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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Android and Droid

About two weeks ago I replaced my previous phone, a Motorola Q9m, with the new Motorla Droid.  Its an improvement, but the entire ecosystem isn't as strong as the iPhone's, at least not yet.  The phone is pretty nice, even straight out of the box.  The high-res screen is bright, colorful, and clear, although some apps are a big flummoxed by the change from the standard resolution.

My issues are that the little user interface elements just aren't there.  For example, the contacts list is hard-coded to be sorted only by first name, and there's no way to set specific contacts to always or never use Google Voice.

The other issue is that the Market, the App Store equivalent for Android, is still a little thin.  I'm a firm follower of the Getting Things Done (GTD) method, and Astrid is a functional, if not equivalent, reproduction of the OS X & iPhone pair of, but is still the best available.  The Market itself is a cluttered mess, with no ability to really browse for an app except by name.

Android 2.1 has since been released with the launch of the Nexus One, and adds some relatively insubstantial features.  A news post earlier today said that Google pushed an update out that includes native multitouch apps, so I'm not going to comment on the multitouch issue until I get a chance to play with them myself (or if Verizon takes too long launching this update, just like its taken nearly a month to roll out the update from 2.0 to 2.1).

I'm looking closely at the functionality of for iPhone, with the intent of porting it to Android. The Cultured Code forums have a lengthy thread advocating for an Android client, but what I'd like to deliver is a client with identical functionality, but native to Android (something I don't think the Cultured Code folks would do, since the default Android UI elements are pretty ugly in comparison to the iPhone's).