Reviews of Android OS Apps

Discussion in 'Android OS' started by Ed Hardy, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. jigwashere

    jigwashere Mobile Deity

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    Interesting that it's $9.99 on Amazon.com. I avoid getting apps from Amazon, but happened to be there so decided to look.
     
  2. Mitlov

    Mitlov Shiny

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    I think the $4.99 price on Play might be a temporary sale. $9.99 sounds familiar; I might have previously seen it at that price on Play too. I expect a game like this to come in at $10 or so (the XCOM games do, and the Final Fantasy games tend to be closer to $15).
     
  3. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta General Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    App: Nine (yes, really, no kidding)
    Function: Outlook on your device…the whole thing!
    Cost: trial for at least 2 weeks*, then $9.99 to purchase -- limited time offer, regular price is $19.99 (USD)
    *not sure when I installed, sorry
    License: allowed to install on multiple devices

    worth a look•see, imho
     
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  4. Hook

    Hook Have keyboard, will travel

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    Looks interesting and full featured, but am I wrong that it is really mostly useful with an Exchange Server account. It doesn't sync with desktop Outlook. I have sometimes considered getting an Exchange account but never have.

    Does look like a great app, though.
     
  5. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta General Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    I grabbed it mostly to separate my msn/outlook/hotmail/what_will_µSoft_call_it_next from my main Email app (which I use for Gmail), but I'll look&see if I can add one of my other non-msn accounts. Will report back <g>
     
  6. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta General Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    From their web site FAQ:
     
  7. Hook

    Hook Have keyboard, will travel

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    So, yeah, it's essentially a very good competitor to Touchdown. As for Outlook.com web mail, the Outlook for Android app handles that pretty well including calendar and cntacts for free.

    However, again, if you have an exchange acccount syncing with desktop Outlook, this looks like a great option.
     
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  8. GoodPDAuser

    GoodPDAuser Mobile Deity

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    Application: AkrutoSync
    Price: $35
    Requirements: Very flexible requirements of the phone
    Grade: A or B (see below)

    This is a PC based app that allows a hand-held device (various OSs, including Android) to sync calendar and contacts with Outlook. It probably presents some standard mail server interface to the device, but I don't know whether it is emulating an Exchange Server. It also syncs tasks & notes, but you need an app on the handheld that hosts such functionality. I don't bother with tasks, and for notes, I maintain a folder of text files on the handheld. I sync the notes files with counterpart files on my computer by connecting the handheld to the USB port, copying them to the computer, and using diff & vimdiff, then copying them back.

    The price alone shows that this app targets a niche market -- those who want to avoid the lack of security with any cloud-based syncing and can't afford the time to troubleshoot unreliable solutions that may simply cease to sync for unknown reasons, or worse, sync with details silently dropped or corrupted with errors. It's a small price to pay. These two features are part of what I perceive to be the startup's mission (though I don't know whether it is officially its mission).

    It's not perfect. To avoid sync failures (which are *not* silent, thankfully) you need to repeatedly run Windows's Scan & Repair utility on your Outlook PST file until there are no more problems detected. It seems that whenever you modify the PST file in any way with Outlook, the Scan/Repair utility detects errors and requires multiple runs to bring it back to zero errors. But I see that as more of a windows-ism rather than an issue with AkrutoSync.

    Even with the iterative repairs, however, I've experienced sync failures every 1 out of 3-4 syncs. However, it is unclear to me whether this is due to the app or whether it is due to my use of CyanogenMod, of which I have a Nightly version rather than a Milestone version (see explanation below). When a sync fails despite having used Scan & Repair on the PST file, it never again succeeds. It requires recreating the account on the handheld and resyncing with the laptop. You lose any calendar/contact changes made on the handheld which haven't been previously sync'd with the laptop. I think this happens when you make changes to appointments on the handheld, but I haven't tested this thoroughly. My changes have always consisted solely of changing the reminder time for an appointment when the reminder alarm comes up. The consequence of the resulting sync failures is that I don't often sync unless I have a lot of time, which means my handheld calendar is almost always not up to date. Again, however, it is unclear whether this is due to the app.

    As for why I have a Nightly version of CyanogenMod, it's because at the time, there were no Milestone versions for the 1st gen Moto G. More recent Nightlies requires a new bootloader, downloaded from a non-CyanogenMod site with which I am not familiar. After much research, there is a way around this, but I haven't found the time and energy to follow up. Even with the solution, it is unclear whether avoiding a new bootloader will continue to work for long in successive versions of CyanogenMod.
     
  9. EdmundDantes

    EdmundDantes Mobile Deity

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    I like to avoid the cloud too; but that price really makes it uncompetitive for all but the most serious buyers.
     
  10. GoodPDAuser

    GoodPDAuser Mobile Deity

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    Agreed. It's not meant for those who like to avoid the cloud if the cost is low enough. It's meant to avoid the cloud period, if the user chooses. Whether it is worth the cost boils down to how much it is worth to you to avoid the cloud. To me, the one-time cost is trivial compared to my wish to avoid the cloud. And importantly, it provides visibility of reliability issues. In my mind, silent loss or corruption of information that you use to manage your day-to-day life, and beyond, is infinitely worse than simply failing. At least you can take remedial measures if you know about sync failures. Saving graces with AkrutoSync include (i) the fact that not only do you know when things go sideways, but (ii) there are ways to get it to work again. Not convenient, for sure, but not overly onerous either. I have not read about any other app that bypasses the cloud and has the above 2 saving graces. I *have* read about alternatives that people find to work for some time, then either stop working or loses/modifies data. Unimaginable to me for calendar info. So as ungood as it is for AkrutoSync not to work sometimes, it seems to be the best of the options available.
     
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