Life

Droid has more expensive components than Nexus One or iPhone 3GS says iSuppli

iSuppli came out for a bill of materials for the Droid and it has more expensive stuff in it than the other phones.  At least that can help us get over the touchscreen issue.

Here’s the comparison of costs:

As to the breakdown of costs: here’s a summary of what iSuppli says:

  • microSD – 16GB – $35
  • Display – $17.75
  • Touchscreen Overlay – $17.50
  • Camera – $14.25
  • Transceiver – $14.04
  • Processor – $12.90
  • 4 Gb Flash and 2Gb DDR Memory – $9.20
  • Bluetooth/WLAN/FM Transceiver – $6.50
  • 1Gbit NAND and 512Mbit Memory – $4.90
  • Battery – $4.25
  • Other – $42.82
  • Manufacturing – $8.64

For a whopping total estimate of $187.75

–Ben

Sources: iSuppli, Engadget

Droid touchscreen less accurate than iPhone, Eris or Nexus One

Looks like the folks at MOTO Development Group came up with an interesting test on touchscreens.  Unfortunately, it appears that Droid runs last of the pack when compared with Eris, iPhone and Nexus One. You can tell the ability of the touch controller to track a finger by the smooth lines.  MOTO’s article even has the end result pictures that tell all.  See the video below for their review:

DIY Touchscreen Analysis from MOTO Development Group on Vimeo.

Personally, I’ve been mad at the Droid on missing my input while trying to navigate some classified ads on ksl.com and craigslist.org.  I always attributed it to my clumsy fingers.  Now I have a much better excuse.

–Ben

Sources:  MOTO Development Group, Engadget

Droid Multi-touch – Multi-Touch to Majority of Motorola Devices

I don’t understand the quiet – almost the no comment attitude – of Google when talking about multi-touch in the states.  Many android devices support multi-touch – like the Droid – but only the versions off the shores of the US get it.  Rumors abound, but the most convincing rumors to me are that Google wants to keep the peace with Apple (or some other entity) and/or Google is worried about Multi-Touch patents.

Luckily it looks like we’re not totally dependant on google, as Motorola seems to be heading into Multi-touch enabling land for us.  He was quoted in Laptop Magazine as saying, “I think you will see us deliver multitouch in the majority of our devices going forward. There’s a complex set of factors, not all of them technical.”  I hope that’s a vote for the Droid, and I can’t imagine why not.

In the meantime, you can try out the Dophin Browser for multi-touch browsing.  Its not bad and it has pinch zooming.

–Ben

Source: Engadget via interview with Laptop Magazine

Droid does streaming media & sideloading from home via Volcano

Engadget just had a piece about the Volcano being demoed with a Droid.  It looks like it allows you to put your shows on your phone, even via 3G and play them when you want them.  Sounds like a good deal.  Video can be seen on endgadet.

You can also see the spin from Monsoon’s marketing of the Volcano.

Intriguing … but I really like my TiVo.  Do I need another box with subscription?

–Ben

Sources:  Engadget, Monsoon Press Release

Droid controls car – Chevy Volt and Onstar Partnership

Looks like the guys at OnStar and Chevy have made a really cool app for the Chevy volt.  It can interact with the car and also provide statistics.  Here’s the bullet point list I’ve teased out:

Telling the Car to do Something:

  • Change the charging status of the car
  • Start the Car
  • Lock/Unlock the Car
  • Honk the Horn

Checking the Car Status:

  • Electric Range
  • Miles Per Gallon
  • Battery Level
  • Charge Status
  • Driving Stats

You can download the Chevy Volt OnStar App for yourself from OnStar’s Demo website.

Here’s some engadget videos:

Video Above: Presentation Showing OnStar Chevy Volt App Interface in action (No Sound)

Video Above: Hands On the Chevy Volt App with Audio

My Interest is actually piqued.  I’d like to see where this goes (and if the volt is actually a nice car to drive besides being a technology novelty).

The one thing that I find odd is that OnStar’s corporate website is surprisingly silent.

–Ben

Sources:

Engadget

Chevrolet.com

Chevy Volt Official Forum

Chevy Volt Facebook Page of Videos

OnStar Demo Website

Fix – IPhone app won’t start/launch/open

A friend of mine’s IPhone would not launch apps that previously worked for him, which appeared to be 3rd party applications.  Here’s a few potential fixes with notes:

  • Download a new free app (like google earth) and once you enter your itunes password, all is fixed

Reason:

“Taken from another forum:
The reason this happens is because every time a downloaded app is opened it checks for your itunes password for validation that you are authorized to open that app (as it may contain personal info). From time to time the iphone “forgets” your itunes password. You can fix the missing password by syncing the iphone with itunes or downloading an app from the app store and entering your password that way.”

  • The solution for this situation was the Application setting tab at top when the iPhone is plugged in and iTunes is running. It seems when an iPhone ( the same may apply for iTouch also ) with 3rd party apps is plugged into iTunes , iTunes runs a backup to restore the 3rd party applications if needed. If the ‘ sync ‘ box ( for applications ) is unchecked and the sync is run , the apps are ‘ removed ‘ from your iPhone although they still appear on the iPhone ( similar to deleting a program but leaving the shortcut to it ). When starting the 3rd party app , it begins to run but then just exits.
    The fix for this was simply running iTunes , plugging in the iPhone and going to the Application tab and ensuring the ‘ sync ‘ applications box was checked ( along with all the applications it backed up under it ).
  • The solution for this situation was the Application setting tab at top when the iPhone is plugged in and iTunes is running. It seems when an iPhone ( the same may apply for iTouch also ) with 3rd party apps is plugged into iTunes , iTunes runs a backup to restore the 3rd party applications if needed. If the ‘ sync ‘ box ( for applications ) is unchecked and the sync is run , the apps are ‘ removed ‘ from your iPhone although they still appear on the iPhone ( similar to deleting a program but leaving the shortcut to it ). When starting the 3rd party app , it begins to run but then just exits.The fix for this was simply running iTunes , plugging in the iPhone and going to the Application tab and ensuring the ‘ sync ‘ applications box was checked ( along with all the applications it backed up under it ).
  • 1. Authorize, de-authorize and authorize again your computer in Itunes.
    2. Sync all apps – chose ’specified apps’ and check them all for sync (the third party apps still won’t work at this point).
    3. After syncing, with the IPhone still connected, delete one third party app (you’ll notice this app will lose its check).
    4. Recheck this app in Itunes and (with all the other apps checked as well) sync again.
    5. With the Iphone still connected, try opening the app you just restored. It should work fine, no saved data lost.
    6. Test your other apps. If still not working, try repeating steps 3 – 5 with other third party apps until it fixes the problem. It took me 3 deletes/restores to get everything running again.

Hopefully one of these solutions works for you.  I hear there’s good success with the install a new app solution.

–Ben

Source:  Iphone App Ratings Forum

Android Phones on US Carriers – Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, AT&T

I have a friend on T-Mobile who asked me if I liked my Droid.  I do, but he can’t get one on T-Mobile.  However, there are many phones to choose from that have android.  Note that I can’t think of an android device on AT&T, and have only seen the rumored Motorola Backflip.  I’ve also listed the Android version that I think it has.  If there is no android version, there may be a custom interface or I don’t know.

Here’s my list:

  • Verizon
    • Droid (Android 2.o)
    • Eris
  • T-Mobile
    • Behold II
    • CLIQ (Android 1.5)
    • Pulse (Android 1.5)
    • magic/MyTouch (Android 1.5)
    • Dream/G1 (Android 1.0)
  • Sprint
    • Moment (Android 1.5)
    • Hero
  • AT&T
    • NONE YET! (maybe Motorola Backflip)

–Ben

For more info and pictures see Androphones.com

Browser lag in 2.0.1 Droid Update – Browser Issue in ESD56

I have noticed one thing about the Droid Update, the browser gets a little bit laggy in places.  In plain english, swiping your finger doesn’t translate into fluid motion on the page movement.  I can’t identify exactly which sites, but I did come up with someone who’s been tracking it down a little more.  Jeftek.com‘s video below:

Otherwise, I’m really liking the update.

Happy Droid’ing.

–Ben

Next Droid Specs? – maybe Sholes Tablet

I came across a couple of articles today describing what may be the next follow-up to the Droid.  The articles claim that the follow-up to the Droid will not have a keyboard.  As it is, I don’t use the slide keyboard very much as the on screen keyboard (in landscape mode) is generally sufficient for my needs.

I guess I’ll enjoy my Droid while I can, and get jealous when the next Droid aka sholes tablet comes out.

Here’s some of the proposed specs:

  • HDMI port
  • 8 megapixel camera
  • 720p video
  • xenon flash
  • 3.7 inch touchscreen (no sliding keyboard)
  • FM Radio
  • Android 2.1

Sounds pretty cool.  Hit the source links for pictures.

–Ben

Sources:

Engadget

ZDNet

Droid Update: version 2.0.1 AKA version AP:ESD56/BP:C_01.3E.01P

Just got an update ESD56 to my Droid today and wondered what was changing. So far, so good. The most noticeable thing is that my homescreen clock changed font. Other than that most everything seems to be under the hood.

Engadget gives a summary of the Droid update: “In brief, this looks like bug-fix nirvana with improved stability and battery life, better camera and call quality, faster visual voicemail, and a host of other goodies.”

According to Verizon’s Droid update page:

  • OS stability is improved.
  • Battery life is improved.
  • Camera auto focus functionality is improved, and time between shots is reduced.
  • Enhancements for three-way calling.
  • Audio for incoming calls is improved.
  • When receiving a call on call waiting, the speakerphone now remains on.
  • Bluetooth® functionality is improved; background echo is eliminated.
  • Improved Bluetooth phone book transfer of contacts to in-vehicle Bluetooth solutions.
  • After closing a GPS application, the GPS icon will now automatically be removed from the notification panel.
  • Users can now receive SMS and MMS messages after an EMS message is received.
  • SMS and MMS may now be sent to seven-digit addresses.
  • Google® contact merging has been updated to accommodate seven-digit numbers.
  • Visual Voice Mail notices now arrive instantaneously.
  • The corporate calendar widget user interface is updated.

Happy Update!

–Ben