Android on Archos: Annoyances


I like my newest gadgedroid, the Archos 7o Internet Tablet. It is usable in a way that the lower cost tablets I purchased earlier, and returned, were not.

With sipdroid now installed and configured to work with my onSIP virtual PBX, I’ve turned airy cloudware into a working, low cost mobile phone solution. The Archos’s email app is completely usable, the browser is browsable, and as I just wrote about, I’ve started introducing my own apps using App Inventor.

But …

Archos tablets do not have Android Market installed. That’s not completely bad news, though certainly a disappointment. To load a free Google app onto the Archos 7o (and presumably the rest of their product line), you’re forced to hunt for .apk files in various forums and Android-dedicated sites, and then install manually.

I’ve begun to experience in the nitty details of Android what many others have already gone through: open Android software does not mean software that will install and work uniformly on all devices.

For example, I tried to get the stand-alone Google Reader app to behave on my Archos. Continue reading

Google eBooks: The Search for Free

On Monday, Google opened the doors to its eBookstore. Google is just getting started as a ebook seller, but they are already boasting they have “the world’s largest selection of ebooks.” Take that Amazon!

While the Google claim makes for good copy, the truth is that most of their ebooks, over 3 million in fact, are from their trove of public domain classics—Dickens, Conan Doyle, Jane Austen, and all the others you were supposed to have read in high school.

In fact, these free books have been available from Google since 2009. It’s not a big secret that Google has been busily scanning books from partner libraries and making them available on-line.

Sure you can select new books from Google’s growing list. But for me the lure of free books, especially now that they can be read on my Yixin Android gadget, is irresistible.Continue reading

SIP on Android

One of my very modest goals in finding an inexpensive, usable Android tablet is replacing my cell phone with an open source SIP client. I spend enough of my time near WiFi hotspots that an Android gadget could do double-duty as a browser-email-ebook as well as a phone. And the chance to free myself from Verizon’s tentacles with WiFi telephony has been tempting me for a long time.

With the Yixin 7200 MID I finally had the right platform. Could I locate a functioning SIP client in the Android Market, Google’s answer to the App Store?

So I walked the virtual aisles of the Market and pulled a few SIP clients off the shelves for testing.

I did discover a working client and learned that the quality of Android freeware is, charitably, very uneven.Continue reading