HTC Droid Incredible – additional thoughts

I posted before about our new phones – HTC Droid Incredibles.  Perhaps I’m just trying to justify the purchase to myself, but I’ve figured out a few new tricks with the phone that are worth mentioning.

Perhaps the coolest feature I’ve found recently, which really makes this a smart phone, is what it does when you connect it via the USB cable to a computer.  By default, the phone just starts charging.  But it also includes in the message bar a note saying that you can change the mode.  What does that mean, you ask?  Well, it gives you several optional things you can do.  One, of course, is just to charge the phone via USB.  Another is to sync your contacts and calendar (I’m guessing that is probably Windows only, but I don’t know – I use the Gmail contacts and Google Calendar, which are always synced, so I didn’t bother).

Another option is to have your phone appear as an external hard drive to your computer.  That’s the option I went with as I wanted to drag some music onto my phone.  I was thinking it was going to be a pain in the butt to get the music on – nope.  Once I clicked that option, Ubuntu (my Linux operating system), instantly recognized two external hard drives – the built in 8gb of memory for the phone and the 16gb of additional memory I have since added.  I then created a folder on the SD card called “Music” and drug about 4gb of music into the folder.  When I finished, I opened up the “Music” app and it started scanning my memory for music.  It took a bit of time, but it eventually indexed all 4gb of music I added (without me having to tell it where to find it), and organized it all by Artist/Genre/Album/Song, etc.  Slick!

Another option that is available when you plug the phone into your computer is to tether your computer to your phone.  For those not in the know, what that means is that you can have your computer use your 3G wireless internet access through your phone.  So, say, you’re in the airport and you want to do some surfing but you’re not in a cool airport like TPA (Tampa’s airport rocks – free wi-fi) and you don’t want to shell out $XX.XX for 10 minutes of internet browsing.  No problem.  Plug your phone into your computer via the USB cable, select the tether option, and surf away.  I haven’t tried it, but my guess is that it would work just fine.  How fracking cool is that!?!  Eat that iPhone users!

Other stuff I’ve tried on the phone lately…  I’ve taken a few pictures.  The picture quality is okay, not great, but uploading and sharing the photos is a snap.  Click on any photo and say “share” and it gives you a list of options, including emailing it to yourself.  The same goes for videos.  The last few videos I’ve posted have all been taken on my HTC Droid Incredible as it was the closest video camera when I saw Toren doing something cool.  The best part about sharing the videos and pictures: you can choose multiple videos/pics and share them at the same time.  I did have some hiccups trying to upload multiple videos to youtube – it stopped after each video and needed me to re-prompt it.  But they all still uploaded fine.

I’m also not sure if I’ve raved enough about the Google Navigation feature and its tie-in to Google Maps.  Search for something in Google Maps, find it, click on it and then you have every option you could want: contact information, directions, navigation, web pages, etc.  And the transition from maps to navigation is seamless.

Finally, the multi-tasking feature is really impressive.  I can listen to podcasts while letting Google Navigation give me directions.  The only problem: Once the Google Navigation voice kicks in to give me directions, it doesn’t pause the music/podcast, it just mutes the other and takes precedent.  That it takes precedent is great, but adding a quick pause so I don’t miss anything in my other audio program would be a nice feature.

Okay, enough raving about my new phone…  I’ll probably have more to say on this, but that’s plenty for now.