In 2010 my crap Windows 6.5 phone got upgrade to an HTC Incredible from Verizon and I couldn't be happier. Originally I was hoping to buy a Nexus One but then along came the Incredible. It had similar specs plus a better camera. Since then I've used the hell out of it and I've always been able to get it to do what I want it to. After rooting it I was able to make the wireless hotspot functionality work with Verizon caring. Shocking. Below are is a list of the apps that made the HTC Incredible RULE in 2010.
Gmail – I have both my personal Gmail and my Google Apps account (for Oliver Media) available from the Gmail app. As slimmed down versions of Gmail go, it RULES.
Google Voice – I love this app because it allows me to have one phone number. This phone number rings at my office, phone and Skype. The free SMS allow me to dump my SMS plan with Verizon saving ~$6/month. I also get crappy text transcribing of voicemails.
Foursquare – For some reason location-based social media makes the dopamine flow and chill the OCD. As of this writing I've built up quite the little empire of intersections and homes. Foursquare FTW.
TweetDeck – This app has had me since the BETA. As Twitter apps go this is my favorite. It's got an endless timeline and it's laggy like other Twitter clients I've used. I configured it to post to Foursquare, Twitter, Facebook, and Google Buzz. Much love to TweetDeck.
Kindle App – The high resolution of the AMOLED has finally made reading on a phone an enjoyable experience. I can now read books on my Kindle and pick up where I left off whenever I have some time to kill. The WisperSync functionality makes it seemless.
Cardiotrainer – This app gets the credit for helping me lose 10 pounds this year. It tracks all my runs using GPS and encourages me to keep it up. There something about it that makes running into a game. It's seemless Facebook integration allows me to brag about running too.
Flybys – Ever wonder when the Internation Space Station is going to fly over? Probably not but this app will tell you. That's all I got. Space FTW.
Sirius/XM – I'm adicted to Opie and Anthony and this lets me listen to it with my headphones anywhere. Especially good because that show is NSFW. You need to have a subscription to XM.
I'm sorry, I just can't stop talking about this damn phone. Love it.
SkyRaider Sense 3.5 for the HTC Incredible was released by Ihtp69 and is available via ROM Manager. It's got a really cool new feature that inspired this blog post. The wifi, bluetooth, GPS, airplane mode, update services and display brightness is now adjustable from the status menu. If your toggle buttons are on your desktop you can make room for other stuff. The phone seems a little snappier too.
Oh, and if your getting the annoying OTA update notification, there's something to get rid of that too.
More information about SkyRaider
A few weeks ago I rooted my phone to get access to some features made inaccessable by Verizon. This was taken a step further this week when I installed a custom ROM on to replace the stock ROM on my HTC Incredible. I had had enough of the stock ROM when I realized after rooting it that I still couldn't get rid of Skype or Peep easily.
I had to do something and remembered the cool thing about Android being open source software is any can modify it and come up with a custom flavor. This is also the problem. Google research took me on a long search through Android related message boards where the consensus seemed to be a flavor called Skyraider. This flavor also has a variant that includes HTC Sense UI which I prefer over the vanilla Android UI. I downloaded it via ROM Manager which I purchased for $3.99 from the Android Marketplace.
After downloading Skyraider I tried to install it via ROM Manager. What I found out next is the radio software needed to be updated. After that I was good to go and all my crapware was gone. As it turns out it used my old system settings and desktop. In case it forgot I took the precaution by backing everything up with Titanium Backup.
Proceed at your own risk for things can go wrong and brick your phone.
More detailed information and step-by-step instructions from the XDA developers forum.
One of the cool things about having an Android phone is the ability to do what you want. Unfortunately the cellphone companies (in my case Verizon) do not allow this out-of-the-box requiring you to "root" your phone (jail-break in the iPhone universe). "Rooting" allows you to do things such as uninstall factory-installed crapware like Skype & Peep and freely use the wi-fi access point feature.
Unfortuately "rooting" your Android phone is dangerous and could brick your $600 phone. Fortunately the folks over at Unrevoked made this a one click process. All I did was uninstall HTC sync and install the HBOOT drivers from the unrevoked wiki instead of the stock HTC drivers. I also had to enable "USB Debugging" accessable via settings > applications > development. After running the Unrevoked package for the Incredible the phone rebooted a couple times, installed some stuff and was rooted in less than 10 minutes.
I tested the wifi access using Wifi Tether and connecting to my iPod Touch to the Incredible. I used wireless_tether_2_0_5-pre11.apk because it runs in Infrastructure mode instead of Ad-hoc mode. I was able to connect to the internet via iPod Touch converting it to an iPhone without the crappy phone part. I haven't tested it but I'm sure I could connect any other wifi enabled device to the internet via my Incredible.
If you intend to 'root' your phone beware and don't take my word for it. It worked for me but proceed at your own risk.
Today Apple finally gave developers some clarity regarding their previously ambiguous and arbitrary App store acceptance polices. This was a tough one because developers could potentially spend lots of time developing an app only to have Apple reject it. Apple states, "we don't need any more fart apps". I couldn't agree more. Apple's language was honest and direct which, as a developer, I expect to prevent wasted time and money.
Some say that Apple's old policy could have spurred antitrust inquires and eventually lawsuits. Personally I don't care why they changed course and ate crow. I'm just glad Apple is respecting developers by providing them with information and access to tools to get the job done efficiently and in the manner we choose.
I got impatient yesterday and manually downloaded and installed the Android 2.2 (Froyo) update for the HTC Incredible on Verizon Wireless. Since then I’ve been playing with the new features and I’m quite pleased. There have been numerous updates which add significant value to the Android platform on the spiritual successor to the Nexus One. The best part is I think my non-techie wife actually wants one. Too bad we recently renewed her contract with a “feature phone” and she’s locked in for a several more months. Without further ado here’s the run-down of my opinion of the notable features.
720p HD Video…ON A PHONE
I shot a 15-second sample video during my evening commute. Moving at 55 mph the train made a good subject.
Performance Improvements and Web Standards
I was initially most excited about this feature. Unfortunately it requires you to purchase a Internet plan from Verizon for an additional $20/month. You could potentially avoid this by rooting your phone but Verizon may get wise to your scam and shut down your operation.
“Update All” option in the Android Market
Anyone who has an Android phone and has suffered through updating each app, INDIVIDUALLY, can appreciate this.
It works great, I watched some live.twit.tv on my phone just to be sure. I can sum it up with SUCK IT Steve Jobs.
Overall I’m very pleased with my HTC Incredible with Android 2.2. Thanks again Google and keep up the good work.