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In the past week, James Cull talked about his unlimited-but-not-really phone contract, while Connor Turnbull has expressed confusion over why people are so keen on BlackBerry Messenger when phone contracts usually provide more free SMSes then you’ll ever use.

Do you think you’re getting decent value for money with your current phone contract?

I pay £25/month for mine on a two-year contract, and I get 2,000 minutes of voice calls to any network, 5,000 minutes of voice calls to people on the same network, 5,000 texts (to any network), and 2400MB of data (though I think that’s actually increased recently). I also got my handset, an HTC Desire, for free — and this was back in early 2010, in the first month it was available in the UK.

So that’s costing me £600 in total over the length of the contract; considering that the handset alone cost over £400 at the time I got it (and is roughly £300 now), I feel that this is good value. I can think of it as paying about £10/month for the calls, texts, and data, which is roughly what a mobile broadband dongle would cost.

However, before that, I was paying £40/month to the same carrier for less goodies: 1,000 minutes, 3,000 texts, 1GB data. I’d got lazy and not bothered to call and switch to a new price plan after my old contract expired, and of course they weren’t going to call and ask if I wanted to pay less! Even so, this was a great price when I signed up for it about four years ago.

Thanks to services like Skype and Google Voice, we’re getting closer to the point where we can ditch voice calls and texts and use all the features of a phone with just a data plan, but I don’t think we’re there yet. I’m happy to keep paying the current prices for now; are you?

We’ve covered a lot of Android photography apps, from cameras to editors to social photography apps. I want to know how many of you actually use more than the stock camera, though. Do you add filters and frames and special effects, or do you not even crop your pictures before sticking them on Twitter?

Vote in the poll, and let us know what you do in the comments below!

This is one of those arguments that keeps coming up: “Android is ugly”. Well, okay, it’s usually framed as, “Android is ugly compared to iOS“, as in Connor’s recent article.

But you know what? I don’t think that Android, as a platform, is so hideous that we should be embarrassed about getting a Desire out in the same room as an iPhone user.

Okay, vanilla Android is a little plain — so install a new launcher, get a decent wallpaper, and replace the stock apps.

I’ve seen a lot of comments about Android apps being less attractive than their iOS counterparts. On paper, I guess this is annoying, but to be honest, I don’t care. None of the big apps I use every day (like Facebook, Twitter, and Evernote) look ugly to me on their own; it’s only when I actually compare them to the iPhone versions that I see why people complain. I do consider some of the apps I use regularly to be unattractive, like iSyncr and Titanium Backup, but their features more than make up for this. Maybe I just have bad taste?

So my question to you is: do you think Android is so ugly that it’s actually a problem?

Missed what’s been announced at Google I/O this week? Check out our overview!

There are lots of reasons to be excited about Google’s announcements, but what were you most happy to hear about? Vote in the poll and let us know your reactions in the comments.

Back at the end of 2010, Rovio’s Peter Vesterbacka said:

…paid content just doesn’t work on Android.

He was speaking from his experience in the mobile games market. (Rovio, in case you can’t place the name, makes Angry Birds.) I wonder if he’s changed his mind now, with the paid versions of Angry Birds and Angry Birds Rio available exclusively on the Amazon Appstore.

Anyway, this post isn’t about his experiences, it’s about yours. Have you ever paid to play an Android game, either to get the game itself from the Market, or to buy something within the game? Let us know via the poll and the comments.

In Connor Turnbull’s article, Android Tracking: Your Phone is Following You, we saw that Google have been logging where your phone has been, based on WiFi hotspots you’ve encountered.

This is all opt-in and anonymous, but some people are still angry about it. How about you? Let us know by voting in the poll.

(And yes, Apple got caught up in a similar controversy regarding iOS location tracking; check out this week’s poll over on our sister site iPhone.AppStorm to register how you feel about that.)

Did you catch Toby Seers’s roundup of live wallpapers earlier this week? There are some stunning background effects in there, whether you want to adorn your phone with galaxies, flowers, hamsters, or a fat little plumber in overalls.

The trouble with live wallpapers is: they use a lot of battery. Way more than regular wallpapers. So, while I think we can all agree that live wallpapers are impressive, I’d like to know whether you actually use them. Let us know by voting in the poll!

We’ve featured a couple of articles helping your battery last longer: some general tips, and a post about SetCPU. Maintaining charge is a concern; listening to music, watching videos, playing games, surfing the web, and, er, making phone calls can all drain the battery pretty quickly, and that’s not even thinking about background tasks like automatically syncing your emails.

I usually charge my phone to full power right before I go to bed, and then give it another charge while I’m working during the day. How about you? Vote in the poll to let us know!

Google have announced that they are going to hold on to the Honeycomb source code indefinitely, rather than making it open source and available to other manufacturers. For a couple of different perspectives on this, check out two of our articles from this week: The Honeycomb Lockout and Google Starts to Rebuild the Fragments.

Opinion seems to be split on whether this is a good move or bad move on Google’s part. What do you think? No range of answers this week; just a very simple, black and white, yes or no poll. Vote, and then share your views in the comments below.

As we reported yesterday, Amazon Cloud Player for Android was released this week. It lets you store your music library in the cloud, and download any track to your phone at any time. Great concept, although it’s only available in the USA at the moment.

Are you using it? Vote in the poll, and if you use another similar service, let us know what you think in the comments below!

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