lunes, 7 de febrero de 2011

2x1: Como elegir tu próximo Android, y, los primeros pasos con él

How to Pick Your Next Android Phone: The Specs That Matter (and the Ones That Don't)

How to Pick Your Next Android Phone: The Specs That Matter (and the Ones That Don't)

Manufacturers are constantly popping out new Android phones, and it can all be a bit overwhelming when it comes time to buy a new phone. Here's how to avoid getting overwhelmed and narrow down your buying decisions.

The sheer number of Android phones dropping at any given time is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you have a large number of phones to choose from; on the other, it's easy to get overwhelmed. The hype machine makes it especially difficult, since everyone always seems to be touting one phone as "the best Android on the market". The fact of the matter, however, is that it isn't about getting the newest and best phone. It's about finding the best phone for you. Furthermore, manufacturers try to market long and powerful spec lists as the ideal phone, which isn't true either. Here are the things you actually want to look at when buying a new phone.

When Should I Upgrade?

This is a pretty open question, and varies a lot from person to person, but there are a few pieces of advice that we'd give to those thinking about upgrading.

Beware of gadget envy: Because Android is spread across multiple carriers and manufacturers, there are new phones coming out all the time. It can be pretty hard to see cool phones being released left and right and not want one, even if they don't necessarily provide a huge upgrade over your current phone. If you're currently rocking a G1 (the first phone to run Android ever), you probably deserve to upgrade to a faster phone, but users of the original Motorola Droid might find themselves a bit more on the fence. Sure, your phone is a bit older and slower than the current Android lineup, but that doesn't mean you need a new phone. You could always speed it up yourself, after all.

Know what's coming in the near future: On the other side of the coin, a lot of people are constantly worried about upgrading when a newer, better phone is probably just around the corner. However, it's usually only worth waiting if something really big is coming in the near future—like, say, the new 4G networks that are springing up everywhere. Similarly, if December rolls around and you're thinking about a new phone, maybe wait until January to see if Google announces another Nexus phone. Generally, if a new feature is worth waiting for, you'll know about it ahead of time—so keep those things in mind and don't stress about getting the "newest" phone on the market. There will always be another "newest" phone.

Wait until a line of phones come out before considering them: There's only so much you can learn about a phone from spec lists and first-look videos. You can get a pretty good idea of the phones you want to look at, but there's no substitute for actually trying out a phone. Furthermore, you don't want to just buy a phone blindly—if you wait for a few reviews to surface on the net, see if your favorite ROM developers are going to support a phone (if you're the rooting type), and so on, you'll make a much more informed decision.

Evaluating Specs Based on What's Most Important to You

The most talked about features aren't always the most important ones when it comes to making a smartphone buying decision. Here are the things you'll definitely want to look at as you narrow down your list of possible phones, as well as a few we'd consider less important.

Software Version

How to Pick Your Next Android Phone: The Specs That Matter (and the Ones That Don't)

The Android OS has been updating a bit more frequently recently (they're already talking about 2.4 before 2.3 is even out of the gate for most phones), and those updates come with all sorts of goodies—so when you're shopping around, make sure the phones you're looking at are on the newest version of Android you can find. Right now, this means finding a phone with 2.2 Froyo on it (since Gingerbread isn't on most phones). You're never guaranteed to get an update to the latest version, so you want to look for the most recent version you can get out of the box. And, speaking of upgrades...

The Android OS and Manufacturer Upgrades

How to Pick Your Next Android Phone: The Specs That Matter (and the Ones That Don't)

One of the sad facts of life with Android is that whether you get upgrades is completely dependent on your phone's manufacturer and your carrier. While grabbing a phone with the latest version of Android is a good idea, it's even more important that you buy one from a manufacturer that you trust to actually update your phone. We've already seen which manufacturers are the most trustworthy on this front, but it's important enough that we'll repeat it here: HTC has a very good record of updaing their phones, and Motorola's done a pretty good job too (Motorola does it pretty quickly as well). They're not the only manufacturers out there, obviously, but if software updates are important to you (and you're not rooting), this should be a key factor in which phone you buy.

Third-Party Development (If You're a Rooter)

How to Pick Your Next Android Phone: The Specs That Matter (and the Ones That Don't)

If you have a favorite custom ROM (in this case, a ROM is simply a modified versions of Android)—say, CyanogenMod—it might be a good idea to wait and see if it will actually be developed for a given device before buying. Unfortunately, that's pretty hard to know until the phone comes out and someone starts working on it. I've found Twitter and theCyanogenMod forums are good sources for information on that particular ROM, so keep an eye on the developers to see if they'll start developing for that device. You may have to wait a bit longer to get a phone if you can't live without your custom ROM, but that's the price we pay for such luxuries.

Manufacturer Interfaces

How to Pick Your Next Android Phone: The Specs That Matter (and the Ones That Don't)

Nearly all manufacturers these days add their own user interface (UI) to Android, whether it's HTC's Sense UI, Motorola's MotoBlur, or Samsung's TouchWiz. While we tend to prefer running third-party launchers like ADW, LauncherPro, Go, or Zeam, a lot of people are partial to manufacturer UI's. HTC Sense, for example, provides a bevy of very attractive widgets for your home screen.

Installing a different third-party launcher generally removes most elements of manufacturer UIs, keep in mind they won't necessarily get rid of everything. Manufacturers may also change the UI in some apps like Messaging, will change icons on the home screen, and will add different keyboards (though they're usually better than the stock keyboard anyway). When you see a phone you like, make sure to check out the apps and see how they differ from stock Android, since unless you root and flash a custom ROM, you'll be stuck with that tweaked UI on your phone.


How to Pick Your Next Android Phone: The Specs That Matter (and the Ones That Don't)

If you foresee taking a lot of pictures with your phone, you might want to check out the camera beforehand (if not, you can skip this). Unfortunately, this is something you can only really test in the store—camera specs won't tell you much. Megapixels only determine how large the photos will be, not how good they're going to look, so don't pick an 8MP cameraphone over a 5MP cameraphone just because of the spec list. Take some pictures with the dispaly unit in the store if possible, especially in low light, and see how it compares to other phones; if you can't try one in person, you can browse Flickr's Camera Finder page, which lets you view pictures taken by certain devices. For example, here are HTC's Android phones. Of course, there are a lot of things you can do to improve a mediocre cameraphone's performance, too.

The other thing to consider here is the now-popular front-facing camera. If you plan on video chatting with your friends and family, you'll definitely want to keep an eye out for this. If not, however, ignore it—there's no reason to gawk at a phone's longer spec list if it has things you aren't going to use (of course, there's no reason to avoid front-facing cameraphones either).

Battery Life

How to Pick Your Next Android Phone: The Specs That Matter (and the Ones That Don't)Bad battery life is one of the biggest annoyances in modern smartphones, for a number of different reasons. Because so many different things affect battery life, it's probably best that you just read reviews and battery comparisons of different phones instead of stressing out over processor speed or screen type.


There's a lot of name dropping and marketing push in the processor world of smartphones, from Snapdragons to Hummingbirds to OMAP. But what's the real difference between them all? While you could go into the minute differences between each processor, the fact of the matter is that a lot of factors influence the speed of your phone, and your processor isn't one of the first things on which you should base your buying decision. For example, Android generally includes solid performance boosts in OS upgrades, so at times, a phone that actually receives updates may run faster than one with a faster processor. Most phones stay pretty competetive in the processor region as far as most users are concerned.

There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. If you are taking a lot of video on your phone, editing video on your phone, or doing some hardcore 3D gaming, you'll want to be on the lookout for a good processor (maybe even dual-core, now that these are starting to show up in Android phones). If you don't fall into this category, however, don't fall for all the market hype. Better processor technology is great, but when it comes to starting up apps and swiping between screens, the launcher you use is going to make much more of a difference than whether you're rocking a Snapdragon or a Hummingbird.

Screen Type

How to Pick Your Next Android Phone: The Specs That Matter (and the Ones That Don't)

A lot of manufacturers have been experimenting with different screen types today, like AMOLED, Super LCD, and qHD. These new screens are a double-edged sword—while they make your phone look pretty amazing, they also drain battery like nobody's business. That said, most phones worth their salt nowadays come with one of these screens, so there's no use agonizing over this fact—though you might want to check and see how it works under direct sunlight, since that is sometimes an issue.

As far as the differences between them, Engadget recently compared the AMOLED and Super LCD and found that neither was necessarily "better" than the other, though they do excel at different things on a minute level. That said, AMOLED did have better battery life than Super LCD, but I wouldn't base your phone decision on it. There are tons of other things that will influence battery life, and a phone with a Super LCD screen could easily outperform a different phone with AMOLED because of its battery type, processor speed, connection quality, and other features. Instead of stressing out about screen type, do some research on overall battery life and compare that instead (as mentioned above).

Build Quality and Other Convenience Features

How to Pick Your Next Android Phone: The Specs That Matter (and the Ones That Don't)Since it's hard to judge the build quality from a bunch of specs on a web site, this will probably be one of the last things you've looked at, after you've narrowed everything else down. Before you head to the store to check it out, look up some reviews online. You'll probably hear pretty quickly about device quirks—like battery covers that fall right off—and you'll want to stray away from them (or at least factor them into your decisions).

Next, head to the store and play around with it. Don't just judge a phone on paper—you're going to have to use this thing for the next year or two, so note what it's made out of, whether it feels cheap or sturdy, whether the hardware keyboard is easy to use, how heavy it is, and whether it fits in the pockets of your most space-starved pants.

This is also a good time to note other miscellaneous features: a little trackpad or trackball, for example, can be super useful (since placing the cursor in between letters and words is so difficult on pre-2.3 Android). Similarly, if you want a hardware keyboard, that narrows down your choices. If you don't, I'd personally avoid it, since they can make phones a good deal thicker.

You can't replace quality time using a phone, so definitely head to the store and play with a few phones for awhile. It seems obvious, but it's surprising how little time people spend with a phone or two before they pick one. You'll probably be waiting in line at the Verizon store for a half hour anyway, you might as well put the phone through its paces while you're there.Photo by Christopher Schmidt.

Niche Hardware Features

How to Pick Your Next Android Phone: The Specs That Matter (and the Ones That Don't)

Among the usual marketing hype, a lot of manufacturers will try to point out unique features in their phones that, frankly, few people are looking for (but once again lengthen the feature list, making it look like "the best phone on the market"). Examples that come to mind include HDMI out (necessary only if you want to watch your phone's videos directly on a TV), front-facing cameras (video chat has been far from standardized at this point, so few of us really use them), kick stands, secret speakers, and so on.

Supposed Rootability

How to Pick Your Next Android Phone: The Specs That Matter (and the Ones That Don't)

Our intern Aaron Martin put it eloquently: "The best way to get something hacked is to say that it's unhackable." While certain phones might be a bit easier to root than others, even the "unrootable" phones like the Droid X and G2 have been rooted by the fine folks over at XDA, so I wouldn't worry about the supposed rootability of a phone when you buy. Someone will root it. I'm convinced those guys at XDA have super powers and are unstoppable.

How to Pick Your Next Android Phone: The Specs That Matter (and the Ones That Don't)

While there are no hard and fast rules, what we've learned here is that the most touted hardware specs—like those shown in Droid-Life's above chart comparing Verizon's newest 4G phones—are probably less important than the build quality, feel of the phone, and the software it comes with. Sure, the difference between an old G1 and the 1 GHz Hummingbird-powered Galaxy S is pretty big, but the difference between the Snapdragon-powered Incredible and Hummingbird-powered Galaxy S? Pretty negligible, especially when you start factoring in your own launcher and home screen preferences.

The best advice we can give is make a list of your must-have features, narrow down your selection using that list, then go to the store and actually use the phones for as long as you can. Reading reviews is always a good idea too, but it's a small substitute for actually using the phone yourself. Got any of your own Android-buying tips? Share them with us in the comments.


Primeros pasos con Android: Configura tu teléfono

Imagino que la gran mayoria de los lectores coincidiréis conmigo que una de las mejores cosas de Android es sus grandes posibilidades de personalización. Para ver ejemplos de las múltiples combinaciones que podemos hacer con nuestro sistema operativo no tenéis mas que ver el artículo que hizo Jon con los escritorios de los editores de El Androide Libre, vereis que cada uno tenemos configurado el terminal a nuestro gusto.

Cada persona es un mundo y dado que nuestro teléfono siempre va con nosotros, que menos que diseñar nuestro pequeño rincón como mas nos apetezca, así que en este articulo de Primeros pasos con Android vamos a aprender dónde están las opciones para configurar nuestro teléfono.

Yo lo primero que hago en cualquier dispositivo que tengo espersonalizar el fondo de pantalla, así que le damos al botón de Menú, escogemos Fondo de pantalla y después el tipo de fondo que queremos. A partir de la versión 2.2 podemos elegir fondos animados que nos dan la posibilidad de configurarlos independientemente.
Personalmente yo prefiero los fondos estáticos, aunque los animados están muy bien para enseñar el movil. Si queréis mas fondos de los que trae de serie podéis meterlos por cable usb en la tarjeta sd o usar la aplicacion Backgrounds, una muy buena colección de fondos de pantalla adaptados para Android.

Sigue leyendo….

Lo siguiente que suelo configurar en el móvil  son los tonos del teléfono, en este caso Android es un poco especial a la hora de meter los tonos de alarmas, notificaciones y tonos en la tarjeta tenemos que establecer unas carpetas especiales. En la raíz de la tarjeta sd creamos un directorio llamado media, dentro de este otro llamado audio, y luego otros 3 que son alarms, notifications y ringtones quedando de la siguiente forma:

\media\audio\alarms para los tonos de alarma del reloj
\media\audio\notifications para los tonos de aviso de los mensajes, correo y demás aplicaciones
\media\audio\ringtones para los tonos de llamadas

En estos directorios podemos tener ficheros de audio tanto en ogg como en mp3, yo personalmente tengo por costumbre el ogg ya que hace tiempo cuando tenia la Magic detecte un pequeño retardo en los tonos cuando el fichero era en mp3 que con ogg desaparecía. Tampoco os lo toméis como dogma porque posiblemente sean cosas mías, pero podéis probar a ver si lo detectais.
Una vez tenemos los tonos en esta rutas de carpetas nos aparecerán en el listado de tonos a escoger junto a los que vienen de serie en Android.

Una vez que tenemos lo básico, lo principal que debéis saber es que en el lanzador de aplicaciones escogiendo Ajustes es donde se encuentra la configuración general de nuestro teléfono. Además cada aplicación puede ser configurada independientemente en su menú, pero vamos a comenzar con las opciones generales.

Nada mas entrar en las opciones de Ajustes la primera opción que vemos es Conexiones inalámbricas. Este apartado gestiona las comunicaciones de nuestro teléfono. En el podemos activar el Modo Avión para dejar el teléfono sin comunicaciones y así evitar apagarlo cuando estamos en un avión o en un hospital por ejemplo. También podemosactivar las conexiones Wifi y la configuración de las redes a las que nos conectamos. Al igual que con las Wifi sucede con el Bluetooth, podemos activar o desactivarlo y configurar la visibilidad de nuestro teléfono.
A partir de la versión 2.2 podemos configurar el Anclaje a red y zona wifi que nos permite configurar el teléfono como un punto de acceso Wifi y conectarnos con cualquier equipo a Internet.

La siguiente opción son Ajustes de llamada, donde podremos configurar los servicios de marcación fija, el buzón de voz o los desvíos de llamada. Yo personalmente prefiero usar los codigos que da el operador para establecer estos servicios, porque no es la primera vez que se me va el dedo y sin querer activo el desvío de llamadas.

A continuación tenemos los Ajustes de Sonido, donde podremos configurar el modo silencio y el volumen de los tonos. Podemos ajustar el volumen tanto de los tonos de llamada como de notificaciones y alarmas. Aunque podemos establecer que los tres tipos de tonos puedan tener el mismo volumen yo prefiero establecer cada uno por separado ya que suelo llevar el tono de llamada muy alto y la alarma con el volumen a tope no es una buena forma de despertarse.
Aparte de los tonos de llamada podemos configurar los de notificación, se configura para todas las notificaciones , pero si vamos a las opciones de la aplicación de Mensajes o de Gmail podremos configurar un tono de notificación en particularpara mensajes y correos.
Además podemos configurar los tonos para las teclas y la vibración de respuesta al pulsar un botón. Yo en mi caso tengo un Nexus One en el que las teclas de menú, home, flecha y lupa no son botones físicos, sino táctiles, así que tengo activada la vibración cada vez que toco una de estas teclas el teléfono vibra y me da sensación de respuesta.

Ajustes de Pantalla es el apartado que sigue, aquí podremos configurar el brillo de la pantalla, la rotación, las animaciones y el tiempo de espera hasta que se apague. Yo casi nunca utilizo esta opcion, prefiero utilizar el Widget de energía.

En Ubicación y Seguridad es donde configuramos la localización del móvil, es decir que cuando entramos en Maps nos localice la posición en la que nos encontramos en el mapa. Podemos usar redes inalámbricas o el gps, yo os recomiendo que establezcáis las redes inalámbricas ya que el gps consume mucha batería y el ciudades relativamente grandes o de tamaño medio ofrece una localización muy fiable.
En este mismo apartado podremos configurar el patrón de desbloqueo del teléfono, esta es una opción que nos presenta 9 puntos en pantalla que deberemos unir con un patrón determinado. Este patrón sirve para desbloquear el móvil y que nadie pueda acceder a nuestro teléfono y su contenido.

Una de las opciones mas importante es la de Aplicaciones, donde podremosgestionar los programas que tenemos instaladas en el teléfono. Nos aparece un listado con las aplicaciones que tenemos instaladas y pulsando sobre cada una podremos desinstalarla, borrar la cache, o mover a la tarjeta sd aquellas que lo permitan.

La opción de Cuentas y Sincronización se encarga de gestionar las cuentas personales que tenemos configuradas en el móvil. Si no tenemos otra cuenta nos aparecera la de google, pero nos pueden llegar a aparecer de Twitter, Facebooks, y cualquier otra aplicacion que instalemos para configurar la sincronización de las mismas.

Para configurar el teclado de Android tenemos Idioma y Teclado que nos permite establecer el idioma principal del sistema y los teclados que tengamos instalados. Android permite tener varios modelos de teclado, el que viene de serie y los que hay para instalar en el Market. En esta opción nos permitirá configurar cual de ellos queremos como teclado principal.

Fecha y Hora como su nombre indica nos permite configurar el reloj interno de Android. En mi caso lo tengo configurado enmodo automático para que coja la hora de la red de mi operador móvil.

Por ultimo tenemos el apartado Acerca del Teléfono donde nos aparecen las actualizaciones disponibles, el estado del teléfono y el uso de la batería. En la parte inferior de la pantalla podremos ver la versión del sistema Android que tenemos y demás información de tipo técnico.

Finalmente tal y como os comentaba anteriormente en cada aplicación en particular podremos configurar su funcionamiento y establecer el tono de notificación que deseemos para cada entrando en la propia aplicacion y pulsando en el botón de menú.

Os invito a que trasteeis con vuesto móvil cambiando configuraciones e investigando cual os conviene o cual os gusta más. No tengáis miedo que el móvil no se rompe y en caso de duda podéis ir al foro de ForoAndroides donde os ayudaran en cualquier duda que tengáis.


No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario

Nota: solo los miembros de este blog pueden publicar comentarios.