I decided it was time to upgrade my phone … and switched to an Android based phone. I got a Motorola ATRIX.
I was split between the ATRIX and the HTC Inspire … the Inspire has better battery life and a bigger screen, but the ATRIX has expandable memory and a front facing camera.
The primary reason for switching was so I could do mobile app development … I’ve got a few ideas for apps in my head and didn’t want to invest in a Mac just so I could develop them. Android apps are developed in Java and the SDK is free (and Eclipse based).
It’s going to take a bit of time to get used to the new user interface … but so far I’m liking it a lot.
I was quite surprised when I found out I would be able to keep my unlimited data plan (although AT&T is throttling people who actually use their unlimited data plans now).
When I got my first iPhone, AT&T was still offering unlimited data … and, although they terminated the offering when the iPhone 4 came out, I knew we would be grandfathered in if we stuck with iPhones. I did not expect to be grandfathered in if I upgraded to a non-iPhone device.
So I got the phone, paid the $99 (plus $18 activation fee, which I think is silly) and was on my way.
It’s certainly going to take some getting used to … it’s very different than the iPhone. It does have some really nice features though …
- Voice input mechanism (although sometimes it takes an excessive amount of time to initialize. Once it does initialize, it’s quite accurate.)
- Notification’s on the top bar.
- Social media integration.
- Centralized inbox (although the iPhone had this too, Android’s is much better).
- Screen widgets.
- Google voice for voice-mail.
- Fingerprint reader to unlock the phone.
I did have some problems getting the mail application setup … but that’s another post.
I only have a few gripes about the phone …
- The power / sleep switch is kind of awkward to use.
- The alarm clocks don’t have the ability to not use snooze.
The phone initially had Android 2.2 installed (Froyo) … but the over the air update worked like a champ and it’s currently running 2.3 (Gingerbread).
One thing I noticed … and I knew this before … the UI is not as polished as the iPhone’s. I would not recommend an Android phone for someone who is not comfortable with computers. The iPhone I would definitely recommend to someone who’s not necessarily comfortable with computers.
Speaking of which … before you ask … I’ve already promised my iPhone to my Dad. He’s grumbling a bit about having to get a data package, but he’ll get the minimum. I think he’ll be fine as long as he doesn’t stream any video. When the next iPhone comes out, Ginny will probably be getting that … and her old iPhone is already ear marked for my Mom.
There will probably be a fair number of posts on the topic of Android in the future … especially since I’m currently in the process of installing the SDK and Eclipse plug-in. Watch this space.