Archive for the ‘mobile’ Category

Installing a ROM on a Motorola Droid 1

I just updated the firmware on my Motorola Droid (version 1, two years told).   Project Elite 5 was the first ROM I loaded after I rooted my Verizon Droid Version 1 phone.  I updated to CynogenMod 7, but it appeared to be buggy, and I had performance issues, including the phone rebooting while using the GPS.  I’m currently running the Steel Droid 9.0 ROM.  

Upgrade Guide – the guide is very complete, but my notes are below

  1. Backup apps using Astro File Manager
  2. Backup SMS using SMS Backup & Restore
  3. I used RZ Recovery ROM, but I’m getting 404 on all the download links and I have ClockworkMod Recovery installed now.
  4. Follow the install guidelines and delete/format all data and cache on the device. 
  5. Install the optional ROM
  6. Re-install Astro and SMS Backup, and restore your apps and data.
  7. Enjoy your new ROM!

Reference Links

Project Elite – Droid 1 Only

CyanogenMod 7 for the Motorola Droid :: V7.1.0 (9 Oct 2011)

Steel Droid – V9.0 for Droid 1, downloads for Droid 2, Droid 3, and Droid X

MIUI – next one I’m trying

RZ Recovery ROM install

Categories: Android, mobile, technology Tags: , ,

UPDATE: Google “advanced sign-in security”

2011-02-20 1 comment

When you bump into people at a funeral discussing e-mail security problems, you know it’s a mainstream issue.  A woman we were chatting with just spent the better part of two weeks restoring access to her MSN account after she received a variation of the “Mugged in London” scam.  The result was someone hijacked her account and she had to work through MSN to restore access.

Just like Facebook’s support for SSL, using two factor security for Google is something everyone needs to implement.

The process is detailed on The Official Google Blog – Advanced sign-in security for your Google account

The process is called 2-step verification – this allows you to link your account to your mobile phone, a Mobile application (Google Authenticator on the Android), and printable backup codes that you can keep in your wallet.  In addition, you can have application-specific passwords to supposed access on your smartphone.

If you’re running Google Apps on your smartphone, I recommend doing this all at once – it will eliminate password prompts and confusion later.

The process also provides a summary of Connected Sites, Apps, and Services that have access to your Google Account.  In my case, this includes access to Blogger, (Google Reader), (Google Calendar), and tweetdeck (Google Buzz).  I had forgotten about setting up Pulse access to my RSS feeds on Google Reader, but it was a good reminder.

You can revoke or renew access at any time using the 2-step verification process.

UPDATE:  Note that once you enable advanced sign-in security, you may need to generate a new password for third party applications.  I ran into this with Feeddemon, but it was a simple fix:

  1. In Google, sign in and go to My Account.
  2. Click on Using 2-step verification
  3. Go to Application-specific passwords
  4. In the section “Generate new application-specific password”, enter the name of the application (Feeddemon for my example), and click “Generate Password”
  5. A unique password will be generated containing four four character, alpha-numeric characters.  Paste this into the password prompt for your application, and you will be authenticated.
Categories: Android, mobile, security Tags: , ,

Android Software List

Lots of people are getting Android phones.  My last update was in January, so it’s overdue.  The most compelling feature of the Android devices is the integration of all the applications, and in particular with Google Services.  For example, search from the home screen can include Text, e-mail, contacts, calendar, or web. 

The Droid is the most stable smartphone I have ever used.  It has run for at least 45-50 days at a time without turning it off.  At this point, I cycle the power once a month and mute the phone each night.  I don’t recommend using a Task Killer.  Lots of people seem obsessed with killing tasks to optimize battery life.  I just don’t load tons of widgets on my phone and enable wireless and Bluetooth when I need them.  My experience is that running ActiveSync and Google Mail sync 24×7, my battery can easily last through 12-15 hour days.

Ad Hoc Apps – there are several times I have installed an app to solve a problem.  I’m am constantly amazed at the variety and quality of applications available for Android phones. 

Favorite Apps

  • Google Sky App – I use this at night in the back yard to explore the night sky before going to bed.  The dog gets some exercise, and I unwind a bit. We have also used it to locate meteor showers and the Space Station.
  • Evernote – I use it to capture information for later review or reference.  It syncs with the Evernote desktop client.  There is also a Chrome plug-in so Google searches also search Evernote data.
  • Twidroyd – Twitter client, does a good job, but ever more intrusive ads in the free version may have be go pro, or explore other Twitter clients.

Installed Apps

  • Touchdown – Exchange Activesync client – $20
  • Where’s My Droid – locate by sending a text or e-mail
  • Twidroyd for Twitter – twitter client
  • Google Translate
  • WordPress – blogging tool
  • chompSMS – Texting client
  • Facebook for Android – Facebook client
  • YouTube – upgrade from default client
  • Google Maps – awesome, ties into Navigation which rivals, but will not replace my Garmin, and can show traffic overlays
  • Aidiko Book Reader – eBook reader, with large, free library
  • Google Voice – replaced Verizon voicemail, and use for international calls
  • DropBox – sync files with PC’s and web
  • Google Chrome to Phone – send web pages to your Droid – experimenting
  • GMail – upgrade of default client
  • NPR News – fair and balanced
  • BBC News – because US news pretty much sucks
  • Voice Search (Google) – improved client for voice search, marginal
  • Places Directory – ties into Google Maps, very useful when you travel
  • Astro File Manager – awesome, backup and restore apps and data to SD card
  • NYCMate – NYC bus and train maps – very handy if you travel to NYC.
  • Google Sky Map – awesome night sky map
  • Google Finance – stock market tracking app
  • Google Buzz widget – link to Google Buzz service
  • Tone Picker – MP3 ringtones (free)
  • Swype – alternate text entry app – ‘wipe’ your finger across the on-screen keyboard to spell words.  Awkward with alphanumeric data entry, but amazing with text.

Uninstalled Apps

These are applications I used on a regular basis.

  • HandCent – excellent SMS client, but I uninstalled because it gets very, very slow possibly due to the number of texts I retain (>10,000, every text in the past year).
  • Barcode Scanner – does a good job of scanning barcodes, with Google search integration to comparison shop.
  • Romote – Roku DVP Remote – awesome, awesome app.  We took our Roku ( on vacation, but forgot the remote.  I installed and configured the Roku Remote in a few minutes, and it worked seamlessly.  
Categories: Android, mobile, Software Tags: ,

Google Mail Android App Update

I have an original Droid, and while downloading updates today, I noticed a GMail application.  It didn’t show up as an update, but as a new application.  I installed it, and I am very impressed with the new features.  Message threads are easier to follow and it uses color highlights to good advantage.

Highly recommended, and I’m still puzzled as to why it wasn’t just an update of the native app.

Categories: Android, mobile, Software Tags: ,

Droid GPS Problem and fix

2010-07-13 1 comment

Last Friday, my Droid GPS started acting up.  While trying to estimate my travel time from a bus on the NJ Turnpike, the Google Maps screen went blue.  After trying to reset my Location several times, I turned on different Layers, then zoomed out.  The screen was blue because the GPS thought I was in the Atlantic Ocean a few miles East of Ocean City, MD.

I looked around, and confirmed I was on the NJ Turnpike. 

Today, I went to the local Verizon tech, and she was able to resolve the problem by doing a *228 update, and removing the battery.

Things to note:

  • The tech said my last update was November, 2009, when I got the phone.
  • I know I did an update within the last month or so, because I was demonstrating it to one of my daughters.
  • The phone has been so stable, I haven’t removed the battery since before the Android 2.1 firmware update.
  • I have only turned the phone off twice in the last three months.

In the future, I plan to update the software (*228) monthly, and at least cycle the power on the phone to minimize problems and optimize operation of the phone.

Categories: Android, mobile Tags: , , ,

Test post from Droid

On the bus coming home from NYC. Testing WordPress Android app. Pretty impressive, allows administration as well as posting w/GPS tag.

Categories: mobile Tags: