Apr 25 AT 9:42 PM Taylor Wimberly 18 Comments

#AskAndy – Your Android Questions Answered Volume 1

Welcome to the first 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.  I chose 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 pixeladdikt who submitted the first question.  Flash isn’t available for Android yet so we can’t answer your question, but we want to show our thanks for participating.  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 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.

1. foebea: @androidandme pspdev has great noob dev tutorials like http://is.gd/tbmJ Is there anything like this for droid? #askandy

I would suggest Android Programming Tutorials from CommonsWare.  You can get a year’s access to their full library of Android books for only $35.  Check out the table of contents for what tutorials are currently offered.  We will also be offering some tutorials of our own including building web applications for Android.

2. Whoisnick: @androidandme Are there any good document readers (doc, pdf…) or ebook reader apps? #askandy

  • Office: For Microsoft Office documents your best and only choice is
    Documents-To-Go. It allows viewing and editing of Office 2007 & 2008
    Word and Excel files. It’s a bit pricey at $19.99 though.
  • PDF Reader: I have had great success with RepliGo Reader. It’s a
    little slow but flawless in its presentation. No complaints.
  • EBook: FBReaderJ is the best I have found although it isn’t available
    on the Market. Download it at http://www.fbreader.org/FBReaderJ/.

See our full reviews of FBReaderJ and Documents to Go for more information.

3. antoniothonis: @androidandme For which andoid phone should I wait and when is it released? What is holding up the G2 release? :S #askandy

Vodaphone will release the HTC Magic on May 5th.  There is no release date for the US but T-Mobile is expected to launch the phone this summer.  The new HTC phone lacks a keyboard, but it’s the only new phone we may see for months.  The rumors said the Magic was pushed back for a last second hardware change which included rounded buttons.

4. mattandmeagen: @androidandme Just curious what you think it will take to get more iPhone developers to port their apps to Android? #askandy

The main thing preventing larger developers from porting their applications to Android is lack of money.  Look at the top 10 applications for Android and most of them have less than 5k units sold.  Compare that to the millions that some iPhone apps get and you can see why devs choose Apple.  As Android begins to expand its numbers, we should see more apps targeted at the platform.

5. kissmyapocalyps: @androidandme #askandy are there any apps with an on-screen T9-style keyboard with predictive text? I miss texting with 1 hand. i will pay $

The looming Android 1.5 update has a new Input Method framework which includes a text prediction engine. The next release of chompSMS will most likely include a T9 keypad so you can text while driving text with one hand.

Handcent SMS also includes a t9 soft keyboard.

The wait for T9 texting is almost over.

The wait for T9 texting is almost over.

6. MrHyrne: @androidandme I like the #askandy idea, but which G1 app can track hashtags?

I have not seen a Twitter application with this feature, but you have several other options.  You can follow any hash tag from the Twitter search page by RSS.  Here is our short article about using RSS with Android.  You could also choose to setup email alerts using a service like TweetBeep.

7. QDOG8: Will the G1 ever get an update to support flash in the browser, or will it only be in newer devices? #askandy

Adobe has confirmed that Flash 10 will come to Android, but you might have to wait till 2010.  It was also announced that BSQUARE will be porting a version of the Flash player to Android.  When either of these solutions makes their way to Android, we should see an update released for the G1.

8. JaeRobinson: @androidandme Is there any free software that I can use to partition my memory card for my android phone. #askandy

Most people suggest Paragon Partition Manager, but work has begun on an application that will run from your phone.  If you would like to encourage Google to implement this feature into Android, you could visit issue 1151 on their discussion boards and make your voice heard.

Our Twitter Profile when we had 70 followers.

Our Twitter Profile when we had 70 followers.

9. MrHyrne: Anyone using @Twidroid 2.0 for #Android? I was waiting for this version, but Market reviews are kinda bad so far. #AskAndy

Yes I have been using Twidroid 2.0 and the performance is greatly enhanced.  Some people had issues with the upgrade, but a uninstall/reinstall should take care of most problems.  Check out their release notes for the latest fixes and new features.

10. bob0mb: @androidandme . people keep talking about contact groups (ie: family, work. etc) . i can’t seem to figure out how to do this #askandy

The default dialer and Gmail application do not currently support contact groups.  This should be included in a future update, but you can manage contact groups from the desktop version of the Gmail site.  Navigate your browser to http://gmail.com and select contacts on the left side navigation menu.  Here you will be able to create and manage your groups.

Applications Mentioned in this Article:

chompSMS for Android
Version: 1.18
Developed By: chompSMS
Price: FREE
Filesize: 809KB
Documents To Go for Android
Version: 1.001
Developed By: DataViz
Price: $19.99
Filesize: 3.03MB
RepliGo for Android
Version: 1.0.1
Developed By: Cerience Corporation
Price: $4.95
Filesize: 1.16MB
Twidroid for Android
Version: 2.0.2
Developed By: Ralph Zimmermann & Thomas Marban
Price: FREE
Filesize: 336KB
Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://omglole.com Mrjack92

    That was incredibly informative. I am looking forward to more of these. Can we ask questions at anytime or is it only during certain time periods?

  • http://disquiet.com Marc

    Good piece, and a good service. Thanks. The question I submitted via Twitter (from twitter.com/disquiet) was:

    “Will the Cupcake update let me use an external Bluetooth keyboard with my Android G1 phone?”

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      I couldn’t find any mention of bluetooth keyboards so I’m not sure if it will be included with 1.5. Someone might be able to create a mod to make it work. I’ll keep an eye on the topic for any solution. It would be nice for bluetooth printer support as well.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      Don’t think it is supported but I found someone put in a request.


      • Marc

        Thanks. I have now voiced my request there.

  • Unk

    Man. I was like the eighth person to ask but I still didn’t get a response… (http://twitter.com/UnkzDomain/statuses/1550003716)

    Does anyone know how to execute a command in the Android shell and then pipe the outputs into a widget in the UI (like the text part of a checkbox)


  • Doppelganger

    Will Cupcake bring BT transfer between my laptop and phone?!?

  • http://www.poorlywritten.com foebea

    Thanks much #askandy, Over the past week I read the Wrox book on android programming and once I got past the first few chapters it really opened up java and the droid sdk. I’m already starting to feel cramped within the bounds of the sdk :P

    I will check out the warescription this weekend, the topic list looks interesting and theres plenty of source to study.

  • johnnymcnugget

    Thanks for your flash answer. The asker made it sound like flash isn’t available in the browser but that there flash apps. Is that right? (besides the youtube app?)

  • kissmyapocalypse

    Hey that’s me!! Thanks for answering my question! And you read my mind: I was totally thinking texting while driving!

  • Gammax

    Awsome, I look forward to more questions and anwsers like these.

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