Top Ten Best Droid Incredible, HTC EVO 4G and HTC Aria Tips n' Tricks

The Droid X is landing on Verizon July 15 and some people are changing their orders from a Droid Incredible to a Droid X.  A major difference between the Droid X and Droid Incredible is that the Droid Incredible comes with the HTC UI add-on HTC Sense. If you've seen the ads to HTC, you'll notice they are trying to make things easier and simple, with high functionality, but you have to know how to use the handy features. We had a hands-on meeting with Eric Lin, HTC community leader, who showed us the best tricks we've seen for the
HTC Droid Incredible EVO 4G  and HTC Aria. , Please note that not all of the tips are for HTC Sense, however, Eric really knows his Android an' Droid.

1. Hold down search key for instant access to voice search - in the standard Android lexicon, in order to get to the voice search, you tap the search key, then tap the microphone to get to voice search. Voice search is one of the best features for those of us who don't see and type well on a touchscreen. When you hold-down the search key at the lower right hand side of the screen the voice search pops up automatically.

search-results.jpg2. Google Map Trick 1: Don't "navigate", "find or search" when searching for walking directions - on the way to San Diego for the Uplinq conference our editor lost her Wells Fargo ATM/credit card. She also missed the freeway exit for the hotel. To get to the hotel in busy downtown San Diego with loads of one-way streets, the voice navigation was "right-on," after she voice-searched the term "Navigate Manchester Hyatt."

The female "Google Navigate" navigator voice only missed a funky angled street and the way to get into the self-parking at the hotel In order to find the self-park, Lynn asked a guy with a Qualcomm shirt where the self-parking was. After checking into her room, she didn't want to drive around looking for Wells Fargo, so she decided to walk.  She spoke into the Droid Incredible "Navigate Wells Fargo," inside the parking garage (note this fact for map trick # 2.)

For those of you not in California, Wells Fargo has several branches in
many cities. There's usually a Wells Fargo bank a block or two away in
any manor city.  The "Navigate" function showed directions to a Wells
Fargo bank several blocks away.  She asked a pedi-cab driver where the
nearest Wells Fargo bank was and was told there was one closer but still
too far away to walk.  "I don't have any cash to pay, you." she the pedicab guy. Then she continued walking towards the main street.

After crossing the street, she found a path where there was lady walking a pug. The pug-walker told her the nearest Wells Fargo bank was three short blocks down the street. 

During the conference, our editor asked several Android experts including Eric Lin, who had different reasons why the Google Maps returned 'not-the-best" directions.  First off, walking directions are different from driving directions, because of one-way streets.  The other was, that she assumed that Google would automatically select the closest bank like it selects the closest Starbucks near her house. 

The  when she said "find Wells Fargo Bank" or "search Wells Fargo Bank", then tapped "show on map."  The results showed all the local Wells Fargo banks near the hotel. This tip  and was revealed by an  Android Developer at the conference. Then from that view, the human does a better job of finding the closest bank.

But there was another problem, in the busy seminar room in the hotel, the phone was showing the wrong GPS signal.  It showed the Droid Incredible on the island across the bay.  Whoops, inside the hotel and the parking garage there was not good GPS signal which leads us to next trick.


3. Wait for clear GPS signal before navigation or finding map directions. Parking garages, tunnels, very-tall building and structures can interfere with the GPS signal on your Droid, EVO, Aria or any Android phone.  Before hauling a long trip on foot make sure that your GPS signal is correct, otherwise it may sent you to bank clear on the other side of town.

notificationswipe.JPG4.
Full swipe the email window notifications shade - on previous HTC Android
phones our little-fingered editor had no trouble pulling down the email
window shade on the top of the screen. The Droid Incredible, HTC EVO 4G
and HTC Aria have screens with higher sensitivity. She was using her
finger nail, which the screen does not detect. In order to pull down the email notifications scree  start from above the screen then
full swipe over the email notifications icon. She kept getting the email setup screen by mistake.

The HTC manual says, "When a new notification icon displays in the status bar, press and hold the status bar, then slide your finger downward to open the Notifications panel." We found the full swipe worked just as well. You can also You can also open the Notifications panel on the Home screen by pressing MENU and then tapping Notifications.

5. Make home screen "homey"
- The HTC Sense interface can have up to six home screens that you can set up to avoid clutter. Swiping left and right shows the different screens, but if you want to see all of you six home screens, pinch diagonally across the screen to get icons of the screens on the home page.

deleteiconfromdroidscreen.JPG6. Remove accidental widgets and icons from home screen -  we were pulling our hair out trying to figure out how to remove mistakenly placed icon the home screen.  On a Mac or PC you hold and drag it into the trash. There is no trash on the Android screen, growl.   So how do you delete or remove an icon from the home screen of the Droid?  Hold down down on the icon until to get a menu that says "drag item to move or remove" then on the bottom of screen a trash can menu pops up where you can put your trash.

Here's the official HTC version:

  • Press and hold the widget or icon you want to remove.
  • The phone vibrates and you'll see a green box around the widget or icon. Don't release your finger.
  • Drag the widget or icon to the Phone button. The Phone button then changes into the Remove button and turns red.
  • When the widget or icon also turns red, release your finger.

7. Set your scenes in your Droid movies - There's a function in HTC Sense called scenes, which we didn't really understand.  It's kind of like setting your screen on your computer for different functions. Say for example when you travel, you want a screen with clocks showing the time in your hometown and then one with the time in the country where you are.  You can set that scene and save it with all the widgets you like.

HTC Sense has preset scenes, each preconfigured with a different wallpaper and collection of widgets that reflect different moments in your life. You can choose a scene that is suitable for work, play, travel, or your social life. The social scene has Twitter screen.  The work scene show Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and favorite contacts.  The travel scene has a screen with photos, music player, Twitter and calendar.

After you fill your scene with widgets and icons. press HOME > MENU and then tap Scenes.
Under My scenes, make sure the Current (unsaved) option is selected and then tap Save. Enter a new scene name for your Home screen and then tap Done. Or, if you already created a scene, enter the same scene name, tap Done and then tap Replace.

8. Setup Quick Search options to save time - from menu select Setting, scroll down the screen, and then tap Search, Tap Google search settings, and then do the following:
Select Show web suggestions if you want to include suggestions from Google when doing a search.Select Search history to enable personalized search history. You need to sign in to your Google Account to use this feature. You can also sap Searchable items, and then select the items you want included when doing a search.

9. Use HTC Sync to Install Apps Blocked by AT&T - AT&T does not allows any apps outside the Android Market to be installed on a HTC Aria. If you install HTC Sync on your computer, you can install non-Android Market App apk directly from your computer. Note this feature may no longer work.

10.  Observe Un-Google-Navigated iPhone users in the elevator - Android an' Droid phones have Google Navigation, which iPhone owners do not.  Therefore when our editor was in the elevator in the parking garage on her way home, she saw an iPhone user in the elevator looking for directions to a Wells Fargo Bank.  "Don't drive there," she said, "Walk, it's just a few blocks away.

If you are waiting for a Droid Incredible or HTC EVO 4G Read Best Things to Do While Waiting.
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1 thought on “Top Ten Best Droid Incredible, HTC EVO 4G and HTC Aria Tips n' Tricks”

  1. I've only read and tried the first tip and all I can say is "Thank You"! Now back to finish the article.

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