Friday, August 3, 2012

Samsung Galaxy S3, Recommended Apps, Homescreen setup, 50gB Free Dropbox Upgrade, Speed Test with Free Tethering, Verizon Wireless Unlimited Data & Upgrade (in)Eligibility

I designed a $20 dock that is NFC-enabled and works in BOTH portrait & landscape orientation! I put it on my 3D printing store, techneesh. Check it out!

Also, I highly recommend getting a clipboard manager to store commonly used text (like your email address)- like this.

Finally, I've switched to PAC-man rom, and I love it.

The Verizon Wireless Galaxy S III has slowly but surely chipped away my complacency for the Motorola Droid Bionic (the same phone as the Razr, with a slightly worse screen), which I've had longer than any other device since 2006 (except for a brief fling with the Galaxy Nexus). As a tech junkie with extra phone lines on my Verizon account whose sole purpose is to enable more frequent device upgrades, this fact is somewhat telling.

The reason is simple- there was really nothing more I could ask for. LTE, multi-core, 1gB+ RAM, hdmi out, expandable w/microSD, 4.3" qHD screen, etc.

Yet, who can resist picture-in-picture. Not to mention nearly 5" of 720p screen, with NFC, 2gB RAM, the lightness of a feather (if feathers weighed 4.7 oz), thinness of the Razr (.34" to be exact), zero shutter lag, the ability to take photos while video recording in HD, wireless charging, etc.

Apparently, I am not alone, as this was the fastest-selling gadget in history.[128][129][130][131]

A word of caution, however, for those grandfathered into an unlimited data plan with Verizon Wireless: you are no longer eligible for an upgrade discount on your grandfathered line. If you take the upgrade discount, you will enter a new tiered contract and lose your unlimited data. The only work-around is to absorb $10 a month extra and open up a new line.

For comparison, here's what my old phone looks like :)

Old homescreen:
New homescreen:
I know the homescreen probably looks ugly to others, but the optimization of efficiency is what looks pretty to me... scrollable task & email widgets, news widget, evernote, direct dial to gf, search, weather, calendar, one-click to activate: led flashlight, nfc, wifi tether, lockscreen, nfc, camera, search, spotify, etc.

In the first ~20 or so minutes after I got home with it, I rooted it with ODIN, installed Clockwork recovery, and then installed Bean's custom Stock ROM. At this point I made a nandroid backup so I can reuse the 50gB of free Dropbox storage on my other (or on my friends') accounts. I used this walkthrough. The reason I didn't wait long to do all of that was to enable free wifi tethering.

It was also nice to see that I can enable this to be used as a world (GSM) phone, too.

For some reason the transfer speeds are much faster on this phone than my old bionic- here's what I get while tethering wirelessly (using phone for computer's internet):

~30 mbps down is FAST. Probably faster than your home internet. Due to my grandfathered unlimited data for $30/mo plan, I don't actually need home internet - and haven't paid for it since I got LTE last year. The Verizon guys laughed when they saw my data usage (40+gB / mo).

Since first getting it, I've installed my typical slew of apps (some notable ones below) and a new favorite, TakeControl Lite, which is similar to Synergy; it gives you the ability to control your phone with your keyboard & mouse as if it was just another monitor next to your current one. It's awesome, I highly recommend it.

Widgetsdroid (make your own homescreen widget)
CircleLauncher (like putting apps in a folder, but way better)
Evernote (best task manager)
Unified Remote (control your computer)
CamScanner (excellent scanning app for any documents you want to digitize)
Rom Toolbox
Root Explorer
SMS Backup+ (auto backup of text messages to gmail under 'sms' label)
SQLite Editor
World Weather Clock Widget
Smooth Calendar

There are plenty of new tips and tricks with this phone (and with ICS in general), but I won't get into those. I really just wanted to write a blog post that said "TakeControl is sweet, try it."

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