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Showing posts from October 25, 2009

Maybe I Am Getting Android

Having suggested that Android has some way to go in the usability stakes I got challenged to try living with it, so today has been a day of trying devices to see which fits best.
First was the HTC Hero - a popular device, available from many operators as well as SIM free from the usual suspects. HTC's TouchFlo/Sense shell blurs the boundaries between devices running different operating systems so this didn't seem a big challenge. However I did note that the Hero seemed to stutter under the weight of the interface. I did like the Scenes concept - a different interface for different occasions - but the pronounced 'chin' affects typing in landscape mode so I decided to look elsewhere.
The Tattoo has the same Sense UI, but the physically smaller screen has a lower resolution than any other Android device and is also the only resistive screened Android device too. The lower resolution means the Sense UI works better than on the Hero, but otherwise its a compromise device buil…

This Just Might Be the Droid We're looking For

Motorola have launched their second Android phone in the US and it looks a bit special. That's not because of the hardware which is still pretty good (its very thin for a keyboard packing device and has a high resolution screen) rather its the first appearance of Android 2 which makes this big news.

Android 2 packs an improved user interface and a significantly enhanced bowser which competes much more closely with Safari and Opera Mobile.

The Droid marks the first implementation of Google's new version of Maps with Navigation. The combination of Street View, Latitude and Voice Navigation will have dedicated GPS manufacturers quaking in their boots this morning.

Which phones will recieve an upgrade to Android 2 hasn't been disclosed yet, but I would guess that the Hero and Dext will be in that group, whilst the G1, Pulse and Tattoo might not.

In the light of this update I think I may have to revise my reservations on the Android OS - once I've tired the new version anywa…

Not Getting Android

I might be in a minority of one here, but I've spent some time with a good selection of available Android devices and, thus far, I'm struggling to see what appeals.

The home screen is different on each device I've tried and, other than the very Windows Mobile-like Sense on the Hero, somewhat random in its operation. The browser is some way behind Safari, Opera Mobile and Palm's WebOS browser in page rendering. The devices I tried had two email clients and an SMS app - contrary to the joined up thinking currently pervading networking.

There's also the small matter of branding. Android phones can be branded Android, Android with Google or Google. Each level indicates a different set of capabilities and, I imagine, will turn out to be hugely confusing for the average consumer.

The inability to sync with Exchange is going to cause issues with acceptance in business. Sure you can add-on the capability but IT departments have to look at the bigger picture and decide whethe…