Welcome to InterconnectNow - Interconnected Technologies' blog about technology and other items of interest to small businesses and individuals.

The topics here will usually deal with productivity-enhancing technologies of interest to small businesses and individuals, but are often of broader interest.  Productivity is the goal of all of this technology that we use. Enabling productivity through refining or adding technology-based capabilities is what we're obsessed with at Interconnected Technologies, and so this blog is dedicated to discussions of all things related to that.


Entries in Cellular technology (23)


Watch this space - vital Android apps (according to me)

This is just to get things started, these are the best apps of their kind, and essential to my daily use of Android:


Core application replacements / enhancements

Enhanced Email - improved Exchange client. If you need multiple Exchange accounts, or a mix of Exchange and Google Apps / Gmail in the same place, this is for you. (requires Contact Editor by dmfs as well).

Calengoo - replacement calendar; brilliant!!

Calendar Snooze - better control over calendar reminders.

MeContacts - "favorites" app for frequent contacts.

Contapps - another spin on the dialer, with some very handy functions.

Tasks for Microsoft Exchange (or Roadsync) - if you want to sync Todos with Exchange.

Go Launcher EX - excellent alternative launcher.

Alarm Clock Plus - just what it sounds like.


Life productivity apps

ToMarket - shopping list manager.

Carrr Matey - "dude, where's my car?" only better!

Shazam / Soundhound - let it "listen" to a song and it'll tell you what it is, who sang, it, etc., etc.


Functional enhancements

B-Folders - encrypted notes that sync between Android and PC over local wireless.

Evernote - data capture of all types; sync'd to web and PC.

Movies (Flixter) - movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes, showtimes, reviews, etc.

Documents To Go - Word, Excel, Powerpoint, PDF.

Jukefox - interesting and powerful music player.  Caused some instability on my G2x, but interesting for the future, nonetheless. 



Beautiful Widgets - I resisted a long time, but the small home screen clock/weather widget, and the 1x1 day widget are dead useful if you have a phone without Sense.

Circle Battery Widget - a very nice, easy to use 1x1 battery meter.

Battery Notifier (Big Text) - puts the battery level in the notification bar where you can always see it.

Wifi Manager - much better/clearer widget to manage wifi connections.

Bluetooth Widget - home screen shortcut to toggle Bluetooth, or access Bluetooth settings.

Astro File Manager - file explorer.


More detail (links, reviews, etc.) to follow.


What's a Smartphone buyer to do?

Attention citizens:  the smartphone world has been turned on its ear (almost pun intended . . . think about it)!  A couple of years ago the iPhone burst on the scene and changed everything!  Well, that's what Apple would have you believe.  It changed some things, yes.  It created a new market for a machine that was, yes, a phone, but was so much more.  Trouble was/is, it was/is only a mediocre phone, thanks in part to the cellular radio and/or antenna, and thanks, in large part, to AT&T about whom it can be said that their service isn't very good, but at least it's the most expensive!

When the iPhone was released, smart phones had smallish screens and did basic business stuff:  email, PIM apps, and the like, along with a smattering of other things.  Everyone forgets that the Palm stores sold tens of thousands of apps long before the Apple App Store, though, so the precedent for a device that was "so much more" was set long before Apple did its thing.  That said, the iPhone is credited with changing everything - so be it.

Enter Google.  Google made a modest little Linux-based open-source operating system called Android. It quietly came out on a single T-Mobile phone, the G1, and that's the way it was until fairly recently.  In the past year, everything has changed again, and it's not Apple's doing this time.

Android has experienced astonishing growth over the past year.  The numbers are all over - just Google them (yes, again, almost pun intended).  With faster growth and a larger installed base than the iPhone, Android has emerged as a power to be reckoned with, and a darned fun "phone" to have.

The point?  If you have an old PalmOS phone, or a Blackberry, or a featurephone (or, yes, even an iPhone that's driving you crazy), and are considering an upgrade, look very seriously at one of the new crop of Android devices.  If you use Google's Gmail or Google Apps or Exchange for "email", Android phones do these things as well as anyone.  For Exchange users, you can get email, contacts, calendar and task sync over the air with Exchange for far less (typically about $23/month less) than comparable service for a Blackberry. 

Don't just go get an iPhone.  They're wonderful devices, but really not very good phones.  Android phones are wonderful devices, and very good phones.  Even some of the most devoted iPhone fans will admit that once the iPhone comes out (probably) on Verizon they'll be switching carriers immediately.  Trouble is, that's probably not going to happen until at least 2012 (when, as we all know from the movie, most of the world will be destroyed anyway).  Plenty of time to experience the yummy goodness of Android, and then go get an iPhone, if you still want to.  Sometimes people go get iPhones because they don't know that there's a viable alternative out there.  There is. 

Don't just go get another Blackberry.  They are great devices.  They changed everything before Apple did.  But they are expensive to run, and if you are not required to use one, or don't need the extra things that they do (and I contend that if you're reading this you probably don't), why pay for them? 

Don't just buy an Android phone, either.  The decision about what "phone" is right for you is as important as (or perhaps these days more important than) the decision about what computer is right for you.  If you're a client of mine (or a relative!), let's discuss it!

Something to think about.


Android on top!

An interesting little chart.  I guess I'm not the only one switching to Android.



Sprint HTC EVO 4G - Android, the Journey Begins

In a forthcoming article, Craig Froehle and I "penned" a 16,000 word article comparing the Palm Pre and the HTC EVO 4G, in which one can find a lot of information about the EVO.

It's here:  http://www.androidcentral.com/comparing-palm-pre-htc-evo-4g-sprint

Since then, I've discovered a few things, and will set them down here.

  1. It's not documented anywhere I've found, but it turns out that putting sounds in the <SD Card>\media\audio\alarms, or the <SD Card>\media\audio\notifications folders will cause them to show up in the calendar/alarm and notifications areas. 
  2. There are three ways to save "favorites" with the EVO as it comes: 1) Put Direct Dial shortcuts on a page in the launcher, 2) Create a folder on a page in the launcher and put Direct Dial shortcuts in it, and 3) Create a People widget on a page and put shortcuts in it.  The jury is still out as to which one is the most productive and/or which one(s) I'll use.
  3. Unlike previous Android devices (from what I've read) one doesn't have to do anything dramatic to have contact photos show up at good resolution.  A picture that comes down from Exchange is still just a little blurry (something like 96x96 pixels), but once you replace it with a picture on the EVO, it sticks at high resolution!

Cool little things about the Palm Pre that most people don't know

OK, I don't know of a list like this, so I'll start one! 

  1. In the Calculator, if you press the space bar you'll get +/-, SQRT, %and Memory -
  2. In a text entry field, if you press the Sym and the K key, you getthree smileys. Not much, but it's a good start.
  3. If you tap and hold an existing calendar entry, it becomes availablefor editing without having to open it.
  4. If you tap and hold and drag an existing calendar entry, you can moveit around on the day without having to open it.

If anyone sends more of these I'll add to the list!