Google and Android - 26 July 2010
Author: Dr. Jim Taylor

HTC-Aria_1 Well, it has been a month since I made the move from the HTC Fuze and Windows Mobile 6.5 to the HTC Aria and Android. At this point, I couldn’t be happier with the move. I truly LOVE my Aria.

What I love:

1. Size: Small, thin, and light. Fits in my pocket comfortably. The screen is bigger than the Fuze, but smaller than the iPhone; very readable and easy enough for typing.

2. Battery life: The battery lasts a long time. With moderate use (e.g., some calls, email, Web), the battery will last up to two full days (I actually haven’t seen how long it will really go).

3. Apps: The Android Market has tons of great apps, both fun and practical (I’ll post another article with my specific apps later). And I haven’t paid for any of them!

4. Customizability: Very easy to tailor and organize.

5. Google Voice: One number for both my office and mobile phones.

6. Visual Voicemail: What a time and hassle saver!

7. Stable and reliable: Never a lock-up or crash.

8. Fast: No waiting for apps to open.

9. Elegance: The Aria is just a beautiful phone. Great lines, simple styling.

10. Total Google integration: I now have Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, Google Voice, Google Talk (but not Google Docs). I have jettisoned my MS Outlook on my PCs. Life has gotten simpler and easier.

11. Google community: People have been great about answering my questions and helping me with problems as I’ve learned how Android works.

What I miss:

1. No voice command using Bluetooth (I’m waiting for Froyo to be ported to Aria; rudimentary version already available).

2. Couldn’t install apps from outside the Android Market (problem solved as HTC released an update to their HTC Sync that now allows “sideloading” (still unclear if that release was intended or a mistake).

2. Can’t think of anything else!

Perhaps WP7 will be the “game changer” that many believe that it will be. But, for now, I’m a full fledged Android convert.









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(15) Readers Comments

  1. I stopped in the local ATT store with intentions of playing with a Captivate. None were available for demo…so I ended playing with Aria and was totally surprised by how well it seemed to work!! I’m definitely going to be keeping my eye on this little bugger. I however will not be able to separate completely from Outlook as work uses an Exchange server for email/calendar/Contacts etc.

  2. You didn’t mention the fact that AT&T locked the phone so you can’t install other apps expect those on the Marketplace without a work around.. that should certainly be in the what you don’t like list …

  3. @KB: Good point. Forgot that. Just edited and updated.

  4. Actually I think that would fall into a gray area, the fact that it is prohibited is a con, but with a simple down load from Android Central it is no longer a issue.

    http://www.androidcentral.com/sideload-android-apps-all-you-want-sideload-wonder-machine

  5. “10. Total Google integration: I now have Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, Google Voice, Google Talk (but not Google Docs). I have jettisoned my MS Outlook on my PCs. Life has gotten simpler and easier.”

    And THAT is what Google wants to hear.

  6. Hey, Doc, how was going from keyboard to on-screen? I’m a big fan of the chicklets myself, and am not really looking forward to going to an on-screen keyboard, but I’m just wondering how it’s working out for you.

  7. @MartiM: The transition from hard keyboard to virtual has been a challenge. I screw up a lot, but I don’t type on my phone that often. I figure I’ll get better with practice. I’m using SwiftKey app which helps.

    I would probably prefer a hard keyboard, but you can’t have everything!

  8. @Ed D.: Android phones can sync with Exchange servers just as seamlessly as WinMo phones.

    I just switched from a Fuze to the new Captivate, and I agree that I wish it had a physical keyboard. That said, the virtual keyboard with vibrate does a pretty good job of filling the role.

  9. @Oddball – Hey Odd.. I knew that and was just commenting that unlike Dr. Jim eschewing Outlook completely and becoming totally googlified. I won’t be able to cut the Outlook apron strings :-0

  10. @Ed D.: I have been told that an exchange server can do the same thing with Google as it does with Outlook.

  11. I have changed to Google also from outlook, It was very easy to export from outlook and import to google use CSV (comma separated values). With the exception of Notes, all is well and have begun using EverNote as a substitute. I love my Aria and my Aria loves me! And Google syncs on the run, which is important to me!

  12. @Dale: Amen, brother!

  13. lol You guys are now going to have to convince DavidK to switch… I’m just about convinced myself, but I have to wait for September.

  14. well, i just bit the bullet – after reading these mobility sites daily i had an itch that had to be scratched. i just bought an Aria (off contract) from amazon. i don’t want to use my upgrade discount until i see what WP7 devices at&t gets, but i couldn’t keep using the old fuze anymore. the sad thing is, i’d love to give her away to a family member but i don’t want to burden them haha.

    anyways, i look forward to using this device

  15. Welcome to Aria Land, stefymarty! You’ve made a great choice. I absolutely love my Aria!!

    Your first step, if so motivated, is to “root” your phone, so you can begin to customize it. This link will give you several options:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=731175

    After that, you can flash a bloat-free ROM:

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=708434

    OR

    You can flash Android 2.2 Froyo (now in RC stage):

    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=737213

    Enjoy!