Friday, March 12, 2010

More on Droid

So why did I switch to the droid?
  1. My phone went kaput. Well that's not totally true. My old phone was a Palm Treo 680, which I have had since July 2007. It was my upgrade to the "trio" of phone/web/PDA. I've been using Palm devices for nearly a decade (I believe) - starting with the Palm IIIe, then the Palm Vx, and then the Treo. In all cases, I acted like a good middle-class Gen-Xer: I waited until the first one died before upgrading. This time, my Treo was a bit of a lemon from the git-go:

    1. The online activity was spotty and over time, I stopped having access to almost every webpage except, luckily, my email and yahoo. No explanation was available on the intertubes except possibly my SIM card was messed up. Lovely.
    2. The key factor was that the touchscreen just died. It started acting really screwy at first and finally, on Tuesday, the screen basically went dead.
    3. Ironically, the only thing that actually worked, still, was the phone. I lived without full web access for a few months, but when I lost the PDA, the thing was done.

  2. My wife needed a new phone. She had a simple one (ya know, only a camera on it, har!) for almost 5 years by her reckoning. But it too needed to be replaced. She also started to hanker after the web/email uses that she saw others have.

  3. Once we both needed new phones, we felt that we should get a package deal (not only on the physical devices but also on the calling plan). I used to have AT&T and it worked OK but I've grown weary of Luke Wilson's idiotic commercials and my rebel nature against The Man (Corporate Division) made me feel I should switch to Verizon.

  4. The Kicker was that my brother had just gotten a droid and he liked it and showed off all the wicked cool features (youtube! google maps! metallic-droid sounds!)
So, it's been two days, how do I feel about it?
  1. The sales process was slow and annoying. The six-foot tall ex-jock doofus who sold us the phones had no real idea what he was selling. He reminded me of what the house sellers must have been like during the height of the bubble: i.e. he had a product that everyone wanted but nobody really looked too closely at. As such, he wasn't prepared to answer any questions.

  2. Quick analysis: This is not a PDA. It sucks at that big time.

  3. This is not really a phone, it's a web-browser with a phone "app." More: Ya remember how weird it was when they first put cameras on phones? And we old-tech people made jokes about it. Basically, we realized, especially after a number of key testimony incidents, that it's good to have an easy access camera/video and while it won't replace a real camera, it's a nice thing. So too, the Droid, so far, is a pretty bad phone, non-existent PDA, but the web access is crisp and keen. So is the sound quality, for all you hip rad children who need that thing.

  4. The Man (Corporate) lives well with the droid. It's a google product. And while I've said in the past that I like the company's plan to digitize every bit of information and place it online, they still seem to act like a "splitting" company. That's a term I use for companies, especially in tech, who force incompatibility with other techs. Apple is terrible about this, IMHO, which is why I refuse to get an Iphone... after my Ipod disaster (which forced me to use Itunes, which meant I had to convert all my files from Microsoft Media Player (which played both WMA and MP3) and modify the data of every one of my billion media files. So here, google apps work well on the droid, but why can't it run Flash? If Youtube works, and Flash doesn't, it looks like an arbitrary "split."

  5. Why is it a bad phone? Because the keys disappear, when you talk, making it hard to end a call. The volume ringer is screwy and will turn on, or off, despite your previous settings. It's like a freakin' embarrassment timebomb.

  6. And it doesn't work as a PDA. Yeah, I've got 10 years of great Palm programs which I can no longer use. And that's a serious loss. But so far, I haven't found a decent replacement on the Droid (possibly because it's too new, but probably because the market is now split between Droid/Iphone/Blackberry as opposed to the not "split" days under the Palm umbrella.
I'm giving myself another week with this. If I can't find a way to have it improve, then I may need to switch. Maybe a blackberry? That looks like it was made for adults...

First pic is yet another version of the Indiana Jones Droid Hieroglyphs. Second is from the 2004 Onion story of the camera-phone.

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