Bananaphone II

I did go and get myself a smartphone. It’s not the Samsung Galaxy Y though, but a similarly priced but better-spec Ninetology Black Pearl II.

Am I happy with it? Mostly. The one unexpected thing missing from it is the magnetometer. Compass apps don’t work! Urgh… compass apps were my favourite on the Samsung tablet at home, it’s the boffin in me with “Oooh there’s magnetism!”.

When I first bought it and turned it on, it asked permission to synch with my Google account. I assented… and it burned through the last of my prepaid credit just synching and nothing else. It took me a while to figure out how to turn off data and auto-synch. It was comical trying to discover how to SMS on it, the app wasn’t on the default desktop or launcher.

Installed Dropbox, Chess, Aldiko, PicsArt.

Discovered that Google Maps’ Navigator “is not available in this area”, it’s still only for the US. Downloaded Sygic but found it’s a one-week trial. I think the app itself is free but not the map data. I settled for MapFactor. Don’t know how precise or accurate it is yet. And how does the app know which way your car is pointing without a compass?

Finally Go Launcher Ex allows me to install portrait-oriented wallpaper without that annoying horizontal scroll effect.

Love the Aldiko e-book reader, transferred some e-books I have on the laptop to it via DropBox and I’m ready for Peter F. Hamilton’s Void Trilogy.

Oh and there’s a 2 Megapix camera. Not very good without flash, and I’m not sure if the phonecam has any HDR setting yet.

One more thing. I think WordPress hates Android browsers. I tested two browsers, the native one and Dolphin. Both of them crashed when I tried to login to WordPress. Then they crashed just trying to open this very blog. It’s the same story on the Samsung tablet. The only browser that survives opening my WordPress blog is Opera Mini– as I understand it Opera Mini routes the data via Opera’s servers which simplify and strips away excessive junk, before sending the pared-down data to you.

My blog isn’t even loaded with widgets. Why such a violent conflict?

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