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Old February 7th, 2013, 08:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New Droid User, Tips and Advice

I just got the Razr Maxx HD yesterday. This is my first droid phone and I am pretty excited. It is very different from the iphone so I was just wondering what apps you guys use ,what do you recommend I do? Are there some apps to help me tweak it and improve performance, etc. And just any tips or advice for a new droid user, feel free to be techy I am very tech savvy just looking to get some good information without having to spend hours searching the web etc.

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Old February 7th, 2013, 09:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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As to apps, go to the Google Play store and take a look at the Categories. Look at the apps in Editor's Choice category. Then look at Top Free Apps and Top Paid Apps. Read the descriptions to determine if you'd want them and read the reviews.

Otherwise this forum (and others) are good resources. Make use of the search function to find particular topics. Don't forget the official Motorola site.

I've become a convert to the Swype keyboard. It's included with your phone but you have to set it to be the default keyboard. Swype allows you to type with one finger by swiping your fingertip around the keyboard. It is fairly accurate and the predictive text input is impressive. I use the keyboard a lot so I would say this is the number one improvement in using my phone more efficiently. If you really want to enter text in a hurry the other thing is to get acquainted with voice to text functions.

Coming from an Apple you might want to explore custom homescreens, widgets, and third party launchers to make your phone look and feel different than anyone else's.

Enjoy your new found freedom of multi-day battery life and have fun!
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Old February 7th, 2013, 10:16 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I recommend that you go slow. Don't try to do it all at once.

I have a few apps that I find indispensable. They are all available from Play Store ...

Barcode Scanner
Camera Zoom FX
Dolphin Browser
My Backup Pro (or Titanium Backup when root-ed)
RealCalc Plus
Reverse Lookup Plus
Smart Tools
Volume Control + Pro

... Thom
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Old February 7th, 2013, 02:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Really depends on how you use your device. Are you more into social media than phone calls? Texting maniac? Document drafter? Are you a Gmailer or on a business Exchange for email? Give us a bit more info on you and you will be deluged with suggestions.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 06:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I mainly use it for music and at the gym but enjoy games like Plague Inc. The camera seems to be ok and I use it for videos etc at the gym. Since I came to the iphone there are some features I am missing that I probably just cant find. I like the notifications when a text comes up when the screen is locked. The phone feels to be a little choppy and it looks like the memory is 80% full all the time.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 07:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trebin View Post
I mainly use it for music and at the gym but enjoy games like Plague Inc. The camera seems to be ok and I use it for videos etc at the gym. Since I came to the iphone there are some features I am missing that I probably just cant find. I like the notifications when a text comes up when the screen is locked. The phone feels to be a little choppy and it looks like the memory is 80% full all the time.
I'd start with some research, like Lifehacker Pack for Android: Our List of the Best Android Apps

Handcent is a great text app and allows for a pop-up text window on top of the lock screen. Can also allow white-listed people to get through in silent mode.

Memory usage is typical at 80%. Without it you couldn't multi-task.
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Old February 8th, 2013, 08:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trebin View Post
I mainly use it for music and at the gym but enjoy games like Plague Inc. The camera seems to be ok and I use it for videos etc at the gym. Since I came to the iphone there are some features I am missing that I probably just cant find. I like the notifications when a text comes up when the screen is locked. The phone feels to be a little choppy and it looks like the memory is 80% full all the time.
For music, i would look into Google Music. It is my favorite app. It allows you to upload all your music to google's servers and you can access your music from within the app. Saves phone memory and allows you to listen to your music from any computer/phone.
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Old February 10th, 2013, 08:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Is it normal for the phone to be laggy. When I unlock, open apps etc it doesnt feel fluid at all. Even when typing this it freezes a lot. I am considering just going back yo iphone, this is driving me nuts.
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Old February 10th, 2013, 07:47 PM   #9 (permalink)
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So I downloaded nova and it seems to run a bit smoother. I really don't want to get rid of the phone because the iphone just seems to me like it is simple and something that I have just always had. I just have a very limited time window to make the decision.
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Old February 11th, 2013, 12:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trebin View Post
So I downloaded nova and it seems to run a bit smoother. I really don't want to get rid of the phone because the iphone just seems to me like it is simple and something that I have just always had. I just have a very limited time window to make the decision.
There are already couple of threads discussing lags and how to mitigate it.
Nova is very good choice of launcher giving much better fluidity than stock. You may disable circles widget, google+ if that's ok with you. Also you can go into developer setting and reduce the window, transition scale to 0.5X that will speed up things (opening/closing, swiping) a bit.
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Old February 11th, 2013, 03:36 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I use Go Launcher, gives you lots of customizable features on the home screen along with cool clock/weather widgets and a bar with multiple toggles for GPS, Wifi, screen rotation, bluetooth, etc.

Handcent is a good messaging app.
And I highly recommend using Swype too. Its awesome.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 09:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trebin View Post
Is it normal for the phone to be laggy. When I unlock, open apps etc it doesnt feel fluid at all. Even when typing this it freezes a lot. I am considering just going back yo iphone, this is driving me nuts.
Can you quantify it? When you unlock it, how long does it take? I use a pattern to unlock my phone and it's pretty much instantaneous. Or from the "circle" unlock screen, it's less than 1/2 a second.

Freezing while typing is something else though. I never have that issue, but then again, i use Swype and not the stock keyboard.
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Old February 12th, 2013, 10:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Welcome to Android! I was like you six months ago coming over to Android after a couple years of iPhone. iPhone is very smooth and generally runs flawlessly. That's because it can only do so much and Apple controls innovation of apps.

But with Android the sky is the limit. There is no way I could ever go back to iPhone now. The level of customization and actual useful apps is just way beyond anything you can do with iPhone. Give it some time. As for lag, I can't speak to other Android phones but the RAZR MAXX HD does have a little. Usually when starting up from a locked screen but only for a second and only initially and not every time. Some have reported longer lag times but it seems to be very subjective.

I will say that if this little bit of perceived lag bothers you then you should try a different Android phone to see if there is one that seems less laggy for you because generally speaking you will not be able do 'fix' it. It doesn't bother me at all. It drives some people crazy. There's a whole long thread on it.

I love everything about this phone. Obviously the big thing here is the battery. Great, long battery life. I stream music 8 hours a day at work and power use for probably 16 hours a day and I still have at least 20% battery left at the end of the night.

I'll agree with what was said above - take your time. Don't go crazy loading up with apps. Load a couple and really check them out. I went crazy and loaded up with apps only to find that there is a whole lot that the stock phone can do already and then I ended up deleting those apps off.

Always check for a free version and try it out first. Sometimes you can get away with just the free version although if I really like a program I'll buy the paid version to support the developers. It always good to read through a couple pages of the most recent user reviews as well as gauging the overall 'score' of the app. Click on the MORE bar in the description and read everything there. I have found sometimes that an app I think will do something will in fact not and saved myself.

Here are the apps that I love with this phone:

Lightflow - great app for controlling your LED notification light. You can make the light flash different colors and speeds/durations/flash rates for different app notifications. It can also be used to give different notfication tones, vibration patterns. Very useful. There is a free version, but well worth the paid one.

Nova - I love Nova. The only downside is you cannot use the stock Circles widget with it which I really liked. But once I got used to the benefits of Nova Launcher I could not go back. I love the cube transitions and the use of gestures to launch favorite programs.

HD Widgets - great additional tool. There are other similar ones like Beautiful Widgets and others. It comes down to personal preferences.

Tapatalk - a must if you are the type of guy that likes to surf internet forums.

Swiss Army Knife - is a great utility program that has a bunch of simple and useful apps.

Player Pro - great music player, I like it much better than the stock player. There are a couple other popular ones. I rarely play the music on my player anyway because I subscribe to Rhapsody so I use that.

AirDroid - great utility that allows you to transfer files to and from you computer over wifi so you don't have to use your cord.

Kii Keyboard - great gesture keyboard. Swype comes stock and works pretty well but Kii is excellent and my favorite. SwiftKey Flow is another one that's pretty good.

That should get you going! Good luck and enjoy the ride!!!
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Old February 13th, 2013, 04:59 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IHateMyTreo View Post
I'd start with some research, like Lifehacker Pack for Android: Our List of the Best Android Apps

Handcent is a great text app and allows for a pop-up text window on top of the lock screen. Can also allow white-listed people to get through in silent mode.

Memory usage is typical at 80%. Without it you couldn't multi-task.
Thanks for the Lifehacker link - went and checked it out and found a great new (relatively) program called Wave Control that works slick. Just when I think I've got all the apps I could possibly want or need, along comes another great one!!!
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Old February 14th, 2013, 10:18 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Just got this new phone and only one complaint so far. The screen is not quite bright enough. Outside in the sun its hard to see. Also, with automatic brightness on, it never goes fully bright. No wonder this phone has good battery life. Even in the dark, the automatic brightness is not bright enough. Maybe I'm just used to my old phone.

As for the topic, one app that i use a lot is Time Recording. Its a good way to keep track of exactly how many hours i work.
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Old February 15th, 2013, 02:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Brightest flashlight app, free!
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The Motorola DROID RAZR HD comes with one of the thinnest profiles among Android devices, just like its predecessor. The upgraded RAZR features the same size, but Moto has managed to increase the display size to 4.7 inches by extending the screen f... Read More



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