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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Android v 1.5 a.k.a Cup Cake Review(Part II)


When you launch the gallery, Android scans for all media files and categorizes them into folders in the gallery. Since the gallery aspects are already covered I’ll just post some pictures to get an idea.

From the gallery you can also set your current picture as your wallpaper. From there on you have the option to crop the image to set as the wallpaper.


The music gallery displays the tracks by organizing in four different ways: Artists, Albums, Songs and Play lists.

When you play the tracks in any of these modes, the album art is displayed. From there you have the options to shuffle, repeat and then add to play lists. You can also set a song as your ring tone.

Now all these wallpapers/ring tones are all copied to your phone memory so you need not worry about them while removing your memory card.

Video Player:

Android is equipped with a simple video player that plays in the portrait mode. All the videos are categorized and listed in the gallery as mentioned earlier. The player has play/pause button and forward/backward skip buttons. And as said earlier when you use the volume rocker buttons in the video player mode, it will reduce the media volume.


The stock android browser looks pretty simple yet it’s powerful. It is this browser, which brings a unique browsing experience. You can do multi tab browsing and it also has options for book marking web pages.

Selecting the windows option will launch a new tab, upon doing that all available tabs will also be shown in a thumbnail like listing. The tabs can be closed by pressing the close button across the tab which we want to close in the thumbnail view.

You can also zoom into the web pages. Whenever you touch the screen with browser opened you will be provided with embossed buttons to zoom in/out.


On launching the camera, the huge screen will act as the viewfinder. On the left hand topside you will get a thumbnail of the previously taken photo and on the right top you have the camera button to capture a picture or record a video (video mode).

You can switch to either of the modes (camera/video) from the viewfinder. On the settings, there are very little things that you can customize. Geo tagging, video quality and night mode are the options available to tweak.


Android market is the official application store for Android devices. On launching the Android market, Featured applications are listed on top followed by some categories of applications like games, applications etc. Followed by the categories is an option for searching the market place and My Downloads sections that displays all the applications that are downloaded.

All the applications are automatically installed when you download them. And applications can also be updated/uninstalled from this section.

Google Maps:

A Google map lets you identify your current location (you need internet connection & enable location preference in the settings), get directions, search locations, view any location in map mode (with just road/rails), satellite mode (just like what you see in and a traffic mode. In addition you can also have a street view (not available in India), which virtually takes you to the location you have chosen.

Lets say you search for London bridge, then on availing a street view Google displays the surrounding pictures and options for you to move forward/backward thus giving a virtual tour. In addition to that if a magnetic compass is available (Spica Does), then you can virtually navigate through the street view using the compass.

Other than these widgets, Android also supports JAVA applications. All you need to do is put your .JAR files to the memory card, browse to that file from your phone and install. Once it is installed the JAVA applications will be listed in the JAVA ME Apps.


Frankly speaking, I am a new smart phone user but have fiddled around with some of my friend’s smart phones. It was a wonderful experience using the Android Cup Cake. It is very simple to use. I have never really experienced any crashes or never had to restart my phone. Even if some of the third party applications stop responding, Android simply prompts you to force close that application and thus avoids restarts. The simple GUI with SPICA’s capacitive screen, the OS was very responsive and a breeze to use. And more importantly browsing was a great pleasure on this phone.

Now here are some of the things that sets you back.

1) The pattern bug.
2) If I had missed any call/message the OS just provides a notification in the notification area. Other than that it doesn’t remind you with any reminder sound as such. Which means you will know that there’s a missed call only if you look @ the notification area.
3) Suppose I am on a call and if I get another call, there’s no indication of the call via sound. The only way I will come to know about another call is by looking at the screen.
4) There are no equalizer presets for music.
5) There’s no file browser. One has to rely on the android market.
6) No Bluetooth file transfer.
7) There is no document viewer available. Again have to rely on the market.
8)No support for Flash (Android Froyo 2.2 has).

I have already covered some of the bugs and here are some more from the third party applications bundled:

1) You tube will stop loading the video when the screen gets locked. If the video is getting buffered then there is no problem.
2) Orkut widget would simply start refreshing once you change the orientation.
3) The calendar application will not work until you connect your mobile to Internet.

Many of the aforementioned bugs are already fixed with a software update to Android Éclair v 2.1. And the Android market offers more options to customize and increase your productivity with lots of applications, where 60% of them are free applications out of 60,000 applications.

If you are a user who always stays connected to the Internet and the one who wants to heavily customize the phone to your taste, then don’t look elsewhere, Android is the best platform you can choose. Don’t worry if you are not the person who connects to the Internet. Android also provides options to install applications offline i.e. download any software, put it into your memory card and then you can install from there. So if you are planning to go for a smart phone, I would suggest you to taste the Android OS.

Those of you, who think that Android market cannot match the Apple application store, have a glance at the graph that shows the number of applications released in the Android Market over a period of time:


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