Two months and a half with Android, some opinions

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I am completing these days 2.5 months with the HTC Desire, my first ever Android phone.

As a part of the festivities, I have prepared some opinions to publish regarding things I have felt and used in the device. This article summarizes it all and is an exclusive for this website, since I have not written an Hebrew version for MobilityFreak.

So, here we go.

Performance

Well, I realize that I went to a high-end device with a 1GHz processor, a lot of memory and a 8GB storage card. As well, I am using a device updated to the newest version of the OS; altogether, these should help my device to be fast and comfortable to use.

The above is true - I must say that with all I like Windows Mobile (and yes, I continue liking it), I have never managed to get such performance from my WM device. Even WM6.5 in the Omnia, with which I felt very comfortable in the past, looks incredibly slow when comparing with the new OS.

We must take into account that the Desire still has HTC Sense to slow it down, and it could be faster without it. But yes, I love HTC Sense and I wouldn't give it up in the current situation.

HTC Sense

Well, this is the continuation of the previous paragraph. Sense is everything its name stands for. It just turns the device into something that makes sense, is fast, easy and straightforward to use. HTC did a great job on its software, and I am surely very happy with it.

Android Update

I can't exactly say much regarding this, since I have a rooted device. Lately the device began to tell me that it has updates to do, but it seems to me that the update is failing after 40% of it is done. Android does not tell me it has failed, so I am a little out of help here. Maybe I will know when a new version is released.

Market Update

This is working perfectly. At some point I receive notifications that updates are available, and in seconds I have them updated in my device.

Storage card installation

Not very happy with it. Installation is done to the main memory and then the software is transferred to the storage card. Google, you could do better on this one.

WiFi management

Best feature! I really love it. WiFi is all the time ON in a dormant state, and at any opportunity that it goes into the field of a known netwok, it begins to work and substitutes cellular data. The result is faster throughput, lower cellular data consumption, and lower battery usage.

Cellular Data Usage

Despite the Wifi use, I feel that this device uses much more my data account than the omnia used to use. I believe that HTC Sense is to blame, its applets are all the time connecting to the Internet and gettind data.

Apps in the Android Market

I believe that here there is some way to improve. The market has a lot of games and tools, but lacks some serious software for business. Some simple examples:

  1. I have only one option for a time management software, gbaHours. 
  2. There is only one viewer for a good wallet system (eWallet Viewer from Ilium in this case).
  3. If I want to build good functional custom forms for my use, I don't have a real software that can do this with all the options I need - signature and email fields, PDF prints of the forms, PDF reports. The only good working option is Form Builder which lacks all the functionality above.

Synchronizing

I am one of the priviledged that sync's with Exchange, and FroYo does that beautifully. Besides that, HTC provides the HTCSync for the Desire, which manages the synchronization for all those that want to sync with Outlook but don't have exchange - that is done with a cable. And on top of that there is the GMail Sync, which permits to sync calendar/contacts with GMail as if it was an Exchange Server.

So in terms of PIM Synchronization, everything is fine.

However, it is a pity that I could not find in HTCSync a media synchronization feature. I wanted to sync my music, pictures and videos to the device, and could only do it via USB Disk Mode. Which is not bad, but it is still manually copying files and not automatically sync'ing.

Conclusion

It is clear to me that my move to Android was a good move. Android provides a good, flexible platform, in which I can base my future data and application use.

However, the platform is still suffering some childhood sicknesses mainly in the areas of the App. Market and of synchronization which do bother me in the objective of fully using my device. I hope those will be quickly solved, or in the continuation of the way I (and many others who want to make serious use of their devices) will need to begin looking at other platforms.