My impressions of Android

About 4 weeks ago I purchased a Motorola Droid as my personal device and I figured I would share some of the pros and cons. Keep in mind I have been playing with a lot of the latest and greatest devices in order to test Fennec, so I have some comparisons I can make.

Overall: a big win.

Store/Market: There are a lot of apps easily available for Android and the interface is easy to use. I found that getting apps for Windows Mobile was difficult (I was really trying to do that for a test case) and gave up. On Maemo (n900) there are a few apps in Ovi which are easy to install and use. Overall, I find Ovi to be sluggish and lacking apps that I searched for.

Calling: This has been very easy. I would say all three platforms are easy to call with. n900 gets a big win for SIP calling!

Typing: The Droid has a hard keyboard which really sucks. I love the n900 hard keyboard. Much to my surprise the virtual keyboard is easy to use. I have never been able to use a virtual keyboard due to the high error rate (bad eye sight for me). I found that putting the phone in landscape mode gives me much larger keys and I have 90% accuracy. One other bonus here is the dictionary uses words from my content (email, contacts) so I don’t have to type long names out. Note to Google and UI designers: if you take up the whole screen for a form fill UI, please let me know what element I am filling in!!!

Maps/Navigation: I find this to be top quality. The maps are pretty standard (you can get google maps for winmo phones), but the integration to make this work like a handheld GPS is awesome. Turn by turn directions and it is easy to use even while driving. Another ++ here is you can click on an address in the web browser and it takes you to the map (again for directions if you want)

Voice Search: probably the coolest feature yet. I have found this to be 98% accurate (at least for my voice and accent). When I see something, I just push the mic button on my search bar, say it (even with a lot of background noise) and I have results.

Email/Social networking: I like the built in gmail support, that is easy to use. The facebook app sucks and I prefer to use a web browser. Sharing pictures is easy, but rotating them needs some love.

Camera: Not as cool as the n900, but better than the Omnia 2. Pretty usable, but watch out for the ~3 second delay from taking the picture to seeing it. The gallery is easy to find your pictures and apps can access them with ease.

Hardware: It doesn’t weigh much (not as light as the Omnia 2) and isn’t too clunky despite my first impressions. I like the hard buttons on the touch screen, but I accidentally hit them all the time and end up doing crap I didn’t intend. Also it seems that shaking the device does random things, so don’t go running with it!

I am looking forward to running Firefox as my default browser. I fully expect the click to call and click to map functionality integration!

2 Comments

Filed under reviews

2 responses to “My impressions of Android

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention My impressions of Android « 3.1415926535897932384626433… -- Topsy.com

  2. For apps on the n900 Ovi is not the place to go. At least not yet.

    Maemo Extras is the place for all cool apps: http://maemo.org/community/application-catalog/extras_repository/

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