Monday, July 04, 2011

New Galaxy Tab Triggers Updates, Changes

A couple weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be able to purchase a new Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. I had been waiting a while for a good 10" Android powered tablet and finally things have worked out. Thus far the tablet itself has been wonderful.  I've been especially impressed with the battery life.  That could be because I haven't pushed it really hard.  I'll give it a workout when I watch the latest episode of Falling Skies (since I missed it this last Sunday and failed to setup the DVR). However, Honeycomb still has some rough edges (most noticeable to me are issues with the mail client). No worries as I am sure improvements are just around the corner.

With the new device, it meant getting apps installed so the tablet would fit in with my EVO and other tools. First up was Got To Do, the app I had been using for GTD. As I was visiting the app market, I noticed the tablet recognized a few apps from my EVO.  I guess the market is able to track that kind of stuff to help you stay synchronized between devices. The apps included Got To Do, yet it wouldn't download it. With some further research, I found the app had effectively been abandoned by the developer. So I decided to go with the second choice from before - Ultimate To Do List, at least partly because they have a tablet version available. Since I use ToodleDo for the backend, a couple installs and syncs and I had both devices up and running with new GTD software and all my info intact and up to date.

With the new apps, I decided to go ahead and try to incorporate some of the Do It Tomorrow/Superfocus method into the system. After using the moleskine notebooks for a while, I liked how I could move the top stuff from my GTD to Superfocus in order to stay on task. However, I didn't like the impact on my efforts to live a paperless digital life. So I am now tagging items and I've built a custom view in Ultimate on the superfocus tag. This effectively creates a pretty good replication of the right hand column, yet still within my GTD framework.

Another change I made with the tablet is the installation of Friendcaster. This is a replacement app for Facebook. The need for this is due to Facebook itself not having their own app ready (or apparently able to run on) for Honeycomb. On my EVO I didn't really like Friendcaster, but it is ok on the tablet. It does have the advantage of letting you post to pages you manage. I do have Seesmic and Hootsuite installed for that purpose as well, but haven't used them much yet. And in the process of writing this post, I've discovered they are working on a tablet version of Friendcaster.

While Friendcaster rates just average imo, I do like Tweetcaster by the same company (Handmark) for Twitter. They have a new HD version in beta that is designed for tablets. Very nice.

Amongst all the changes, I have also dropped Dropbox for a file synchronization solution.  They just had too many problems and issues with security and privacy.  I have now transitioned to SpiderOak (or use this link to sign up and we'll both get some refer-a-friend credit).  I have it running on my laptops and PCs.  For my Android devices, they have an app as well.  The only shortfall relative to Dropbox is I cannot (yet) upload files from the devices to the SpiderOak folders and have them sync so they are available on my computers.  That feature is supposedly on its way though.

Within the last couple weeks, I was also greeted with news that Logos Bible Software has finally released the beta version of their Android app.  I managed to get in on the private beta testing, though it has now gone public.  Still has a lot of work to be on par with the iPhone/iPad version.  But it is nice to at least have access to my library.

Speaking of reading on the tablet, I installed the Kindle app and downloaded a book I used to study for my recent CAPM certification renewal.  Not sure impressed is the right word, but I like the form factor and reading on the tablet more than I thought I would.  So now I'll have to resist the urge to buy ebooks through Amazon!

I am also testing an app called Slashtop Remote HD.  This lets me control/view my PC through the tablet.  I have tested it and it works great when running on the local network.  I have not yet attempted to punch a hole through my firewall to see if I can establish a connection external to the local network.  But if that works as good as it did on the LAN, it will be sweet.

I think the only other tablet app of note at this point is the Accuweather app for the tablet.  While still buggy (as I find all the weather apps for any mobile device to be), I find it works well on the 10" tablet and is relatively stable.

And in case you are wondering, yes, Angry Birds works on the tablet!