The Heap Presents: Review of the Motorola Droid Part 1- Overview and Apps

“In a World of Doesn’t, Droid Does,” was the Verizon Wireless advertising moniker for perhaps one of the most awaited smartphones since the revolutionary iPhone. In fact, little was known about the phone, only quick glimpses due to a seemingly secretive yet intriguing marketing ploy used by VZW. The brief TV spots had to have been influenced by the similar secretive approach used by the promoters of the film Cloverfield. Here’s a sample TV commercial clip:

And of course the infamous iDon’t commercial:

Nevertheless, the real question after all of the advertising hype and hoopla still remains: Can the Droid be the first successful “iPhone killer?” Or at the very least, begin the end for Apple’s reign at the top of the smartphone market.

One of the most glorified selling points of the iPhone is the simplicity of its OS. Everything is only a few slides of the finger and a press of the finger away. While I never did have an iPhone, I did have an iPod touch. The interface was extremely navigable immediately. There wasn’t much to learn when t came to general functions or where something may be hidden. Everything had an icon, and you just scrolled to where the icon was located. The most recent update to the iPhone OS even allowed you to group apps on different “pages” of the sliding menu.

Droid’s interface is generally simple, though a first time user does have to learn the functions of certain buttons as well as the extensive settings menu.  Also, the initial clutter that is all of the application icons is a bit daunting as well initially. But the burgeoning Android user will know how convenient it is to have icons to ALL installed apps listed alphabetically in a slide out menu. This allows the user two place all sorts of widgets and the icons of the most used apps on one of 3 main screens.

Motorola Droid

I have yet to become too “app” savvy, and am in need of tips for useful apps! I do use two widgets, The Weather Channel and CNN widgets. TWC widget is a quick and convenient way to immediately check weather and temperature, with forecasts only a click away. CNN seems to be a good news widget, bt to be honest, I don’t look at it too much. I have heard that USA today might be the way to go with regards to a news ticker. I might have to give it a shot.

Don’t forget the “Social” apps! Dont worry. Facebook for Android already comes pre-loaded. So you can check that one off of your list. If you are into Twitter, I recommend Twidroid Free edition. The app allows you to update Twitter, while receiving tweets for those you follow instantly. AIM and Myspace apps are also available.

Droid requires you to have a Gmail account. Thus, your account’s email is synced to the device! It is possible to sync more than one gmail account (like my personal one and the account for The Heap!) and email addresses from other domains. In addition to email, your user name serves as your GChat name as well! Your buddies can chat with you on your phone as well!

The main free sports app for the Android OS is SportsTap. The app itself is very good, as scores from sports around the world, as well as surprisingly detailed box scores/ stats are readily available. The widget was disappointing because it didn’t seem to work most of the time. The favorite teams customization is pretty useful, as you are alerted when your team is playing and of changes in score. (Another Overtime loss for the Lightning tonight, by the way)

Then, like iPhone, there are an endless amount of created apps for just about anything! Some fun ones are the Coin Flip and Magic 8 Ball apps, that use the phone’s accelerometer to roughly simulate the physics of an actual coin flip or the shaking of the 8 ball. Google Sky Map is by far one of my favorites, as it uses the phone’s position and orientation to accurately tell you what constellations celestial bodies are visible by the user! It is absolutely amazing! And lastly, I have some other practical apps, like Flixster movies for times/reviews, Kayak for travel plans and Phoneflicks for organizing my Netflix queue.

As we can see, this has gone for far too long! I’ve decided to cut the review into parts. Part 2 will be about Music Apps, music playback and other media/ entertainment apps/ capabilities! Part 3 will most likely be about functionality, messaging, what I like and don’t like, and what makes Droid a serious contender in the smart phone battle! I might even make my own review video, showing off my Droid and showing you heapsters how it works! Stay tuned!

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

An Email…

It’s good to be back. It was an excellent weekend. Good weather. Good people. Good fun. But now it’s back to the grind. Back to work and back to my duties.

I received my first email at our email address here while I was gone! I was excited at first, but then… I realized that someone had made good on my request to hit me up with any offers to help people invest millions of dollars.

Here’s the original text:


Dear Friend,
I introduce myself as Mrs.Belisima Bati, a citizen of Philippines, I am a top official in charge of client accounts in (EQUITABLE PCI BANK) which is now BANCO DE ORO UNIVERSAL BANK inside the Philippines the merger was 2007. I have a Business proposition for you involving a huge sum of money (Ten Million, Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars). I want to move the funds out of my Bank but will need your help.

Please reply me back at: E-mail: (

Mrs. Belisima Bati

Wow, Banco de Oro Universal Bank? No way? A Spanish bank in the Philippines! Well, it’s a real bank at least.

And they ask the help of The Heap in order to help get rid of funds? This could be our shot at international fame!

Or at least a good blog bit for a few entries. Why don’t we respond!

Mrs. Belisima Bati,

I have just received your email and I apologize for not responding sooner. I was out of the office for my own business transactions.

Upon reading your request and verifying the status and prestige of your financial institution, I would like to accept your offer and try to help you out.

I am honored that you would choose us here at The Heap, a modest but growing organization, to help you with your business transaction. Our readership has blossomed in the past year and we have recently updated our format to include email and twitter, only increasing reader accessibility.

We hope to expand and add additional staff, and it appears that you may provide us an opportunity as business partners to achieve this goal.

Please respond with instructions. I look forward to our partnership.

Respectfully Yours,

Heap Master

Obviously, this is a scam… but we can’t miss out on opportunities for fun! I’ll keep you updated!

And for the love of God, send me some real mail!

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser

Some Changes…

theheaplogo.jpg image by jmooser

Not even The Heap could escape the calls for CHANGE by the ruling regime. You beloved blog is getting a much needed face lift, which should be completed by tonight. You’ll notice the first change on your right hand side. Yes, the blog now has its own EMAIL! If you have any questions, additional comments, or ideas you’d like me to consider, email me!

I will also accept fan/hate mail, offers to help Kenyans with investing their millions of USD, and invites to watch you on cam for free.

Be sure to check out The Heap 2.0 tonight!

Or perhaps tomorrow. Because we’re lazy.

smallheap.jpg image by jmooser