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Buh Bye WinMo

I’ve been low on ideas to write about but my man Keith just hooked me up with one:

I saw your post on Fuzemobility you were getting a nexus one.  I am thinking about getting one also and would love for you to write some sort of review about going from WinMo to Android and compare the two.

In terms of reluctance to ditch Windows Mobile for potentially greener but very different pasteurs I ranked up pretty high as someone who loved to get deep under the hood of my ROMs and cabs, so much so that I made websites about it. I love Google, but because I can’t exactly marry Google as someone here recently suggested, the next best thing was to take the plunge and see what’s doing with their operating system and this Nexus One they had HTC cook up for them.

I got it in the mail, opened it up (really nice packaging by the way), fired it up, noticed they were thoughtful enough to include an SD chip, I banged in my Google account and then everything I needed was laid out for me just the way I wanted it. No need to spend an hour in the settings as I would after a flash of a Windows phone, no need to mess with the registry or flash anything, just had to bang in my account and I began enjoying the phone right away, knowing fast that this was a good move on my part.

I began by having lots of fun with all the Google software including proper Google Voice, better Google Maps with Navigation, Google Buzz, Google Earth (that’s right), Google Goggles, Google Voice Search, Google Translate, Google Scoreboard, Google TTS, Google Sky, Google Shopper, Google Finance — Google Google Google. Seemless, awesome, everything most people need all laid out for them out of the box. Unlike with WinMo phones, you won’t find much help and tools to strip off the Google software as you would all the Microsoft and AT&T crap, not because that would be banned from the market, but because .. you know where I’m going with this.

Big fan of the Android Market. In addition to making it easy to find great software, plenty of which is free, really easy, easy enough that I have no intention of making a site like blownfuze but for Android, it’s also easy to pay for an application. I discovered this when I downloaded DopeWars, full version for free, and noticed a Donate version where all you have to do is hit that one instead and using your Google Account, Google Checkout makes the process smooth. First time I’ve ever bought software from a centralized distribution system. I couldn’t even tell you how to find Microsoft’s .. equivilant.

It’s nice to think that with Android developers have a less infintesimal shot of making money and maybe that’s why so many are flocking to Android. I redistributed hundreds of XDA-born applications for WinMo and I do not know of one of those developers ever having made anything significant, let alone money to match all the hard work and time they put into their software that made Microsoft’s mobile operating system a little less shitty. Here they have a chance, and on a platform that, unlike both Apple and Microsoft, is very welcoming to programmers.

Back to Android, no longer needing to reboot is a welcome feature. GPS works so well these people don’t even know what assisted GPS means. If you think you’re going to lose out on all the geeky oddball programs you find on sites like XDA by going to something apparently more mainstream, wrong. I’ve got a war driving application, a metal detector, a police siren light thing to help you through traffic (and into jail), port scanner, web server monitor, guitar tuner (and it actually works on this phone), ssh client, awesome RSS reader that is linked up to my Google Reader, Swype, Opera, a Daft Punk synthesizer tool, I got Herm’s Dog Whistler, VNC client, encrypted photo gallery, I got a VLC remote control to control my computer’s porn playback without having to reach forward as closely, I got a thing that will let me control my computer’s uTorrent, I got a nice  a WordPress client — are you getting the picture yet? No need to camp out on XDA to make your phone do what you want — though it’s there if you want it.

It’s so fast. It’s so thin. The auto rotation is actually worth leaving on because there’s no huge lag with that or with the soft keyboards as their was with WinMo. Great camera. Beautiful screen. Nice not needing a stylus. At first you’ll think, hey, where’s the stylus? Maybe I should use my old stylus? Nope, Google got it right, an interface that fingers can control just fine. The battery lasts much longer than the Tilt 2’s did even though it’s actually a smaller battery, and even with liberal brightness and data connection settings. I use the hell out of this phone and I have yet to need to use the spare I bought. Don’t even carry it around like I did with my old Windows phones. And I can tether with the thing but I still haven’t tried it because with this phone, or I imagine with the Desire and Incredible and soon the Evo 4G you’ll find yourself not using your laptop.

So Keith there’s my Android schpeel for you and any other of you poor souls still wandering around WinMoLimbo. Do it. Rip the dirty Windows band-aid off right now before you get gadget gangrene.

Doug Simmons