No WiFi? Tether your Droid and use it as a Broadband Modem

30 01 2010

We’ve all been there, you visit a holiday home or a business and no public internet is available. Maybe the Hotel or Airport you’re at want to sell you a full days access just for the few hours you’ll be there.

Tethering computers to your cell phone is one way to overcome this, and with the Droid or another 3G cell phone one can achieve pretty decent data rates. So how is it done?

PDA Net

Click to Enlarge

Visit PDA Net and download their PC/Mac client software and install it. It will prompt you to connect your phone using its USB cable or connect via  Bluetooth when it is ready to install the software on your phone. On Android phones such as the Droid, it is necessary to switch the phones USB mode to debugging mode for PDA Net to work. (Debugging mode is accessible via the phones setting menu, Applications, then Development). The advantage of using a USB cable is that the phone will be charged at the same time you are using the internet on your laptop, giving you hours of use.

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Firefox – Will it die on the vine?

21 01 2010

Firefox is my primary browser and has been since version 1 of the browser. Prior to Firefox I used SeaMonkey/Netscape going all the way back to Navigator 1.11. I’m glad to say that I have never used IE as my primary browser of choice, ever.

However I am concerned that Firefox’s days maybe numbered. Here are few facts.

Microsoft Develop IE
Google Develop Chrome
Apple Develop Safari.

Three major software corporations with lots of resources in terms of money and talented staff and all making money hand over fist. I’m not sure how the Mozilla Project can compete with them long-term, as much as I’d like them to. My argument is not technical nor based on merit or intellectual preference, it is commercial.

Prior to Chrome, Mozilla had the backing of Google as the major competitor to IE. I’m not suggesting that Google have or will abandon their cozy relationship with the Mozilla project, however their attention and resources are now divided, clearly they will try and make their Chrome browser and Chrome/Android OS’s work well.

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Resolving outgoing email problems with Yahoo! email Plus on a Droid

12 01 2010

Update 2010-04-01

The new android 2.1 firmware for the droid has resolved all the email issues I was having with my droid on Yahoo email. Deleting messages on the droid really does delete off the yahoo account and vice versa. Reading in one place updates the message read indication on the other. It really works like you’d expect it to. The new update is really worth it for yahoo mail users on a droid. For further information on getting the update now visit here.

Original Article:

Verizon do not support Yahoo email on the Droid. They do on a Blackberry, but not the Droid, and with good reason, it is unreliable.

Outgoing email can easily get stuck in the Droid’s outbox. I found that email could sit there ‘forever’, but switching the phone off and on again would temporarily resolve the problem and mail would be sent. Not wanting to power off the droid every time I sent email from my Yahoo account on the Droid, I looked for another solution.

The solution is to stop using the Yahoo SMTP (Outgoing email) servers and use another service that is compatible with the Droid. Read the rest of this entry »





My Top Ten Droid Applications

1 01 2010

This is a list of the applications I have found most useful on the Motorola Droid. I will update this post as I discover apps that are worthy, and demote an item to make room. Some of the apps come on Droid out-of-the-box, others are available on the Android Marketplace. Here’s a quick flavor of what  will describe in more detail.

  • Turn by Turn Navigation.
  • Multi-touch ‘pinch’ zoom just like the iPhone. Plus tabbed browsing!
  • Print web pages and photos from your cell phone directly to your printer(s) from anywhere.
  • Make cheap international calls on your cell, bypassing Verizon’s higher rates.
  • Play Audible eBooks and magazines/newspapers.
  • Have the phone go into silent mode as you arrive at church and go back to normal after you leave.
  • Lose weight.
  • Turn you phone into a radio by playing internet radio on your home or car audio system, or on ear buds as you work out. No DJ’s, No audible adverts. Just music.
  • Have your MP3 collection with you wherever you go, even if it exceeds the memory capacity of the Droid. Take 100GB of search-able MP3’s (or more) on the road!!
  • Sync you iTunes library with the Droid!

1. Pandora (Free with ads or $34 without ads). Comes with the Droid.

Pandora is a really well written internet radio application. One can select a music stream from a list of genres or type in an artists name and create your own feed of your favorite music. One can’t choose which songs are played, but each Pandora user can give an online thumbs up or thumbs down to a track that is being played which will help Pandora provide music that is well thought of in each genre or for each artist.

The ads are very small at the bottom of the screen, better still there are NO audio ads to interrupt the music, so it is much better than traditional broadcast radio. No DJ to tolerate either. If your phone rings, the audio stream is automatically paused and will resume after the call ends. Attach the audio out jack on the Droid to a stereo or car audio system and the music is CD quality.

I found that it works just as well on Verizon’s 3G network or on WiFi. If the phone switches between WiFi and 3G, say as you drive off from home, it switches seamlessly without skipping!! A click is sometimes heard, but that’s it.

The free version is limited to 40 hours of listening per month. There are also limits on how many tracks one can ‘skip’. These limits are either raised or eliminated if you subscribe to Pandora One. Read the rest of this entry »