// Nexus S

I just did the basic setup of my Nexus S (i0923 with SCLD). What should I say? It totally rocks. The pre-installed Android 2.3.3 is a pure revelation compared to the older versions running on my Motorola Milestone. All those small but annoying bugs seem to be gone. And most important: no more PITA regarding Android Updates.1) The phone comes with a micro-USB connector as my Milestone and most other new non-Apple phones do. Therefore there is no need to buy new USB-A→micro-USB-B cables.2)

BTW: You'll find some app hints for new Android users below… ;-).3)

Must-have apps for common tasks and daily usage:

  • Barcode Scanner – By Google/ZXing. Perfect for QR Codes, including support for your camera LED flashlight to work in dark environments (configurable).
  • Astro File Manager – Good file manager. Some other apps are using it as default file manager, therefore you should install it to get a better user experience.
  • Rockplayer Lite – Plays nearly everything, no more trouble with DivX and stuff (→ FFmpeg). “Lite” means: with ads but all features.
  • OSMonitor – For the geeks… including Network interface and detailed connection monitor (this is by far more than a simple task manager!). Attention: you have to use the built in “Options→Exit” button, otherwise it will suck your battery in the background!
  • SMS Backup & Restore – Dumps your SMS messages as simple XML file.
  • Wifi Analyzer – find less crowded WLAN channels


  • K-9 Mail – There is simply no better Mail client out there.4) Don't forget to disable the native GMail-Sync5) if your are using K-9 Mail with Gmail… otherwise, every new-mail-alert and stuff appears twice.
  • APG – GnuPG for Android, including K-9 Mail integration. I wrote a small HowTo some weeks ago.

Nice to have:

“Pure Google”, you know.
I got one for every PC to charge my phone wherever I am. They are very cheap… all of mine cost between ~80ct and 1,50€
The names are linking QR Code images (created with goQR.me/QR-Server) containing an Android Market search query. Simply scan the code e.g. with the mentioned “Barcode Scanner” and visit the URL to install.
The configuration could be a little bit more intuitive for “normal” users but who cares?
Settings→Accounts & Sync.→[Your Gmail account]…


No. 1 @ 2011/03/27 09:12

I found the barcode recognition of Quickmarks slightly better than the Barcode Scanner one. Does K9 mail support all the gmail specifics like reporting spam or staring items? So far I'm just using gmail's mobile web interface.

No. 2 @ 2011/03/30 17:48

@Andreas Gohr: I don't like that you have to touch “Scan Barcodes” in QuickMark. And URL handling/Browser handover of read QR Codes is smoother with Barcode Scanner, IMHO.

Regarding K9 and Gmail: pure proprietary G-Mail features are not supported AFAIK. If you like all the fancy GMail stuff, the native app is better for sure. But for any “common” mail service, there is nothing better than K-9 (multiple accounts, signatures, working IMAP Idle and stuff…). Especially if you compare it with the pre-installed “E-Mail” Android App.

However, I'm using a separate email address + own GPG key (it is a bad idea to place the main private key on an unencrypted mobile device) for my mobile phone. I don't want to be able to read all my existing mails there. It is enough for me to be able to write and receive mails when I'm on the road to communicate… Most of my contacts are checking their mails by far more often than looking at their SMS inbox. And I want GnuPG when using any kind of WiFi. K9 works perfect for me but I'm sure the native GMail app may be better for other use-cases.

Hint regarding GMail-App and APG/GnuPG: If you add the GMail Account in APG, then you can decrypt emails there. Uncomfortable but works.

No. 3 @ 2011/04/09 11:45

Some nice usefull apps I found lately…

  • IMHO the most useful one until a “the running app is really stopped when I hit the back button”-functionality is implemented by default: Automatic Task Killer: It kills all marked apps when your phone switches into standby mode. Saves alot of energy!
  • Epistle: Syncs Notes over Dropbox.
  • SoundHound: Best music recognition app out there.

Cheers :)

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