Launchers, Phones, and Books, oh my!

By | Sunday, January 29, 2012 at 10:35 am

Well, I’m back to using ADW as my tablet’s launcher.  Tons more room per screen and enough options to keep me happy.  I found that even the Android 4 stock launcher has a few issues that drive me nuts.  The biggest of which is when you go into the app drawer where all of your apps and widgets are.  Most of the time when I open it, it will be showing my widgets, but the tab for my Apps will be selected.  So I can’t just click on Apps to go to apps.  If I do, nothing happens.  I have to switch to widgets, then back to apps, then it starts working right again.  This happens often enough to be very irritating.  The only major problem I have besides that–again, is what I’ve always complained about with it–the wasted screen space.  So there, that’s done for awhile.  I’m very content with ADW, it just keeps getting better and better.

Which brings me to my next topic.  I got a new phone recently.  Of course, another Android.  A Motorola Electrify with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread).  I never realized the dramatic difference that happened between Android 2.2 (Froyo) and Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) for phones.  It sure makes a huge difference, especially with memory management.  And my main excuse to root my phone is now gone–screenshots.  Yes, 2.3 includes the ability (though hidden and apparently different on every carrier’s Android) to take screenshots!  On mine I was directed to a little app in the marked called “Screen Grabber” and was instructed to install it, then go to its settings and turn off the “require root” option.  After doing this, it takes screenshots with ease on my phone.  No more need to root!  My only other complaint (that I always had on my HTC Desire) is eliminated now as well–space for apps.  My new phone came with 16GB of internal memory, which is split with half for apps, half for media.  But since the “Apps2SD” lets you optionally move a good portion of most apps to your “SD Card”–which is what the “media” half of the 16GB is considered–I can install dozens of apps and use next to nothing from my app memory.  I now have every app I normally use installed and working, and still have a ton of space left.  The phone even uses the same Tegra 2 processor as my Motorola Xoom, so I can install and play any of my favorite “THD” games on it!  As a comparison, my HTC Desire had 348MB of memory for my apps (and a 32GB SDHC card for media), and after a full wipe of the phone, and the re-installation of all of the updates just for it’s pre-installed apps, I was left with about 135MB of memory, even when using Apps2SD to move everything possible to the SD card.  I could install most of the apps I normally use, but not all of them, before I started getting the “WARNING – memory is low” message.  At this point, I could still install a few more apps, but it’s very dangerous to go lower.  I usually ended up with crashing problems and the phone spontaneously rebooting once in awhile when it crashed.  Not good.  So space is no longer an issue, at least with this phone, and this should be a lesson for everyone out there who has had a bad experience with an Android device–if you bought cheap, it just might be that memory space issues are your main problem.

I also just started reading a new book.  Looking for something to grab my interest after finishing Ready Player One, I stumbled onto “One Second After” by William Forstchen.  It’s about EMP–Electromagnetic Pulse, which is apparently a very real and dangerous possibility.  It’s a novel, meant to explain the dangers of EMP and what could possibly happen if our country were attacked using a weapon like this.  It’s not my usual cup of tea, but just the publisher’s summary was enough to grab me and make me want to read it cover to cover.  Take a look:

In a small North Carolina town, one man struggles to save his family after America loses a war that will send it back to the Dark Ages.

Already cited on the floor of Congress and discussed in the corridors of the Pentagon as a book all Americans should read, One Second After is the story of a war scenario that could become all too terrifyingly real. Based upon a real weapon – the Electro Magnetic Pulse (EMP) – which may already be in the hands of our enemies, it is a truly realistic look at the awesome power of a weapon that can destroy the entire United States, literally within one second.

This book, set in a typical American town, is a dire warning of what might be our future and our end.

That was it.  It’s now on my phone and I’m reading it to and from work.  It’s very very scary, and as you read it you start to wonder how you and your family would fare in the same situation.  Food for thought.  A LOT of food for thought.  If you want to know more, here’s a link to the Audiobook, and here’s a link to the author’s website.

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