Welcome to the second edition of #AskAndy where we aim to answer all your Android related questions. I would like to make this a weekly column, but it will only be successful if you continue to send in your questions. Thank you to everyone who submitted a tweet this week. Again I have chosen 10 questions to answer and we will try to cover the ones we missed in the coming weeks. If your question did not get answered, you can submit it again or leave a comment here for help.
I wanted to give a special thanks to @whoisnick who submitted a good answer to one of the questions. We want to encourage community involvement and will be adding new features to #AskAndy that will make it easier. As this week’s winner, we are sending you a $25 Amazon.com Gift Card. Keep submitting your questions via Twitter because we will be giving out more Amazon.com Gift Cards each week to those who ask and answer questions.
If you would like to participate, you can search the #AskAndy tag on Twitter to see if there are any questions you might be able to answer. We are working on a dedicated Ask Andy section for the site, but in the mean time you can send responses from the contact page or send email to andy (at) androidandme.com
Anyone that submits a response to a question will receive full credit with a link back to your site. If you have any suggestions on how we can improve #AskAndy, leave a comment. Thanks again and keep the questions coming.
1. jakubmach #AskAndy Is possible to launch gambling applications on Android Market?
I believe it depends on what country you live in. I know porn and other adult material is not allowed on the Android Market, but I do not see anything that forbids gambling. Mobile software company Hop-on is releasing several gambling applications for Android. According to their latest press release, they will be releasing gambling apps in Europe “where Gaming is legal, secure and regulated”.
2. nateblackest @androidandme the iphone is well known for its hard to scratch glass screen. How does the g1 compare? I hate most screen skins. #askandy
I carried my G1 in my pocket with a 2nd phone for several months and never scratched the screen. Even thought I never got a scratch, I still purchased a screen protector. Overall, I have zero issues with the screen skin. You can barely even tell it is installed and the touch screen performance has not changed at all. If you are interested in total phone protection, check out our review of the invisibleSHIELD.
3. JaeRobinson @androidandme Why does the Home Screen Hang all the time? Is it because other apps need the resources? #askandy
I have found my home screen to hang when your phone is low on memory. Also, having several of the home replacement apps installed at once slowed down my phone. I had Sweeter Home, Open Home, dxTop, and aHome all installed at once. Users are reporting improved performance with the recent cupcake update. I wiped my phone then installed Android 1.5 on my G1 last night. There was a noticeable difference in the overall performance; especially when returning to the home screen.
I have not seen any benchmarks done, but I would assume that a phone with more free space will perform better than one that is at the limit. It is unfortunate that the G1 has such limited space. Users with hacked phones can install their apps to the SD card, but this feature is not currently supported by the official Android build. If you would like to join the Google discussion of support for installing apps to your SD card, please visit Issue 1151 and leave a comment.
4. j_norton @androidandme #askandy My phone would d/l .zip files out of browser a few weeks ago. Now it says that format is not supported. What gives??
You may have had a file manager installed that was handling the zip files and then removed it. I suggest Linda File Manager for .zip support.
5. kaushikgopal @androidandme #askandy does cupcake allow “dream”ers to read pdf?if you store a file(say pdf)on your SDcard,is there a way of accessing it?
The default version of cupcake does not have PDF support. There are custom Android builds like The Dude’s Cupcake that have this added feature. You can also purchase RepliGo from the Market for PDF support.
6. Aelothir @androidandme Any idea when the update will hit UK G1′s? #askandy
There have been conflicting reports on the cupcake update from T-Mobile. Phandroid.com reported that the update was rolling out and included a photo, but T-Mobile has yet to confirm the update. According to a Twitter update from T-Mobile, “T-Mobile USA will confirm details of Android 1.5 ( #cupcake ) availability for our T-Mobile G1 customers in the near future.” T-Mobile UK also sent out a press release that says the update is coming in May.
Most likely, T-Mobile is slowly sending out the update to allow developers a chance to update their applications. Google has documented the process for making your apps backwards compatible on their blog. For more information on the challenges developers are facing with cupcake, check out Big In Japan’s blog.
7. haydenAndroid @androidandme #askandy Do all Android users access same Market servers? Does it depend on carrier? Can unofficial installs see full market?
The Android Market is filtered according to your device and carrier. For example, T-Mobile customers no longer have access to any of the WiFi tether apps, but they are still available in other countries. The Android Developers Phone is also blocked from downloading protected applications.
One of our readers has informed us that they are working on an app to unlock paid apps for users in other countries. Stay tuned for more details.
8. jimibrown5 @androidandme #askandy Does Android do a keep-alive connection like MS-Push-Mail? and is there a way to limit the data-traffic?
Yes, Android supports push email, contacts, and calendar from Google. If you wish to limit your data usage, you can block it in the new cupcake update. You can also get full Microsoft Exhchange sync with a paid application like Touchdown.
9. j_norton @androidandme what are the weird looking white and black boxes android sites are putting next to their descriptions of market aps? #askandy
Response from reader: whoisnick @j_norton QR Codes. Download the Barcode Scanner app and scan them for a link to the market app or other info. #askandy
See our article for more information on QR codes. We will be using them more and more on this site.
10. Dnukem89 #askandy For The 1.5 Software Update A.K.A. Cupcake, Are The Dev 1 G1s The Only Phones That Will Be Getting The Update??
All G1′s will be receiving the cupcake update. Follow @TMobile_USA on Twitter for an official announcement. If you are impatient, you could root your phone and install the cupcake update on your own. We will be posting a root guide for beginners later tonight if you are interested.
p.s. I will add the QR links later tonight, but I wanted to get this published first. perform a search on Cyrket if you need the QR codes in the mean time.