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Old November 5th, 2012, 03:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Vancouver, Canada
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Device(s): Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC Desire Z, Asus Eee Pad Transformer with Keyboard Dock, Nokia N97
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Originally Posted by Sebbb View Post
According to you, what are the killer features/apps of Android ?
The main reason I chose my first Android phone over iOS was the variety of hardware options available. At the time (2010), I wanted a phone with a landscape slider keyboard. iOS had none, Android had a few. I chose the HTC Desire Z for this reason. I also made sure that the phone itself can do what I want which is web browsing and social networking as well. Today, the landscape keyboard slider is practically extinct. Still, if you look at various phones, you still have a great variety to choose from.

Widgets are one of the great features that I like to use. There are a variety of different widgets that do a variety of things. They are a mini version of an app that is on your home screen. It can provide information and it can control apps or phone settings. I'll give you some examples.

The weather widget I use shows the current temperature in my area along with the current conditions. There are weather widgets that also show the short term forecast. If you tap on the widget, you will bring up the full app. with the widget, you can view some small piece of useful information at a glance without having to start up the app.

I have a Volume Widget. This widget allows me to control the sound profile on my phone with a single tap. When I go to sleep, I tap on the widget to turn off all notification sounds, but my alarm sound and ring tone is still on. I don't want to be awaken by an email, but I do want to be waken by the alarm or a phone call. When I get up, I tap the widget again and my notification sounds are back on. When I go outside, I tap the widget to turn up the volume of all of my sounds so I can hear my phone in noisy environments. This widget makes it way more convenient than going into my sound settings every time to make a change.

I have a widget that when I tap it, it will launch my Twitter feed and show the list I set up that displays traffic information tweets only. Normally, if I launch Twitter, it takes me to my regular feeds (which has sports reporter tweets and stuff like that). To go to a Twitter list I set up for traffic takes a number of additional taps. The widget jumps to my traffic list with a single tap.

Android allows you to change your touch screen keyboard to use a third party keyboard. I use Thumb Keyboard because it has multiple keyboard layouts to choose from. I have a large phone, so for my landscape layout, I choose a keyboard that is split in the middle, so my thumb does not have to reach as far to press the G key for instance. Different keyboards have different features. One feature that is popular is the Swype feature where you drag your finger/thumb across the keyboard keys instead of pecking on each individual key.

Android allows you to switch launchers. I use one called Nova Prime. This launcher allows me to have more than 4 rows of icons. Also, I can remove the app tray on my home screen. My home screen is configured to have 6 rows of icons with no app tray. Having additional space on each screen allows me to configure it to use fewer screens and makes the most out of the screen realestate.

Android allows you to change default applications. If for instance you want to use a different browser other than the default one, you can set the default browser to something different like Opera or Dolphin. Whenever you click on a url anywhere, it will launch that browser instead of the default one. The same goes for email, music player, map app, etc.

Notification sounds for each app is set individually. You can set up a different notification sound for each app, so when you get a notification, you can tell by the sound what type of notification it is. You can also choose an app to not make a sound while others do. Android gives you this level of control.
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