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Connectivity at the Swipe of An Icon, Episode II: Attack of the Apps

by Admin Emeritus ‎01-11-2011 02:31 PM - edited ‎06-01-2011 01:27 PM

Once I got my Droid, one of the first things I did was to add my two Yahoo accounts. With the Yahoo Mail app, I could check both with the touch of an icon, and get a notification when I get new mail on either account. I definitely had to cut down on a lot of the email newsletters I get, as I follow a lot of social media, writing, and entertainment news.


I diverted some of these newsletters to my Gmail so I would still get them, and disabled the notifications to Gmail so my phone wasn't beeping all the time. I also found a fantastic app called Pulse, which allows you to add numerous news feeds under one interface. Now, with the touch of an icon, I get all my news in one place, but still get the email newsletters over in Gmail.


The Droid integrates well with Google and Gmail, so I began to better utilize my Gmail calendar and tasks with my personal and business calendars and to dos. I still wanted a better way to track to dos, and use an app called Astrid. Astrid synchs with Gmail tasks, so you can add tasks in Gmail or in Astrid. They can be organized into lists, assigned dates, prioritized, have notes added, and even tags.


Next was my note organization challenge. I found a great app called Evernote. You can access it anywhere via the web, download the standalone program to desktops, or work on it via your phone. Basically it takes any type of information you want to save, and can organize it into notebooks, from notes and lists, to photos, to web snapshots.


Contacts are always a challenge. Droid can synch with your Gmail contacts, so I easily added all my Yahoo contacts to Gmail. Gmail can also synch with Facebook contacts, so when you sync up your Facebook, those are added as well. I still have some duplicate contacts I'm working through, but I have all my contacts in my phone.


Finally, I addressed my social media connectivity needs with the Facebook, Twitter, and Tweetdeck apps. The Facebook app keeps me connected to my account. I also have a Facebook feed in Pulse that keeps me connected. Twitter and Tweetdeck keep me integrated to my Twitter account.


I admittedly haven't downloaded a ton of apps in addition to the organization and social media apps. I've tried Google Reader, but I'm still adjusting to not holding a book. I've downloaded some free classics, and read some of my all time favorite book "Dune" on my Droid. I've only tried a handful of games, the one I've played most is chess. Besides those, just a couple of other apps like NFL Mobile. All available in free versions by the way.


Obviously, there's still a ton I can do. You can view and work with business documents on your Droid, and synch with work Microsoft Exchange email. Those are next on the list. I've of course delved into other aspects of the Droid which can have blogs of their own, GPS, locating bars, restaurants, entertainment, voice capabilities, communicating, and so on.


The key is research, and there are plenty of resources and reviews out there. Do your research to see what Droid (or other smartphone) is best for you. Get out there and play with some, and see what you like and what you don't like.


So far, I haven't been able to mess anything up I couldn't fix. There is a learning curve if you're not used to the touch screen interface or smartphones, but I thought it was all very easy to pick up. I'd messed around with my mother in laws iPhone (don't tell anyone) so was pretty familiar with the smartphone basic interface.


The main drawback and complaint you'll hear is the battery. For some it's a deal breaker, but not for me. I do have to charge it pretty regularly as such a dynamic device uses a lot of power. It's a small price to play, but if you are very mobile, I would definitely recommend a car charger, and a charger for the office. There is an extended life battery available as well that could be a consideration for you.


I know I've only just tapped the capabilities of my new toy. But the bottom line is that, in a short time, this device has changed the way I do things. It's made me more connected, but less tethered to my office and desktop computers and laptop. I don't need to check all my emails, Facebook, Twitter, news and blogs as much anymore, it all comes to my phone and is available at the swipe of a few icons.


What tools and apps are you using with your smartphones?

by Admin Emeritus on ‎01-12-2011 08:37 AM

One app I have found is surprisingly useful is the DroidLight app on my Moto Droid. It uses the camera flash as a flashlight. Simply awesome.


I've also found that Google Maps has quickly become indispensible. Whether it's finding the nearest coffee shop or a hotel while traveling, or using the navigator, that app alone has made my Droid worth every penny.


And I absolutely love the keyboard. I'd rather type on it than a screen. Makes texting the family so much easier! My Droid has truly changed so much about how I handle information and tasks.

by Admin Emeritus on ‎01-19-2011 09:21 AM

Yes! The Droid Incredible has a built in flashlight app I use nightly to find my way up the stairs after I turn all the lights out, to check on the kids, and then not trip over dogs on my way to bed.


Also love Google Maps, and Places on the Droid. Open it an find bars, restaurants, hotels, ATMs, gas stations and entertainment near your location.


I'm moving more and more away from the keyboard, and using the voice feature as much as possible. It's actually very accurate and saves a lot of time. Basically wherever you can enter text, you can use this feature.


That, and I just discovered Angry Birds.

by Admin Emeritus on ‎01-24-2011 09:33 AM

I haven't tried the voice feature. I've heard about it, but I'm usually around noise & I'm not sure it would work so well. Not even sure how to enable it.


Oh man. I'm not sure whether I should be happy or frustrated that we finally have Angry Birds for Droid. It's fun, but what a time consumer! Smiley Very Happy

About this Blog
Welcome to the Verizon Community Blog created especially to keep our members up to date on the community. Here you'll get to know your community admins as they share stories, new ideas and ask for your feedback. Remember, this is YOUR community blog, so if you've got a great idea for a topic we should cover, let us know!

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As Community Manager, Heather strives to make sure we are keeping our members at the center of our community, listening to member needs, and working with you to improve our community!

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