Saturday, May 01, 2010

Smartphone : Android World

Ever since i decided to move to Smartphone, its been a long wait but it started with: ANDROID. Any honest Smartphone should replace many devices like – mp3player, USB drive, GPS, camera etc (all in one package) & helps you to stay connected (Email/Twitter etc) << need of which is getting more & more these days [at least for me its not a want anymore... but has become a "need"], so the decision/choice has to be careful & measured. But that’s not where the story ends... this just marks the beginning of a big pain - One of choosing; which is not an easy part & means spending a lot of time re-searching, reading reviews/blogs to figure out what is good or bad, best available options & more importantly what's futuristic etc etc…..

TIP: Search should begin with Mobile OS then handset & ends with the connection/ provider selection for DATA plan in your region/area. So now you know the trick Mob OS > Handset > Provider << but i am not going to help you with that. I am here to share only my views about what i opted for & my experience with it. Feel free to share your experience/thoughts…..

So what are the Mobile OS options available in INDIA
  • Symbian – Lots of handset options/ Safe /tried & tested /N number of apps
  • iPhone OS – What handset options? / Pricey / Only touch screen (not my way)/ many apps
  • Google Android – Open Source /Limited handsets presently/thousands of free apps
  • Win Mobile 6/6.5 – Lets talk once Win Mob 7 is out
  • Blackberry – Mostly for business users /closed society/forum /doesn’t attract youth looking for more social apps & trendy handsets. ScrCap2010-05-01_171152
I decided to go with android which made choosing the handset easy >> Samsung SPICA since there aren't many options available here (India) presently & at the cost of 12.5K (around 300$) its a deal worth every penny just for the hardware >> 3.2 inch capacitive touch screen, 800Mhz CPU, 3.2 MP camera, GPS, Wi-Fi, 3.5mm headphone jack, 1500 mAh battery & DIVX/XVID support, check full specs here

ANDROID Review
: It takes a little getting used to in knowing the Google way of mobile but once you figure out what & where, its not that hard. Soon you realize that few things are missing & that's where android market/apps come in to fill the gap. Not to mention that if you buy SPICA or any other mobile with Android 1.5/1.6 you will surely begin to miss Android Éclair 2.1 [i like higher numbers] for an enjoyable experience & get the best out of your mobile. Before i get into the good & bad let me share the apps i liked & believe to be must have’s
# Swype Keyboard                         # Net Counter
# Tweet Caster                             # My Tasks
# Root Explorer                             # Open Home
# Task Killer                                 # Opera Mobile
# Pure Grid Calendar                      # Contact2Sim
# Handcent SMS                           # Fring
# Battery Indicator
Yes, there are some issues with Android 1.5 (e.g:Bluetooth) & 1.6 is also not enough. Though Samsung has promised official 2.1 ROM for SPICA but the wait seems to be getting longer & longer which make many go this way. Ahhh, this post is not about the mobile rant so lets move back to android.

The GOOD:
Since the ANDROID has arrived, things are different. Here’s why:
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If your online life is mostly Google then there isn’t a better Smartphone/mobile OS which can provide seamless connectivity with Google services & apps.
Now, Apple iPhone is not the only one which can supply grooviest touch experience; with a bit of tweaking & some good apps android touch experience can be much more fun.
Multitasking with Android - it just gets better & easier-to-use in few days usage.
Transferring music and videos into the phone is as simple as drag and drop files. Though there is no syncing, no easy way to get your music library onto your phone but i guess there must be an app available or out soon. Not to mention Android Market has over 10,000 apps
Handset options - more & more are adding to the list plus every vendor is coming up with its custom interface & UI on top of android (world of open source). So more choices………..

The BAD:  Few things you need to take care of once you go for any ANDROID basScrCap2010-04-24_235241ed device/mobile.
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× With great OS (Android) comes free apps & with free apps comes free ADS which use your data plan/packet data at their volition. (& That’s how Google managed to bestow ads to your mobile :-))
× OPT for a good DATA plan or the ads will show up in bill amount. Once you insert the SIM card, its like always connected.
× When installing any app check if the app is asking for the access to right stuff (controls/apps). e.g.: i never understood why a game need to access my contacts. Expect AV's & firewalls for android as must haves << very soon.
× Yes the OS holds a lot potential but it also provides a big platform for many to crack into your personal stuff with a single bad/free app. Some sort of security mechanism is needed so that it can become a device for everyone & not just the geeks. 

As i mentioned earlier i don’t like to use touch screen all day long for texting, tweeting & calling. So i bartered my phone with CodeBlog (brother) for Nokia E63 & we both are happy with the deal till now :-)

e63blackVerdict: I would love to go for android mobile/device again, once we have lots of android 2.1 based devices available in this part of the world (INDIA) with a good QWERTY attached to them. And the options have just recently started to come up e.g.: Motorola Milestone or i might go for something like ADAM (tablet by Notion-Ink, INDIA) which can do much more than shiny iPad, can replace many other devices & easily be your web/study companion. Well that’s all for now !!!! -- @sorabhk5

Quote of the Post:

People can have the Model T in any colour--so long as it's black. - Henry Ford

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So Far So Good - But if I dont like what you say >> might have to delete it :)