Thursday, 3 December 2009

Android on the T-Mobile Pulse

I've always wanted a smartphone I can use anywhere to access the Internet, ssh into the servers I maintain, check my mail, etc. I was tempted by the iPhone, but put off by the enormous price, and the closed Apple-only system.

Then I found the T-Mobile Pulse, available on pay-as-you-go for under £200, which runs Android. So I bought one a couple of weeks ago.

It's a nice phone (although the camera is pretty awful). I really like the Android operating system - it does the kind of thing the iPhone does on the TV adverts, but it's open.

I installed all kinds of good software on it:

  • EStrongs File Explorer - gives me access to my Windows and Samba shares over my Wifi network.
  • Android-vnc-viewer - lets me control my desktop from the phone (in an emergency - the phone screen is a bit tiny for controlling twin 19" monitors!).
  • AndFTP - FTP/SFTP client.
  • TextEdit - does what it says on the tin.
  • ConnectBot - ssh/telnet client.
  • DynDNS - dynamic DNS client.
  • Skype Lite.
  • CoPilot Live Navigator - full turn-by-turn GPS with maps on the phone, so no Internet connection needed.

I also put on quite a few other less vital bits an pieces - e.g. a spirit level (just like the TV ad), toggle switches for turning WiFi/GPS/3G/etc. on and off (to save going through the settings menu).

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