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Old 02-11-2012, 11:57 AM   #1
Ion Silverbolt
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New to Android. What are some good starting tips/apps?

I just ordered an LG Optimus Slider over the internet which should be here in a few days. This is my first Android phone, and I haven't used a smart phone since about 4 years ago when I had a Blackberry. What I would like to know is:
  • Will rooting the device take care of any bloatware that may be installed on the phone? I also want an underclock app so I can extend battery life. (Which requires root from what I understand)
  • Want some good linux-like apps. I would like the ability to use a terminal and ssh into my home computer for one.
  • Recommendations for a good battery extender.
  • Any other app that you feel highly about.

Old 02-11-2012, 12:17 PM   #2
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Rooting means you can install any software you wish on the device that works on the device (typically an operating system that is tested to work on that model). Having done that you can usually choose the apps fairly freely that you install, so in that sense you get rid of the "bloatware" as you call it. Any apps that are made for the system (or that you make) can also be installed, so there you go.

"Linux-like apps"...well, given that the kernel is "Linux-like", the apps must be too. But they're not like desktop apps, so in that A terminal (such as ConnectBot, or its irssi-variant) is available from the Market, even if you don't root the device.

"Battery extender" is what? A device that you plug to the rear of your phone to physically extend the battery in three dimensions? No? There is no software that can "extend" your battery, only software that requires less computing power and thus less power from the battery ("light" software vs. "heavy" software). Physical "battery extension" would simply be a bigger battery, but often you have very little choice, especially because the cellphone (especially "smartphone") batteries are already near their limits on how much juice you can get out from a battery of that size. There seems to be no cure before a new battery technology is invented and manufactured that is both cheap and simple (e.g., works in room temperature). Put short, either buy a bigger battery if it is possible, or simply run less and lighter apps on the phone. A task killer daemon would sound good in this sense, given that such a thing would limit the number of apps running in the background, but often they eat the battery down themselves, so that's not a solution really (a solution is to not start the apps in the first place--multitasking is a real killer, that's why iPhones originally did not "support" it, and that's why it's still somewhat limited in a lot of phones; imagine your desktop running on battery power....)

I don't think recommending apps is an easy route. Just see what you need, try and find out. There's no sense in trusting the star ratings in the Market either (or the web for that matter), as nowadays some folks pay/give refund to customers for good review points, in addition to some arranging good reviews some other way. Ratings don't tell you much, especially if the number of reviews is not huge.

Last edited by b0uncer; 02-11-2012 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 02-11-2012, 10:03 PM   #3
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You might start with the LQ app. (grin)

I will give you one piece of advice: When you install an app from the Android market, it will display a screen describing the permissions it wants. Read that screen carefully. If the permissions seem hinky, don't install that app.

I will give an example: I bicycle from time to time and wanted an app to track my pace, route, etc. One of the ones I tried wanted to access my contacts. Why would the heck would a bicycle tracking app want to access my contacts? There could be no legitimate reason.

I decided against installing it.

I found another app for the same purpose that wanted to access only the SD card (to save data), the GPS (for location), and the internet (for Google maps, so it could display a map of my route). I installed that one and am quite happy with it.

Last edited by frankbell; 02-11-2012 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 02-12-2012, 01:14 PM   #4
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you will find many things in the market
Old 02-12-2012, 02:48 PM   #5
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The basic 'battery extending' tips that I would give are
  • don't use social networking apps; they are continually waking up and checking things, and that's not what you want to minimise current consumption
  • don't use traffic monitoring apps for the same reason
  • turn off GPS
  • turn off WiFi

Well, unless you actually need those things, and you probably don't need them permanently, or you have to trade of between the use of those things and battery life.
Old 02-15-2012, 05:56 AM   #6
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Don't forget bluetooth
Old 02-20-2012, 07:00 PM   #7
Ion Silverbolt
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Thanks for the tips guys. I'm loving Android. It's a much better device after it's rooted too.

Originally only got 8 hours battery with moderate use. I was expecting it based on reviews. So I installed juice defender and an underclock utility. I can easily go at least 3 days on a charge now. And it runs just fine underclocked. I suppose if I were going to run Flash or something I might need it, but so far I'm happy with it the way it is.

Battery optimization should be available out of the gate on Android. Not sure why this was neglected. Fortunately the app community has taken care of that.


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