house. Now the GPS wasn’t exactly helpful for finding it within the house, but it did show up on the map andI could set off the alarm to find it.
Most of the above apps I had on my iPhone and they work almost exactly like they did on my iPhone. (One exception TweetDeck column views are little different but fine.) In fact the only app that I had on my iPhone that I miss and is not available for the Android is a game, Zynga Word Scramble. For some reason Zynga has not made that available on the Android. 🙁
I am going to lightly touch on medical apps because I hope Iltifat Husain at iMedicalApps.com will be writing more about medical apps on the Android from a physician’s perspective.
There are not as many medical apps in the Android Market as the iPhone market. This is kind of a good news bad news thing. The good news is there isn’t as much junk to sift through when browsing. Bad news is there aren’t as many medical apps.
For medical textbooks on the Android, make sure you look at Unbound Medicine. They are in the Android Market. They have been around forever putting medical texts and resources on mobile platforms (originally with PDAs…remember those). In addition to selling these apps/texts to individuals, Unbound Medicine deals with instituions providing texts and resources on smartphones to employees, students, etc.
Epocrates and Micromedex are both on the Android platform and both free. Lexicomp is available in the free apps, but that is only for a 30 day free trial.
Just like on iPhone there are a lot of fully functional trial versions of medial apps masquerading in the free apps area. Current Medical Diagnosis and Treatment, Nursing Spectrum, eMS Pocket Drug Guide TR and other apps are all hanging out in the free app area but are really only trial versions.
Just thinking out loud… I am curious as to why McGraw Hill can get apps of their texts in iPhone and Android, but when institutions access some of their texts through AccessSurgery or other Access sites it doesn’t work on the iPad.
As I said earlier, this is just a brief run down on medical apps. I am looking forward to reading (and linking to) what Husain writes about apps and the Android from a physician’s perspective.