Just bought my first Droid (Eris) - what now?General

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  1. Sawka

    Sawka Member

    Hi everybody!
    As my first post, wanted to introduce myself as a 23yr engineer new to the Android community. I just bought an Eris off eBay to tide me over until Motorola's Bionic is released, and my god this phone is amazing! I don't even know where to start, so I'm just downloading the top free apps (installed one at a time) and got the ATK to kill background apps.
    1) Any recommendations which apps are a must?
    2) My Eris didn't come with an SD card. Do I really need one? It's only $30 for 16gb, but I'm already $91 invested into this "temporary" phone.
    3) VW rep couldn't transfer my contacts from my LG Chocolate Touch. She claimed the Eris wasn't compatible with Verizon's Backup Assistant. What is the best way around this? Or am I going to need to manually transfer over 300+ contacts?
    4) What can rooting do for me? Does rooting hurt resale value?
    5) Anything else I should know that I'm not asking?
    Thank-you very much!

  2. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary Moderator


    Welcome to the Android Forums!

    First off, go ahead and get rid of the ATK task killer...you really don't need it. On the off-chance that you have a task run amok, you can always use the Settings -> Applications -> Manage Applications to find and kill the rogue task (or use something like System Panel for monitoring which also allows you to nuke something if you really need to). Otherwise, a previously launched app will just quietly fade into the background...no real need to actively manage their termination, just let Android do it for you.

    Lots of great apps out there...Kindle, Astro File Manager, System Panel, Titanium Backup, etc. I'm sure there will be lots of feedback by the other guys.

    You can go ahead and buy an SD card...it will work on your Bionic too when you get that. Size and price is certainly a personal choice (i.e., depending on your storage needs).

    Yeah, backup assistant doesn't run on the Eris, so maybe there's another way to transfer your contacts...I'm not sure about an automated solution.

    Rooting rocks! Shouldn't hurt resale value since you can always return it to stock (like it is now) before selling it. If you like the phone now, you should play with it under stock for a few days so that you can really appreciate what rooting will do for you ;) (snappier, more responsive, more options, etc.).

    Start reading-around here on the threads (especially the links provided in the stickied threads) to start to immerse yourself and improve your knowledge. There's still a bunch of good folks that hang-out around here that are more than willing to help you.

  3. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

    Yes, for a start, my suggestion is to stop using ATK to kill background processes. Anything else is what you want to use; I think that there are several "must have" app threads on this forum somewhere.

    If you like keeping your SMS messages backed up, just in case you need to factory reset the Eris, I'm going to suggest SMS Backup+ (if you have a gmail account) - this app backs up your SMS and MMS messages to a label in gmail, so they are always around, and allows a restore later on; or SMS Backup & Restore (though you'll need an SD card for that.)

    At any rate, keeping SMS message stores trimmed will keep the phone running better, and using an app called Delete Old Messages is an easier way to manage them.

    See this about ATK: android-task-killers-explained-what-they-do-and-why-you-shouldnt-use-them

    (It's ok to keep the app around in the rare case you have an app which is consuming too many resources, to kill it manually, rather than automatically.)

    If you want to take photos you will. Also see above if you want SMS Backup & Restore. Also, there are third party apps that store files and temp files on SD, including the Sense launcher, IIRC. I'd get one.

    I haven't use Verizon's Backup Asst in a long time, but if you can create a comma separated value file that you can download from the Backup Assistant web site, you could import those contacts to your gmail account and then let those sync automatically to the phone. In the People app you can create two sorts of contacts - Google contacts or Phone contacts - and the Google contacts will sync with your Google account (which should be obvious, I guess), but Phone contacts will not sync. If you need to factory reset, you will lose the Phone contacts but the Google contacts will re-sync. Therefore, if that's what you need to do, make them Google contacts.

    It will make the phone run faster, with a bit longer battery life, allow you more third party app storage, and remove the pre-loaded bloatware (such as Teeter, Stocks, Footprints, etc.) You'll definitely need an SD card for that. It's not that hard to unroot these days, so, no, it will not affect resale value. Since you bought it used, there is no warranty reason not to root, so you could easily do so.

    Hmmm. Even if you root, the Eris cannot install the full Adobe Flash - that's something that you should know. The Eris (with stock or close-to-stock rooted custom ROMs) does have Flash Lite, so it can do some flash stuff, but not much.
  4. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

    Scary and I posting at the same time. There is no truth to the rumor that we are the same person with two accounts.
  5. scary alien

    scary alien not really so scary Moderator

    :D lol...just saw this...;)

    Its great (and interesting) to get feedback that re-affirms each other, but also brings additional information and perspective (like your posts always do, doogald).

  6. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

    As a follow-up, I went to the Backup Assistant web site and found these instructions for the Eris, so there must be a way to export the contacts from the site:

    Sawka likes this.
  7. bberryhill0

    bberryhill0 Well-Known Member

  8. offanairplane

    offanairplane Well-Known Member

    Yes, you can export your Backup Assistant contacts from your MyVerizonWireless page, but you must do so within a certain amount of time after you activate the Eris otherwise they will be gone forever. In my case, I didn't do it quick enough, and I lost them.

    But what you can do is go (on your computer) to your gmail account, and enter your contacts one by one on there, and they will automatically sync to your phone, and as long as you continue using Android phones, you will never lose them. I just upgraded to the THunderbolt, and my contacts were on the phone as soon as I logged in the first time. It was quite nice.

    But entering them on your computer is less tedious than doing it on the phone, at least to me it was.

    As far as what to do next?

    You're gonna want to go here first:

    Then you're gonna want to go here:
  9. Sawka

    Sawka Member

    Thank-you! I followed these directions last night and my contacts are now in my phone this morning. Worked like a charm! Didn't even require any software.

    As a summary for anyone else with the same issue:
    Go to the Verizon Wireless Backup Assistance website (Google it) and log into your VW account. Choose the option to EXPORT contacts as .csv and save it locally. Then navigate over to Gmail and login, go into your contacts tab (left index, under mail) and choose the IMPORT option. Simply upload the .csv file and overnight your contacts will make their way back into your phone.
  10. Sawka

    Sawka Member

    So I decided I'm definately going to by an SD card because it will also be useful in my Bionic. Googling a little I uncovered that both phones support up to 32gb, so I'm thinking I'll make the investment now instead of upgrading from 16 to 32 later once I'm watching movies on my Bionic. My concern is that I'm not too familiar with SD cards, are there different types? I realize 32gb is going to be a high capacity SD card, but what about Type # - there seems to be different type numbers; are those important? Also how important is Brand? Obviously Kingston and Sandisk are good brands, but I am considering MicroCenter brand if it's reasonably priced because of their lifetime warranty. I'm not sure if MicroCenter is a national retailer, but if anyone's familiar with them I would appreciate the feedback. Elsewise, if anyone could suggest the "best" 32gb SD card off Amazon I'd greatly appreciate that feedback as well.
  11. snorander

    snorander Well-Known Member

  12. bberryhill0

    bberryhill0 Well-Known Member

    The type number on an SD card relates to speed. Higher numbers are faster.
  13. mujjuman

    mujjuman New Member

    Hey!! I just bought an Eris too! Great info in this thread, thanks!
  14. cwk

    cwk Active Member

    I'm wondering about the advice not to use Advanced Task Killer. I use it because of all the "helpful" (NOT!) tasks that start up by themselves. My battery would not make it through the day without it and JuceDefender. Is there another way?
  15. cwk

    cwk Active Member

    By the way, Backup Assistant doesn't work with Eris. From the link:
    Note: Backup Assistant is available on all Android devices except Droid by Motorola, Motorola Devour​
  16. doogald

    doogald Guides Guide

    There are a million posts arguing pro and con over automatic task killers. The major issue, I think, is that people misinterpret the fact that an app is in the background that it is using resources. If you use a task killer to close an app that is in the background and using minimal resources, if it is set to run a service that is always available it will just automatically restart later, using, yes, your battery. Leaving it in the background will not use any more battery, and may use even less.

    Anyway, here are a few good links explaining it much better:

    Lifehacker, tips and downloads for getting things done

    FAQ: Why You Shouldn’t Be Using a Task Killer with Android

    Android Developers Blog: Multitasking the Android Way

    From the Lifehacker article above, Watchdog is an interesting app to look at, as it will report to you the background apps that are actually using your CPU. I haven't tried it myself, as my phone seems to behave well, but there is a lite version to try, and $3.50 for the full isn't too bad.



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