Opinions Of Google Android, From an iPhone User's Perspective

If you've been reading the news, active in the blogosphere, or are just into technology in general, there's no doubt that you've heard about the T-Mobile G1 - the first mobile phone being sold and packaged with Google's Android operating system.

I've been waiting for a new cellphone OS to come out for a long time, like, you know, since the iPhone was released... it seems so long ago.  Maybe I'm just addicted to phones.  Apparently, I have "iSyndrome," according to one of my closest colleagues.

But, I digress.  Since I'm really into mobile tech, I just have to weigh in with my opinions on the G1 and Android in general.  I haven't had the privilege of playing with Android in person, so everything I'm about to say is based on what I've read and seen.  I'd love to hear comments from people who actually own the phone.  I may be wrong on some of these things, too, since I haven't tested it in person :)

What I Like About Google's Android

  • The Screen Lock Pattern:  This is more of a big deal than it looks.  Instead of having to "slide to unlock," and THEN put in my passkey - I can kill two birds with one stone.
  • Tight Integration with Google Maps and Street View: this is slick.  The iPhone has maps built in, too, and it's well integrated, but it somehow seems a little "tighter" in Android.
  • Application "Drawer":  This is a really cool way to stow away the apps you don't use that often, and to drag out the ones that you do.  Much better than having all your icons display and getting frustrated trying to order them around :(
  • The Long Press:  Like a right click, to bring up alternate options.  Kinda like the long press in Windows Mobile.  I like it.
  • Widgets for the phone's desktop:  This is another awesome feature - the ability to organize your phone's dashboard display just the way you like it.  I don't think you can download new widgets now, but even the possibility is exciting.
  • Android Market:  Totally open, unlike the iron fist that is the App Store. 
  • The notification bar:  My favorite feature.  I am so sick of the popup windows for my calendar/text messages on my iPhone.  In fact, they've actually crashed my phone while I was in the midst of doing something else.  I also like that message previews will actually scroll by without the need to acknowledge them or taking up your whole display.  Awesomeness.

What I Don't Like About Google's Android

  • Web Browser still isn't Mobile Safari:  Scrolling appears kinda jagged, and no multi-touch is disappointing.
  • No Desktop Syncing:  Since I sync everything with MobileMe, the Google phone doesn't do me much good in that regard.  A desktop syncing solution for Macs as well as PC's would be great.
  • No Exchange Support:  I don't care about this, since I don't use Exchange right now - but what if I have to in the future?  Apple got on board, so should Google.
  • 1GB Data Cap Through T-Mobile:  Ugh.  Words cannot express... 


From a guy who relies on his cell phone heavily to stay connected to everything from RSS feeds, to calendars, to email and just about everything, I'm intrigued by G1 and the Android interface.  I want desperately to get a chance to try one out.

That being said, I'm just too married to how my iPhone integrates with my computing life and links everything together with MobileMe.  If Android somehow supported syncing with MobileMe, I'd be in heaven - since Android addresses a lot of things I don't like about "my precious."

Maybe if I can snag an unlocked one at some point, I'll give it a try :)


Mr. Redmer:
I noticed that you live in Forest Park, IL, very close to where I was born - Oak Park, IL. This is a piece of gadget tech you might not have known about. The plumbing basin wrench was invented in the 1920's by a plumber who worked out of Oak Park and River Forest. The original name of the wrench was called the Andree Wrench. I have one of the originals and stamped on the wrench is a patent date of May 10, 1921. The wrench to day is made by the Ridged tool company and has changed very little from the one I have, which is still usable.

Just thought you would like to know this piece of trivia.

I am a historian from around Oak park River Forest in Elmwood Park. Your story about your tool should be documented. I hope he made enough money to actually live in town as many contractors only visit this mansion community. These houses are built like schools or public buildings. I too collect tools and radio/TVs made around area. Someday a museum will house Chicago's contribution to technology. Save your tool till then or pass down to family with story....THANKS Scott


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