The positive reasons why I moved to Android are that it is new, I wanted to play with it, I love Linux, I think Google is on to a good thing, and I can put my music on my phone without the need for software that doesn’t run under Linux*. I switched from an iPhone 3G to a Motorola Atrix … and wow the change is unbelievable. I know I was using very old technology**, but even comparing the performance of this phone to various iPhone 4 phones, I haven’t yet seen one perform as well. After about a month of ownership, I don’t think I can name anything I really dislike about this phone***. There are, however, things I had trouble with at first and had to fix.
Edit (8/24): Corrected “iPhone 4” reference. Added Amarok2 remote app to the “things I just love”.
Edit (8/24): Added FTP app (like)!
** by today’s standards
*** stupidity of sticking with AT&T notwithstanding.
The battery life really sucks if you leave the screen brightness on, up, or on automatic. I’ve found I have to put the handy control bar on my home page so I can turn up the brightness if I’m outside and want to use the phone, and then turn it down again. As a result, the battery life went from lousy to insanely good.
It’s a little different from the iPhone. The big thing is to learn how to use the help and understand that you can tap on any word and alternate spellings will be shown for you. This trumps the iPhone (3G?) soundly in this regards. Updates in Gingerbread (see below for that awesomeness!) made word highlighting even better.
Being Linux-y, this is more like a pocket computer. Tasks start and they run until you stop them. If you don’t stop them, they can suck up memory, CPU time, and power. However, the built-in task manager has an auto-kill list that works nicely. There are some things you shouldn’t put there (like anything that looks like a system application) and so far learning-by-mistake has not resulted in a dead phone.
I disliked that I can’t control the number of screens (or pages, or whatever they’re called). I’d like to reduce them and have my own… and start from the left and have the others “to the right”. The fix was to get used to it and organize my information better and more usably.
Randomly Stops Playing Music
I ride the train to work. I have found that as the phone switches cells this causes some kind of connectivity issue for the phone and the music player will stop playing. I’ve filed a bug on this. The solution is to connect to the train’s wifi. No ideal, but works for now.
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In addition to the things I had to fix, there are things I just love about this phone.
There’s are FTP applications that will let me SFTP files from my phone to my computer. I can cut and paste files from my phone to my desktop computer over my wireless network. This right here is a “technology is awesome” moment.
Netflix Streaming Content
For various reasons, being able to be entertained while trying to fall asleep is sometimes helpful for me. Being able to watch streaming content on my phone is far more useful, far more amusing, and getting far more use than I ever thought it would.
Google Contact and Calendar Sync
For a long time I resisted putting much information into The Google. This, however, has become very handy. One place to keep my contact information and if I change my phone, sync’ing is supremely easy. Convenience won out here. As for the Calendar, I keep everything really vague and in my own short-hand. I’m the only person who is (or should be!) looking at it, so that works for me.
Fingerprint Scanner Unlock
This is just way cool and it’s hard to find more words than that to say for it.
Variety of Weather Apps
I’m not a weather junky, but I do need to know the weather for two, well-separated regions (home and work). Being able to do this easily is nice. Accuweather on the iPhone was crashing often for me and some of their updates to it had removed usefulness. Perhaps it was the older phone itself, but this is something this move/upgrade resolved for me.
Calendar on the Home Page
I ask the same question every day: what am I doing? As long as I remember to put things in my calendar, that question is easily answered.
It’s Still an MP3 Player
There’s an Amarok2 Remote App
I run Linux at home (Kubuntu) and use Amarok as my music player. I’ve been looking for a way to remote control it because I use a KVM which has my connect-to-work laptop on it too. That there is an app to remote control Amarok is awesome. I’ve heard there is something for iTunes on the iPhone which is also cool — but my use case is Android+Kubuntu, so this app won a little piece of my heart.
OS Upgrade Didn’t Nuke My Info
One thing I had accepted, which appeared obvious from other android phones, is that I was going to be stuck with this OS version unless I wanted to jailbreak the phone. Apparently Google and AT&T decided to change this approach and are now pushing out OS updates to the phones. So not only did I get upgraded to Gingerbread (2.3.4), but NOTHING got paved like how things would happen with iOS upgrades. My contacts, email, music, calendar, apps, etc. were all intact afterwards. That was just freaking awesome
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The Bottom Line
If a person wanted an Android phone, I would have no problems recommending this unit. However, I would otherwise recommend something from Verizon if good nationwide coverage is what you need.