Converting to Android
Hell of a thing, you know… Moving away from a 10+ year long dedication to Nokia, Symbian, Maemo, and all the crap that goes along with it. But it was bound to happen sometime. When asked, “WTF?!”, simply, I can’t deal with the notion that Meego and Symbian are at the mercy of Windows Phone 7. When that announcement was made, I immediately switched gears to researching Android. Apple was never an option.
After looking at all the options for Android, and frankly there are far too many options, but its a disruptive platform so you can expect too much crazy, I landed on the Motorola Atrix.
First things first, whatever the hell MotoBlur is, if you have an Atrix, just avoid it. After dicking with it, and factory resetting the device, and explicitly avoiding it (outside of signing up/logging in to it on setup) thereafter; I find the experience of the phone cleaner, and more compartmentalized.
The free apps I downloaded immediately:
- Adobe Flash Player 10.2
- Advanced Task Killer
- BBC News
- Bubble (a bubble level)
- Adobe AIR
- Adobe Reader
- Amazon Kindle
- Color Flashlight
- Facebook for Android
- Google Books
- Google Voice
- Google Reader
- Google Translate
- Google Goggles (a search via image application, slick)
- Google Sky Map
- IP Webcam (also slick)
- Qik (for Atrix)
- Andronos (Sonos needs their own client for Android)
- Retro Camera
- Car Home (beta)
Took about an hour and some change to get’m all. I recommend doing it over Wi-Fi, as this would chew through over-cell data, and take you a bit longer no matter how fast your connection is.
Second, the settings I deployed
- Swype, takes some getting used to, but it’s the only way to go if you’re converting to onscreen keyboards from tactile, trust me.
- Security via Fingerprint Reader, not sure if this is a thing with all Android devices, but the Atrix has it, it’s complete rad, and … slick as well.
- Deleted pretty much everything on the home screens, and put my own stuff in, this took about 30 minutes, but it got me used to the interface, how it behaves, and also, customized my home screen experience.
- Wallpaper… I made a few, I’ve attached them below
Other than that, I’ve had it for about 24 hours. I miss the feeling of the hardware of the Nokia, strong, yet light. But the Atrix is Motorola, what can you expect? Last time I dealt with this company was with the StarTac, and all I remember from that was… watching the speaker-lid fly off the phone when flipping it open to answer a call. “It’s GOOD!”</fieldgoal>
* The singled-out background with the swirlies isn’t mine, I modified it in photoshop from another site. I can’t remember the link, otherwise I’d give props. Sorry…
Anyway, I haven’t tried tethering or the wifi hotspot yet. I did give a try to the DLNA, and let me just say, HDMI cable to phone + DLNA is just epic. I may even go out and get a docking station or something for it if I feel the need to stream my media somewhere. I also ditched the AT&T Navigation app, and used Google Navigation instead. Compared to Nokia Maps on Symbian devices, it’s right on par. Free voice-guided navigation, turn by turn, smart search… Don’t pay AT&T $9.99 a month for their half-assed service. (If there’s the one thing you take away from this post, take that one.)
Overall, my initial reactions; Android on the Atrix (my only experience) is worlds better than iOS, and that’s not just because I loathe Apple. The amount of freedom, ease of use, and responsiveness of the OS/device is amazing. I still don’t think Android is where it can be, and I see plenty of room for improvement. I also think that Nokia, had they continued down the Symbian/Meego path, with Qt and the support of Linux developers around the globe, could have slaughtered Android… But alas, they are now going Windows Phone 7. Shame. I’m happy with the Atrix, and it only ran $150 with an AT&T upgrade, so compared to the $600 the N90, the N95 and the N900 ran me (for $1800 total), $150 is disposable enough to give this a run for the money.
Now, to consider the Lapdock and do away with my netbook… Depends on how this ends up, really.
03.26.11 • posted in: Technology