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Wasting Time with Android

A friend loaned me an Android phone the other day. I’ve been using a Blackberry Pearl for years. I like the squished keyboard and I can type pretty quickly on it. I’ve downloaded some useful apps to it too, though mostly I just use Opera for browsing and read the New York Times. It works.

Now, let me just say that I haven’t used an iPhone for any period of time so I can’t compare its OS to that of Android, but Android is pretty fun. This phone (an HTC running Android 1.5) is a device first and a phone second. It’s just as interesting without cell service as it is with service, though of course it’s nice when it works as a phone.

My favorite toys so far are probably the AK-47 and shotgun apps, though we know they’re a complete waste of time. I love accelerometers and I think these simple toys that use the accelerometer in such clever ways are just brilliant. Oh, I know that there are plenty of copycats out there but I don’t care. They’re just plain fun. I can’t wait to give them a try in the TSA line.

The barcode scanners look awesome but I haven’t been able to try one IRL because I don’t have a data connection. I can see how they might come in very handy though.

Touchscreens are pretty awesome but I’m not one to be a first adopter. I don’t need a touchscreen to do what I do with a phone, but they’re fun to play with. Don’t you just want to reach inside the phone and grab that sliding screen? I do. But I don’t like typing on that virtual keyboard. (Yes, the Droid has a real keyboard. I’ll check it out.)

I’ve found the initial experience with Android kind of overwhelming. There’s so much to be done with it, and downloading countless apps can be fun. But at the same time, there are many computer games out there that I won’t play because they just waste my time. Don’t we have better things to do?

Yes, I’m about 75 million people late when it comes to using a phone with a touch screen, or maybe it’s 150 million. But then again I’m just now watching Seinfeld, and only because it passes the time on the exercise bike to nowhere.

Clearly, Android has legs. I don’t need to tell you that. Just imagine what the device world will look like in a couple of years.

Here’s looking forward to our first Android book. Coming to a bookstore near you. Or maybe coming to your little handheld device thingy.

For now, I’ll keep the Blackberry, though my 1985 Volvo is going. It failed the smog test so the State of California will presumably buy it for $1,000. Sniff.

Droid

Meh I avoid the Moto Droid personally (but I really like the HTC versions). It was my first Android phone (and my first smart phone!), and after 6 months of use it's now a dud because Android 2.2 completely killed it. Either that or I just ended up with a bad unit.

As a person who uses both iOS and Android devices frequently, admittedly I'm a little bit more biased toward iOS. The apps are just better, and even though I feel the interface is a bit "kidish" and there's no physical keyboard, the accuracy of the touch screen and the polish on its GUI makes up for all of that.

My problem with Android OS is that I feel that it's lost a lot of potential because carriers and manufacturers allow for fragmentation. There's an app market for everything now, rather than simply an app for anything. And on top of that, look at things like the Droid X. It'd be a wonderful phone, and sure its interface seems nice - but its extra chunky bloat code.

That and some of the app developers are lazy. I mean, the fact that you picked up a 1.5 phone when 2.3 is the "latest and greatest" just says something - there's a HUGE need for backwards compatibility, which I feel a LOT of developers overlook. Don't write a game in HD if only 1% of Android devices support it - allow for backwards compatibility. Android itself was designed specifically to allow for a lot of very beautiful backwards compatibility, but unfortunately a lot of app developers don't explore the possibilities with this one. It really makes me sad.

Love my first Android phone too

Love my first android phone too..