Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Android Stuff

Well it's been a week since I started using my G1. Overall, this is a great device, and I won't be switching back to my iPhone original flavor. So here is my new list of things I really love about this device:

  1. 3G speed - 800 kbps in tests. EDGE can come in at up to 200 kbps too!
  2. GPS - the 50' accuracy rules!
  3. IM - It's great to be able to instant message on the device.
  4. MMS - picture messages, they are just so handy when you need them.
  5. Push Gmail - this is just outstanding.
  6. Gmail interface - finally a compelling email application for a mobile device. If you are a heavy Gmail user, this is worth the price of admission.
  7. Auto-sync contacts and calendar. Don't worry about losing this device!
  8. Full text keyboard is fast and awesome.
  9. Scroll ball is surprisingly useful - it's great for navigating tiny links on webpages.
  10. Notification system and swipe-down status bar is surprisingly awesome and usable!
Now, on to some things that need improving:

  1. Regular email app is substandard.
  2. Surprisingly: I miss the portrait virtual keyboard of the iPhone. Flicking open the keyboard all the time for quick SMSes isn't always handy. I'm in luck though: this feature is on the short-term Android roadmap!
  3. Android Market - needs more apps. Needs the incentive of pay-apps to up the overall platform quality.
  4. Apps in general - you need to cache more (on the SD card?) and avoid using the network.
  5. Battery life... This is probably the darkest note here. Battery life can be dismal. I've heard of people getting more life as the battery gets calibrated.
The G1 is a definate buy. If you have the 3G iPhone and are happy with AT&T you probably won't benefit from the move. But if you hate AT&T or are unwilling to buy into the iPhone phenonema, consider the G1. This is also a great device for programmers - you can code apps up quickly and without Apple's approval. I cannot emphasize this enough, since I am dealing with a multi-week iPhone dev-sign up flow right now and it is so annoying.

Now, on to photos... The G1 has a very respectable 3 megapixel camera, but it won't be causing me to leave my Canon 5D at home anytime soon. Here is a sample photo:

Safety island, market and 2nd

Nighttime photos are tricky, but no more so than under the iPhone. Bonus: it you are tricky with the physical button you can take candid shots.

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