And Now I’m a Droid

Android … to be specific.

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 …

  1. Voice input mechanism (although sometimes it takes an excessive amount of time to initialize.  Once it does initialize, it’s quite accurate.)
  2. Notification’s on the top bar.
  3. Social media integration.
  4. Centralized inbox (although the iPhone had this too, Android’s is much better).
  5. Screen widgets.
  6. Google voice for voice-mail.
  7. 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 …

  1. The power / sleep switch is kind of awkward to use.
  2. 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.

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