Thursday, September 29, 2011

Phone Troubleshooting

Quick Download: Phone Tester - SD Tools - SMS Backup & Restore

If you are having a problem with your phone there are a few apps that can help you get to the bottom of it yourself, without having to take it in for repair (or to at least help the tech at the repair place).

From touchscreen issues to the memory card not working, try these apps to help figure out what went wrong.  Plus, as an added bonus, I have included an app to backup your text messages, since Google doesn't save those for you automatically...

For starters download Phone Tester. Phone Tester is an app that tests all of the major components of your phone.  The first app I download if I think there is a problem with the phone.  It tests:
*Device's sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope, compass...
*Wifi: internal & external IP, gateway, DHCP server...
*GPS: latitude, longitude, speed...
*Battery: health, level of charge...
*Multitouch screen: how many fingers recognize your device?(not available in Android 1.6)
Also displays system information about hardware and software like RAM, kernel version, screen, ...

 Next up is an app that is designed just to test your SD card.  Most Android devices have a memory card slot and sometimes there can be issues with reading or writing to the card.   With SD Tools you can scan your card to see all of the manufacturer info about the card (like making sure the great deal you bought on ebay or amazon wasn't a counterfeit) plus the main feature of the app is that it tests the read and write speeds of your card. 

If you do detect a problem and decide to do a hard reset on your phone, or take it it for repair, you may want to do a backup of your text messages. If so you will want to download SMS Backup & Restore.  It will save your text messages to the memory card and then allow you to restore them back to the phone once the phone is reset.

So hopefully these apps will help you out if you are having issues with your phone.  Keep an eye out for additions as I find more great troubleshooting apps.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Use Android as an Ebook Reader

So you have an Android phone or tablet.  You may have been eying one of those e-readers too, like the Amazon Kindle or the Barnes & Noble Nook.  Well the good news is that you can have all those features right on your Android device with the help of a couple of apps.
2 of the most popular apps out there are the Kindle app (by Amazon) and the Nook app (by Barnes and Noble).  Kinda funny that the companies that are trying to sell you an ereader are the same companies that are offering you free apps to do the same functionality.  Both of these apps are pretty straight forward.  They have the built in bookstores that allow you to purchase books, and download free books, plus, you know, read your ebooks.
Along these same lines is an app put together by a little company called Google. Yeah, apparently the big guns of Google decided to jump into the ebook game with an app called Google Books.  The same features as the above books, but the interface is a little more simplified.  Also you have access to a ton of FREE public domain books.
The final app that I will cover here today is one of my favorites.  Aldiko is an ereader that works with epub and pdf files.  By far it is the most flexible ereaders, with a ton of settings you can tweak  It also (like all the others) it has an ebook store that has a ton of free and paid books.  There is also a premium version available too, so if you like it you can get the premium to support the developer.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A thousand Thank Yous

I wanted to post a quick posting, just to say thank you for all of the downloads of the Old Android app.  We are very very close (2 to go) to hitting the 1000 downloads of the app.

It's amazing to see that number climb and climb. Hopefully we will se another big boost to that number once we get the Android Market thing up and running.

Another quick mention too is that the website should be hitting 10000 page views this week as we are just a few hundred away.  So tell all your friends with Android devices to stop by, and give us a bookmark or download the app!

Beautiful Widgets (For Free)

I just noticed that on the site they are offering one of the best selling Android apps of all time for FREE.  Beautiful Widgets is a widget collection that provides a fully customizable clock with weather along with a large list of toggle widgets that you can use to turn on and off things like wifi, 4g, brightness adjustments, etc.

From the Developer:
- Super Clock widget with weather, battery or just the clock 4x3 4x2 4x1 2x1
- Weather only widget 4x1 1x1
- Battery widget 1x1
- Date widget 2x1 1x1
- Text Clock simple widget 2x1
- Toggles widgets 1x1
- Home widgets with clock and weather and 300 skins 4x1 2x1

To download to your phone:
  1. 1) go to on your phone
  2. 2) Select Quick Download at the bottom of the page
  3. 3) Enter 231883

Friday, September 23, 2011

uTorrent supporting Android file syncing

If you ever use uTorrent to download files to your PC you might find this interesting.  The uTorrent app has added a feature to it's Alpha version that allows you to sync downloaded data to your Android device by just dragging and dropping.

First, though... A little background on torrents, for the people who are unsure..

Torrents (or more specifically .torrent files) are files that you can find all over the internets with a simple google search. These files require a torrent client to be installed and the .torrent file loaded into it.  Once that is done the application will download the requested files.

So, with this uTorrent feature, if you were to download a public domain audio book (which would be free and legal) you could transfer it directly to your phone from the uTorrent menu.

But watch out for a couple things...  Copyrighted material is illegal to download via torrent, or through any other process (just saying) and this feature is an alpha feature, and may contain bugs.  it is planned for the premium (payed) version of uTorrent that is coming soon...

WidgetLocker Lockscreen - Paid app of the week

(As a new feature of the site we will be discussing the paid app of the week.  Here you will find a hand-tested personally recommended paid app every app.)

This weeks paid app is WidgetLocker. WidgetLocker is a cool app that allows you to change up your lock screen and add a ton of functionality to your phone.  The main feature is that it gives you the ability to add home screen widgets and shortcuts to your lock screen, therefore you aren't wasting all that phone screen.

WidgetLocker (on left), Waaaaay cooler.

It also gives you the option to change the look of the lockscreen so that it can look like stock, HTC Sense, Samsung Touchwiz, or even the iPhone...

From the Developer:

Customize your lock screen!
WidgetLocker is a lock screen replacement that puts you in control of the look, feel and layout of your lock screen.
- Drag and Drop placement of Sliders, Android Widgets and App Shortcuts
- Sliders look selectable from built-in styles (Android, Sense, Motorola 2.2, iPhone, and Android 2.0 Rotary) or from user-themes.
- Slider Actions can be customized, for example Slide-to-launch-Camera or Slide-to-call-your-Girlfriend.
- Resizable widgets and custom grid size
- Notification badges on apps/sliders via ADWNotifier ( )
- Customize which widgets/buttons are allowed or blocked at the lock screen
- Optional Easy Wake Mode, allows all hardware buttons to wake, rather than just the power button (Does not work on all phones)
Portions of WidgetLocker are based on the excellent ADW.Launcher ( ) by Ander Webb and friends.
Official Gingerbread 2.3.3+ breaks trackball wake:
CM7 widget disappearing fix has been accepted by the CM team, expect it in a nightly soon:
It is available from multiple app stores:
Android Market: $1.99
App Brain: $1.99
Amazon: $1.99

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Google Wallet - Pay with your phone

 The future is here!  Well.., The future of mobile payments is here... As long as you have a Nexus S 4G on the Sprint network.  What this means is that you now have the ability to use the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip that is built into the Nexus S 4G along with the Google Wallet service to be able to swipe your phone at the checkout to pay for goods and services.

The antenna is actually built into the battery cover for the NFC portion of the phone (Short for Near Field Communication - Another name for RFID).  Once setup the checkout reader will see your phone just like a swiped credit card.  So (if you have the Nexus S) get yourself setup and enjoy the future today!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ZDBox (All-in-one toolbox)

If you are like me you like to make sure that your phone is running at peak performance. Android phones, like computers, are sometimes in need of maintenance (along with regular reboots).  To help with this there are a bunch of apps to help with cache memory and uninstalling apps, but ZDBox is the first app that I have found that is FREE and has this many great tools.

Here is a listing of all of the included tools (from the developer):

★ Widgets: Keep screen always on, kill all tasks, WiFi on/off, airplane mode on/off, brightness adjustment, sound settings, rotate screen on/off, bluetooth on/off, start/stop sync, switch between 2G/3G, app lock on/off, GPS on/off, APN on/off (mobile access point), flashlight on/off
★ Battery: Monitoring and showing lots of information about remaining battery time, temperature, health, time since last boot, necessary time until full charge and so on
★ Traffic counter: Monthly/daily mobile data usage overview, shows remaining data traffic, detailed data usage information for each app.
★ Do not disturb: Just set days and the time when you need your privacy and you won’t be disturbed by your phone. Set phone to silent, vibration or airplane mode.
★ App lock: Protect apps with a password or pattern, for exmaple your contacts, Facebook, Twitter, Gmail and so on
★ Task killer: Kill all apps at once, define protected apps which won’t be killed, set auto kill when screen gets locked, mark single or multiple apps to kill
★ Notification bar: One tap on the bar shows remaining battery time, running apps, how much data traffic is left and if app lock is active or not. A tap on these informations starts ZDbox.
★ Uninstaller: Shows used/available internal and SD card memory. Apps can be easily uninstalled. Single or multiple (batch) uninstall possible.
★ App to SD: Move apps to your SD card. Single or multiple (batch) move possible. Only for Android 2.2 and 2.3.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Netflix and Quikster

For those of you that have and use Netflix AND have the DVD option this is a change that effects you. Netflix just announced that they are changing things up again. Not the prices this time, but the service itself.

It was announced a while ago that their pricing was changing, breaking apart the streaming video and the DVD at home services as 2 seperately billed items. So today's news is that they are seperating those 2 services further and branching off the DVD portion into it's own service. Complete with it's own name and website - Quikster and

From the email I received this morning:
"I messed up. I owe you an explanation.

It is clear from the feedback over the past two months that many members felt we lacked respect and humility in the way we announced the separation of DVD and streaming and the price changes. That was certainly not our intent, and I offer my sincere apology..."
 So, from the way is sounds the cost and "quality" of service isn't going to change from what it is right now, but you just have to transition over to another website to manager your DVD queue.  If you just use the streaming portion it will be exactly the same...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Old School Role Playing Games (RPGs)

If you are a fan of some of the old school RPGs out there, and you may have seen the recent article by DroidGamers that states they will be releasing a few Super Nintendo (SNES) era RPGs for Android.

When I read this the first thing that came to mind is SNESoid.  It is a Super Nintendo emulator that plays pretty much any ROM file out there for the SNES.
Since it's move from the Google Market to the Slideme Appstore it is free, so download it, and some SNES rom files of all the games you used to love and play them now instead of waiting.

Featured on

A couple of points of interest...

1. Our good friend CharlieD had his "Maggie's Cakery" app featured on the homepage, along with their Facebook and Twitter, for the last couple of days, so check it out.

2. The Old Android app is also featured, if you switch the tab from new to updated. Make sure you update your app to keep in touch with the new site URL:

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Just a quick not to say that Old Android officially has it's own .com, and not the free address that it used to have.  This means that it's easier to type and easier to remember (plus it will play a lot nicer with Google).

Watch for updates to the Old Android App as the address where it gets it's information from will be different. And it needs some work on it's icons too...

Friday, September 16, 2011

PhoneArena Fan App

With the lack of an official PhoneArena app,our friend charlied has stepped in and created a fan based app that follows all new stories on the site and gives you links to the website for things like comments.

It's a free download and is hosted at the SlideME app store.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kevin Smith / View Askew App

Our good friend CharlieD threw together an app to keep you in touch with all news related to Kevin Smith's movies, comics and other stuff.  Check it out here.

From the developer:
Fan created app that keeps you up to date on various sites from withing the View Askewniverse. From Kevin Smith's Facebook page to the SMODcastm to the View Askew site itself, you will get all the information you can handle.

Find out the latest news on all your favorite View Askew characters and movies: Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, Dogma, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jersey Girl, Red State, Dante, Randal, Brodie, Holden, Leonardo, The Quick Stop, RST Video, Mooby's.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11 - Never Forget

Just wanted to post a link I came across going through some app suggestions that honors the lives that were lost on this day, 10 years ago, in NYC, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. 
The 9/11 Memorial Guide is a simple app with a search that tells you more about the individuals killed in these attacks.  It is a great companion to visiting the former World Trade Center site or simply watching the coverage of the memorials on TV. More features will be added to it soon, and there is a link to the website fore more information.
Check out "9/11 Memorial Guide"
It's a great app to honor those lost and to help keep their memories alive. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Netflix for All*

Netflix announced today that their application is now available on Android Market for all* Android phones.  Well all* (take note of the *) means any Android phone that is running 2.2 and up (Froyo, Gingerbread, and Honeycomb). Fortunately this is a large number of Android devices.  Unfortunately, I have to apologize to all of you out there with the older devices...

So download away and show the world how much your productivity can get flushed down the toilet...

Old Android App Updates

Just finished some updates and improvements to the Old Android App, and it should be live on the SlideMe app and site soon.

You may also see the Monticello app there too, which is part of a newer project that I am working on to put together community information apps for local towns and cities. If your town or city could use something like that leave a comment or contact me directly at

I also wanted to say thanks for all of the downloads too.  At the time of writing this there are 681 downloads. I find this number to be amazing after the site only being up for such a short amount of time.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back To School - Student's Edition

As mentioned in the last post it is that time of year for all the young ones to go back to school. To help them prepare for this change from the lazy days of summer I have put together a couple apps that students can use as you are going back to school.

So check out these apps, and remember to be safe out on the roads and watch out for walking kids and school buses!

Name: School Assistant
Everything a student needs to keep organized now fits in your pocket!
School Assistant is your Android school planner, keep your routine organized with it.
You won't forget any tests or works, School Assistant reminds you and lets you see progress charts and statistics.
School Assistant can mute your phone and notify you when a class starts based on your schedule.

Name: myHomework
The best way to keep your school life organized
Official myHomework app for Android.
Teachers not letting you use your phone in class? Parents on you for missing assignments? Show them you're organized with myHomework.
myHomework is focused on apps that make student life easier. Our iPhone version has over one million downloads and now we're bringing that same experience to Android.

Take's trusted reference content wherever you go.
The free app delivers reference content from and The app also features audio pronunciation, voice-to-text search and’s popular Word of the Day and Hot Word blog.

* Dictionary and Thesaurus
* 375,000 words and definitions
* 300,000 synonyms and antonyms
* Phonetic and audio pronunciation
* Spelling suggestions
* Example sentences
* Word origin and history
* Daily content, including Word of the Day and our new Hot Word blog
* Voice-to-text search (for the most accurate results, please enunciate clearly and speak slowly)
* Favorite words list
* Custom backgrounds
* Text and email definitions from the app
* Word of the Day home screen widget

AppsToOranges - Invites available

I just scored an invite to the new AppsToOranges app recommendation site and have a bunch of invites to share. To get one leave a comment and send a message to us via email or twitter ( / @oldandroidsite) remember that you have to do both to qualify.

You may be wondering what their site is all about. Well here is a little description from their site:

Apps & Oranges helps people find and recommend the best apps for getting stuff done. It's social Q&A: Question & Apps. For example:

What are the best gps apps for iPhone? What are the best time tracking apps for the web? What are the best news apps for iPad?

Help make the site great: Add apps you’ve used and love. Write comments you'd be glad you read if someone else wrote it.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Back To School - Parent's Edition

Well it is that time of year for all the young ones to go back to school.  To help them prepare for this change from the lazy days of summer I have put together a couple apps that parents can use to help your kids cope with back to school.

So check out these apps, and remember to be safe out on the roads and watch out for walking kids and school buses!

Name: School A to Z
Do you struggle to understand your child's homework? Does your child need to practice their spelling and times tables? Are you looking for inspiration for projects and assignments?

The School A to Z app is an essential tool for every parent of school-aged children. Produced by the NSW Department of Education and Communities, the School A to Z app brings together a wealth of resources to help parents to understand and support their child's homework.

Name: My HomeworkNOW & School Alerts
Get school alerts and classroom homework with My HomeworkNOW & School Alerts.

Stay connected to your school or your child’s school and classes with the My HomeworkNOW & School Alerts mobile application.

With this homeworknow app you can: receive school alerts (such as closings, emergencies, back pack notices, announcements, etc.) with real time notifications, view the latest school wide notifications on-demand, view classroom information and homework on-demand, get notifications when teachers update a class page or homework assignment.

This app requires that you have a account and that your school or teachers use as its school to home communication solution. If your school doesn't use to post classroom happenings, homework, and school alerts, talk to your school administrators and teachers. Let them know you want to receive your school information on your mobile device with!

Don’t have a account? Create one today with your web browser at Add your school and classes to your account, then choose all your communication preferences (text message, email, mobile apps, Facebook, RSS, etc.). IF YOUR SCHOOL DOES NOT USE HOMEWORKNOW, TELL THEM YOU WANT THEM TO! (

About Through a web browser, Facebook, email, Text Messages, Mobile Apps for iPhone and Android, RSS feeds, and more, makes it possible for schools to communicate to parents and students in any manner the parent or student choose. Used by teachers, administrators, and parent-teacher organizations of thousands of k-12 schools, HomeworkNOW is the most efficient means of keeping students & parents connected. Its web based. Ad free. No software or staff needed. Communicate without cost. Tell your school administrators about today!