Category Archives: android

video: controlling a Lego NXT robot with an Android phone

Lizzie is controlling a Lego NXT robot with an Android phone over bluetooth. She’s using an app called MindDroid on my Galaxy Nexus, and the robot is a basic 4-wheel-drive with two motors like this one. Lizzie and I have built NXT robot’s before but this is the first time we’ve integrated a remote control.


goodbye iOS, hello Android

I recently migrated from a battered iPhone3 to a new Galaxy Nexus, and I’ve spent the past couple of weeks getting my head around Android, the Market, apps and widgets.

I’ve not used Android before so can’t to comment on how Ice Cream Sandwich compares to previous releases of this OS, but I can say that it seems just as slick as iOS in human interface terms – swiping, dragging and the like all feels just as responsive, and these interactions quicly become unconscious so you focus on what you want to be doing rather than how you’re doing it.

In terms of apps, well the geek in me gets a big kick out of running a terminal, even a ruby iRB, but that aside here are a few apps that I’ve already got quite attached to:

  • Chrome – still in Beta but already nicer to use than the stock browser or Firefox
  • Sky Map – Google’s sky maps integrated with the Nexus’s 3-axis gyroscope, a beautiful thing
  • BBC iplayer – recently updated, includes live tv and radio streams for BBC output as well as catchup
  • QuickSSHd – run an SSH server on your phone, handy for file management (and transfer over SFTP)
  • The Guardian – I got used to this one on my iphone, glad there’s an Android equivalent
  • Kindle – all the books in my Kindle library are now on my phone too
  • Evernote – I use this all the time for work anyway so was happy to find a good Android implementation (nice widget too)
  • Dropbox – another work essential, but also handy for backing up photos/videos taken with the phone (the default is to do this to Google plus but I wasn’t comfortable with that)