I’ve had the Droid (affiliate link) for a week or so now, so I can write a bit more about this gadget now that the first flush of excitement of having something new has worn off, and I’ve had time to play around with it, and put it through its paces a little.
It has taken a little to get used to using a touch screen instead of keys and a trackball. I didn’t have any serious issues with the Blackberry trackball. It needed cleaning a few times, but that was probably my fault due to using the device when eating! I thought I had just about all the apps I need on the Blackberry, but I’ve certainly found more to add to the Droid.
Using the Android Market I’ve found to be quicker and usually easier than the Blackberry App Store, but then again, on the Blackberry Curve 8330 I had no wi-fi so all data transfer was that much slower. I’ve installed Evernote, as that’s something I use a lot. I’ve also installed the Astro file viewer, as that makes for easy navigation around phone and the SD card. That is easier than the Blackberry, where I had to run the cumbersome slow Management suite on a PC to access the phone itself. I was also pleased to find a nice app to control my access to my Amazon S3 account, and also one for Dropbox, and one for Drop.io. These are all services I make use of, and to have easy phone access has to be a plus.
New for the Droidis a bar code scanner app. This allows me to scan the bar code of almost any product and get details and pricing on it. There are a number of apps for the Droidthat will do this, some with the accent on information; some which are more tuned to shopping and price comparison.
The usual suspects line up for Geolocation apps. Foursquare and Brightkite work better on the Droid than they did on the Blackberry Curve. They’re faster and make use of the built in GPS, which the Curve didn’t do. There’s a Gowalla app for the Droidalso.
The GPS works well with Google Maps, and will give you audio directions if you wish. This comes as part of your data package, unlike the Blackberry, where Verizon charged an extra $9.99 a month for the Navigator.
Locale is a very useful app. It’s not free, but costs $9.99. It allows you to set conditions based on your location. For example, you can tell it that everytime it finds your wireless network, to log in, turn off the ringer, and dim the screen. Between midnight and 7am you want the phone to be silent, but only when at home? That can be done too.
Skype mobile comes with the phone, and allows you to talk to other skype users via the Droid (affiliate link). You can’t do video calls (as the video camera is pointing the wrong way!), but you can do anything else you can do on your desktop or laptop Skype program.
There’s a few multi network messaging programs, such as Meebo, which allows simultaneous access to all the major IM networks, such as Yahoo, MSN, Google, AIM and so on. I also found a decent IRC client app!
Last.fm, Slacker, and Grooveshark allow me to listen to some of my favorite music, and DriodLive allows connection to Shoutcast Internet Radio stations (such as NAB Radio). There’s also a built in music app to play any music that you choose to download to the 16GB SD card that comes with the Droid
I’ve heard adverse comments about the camera, but it seems OK. I don’t expect a top class image from a cellphone however high the pixels. It does blow out on the flash somewhat though. It’s easy to share images with the other apps you’ve set up, such as Facebook or MySpace, or your blog if you’ve downloaded the free WordPress app software.
When recording video you can also upload it directly to YouTube if you wish.
Gmail, who I use exclusively for personal and business mail, works just fine.
No apps yet for Audible, or for Reqall. Wi-fi will stop working on occasions, and I have to disconnect and reconnect to get it to transfer data again.
The battery life is well, crap. I left home at 10.30am on Saturday. I took a few photos. I tweeted a lot. I used Foursquare and Brightkite as I moved around locations in town. I used the wi-fi in a coffee store. By a little after 2pm it was telling me I needed to connect to a charger as it was down to 15%. I think I’m going to have to get a second battery, and perhaps one of the larger capacity ones.
All in all though, I’m pleased with the Droidso far, and I’ll give it 8/10.
Tags: accent, amazon s3, apps, audio directions, bar code scanner, blackberry curve, driod, droid, dropbox, excitement, gadget, google, google maps, management suite, sd card, touch screen, trackball, usual suspects, wi fi
Additional comments powered by BackType