Monday, August 30, 2010

Setting Custom Ringtones on a Samsung Captivate

If all you ever did was create contacts stored on your phone, you wouldn't be reading this, because you would just edit your contact, scroll down and set the ringtone. However if you are like me, you might not have entered ANY contacts on your phone. All mine came from Gmail, automagically. In those, you don't see a place to set the ringtone.

After a bit of trial and error (no, I did not RTFM), I found that if I create a new new contact on the phone with the same name as the Gmail contact it will be automatically associated and won't show as duplicates. At the top of the contact there are tabs for the associated contacts. For some reason some of mine have a number of associated Gmail contacts, but if you pick the Phone tab, you can edit the ringtone. Hit the easy button.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Samsung Captivate - My iPhone Replacement

My AT+T family plan phone upgrade eligibility seems to waffle (even on the one iphone). One day they are all eligible, the next none are. This waffling even happens within the same day - stupid. It's a full five months before our "2 years" is up but some consistency would be nice. I won't even bother to tell you what the ATT person said, it just doesn't make any sense. What has happened, though, is I have been able to order my iphone replacement and my daughter ordered a new iphone (3GS, not 4, she needs to actually use the phone, not just look at it).

Over that past week I learned that ATT now has one of (if not the) best Android phones available - the Samsung Captivate (generically aka Galaxy S). It has a great screen, FAST processor, and lots of cool stuff you can do with it/add to it. Like Apple phones, these phones have some features (like FM radio) defeated on ATT. 

An iPhone 4 will beat a Captivate in certain specs and performance - especially (for now) web page loading. That will change when the next Android OS (2.2) comes out for this phone, which will be very soon.The iPhone 4 takes better pictures. There also is no  front facing camera (will we actually use these eventually? - it may just be disabled) or (almost useless) led "flash." The stuff it does do though is impressive, like great Office integration, easily replaceable $5 battery, cheap add-ons, Adobe Flash, etc. It is the best phone for gaming. Period. Too bad I don't do much of that.
It's $149 at Amazon for a family plan upgrade, $199 at ATT store.
Windows phones will be out soon. They will have better cameras and eventually a better OS (really, I am confident that WP7 is going to be a much more complete and robust OS than any previous mobile OS). But I had to jump on this - I am impatient and sick of my iPhone.
I find it exciting to see a robust community of Android users. I don't think there is anything I will miss from the iphone world, application-wise. Some of my most favorite apps on the iPhone include Radar Scope (I found something just like it for Android), Stanza (ditto), Uverse (I don't think so, but it has to be coming) and Nano Studio (will be hard to beat except for the pathetic CPU of my 3G). Everything else is there (all those crappy apps, Android has them too). 
ATT has their Android phones somewhat locked down (I just can't have that) but this is easily circumvented with Android Sideload Wonder Machine or very straightforward rooting. Tethering is easily available once rooted. All interesting and useful stuff. I plays flacs but I haven't figured out if I will be able to play flacs 24 bit flacs (I have my doubts). UPDATE: The samsung/att media player plays 24 bit 48 kHz flacs, but not higher. The stock android player does 16 bit flacs only, from what I can tell. Sounds great.

I was sick of Apple, iTunes, and the shape of the iPhone 4, and I don't want a Edsel-phone. Now I can leave that all behind me!