Droid 1 Week Later

  I bought my Droid a week ago on the hopes I could have an awesome phone on Verizon. I am a fan of the iPhone and think that it is the best phone if you want smartphone/media/huge app store. I also am beginning to despise the closed system model, when cool apps get rejected. That aside, I have had the original iPhone and all 3 versions of the iPhone OS plus 2 Generations of iPod Touch. I have gotten tired of AT+T’s poor service in my area and gone back to Verizon only to relent and get another iPhone. I have gone back and forth for awhile now. I have also had on Verizon: Motorola Q, Blackberry Curve, BlackBerry Storm, Blackberry Curve, and finally a plain LG ENV. So I have been on Verizon with the ENV and just using my iPod Touch on WiFi. That worked ok, but when you are away from easy WiFi it is not fun. So along comes Android. I was excited about the potential of Android months ago when the G1 came out. I thought it had potential. It did not excite me enough to move to T Mobile. I told the folks at work that when Android came to Verizon it 2 things would happen. Number One, it would be a game changer on the network with the best service but worst phones and Number Two, I would have one. Well, I have had my Droid so let’s review.

   If you are happy with AT+T’s service then the Droid isn’t for you. Most of these folks have and iPhone. I do not have good AT+T service and when I do have service, there isn’t even 3G yet. Of course they charged me the new 3G Data rate when the iPhone 3G came out. So Verizon is my network of choice. The Droid is in my opinion the best phone on Verizon currently. I think Verizon has partially realized they need to get some decent phones in their line up and fast. Since I have had the Droid I have not carried my iPod at all. Some of the features I enjoy in the Droid are:
  • High Resolution Touch Screen (It is very sharp and clear)
  • Slick User Interface
  • 5.0 Megapixel Camera with Flash and Autofocus (Which makes it good for barcode scanner apps to shop for deals. Also, it does video. It works well with the Qik app, which I found out on accident when I accidentally streamed a video of my foot from my Droid to the web.)
  • Open App Development (It has most of the Apps I used daily in the Android Market already. I am sure due to the popularity of the Droid more Apps are coming. I e-mailed Audible and they say an Audible Android App is in the works. Audible has a BlackBerry App, so I thought why not Android too?)
  • Native Google Voice App (Oh snap! Google Voice on Android is awesome and it wasn’t rejected from the Android Market)
  • E-mail Integration (It loaded all my e-mail accounts with no problem. Of course it sync’ed all my data from gmail, Google Calendar, and my gmail contacts too. 
  • Slide out keyboard (Not the greatest and probably not good for folks with larger hands. I mainly use the virtual keyboard which is quite useable)
  • Google Places Directory (is a great App it shows places and services where I live which is the middle of no where.)
  • Google Listen (is a good Podcatcher and always me to listen to my favorite Podcasts on the way to work.)
  • Droid can be mounted as a drive to move files and folders from your computer. 
   There are some nice features to the Droid and I am very glad I got it. I am definitely keeping it. It will be my one device and I am ok with that. They Droid can be sync’ed with iTunes using a program called Salling Medic Sync. It works well for what I use it for. There are some downsides but not many. The Droid can get a little warm at times during heavy use. The music player isn’t as slick as an iPod/Phone but it very usable and works. The camera can be a bit quirky when starting it, I think this will be fixed in a software update next month. It is a bit heavier than an iPhone, but to me feels more durable. 
   This is just my opinion, take it for what it’s worth. I am sure of one thing though. The competition in the Smartphone space has officially begun.
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Windows 7 RC

As of this moment I am using the Release Candidate of Windows 7 on my computer. I really like Windows 7. I have been using it for awhile now with no problems. All my programs run in it just fine. I like to so much that I pre-ordered the final release version of Windows 7 on Amazon at the special limited time pricing. I have to thank my Twitter friends for pointing out that you could pre-order Windows 7 at a reduced cost for a limited time. So I jumped on that offer. If Microsoft keeps putting out products like Windows 7 and Bing (which is much sole search engine now) they are well on the way back to there former glory in my opinion.

Vista

   Having sold my Macbook to a help pay for medical bills and also to prepare for the eventual shift to an iMac has taught me some things. I have a Dell laptop that I was using because one on my online classes would not run on OSX on the Mac. I bought the Dell instead of getting VM Ware and a copy of Windows for the Mac. Even before the Mac was my sole machine, I tended to use the Dell more because it has a 15 inch screen and the MacBook only had a 13 inch screen. I put Windows 7 Beta on the Dell and loved it. It was much faster booting and loading programs than Vista and I liked the updated UI. I eventually put Vista back on because the Beta has an expiration and I would have to reload Vista eventually. So having used Vista for awhile now, I have to say it isn’t that bad. It is no Windows 7 by any shape or means. But Vista has been a stable OS for me. For the things that I use my computer for Vista works well. I don’t really see why people bash on Vista and stick to XP. I personally hated XP. XP crashed and locked up on me constantly. XP was nowhere near as secure as Vista is. So in the short amount of time I have to wait until Windows 7 is released I am fine using Vista. Also, I discovered I really don’t think I am going to buy an iMac. I like the portability of a laptop. To get a laptop with this size screen in a Mac I would have to get a Macbook Pro. I am not spending that kind of money on a Mac. Mac are intel machines the same as my Dell is. There is no hardware difference. It is just cosmetic. Maybe some bells and whistles with the track pad. The main difference of course between Mac and Windows is the OS. I just don’t see myself again paying all that money for OSX. It just doesn’t make fiscal sense in these tough times to be spending the extra money. I am planing on buying a netbook. It won’t be the rumored Apple netbook, either. It will be a Dell with Windows 7 on it. If Windows 7 stays as good as the Beta was, then I don’t see myself going back to Apple for computers. iPods and iPhones, yes. But not computers. Apple is going to have to pack a whole lot of compelling new features to get me to buy another Mac. Or they will need to bring their prices down to where real life working people can afford them. So the moral of the story is that for now, “I’m a PC”.

Windows 7

I have to admit I was curious. I downloaded and installed Windows 7 on my spare Dell laptop. I got it working on there with some tweaking of the video drivers. I have to say that I really like Windows 7. It is a smooth clean interface. It is much faster than Vista ever was. I think Microsoft finally is heading in the right direction. It won’t make me give up my Mac. I think Windows people will really like it though. The release of this OS will help Microsoft get over the public relations nightmare that was Vista.

Palm Pre

  I have been hearing since CES that the Palm Pre is going to be the next “iPhone Killer”. I find that hard to believe. No phone is all things to all people. Even the iPhone itself lacks some things like cut and paste and MMS support. To think the Palm can beat the iPhone is a bit hard to swallow. It is way too early to label a phone an iPhone killer even before it is released. The BlackBerry Storm was supposed to be an iPhone killer, but got killed by itself. Even if the Palm Pre is an impressive device upon release one thing is true. No one phone is everything to everybody. No phone manufacturer is going to put in all the features we think they should. Until then they will all fall short under the scrutiny.

iPhone

Having had several phones now, I guess I am an expert of sorts. I keep leaving the iPhone to go back to Verizon. The thing is Verizon has no phones that compare to the iPhone. They pinned their hopes on the BlackBerry Storm. The email integration is nice. The Storm falls short. It reboots often. It loses calender data. I had high hopes for it. But I have once again switched back to the iPhone. It is rock solid and reliable. The only major drawback is AT+T. It is not my network of choice. I will have to live with it to have the best phone out there.

Google Android

I looked at the pictures of the Google Android phone when it was announced. I have to say I like what I have seen so far. It has copy and paste which is a nice feature. It also will have the Amazon MP3 store built in. It is an open platform which means we may see applications like “Podcaster” on the Google G1. Apple rejected “Podcaster” from inclusion in it’s app store which angered many iPhone users. The G1 will also support MMS which is another feature sorely lacking in the iPhone. It is only being released on T-Mobile for now. If Verizon gets a Google phone, I will definitely be trading in my iPhone.