Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mount Samsung GT-i5800 as an USB Drive

Today I wanted to sync some of my music files with my new GT-i5800. Unfortunately, it didn't worked with MissingSync via Wi-Fi, so I tried USB. Well, how do I mount my GT-i5800 as a USB drive on OS X? By default, USB settings are "Samsung Kies", which I do not need on OS X (and with MissingSync). This setting has to be changed to "Mass storage" before connecting the USB cable!
Settings > About phone > USB settings > (X) Mass storage (default: Samsung Kies)
or in german:
Einstellungen > Telefoninfo > USB-Einstellungen > (X) Massenspeicher
Only after changing this setting, you can connect the GT-i5800 as described in the Missing Sync manual: "pull down the notification window (aka ‘window shade’) and tap USB connected."

Well, and thanks to bTunes ($1.49), my Android device almost feels like an iPod :-D

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Android on Samsung GT-I5800 and Mac OS X

Eventually I had to admit being a geek. As a consequence, I'm an owner of a Samsung Galaxy 3 i5800 (or simply GT-I5800) now. I'm extremely impressed: This Android phone costs 200€ only, and frankly I don't know why to spent 1000€ for an iPhone. Moreover, to me the iPhone is a little bit too big. The i5800 is a little bit smaller, thus it better fits in my trouser pocket. OK, the camera (3.2 MP) is just good enough for funny apps such as the Barcode Scanner, but I do not really need a camera in my phone. As I'm an Mac OS X user, the most important thing is syncing with my MacBook Pro. This is really easy thanks to Missing Sync: Address Book contacts (with photos), iCal calendars, iTunes, iPhoto , arbitrary folders, SMS logs, phone logs, and other things (and in future versions bookmarks) are easily synced via WLan. It can be configured in order to sync automatically every n minutes via WLan or manually. IMHO, this app is worth it's 39$. Most of my friends have iPhones. So I knew about some great apps they demonstrated me on their gadgets. I'm really surprised finding all these apps available for Android as well and nicely working on my GT-I5800:
  • Dropbox for file syncing
  • 1Password password manager, can be used in combination with Dropbox!
  • Call-a-Bike, great for finding a free bike nearby.
  • Shazam to find out which song is currently played
  • DB Railnavigator
  • Remote for iTunes: With this app I have remote access to my iTunes library on my mac (via WLan), and thanks to my Airport Express I can now listen to my music w/o having to jump back to my computer (in another room) for selecting a new album. I can even select the speakers via this app.
Other applications for the daily information overkill:
  • I'm still not that happy with the browser (I tried the build in browser and Dolphin, and I probably will have to spend some time getting along with the latter one as it provides an ad-blocker and reader plugin).
  • For RSS, I installed gReader Pro. It uses my Google Reader settings, so that I do not have to configure all RSS feeds on the phone. Actually, it is one of the rare things I'm using my Google account for on my phone.
  • As a twitter client, I have installed Twidroyd Pro. Seems as if you have to pay a few bucks for good apps.
  • As I have mulitple mail accounts, I installed the K9 mail reader. It is free, and it does what it says.
However I'm not feeling comfortable with having my mail account passwords (and others) stored on the phone. Actually, the mail account password is one of the most sensible passwords. If one cracks the mail account, it is quite simple to change other passwords of web applications as most web apps sends you a new password if you have forgotten your old one. The lock method of Android 2.1 (which is not too secure, see this paper, however, PINs wouldn't solve that problem, would they?) may help, but I'm not really convinced about that issue. I definitely have to investigate further into that topic.