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June 25, 2010 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Droid filter: I'm getting the new Droid X the morning it comes out but I've been a loyal Palm customer lo these many years. Help me Obi-Wan...

I bought my first Palm Pilot in 1997 and have had the III, IIIxe, m505, Treo 650 and now the Centro but Palm is in its death throes and I am giving up.

So, having said that, I am switching over to the Motorola Droid X and I need to know a few things that I can't seem to find on the internets.

1) is there any way to transfer my music from iTunes to a Droid compatible format? Seems silly to have two bricks.

2) Where the Droid Apps at? I've found dozens of sites reviewing apps but I'm not finding any good ones. Take me to your leader.

3) As for all of my data; obviously I've been transferring all of my calendar and contact data (not to mention notes/memos/etc.) from Palm to Palm for almost a decade and a half. It's been kinda fun for me to have where I was on my 27th birthday at my fingertips. I'm assuming there's no way of transferring all of that into the Droid without manually typing it all into Google calendar. Am I wrong?

4) Is there anything else that you know about the Droid/Android OS that I should know (other than the FroYo upgrade)? I'm a geek but I don't pretend to be up on every single development.

Thanks in advance!
posted by Sophie1 to Technology (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: 1. DoubleTwist is iTunes for Android.
2. DoubleTwist has a marketplace
posted by blue_beetle at 11:13 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

1. If your music is in mp3 format then you are fine. Even better, use the DoubleTwist music app and client as the client will happily co-exist and work with itunes.

3. Sync to Outlook then export as CSV and upload into Google is one way. Or hook Outlook to Google via Exchange ActiveSync and then sync your palm, this will put the items into Outlook and into Google too. I'd go with the latter idea as Outlook isn't so hot with re-occuring appointments in CSV format.
posted by mr_silver at 11:15 AM on June 25, 2010 [1 favorite]

AppBrain is the best way I've found to search the main Android Market.
posted by jozxyqk at 11:25 AM on June 25, 2010

Best answer: I have both an iPhone 3GS and an original DROID. Prior to getting my iPhone last year, I had been a longtime Palm / Treo user, like you.

1. So most of your music is purchased from the iTunes store? Depending on exactly when, you may need to burn it to a CD then re-rip it, due to iTunes' DRM. However, I believe that Android devices will play non-DRM iTunes files. Get DoubleTwist to manage your music.

2. I have not found any good Android review sources. The Android app store pales in comparison to the Apple app store. Search is pretty much the only way to find stuff, except for a few "featured" or "top" apps listed. Also, the number and quality of the reviews for apps is low. However, there are a few types of apps that you won't find in the Apple store, like this wifi analyzer / scanner that I got today on my DROID to help me troubleshoot some wifi problems.

3. Do you sync the info on your palm to your computer, like to outlook via hotsync? If so, you can easily sync outlook to a google account. I use gsyncit, which is reasonably priced, frequently updated, and works well.

4. Coming from a Palm OS device, you'll find that it's a night and day difference. You know that scene in Pleasantville when they start discovering color? I felt like that when I got the iPhone. Now, I know you haven't mentioned the iPhone at all, but I have to say that it's a much more polished OS. Perhaps Foyo will even things out, but I find that things like zooming, scrolling, copy / paste, app management. But on the other hand, there are some Android features that I like, like Google Nav, apps that do things in the background like change phone settings based on location, etc. Get the Swype keyboard.
posted by reddot at 11:34 AM on June 25, 2010

Response by poster: @reddot - Yeah, I'm not going to the iPhone because of AT&T.

Re: syncing - I sync with the Palm OS software still. I've never used outlook... Unbelievable, I know. I've just been using the OS for so long that I've never switched.
posted by Sophie1 at 11:41 AM on June 25, 2010

Best answer: Some solutions for getting your palm desktop into Google calendar here:
posted by mr_silver at 11:48 AM on June 25, 2010

Best answer: 3. I recently switched from a Palm Treo to Droid. If the Outlook approach that reddot suggests doesn't work, and if the hotsync'ed version on your PC doesn't support iCalendar properly (mine didn't), then here's the convoluted workaround that I did.

I downloaded PdbCalendar to convert from Palm to iCalendar format (note that PdbCalendar requires Java on your computer). Google Calendar can easily import iCalendar, which you can then transparently sync with your Android phone.

The hardest part turned out to be getting the Palm calendar off of the phone. You can send your entire calendar over Bluetooth to another device, which did work for me. Go to the menu, and choose Send Category.

Note that one of my biggest gripes about the Droid phone is that the calendar is quite weak, especially in comparison to the Palm calendar. It's much harder to create events, view a week, view a month, etc. I've been looking for alternative calendars without much success yet.
posted by jasonhong at 11:49 AM on June 25, 2010

I had Verizon transfer data from my old Windows Mobile handset to my new Incredible. They used a Cellebright (IIRC) and it worked great. For my personal mail, it went right to my ISP's IMAP server no problems and I use TouchDown to sync with my employer's Outlook server.

Haven't seen looked at review apps but I'm currently using Diet & Food Tracker by SparkPeople, Epicurious, Our Groceries (shared shopping lists - perfect for a family), fring instead of a texting plan, and FlickrDroid.
posted by plinth at 12:22 PM on June 25, 2010

Best answer: You want app recommendations?

Well probably the best way is a android app called AppAware. It basically anonymously gathers info about what apps people have on their phone, and uses that to see which apps are popular, which apps are uninstalled after being installed, which apps are being downloaded in your area. You can see what apps are trending up and down, etc. I've found several good apps before they've even made app review websites.

But if you need websites:
Android and Me
Android Guys
Android Forums
The XDA Developers Forum

As for what you should know. Android is incredibly customizable. Not just wallpapers and widgets and folders, you can change your homescreen, default browser, default sms client, keyboard, and many other features. And that's not even getting into rooting your phone and loading a custom kernel or rom, which lets you do awesome stuff like have your cpu speed adjust dynamically on demand between being underclocked and overclocked to both save battery life and give you extra performance.

I'm also happy to give App recommendations, based on what I like on my original Motorola Droid. You incidentally definitely want some sort of barcode scanner, as it provides an easy way to link between your PC and your Droid, until Froyo push links become widely available.
posted by gryftir at 1:23 PM on June 25, 2010 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Where the Droid Apps at? I've found dozens of sites reviewing apps but I'm not finding any good ones. Take me to your leader.

I'm pretty fond of the following android apps:

Barcode reader. You can guess what this does.
Fxcamera. Camera app with silly effects.
BBC News.
Speed test. Good for seeing how fast your connection really is.
Twitter. I prefer the official app.
Reddit is fun.
Layar. Augmented reality browser.
Aldiko. Ebook reader.
AndFTP. Free ftp client.
ASTRO. File manager.
Ethereal Dialpad. Fun little music app.
Fring. I use it primarily for skype video chat, although it does much more.
Google sky map. Incredible astronomy app.
Acrobat for Android.
Google goggles. Photo recognition tech demo.
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:47 PM on June 25, 2010 [5 favorites]

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