холови гарнитуриOk I’ve spent a lot of time with the Nexus One. I did put my SIM card back in my iPhone once, but that was part of a configuration issue not because I was switching back.
The best discovery so far has been Slide Screen. This app takes over your home screen and condenses so much information into that single screen I’m still amazed. It manages to show my missed calls, SMS, Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, and stocks. The only downside is some extra button pushes to get to my apps, but it is a small price to pay.
I had a real problem pairing my phone with my Nissan Cube. It would say it was connected, but it refused to route sound through my handsfree system. The good news is that there is a solution. The bad news is that it was esoteric enough to make me very sad. You have to go to the Bluetooth connection and click on “Options”. I unchecked “Connect” and made sure “Phone” was checked. Why this works – no idea – but it does.
I have a personal Google account. I also have a work Google account. I was able to add both accounts to my phone. This allows me to merge all the contacts which is great. The bad news is the OS only handles adding events to my primary (personal) calendar. It just ignores the other calendar. People have advised me to share the calendar but Google Apps won’t let me share the calendar across the two domains. I was hoping it was just something I messed up in the configuration. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a work around, but hope spring eternal. The really frustrating part is that I was able to do this on my iPhone…
Update This turns out to be my own fault. On Google Apps Accounts, you have the option to forbid sharing a calendar outside of the domain. Once I turned this off, I was able to share my calendars across accounts. Plus there is now an option in the date creation to select a calendar – so I’m back in business…
1Password was my password store of choice on the iPhone. They don’t have any plans to release an Android version. That forced me to start looking for another option. I ended up settling on LastPass.com. The base product fully supports Windows, Mac and most importantly Linux. They have mobile clients for iPhone, Symbian, and Android. The base version is free , and the mobile is $12/year. Migration over was easy and so far I’ve liked it a lot better than 1Password. The best part is OTA sync of passwords. Before I always had to check in with a mac at home to keep a backup of my password database.
I was easily able to upgrade to a 16GB sd card. Once that was installed, I started encoding video for a trip. I was able to find profiles for DVDFab and Handbrake. DoubleTwist sounds really cool, but doesn’t run under Linux so I haven’t used it yet. I guess this brings up the content issue. When I had an iPhone, I bought my mp3s on Amazon and most of the movies I watched were just re-encoded from my DVR. Now that I’m on Android – I buy my mp3s on Amazon and most of the movies I watch are just re-encoded from my DVR. As you can see not much of a change for me. If you are an iTunes addict, don’t think about coming over. Apple solved this content problem a long time ago (assuming you can run iTunes).
This actually brings up one of the things that I don’t miss. In the Apple world, my iPhone was tied to a single computer. That computer handled all the downloaded of mp3s,movies, and podcasts. If I was at another computer I was pretty much out of luck unless I wanted to wipe my phone and start over. I love that I can connect my phone to any of my computers (workstation at home, at work, laptop, netbook, or otherwise).
I ended up standardizing on My Pod as my podcasting tool of choice. It can be a little clunky but it has a freaking lot of features. I miss the iTunes podcast directory, but I love that I can download new podcasts directly to my phone – over wifi or cell – and that it doesn’t wipe out my music collection (which has happened a couple of times on my iPhone). That basically means I get more podcasts on the go – which works out a lot better since the time I really need my podcasts is on the road traveling.
I still miss the games from my iPhone – mainly Puzzle Quest and Plants vs Zombies. I hold out hope that the games will catch up.
Even after two weeks, I’m still impressed how fast the phone is. I’ve also been very surprised with reception. I’ve had a lot of failed calls on my iPhone. I assumed that trend would continue on my Nexus One since it is on the same network. So far, no failed calls. Nice change.
Updates – the phone tells you there are updates for the apps – great. There is no update all :( You have to update each application individually….annoying.
With the iPhone it is always the little things that really remind you how awesome it is. In this case, it was leaving behind Visual Voicemail. It turns out you can get it back if you forward your phone to Google Voice (which I have an account for). Then things work out well. The snag in that process was, I left voicemail on AT&T. When I swtiched everything on the phone over to Google Voice I could no longer retrieve the voicemail from the old box. I just kept getting a notification to check my voicemail. This is why I had to put the sim back in the old iPhone, clear out the voice mail and switch back. It now works great – even if it was a little confusing.
Two last things on the broader topic – First – iPod integration = iPhone integration. Now that I’ve swtiched over I run into a lot more hassles. For example, my Cube doesn’t offer a way to get sound out of my phone into the stereo other than the headphone jack. That means I can’t pause or change tracks from the control system anymore. I tried to mount my phone in my wife’s Range Rover and just got a “Device Error”. I was just at a hotel and it had an alarm clock with an iPod dock. Now that’s pretty much useless to me. This is one of those things that isn’t a deal breaker but is annoying enough to remind me I’m on a lesser platform…
Cory Doctorow and the Apple Hating
There has been a lot of talk from the tech side (iPad Clash) about the iPad. This is a spill over from the Android vs iPhone OS debate. I hear what Cory is saying about openess and the walled garden nature of Apple’s products. I dont’t think that is an unfair criticism. The real issue is that most people just don’t care. My wife is an avid user of Apple products. She loves them. She likes how they look and feel. She likes how easy it is to do stuff. She likes the way they just seem to know what she wants to do. The numbers don’t lie – there are a lot of people out there who feel that exact same way. I don’t see a conspiracy in that. People want what they want. Some part of me wishes that I was in that group. Instead, I know how much time and money Apple has spent polishing their products. That’s why it annoys me to no end when it won’t do what I want it to do (like allow me to load a movie on from another computer or show my calendar on the lock screen). When I use Linux or Android and things aren’t perfect – it doesn’t bug me. They are plugging away at things and they will get better. The deficiencies are rarely the result of someone making a conscious decision to block me from doing something. Both of the things I mentioned above were decided by Apple for business reasons. That is what sticks in my craw. Maybe it is an idealistic view of technology, but that’s how I am. I know for a fact that most people aren’t like that. In some ways, that worries me because I don’t have a problem with people choosing Apple as long as I get a more open option. The fewer people like me, the less viable that other option is. I’ve seen this fight before. The Internet was the great leveler that has allowed me to function as a full member even though I’m using a tool that is by many standards still a fringe choice (desktop Linux). I hope that as Google and Apple fight over the software driven future of the mobile computing platform that I get to continue to go my own path. (Ironically, I used a Mac for a long time when it was a doomed platform – so I learned a lot about how to survive as an outsider to the Microsoft kingdom. Guess that training continues to be useful). I suppose the real test will come when my wife’s iPad shows up and I see if it “changes everything” for me.
So I’ll leave my review at this – if you love computers then the Android platform is great. It can be what you want it to be in a lot of interesting ways. If you are on a provider that doesn’t offer the iPhone – it is great. It is part of the phone as actual software delivery system revolution that Apple pioneered. Otherwise, I have a hard time faulting you for choosing the iPhone. It’s slick, powerful, and everywhere.
Update:As a bonus, Apple will announce iPhone OS 4.0 in 3 days. Guess that will give me plenty of time to get over my android and get back with the faithful…..