Matthew’s Droid X upgraded to Gingerbread (Android O/S version 2.3.x) last week, so I decided it was time to give Gingerbread a try, too. I’ve been running ChevyNo1′s Simply Stunning Froyo ROM (v.4.9x on Android v.2.2.1) since I rooted my Droid, and in what I consider great cosmic serendipity, the developer released an update to his Simply Stunning Gingerbread ROM (v.5.4) as well as updated kernels the same week I decided to give Gingerbread a try.
Wow. I only wish I’d upgraded to Gingerbread before. Faster. More responsive. Cooler running. Longer battery life. It’s like I got a brand new phone.
I initially chose Simply Stunning because of its reputation for stability, excellent battery life, and impressive performance. Also, the developer is known for making incredibly stable, reliable, high-performance kernels. I was most satisfied with his Froyo ROM, so I’m not surprised that he’s developed yet another spectacular ROM for Gingerbread. What I am astonished about is that my Droid is capable of running so fast and so smooth. I don’t think it’s ever been snappier, even fresh out of the box without a single app installed.
I’m using the kernel that came with SS5.4, a low-voltage 1.0GHz. I thought about flashing a 1.1GHz or even trying a 1.2GHz, but honestly, my Droid is running so well, I don’t see the need more speed.
For folks with rooted Droids, I highly, highly recommend trying out this ROM.
And for both rooted and non-rooted folks, here’s a few new “Most Useful” app recommendations:
- Google Voice – Yeah, yeah, I’m late to the party. Seems like everyone knew about Google Voice before me, but now that I’ve discovered it, I only wish someone had pointed it out to me before.
Both Matthew and I have SMS disabled through our carrier because we don’t have texts included in our calling plan. Don’t text enough to warrant the extra monthly fee, plus we’ve got email, Twitter, and all those other electronic notifications on our phones. So why pay for a service we never use? Sure, SMS is push so delivers in real-time, and it’s more convenient and less intrusive to text someone to tell them you’re running a few minutes late than to phone them, but y’know, we made do.
But Google Voice = free SMS texts. So yeah, the Fosters now has texting.
- Sound Manager – Set time/day profiles to automatically control the volume settings on your Android device. Never get woken up by some spam email notification at 3AM again because you forgot to mute your notification volume or miss an important text because you forgot to turn it back up!
- Square - Allows you to accept credit card payments with your Android device. No monthly fee or contract. There’s only a 2.75% fee for swiped transactions (3.5% + 15¢ for manually entered ones), and the company provides a cute, lil credit card reader that plugs into your headphone jack for free.
I don’t have a lot of occasions when I’m looking to accept credit card payments—I can count on one hand the number of times I ran into a convention-goer who wanted to buy a copy of my book but only had plastic—but I think it’s extremely cool that now I can.