The week before the Evo launched I read about the SD card error, which I immediately wrote off as “idiots trying to use a class 2 SDHC to write 720p video” when any photographer could tell you you should use at least a class 6 card to do HD video. So, I was not worried I had already planned to spend the money on a 16GB class 6 micro SDHC card. then they started complaining about battery life, the lack of an AMOLED screen, then it was confirmed it was shipping with a 8GB micro SDHC not the rumored 16GB card. Then there was the extra $10 fee to “unlock greater than 5GB data usage per month” NOT for 4G access like everyone kept saying, please read the fine print people! Next came a charge for tethering, then you needed a special HDMI cable to do the HDMI out, next was the supreme compression level of the 720p video and the 8mp images, the final issue was the monthly charge for Qik!! I could not believe how badly Sprint and HTC has fucked up the perfect cell phone. At least they promised to give Froyo to the Evo before years end, that was the only bonus to look forward to…
then I started using the phone, I installed 259 apps that I had preselected using appbrain.com (also an android app called “AppBrain”) that uses the Android Marketplace to search for and “queue” apps to install on your phone. what you do is go on the website, find apps you want to use, and then you click install and it loads them into a queue on the website. then when you get your phone (as was my case, since I did this 3 days before the Evo launched), the first thing you do is go to the market and install “AppBrain” then unfortunately you have to launch the app and login, then it will check the installed app database and compare it to what the website says you want/have installed. DO NOT CLICK THE SYNC BUTTON AT THIS TIME!!! I did not on my phone, but when I upgraded my wife’s Samsung Moment to Android 2.1 I used AppBrain and hit the “Sync” button, instead of updating the phone to match AppBrain’s database, it made the AppBrain Database match the phones (which at the time only contained AppBrain), and I had to go through the marketplace and manually locate and install everything again.
Ok, back to using AppBrain on my Evo, I clicked the “Install” button to add the 259 apps to my new Evo, this sucks, the only thing AppBrain is capable of doing (I think it is a security limitation set by google) is to:
1. open the Android marketplace
2. insert a search query for the apps you selected on their website, one at a time.
So, after clicking install you are provided with the marketplace search screen and after a few seconds it pulls up the app you were looking for (if it is available in your country/OS version, while there is a filter on AppBrain’s website for OS version and country, you may still find and select apps that are not available to your phone, personally I selected about 12-15 that were not found in the marketplace when I tried to install them). from this point on it is almost like doing it yourself, you have to click the install button (or buy if it is a paid app, but I recommend doing th efree version first to make sure it runs well on your device. I ran into several apps I wanted to buy after trying them on my wife’s Moment, only to find out they REQUIRE a physical keyboard, or a ball, or a D-Pad), the install button gives you the warning page of the access that the app wants (if any), just the same as if you did this without AppBrain, select OK and it will initiate the install. NOW, to get to the next app in my huge list to add to the phone (by the way, after 8 days I still have not narrowed the list down to less than 200, but I am working on it) you MUST HIT THE BACK BUTTON on your phone, some apps when they start downloading the MarketPlace will automatically take you back to your search results (which by the way, AppBrain searches by the Unique Identifier for the app, so only the correct app will come up in the search, or no apps), some apps will leave you on the details to watch the progress meter go by while it downloads and installs, if yo uare on the details page, press the back button to get to the search results, once you are on th esearch results page, press the back button again to get the next app on your list. This seems to be the only way to do it, so yes, I had to do this process more than 200 times to get all those apps installed on my phone.
The only benefits I found to using AppBrain, was that I was able to use my laptop to interface with the marketplace and I did it days before I hand my phone in my hands, saving me hours after I got the phone. Now, one more limitation on AppBrain, their website can only show you 50 pages of 10 apps each per category. this means that the maximum number of apps you can browse from AppBrain without doing a search is about 15% of the current android marketplace. So to compensate for this without doing specific searches (yes I looked at all 50 pages of almost every category) they place a “similar apps” and “others by this developer” list on the right hand side of the screen when viewing the details on an app, very handy.
Not too long after I started this process (at exactly 8:00am) my Evo received the now famous SD card patch OTA update.
Alright, so within 2-3 hours I had all 250+/- apps installed that were found, time to start loading them and testing them out, several were duplicate apps that I could not decide which I wanted to use without having actually used them. To this day, I still have not loaded all of the apps on my phone, I have purchased 3 or 4 total, 2 or 3 of which were planned purchases before I even got my phone, I was just waiting to make sure the demo’s worked first (that means 1 was not a planned purchase and just plain surprised me when I found it). There are others that I intend on buying, but need to wait until my next paycheck to afford it, as Android apps on average cost 2-4 times as much as comparable iPhone apps AND the graphics on almost every single Android app looks like an 8 yearold designed it. I really feel that google needs to step in and regulate some quality controlls over the apps, not content, but quality. I am sick and tired of loading an app and finding stick figures, or a plain black background and hand drawn squares and circles and teardrop shaped drawings (see a couple of pictures below for examples, what is sad is those are some of the games I really like too, but won’t buy because they are $2.99 or $4.99 and the graphics are a blank screen with “stick figures”). If you really want to understand my frustration with the graphics, go find someone who is an Apple lover, and has owned more than one iPhone, and ask them to show you some games, then you will understand. some of my favorites are the rogue trainer, field runners, rocket bears (I think that is the name, it’s a teddy bear looking brown bear that is under attack by zombie panda bears), and pocket god (I’ll have to check out my friends iPhone and see what some of the others I like are called, so you can go check them out. trust me there is a huge difference and almost everything he buys is either $0.99 or $1.99 sometimes he waits for it to go on sale before buying, but never pays more than $1.99 for an app).
People complain about the “fart” apps on iPhone, well I think there are more on Android than iPhone, AND Android has a ton of freaking jigsaw puzzle games, I cannot understand that, why is there not 1 or 2 apps, and the rest could be download add on packs that give you more images to use in the jigsaw app…
right, next post will be about the phone itself, I’ll post it in a few minutes…