Monday, October 10, 2011

Apps on a Android 2.2 Archos 10.1 Tablet

Having had an Archos 10.1 entertainment tablet bought off ebay with accessories for 300 for a few months, here are a few apps that have come in handy. This is the simple 8 GB model with an SD card for additional space. There are 5 possible home screens to organize apps and a index grid accessible from all 5 screens. I use 4 of the 5 screens for my main apps as well as a few lesser used ones and background type programs in the index.This tablet didn't come with the Android Market, but it did come with Arch Tools that had a market download. So I have both the apps lib and Android Markets to choose from. I also have the Amazon apps store, and use it along with the Droid Market for all my app needs. Below are some of the apps I currently have... and I will also give mention to Dolphin browser and Ever Note as wonderful apps, but I chose my ebook and Office Suite Pro over the previous two. Color Note, a separate calendar app, and the Opera/Native browser handles the web side.

Lets start with the ereader apps: Google Books, Kobo, FBReader and Moon Reader.  Google books is accessible from anywhere and is stored on googles server, other than when you actually read a book, it will download individually. Kobo is from when I had a Kobo ereader, which got returned due to only being an ereader. I enjoyed it, but my laptop can function as a multi purpose ereader, and now the tablet. My books are synced from any device and the selection is okay. FBReader is great for a simple reader, mostly used for easy access to Gutenburg, while Moon reader is great for large print. The last two are great for epub downloads. Amazon has a books app, but I haven't found a need for that, as I have a lot of books that I haven't read yet. 90 percent have been free. Reading on a tablet is nice, and having multiple readers for multiple sources of books that would normally require several ereaders, all on one device is nice. I like e-ink, but this works well.

Games: Angry Birds, all versions, Solitaire combo, Mahjong, Jewels, and Jewels Deluxe, and 4 in a row. I have a few others on the SD card that aren't played often, but are indexed. The ereaders and games are on the fifth screen.

Music and Media are throughout the 3rd and 5th screen. Tune in radio, news and weather, BBC,, occupy together, Mediafly, the native Music app, Cineshow Time, native Photo Frame, Gallery, Video, and Camera.

I already talked about the browsers. But, the main difference is that Opera Mobile gives you the mobile version of web applications, functions faster, and has a great touch interface. The native browser includes flash and is preferred for seeing full websites. I have had Mozilla and Dolphin as well, but decided for space reasons that Mozilla is too slow and Dolphin is fun, but isn't a priority right now. I may download it again in the future as I really want to explore it more, along with evernote, but those are later. Those two programs are great for a computer and tablet to connect together, but I don't sync my tablet to the laptop.

The Acer Aspire One, which I am typing this from, is now running a full version of Microsoft Office 2010, has a HUGE ebook for my computer class, along with the usual ebook, music, and school paper, graphics, ect, and is pretty bogged down right now, with both backed up on an external HD. I am definitely looking at getting a MacBook Air in a few months for the graphic programs and GarageBand software. Then, the Microsoft Office 2010 can be added later. I want to do web design again and the little netbook isn't going to work for that. My main desktop is not working any longer. This little netbook will remain a back up and then the MacBook can do more. I used to have a Mac and I miss it, but the pricetag for one is a bit steep right now. Eventually, I will replace this Acer Aspire One with a dual OS tablet (Windows and Android 3.2 coming out next year). Touchscreens are much nicer and user friendly on the 10.1 screen, and will be able to write papers, do research, and still enjoy the Android app interface on one machine, but they need to work the kinks out.

Mac: I am really sad to see the rags to riches Steve Jobs pass away. He created art work with his technology. Apple isn't the best in everything, but their products are sharp, thin, great out of the box functionality, and pretty; just gorgeous to look at. The price is still high, but the programs don't need a for dummies manual, it just works, and there is a great customer support team on the other end. I look forward to a lightly used MacBook when the budget has it, and I will remember the guy some say was temperamental, as a treasured part of the Apple legacy. I read somewhere he said that Microsoft doesn't bring culture to their programs. I have to agree. Windows isn't pretty like Apple, and takes some getting used too. Windows office programs make nice, simple programs. Word and Power point come to mind. But then again, some of the Apple presentation programs give some very nice results. So, both have their place: Windows is cheaper, somewhat functional, and is more easily adaptable to other programs; Apple is very customized and locked down to work with Apple, and that comes with its own issues, but they have a nice selection to compete.

The new computers coming out with Google chrome that are a web based OS are something that I simply can't wrap my head around. The idea that a computer is only functional in the cloud and web based, just isn't something I can work with. There are plenty of times when I am away from an internet signal and want to play games, listen to music, or work on a presentation for uploading later. I would be stifled by a web only system, and even with an internet signal, those other offline items are still done, it just doesn't seem functional. Why have a portable device that is only a web device? So, I am skipping Chrome, which I actually got rid of over a year ago. I tried it again recently, and just don't like it.

Android is by far my favorite. It still has a way to go with the word processors and other more intensive software, but it has come a long way with games, media, simple notes, calendars, photos, and communication. The Android screens are pretty with some Zedge software, the apps work nicely, the market is constantly updated, with many things for free.The USB ports, additional SD card storage, and the very customizable interface makes for an easy user experience. I use my tablet for as many things as I can except for intense typing, and even that can be done with a USB or bluetooth keyboard. Too bad Office or Open Office weren't available in their desktop forms on an Android tablet. Netflix also needs to get with the program.

Also, Sony gets huge kudos. I bought the Sony Walkman and silicone case USB chargeable MP3 player 2 months ago. The FM tuner works great, the download and upload is easy through a variety of stores and formats, as well as the video (if you are so inclined, I haven't added anymore than what came with the MP3 player). My older Sony camera also works nicely, and the warranty folks have been more than helpful.

End of technology post: also, got a new phone a Samsung 401G from Net10 for 25 bucks with 750 minutes included. It works nicely so far, good long battery life, but its an older style qwerty phone. Its a simple slider, decent screen, good for text and talk. The WAP browser is no fun, but the E71 is broke at this point. I miss my old phone and will get the old one fixed as soon as possible, but this one works for a cheap back up phone, or one I want that is more stable with better battery life.

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