Good Touch, Bad Touch: The G1’s Touchscreen

January 10th, 2009 No comments

Clearly, the Multitouch capable touch screen is one of the better features of the G1 phone. Although I’ve found it to be somewhat less refined than the iPhone’s touchscreen (for example, the inability to zoom in and out by “pulling” and “pushing” with two fingers is consistently maddening), it’s effective.

Since, as a rule, I don’t read product manuals, I discovered most of the extended features of the touch screen by accident:

Moving An Icon and Killing the Analog Clock: Go to the Home screen. Touch and hold the icon or offending widget for about 2 seconds. The phone makes a reassuring “buzz” to let you know you’re moving something, and the application slider becomes a trash can. Drag the icon/widget there and let go to kill it. Drag to a different part of the screen to reposition.

The Lauded Copy/Paste: A true iPhone killer. If the text is in a text box (as with an online form), touch and hold for 2 seconds. Choose “Copy” in the resulting menu. Repeat elsewhere to paste.

Double Click: I find that, when the screen is being difficult, it helps to do a fast double-tap. This seems to work especially well for opening apps.

Selecting Text: Android seems to pull the following bits of information out of emails, websites, etc: street addresses, URLs, and phone numbers. Touch these and hold to add to contacts and whatnot.

Moving Around Within Text You’ve Written: Say you’ve written something, like an email, and you want to make changes. Ideally, you’d want to be able to click somewhere earlier in the email and use the delete key, like with a word processor. I’ve found that the touchscreen is consistently bad for this–it’s hard to get to the right point in the text. Instead, I’ve taken to using the little scroll ball–you can move around much more accurately and kill offending typos far faster.

Android Screenshots

January 8th, 2009 No comments
Android OS

An Uninteresting Android Screenshot

What’s a tech blog without pretty screenshots, eh?

Unlike with the iPhone, taking screenshots in Android is a somewhat involved process. One needs to download the Android SDK, install everything correctly, enable debugging on the phone, and jump through loads of other hoops. However, the results, it must be said, are excellent.

To simplify matters, Download Squad has a great article on the topic here: Taking Screenshots on an Android Based Phone

My Android Experience Begins

January 8th, 2009 No comments

Welcome to the blog! Recently, I received a T-Mobile G1 as a (solicited) Christmas present, equipped with Google’s new Android operating system. It took about 5 minutes to discover that Android is everything a nice piece of open source software should be–extremely capable yet endearingly temperamental. My first interaction with it–attempting to crop a photo for my wallpaper–yielded a comically huge enlargement of my forehead, plastered across the G1’s lovely Multitouch screen, with a nice friendly-looking analog clock smack in the center of it. This had neither the polish of an iPhone, nor the ruthless efficiency of a Blackberry. I was delighted–it was like carrying Ubuntu Linux around in my pocket!

Ever since, I’ve been experimenting with the G1. In learning about its features, I’ve found other blogs and websites extremely useful. For that reason, I decided to document what I discover, in case other people are Googling for the same things. Enjoy, and please comment!

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