Having fun with Android

For the past few days, I have been playing with an HTC Nexus One running 2.2.1 of the Android OS (or Froyo).  It’s quite polished, extremely fluid and really fast.  Its also far from perfect, but very close.

After so much time with the iPhone, Nokia and Blackberry Android is a really refreshing change. Like most things it takes a bit of getting used to but it’s far from hard and quite consumer friendly.

The multitasking is awesome and as far as I can tell is actually multitasking unlike iOS. Pages load in the background, apps download in queue and its very smooth.

The thing I like the most is how contextual things are … and his how well considered this is with regard to the multitasking.   You first get a glimpse of how this works with the slick notifications system. As you respond to incoming messages you simply slide back to where you were. In maps, you can go between shopping, latitude, buzz and navigation in rapid succession. A simple back tap can go back to the prior app or screen within an app. These sheets are similar to how the blackberry manages things from the inbox but Android does it everywhere. 

My main issues are the lack of system memory and battery life. I’m very interested in what 2.3 (Gingerbread) can bring and really want to try an even higher resolution screen.

9 comments for “Having fun with Android

  1. varun
    11/8/2010 at 2:06 am

    I’m surprised that you found the touch screen acceptable. My main problem with the N1 has been the touchscreen’s poor performance – either hypersensitive, or completely unresponsive – and it’s odd placement relative to the capacitive buttons, which make it too easy to trigger the button instead of typing, say, a space.

    The other major change that confused me when I moved was the whole white text on dark background. Coming from the relatively bright dark text on light background on the iPhone and BB, this was something of a shock. Took me way back to my S60 days.

  2. 11/8/2010 at 2:08 am

    I’ve hit the home button countless times, but have figured out that the buttons seem to want a “from above” angle vs the iPhone’s direct.

    like all all keyboards you have to really use it … I wrote this post on it without any issue.

  3. 11/8/2010 at 2:18 am

    Interestingly, both of your complaints (system memory and battery life) are hardware issues specific to your device, not the platform (though pretty much every Android device I’ve seen has crappy battery life, lol).

  4. 11/8/2010 at 2:19 am

    the camera could be better, but I’m not looking to replace my iPhone. I’m looking to kill the BB and this easily does it. Though there are so many new android devices popping up, I’ll have to wait to see which one to buy. This one is just a loaner.

  5. Jonathan
    11/8/2010 at 2:25 am

    Incredible that the Nexus One has impressed you so much since it was release almost an entire year ago. I think that really speaks volumes about the device and vanilla Android overall. With my Nexus One in my pocket, your thoughts only help me reassure myself that I’m not crazy for wanting to keep it even now; it really is that exceptional!

  6. 11/8/2010 at 2:28 am

    I was surprised as well. Saw my co-worked zooming through screens and the integrated contacts (links to call, txt, last.fm facebook, twitter) and knew I wanted to check it. If the damn memory full messages were gone, I’d be very happy. I’m already used to recharging as I go through the day.

  7. Jonathan
    11/8/2010 at 4:04 am

    Then you should be glad to know that what Ricky said is very true. Most newer Android devices aren’t plagued with low memory errors because they have a significantly larger partition for internal storage. Aside from that, if you get ambitious enough, you can root the Nexus One and configure a more aggressive way to move apps to the SD card, regardless of whether or not the developer has written them to do so. As a fan of custom ROM’s that are nearly stock (for the better battery life), I had to utilize the same fix myself.

    Looking forward to more of your thoughts as you get more comfortable using Android.

  8. Jonathan
    11/8/2010 at 4:04 am

    Then you should be glad to know that what Ricky said is very true. Most newer Android devices aren’t plagued with low memory errors because they have a significantly larger partition for internal storage. Aside from that, if you get ambitious enough, you can root the Nexus One and configure a more aggressive way to move apps to the SD card, regardless of whether or not the developer has written them to do so. As a fan of custom ROM’s that are nearly stock (for the better battery life), I had to utilize the same fix myself.

    Looking forward to more of your thoughts as you get more comfortable using Android.

  9. 11/16/2010 at 5:03 pm

    My G2 has 1.23GB (yes, GB) free after I installed all my apps on the stock ROM. More than enough. 🙂

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