Friday, November 13, 2009

Followup on Droid

As you know if you read this site, I got a Verizon/Google Droid to replace my iPhone last week. Having had a full week to play with it, here's my followup on my original take:

  • The keyboard is nowhere near as annoying as I thought. I am back to iPhone typing speed, and perhaps a bit faster.
  • The camera app is still annoying. It's hard to press the camera button long enough to get the app to come up without having it snap a shot immediately, and saving a photo will cause music to skip.
  • Initially I thought the lack of a sleep mode (for playing music when I go to bed) was going to annoy me, but as Apple says, there's an app for that.
  • Music management is more tolerable since I started using MediaMonkey, an iTunes-alike that handles just about any device. This also does smart playlists ala Apple, but the free version doesn't have that feature ($20 for the pay version).
  • Dropped WiFi connections are still a bit of a pain, but not as bad as I'd feared. The phone takes longer to recover than the iPhone, but it does so. Weak WiFi is actually more of an issue, especially for file transfers (e.g. app installation).
  • A week in, and I'm getting used to the combined messaging features, but popup would be a nice option.
  • I do like the Exchange integration for the iPhone better than for the Droid, but that's a relatively minor issue. They both work.

I still don't think the Droid is an iPhone killer, but then it doesn't have to be. There will always be a core loyal audience for the iPhone, and if this phone cured cancer, I don't think they'd give it up. On the other hand, the Droid is comparable on every level, and better in a few key areas such as navigation and openness.

If you have a Google Apps account (e.g. for work, school or a vanity domain), then you really should get an Android phone. It's capable of syncing from both your normal Google account and your Apps account for mail, calendar and contacts, which is pretty huge. Oddly, though, it won't do IM through Apps as far as I can tell.