Web Design Blog

August 28, 2010

I recently replaced my iPhone 3GS with a Droid2. While the iPhone certainly was easy to use, I consider myself a fairly adept technology user and ‘easy to use’ will only get you so far with me. I am also looking at features and interoperability. I always felt iPhone was holding me back a little bit with iTunes standing at the gate.

Android 2.2
Android is a much more sophisticated operating system than iPhone OS. I admit it was a little unsettling at first to break out of the cocoon of simple elegance the iPhone offers. After getting over the initial shock I now appreciate the sophistication, abundance features and openness of Android. Android offers a few more screens and options to navigate and customize according to your mobile digital lifestyle. There’s simply a little more to it than screens with rounded-edge buttons.

Apps
One thing I like about Android 2.2 is the inclusion of an office application (Quickoffice) out of the box. Seems like a no brainer to include some kind of office app with a modern smart-phone but is oddly missing from iPhone. Granted I am not planning on writing a manuscript or doing an annual budget on my cell phone, but I appreciate the ability to create and edit documents beyond a grocery list on a yellow lined pad. Of course all of the usual apps I need for social networking, messaging, web browsing, e-mail networking are all there. The Android market passed 50,000 apps in April and will only continue to grow as developers continue embracing the Java-based Android platform.

Music, Files & Storage
The ability to simply drag-and-drop music, video, photos and other files from any computer to my phone using it’s native operating system is a liberating experience without having to go through the iTunes firewall. I think you must be a former iPhone user to be able to truly appreciate this feature. No more being tethered to a single computer. I am now free to move files from laptop to desktop, from home to office, etc..

Syncing
Android syncs with your Google (gmail) account. If you don’t already have an account with Google, you will be prompted to get one when you register your device. Just export your contacts from your current contact management system and import them into your gmail account. For iPhone users These instructions will help you do it cleanly.

Flash
I didn’t think having Flash player on the phone would be a big deal, but now that I have it I really do appreciate it. I was starting to think Steve Jobs actually had a point about excluding it from the iPhone. It’s all too clear now that this issue never had anything to do with pure intentions. Flash runs beautifully on Android. The fact that my kids can play free Flash games on my phone should save me a couple bucks vs. letting them authorize another iTunes purchase.

Real Keys
I used the iPhone screen based keyboard for over a year. While I think they did a fine job of making it the most elegant and usable onscreen keyboard possible, the ability to slide out a QWERTY keyboard mid-message is a relief.

Camera
Other reviews I have read are critical of the camera. I haven’t had the phone long enough to judge for myself. The camera on a phone was never a high priority to me, although I do like the convenience of using it for web uploads and a keeping a visual journal of sorts. The iPhone camera is impressive, but if it’s quality I am after I will reach for a dedicated camera. The camera on this phone should be more than sufficient for my needs.

Signal
Something I read in the Engadget article that I found troubling was the mention of having signal issues with this phone. Signal strength was one of the main factors in deciding to convert from AT&T to Verizon. My house just happens to be in a very difficult dead zone. It’s almost impossible to get a signal on any network from inside my house. Taking a call on any cell phone here will involve walking around the house in circles before running out the back door to find the sweet spot before the call drops. Hopefully The Verizon Network can help alleviate my ongoing signal issues. I can already tell it’s not going to solve my signal probems entirely but one thing is for certain it can’t be any worse than AT&T.

Resources
For more information on Android visit android.com…
Information about syncing your iPhone contacts to Android…
Transferrring files to and from your Android phone…
More reviews…

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