Posts Tagged ‘mobile phone’

AT&T Getting Android?

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

android

I have been reading my favorite blogs, trying to get a glimpse of when AT&T will finally get an Android phone. I even signed up for a couple RSS feeds from AT&T. Most of the rumors are leaning toward HTC being among the first Android phones. An even juicier rumor is that the new Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 will come to AT&T. From what I can tell, AT&T hasn’t confirmed publicly the existence of any Android phones in the near future.

With this in mind, I casually ran a search on AT&T’s website with the simple keyword “Android”. I expected to find a negative result, claiming that there were no matches. I was surprised to see a lineup of phones instead. See the below image for the search result.

attphones

As you can see in the image, the HTC Pure and Tilt2 showed up, along with the Nuvifone G60 and the Samsung Solstice. I looked a little deeper, and as I suspected the HTC showed Windows Mobile as the operating system. The Nuvi and Samsung didn’t show an operating system. Still, I am curious as to how searching for Android resulted in these phones being displayed. Perhaps AT&T knew people would be searching for Android and spoofed the search results. Perhaps these are phones being considered for Android. Who knows? Hopefully the wait won’t be too much longer.

Apple iPhone – A Closer Look

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

iphone

For the last couple years there has been a lot of hype about the iPhone. When it first came out, I laughed at all the suckers that bought it at full price. If I was ever to get one, I would wait for it to come down to a more reasonable price. Sure enough, Apple convinced AT&T to subsidize the iPhone so that normal people could afford one. I finally recommended it to my wife as she was shopping for a new phone.

Considering what she would be using the iPhone for, the 3GS was way too powerful for her. I went with the 8GB standard version. Everything started pretty well, but then the extensive limitations came to light. First, there was no way to send a picture message (MMS). Considering that the iPhone data plan is more expensive than the regular data plan, this was frustrating. The firmware update claimed it would allow MMS, but so far no dice. An email is easy enough to send, but MMS is hard to come by.

Next, we started installing more and more apps. This part I am actually happy with. With some minor exceptions, the apps typically install as anticipated. It is easy to sync, and it is easy to arrange apps on the various pages of the iPhone. Syncing works pretty well on Vista, and certainly runs well on my Mac Powerbook. Both use iTunes to sync. While the apps are good, the phone itself leaves a lot to be desired.

On my Sony Ericsson “dumb” phone I can tether my internet connection. With an unlimited data plan, I can use my laptop at ISDN speeds. Not too bad for a simple Walkman phone. Can I do this on the iPhone? No. Right after we got the phone there was a rumor that tethering would be a feature on the pending firmware update. It turns out that it was, but not in the United States.

Okay, so we can’t tether the phone, how about we make some phone calls? Or maybe not. Never has a phone in my possession dropped so many calls. Never has a phone failed to connect so many calls. The only variable was the iPhone itself. The plan stayed the same, the locations we use the phone remained the same, and the volume of use remained unchanged. Her Sony Ericsson, an identical model to mine, worked just fine for calling.

Okay, so I can’t use the internet on my laptop, and I can’t make phone calls. What is there left to do? Apps. The apps clearly are the best feature of the iPhone. However, why get an iPhone rather than the iPod Touch? The touch can do everything the iPhone can do, as I understand it. I really do mean everything in this case, since the iPhone can’t connect a call with any reasonable consistency.

AT&T scored a major victory by getting the exclusive contract on the iPhone. Both firms made a lot of money. It is time to send the iPhone to Verizon and let it torture them for a while. In the meantime, AT&T will finally have room for a proper phone, i.e. one running Android. My fingers are crossed.

Motorola Droid – Limited Review

Thursday, November 26th, 2009
Motorola Droid

Motorola Droid

I got my hands on my friend’s Droid yesterday, and while I only had it for a limited time in hand, I was pretty happy with what I saw.

I have been reading about the Droid on some of my favorite blogs, specifically TechCrunch, Engadget Mobile, and Mashable. Now that I’ve been able to play with it I can see what the buzz has been about. Being a Star Wars fan, I definitely appreciated the TechCrunch post mentioned above.

First impressions: lightweight; large, easy to read screen, fairly intuitive navigation.

From the moment I picked it up I was able to go where I wanted. That said a lot for the phone’s intuitive design, or perhaps something about how simple I am. Either way, I thought it was pretty cool. Having played with my wife’s iPhone, I had an idea of what to expect from a touch-screen phone. The Droid didn’t disappoint.

One of the first features I checked out was the slide-out qwerty keyboard. The keyboard is very thin, and I noticed a texture between the keys that I think would be helpful in typing. If I had my way, the buttons would be a little more tangible, but at least an effort was made.

I was introduced to a program called Google Sky. I hadn’t heard of this one yet, so I was pretty excited to play with it. Using GPS, the program charts the moon, stars, and other celestial bodies, relative to your current location. I had some fun with this. This was my first time on Android, so I was pretty impressed with this test run. Enough of Android though, and back to the phone.

The phone had an impressive, sleek design, and I would be more than happy to own a Droid. I remain a fan of AT&T, for all its quirks, so I will have to buy it full price if I want to use it. Everything that I tried to do on the phone I was able, which is important to me in a phone. It should always work.

As implied by the title of this post, this has been a very limited review. I figure most people know the specs, so I wanted to focus on my impressions upon using the device. I think this is a really good phone, and it is definitely in my top 5 as I am deciding which phone to upgrade to.