Just recently, I made the jump from a basic cell phone to the Droid from Motorola – and I love it!
You’ve probably seen the ads on TV. “DROID DOES” is their tagline and in the commercials they name all the things the Droid does better than the iPhone. Because Droid runs on Google’s Android operating system , iPhone apps don’t work on it – however, there are quite a large number of Android apps for phones like the Droid, MyTouch, the recently announced Nexus One, and others.
I had been playing around with an iPhone I got as a “test machine” for work, but it didn’t have phone service – just WiFi. It was great to be able to test and use the iPhone to get a feel for the experience of using apps and other features, as well as to test for the usability of iPhone apps we create. It was also a bit of an introduction to having a smartphone for me.
My husband and I have been researching smartphones over the last year, but the time just wasn’t right for us to upgrade until recently. In our research, one thing that consistently came up was hearing stories from so many people we know (and don’t know) about how crappy the phone service is on the iPhone with AT&T. Since we’ve been on Verizon for years and love it, we really didn’t want to give them up for crappy service. Hey, if I’m going to pay this kind of money for phone service, it better work!
After using the Droid for over a month now, I am in love. I know that I have barely started to scratch the surface of all the possibilities and features this phone has, but here’s my list so far of the things I love and a few things I hope get improved.
DROID DOES really well:
- Great call quality and service on Verizon.
- 5 megapixel camera with flash.
- Ability to take videos integrated in the camera app.
- Wide selection of applications. Here are my favorites:
- Twidroid for Twitter. Works just as great as Tweetie for the iPhone.
- Astrid. Allows you to manage and maintain task lists and notifies you when one needs to be completed. This is similar to Remember the Milk, but is FREE. Remember the Milk only allows you to get the app free if you are a Pro (paid) member.
- Locale. A situation-based app that lets you set actions based on situations. For example: Do you attend a regularly scheduled meeting? Set up a situation in Locale to automatically set your phone to vibrate when your GPS detects that you are at the location of the meeting.
- StreamItAll Radio. Lets you stream tons of radio stations over 3G or WiFi. Since there is not an MPR app for Android yet, this allows me to get my morning news by streaming it through the StreamItAll app.
- Google Maps/GPS Navigation (comes installed). No more printing out paper maps and trying to read them while driving… in the dark! I just let my phone tell me where to go!
- Foursquare is a game that allows you to “check in” when you get to a location. You earn points for more check-ins and can see when your friends are at the same place as you. One time I checked in at a restaurant and a few minutes later a friend showed up at my table to say hi because she learned I was there through the app! (related Foursquare posts from Clockwork: It’s Hip to be Foursquare and Clockwork’s Mayoral Race.)
- Runs multiple apps at once (iPhone does not). This means that while I’m surfing the web, as long as I have notifications turned on in my apps, my phone will notify me if I get new tweets, new emails, a new Facebook message, a reminder from Astrid, or other events. It also means that apps take generally take less time to load because they have not been previously shut down.
- Notification LED. The little green LED light flashes if I have new notifications. I don’t have to wake my phone up to know if I have new emails – I just look to see if the green light is flashing. Genius!
- Ultra-crisp screen resolution. Viewing images, videos, and everything else is beautiful!
- Really loud speaker. This means I can play a video with people standing around me and they can hear it loud and clear. It also means I can usually hear my phone ring if I set it down in the house and walked away.
- WiFi network memory. If I’ve set up a WiFi network once, my phone remembers it and automatically uses it the next time I’m in that location. When I had the iPhone, I was constantly having to re-connect the WiFi network in my home, work, and other frequented locations.
DROID DOES need a little work:
- Copy+paste. You CAN copy+paste on the Droid, but it isn’t quite as slick as on the iPhone.
- The 5.0 megapixel camera is great but can be a little slow sometimes.
- Flash is not available (yet). It’s also not available on the iPhone – but is rumored to be coming on Android in the first half of 2010.
There are still lots of things I haven’t set up yet (music library, more shortcuts, etc.) but it doesn’t matter – I already know I’m in love. Sorry, iPhone groupies!