As noted previously, I finally resolved the phone issue. (And AT&T can still die in a fire.)
Answer: I like it just fine, but…below are some preliminary thoughts on Android (at least, as implemented on the EVO 4G; I do realize that some of these may be issues with the built-in apps, rather than the Android OS itself):
- It is disappointing to me that the alarm built into the EVO’s clock app can’t be set to play arbitrary sound files as alarms. (I fall into Ihnatko’s 2% who haven’t seen the movie yet, but I love the story behind “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien“.)
- Ditto that I can’t set an arbitrary sound file for text message notifications.
- It is also disappointing to me that there’s no basic Notepad type app provided with the EVO. I’m sure there’s probably 300+ on the Android marketplace, but I needed to make a shopping list this morning and didn’t have time to sort through all of them. Any tips?
- Integration between the built-in music player and the built-in navigation app is also a disappointment; the navigation app will pause the player to make route announcements, but you have to manually start the player up again, rather than it automatically resuming play.
- On the plus side, the sound is great; I can listen to podcasts in the car without having to hook into my (currently non-functional) stereo system.
- The on-screen keyboard is vastly better than using the keypad (even with T9) was on the T616, and somewhat better than the on-screen keyboard on the N800. However, I still have a lot of trouble hitting the correct key with my large-ish fingers.
- One of the drawbacks of purchasing an Android phone is synchronization with the MacBook. If I had purchased an iPhone, everything would be simple (or at least, simpler). But, no, I had to be different and resist peer pressure… At some point, I suspect I will end up ordering this. (Right now – and I do realize this is a phone controlled setting – the MacBook sees the phone as a USB disk drive with photos on it, and automatically opens iPhoto. I can browse the Android file system and copy files to or from it without problems.)
- Speaking of iPhoto, I’ve done almost nothing with the built-in camera yet. I need to work on that.
- The EVO’s calendar app has a noticeable lag; it takes a couple of seconds to switch to the current date when I bring it up.
- If there’s a way to sync the EVO’s calendar app with Google Calender, I haven’t found it, and there doesn’t seem to be a separate Google Calender app (like there is for Maps, Voice, Earth, etc.). Do I need to grab some other calender app off the Android Market? (Edited to add 9/10: Okay, I think I’ve figured this one out. You can sync the EVO app with Google Calender, it just isn’t quite as straightforward as I was looking for.)
- The EVO also seems to lag behind in changing screen orientation when I rotate the phone.
- I managed to get the Android SDK and the ADT plugin installed without problems on the MacBook, but the ADT plugin won’t install into Eclipse on Project e. It looks like there are some dependencies that Eclipse can’t resolve, but I can’t figure out what those are. I may have to blow away and reinstall Eclipse (which isn’t a major issue; I don’t have a bunch invested in Eclipse on Project e).
- I either need to dig out my old Java textbook, or see if I can find an updated edition cheap online.
- Speaking of textbooks, and having nothing to do with Android in particular, I just paid $180+ for a damn textbook. This makes me mildly cranky.
- My old T616 in the case fit neatly into the magazine phone pocket of my 5.11 tactical pants. The EVO? Doesn’t fit. Dear 5.11 folks: maybe we could think about redesigning that pocket to fit smartphones? (I wear 5.11 tactical pants (or, as some people call them, “a Kaiser blade Internet pants“), not because I’m a mall ninja, but because they are the most comfortable and toughest pants I’ve found. Plus they make it really easy to carry all my stuff.)
- Battery life is…well, middling. I haven’t really tried optimizing power consumption, though, except for turning off WiFi and Bluetooth. (Hurrah for the EVO’s control panel that allows easy access to those settings.)
- There’s a few applications I’m looking for and would welcome advice on finding in the Android market. The first one is a good WiFi scanning utility; ideally, it would have the ability to log access points with GPS coordinates, note if the points are A, B, G, or N, note if they’re open or closed (and if they’re WEP, WPA, WPA2, etc.), and write all this data to a XML or KML file. It looks like there are several apps in the market that meet these criteria, but I’m not sure which ones are good.
The second app I’m looking for is a good vehicle management application. At a minimum, I’d like to be able to enter an odometer reading and number of gallons, and get a miles-per-gallon figure for that tank, as well as an average MPG for all tanks to date. It’d be spiffy if I could also enter a price per gallon, as well as other expenses (insurance, repairs, maintenance) and get a cost-per-mile figure as well.
- I love the GPS Status app.
- I’ve played a little with the Amazon Kindle app; so far, I’m more impressed with it than I am with the refurbished Kindle I purchased earlier this year.
- The EVO’s screen is impressive. Much better than the N800′s. I haven’t done a side-by-side with an iPhone 4 yet, but I’m willing to bet it gives the iPhone a run for its money.
- The EVO’s video player can decode H.264 video! (I haven’t done anything with the camcorder app, so I don’t know what format it encodes video in.)
- Waiting for a sale on those 32GB microSD cards…
- Edited to add: There’s also no general file browser app on the EVO.
Again, I generally like the phone; most of these are just minor quibbles that I can probably solve one way or another.