Good morning, awesome people! Today I have brand new, shiny — and I DO mean shiny — toy from Verizon Wireless. It’s not another hotspot. It’s the DROID Charge by Samsung. At first glance, you may be like “Meh. Just another Galaxy S phone“, but the DROID Charge is much more.
For starters, it has a larger, 4.3″, Super AMOLED Plus screen. The “Plus” means that there are 50% more sub-pixels…mumbo-jumbo aside: Brighter, richer, more efficient. The front and rear cameras have been upgraded to 1.3MP and 8.0MP respectively. The rear camera includes a flash. The DROID Charge also has an HDMI output.
There are some little things that set this apart from the Galaxy S line. While it still sports Samsung’s TouchWiz UI, the color palette has gone from light blue to brown and orange. While I don’t mind the new colors for the main interface, the color palette extends into other apps. So if the developer doesn’t override all of the UI assets, there will be a brown header bar and tabs. Another small change is the charger and USB cable. A charger is a charger and a cable is a cable, but the ones that come with the DROID Charge are different than any of the other Samsung devices I’ve tested. Is this the first in a new line of Samsung devices?
The DROID Charge is the first 4G Samsung phone on Verizon Wireless and will be available on April 28th, for $299.99 (w/ new contracts, etc). I’ll be putting it though its paces for the next few days and we’ll see how it compares to the HTC ThunderBolt.
If you have any questions, or specific feature’s you’d like me to cover, shoot me a tweet (@breon).
Also, Verizon Wireless is holding another DROID Landing scavenger hunt! Follow http://twitter.com/droidlanding for more details. You could win your very own DROID Charge!
Official Press Release:
VERIZON WIRELESS UNLEASHES DROID CHARGE BY SAMSUNG
April 21, 2011
DROID CHARGE Joins Verizon Wireless’ DROID family As Samsung’s First 4G LTE Smartphone
BASKING RIDGE, N.J. – Verizon Wireless and Samsung Telecommunications America (Samsung Mobile) today announced that the Droid Charge by Samsung will be available April 28 in Verizon Wireless Communications Stores and online at www.verizonwireless.com.
The Droid Charge is designed with Samsung’s 4.3-inch Super AMOLED™ Plus display, setting a new touch screen standard for brightness, clarity and outdoor visibility. The Droid Charge is equipped with both a rear-facing 8 megapixel camera with LED flash and front-facing 1.3 megapixel camera for both stills and video chatting. The smartphone’s 1GHz application processor and HTML 5 Web browser maximizes high-speed 4G LTE connectivity for faster downloads and graphics processing.
- 4G LTE– customers can expect download speeds of 5 to 12 Mbps and upload speeds of 2 to 5 Mbps in 4G Mobile Broadband coverage area
- Android 2.2 platform – With support for Google Mobile Services including Gmail, YouTube™, Google Talk, Google Search, Google Maps and access to more than 150,000 apps available to download from Android Market™
- Adobe® Flash® Player compatible
- Mobile Hotspot capability – share 4G connection with up to 10 WiFi-enabled devices or a 3G connection with up to 5 devices
- Samsung Media Hub – Samsung’s own content service, offering a vast lineup of critically acclaimed films and TV programs for rent or purchase
- Virtual QWERTY Keyboard featuring Swype Technology
Pricing and data plans:
- The Droid Charge by Samsung will be available for $299.99 with a new two-year customer agreement.
- Droid Charge customers will need to subscribe to a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk plan and a 4G LTE data package. Nationwide Talk plans begin at $39.99 monthly access. Unlimited 4G LTE data packages start at $29.99 monthly access. Mobile hotspot feature will be included for a limited time at no additional charge.
Find the DROID Charge
Beginning April 21, anyone over the age of 18 can participate in an exclusive Droid Charge Scavenger Hunt. Follow the online clues to find hidden locations in 16 different cities to win a Droid Charge by Samsung. For additional information about the DROID Charge scavenger hunt, visit: http://twitter.com/droidlanding.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s fastest and most advanced 4G network and largest and most reliable 3G network, and serves more than 93 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 80,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.
About Samsung Telecommunications America
Samsung Telecommunications America, LLC, a Dallas-based subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., researches, develops and markets wireless handsets and telecommunications products throughout North America. For more information, please visit www.samsungwireless.com.
This week, Verizon Wireless and Motorola released the XOOM Android tablet. In my opinion, this is the first Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) tablet that will give the iPad a run for it’s money. It has a 10.1″ screen, NVIDIA Tegra 2 1GHz dual-core processor, 1GB RAM, 32GB on-board storage, 5MP back cam with flash, 2MP front cam, HDMI, 720P video recording and playback, and a ton of other features (full specs). As far as I can tell, Motorola and Verizon have not altered the operating system in any way. There are no V-Cast or MotoBLUR apps preinstalled. Google has updated the core apps for tablet consumptions; Gmail, Calendar, Browser, Camera, Gallery, Music. They’ve even included Movie Studio, which allows you to splice, trim, fade, title, score and add photos to your recorded videos.
It all started with the T-Mobile G1 in 2008; The first Android powered smartphone. 3.2″ screen, 528 MHz processor, 192 MB RAM, 256 MB ROM, QWERTY keyboard. It was a very underpowered device, but it set the wheels in motion. The Android revolution had begun.
Fast-forward to 2010. Google releases the Nexus One. The N1 was intended to be a “reference” phone. It had the latest hardware (1GHz processor, 512 MB RAM and ROM, 5 MP Camera), a larger, 3.7″, AMOLED screen with a higher resolution, and it ran vanilla Android. This phone (along with the previously released Motorola DROID) signified the start of “Gen 2″ in the Android universe. Throughout 2010, many manufactures followed suit, releasing phones with similar specs to the Nexus One. Some had larger screens. Some with QWERTY keyboards. Heck, a couple even saw a bump in processing power, to 1.2GHz. Never-the-less, they were all still pretty much Gen 2.
Fast-forward to present day…well, a few weeks ago. Consumer Electronics Show 2011 (CES) opens its door to the public. Traditionally, CES was all about audio and video products. Over the past decade, computers and other tech gear has started to infiltrate the show floor. Mobile phones and tablets have now carved out their own space. Manufacturers and carriers alike are using CES to announce upcoming products and services. Most of the phones shared some common attributes; larger screens, 4G technology, front-facing camera. But just a few stood above the rest. What makes these phones so special? Dual-core processors.
Motorola stole the show by announcing, not one, but two phones that feature dual-core processors. The Atrix 4G and the DROID Bionic. The Atrix 4G will be available on AT&T and features a 4″ qHD screen (540×960 @ 240 dpi), 1GHz NVIDIA Tegra 2 dual-core processor, 1 GB RAM, 5 MP rear camera and a .3 MP front-facing camera. Additionally, the Atrix 4G will have a whole host of accessories, including the standard-issue home and car docks. It will also have two specialty docks. The Laptop Dock has a large screen and keyboard. It gives you access to Firefox web browsing, as well as the ability to still access your apps and make calls. The HD Multimedia dock allows you to connect up to 3 USB devices, like a keyboard.
As the name suggests, the DROID Bionic is part of the Verizon Wireless’ DROID series. It has the same processor as the Atrix 4G. However, it only has 512 MB ram. Other differences include a 4.3″ screen (still qHD), 16 GB internal storage, and an 8 MP camera (with the front cam). It doesn’t look like the Bionic have the same accessory mix as its brother. I’d be willing to bet that there will be basic home and car docs. One neat feature of the Bionic is Mirror Mode.
Multiply your fun with Mirror Mode, which lets you enjoy all of your favorite apps, websites, videos, photos, and games full-screen on your larger home TV.
This is something that I’ve been looking for in a phone. It will be great to be able to demo apps for clients or for presentations.
Motorola isn’t the only manufacturer throwing their hat into the dual-core ring. LG announced the Optimus 2X some time ago and Samsung is teasing their next generation phone, just ahead of Mobile World Congress.
With Mobile World Congress and CTIA just around the corner, I expect that most of the hottest new phones will rock dual-core processors. Rumor has it that there will be quad-core phones out by December of this year. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Hello, Readers! It’s been awhile since we last chatted. A lot has happened. Let’s dive in.
This Week in Shameless Plugs
Mobile March is back! Recursive Awesome is, once again, a platinum sponsor for the event. Mobile March is a day-long (March 19th) event and will have two tracks, much like last year; Business and Development. Many speakers have already signed up to present. More are added everyday. What’s new this year? How about Mobile 3D? Mobile 3D (Demos, Dinner, and Drinks) will give developers and business a chance to show off their mobile apps and services. It will be held Friday night, before the event. The best part? It’s included with your Mobile March registration!
Well, it finally happened.. Today is the day that many an iPhone fan has been waiting for. The iPhone is now available on the Verizon network! It has been hailed for years as the day that Apple would have access to the 93 million subscribers in the US and annihilate any other smartphone on the market ( or that is what Apple would like to have you believe ).
After hearing this news today though, I paused and thought about exactly what this might mean to other mobile OS platforms on the market and in particular, Android. In short, I believe it really does little to harm the adoption of Android.
1. Android Has Gained Adoptance : Android has been steadily cementing itself as a true contender to the iPhone throughout 2010. Last quarter it outsold the iPhone in number of units sold both in the US and worldwide. Here in the US it’s a little closer, but worldwide Android is being purchased well more than iPhone and is closing in on Symbian.
Why does this matter? The iPhone on Verizon will use CDMA technology. The possible number of carriers and subscribers able to use CDMA is much smaller than what is currently used with a competing technology called GSM. GSM is more portable ( pop your sim card out and move to another phone ), is used by vastly more carrier worldwide and more importantly GSM allows for simultaneous data AND voice to occur at the same time. Remember those iPhone commercials where people are able to call someone AND surf the web at the same time? You won’t be able to do this on the iPhone with Verizon.
2. IPhone not a 4G Device : Not only will the iPhone on Verizon be a CDMA device, it won’t be running on the new LTE (4G) network that the Android smartphone coming out around the same time will be on. What does this mean? If users are looking for fast download speeds ( 12 – 25 Mb/s ), they should skip the iPhone and purchase one of the many Android devices with LTE on the market.
3. Users Are Stubborn : It’s hard for users to change devices. So many of Verizon’s users have bought Android phones. In fact, many phones were probably just bought this past holiday season. Sorry Apple, but these users are now Android users. If the iPhone would have been on Verizon BEFORE, say Thanksgiving or even earlier in the year, it would have carried more weight. But the millions of Android devices ( recall that 300,000 A DAY were being activated at one point ) this past holiday season are now Android users and as we all know, it’s very hard to get a user to convert from one platform to another.
4. Competition is good : The assumption has been all along that when the iPhone came to Verizon, the other platforms would not be able to step up and compete. If there is one thing that I have seen in the past year is that competition in the smartphone market forces companies to innovate and create new products, new ways of solving problems and new technology. Look at Windows Phone 7 for example. Microsoft has put out a very solid device in the face of strict competition. It’s still a first stab ( arguable a much better first stab than Google’s own G1 in 2008 ) and Microsoft is innovating by trying a different design approach and user experience than both Apple and Google. Likewise with Palm WebOS V2. It’s a risk, but something that companies need to do to compete. With the iPhone coming to Verizon, it just means that Google MUST continue to improve Android. It’s a win for Android users!
5. Need Other Carriers Besides Verizon : There is still T-Mobile, Sprint and many other networks around the world that after today still DON’T have the iPhone! Even though we will see many hundreds of millions of user’s having access to the iPhone while staying on a network running CDMA technology, there’s still many, many hundreds of millions more potential user’s that this announcement doesn’t affect. If the iPhone were suddenly announced on all of the carriers in the US and worldwide that Android devices were, this would be much more of a threat.
Some people might read this as a negative article, but in reality I welcome the iPhone to Verizon! The more devices that are accessible to user, regardless of the network are better for consumers. This whole idea of “exclusive” devices per carrier is quite maddening. Owning and using both an Android device and an iPhone, I enjoy each for its own merits. At the end of the day, people will buy what devices they enjoy using and won’t have to deal with carriers exclusive terms. I dream of a day when all phones are available on any network and the consumer has true choice. Until that day though, we’ll have to wait years for an announcement like we heard today and realize that things that maybe seemed so ground breaking in a carrier controlled world, actually aren’t all that special. If things were just more open from the beginning ( imagine the market share Apple would have today if the iPhone was available on all networks back in January of 2007! ), we would have increased competition, advancement in the technology and announcements like we heard today won’t be such a… hmm, what’s the word? meh.
It’s a short week, but there was no lack of mobile and web news.
With the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show just about two weeks away, the pre-conference rumors and reports are pouring in. I’ll be attending press conferences, industry sessions and hitting the show floor to bring you the latest and greatest news and info. Keep and eye on the Recursive Awesome Twitter, Facebook and Blog feeds!
Over the past few weeks, we here at Recursive Awesome were able to get our hands on the 2 mobile devices Palm is currently offering on the Verizon Network – The Palm Pre and Palm Pixi running their WebOS operating system.
At the end of the day, I must say I am fairly impressed with their offerings.
It wasn’t difficult to give them back and return to my Nexus One, but they definitely do a fit a certain niche in the market and I’m a little surprised that the Palm WebOS sales have slumped as bad as they have.
On one hand you have a major carrier like Verizon doing a fairly good job of promoting the device, both in stores and in print advertising. I can’t go more than a day or so without seeing another Palm commercial, billboard or sign on a bus or at my local light-rail station stop. It would seem that there would be a lot more excitement over the device with it’s somewhat unique design, flip out keyboard, snappy interface, multi-touch (Android just got this in its latest release), and now supporting video capture and Flash. It seems like the time would be right for Palm to make a major move in to the market. Alas, though, that may not be the case.
What’s To Like
The first thing that struck me when using both of these devices was the performance. Despite their small size, they both felt very responsive and able to do multiple tasks at the same time without much lag. In comparison to some of the smaller Android devices and first generation iPhones, Palm has a very good start. They seem to have done their homework in optimization of WebOS and keeping processes lightweight and execution times short during launch and usage.
Speaking of execution of apps, WebOS allows the user to run multiple application at the same time very easily. The Palm devices have a “flick” type of gesture support that you perform on the area below the screen. If you want to jump out of an application you swipe your finger (or thumb) vertically and you are presented with a scrolling list of applications that are running. You then can swipe side to side to select the application you would like to jump into. I found at first this a little different and cumbersome, as I was used to looking for an actual button to get out of an application (i.e. the home or close buttons on iPhone or Android). However, after playing with the phone for a hour or so, it actually became very easy to master and was a feature that I got very accustomed to and liked a lot. Interestingly , it seems that Palm agrees and realizes that it might take users some time to try out this swipe feature ( when you start up the phone for the first time, they force you through an entire tutorial and exercise on how to use this gesture feature ).
Another nifty feature is what Palm calls “Synergy”. It links together all of your contacts into one list, with calendars, and status updates pulled in from all of your various accounts (GMail, Yahoo, LinkedIn, Exchange, etc.).
I also personally like the fact that WebOS is built on top of the Linux operating system and all things being equal will support a company pushing the use of open source software over their own proprietary software and lock-in model.
What’s To Dislike
So, I’ve given a pretty good list of the likes, but what about some things that should be improved? Much of my dislikes revolve more around the hardware than the actual operating system itself. It might be because I’ve now gotten used to having a 3.7″ AMO-LED screen on my Nexus One, but it felt to me like the device was pretty cheap and not very sturdy. The screen seemed small and the device felt at times more like a toy than a true smartphone that would stand up to the test of time.
Another issue I had was with the keyboard. Neither of the Palm devices offer a virtual (on-screen) keyboard, so you are stuck using the physical keyboard on the device. While adequate I found the keys to be very small and difficult to use at times. They again felt cheap and found myself having to hunt for a number of different symbols and punctuation marks. Additionally, since the Palm Pre’s keyboard is hidden behind the screen, this requires you to pop the screen out vertically to access the keyboard. While this worked well, when the screen is open the device felt very top heavy and made using the keyboard not as nice as it could be, since I felt like the device was going to slip out my hands.
Finding and opening up the slot for the micro-USB plugin was not at all easy to use. Maybe over time the small plastic cover would be easier to open, but I found myself almost breaking the cover off trying to get access to charge and plug-in the phone.
Finally, and the most largest flaw with Palm (and probably the one that will ultimately prove to biggest hurdle) is getting application developers to create apps for this platform. At Recursive Awesome, we have done some work developing applications for these devices when it was first launched last summer, but since that time, none of our clients have been asking much at all about WebOS. If there are no applications being developed for the platform, end users certainly will suffer from lack of functionality of the device and certainly will start looking to other options of smartphones that they will purchase. While I have not seen any statistics on the true number of applications available, most think the number is in the few thousands, as opposed to the tens, or even more than one hundred thousand found on iPhone and Android.
So, who does this device work for? The prime target I see these devices working for are my parents generation. People that are not technology savvy users, that want a basic web experience with out all of the bells and whistles. I could see myself recommending this device to my mother or even grandmother for that matter. It still feels like a PDA however in some ways. Basic interface, somewhat intuitive to use (one you learn the gestures), and allows you to have all of your contacts and email in the palm of your hand.
In the end, it’s nothing really groundbreaking, but really an extension of some of the old palm devices I have owned in the past. That’s not to say that Palm is out of the game, but with the Windows Phone 7 coming out later this year, Palm will have a lot of competition on its hands. It already is a distant 4th on the smartphone circus behind iPhone, Android, Blackberry and without an injection of applications and buzz around the devices, 2010 might be the year that Palm is bought (or withers away in to the ether). Which is kind of too bad, since I do think that their WebOS, does provide some very useful and new ideas when it comes to interface design.
In honor of today being The Day that Android is officially released on the Verizon network, I thought it was fitting that I finally get the blog post out the door, that has been churning in my head all week. I’m also very deep in Android programming right now as I’m working to release another Android app for a client of mine, so Android and the future of the platform has been on my mind…
If you haven’t heard, or haven’t been watching TV or listening to the radio, the new “Droid” device, manufactured by Motorola and released on the Verizon wireless network was released today. I was lucky enough to be be invited by Albert Maruggi @AlbertMaruggi to a special Verizon Wireless pre-release” event last week to get my hands on this new device, give some initial feedback and take it through the paces. I was also able to take the phone home and have 3 days with the device and see how it performed. Finally, we all got Eclairs to take home (which were delicious by the way!) in honor of Android 2.0 being the code named “Eclair” release.
This entry will be some of what the device has done (or hasn’t done) for me, but I do have some video that I shot from using the device included near the end of this post. Just as some background, I came into this event and have been using Android since before it was officially released. I was one of the first people in line at the T-Mobile store to get my G1 and have been excited by the evolution of Android and how it was changed over the past year.
Before I start though, as a point of clarity, I don’t subscribe to the stories of “Droid is / not an iPhone Killer”. In fact, I’m very annoyed by seeing all of the articles with titles like this. The whole idea of one platform as “killing” another, really defeats the purpose of these devices and marginalizes what any device or platform will bring to market. Plain and simple, people who write articles like this and this are idiots. Want proof? Here’s an article that agrees with me. In fact, when I was at Google I/O in San Francisco earlier this year I was amazed when talking with a few Google engineers, just how open they were to competition. They really believe that competition and innovation is what is best of the consumer. It was refreshing to hear that they really weren’t all about trying to bash or take down the qualities of other devices out there. And therein is the beauty of Android. You have manufactures, focusing on what they do best (make good hardware) and Google focusing on what it does best (make good software and services). And now, you’ve got the network of Verizon to back this up.
OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Let’s talk about Droid!
Inside I believe that someone is either a physical keyboard user or a virtual keyboard user. That’s not to say that you can’t be trained and go from one to another, but intrinsically, I think a person will gravitate to one out of habit. I am definitely a virtual (soft) keyboard user. I liked my G1 when it had a physical keyboard, but I *REALLY* liked my G1, when we got the 1.5 update that contained the virtual (on-screen) keyboard. I just find it too awkward to have to pop/slide something out to type. Yes, you can leave the keyboard out all of the time, but I find the balance on most devices with the keyboard open to be odd and also, I prefer to view and browse sites in portrait over landscape mode. Plus, the more moving parts… the more parts that are likely to break! Thus, when I started working with Droid, I was not too impressed by the pop-out keyboard. Sure, it has back-lit keys and is OK to the touch, but the G1 keys pop out a little bit more and are actually easier to use in my opinion. The phone itself is a little boxy and I don’t understand why the screen doesn’t go all the way to the end – it kind of gives it, as Breon called it, the “inverted chin” that you may have seen with other HTC devices. I would have much preferred that the screen just go all the way to the edge. While the screen is absolutely gorgeous and supports thousands more colors than anything else on the market, I’m not sure if I’m really sold on the rectangular shape of the (854×480) shape of the screen. It’s too rectangular for me. I think maybe over time I might get used to it, but if they made the screen longer, I would have liked it if they would have bumped the width out a little bit as well. It has a long tight look too it – not my cup of tea, but is just my small nitpicking.
Overall, the phone performed flawlessly. It was by far the fastest phone I have used running Android. Part of that might be related to the speedy processor, and some might be Android 2.0. But I’m very happy to see that now Android is performing much better than the Google ION and G1 that I currently have. However, it is a little disappointing that Motorola couldn’t get the new 1Ghz Snapdragon processor in this phone, like you are going see with Sony’s X10 Experia Phone. Now, THAT is the phone that I can’t wait to try.
Here’s some rough hardware specs on the device if you are interested.
I think Motorola made some serious mistakes in the ergonomics of the device.
First, the sleep and power button are on the top. I love my Google ION (HTC Magic), because I can use just one hand to put it to sleep and then press the “menu” button to wake it back up again. Putting the button on the top was just stupid. It then always takes me two hands to pull it out of my pocket and wake it up. And then two hands to put it to sleep. Not easy to use.
Second, the volume is on the SAME SIDE as this power/sleep button. I found myself repeatedly adjusting the volume as I was putting the phone to sleep or waking it up. I can see why they had to put the volume button on that side (since the other side is the USB port for the cradle), but it’s seems like bad design and something that I know will drive some people crazy.
Third, holding and scrolling with my left hand caused some very odd behavior on the phone. It might be tough to explain and took me while to figure out what was going on, but at the bottom of the phone there are the 4 signature Android buttons – Back, Menu, Home and Search. Many of the other Android phones have these and this is no different on Droid. The problem is that they are capacitive buttons, which mean that it’s really easy to tap them by accident. When trying to scroll on webpages or in emails as I hold the phone and scroll with my thumb, the screen kept shooting back up to the top of the page! After playing around for a long time and talking with a friend about it, we came to the conclusion that it was my palm touching the far left button (“Back Button”) as I was scrolling. This causes the app to auto scroll to the top of the page. So much for walking to the bus stop in the morning and reading my emails and surfing with one hand. This by far was the worse user experience on the device.
With my 3 complaints aside, overall, the phone performs well and for most people that use two hands when using their phone, none of these issues will be a big deal. Just watch out for those capacitive buttons.
I installed a number of the apps from the market and everything I tried ran fine in Android 2.0 with the larger screen. I must applaud other Android developers for getting new versions of their apps out into the market so quickly and supporting Android 2.0. Besides Droid, there aren’t any other devices running Android 2.0, but I think that will changing in the next month or so, as I bet most all phone will be upgraded to Android 2.0 by the end of the year. Word on street currently, is that Google will have Android 2.1 out by the end of the year. Their development speed is really picking up! Verizon does have their own “tab” on the Android market, which I find is interesting, however, they have only developed 1 App for Android! That’s pretty lame guys. I applaud you for finally carrying the Droid, but now let’s see you develop some applications that use it as well. Their application is a visual voicemail application, that runs pretty good. It basically takes voicemails and converts them to text. Google voice does this already, so really there aren’t any unique apps by Verizon on the market. Would like to see them become more involved. Speaking of which… is Verizon even a member of the OHA?
I didn’t get a chance to really work through all of the specifics of Android 2.0, but a few high points that I saw as I was playing with the device.
A setting that allowed you to share files via bluetooth – very cool.
Cleaner and more crisp icons.
Soft Keyboard MUCH easier to use.
Auto brightness adjust based on ambient light – worked OK, but sometimes would change for no reason.
Google Navigator – Very sweet! I have a video demo of this below.
Google Services – This isn’t really an Android 2.0 thing, but I will reiterate that having all of your data “in the cloud” is super cool. I would have both the Droid and my Google ION on and all of the contacts, calendars, email, meetings, etc. were shared between the two since they both were accessing my same Google account! It just kind of brought it all home when I realized that I there was ZERO migration (besides apps), if I were to decide to move to another Android smartphone in the future. Very cool.
Here’s some video of the Droid in action!
Over the past week, a number of people have asked me what I think about Droid. Would I be willing changing to Verizon for this device? Is it an iPhone killer? (I won’t answer that last question) ;)
Well, here’s what I CAN say. I think Droid is a good device for someone out there, however that someone is not me. It’s not the fault of Android and it’s not the fault of Verizon or Motorola. It’s just that I’m very happy with my small compact Google ION (ie. myTouch) and there isn’t enough new on Droid to make me switch. In fact, there isn’t any other device (iPhone, Blackberry, Palm included) that makes me want to switch. My current Android phone from HTC is like little tank that keep on running. I have dropped it, kicked it, scratched it and it still keeps running. It’s small, very light, compact, can fit easily in my pocket and I can quickly pull it out and use it with one hand to get done what I need to get done. And I don’t have to baby it. The Droid is none of that for me, but it probably will be the right device for a number of other people out there. In reality, I see the Droid competing much more with Blackberry and Windows Mobile users. It’s those kind of users that I think will enjoy this device. Droid is just another option on the Verizon network for people that want a cutting edge, fast, large screen, multimedia capable smartphone backed by and integrated with all of their Google service.
Now, as some of you know, Verizon is releasing another droid phone called “Eris” today as well. Has anyone heard of that? Did people even know that “Droid” is more of a collection of phones than just 1 phone? It was pretty dumb move I think to market everything as “Droid”, but then say that you have a “HTC Droid Eris” and “Motorola Droid”. Plan on people being very confused at their local Verizon store today when they start checking out the new phone(s). However, as long as they buy one or the other and enjoy the Android experience, no one is the wiser. Android will continue to grow and developers like myself will continue to build apps. Speaking of apps… time to get back to that app. Time to run for now.
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