EVO Mash Up
Here's the thing, I hate Apple.  It's not that I think they make bad products, because I don't.  Notwithstanding the current iPhone 4 fiasco that is making for sensational, and even obviously overstated headlines and blog entries, I think they actually make some decent products, and for the most part have been a very innovative company.

What I truly despise about Apple is their attitude, the veritable sanctity within which they hold even their own poop.  They desperately try to portray an image of a company that can do nothing less than perfection, and all other entries in the market should bow down and worship at their fruity logo.  It's the air of disdain that they hold the users of competitors systems.  It's the absurd pricing structure they impose on their product lines.  It is the bombastic persona and attitude that starts with their leader and oozes from every pore of their corporate skin.

Steve Jobs is, without any doubt, an extraordinarily talented and brilliant individual.  His creativity is arguably unmatched in the industry.  Unfortunately for him though, he is still a mere mortal, susceptible to the same  transgressions of judgement that we all are capable of.  Clearly, this has never been more obvious than the handling of their current upheaval.

The problem isn't with the hardware.  In my own, oft misguided, opinion, the actual issue with the antenna is not nearly as detrimental as it is being portrayed.   Yes, I absolutely believe there is a technical problem that a software patch will never rectify.  To definitively resolve the issue is going to require the "bumpers" or some other guard that prevents the antenna from shorting.  However, I certainly do not think a total recall of the product is necessary.

The real problem is with the company itself, and watching their manipulation of this event has provided a nearly endless supply of fodder for all who look on and think to themselves "how the mighty has fallen".   In his deftly written article on the topic, Dave Winer, states "Apple is a company that desperately needs to grow up and wipe the smile off its face, and roll its sleeves up and start to appreciate that they're no longer the upstart, the underdog, theCrazy One in the Richard Dreyfus ad."  

He could not be closer to the truth.  It is time for the much idolized company, and their leader, to realize that their sanctimonious poop wreaks just like the common man's does, and that they need to deal with the poop outright instead of just pretending that everyone should be smelling pleasant fruity scents.  

Game company GameLoft is giving away free copies of their cool little game Let's Golf for free to those of us fortunate enough to own an HTC Evo 4G or a Nexus One.  The game features 63 holes in four different locations, as well as four different playable characters, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.  The graphics look really great, and the game seems like a lot of fun to play.  This is a limited time offer, so if you're interested, click on the link below to check it out.

Let's Golf! for the HTC Evo

If you prefer to buy your accessories straight from Sprint, they're running some specials right now.  Click here to read the full release, or head on over to the Sprint Accessories website.
Vlingo is speech recognition app that's been around for a little while on a few other mobile phone platforms.  Today it became available for Android.  It offers a number of cool features, such as the SuperDialer which uses your GPS location to find local business based on what you request.  For example, you might say "pizza" and it will return a list of local pizza joints from which you can choose and dial.  It also provides the ability to create emails and SMS text messages via speech recognition.  For those of you that are texting addicts, I strongly encourage you to use this feature, especially if your doing it while behind the wheel and live anywhere within a 100 mile radius of my house.  The app also includes a feature called Vlingo Everywhere which essentially allows you to dictate in to the phone to enter information in to any text box on your Evo 4g.
All in all, it seems like a pretty cool app.  It will set you back $10, but really, if you live near me, and you text and drive, it's worth it.
Metago, the developers of the Astro File Manager app, today made available a license key in the Market that allows you to get rid of the ads.  It's priced at $3.99, and depending on how much ads on your cell phone drive you crazy, it might be worth it.  Bear in mind that this is just a license key.  You have to have the latest version of Astro already installed on your HTC Evo, or other Android phone.

If you aren't familiar with Astro, it is, in my opinion, the absolute best file manager app going for Android phones.  It has some nice plug-in's as well, including one that allows you to directly access Windows network shares over WiFi.

Linky stuff to download Astro, or purchase the license key are included below.

The great people over at Lifehacker.com have posted an excellent tutorial for installing the free Android SDK from Google on your PC.  Why would you want to do this?  Well, if you're a geeky person such as me, you might do it just because you can.  Alternately, if you are interested in maybe writing your own app, and don't have access to the App Inventor site yet, you would need the SDK as a starting point.  Another possibility is to try out an application on it that you aren't sure you want to install on your phone.  A note about this option though, the SDK does not include the Market app in it, so to install an app, you will need to find a way to download the actual APK file.

Regardless of why you may want to, the tutorial provided by Lifehacker is excellent, and includes nice screen shots.  Give it a whirl if you're daring!

Click here to see jump over to the article.

The latest app to lose the "beta" moniker is the Opera Mini browser for Android.  For all of you Opera fans out there, this should be a welcome sign.  I am personally a DolphinHD user, but there are some nice features in Opera, such as the "Speed Dial" type home screen and single-tap to zoom.  In addition, the oft requested tab support is now there, though implemented more like the "windows" option in the stock browser.  Early reports are that Opera 5.1 is extremely fast, which I think Dolphin could use some improvement on.  Of course I'm sure a lot of that speed comes from the back-end servers that are compressing and reformatting pages on the fly.  That feature, however, has led to a few reports that I've read of some sites/pages not rendering quite right.  Such is the case with most mobile browsers though.
After playing around with Opera for a little while this morning, I will probably continue to stick with my preferred DolphinHD, but Opera does provide for a decent alternative to the stock browser.

There's a new keyboard app on the market today, SwiftKey, and judging by the flair on their website, it looks to be a pretty cool little app.  The main draw of SwiftKey appears to be it's prediction engine for determining what you're going to type next.  According to their website, SwiftKey learns as you type, and can also learn from messages you've previously sent.  Having used the stock Evo keyboard, and not having found good replacement for it, I have been less than impressed with the built in suggestion engine that it comes with.
I will be downloading SwiftKey today and taking it for a spin around the block.  I'll post a review of it later on.  In the mean time, you can grab your own copy using the QR code below.  Unfortunately, as of this morning, a search for SkiftKey on Appbrain returned no results.  Hopefully they will have it added to their database later on.

Update: AppBrain now has it in their database.  Linky stuff added below.
Oh dear God, this is scary.  I noticed an article from last week over at Talk Android speculating that Farmville (the highly prolific game on Facebook) may be coming to an Android powered phone near you.  It seems that the domain owner of the farmville.com domain has registered farmvilleandroid.com.  Of course it's pure conjecture at this point that they will be bringing the app to our world, but I would say that it has a pretty good chance of making it, especially with the recent endowment of cash that Google just made to Zynga.

Music syncing service mSpot is now offering the ability to stream movies to your Android device.  Seems like a pretty good idea, since I'm not aware of any such capability from Netflix at the time.  However, in a quick glance at some of the comments over at AppBrain, it looks like users are not completely thrilled with the service.  One commenter stated that the app won't work over WiFi, which seems kind of odd because the iOS version of the app reportedly works fine via wireless.  

The service claims that movies are as low as $2.99 to rent, but it seems that most are in the $4 range.  They also have a Movie Club option which allows you to rent up to four movies for $9.99, but they also state that not all movies are available for this option.

I suspect the quality is probably mediocre if you really are limited to 3G.  No real reports from those with 4G service yet.  If, however, the app works over WiFi, and your stuck somewhere that has a hot spot and some time on your hands, this might be a worthy choice for some entertainment.