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technology » Life with a Motorola Droid

nny's avatar
12 years ago
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nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
So I'll chronicle my Droid foray here for you guys in case you are interested in the phone.

I was using an iPhone generation 1. With 16 Gig built in memory. I had it for about 2 years.

This week I dropped it in a deli and it hit a marble floor and the volume down button got jammed in. I could have fixed it but I took it as a sign that the droid was the phone that would finally let me escape the terrible service of AT&T.

I went into a verizon store at lunch today and after grilling the hapless verizon sales guy with a zillion questions that in some cases I did not expect him to even have a clue what I was asking....

Obviously I got a straight up nerd cause he was all over many of my questions and put up a valiant attempt in answering. Truly one of the better sales people I've ever ran into. In fact he pretty much sealed the deal on me buying one ( as did the answers to my questions ).

Now I'm guessing I'll hate a bunch of stuff about the droid from my initial use, but I am going to love a bunch of stuff as well. I already am a google mail / calendar / contacts / what have you addict... not by choice but by ease of use and adopted by many friends. And my fingers are just a bit too big for typing on the iphone screen without rampant typos. So the qwerty keypad is super awesome.

Well

Now for some useful info:

The screen is freaking beautiful. The keyboard could be a lot better. But for me its better than the iphone. Using one of the google apps for ssh today I was astounded by my immediate increase in speed. Also there is some obscene diversity in apps.

Bluetooth being fully adopted on this phone makes the standard somewhat usable... and I may finally be able to use my serial -> bluetooth breakout board I got from sparkfun... HOORAY. Some of the apps for bluetooth are awesome.

I am already deeply missing my one for pay jailbreak app... the intelliscreen. I'll need to find an equivalent for the droid.

I don't think I can laser etch the back of the droid... it's kind of a faux rubberized feeling thing. I am guessing it would get all melty if I tried to etch it. I might try to find an equivalent material for testing regardless though. There's definitely room for some graphic tom foolery.

Not having a recessed 1/8th in jack is GREAT.

Not having to use itunes is ... I think I am going to cry tears of joy. That being said, the music player app default on the droid is well... less than bare bones. It's severely lacking in functionality. Though incorporated Amazon MP3 support on the phone is sweet. Since I actually use amazon mp3... unlike... say... itunes ( aka worthless piece of shit that I hope dies a horrible painful death ).

The droid uses a wierd micro usb cable... dunno why they didn't just use a regular usb mini... seems silly... maybe it was a structural concern. I dunno. Just means I don't have an abundance of sync / charging cables currently. I'll have to rectify that.

The 1/8th inch jack... doesn't exactly lock in. Dunno if that's just because I am using Sony MDR V6s or what. BTW sound quality is fine on the mdr v6s. comparable to the iphone if not better. though I think I am just hearing different highs and lows coming out of the dsp. Dunno.

Now I was on edge... so being on 3g is a MASSIVE speed boost for me. That being said... I've used the 3G... the 3G isn't as fast as this phone. I am guessing that's just because Verizon isn't overloaded and crappy like AT&T.

I can actually use my phone in my office now... which is nice.

I am finding this phone a lot less locked down than the iPhone in terms of most of the basic functionality... and that's awesome.

More to come...

mp3s loaded and I'll stress test it on commute music playback.
lucas's avatar
12 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
sounds good. thanks for the post!
Chiken's avatar
12 years ago
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Chiken
Don't Let Your Walls Down
great post, i've been contemplating dropping money on one of these since i first heard about it.
 
12 years ago
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dbrown
@chiken: likewise
nny's avatar
12 years ago
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nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
After the weekend:

So I spent the weekend getting acquainted with the droid.

I suppose my biggest concern with the phone currently is just how utterly dependent it is on google's services. Contacts are stored in google.... I mean... c'mon.

That being said, having google calendars integrated into the phone is fairly AWESOME.

And even the google contact stuff is neat... as my google contacts are kinda correct now... since I was forced to check them with the new phone.

But yeah... don't like the idea that everything I do on my phone is becoming part of the google info sink.

Use wise... no flac support on the phone even though there's ogg support... weird... and annoying.

Life without itunes continues to be SPECTACULAR. It's like a heavy weight I didn't realize I'd been carrying for so long has been lifted. It feels great to be free of it.

Being able to store stuff on my phone like it were an external drive.... also a neat and novel experience. Curious if it'd be possible to boot an OS off my phone as a USB attached device... Probably not... but imagine if you could...

I wish the phone used a regular mini usb... instead of this wierd microusb connector... I don't really want to be buying more USB cables when I am drowning in them.

I now use google talk a lot more... because the phone makes it easy and it's cheaper than SMS.

Phone quality is epic still. AT&T can suck my left nut as far as service providers go. Verizon just plain crushes them in speed and availability in NY. Apparently in NJ too.

There's definitely less apps for the droid... I have not found a decent replacement for intelliscreen yet =/

The ssh app on droid is nice though. It has some issues with screen sessions and ncurses though.
The browser works fairly well... no complaints there.
The UI across the board could use a little more polish... but at its core it's a great design.

I have not used much else... I tried one of the twitter apps... but it kept notifying me of friends tweets. I really don't need a buzz every 2 and a half seconds when someone bothers to type something about the existential nature of pop tarts.

Last.fm / scrobbling works like a champ.

As I said before... the music player app... well it's UI sucks. It needs some serious work. But it's no worse than the UI on the iphone IMHO. Both were designed by people who hate music and likely themselves.

I mean I am still in "zomg new gadget.. " love... we'll see how many features of this phone fit into my daily routine once the honeymoon is over... but I can say for a fact that I am really digging the design of the phone, and the UI experience is in no way infuriating...

Thus far I am very happy with my choice of phone.
nny's avatar
12 years ago
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nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
Special addendum... Bluetooth stereo... is awesome.

Having bluetooth functional on a phone... it's amazing... I've been living in the dark ages on iphone.
lucas's avatar
12 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
it sounds great. but i wish there was a way to not use google services. it's impossible to store a contact in the phone without use google contacts? can you use email (imap/pop3/otherwise) that isn't gmail?
Chiken's avatar
12 years ago
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Chiken
Don't Let Your Walls Down
i kinda like the idea of it storing them on google contacts. i have a terrible habbit of not creating backups of my contact lists so whenever i get a new phone i never have any numbers. at least if they save to google contacts i'll have a back up.
lucas's avatar
12 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
it's nice as an option. it'd be cool to store them locally and with google.
lucas's avatar
12 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
i've just had too many issues with google. i need a backup for when google fails
nny's avatar
12 years ago
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nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
The droid may as well be a physical google app. It is entirely reliant on the google cloud. That being said, pretty sure it keeps a local cache... I mean it's not like my contacts disappear when I enter a tunnel.
lucas's avatar
12 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
you all heard about microsoft losing phone data for t-mobile sidekick users, yeah?

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/sidekick-disas … id=8840420

this, combined with my own bad experiences with google apps, makes me very reluctant to migrate. i need a cache that is persistent and accessible.
nny's avatar
12 years ago
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nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
Yeah it'd be nice if google had a way to back yo shit up off their cloud. Google time machine so to speak.
bluet's avatar
12 years ago
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bluet
http://xkcd.com/662
asemisldkfj's avatar
12 years ago
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asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
check this out

- Multiple accounts can be added to a device for email and contact synchronization, including Exchange accounts. (Handset manufacturers can choose whether to include Exchange support in their devices.)
- Developers can create sync adapters that provide synchronization with additional data sources.

nny's avatar
12 years ago
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nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
www.music-piracy.com top post right now is a full res direct upload of captured droid video... to blip.

enjoy.
lucas's avatar
12 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
so is there a droid app to back up contacts and sms?
asemisldkfj's avatar
12 years ago
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asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
not that I know of, but I bet there is an app to backup google contacts and maybe one for google voice sms messages too.
asemisldkfj's avatar
12 years ago
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asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
I mean a non-phone app.
lucas's avatar
12 years ago
r1, link
lucas
i ❤ demo
i want a new cell phone. i don't know what, though. it just needs to be supported by verizon.
asemisldkfj's avatar
12 years ago
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asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
when you have some possibilities lined up, post 'em. I've been phone shopping a lot lately.
lucas's avatar
12 years ago
r1, link
lucas
i ❤ demo
here's what i want:
-> qwerty keyboard
-> bluetooth
-> a way to backup contacts and sms
-> verizon support

that's it.
asemisldkfj's avatar
12 years ago
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asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
no chance on switching providers? being stuck with verizon kind of sucks re: phones.
bsdlite's avatar
12 years ago
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bsdlite
thinks darkness is his ally
> a way to backup [...] sms

i want this feature
asemisldkfj's avatar
12 years ago
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asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
there should really be a phone that offers a comprehensive logging solution for sms, email, and IM. using all Google services gets you pretty close, but that is on their terms and Android's message integration sucks/is non-existent.
phi_'s avatar
12 years ago
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phi_
... and let the Earth be silent after ye.
A bit late, I suppose, but there's an app for Android phones called "Contact2SIM" that allows you to copy contacts to/from the SIM card... provided you're using a GSM phone, which the Droid is not IIRC.
asemisldkfj's avatar
12 years ago
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asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
it's not.

re: the recessed headphone jack on the iphone. my sennheiser px-100s fit in it fine but I had to cut off some of the rubber from my yuin pk-1 earbuds to get them to fit. works great now though.
lucas's avatar
12 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
> i want this feature

data obsession! <3
nny's avatar
12 years ago
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nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
I should check out api calls for contacts and such.
lucas's avatar
12 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001U55FCC/

this fatty is cheap, cdma, and unlocked. hm.
asemisldkfj's avatar
12 years ago
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asemisldkfj
the law is no protection
also nominated for the ugliest phone ever produced award.
lucas's avatar
12 years ago
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lucas
i ❤ demo
the samsung knack might be cool for $142.50.
nny's avatar
12 years ago
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nny
M̮͈̣̙̰̝̃̿̎̍ͬa͉̭̥͓ț̘ͯ̈́t̬̻͖̰̞͎ͤ̇ ̈̚J̹͎̿̾ȏ̞̫͈y̭̺ͭc̦̹̟̦̭̫͊̿ͩeͥ̌̾̓ͨ
I jailbroke and turned off ota updates on my droid today.

I'll let you know how it turns out. tethering is nice to have though.
Étrangère's avatar
12 years ago
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Étrangère
I am not a robot...
> the samsung knack might be cool for $142.50.

That's neat-looking