Thinking about buying this phone, but I have some questions.

Grey Hawk

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But I have several questions.

Keep in mind I have never owned a smartphone before, but do have some good computer knowledge. A lot more than the average user, but less than programmers etc... I have done my research though and do own a jailbroken ipod touch and have played with my girlfriends BB.


  • I know you can change the look of the UI with apps, whats the learning curve using these? I tried sweeterhomes and home++ and was confused. Sweeterhomes was very confusing and home++ only seemed to give me icons at the bottom and thats all I could edit.
  • What other apps can be used to edit the UI. List all of them please. I do not find the defualt one attractive, but that's the only downfall I can find with phone from testing it. :icon_ banana:
  • As mentioned before, I have a jailbroken iTouch. I have heard the Droid has its own "jailbreaking" called rooting. How safe is it? Where is the best guide on how to do it, with making a backup?
  • If I do root it, can I get 2.1? Will downloading 2.1 just cancel out all my rooting?
  • What are roms I keep seeing?
  • I hear with rooting you can tether. Now I know you could do this with other verizon phones(dumbphones) by hacking into the service menu. The only downside was that if verizon caught you doing it you, you would be slapped with a huge bill
  • Will rooting it make me incur any non normal charges?
  • If I don't use the default SMS app, will I be charged differently for text messages or will be the same as if I used the one that came with the phone?
  • I hear this phone has GPS so to speak? Does this cost extra money?


Thanks. Hopefully I can order it online ASAP :icon_eek:
 
Welcome!!! Well, having had this phone only about 3 weeks, I can only answer the last question.

Yes, it has GPS....It has Google Maps and so far has been very reliable. And it is free :)
 
Answer for Text messaging.

1 text message on verizon = 160 characters. Using Hancent brakes it up for your however (in options and is very organized)
 
Yes you can use any text apps and theres no extra charge, rooting causes no extra charge, there MANY guides on rooting and installing ROMs, yes you can get 2.1 ROMs with root...and as for the Sweeter Home, Home++, etc., once you become familiar with phone, installing these will be cake. Its the beauty of Androids open source OS as opposed to Apples closed OS, you can customize almost every aspect of the device as you so choose
 
Add Pandahome to the list of UI mods. The GPS does not cost extra, and it is ****in sweeeeeet, google street view and all it is an awesome app.
 
Add Pandahome to the list of UI mods. The GPS does not cost extra, and it is ****in sweeeeeet, google street view and all it is an awesome app.

Yes it is truly amazing!! I amaze everyone I know with the Maps app
 
Yes you can use any text apps and theres no extra charge, rooting causes no extra charge, there MANY guides on rooting and installing ROMs, yes you can get 2.1 ROMs with root...and as for the Sweeter Home, Home++, etc., once you become familiar with phone, installing these will be cake. Its the beauty of Androids open source OS as opposed to Apples closed OS, you can customize almost every aspect of the device as you so choose
What are roms exactly?

And I mean when 2.1 is offically released for the Droid, can I download from Verizon? Similar with the jailbroken ipods, if I jailbreak 3.0 and I download the new 3.1 from apple, I lose all my jailbroken stuff in 3.0. Is this how it will work with the Droid?

Or will I be stuck in 2.01 and have to wait for an unofficial release of 2.1? Also can I go back to "un rooted"?
 
Also, the Nexus One, which I believe is running 2.1, has some differences over the Droid.

It doesn't have the "pull up" menu on the home screen, and has interactive wallpaper. Will the Droid have those and other features when 2.1 comes out?
 
Also, the Nexus One, which I believe is running 2.1, has some differences over the Droid.

It doesn't have the "pull up" menu on the home screen, and has interactive wallpaper. Will the Droid have those and other features when 2.1 comes out?

When 2.1 comes out for the Droid, it will have the same app menu as N1. Rumor has it that Droid's 2.1 will also give access to Live Wallpapers.
 
On a side note, I highly recommend this phone. The Droid surprises me everyday. Especially when scouring this forum - I may run across an app or setting I did not know about that was brought up in a thread. The community here is also top notch, almost always going out of their way to help other posters out.

In short, once you start coming across certain apps and learning how powerful your phone really is, you will not be disappointed.

As I said above, I am always running across new things. Just yesterday, I kept seeing an app called Swype being constantly mentioned in several threads, so I decided to look it up. It is a revolutionary new way to type via the virtual keyboard (on-screen KB). Finding gems like this is a real treat, and I find them all the time on these forums. Droid rocks, and all of this is coming from an iPhone 3G ex-owner.

Swype:
[video=youtube;XCWwuIXxBuI]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCWwuIXxBuI[/video]
 
Im not really sure what the "Webster's" definition of ROM is...but its basically like a different version of your phones version or build...it can be highly customized as in colors and what not, and customized performances like tethering or overclocking...you could get a ROM that has all this on it and 2.1 firmware if you wanted to, complete with the livewallpapers and all...in order to do any this you must be rooted first...but once the official 2.1 comes out over the air, if one wants to keep there root privileges, they can wait til the devs create a customized version of the update and then just install that ROM on their phone...
 
  • I know you can change the look of the UI with apps, whats the learning curve using these? I tried sweeterhomes and home++ and was confused. Sweeterhomes was very confusing and home++ only seemed to give me icons at the bottom and thats all I could edit. In addition to these, there are also dxtop, GDE, and someone already mentioned PandaHome. They're all very similar, but each offers it's own unique addition(s). The first one I ever tried is home++, and I've since downloaded trial versions of most of the others, but couldn't bring myself to get used to them. They're really a matter of preference. I really like home++'s "powerstrip" at the bottom, as I don't have to have icons for my phone, browser, and other things, freeing up space. As well, those things are available on EVERY home screen, so if you've got 7 screens and are far away from your main screen and need to make a call or look something up on the internet, you don't have to go to the screen where you have the icon. I also like home++'s ability to toggle whether the notification bar is always visible. It offers an even more clean look. My advice, try them out, or go to the dev's websites [can be done from the market screen where you would download it. You should find a list of features that may help you decide. I know that home++ has a forum too, so you can see what some people's complaints/praises are. You can also go by the comments in the market, but have to realize that a dev can't respond to all of those issues, or may have fixed them, and the comment wasn't changed.
  • As mentioned before, I have a jailbroken iTouch. I have heard the Droid has its own "jailbreaking" called rooting. How safe is it? Where is the best guide on how to do it, with making a backup?Rooting is really only for more "hardcore" users. It IS different from Jailbreaking an iPhone. I can't find the site where I found a good description of the difference, but there is information here... http://www.droidforums.net/forum/droid-hacks/632-what-root-means-stop-asking.html if you're interested. I've toyed with the idea, but haven't decided that it'd let me do anything that I really WANT to do.
  • If I do root it, can I get 2.1? Will downloading 2.1 just cancel out all my rooting? There IS a version of 2.1 available to root users, but it has some known glitches like the physical keyboard backlight not working, and GPS wasn't working, but I think it MIGHT be fixed now. No promises. There is a ROOTED version of 2.1. You can root your phone, download 2.1 and still be rooted, but this isn't the official 2.1. When the official 2.1 update comes, you will lose root access. The loophole that is utilized to be able to root the Droid has been closed according to everything I've seen about it.
  • I hear with rooting you can tether. Now I know you could do this with other verizon phones(dumbphones) by hacking into the service menu. The only downside was that if verizon caught you doing it you, you would be slapped with a huge billRooting DOES allow you to tether, but it is COMPLETELY against Verizon's TOS [Terms of Service], so you don't want to get caught doing it.
  • Will rooting it make me incur any non normal charges?Rooting just allows you access to change things that you're not ordinarily allowed to mess with, so you won't incur any additional charges. However, you DO run the risk of "bricking" your phone...turning it into nothing more than a brick if you mess around with something and/or do not follow directions for rooting/installing Roms EXACTLY as they are given. If Verizon determines that Rooting your phone caused this, your warranty will be void.
  • If I don't use the default SMS app, will I be charged differently for text messages or will be the same as if I used the one that came with the phone?Aftermarket SMS apps do not cost anything extra, unless otherwise stated. ChompSMS offer you the option to purchase credits and send SMS through their server and says that this will be cheaper for some users. I have unlimited texting, so I've not tried this. I used Chomp for a couple days and then returned to the stock messaging app.
  • I hear this phone has GPS so to speak? Does this cost extra money?GPS costs nothing extra, as others have already stated. Google Maps with Navigation can easily replace any standalone GPS unit you may already have or have seen...


Thanks. Hopefully I can order it online ASAP :icon_eek:

Hope that helps. If you need clarification on any of these answers, please feel free to ask!
 
Thanks for all the info, few more questions though.

Is there a way to un root your phone?

If I do brick it, can't you use a back up and restore the phone?

Finally with apps like home++, can you combine features from several to create a unquie home?
 
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