Saturday, June 4, 2011

My first Android phone experience!

So I'm a 3G enabled smartphone user even before I had thought  I would be. Following have happened:
  • the week immediately following the purchase, I went on road trip. Google Maps was tremendously useful navigating through unfamiliar crowded city roads leading to highways. We never had to stop once to ask for directions. Isn't that nice? For me, that alone recovered my investment in the phone :-). Too bad, Google Maps does not have navigation with voice prompt enabled for the country I live/ travel within.
  • used My Tracks app for the driving trip as well as on-feet trips to the nearby markets. My Tracks seems to have some bug while handling GPS data collected over 10 hours of continuous usage. After initial correct tracking for five hours or so, it started showing incorrect track of the path already traveled by road. I did not investigate enough whether it was error in the recording of data in CSV format or presentation of it when volumes are high. The market description claims that it is still an app under development. So I am expecting reliability improvements there.
  • was pleasantly surprised to get 3G coverage throughout the journey, including remote highway side locations
  • successfully worked remotely using 3G tethered as WiFi from my phone to the PC. Even attended remote presentations having slides and audio/ video. Ability of WiFi tethering was one of the main reason why I got my Android 2.2 phone.
  • as expected, got my shock of the first bill after having accessed data extensively over 3G. It was not a very rude shock, though as I was watchful of the usage. Thanks to wonderful apps like 3G Watchdog and APNdroid. Use WiFi wherever available instead of 3G HSPA or GPRS access. I was trying to be under the special data limits the operator had promised for a new 3G sign-up. The service provider has attributed the high bill amount to my voice calls, though. Need to sort that out.
  • I capture more personal moments with the camera handily available in the phone. Also, with that camera, now I scan documents readily that I would have stashed away for weekend chores. Can share with people right away. Like immediately following up on a correspondence received by ordinary post.
  • I impressed my colleagues with the things my phone can do with Google Goggles.
  • For some bragging: there are some people I know who have been using Android phones for close to an year now and still did not know of all the standard applications that make Android such a compelling platform. Now they know and have installed those apps :-)
  • My Android phone experience prompted many others to consider it favorably and they bought it. That's how Android has been successful and such a hit in short time. Google must have envisioned it earlier on the drawing boards.
  • There are so many useful apps at Android Market and so many of them free of cost. As a thank-you gesture, I translated 3G Watchdog app in two other languages. It is updated at the market with my humble contributions.
Thank you Google for making Android such a great experience:
  • for the robust, Linux based open source operating system and a great, extensible platform that makes my phone smart!
  • compelling, trustworthy applications readily available for free from the Google house itself. I searched for installed almost all of them from Google Inc.