I have been using android on the touchpad since it was first released. With a new baby I am just now getting around to giving everyone my impressions of it.  CM7 Alpha 1 was almost unusable. To be fair though the CM team warns you that their alpha builds are “full of bugs”.  I had problems with the wifi staying connected and the screen freezing.  But honestly after using android I couldn’t go back to webOS. I didn’t realize how slow the web browser was.  I did like the interface but android just runs so much smoother. Not long after the alpha1 release alpha 2 was released that fixed all the bugs mentioned and gave the device a much better battery life. Alpha 3 has since has since been released but I had some issues with it so I downgraded back to alpha 2.  The most recent version is Alpha 3.5 and I have yet to try it.  I am eagerly anticipating CM 9.

Android impressions

For a little background my first smart phone was the HTC Fuze (WM 6.5). Now I own an iPhone 4.  This is my first experience with android.  For me android is somewhat easy to navigate.  I do struggle at times finding certain settings but as I am getting more familiar with the OS it is getting easier.

I have mixed feelings about the app launcher and I think that is primarily because of my experience with iOS.  If you are not familiar with one or the other, iOS applications are automatically downloaded on the springboard launching pages.  Android applications are downloaded to an applications area.  In order to get apps on the launcher pages the user has to manually add them.  The only advantage I see to that is if you do not use an app often it can stay hidden.  The only problem with that is when you need to find that application or you download a new one you have to wade through every single one which is organized alphabetically to find it.  Hopefully you remember the name.  Maybe there is a way around this that I am unaware of.

My favorite feature over iOS is the back button. Going between google reader or twitter and the web browser is very fluid.  I don’t have to close the web browser then re-launch my reader application like in iOS.  It seems so simple but you really can’t understand it until you have used the back function after not having it. Another differentiating feature that I like is android gives you the option for a default application to open weblinks, videos, music, etc.   If you know anything about iOS you know you are stuck using safari to launch any website link unless you copy the URL and paste it into a third party web browser.  Widgets are nice.  I like the option of being able to use different keyboards.  In fact I am typing this on a split keyboard on the touchpad right now

 

Apps

I haven’t been using this as phone but so far I have been able to find useful apps for the tablet.  I have noticed most apps just blow up and are just large version of the phone equivalent since I am running gingerbread.  Most of the time it works out and I prefer that over what webOS does which is just showing a smaller version  that doesn’t use all of the screen real estate.

Gaming

I also haven’t done whole lot of gaming either.  Angry Birds is fun on a big screen. I also like that I can connect my PS3 controller and play emulators with a proper controller.

I really like Android due to more open approach to the user experience.  I am certain that my next cell phone will be an android device.  If you have any questions about my first time experience feel free to ask.

 

5 COMMENTS

  1. Probably the galaxy s 2 unless I can find an unlocked galaxy nexus for under $500. I will be switching to T-mobiles prepaid plan from AT&T. I will switch this summer once my contract is done.

  2. Well this was an interesting end to the article. This actually points to what Simmons said that most of what you can do in ICS you can do in earlier versions of Android.

    Say Anthoney what are the top three things you look for in a device? Is the ability to customize everything really important to you? Just curious as I seek to understand individual buying decisions. As long as you are happy then thats all that matters.

  3. I don’t think ICS is supposed to add any new functionality but just pretty up the interface and make it more user friendly.

    I would say its important if you want to change something about the software that you don’t like. Not that I would have to change a lot just the annoying features that could easy be added for instance why did it take apple 5 versions before you could have a custom text tone?

    I really also value a solid offering of apps at a cheap price. I am ok with $0.99 apps but free is even better. I am not completely cheap I paid for the garmin navigation app $35 and bought some other $5 apps but I wouldn’t spend that much on games that I often cycle through. Of course everyone wants a decent battery life and I am afraid that is the one thing I may have to give up with android.

  4. I know you didn’t ask me, but I would like offer how I buy.
    When I buy a device, I am looking at the hardware first.
    Screen size, processor, the other features have become standard, such as GPS, SD, WiFi.
    Screen tech has changed from resistive to capacitive, I like the sensitivity but I would prefer to be able to see like a fine point as I touch, my wife likes resitive to use a proper stylus cause her nails won’t work. The capacitive stylus we have is unreliable for me and borderline useful for her.
    I miss hard buttons. I want to push not just simply touch.I think maybe buttons are going away all together? That might not be so good. I like “Back” and “Home”. “Menu” is also useful.
    The OS is a seperate consideration. However with my current device I had to marry the two.Hardware and software
    I want to customize home screen live background, where my icons are, what my Widgets do, all the sounds,apps I want to load and use,direction I hold the device,key size on my keyboard,brightness.Privacy settings(if they even work)
    I miss the WinMo notification bar that took me to the battery stats, radio controller center, the time settings,(but it looks like Honeycomb brought that back).
    I had to change platforms to actually learn what was different, a store trial wasn’t enough to define what I wanted or needed or how I would end up using the device.
    OEM is a small consideration.
    Ultimately I have no control over either hardware or software, and have to swallow what they sell me. I do my best to learn what I am buying to make sure it will carry me happily for atleast two years.
    Peace

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