So, I recently upgraded from a crappy netbook and 2-year-old (read: ancient & completely defunct) Blackberry Curve to an iPad and HTC Droid Incredible.
While I love the iPad for what it is, I don’t think I need to delve into its shortcomings. Suffice it to say that this gorgeous, sleek, fun device, lacks Adobe/Flash support, is sans USB, and cannot multitask. Three. Serious. Failings. Which is why the Android-Running, Flash Supporting, Multitasking Google Tablet, rumored to debut around holiday season, will dominate in functionality, if not aesthetics, as is usually the case with when comparing Google and Apple products.
But like I said, I do love the iPad for what it is – but IMO – if you’re going to shell out the cash for a tablet PC, you want something utilitarian, not pretty.
Anyway, I’m not here today to rant, I’m here to give you a breakdown of my experience with the HTC Incredible. As with the iPad, I don’t need to go into the technical specs, you can get that here, or on countless other sites.
To start, I’m in love with this phone. It destroys all other phones in speed and sleekness, image and video quality, and sheer processing power. The 8 Megapixel camera w/flash is enough to send shockwaves through the photo industry; much like the free turn-by-turn, Google Maps navigation sent the GPS industry into collective shock and drove their stock in the same direction as the chills that ran through the executives’ spines.
Similar to the iPad vs Google Tablet debate – the HTC Incredible multitasks with ease – so you can listen to Pandora while pulling links and articles from your twitter feed and emailing them to coworkers.
The only qualm I have with the phone – and an issue shared by iPhone users as well, is the battery power, or lack thereof. All the amazing things this phone can do are worth nothing if the battery lasts only 3 hours.
And until Piezoelectric phones can be charged by harnessing the energy from our footsteps and movement, like the one Nokia recently patented, there are only 2 ways to effectively circumvent the battery drain problem:
1. Buy a second charger to keep with you at all times. Or
2. Use a combination of apps to intelligently manage the programs you’re running at any given time to maximize battery life and keep your phones memory as free as possible.
Since apps are free (these ones anyway) and a charger is not, I’ll show you how I do it.
I use the combined power of two applications – a Task Manager and VizBattery. There are a bunch of free task managing apps that all do pretty much the same thing. Personally, I use the Rhythm Software Task Manager – it allows you to manually kill any application or program that’s draining battery and memory, you can add apps to an auto-kill list, you can even put apps on an ignore list so it doesn’t terminate them. Best of all, the app also function as a widget kills all running apps with one click. All in all, I think this one application has doubled (or at least it feels that way) the battery life.
The other app isn’t as necessary, but it does give you a breakdown of which programs you’re running are draining what percentage of your battery, a nice little knowledge nugget that can be useful for proactive management.
Give it a try – let me know if you find any other ways to help extend power and memory.
I know I said that was my only qualm, but I do have one other issue. In a surprisingly Microsoft-esque move, there are certain native apps that drain battery and memory that cannot be removed. Peep, Footprints, City ID, and Friend Stream are all garbage programs that cannot be uninstalled (I haven’t figured out how yet, anyway), so I have a trip to the Verizon store in the near future to give them a piece of my mind and demand they get this crap off my phone.
Now, back to the good parts – here’s a list of my favorite applications – all free and available at your nearest Android Market (I’m not going to include the ones I’ve already discussed):
Bump-It (Allows file exchange between droids by bumping your phones together)
Fetch It (If you misplace your phone and it’s on silent, this app lets you remotely turn up the volume so you can call it to find it by tracking the ring)
Twitter (The Official App – I don’t use it that much, but it’s useful for syncing contacts or when you want to tweet out an article you’re reading)
Twidroid (My favorite twitter application, but Seesmic’s is also amazing) Tech Time
Mashable (For all your social media news)
Tech Time (Amazing app that aggregates GigaOm, TechCrunch, Mashable, Engaget, Gizmodo, ReadWriteWeb and more. Has sharing and commenting built in)
Mablio Ringtones (One stop shop for all your favorite songs)
Foursquare (No explanation necessary…I hope)
Google Goggles (Google It or check out this Mashable article)
Shape Writer(Have you seen the Swype Texting functionality on the Samsung Omnia? Well, it’s in Beta for android, but until it’s released this App brings swipe text to Droids – I absolutely love it. If you text and email from your phone a lot, as I do, this will triple your touch-screen typing speed)
Barcode Scanner (Self-Explanatory)
TV.com (Brought to you by the eponymous website under the auspices of CBS – you can access free TV shows – some in their entirety, some in clips – from CBS, Showtime, CNET, and other properties. You can even watch complete episodes of Star Trek The Original Series, if you were so inclined
And Finally -
App Remover – for some reason, the native method for uninstalling programs is a click-heavy and roundabout process. No longer so with App Remover.
Enjoy and Let Me Know If You Have Any Feedback or Thoughts from Your HTC Incredible Experience
Namaste & Merry Friday