HTC and Sense

HTC makes a variety of Android phones, including the first Android phone on the market, the T-Mobile G1 HTC Dream. It also makes the Google Nexus One. Some phones use a vanilla Android installation, and some include HTC's enhancement, Sense. Sense is a user interface system based around widgets. Widgets are small, always-on applications that run on your phone Home screen for specific purposes, like showing weather information or posting Twitter updates. This is similar to Windows Gadgets on...

Using Picasa

Picasa is Google's online and desktop photo software, and it is the default photo service for unmodified Android phones. It is one of your choices when using the Share button, and it provides an easy way to upload a photo for embedding into a web page. Technically, Picasa and Picasa Web Albums are two separate products, but the distinction is fuzzy, since you can sync online and desktop photos. Picasa Web Albums is located on the Web at http picasaweb.google.com. Think of Picasa Web Albums as...

The Android Market

The Android Market is the primary place for downloading apps for your Android phone. Some phones also ship with access to device-specific app stores as well, but all of the phones so far can use the Android Market. Some devices, like the Android-based Nook, are not intended for use with the Android Market. Right now, there are several versions of Android shipping on phones you can buy new. So how do you know if your Android 1.5 device will run the latest Twitter app The general rule is that, if...

About the Author

Marziah Karch enjoys the challenge of explaining complex technology to beginning audiences. She is an education technologist for Johnson County Community College in the Kansas City metro area with over ten years of experience. She holds a master's degree in instructional design and has taught credit courses in interactive media. Marziah also contributes to the New York Times-owned About.com and has been its Guide to Google since 2006. When she's not feeding her geek side with new gadgets or...

About the Reviewer

Massimo Nardone was born under the Vesuvius, and he holds a master of science degree in computing science from the University of Salerno, Italy. He currently works as a Senior IT Security and Infrastructure Architect and Finnish Invention Development Team Leader for IBM Finland, and is an Open Group Master Certified IT Architect. He works as the IT lead architect and handles security responsibilities including IT infrastructure, security auditing and assessment, PKI WPKI, secure tunneling, LDAP...

Android Devices That Arent Phones

One of the more interesting uses for Android has been in devices that aren't even phones. Android powers eBook readers and netbooks (and it could even power your microwave). If you have regular access to Wi-Fi and don't mind taking an extra device with you, you may not need to buy a full smartphone in order to take advantage of Android. Here's a few of those non-phones powered by Android. The Alex is a simple eBook reader with an E-ink screen on top and an Android touchscreen on the bottom....

The Gallery

Photos taken from your camera are stored on your phone's memory card, and you can review these using your Camera app. However, you might also have photos you've moved or downloaded from other sources. As discussed in Chapter 8, you can use a file-browsing app to see and copy these files, but it's easier to visually browse them using the Gallery app, as shown in Figure 9-7. The Gallery app is built into Android phones. In earlier versions of Android, the graphics weren't quite as fancy, but the...

Shooting Video

If your phone is capable of shooting video, you can change the camera from still-picture to video mode in Android 2.1 and above by sliding the selector on the right upward to the video camera icon. This is shown in Figure 9-6. You'll notice right away that the shutter button at the lower right turns into a video button with a red dot in the middle to start the recording. Click the button to start recording, and press it again to stop recording. The button will change to show a square VCR-style...

The Remaining Android Apps

I've covered the phone, e-mail, web browsing, and calendar. Now it's time to cover those remaining apps that are installed automatically on most phones and experimental Google features that could ship with future versions of Android. I'll discuss default Android 2.1 and 2.2 apps such as Search, the YouTube player, Music, the Clock, and the Calculator. I'll also discuss the power control, the News and Weather widget, Goggles, and gesture search. I'll also discuss some of the options included...

Uploading to You Tube

When you create videos, the primary way to upload and share them is through YouTube. This works really well for personal videos, but it's a bit trickier for corporate videos, because each YouTube channel is limited to one user account and one password. Eventually, there may be an easy way to upload to a collaborative channel. Google is currently experimenting with methods to allow users to upload submissions to another channel. YouTube offers unlimited storage for videos and two basic privacy...

Resources for Developing Android Apps

Android apps are generally programmed in Java. Unlike the iPhone, anyone can download the Android SDK for free, and you can do your development from any computer you'd like. Google has been putting quite a bit of effort into recruiting Android programmers and has an extensive documentation available. In order to offer items in the Android Market, you must pay a 25 registration fee. If you want to charge for your apps through the Android Market, you must have a merchant account with Google...

The App Tray

The app tray holds all of your spare apps. You open the tray by clicking or dragging on the bottom of the screen, depending on which version of Android you're using. In some versions of Android, this looks like a drawer or a tab button, as in Figure 2-3, and you use a dragging motion to pull open the drawer. In others, it looks like a series of small squares clustered together, and you only need to click. Figure 2-4 shows the open app tray on Android 2.1. Whatever it looks like, it's generally...

Using Android with Windows Sky Drive

One product of Microsoft's embrace of cloud computing is SkyDrive. Part of Windows Live, SkyDrive allows you to upload files from your computer and share them with just about any other device. If you want to share files with your phone, SkyDrive works like a charm. However, it is not a two-way street. You can't upload files from Android to SkyDrive yet. To get started with SkyDrive, go to http skydrive.live.com from your desktop computer. Once you've registered for an account, you can access...

Google Labs Layers

It is a collection of experimental features you can turn on and off. They're not always reliable, and they don't always last, but some Google Labs graduates have turned into solid and popular features, such as the public transportation directions in Google Maps. Most main Google products have their own set of Google Labs experiments, and quite often like in Gmail those features just won't work on your phone. Google Maps is an exception. To get to Google...