Gingerbread a Double-Edged Sword for HTC Evo. No More Netflix.

Excited about Gingerbread?! Loving the fact that you can stream Netflix?! Well, too bad you can’t have both on your Evo. The latest update to the Evo, which includes Gingerbread, apparently renders the device incompatible with the Netflix service. Netflix has even removed the device from its supported list. But you can get netflix in other countries just click here to see how to get american netflix.

Having this service available on Android is great, but it has also been a great disappointment for Android users. The fact that it is only compatible with a few devices is definitely a big issue in and of itself, but it seems like OS updates might be bringing issues as well. One does wonder if this problem will rise up every time a device receives an update. What do you guys think? EVO users, are you upset about this?

Am I upset? Nope. I’ve been running Gingerbread for quite a while using CyanogenMod 7. Rooting was painless and CyanogenMod with Gingerbread is a beautiful thing. Reminds me why I love using Android: Control. Not being controlled by a wireless carrier or a hardware manufacturer, but the ability to control my device and do whatever-the-hell I want with it.

via Android and Me

Are Google And Amazon’s Cloud Music Services Dead in the Water?

 

Google Music

 

As you may have noticed, Amazon and Google have both launched cloud music services. These work as storage lockers, where you can upload music from your computer and play that music, streamed directly from the cloud, to just about any computer or mobile device.

iTunes Dominates

Apple’s iTunes, the king when it comes to buying music online, has been rumored to be launching a similar service. The main difference being that Apple will launch with support from record labels while Amazon and Google are going it alone.

Why is this important?

It all comes down to how you get started on these services. With Amazon and Google, you have to upload all of your music to the cloud. As I can personally attest, this takes for-freaking-ever even for a modest amount of music.

It’s hard to overstate how critical this is. Right now, Amazon makes you upload your own library for any song you haven’t purchased from them since their service launched those you purchase from them can automatically be added to your locker. Google doesn’t even have a music purchase option at all yet, so you have to upload music.

As Jason and I talked about on OMG/JK this week, that means hours or days of uploading — that’s what he had to go through. How many people are realistically going to do that? Not a lot.

via TechCrunch

Look Mom! No Uploading!

You see, Apple could get around the uploading by scanning your music library and simply unlocking those tracks for you in their online library. You won’t have to upload, but you’ll still have access to your music in the cloud. This is exactly what LaLa used to do.

Why This is Dangerous

We have to remember that the gate keepers are gone. The music industry is desperately trying to hold onto a revenue model that consumers and artists are just not feeling anymore. They tried to lock us down with DRM, which failed miserably, so how else could they possibly limit our music?

Oh! I know. Get direct access to all the music on your local drive. Scan it and compare it with watermarks (yes, they can do that), hashes, or whatever from “official” services like iTunes and Amazon. Maybe they even compare your library to an extensive library of pirated music they snagged from torrents.

Bottom line for me is that I don’t think I want a cloud music service that has anything to do with the record labels. A dying beast is always the most dangerous. Of course, I’ve never bought anything from iTunes anyway and never plan to start.

Back to the Technical Side

You only have to upload your music once. After that, uploading an album here and there isn’t going to be a big deal. With Amazon, you don’t even have to upload anything because they’ll automatically dump your purchases into your cloud storage. Purchases made in their store don’t count against your storage limit.

What Do You Think?

I’m not down for an industry-backed cloud player, but what about you? Why? Which company will you roll with?

How I Accidentally Upgraded to Android 2.3.3 Gingerbread

 

It was just another day in the office, I was sipping my coffee, going through emails, and trying to get re-acquainted with Feedly in between taking tech support calls from clients. Eventually, I stumbled across a post from MobileLuv talking about the latest CyanogenMod 7 RC2.

I knew I would probably want to install that, but I got to thinking about my original rooting experience. My Evo had been running Myn’s Warm TwoPointTwo for a little while after I’d used this handy-dandy Rooting for Dummies thread a few of my awesome Twitter friends sent me (sorry, don’t remember who it was, but big-ups). I won’t say it was a harrowing experience, but I was definitely on edge with my baby on the operating table (if you don’t think of your phone as a close friend, relative, or partner…you have the wrong device).

So, anyways, you’ll have to remember that I’m doing a million things at once. I’m not really reading as much as scanning and my eyes fell on the phrase “ROM Manager.” I’m thinking, “Oh yeah, I have that. Let me fire that puppy up and see what it do.” ROM Manager came as a package deal when I rooted my phone and I’m glad it did. I went in and first tried to Check for ROM Updates, at which point I was reminded that I hadn’t paid to be a premium user.

Mind you, I have no idea what I’m doing at this point. Just randomly hitting buttons. Download ROM looked like a winner, so I hit and, CHA-CHING, there goes CyanogenMod right at the top. Tapped that and found the link to the RC2 ROM I’d just read about.

Now, here is where things get a little fuzzy because I think I was trying to walk someone through something on the phone while composing a blog post and playing Lord of Ultima. I know I hit the button to download, and I think it said something like “Prepare for Flashing.” I obviously switched into 12 o’clock flasher mode and just kept hitting buttons.

The next thing I know, my phone has rebooted into Recovery mode. I’m busy with a client at this point, so all I saw were green progress bars when I glanced over. I tried to pay attention to what the client was saying, but the sinking feeling in my stomach was a bit distracting.

A short time later, my Evo rebooted again and spent an excruciatingly long time on the “htc Evo” boot logo. I thought it was a wrap, but I eventually saw the CyanogenMod animation spinning on my display. I breathed a sigh of relief and started to get excited about what gems I’d find in Gingerbread. I was not disappointed at all. It was like I had a brand-new phone, which may be a story for another day.

my6sense Still Makes Sense

Last year I talked about why services like my6sense make sense. Nothing has really changed except that my6sense has gotten bigger and badder than before. I still use the Android app on a regular basis to keep up with what’s going on. It automatically figures out what I want to read based on my behavior using a technology called Digital Intuition.

When you create an account with my6sense through Twitter or one of our mobile apps, we start building your personal preference model, your ‘Digital Intuition’. Constructing an accurate graph of your preferences & interests takes time, and your ‘Digital Intuition’ will only start growing after a few interactions with your content. So please be patient – it may take a while to kick in, but we assure you that once it does, the results will be jaw-dropping.

With my6sense, I see a lot of content about Android, social media, and technology with a smattering of random postings from people I find interesting. The Android app incorporates a number of RSS feeds and sites as well as Twitter and Facebook.

Of course, when Louis Gray hit me up to try out the my6sense Chrome extension for Twitter beta, I was pretty excited. Twitter is probably the most difficult service to keep up with because I don’t have enough attention to pay to all the people I actually find interesting.

I’m currently following over 3,000 people and my6sense uses their magic Digital Intuition algorithm to dig through them all and pick out the updates I would most like to see. Rather than creating yet another Twitter List to help me keep up, I just let my6sense do the hard work.

There are currently apps for Android, iPhone, Twitter.com in Chrome, and a Firefox add-on on the way. One thing I do wonder is if the my6sense team could implement their Twitter interface as a Twitter List. This way, any Twitter user on just about any Twitter client would be supported.

In any case, the web should be about what you want to see. With many of us interacting in so many different places and sharing so much of ourselves, it’s about time a service started using that information to do something more interesting and useful than serve ads.

Android and iPhone Apps for Bodybuilding.com

If you’re a bodybuilder or life weights as part of your training at all, you’ve probably run into BodyBuilding.com. It has a wealth of information related to lifting weights, nutrition, fitness, and more. They have a community of about 2 million and provide methods for tracking every aspect of your training journey. Now, you can install the Bodybuilding.com app on your mobile device to make reaching your goals even easier.

With the FREE Bodybuilding.com app, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android users have constant access to the world’s largest online health and fitness network (BodySpace) and complete, detailed instruction on all your favorite exercises.

Its BodySpace in the palm of your hand. Its a community of fitness support, on demand. Stay connected, motivated, and inspired with non-stop access to your profile

It’s a great compliment to the JEFit application that I use during my workouts and provides nice graphs and charts for tracking your body and lifting stats.

Of course, if you join or are already a member, make sure you add me: http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/microrahsheen/

via Bodybuilding.com

Winamp for Android Beta Available

Even though I love my HTC Evo, I still haven’t settled on a solution for listening to music or keeping my desktop music in sync with my mobile. Mostly, I listen to Pandora, which doesn’t cure my ills when I have an ear worm.

Enter Winamp. Since I have no real ties to iTunes (I’ve actually been trying to get rid of it), I think I’m going to install Winamp beta for desktop (required) and try out the beta app for Android.

After you have the desktop version installed, you can grab the beta by scanning the QR Code below with your phone or clicking the link below if you’re viewing this on your device.

Winamp Beta for Desktop

Winamp Beta for Android

via Winamp for Android: Now in Beta – Winamp Blog

Getting Started with TweetDeck for Android

TweetDeck for Android is awesome so far. Not only is it extremely nice to look at, but it carries much of the burden of your social media life. It covers Twitter (and multiple Twitter accounts), Facebook, Google Buzz, and Foursquare. It’s one thing to say that an application covers multiple services and completely another when that application does a good job of it. TweetDeck, even in it’s beta state, handles everything surprisingly well.

Many things that you will need to get set up are not immediately clear. One major stumbling block for me was the lack of a Settings menu. It looks like TweetDeck opts to integrate the settings into the user interface.

Adding Accounts

If you already have a TweetDeck account, sign in with that and it pulls in all your other accounts.

If not, go ahead and add your Twitter account. It doesn’t matter if you hate Twitter or don’t even want to use Twitter, you can’t activate TweetDeck for Android without a Twitter account. Not sure why this is.

Once you’re done adding accounts… Uh… Hit Done.

One thing I didn’t like about the setup process is that I had to specify usernames and passwords for Foursquare and Twitter. Facebook and Buzz pop-up login windows to those sites and do seem to do some type of OAuth action.

Basics of Columns

This section is of utmost importance. Your columns are your primary method of interaction and tie into your notifications settings. Initially, you have 3 columns:

  • Home – This is everything from every service you’ve plugged into TweetDeck. The whole shebang.
  • Me – These are the posts from all your services that have something to do with you: Twitter @mentions, comments on Facebook items, etc.
  • Direct Messages – These are private messages to you from Twitter. If private messages from other services are supported, I haven’t seen any.

Each column has the relevant messages from all of your services. Instead of giving each service its own column, they’re blended together. This is a blessing and a curse. If you follow a decent number of people on Twitter, your Home stream will pretty much be useless because Twitter will bury everything else.

Hopefully, an option to create separate columns for each service is coming.

Managing Columns

Until then, you can simply use Twitter lists. I was already using Twitter lists to keep an eye on a few interesting folks, but didn’t know how to manage lists in TweetDeck for Android until @jbrotherlove gave me the heads up and directed me to the tutorial video embedded below.

If you look in Manage Columns, you won’t see an option to add anything. The only actions you can do here are to delete columns.

To add a column, you need to first find/create a column you want to add. This could be based on a search, someone’s Twitter stream, or a list. For instance, to add a column for one of my own lists, I did the following:

  • Opened a tweet with my name in it, then clicked my name. You could also just click the Contacts button (looks like a grid) and search for your Twitter username.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of your profile and you’ll see the lists you’ve created. Pick one.
  • You should see a huge button across the bottom of the screen that says “Add Column.”

Managing Notifications

TweetDeck for Android has the most basic of notifications systems. Each column will notify you when it has new tweets in it. This drove me crazy at first because I don’t need notifications on my Home feed. If you go back to Manage Columns from the main menu, you will see that each column you’ve created has an On/Off button. This button toggles notifications.

Are you using TweetDeck for Android? Sign up for the beta and share your thoughts in the comments.