My Favorite Android Applications

My Captivate's homescreen. Beautiful Weather widget at the top and the SwitchPro widget at the bottom.

Since getting my first Android device 30 days ago, I have probably gone through a considerable amount of applications from the market. ¬†What better way to list favorites than doing a countdown ūüėé

10 – SwitchPro Widget – Paid
I use this widget to quickly turn WiFi/Bluetooth/GPS/Background Data on and off. Also allows me to see the exact status of my battery since the battery icon in the taskbar is not very accurate.

9 – Pandora
It’s Pandora, what more can I say. I just recently stumbled upon the “J. Cole” station. Great lineup of music.

8 – WordPress
I should probably rank this higher, but WordPress allows me native access to emuneee.com/blog to type/update posts, pages, etc. I have published a few of my posts right from my Captivate.

7 – Checkbook – Paid
This application is vital for me. Since I HATE writing of all types (checkbook, checks, bill paying…LOL), I keep all my transactions in Checkbook like a responsible adult. Allows any number of accounts.

6 – Facebook for Android
It’s a Facebook application on Android…pretty useful and better than touch.facebook.com.

5 – National Football Post
Since there is no official NFL application/widget (come on NFL!!!) I use the NFP Application to stay abreast on NFL news and news on the NY Jets.

4 – FeedR – Paid
Google Reader client for Android. Similar to Speeed Reader on Windows Mobile. Caches articles for offline reader and it’s easy to use.

3 – Touiteur – Paid
I have used a lot of Twitter applications. Twitter for Android, Seesmic for Android, Twidroyd, and Touiteur. Touiteur has the right mix of features and speed for me. Very easy to update my status and all that good stuff.

2 – Beautiful Widgets – Paid
I primarily use beautiful widgets for the Beautiful Weather widget. Presents weather information to me thats up to date. Also pulls weather for my location as well.

1 – Launcher Pro Plus – Paid
Replaces the stock TouchWiz 3 UI on my Captivate. Much needed improvement. Not only is it faster, but it is very customizable and comes with several useful widgets (browser favorites, contacts, messaging, & calendar/agenda). This application is a required application.

Some other honorable mentions: Google Maps, Amazon, EBay, Paypal, & 3G Watchdog

A Week with My Samsung Captivate

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Well, I’ve had my Samsung Captivate for a week.¬† Probably one of the most useful purchases I’ve made in quite sometime.¬† This will be real brief but in the past week I have done pretty everything on this phone.¬† I have paid bills, balanced my checkbook, listened to Little Brother’s entire album discography, wrote this WordPress article, recorded HD video, taken pictures, checked work email, updated my Facebook and Twitter statuses, waste my time playing paper toss, kept track of appointments, streamed the Bob Marley channel on Pandora, etc.

 

A couple negatives.¬† First the phone will slow down for some unknown reason.¬† It just becomes really laggy.¬† This happens when the phone is syncing tweets sometimes.¬† The GPS is shot.¬† I can rarely locked on to GPS satellites, even when I am outside with clear skies.¬† Facebook syncing has been broken from day one.¬† This maybe a good thing because I don’t always need this social sites all up in face all day.¬† Hopefully Samsung can work out the kinks in the next update.¬† Battery life is also a but below satisfactory…but then again I’m always using this device.

 

The positives…there are just so much to list.¬† This thing has so much utility.¬† I’m probably able to conduct all the business in my life on this one device alone.

 

This was pretty informal, just want to put a few more thoughts out there.  Also those pictures might look terrible because they were uploaded using this WordPress app.

Rooting Your Samsung Captivate & Removing AT&T Bloat

First of all -> all the credit goes to ‘chaoscentral’ for the rooting procedure and ‘maerlim’ for instructions on removing the “features” added by AT&T.

Disclaimer:  I am not responsible for any damage that may occur to your handset or your life following the procedure laid out here.

How to root

  1. Download the following file -> http://138.197.109.115/blog/downloads/SGH-I897_root_update.zip
  2. Copy it to the root of your internal storage card and rename it to ‘update.zip’
  3. Turn off the phone
  4. Hold the Volume Up & Down buttons ¬†and the Power button simultaneously. ¬†Release the Power button once the ‘AT&T World Phone’ logo appears
  5. In the next menu, select ‘Reinstall Packages”. ¬†Use Volume Up/Down to navigate the menu.
  6. The phone will reboot automatically and now your Samsung Captivate is rooted

How to remove AT&T software (most of it anyways)

Prerequisites: Android SDK, a rooted Samsung Captivate, Samsung Galaxy S USB drivers – Windows (64-bit OS | 32-bit OS)

  1. Turn on USB Debugging on your phone – Settings > Applications > Development > USB debugging
  2. Open the command prompt on your PC and CD to to the Android SDK installation directory
  3. Navigate to the ‘tools’ folder
  4. type the following:
  • adb shell
  • su
  • mv /system/app/ATTNav-Samsung-Vega-1488.apk /system/app/ATTNav-Samsung-Vega-1488.tmp
  • mv /system/app/ATT_Radio_2.1.07.apk /system/app/ATT_Radio_2.1.07.tmp
  • mv /system/app/MobiTV_800x480_320_20100610_1.0.0.15-118829.apk /system/app/MobiTV_800x480_320_20100610_1.0.0.15-118829.tmp
  • mv /system/app/MobileBanking.apk /system/app/MobileBanking.tmp
  • mv /system/app/attmaps20-1094.apk /system/app/attmaps20-1094.tmp
  • exit
  • exit

You are done.  This procedure will remove

  • AT&T Navigation
  • AT&T Radio
  • MobiTV
  • Mobile Banking
  • AT&T Maps

You can reverse the procedure by typing the follwing after the ‘su’ command in Step 4:

  • mv /system/app/ATTNav-Samsung-Vega-1488.tmp /system/app/ATTNav-Samsung-Vega-1488.apk
  • mv /system/app/ATT_Radio_2.1.07.tmp /system/app/ATT_Radio_2.1.07.apk
  • mv /system/app/MobiTV_800x480_320_20100610_1.0.0.15-118829.tmp /system/app/MobiTV_800x480_320_20100610_1.0.0.15-118829.apk
  • mv /system/app/MobileBanking.tmp /system/app/MobileBanking.apk
  • mv /system/app/attmaps20-1094.tmp /system/app/attmaps20-1094.apk

There are other items such as AT&T Family Maps and AT&T Hotspots that will remain although those appear to be links to web apps. ¬†You can also enable sideloading of applications as well. ¬†I haven’t completed that procedure, but the instructions are available here.

Samsung Captivate Quickie

I am on my lunch break typing this post on my Samsung Captivate.  Just a few quick observations.

The Captivate is a very quick device. However as I soon found out, installing too many Widgets will slow things down.  You can definitely shoot yourself with all this freedom. The Android Market is full of apps though.  I am typing this article using the WordPress app.

The super AMOLED screen looks great.  The build quality is also pretty nice.

The software is nice as well.¬† I wasn’t a fan of TouchWiz so I installed LauncherPro beta.¬†¬† So far so good.

Music sounds nice as well.  I used my Captivate in place of my now sold Zune HD during my morning run.

I’ll do some new articles down the road.

Samsung (Galaxy S) Captivate Hands On/Review Roundup

If you’ve been following me, you’ll notice I am somewhat biased towards the Samsung Captivate coming to AT&T on July 18th $199.99. ¬†Just thought I would list all of the review and hands-on articles and videos that debuted this past week.

I’ll update this as more reviews and hands-on articles are published. ¬†Whenever I get mine, I’ll throw up a short review.