Hints and Tips


It would help you to read my index page first, so you understand what lead me to here.

I am excited about writing this page. There is a lot to learn about a mobile OS. As I have encountered problems and cured them I want to pass that information on to others who may have a similar need. So, this page will be a hodge-podge of mind leaks and stream of consciousness drivel. Not all are problems. Some are kinks or just information tid-bits. Sorry about the mess. If you can help, or have great tips to share, Email me, please (humans only).

Item #1:

Getting my saved links (bookmarks) into my device.
1st try: Hiding them as an html file on my web site. Browse to it, saving each one individually. (time consuming)
2nd try: Moving the html file onto the device. (Stock Browser reports: Web page not available)
3rd try: Switch to Dolphine, it reads the html I put on the SD card. I just have to type in the address of "file:///sdcard/My%20Documents/links.html". Still cumbersome.

Item #2:

(From Android Central.) Droid Incredible home screen wallpaper size is 960x800.
Anything stored inside the /media folder will stay hidden from the music player. Tunes stored in /ringtones are available as ringtones, those stored in /notifications are available for use as audio notifications, and /alarms is where the alarm clock looks to find tones.

Item #3 (collection of short tips):

Tap is a left click, while holding down is like a right click; sometimes.

How to UN-install an app?
Market, Menu, Downloads, pick the one to remove, Uninstall, OK, pick one, OK

Occasionally, you should check for app updates. To do that, open Market, Menu, Downloads. Any apps with an update available will be at the top of the list, highlighted.

To allow PC access to the micro SD card, do this:
Connect cable, pull down Notification area, Charge only (Select to Change...), Disk drive, Done.
When done, Use your desktop safely remove routine, then pull down Notification area, Disk drive (Select to Change...), Charge only, Done.
Remove cable. If you need to charge, reconnect cable. For some reason, Failure to remove and reconnect the cable can cause problems.

To turn Wi-Fi on or off: Menu, Settings, Wireless & networks, Wi-Fi.

Camera files are at: E:\DCIM\100MEDIA (internal RAM) (Also see Item # 24, below.)
I moved mine to D:\DCIM\100MEDIA (SD card) (Your drive letter may differ.)

The TINY LED light is red when charging, green when fully charged. It blinks green for a notification, blinks red when battery is about dead.

Item #4:

I need a podcast player with a pause button where THAT button is easy to hit. In other words, I need a QUICK pause button that I don't have to search for. No solution yet. HELP anyone? Email, please. This has become so drawn out and tedious to work around, that I'm setting up another web page to document my Podcast Player Hunt.

Item #5:

Some thing that has been bugging me is how the industry handles Public Wi-Fi. I'm not sure if the problem is with the cell phones or with Wi-Fi. And it doesn't happen all the time, and is not very noticeable. Maybe it is just that I am not very knowledgeable about it all. If you can enlighten me, please Email me.

OK, it goes like this: Data (internet) usage is better (faster) on Wi-Fi, so where ever possible, my super cell device should auto-switch to Wi-Fi. But SOME Wi-Fi suppliers make this less than seamless. For example, my local mall has free Wi-Fi. But to use it you have to accept their "terms". Now, if I had NOT gone into settings and told my device that this hot spot is OK, would my phone have switched from the cell towers, to the mall log-in screen? Why do I have to keep accepting the same terms? OK, soap box mode off; but I would like your thoughts on this.

Item #6:

I marked my USB / Power cables so I could FEEL the top from the bottom, without looking at them. I used a finger nail file to crease a line on the back side. No, I am not blind, just lazy.

Item #7:

From AnotherHiggins on the androidforums.com.

Here's a tip that I have shown to a few existing Android owners and none of them knew about it:

You can set a shortcut to Navigate to a particular place on your home screen.

-Long Press (or "+") > Shortcut > Directions & Navigation. Enter address, Select your mode of transportation, give it a shortcut name and select from several available icons.

-Anytime you press that shortcut, it will launch Navigator and give you directions to the destination. I made a "Take me home" button for my wife's Moto Droid.

Item #8:

The other day I took a picture. It didn't come out right. I took another, same thing. Here is what happened: I had removed my belt clip (Body Glove accessory) and placed it on the body. With it cocked the wrong way the clip blocked one of the LED flashes and reflected it BACK into the lens. It caused the picture to have a bright white spot, in one corner. Duh! The picture shows how the clip can be moved out of the way to prevent this.

Item #9:

I've had my phone face down on a table and had an incoming call only ring once.
   Settings > sounds & display > quiet ring on pickup - checked !
This is intended to mute the ringer by flipping the phone to face down. So be careful if you put yours into a pocket, or lay your phone facing the wrong way around.

Item #10:

By Kyle Gibb over at Android Central:

Want to switch apps on the fly? Thanks to true multitasking and Android's fast app switcher, it's a breeze. It's build into Android. No downloads required. It shows your most recently used apps (the number may vary depending on how a phone has been customized), which is great when you want to jump back to your browser after firing off a quick e-mail or in thousands of other situations.

The fast app launcher is super easy and quick to access, just hold down the "Home" button on the phone. You then just click on the app you want, and it opens. It's that simple, and that awesome.

Item #11:

I love browsing the web on my small screen device. It can be a pain with rendering at this small of size. Occasionally I get better use by hunting for a mobile aided view. In place of url.com try m.url.com, mobile.url.com, or url.com/m .

Item #12: Updated

With Froyo (2.2), you have to manually re-install Google Search and Google Voice to get the new features to work. Nobody tells you that! Just install them over the old one.

Voice search can be helpful at times but it needs practice or a good sense of humor. Long press the Search button then speak clearly. "Navigate to John Doe."

Speak any of these commands to perform a Voice Action on your phone:
send text to [contact] [message]
listen to [artist/song/album] (if you have the right app for it)
call [business]
call [contact]
send email to [contact] [message]
go to [website]
note to self [note]
navigate to [location/business name]
directions to [location/business name]
Find [location/business name]
map of [location]
It seems to default to a Google search if your syntax/pronunciation fails.

Item #13:

Occasionally, we should delete our deleted emails, and then delete them. (There's a joke in thar, maybe.)

Item #14:

The best hints on the web that I've found (other than here) are on Twitter at Complete Android.

Item #15:

Do you have odd images invade your 'view-photo-album' app? Have you been listening to your tunes only to get some weird audio like 'Your destination is on your right' ? All you need is a file called .nomedia . This file blocks Music and Gallery apps from indexing your SD card. Getting it to work is a little haphazard so see the details at Androidica. Make sure you use: "All Files", and reboot your phone, and not just sleep it.

Item #16:

From a tweet by completeandroid:
Pressing back button repeatedly, exits the app, while pressing home button, just sends it to the background. (via @KarlPoe)

Item #17:

Adding pauses into contacts for dialing extensions (from Android Central).

Let's face it: we all have to deal with those automated call systems from time to time. They can be particularly annoying if they block you from connecting directly to the person you are tying to get by entering an extension number.

Well, there is an easy and simple solution to this problem. You can create a contact and enter in the proper extension number. Using commas, you can force the phone to wait before entering in the next number; each comma will give about 2 seconds of delay.

Item #18:

The often forgotten button: POWER. What does yours do? I mainly use mine to invoke sleep mode, or to wake. But also it can power off, silent mode, vibrate mode, airplane mode, and toggle mobile network. Know what yours does.

Item #19:

From a tweet by completeandroid:
A tip from @BenTSpiers: Typing *#*#4636#*#* (don't press call) in dialer yields detailed info on battery, usage etc.

Item #20:

From Isaac Waller at Wikidroid we get this gem:
If you have problems with the Android Market, such as apps that keep downloading, or a Force Close during Market use; try this...
1. Uninstall the offending app.
2. From the home screen, select MENU > Settings > Applications > Manage Applications.
3. Select the "All" tab.
4. Scroll down and select "Market".
5. Select "Clear Data", and then confirm.
6. After the data is cleared, go back to Home, and open Android Market.
7. Re-download the errant app - it should work now.

Also (Guy's words:), if you have an *app* not behaving, you may want to take other drastic action.
Menu > Settings > Applications > Manage Applications > ALL tab > (select the app).
From here you can take these steps, one at a time: force stop, clear cache, clear data, clear defaults, uninstall. With any luck you will not get far down the list. I've been told that even a paid app, can be re-installed from the Android Market. There is also an option here, in some apps, to move it to your SD card (in Froyo).

Item #21:

Not sure how well this works. If you know, Email me please with details.
From a tweet by completeandroid:
Save a little battery by deleting old WiFi channels you don't regularly use. Wireless&Networks > WiFi settings > long press network > forget network

Item #22:

From tweets by completeandroid:

Widget tip via @jarlskov: Try putting constant updating widgets on a home screen you don't use often. It will only update when shown, saving battery.

Weather Widgets are a big draw on your battery. For an alternative, make a bookmark shortcut for a Google search for "weather (your zip code)".

Item #23:

The guys at Android Central wrote this article about how to bypass activation on your Android device.

Item #24:

To move the location of your photos to your SD Card, try this, With camera app running; hit: Menu > Settings > Storage then select Storage card or Phone storeage.

Item #25:

From mclarryjr at androidcentral.com forums, with our thanks:

To reset your camera file name sequence (to IMAG0001.jpg), With camera app NOT running: Menu > Settings > Applications > Manage Applications > All > Camera then clear data.

Item #26:

My phone (Droid Inc.) manages memory rather odd.
Using a file explorer: /mnt/emmc/DCIM = on my PC: I:\DCIM
Butů for the sd card:
Using a file explorer: (SDCard button) /mnt/dcim = /sdcard/dcim = on my PC: H:\dcim

Item #27:

If an app will not install to your SD card (Froyo); un-mount the card, re-mount & try again.

And more to come...

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