nexus one

Samba Android


So whenever I get a new phone, it seems the first thing to annoy me is that I need to plug it in to transfer files.

Generally, it’s not too difficult, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to access the phone’s SD card whenever I need to dump something on it.

I think the first time I came across the idea of using SAMBA on a phone was back with my Nokia N80i. Measly and slow as the phone was, it did however have great ability where it lacked in speed. To be honest I have no idea what it was called, but it was there, and was quite useful – when the phone’s WiFi worked that is.

Next I went to the iPhone 3G 16GB which was predictably ‘Apple’, and therefore did not possess any way whatsoever to transfer files other that those supported by iTunes. Once I was jailbroken, I searched and found another version of SAMBA for IOS – which worked great.

Finally, I got my Google Nexus One last year, and low and behold I found the cable to transfer were easily bumped and broken, causing transfer problems. So again, SAMBA to the rescue! It took a fair while to track this one down due to Android being in it’s infancy, but one morning one of my mates noticed it and it nabbed it!

Initially I had to stick with the beta edition which was admittedly buggy and underfeatured, though over time it has become very stable and it does pretty much everything I expected and more. Cheers to JimmyChingala on xda-dev for porting it to Android!

Here’s the link for SAMBA for Android on xda-developers. You can get the latest and greatest developer builds there, or if you just wanted the normal version, search for ‘SAMBA’ in the Android Market or use this link to the market website.

I should note also that it requires a rooted device; if you don’t know what that is, then you probably won’t understand SAMBA anyway.

That’s it for now until I get around to making up another topic of discussion.

Who knows? Maybe I’ll get around to syncing my Media drives automatically and i’ll report back (no promises :D)



Mozilla Firefox Android


It’s been a long time coming, and I have followed it since the beta (codenamed ‘Fennec’). Firefox 4 for Android came out a few months ago, but I’ve only now bothered to try it out properly and see if it could be a replacement for the almighty Dolphin Browser HD; It isn’t.

I know Firefox as the most stable, the most functional, and quite simply, the best browser in the world made by the worlds best minds in collaboration. Yet I’m not convinced that the same team made the Android version.

First, there’s the startup time. It takes at least 10-15 seconds to be able to browse, and I know it doesn’t sound like much, but Dolphin Browser HD only takes literally 2-5 seconds. As a primary browser, its unacceptable.

Next up is the lag. Damn does it lag! It clearly doesn’t use any sort of hardware acceleration and/or is terribly unoptimised. When you scroll, it lags. When you zoom, it lags. When you open a link, it lags. Not to mention the random crashes. And believe it or not, it was worse in the beta.

Worst of all, it has no plugin support. Many people buy Android phones for the Flash support. This is just unacceptable.

My grumbles aside, it does have a few redeeming  and cool features.

For one, it includes Firefox Sync, which is a new feature they included on the desktop version. Basically it does what you think it does; it syncs all the important Firefox user data: Bookmarks, Passwords, History, Tabs, and I think, preferences, which would come in very handy for people who use Firefox on multiple machines.

There’s also add-on support, which means you could potentially have all of your favourite desktop add-ons on your phone. Imagine the possibilities!

Overall, however, I’m very disappointed. It has such potential, yet its let down by pathetic performance and in some cases, poor design.

For now, I will reserve hope that it will rise above from its (in my opinion) beta status and become the great browser its older brother is.  *uninstalls*

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