Because I have focused so hard on the iPad the last year or so, I have committed to learn more about Android in the next few months. I specifically bought an Android rather than an iPhone just to better understand both platforms. Not that I will drop iPad, rather it will be a parallel existence between the two.
I have two Android devices: an AT&T smartphone, the HTC Aria, and an Entourage Pocket Edge. Both devices are Fro-Yo (Android 2.2), although the Edge takes some work to get to that version. It’s natural state is Android 1.6, but if you register the device, you are offered to join their 2.2 beta when you log on to your account on their website. Once you confirm your wish to participate, your Edge will have an update notice to upgrade to Froyo. It’s well worth it, the Edge is more responsive with the update.
The next stage has been rooting the Edge. There are directions found at AndroidPolice, and now I am in the “so-it’s-rooted-now-what-do-I-want-to-do-next” stage. Here are some of the resources I have found to help get me there.
There are some interesting idiosyncrasies I have learned with Android so far. When connected to the laptop, the devices appear to share the SD card, not internal memory. Ten years ago the Palm showed both when connected to the computer, didn’t it? Go figure!
Also, the Aria uses internal memory for installing apps, and while I have moved all the apps that I can to the SD card, some apps must stay in internal memory. I am close to running out of space on my Aria, even with many GB’s of space on the SD card. Really?!?
I am learning to resolve an issue which has been a huge frustration of mine with the Android platform from the very beginning. Google has refused access to their Market app store to the Entourage Edge. That has been a huge drawback to the Edge, and difficult to understand since there are other wifi tablets that have access to the Market. It is better now that Amazon AppStore is available, but there are still many apps only available at the Google app market.
On the other hand, AT&T has closed off the Amazon AppStore to their Android phones, with some vague promises that they are looking into opening it up. Everyone talks about Android as the open system, yet how petty and controlling can you get? These are two companies vying to compete with Apple on that level.
So, in my stubborn “this-isn’t-fair” mentality, my project now is to use my computer as the interface to move Google Market apps from Aria–>Edge, and Amazon Apps from Edge–>Aria. The the former, and so far, so good. One app I purchased that has helped is AppMonster, which makes a backup of all my apps on the SD card of my Aria. The apps are nicely organized for easy access in sharedAriaUSBdrive-E:\appmonster2\backup. Going Edge–>Aria, not so good. AT&T blocks installs from anything other than Google Market. Might have to look at rooting the Aria.
I shouldn’t have to go to these lengths to get these two devices equivalent in apps, but “so be it.” Just please don’t give me the Google fan-boi line “Google is open, Apple is closed”–it’s a mirage. They both have a large set of barriers to users doing what they want with the hardware they purchased.
Flirting with Chaos is a subsection of this blog that describes specific explorations I am doing with technology, both software and hardware–usually old and cheap technology (I am on an educator’s salary after all). It is my homage to Jerry Pournelle, who for years wrote Chaos Manor for Byte magazine, which I thoroughly enjoyed.