This is a Test Phone Blog

written

The jury is still out on whether I can productively write anything on a mobile device. I just received a Galaxy Note, installed Hackers Keyboard, and installed Writer app. The Note provides nearly an extra inch of keyboard while the Hackers Keyboard provides all the typical keys on used to on a desktop. Lastly was finding an app that highlights my favorite plain text writing language, Markdown.

The Galaxy Note

The Galaxy Note is an interesting writing device due to its size. I did get used to typing on my past Nexus S, but it was always difficult to type code snippets. When the Galaxy Note arrived the keyboard was comfy-cozzy and the screen could hold double the text as my previous phones. I did have to make an adjustment before I could make use of all those pixels.

Set DPI of Android OS

This is a multiple step process consisting of rooting, mounting /system as read/write, and editing /system/build.info. http://www.google.com/search?btnG=1&pws=0&q=change+android+dpi

Hacker’s Keyboard

This is the keyboard I’ve always wanted but don’t have the time to create myself. It is based off the excellent Gingerbread keyboard and adds the other keys to it. It does it in such a way that doesn’t make the QWERTY keys much small or obfuscate the location of the symbol keys. My only complaint is finding the “/” character. It is hidden behind a long press of the Speak/Mic key.

In landscape mode the keyboard can turn into a full desktop keyboard. I have it set to also not do amy typing correction and to maintain screen overlay mode instead of demoting the screen layout to show only the input box and the keyboard. Basically landscape is my coding and SSH home, and portrait is for everything else.

Writer’s App

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.jamesmc.writer I’m writing this whole post in this app while reviewing it. I have used other apps to write a substantial amount of text, but this app has one feature that makes it worth while: Markdown syntax highlighting. It might not mean a lot to most people out there, but for me using Markdown means I don’t have to worry about styling my text are writing HTML tags and I still get to separate sections with heads and annotate blocks as code or add emphasis in an unobtrusive way. Having the syntax highlighting humanizes the text into a readable document so I can have a preview to how the final audience might see it as I’m still composing it.

Misc Thoughts

  1. The Note has a slippery back and makes holding the device over 45 degrees a difficult task without putting a finger or two under the it. My pinky is very tired now and I think I’m getting a rash fromthw USB slot. A rubberized back is probably in order.
  2. The Notes screen is too bright. I seldom use the device outdoors where the brightness could be useful, but the real complaint is I can turn the LCD backlighting low enough at night time which is when I’m most prone to write something. Using an app like Screen Filter [https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.haxor] helps but washes out colors.
  3. Heat! This might be a feature in the winter, but right now my hands are getting sweaty which makes thought #1 even more evident.
  4. Touch typing is possible. I’ve been primarily looking a the text that I’m writing and not the kkeyboard. I occasionly look at the ssuggestion strip for longer words, but with the Note I finally get to make my high-school typing teacher happy by not looking at my hands.

Uploading to Posterous

Posterous is supposed ti be Blogging for the rest of us. Well it isn’t easy for me. The basis work flow in Posterous is to email the post to post@posterous.com and it automatically gets to the web nicely formatted. This has yet to turn out to my satisfaction because it usually messes up the code snippets or doesn’t feature an image I’ve attatched. This means I then have to go to there website and fiddle with it in the WYSIWYG editor. I’ll see what happens when I try to post this Markdown heavy text.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I feel the 3 way combo will allow me to write a bit more. By nature, I would love to have more time in front of an IDE, but writing English should do me some good, too.

[Update] Uploading from Android app still didn’t format the original text correctly, I still had to tweak in a web browser, ugh!