Ask NerdGirl: Saving Your Contacts, My Beloved Eris, Apps2SD, Guitar Tabs, and HTC Evo!
Jun 6, 2010 10:50 AM –
Five questions again today! You guys are sure keeping me busy. I love it!
Hi Nerd Girl,
I’m a fan of the column and have read every one to date. My question is regarding the apps that track your phone if lost/ stolen. Some of them offer the ability to “wipe” the phone of any personal info. While I think this is a great feature, I was wondering what would happen to all my contacts “in the cloud.” I mean, if I make a change to any of my contacts on my PC, they sync up on my Droid and vice versa. Now, in theory, if I were to “wipe” my phone if it were stolen, would that not also clean out all my contacts in my Google account? I have them backed up through the LookOut app, but still, is this something I should be worried about if I were to wipe my phone?
Thanks for taking the time to read my question. I hope to hear back from you.
In theory, Adam, that can happen, IF it’s not a wipe to factory settings. However, if it is a complete wipe to factory settings, your phone won’t know your Gmail account anymore. If it doesn’t know your Gmail account, it can’t sync to it, and therefore can’t wipe your contacts out. Your phone doesn’t sync every time there is a change. It’s done on regular intervals. Even if it was, it would have to be simultaneously to get rid of the contacts as your phone deleted them. Regardless, I would always keep a backup in some way, shape, or form.
I am a new owner of an HTC Droid Eris. I wanted this phone when I switched to Verizon back in January but the store didn’t have any in stock so I settled with an LG EnV Touch. Big mistake. The short story is I received my Eris last week, just days after the 2.1 update was released. I felt I was pretty lucky to be able to update my phone the same day I turned it on the first time, considering all the update drama I’ve read about.
Here’s the deal: I really, really like this phone. A lot. But as I’ve learned more, read some of the Android blogs/forums, I sense there is some dissatisfaction with this device. I was excited to see that you are a fan also. I’ve read through your posts and I don’t think you have touched on this at all.
Can you discuss some reasons why you chose the Eris? Do you have any app suggestions for a new Eris user? Have you found there are any real problems with this phone? What are your top android websites? To root or not to root? Any general info you can provide would be appreciated. It’s difficult to discern between good information and mere opinions on this phone.
I love my Eris, Andi, and I’m happy to hear you do too! Remember, opinions are just opinions, and if the phone is perfect for you, you shouldn’t let others influence you, but I’ll be happy to give you my two cents on this one.
I bought my phone in early December. I was switching over to Verizon, mainly because AT&T in my area has awful signal and I already had a “falling out” if you will with Sprint…and I got a great discount through work. So, I walk in to the store knowing I want a smartphone that isn’t a BlackBerry. Why didn’t I want a BlackBerry? Cause I hated the little trackball. I don’t know why, but they always annoyed me. Ironic I got the Eris, since it has the trackball. I also knew I didn’t want a Windows phone because at the time I worked for Sony and all I heard about with the Ericsson’s was that the X1 just kept freezing. So that pretty much left Palm and Android. I hated the Palm OS since I had the first color Palm Pilot years ago. So Android it was! Someone in my household had gotten a pre-launch Motorola Droid. It was so heavy and a physical keyboard wasn’t a necessity for me so that left my beloved Eris!
People complain because it’s slow and it doesn’t have certain 2.1 abilities and it reboots itself occasionally. Yes, it’s not the fastest phone on the market. It never was. The Moto Droid was faster right out of the gate. But I also don’t have the fastest computer in the world and mine works just great for what I do. So I don’t have live wallpapers! Who cares? My battery lasts longer this way. Regarding the rebooting I’ve seen some people complaining about, every phone I’ve had since the Motorola analog StarTec (wow, I’m old) has done that here or there. It’s probably only happened to me maybe once a week if that with the Eris which I think is fine.
As far as app suggestions go, I listed my favorite apps in this past article, so you can go there and check that out.
The “top” android websites really varies on what you’re looking for. AndroidTapp, of course is the best one out there! But there are forums which you can get a lot of good information on, especially if you’re considering rooting. I’m mainly on AndroidForums. They have a large Eris user base.
My opinion on rooting is this. If your phone does what you want it to, or there’s a way to do it without rooting, don’t root. I am normally one of the first people to jump on the cracking bandwagon, but you will no longer get any updates at all from your carrier and it voids your warranty. I think it’s ridiculous that you get punished for changing your open source software on your personally owned phone, but since that’s the way the cell phone carriers want to be right now, then I rather have the warranty on my phone.
I manually updated to Froyo and I started seeking out apps that take advantage of the apps to SD card capability. I have found a few and there seem to be more everyday but every app I put one the SD card has a much smaller file size then when it was on the phone, For example the Speedx 3d game was about 3MB on the phone and is only 300KB on the SD card. Do you know if there are parts of the application that remain on the phone, or maybe and error in an early build of Froyo?
The main bulk of most apps is the actual program itself, the .apk file, equivalent to a computer’s .exe files. That’s what goes to the SD card. There are pieces that do remain on the phone itself; private user data, databases, and some of the code. With a game, save files can be huge. This may be why you’re seeing the size difference.
Looked everywhere for a guitar tab app and everyone I have asked on regards to one has left me without a definite answer. I have even emailed a website requesting an app.. (iPhone has one ). Any ideas?
I did a search on the market for “guitar tab” and found 231 results. Most of them were chord guides, tuners, or themes, but I did find one actual tab app. Tab Reader for Guitar and More reads tab files from TXT, .tab, and HTML files. It’s a little less than a dollar, 0.79 Euros.
Lately all I’ve been reading about is how great the HTC Evo is. Is this phone going to be available unlocked and in other countries or only on Sprint in the USA?
It seems like the HTC Evo 4G is just a Sprint Nextel phone, Jim. There are ways to unlock a phone like this which you can find all over the Internet. Sometimes companies will unlock your phone for free if you call them and ask. I know Sony does. I’m not sure about if Sprint will do it for this phone, but it’s worth a shot.