New user questions / comments

Discussion in 'Acer Iconia Tab A500 Forum' started by gerryex, May 6, 2011.

  1. gerryex

    gerryex Member

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    Hi Guys,

    What a HOOT! I've had it for a full day (!!) and so far so good. (I'm abandoning the "Pre-purchase questions" thread I started a week or so ago.) I have a few thoughts I wanted to share and than I have a few questions.

    I've been using the Intel/DOS/Windows platform since day one. The early Apples didn't do anything for me but the later Apples did seem to be more smooth and sophisticated but by that time I was too entrenched with Windows to change. Then came the iPod and iPhones and while I'm not at all into music and had no need for a smart phone I was a little jealous of all the apps and they way you move around with finger swipes. Then came the iPad, and I thought that it was way cool, but I still had no need for it.

    Now I'm planing a trip to France to visit some friends this summer and I'll have a long layover at Gatwick Airport near London. So I wanted to get a book reader but that was too basic for a techno-junkie like me. So that evolved into some kind of tablet and for a while I was considering an iPad. But there is no USB nor any kind of add in memory, and the choke hold that Apple has on the apps really bothered me. So I went seeking an Android tablet and found the Motorola Xoom. But at $600 I had reason to pause. Then found out about the Toshiba which is supposed to be cheaper but still no definite price or date.

    But then the Acer came out and this forum was a great deal of help in making me decide. And now I have one! Sorry to bo so long winded, but here are some questions I have.

    1. Screen glare - I knew from the posts and even some video reviews that the screen had quite a bit of glare, but when I got it home I was kind of surprised at how much there was. It even seemed more than I saw in the store. (My house has a lot of windows so that adds to the problem.) I find that while there is some leeway in the angle of the screen the best result is when its directly aimed at your face, but of course you get to see your smiling face in the screen. If an app has an option for a brighter background then I do that and it helps but that will probably drain the battery some more. How to you all deal with the glare?

    2. Tasks - In the other thread I asked about how you kill tasks but it was explained quite nicely that its not really needed as the system is smart enough to allocate resources and if needed will kill an app. That's what I thought it was but just wanted to make sure.

    3. CPU usage widget? - On my PC I have a gadget that monitors CPU and RAM usage. Is there something like that for the Acer?

    4. Case - I've been going back and forth on a slip case or the fitted Acer case. Having used the tablet with no case I find it feels quite comfortable and is not slippery as some other users commented. Also, because of the lines of the tablet, it looks thinner that it really is - I like that! I'm afraid with the fitted case it will take on a thicker look. Also I like the fact that the slip case I'm looking at (an HP Mini Netbook sleeve, recommended by another user here) has an outer zippered pocket where I can keep the charger, etc. So now I'm leaning towards the slip case.

    Well, I think that's it for now!!! Sorry for so long a post, and please other users feel free to ask and/or answer questions here!

    Thanks,
    Gerry
     
  2. dan776

    dan776 Member

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    1. I never really noticed glare until you said something. I believe there are glare reducing screen covers if its an issue for you.

    2. Definitely don't go around killing tasks, unless you're working with a poorly developed app. Most apps, when quit, just occupy a space in memory that isn't accessed until needed. You wont notice a slowdown from apps in the background on Android. If you are familiar with Unix, its basically the same deal as that. Very slick memory management in this OS.

    3. I use Watchdog. You can download the lite version... it tells you exactly how much CPU each app is using. As a widget, it also tells you percentages used of total CPU. I highly recommend it, and the lite version is free.

    4. The case is a matter of preference. I have it, and like it for the protection as the back is easily scratched. It looks a bit thicker, but I know it would survive a small drop... I feel better with the case on, but it just depends.

    Hope that helps
     
  3. Raven312

    Raven312 Member

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    Ditto everything he said. I use System Panel, which is very similar to Watchdog.
    I've also come to appreciate the case. See it for yourself before you rule it out.

    Sent from my PC36100 using Android Tablet Forum
     
  4. gerryex

    gerryex Member

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    Hi Guys,

    The glare can be bad at times but as long as the screen is relatively bright its not a deal breaker!

    On the CPU monitors, I had downloaded Watchdog but did not see anywhere that it could be used as a widget. Also loaded System Panel and the same thing. Both were the free versions. Is that why I can't use them as widgets?

    I had another question. I loaded Skype for Android yesterday, and I was able to call their voice test. But this morning when I tried that it casued Android to crash. It did not go back to the ACER when you power on but it did go to screen with "Android." But when it came back up I could not connect to the WiFi. I had to do a full power down and then when it came back up it immediately connected to the WiFi. Tried voice test with Skype and it crashed again. Un-loaded Skype! I saw some other comments that Skype for Android does not work very well! Has anyone had any better luck?

    And lastly, when you are in the apps market place how can you tell if an app has been tailored for Honeycomb?

    Thanks again,
    Gerry

    P. S. I found that HP slip case on eBay, new for $12 including shipping. Couldn't resist so I ordered it!
     
  5. dan776

    dan776 Member

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    Hey Gerry-

    Not sure about Skype... I had problems with Skype Mobile on my Droid X, so I didn't want to mess with it here. I think google-chat w/ video and voice might be the way to go, since it's built into the OS.

    As for adding a Widget, just Long-Press on a blank area of the homescreen. Select "Widgets" which is the leftmost choice (probably has you on App Shortcuts by default). Then scroll right, you'll see Watchdog Lite there.
     
  6. gerryex

    gerryex Member

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    Hi Dan

    I looked into that but the person I would like to talk to only has Skype!


    Ah ha!! I knew about the screen to add widgets to the desktop, but I didn't realize that if you install an app and it has a widget that it end up there and then you add it to the appropriate desktop. Boy, you learn something new about this darn Android every day!!!

    I have been using various forums for advise on a whole bunch of things: HDTVs, my cable provider and now how to use Android for tablets!!!

    THANKS AGAIN!
    Gerry
     
  7. dan776

    dan776 Member

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    I've also gotten tons of help from this forum... it's great. If you figure anything out that you're stoked on, let us know! I think everyone is still in learning phase on this thing.
     
  8. gerryex

    gerryex Member

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    Hi GUYS,

    Well, still so far so good, but I find I can't get LumiRead to do anything other than jump to the Google dictionary when you click on the dictionary on the book shelf. I tap on the shopping cart at the upper right and I get to the "bookstore." But a large box on the left says "Sorry, no available bookstore in this region." At the bottom the "Current bookstore region" was set to Deutschland. When I tapped the down arrow the only choices other than that were France, Italy, Spain and I assume China. I then saw the note that you need to get an Adobe ID which I did and I also registered my Acer with that ID and password and got a successful indication.

    Now I go into the Bookstore and there still are only the above choices for the region (and I know I selected USA as the region when I got my Adobe ID). However now when I select Germany, it does give me a link to click on but of course its all in German! The only other one to give me a link is the Chinese one.

    Is there not a bookstore for the USA? Or is there and what am I doing wrong??!!

    Thanks,
    Gerry

    P. S. I was able to successfully buy a book using Google Books and that works just fine. But I would like to get LumiRead to work also!
     
  9. gerryex

    gerryex Member

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    Hi GUYS,

    Well, still so far so good, but I find I can't get LumiRead to do anything other than jump to the Google dictionary when you click on the dictionary on the book shelf. I tap on the shopping cart at the upper right and I get to the "bookstore." But a large box on the left says "Sorry, no available bookstore in this region." At the bottom the "Current bookstore region" was set to Deutschland. When I tapped the down arrow the only choices other than that were France, Italy, Spain and I assume China. I then saw the note that you need to get an Adobe ID which I did and I also registered my Acer with that ID and password and got a successful indication.

    Now I go into the Bookstore and there still are only the above choices for the region (and I know I selected USA as the region when I got my Adobe ID). However now when I select Germany, it does give me a link to click on but of course its all in German! The only other one to give me a link is the Chinese one.

    Is there not a bookstore for the USA? Or is there and what am I doing wrong??!!

    Thanks,
    Gerry

    P. S. I was able to successfully buy a book using Google Books and that works just fine. But I would like to get LumiRead to work also!

    P. P. S. Sorry for the double post. I wanted to correct the post's title and it kicked me back to the submit post page and resulted in a double post!!
     
  10. Raven312

    Raven312 Member

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    Gerry, what I do is click on the "+". A pop-up will show with "http://"... type in the name of your favorite online bookstore there. It will save it and you can go there to buy books when you want. For instance, I added Kobo and barnesandnoble.com. Works well for me.

    Sent from my A500 using Android Tablet Forum
     
  11. gerryex

    gerryex Member

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    Hi Raven312,

    Yes, I saw that but is there a USA "region" in that dropbox? It seems strange that there is only those regions that are listed. Do you have any recommendations for online bookstores that would work with LumiRead?

    Thanks,
    Gerry

    P. S. I'm typing this on my Acer and I'm even kind of touch typing! When replying I like to copy the person's name and I was going to ask you how to copy and paste but somehow I discovered it myself! I'm really getting to like this tablet!!
     
  12. Raven312

    Raven312 Member

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    No, at this time there is no USA region for us. The good thing is that we don't really need it. As long as you put in the site(s) that you want, you can shop to your heart's content. You did see the "+" box, right? As you use one, another pops up, so you can use as many as you need.
     
  13. gerryex

    gerryex Member

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    Hi Raven312,

    First, I've got to say it again: THIS THING IS A HOOT!!! I'm really enjoying it. Again, coming from the Win-tel part of the universe I was always kind of jealous of all the Apple stuff where you can move around with just finger swipes. And so far its working quite well. (I still think its got way too much glare, but that also allows the image to be nice and sharp. So I've learned to live with it.)

    Now some random thoughts and/or questions!

    Can you please recommend some "book store" sites that wiil work with LumiReader.

    I downloaded Pinball deluxe and started to play it. At first it was awkward holding the Acer and using the flippers as I was holding it vertically so that the ball would be able to go from top to bottom. Then I realized what a dummy I was as it was a game simulation and the ball did not depend on gravity!! With the Acer horizontal it was much easier to play and the graphics were quite smooth and good.

    I may want to keep a log of my trip to France so I started to look into a text editor. I tried the pre-installed Docs To Go, but it would not let me create a new document. So I created a short Word document on my PC, copied it to a flash drive, plugged the flash drive into the Acer, used the File Mgr HD to copy it from the USB into the Documents folder, went back into Docs To Go and there it was. (Docs To Go still wouldn't let me make any changes unless I bought the full program so I found Olice Office Prem for free and that works just fine!)

    How do you tell if an app is designed for Honeycomb?

    The A500 is now available from Amazon but thankfully its the same price as BB: $450. If it was quite a bit less we all would have to decide whether to return the BB one and re-buy from Amazon. Of course you would save state tax, but that's not enough to bother with. (Amazon's return policy seems more restrictive than BB in that the unit has to be broken for you to be able to return it.)

    My GPS seems to be working pretty well, even though I don't have too much practical use for it. Right now the Acer is on the floor (carpeted!) near an open window and its viewing and using 9 or 10 satellites, and the location accuracy is about 16 feet. Yes, when I pull it in from near the window or if the window is closed it views less satellites but you would expect that.

    Well that's enough thoughts for now!

    Thanks again for all your help,
    Gerry
     
  14. Raven312

    Raven312 Member

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    Gerryex, I use Kobo, mobilereads.com, barnesandnoble.com... Kobo is tricky, though. Sometimes you have to use their Kindle or Nook option if the book doesn't open in LumiReads. Either way, you get your book.

    In the market, one of the first sections you see should be for HD apps - those are for Honeycomb. The rest of them, you have to open and see if they scale right. Some of them won't - they'll be small. They should still work, but they'll be small. I use those on my phone, instead.
     
  15. gerryex

    gerryex Member

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    Hi Raven312,

    What a dummy I am!! Its right at the top labeled Featured Tablet Apps! Oh well, live and learn!

    Thanks,
    Gerry
     

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