Android tips

Share your sweet Android tips!

I just discovered the Voice Search application. You can use it to automatically search Google for you, open programs, send texts, emails, and more. You can even (and this I love) use it to set an alarm for you. Say “set alarm for 30 minutes” and it sets an alarm for, well, 30 minutes! Here’s a list of the ones they originally started with. I think there’s more, but hey, here’s a place to start:
[li]send text to [contact] [message]
[/li][li]listen to [artist/song/album]
[/li][li]call [business]
[/li][li]call [contact]
[/li][li]send email to [contact] [message]
[/li][li]go to [website]
[/li][li]note to self [note]
[/li][li]navigate to [location/business name]
[/li][li]directions to [location/business name]
[/li][li]map of [location]
I know, I know, old news.

Here’s another one. I noticed yesterday that my Google Contacts app was huge, 17mb. I don’t have much room internally (512mb is piffle), so this is a problem. I have the Facebook app on my phone, and when I installed I chose to sync it with my Google Contacts, only with contacts already on my phone.

I got my Google Contacts Storage down to 6.5mb by doing the following:

[li]I made the Facebook app NOT sync with my phone at all.
[/li][li]I went into my Contacts and chose to Export them to my SDcard, just in case…
[/li][li]I opened Phone Settings > Applications > Manage Apps > Contact Storage
[/li][li]I pressed ‘clear data’
[/li][li]Then I re-synced my Google Account (Settings > Accounts & Sync > (name of my Google account) > Sync Contacts
[/li][li]After a lengthy sync, Contacts Storage was down to 6.5mb. Sweet.

Got any helpful tips or tricks?

I got yr android tip right here, mac.

I didn’t know about the Alarm-setting option for Voice Search, but that’s pretty fantastic. I love that app/function in general; I am almost handicapped by my reliance on my phone’s voice navigation features.

If you’re running Cyanogenmod 6 or 7 on a relatively old phone (and if you’re 12 or 18 months into a contract and feeling behind the times, why not be, if your phone’s supported?), check your Apps 2 SD again. CM enables universal Apps 2 SD by default, even for apps that don’t explicitly allow it (surprisingly common, even accounting for apps that don’t work right with it, like widgets). About the only thing you can’t chuck onto the card are apps in /system (core Android stuff). I’m rocking an absurd number of apps on an aging Droid 1 (less than 256MB of ROM for app storage) thanks to this.

It’s something of a relic – the Android SDK didn’t originally allow you to store apps on external memory and run them from there. That was improved in subsequent releases, but not everyone has bothered updating their apps to support it.

And because of all those un-updated apps hanging around out there, it’s also a damned useful relic :)

Oops – I was calling the old apps themselves relics of the original SDKs. Not the CM tool :)