Monday, August 1, 2011

I Love My Little Droid

Look there, to your left. Say hello to my new little friend. Hello new friend! See the red eye-looking logo? It is staring at you. It is staring into your soul.

I've been interested in a smartphone ever since I heard the iPhone was coming to Verizon. Well, that's not true, I've been vaguely interested ever since my coworkers all got some and started bragging about the cool shit they can do on a smartphone. And I listen to Tech 411 which is always going on about some cool new app of the week. And OMFG ANGRY BIRDS!!!

This bird will fuck you up.

So I've had an interest for awhile, and two weeks ago my phone plan discounts finally vested. If you don't have a cell phone plan, understand that the bastards phone company likes to lock you in for two years at a time, and charge you ruinous early termination fees if you jump ship early. To sweeten the incarceration deal, they'll give you a discount on your next phone if you stick it out. Well, Verizon used to, they don't do that anymore because they sell smartphones and they know that people who buy smartphones are like crack addicts for hot new technology. Luckily I was still grandfathered in on the fabled "New Every Two" deal, so I got the discount this time (for the last time).

I was dead set on an iPhone, but my wife suggested that I might like one of the new Droid 3 phones instead. This sounded like blasphemy, but she convinced me to listen to her before I broke out the rack. Why would I want a Droid?

"They've got a real keyboard, and they're on a two-for-one sale."

Compelling arguments for a heretic, it must be admitted.

I went to the store two days before Purchase Day and checked out the two phones. Now, iPhones are famous for not having a physical keyboard. There's actually a cottage industry of massive bluetooth keyboards being built into cases to make up for this shortcoming. But they do have a touchscreen with a keyboard. Surely, I thought, Apple would be an improvement on the touchscreen keyboard I was used to, the one on my enV Touch, which is a sort of short-bus smartphone. Right?

Well, no... I can't get the hang of a touchscreen keyboard. Haptic feedback helps, but I still end up fouling up one button press in three when I'm trying to type. I'm also reduced to two-fingering on a touchscreen, which is a real pain for someone who's been trained in the deadly art of touch-typing.

(As an aside, since this is still nominally a writing blog: Take a fucking touch type class. I don't care how much you like writing longhand. That goes for any programmers who might be reading as well. It's a simple skill to pick up and it will massively improve your output.)

As for the Droid, it does touchscreen too, but that slide-out keyboard is nice. It's full QWERTY, with numbers in a row on top and no squirrelly space-saving bullshit. They keys feel nice under your fingertips, soft and rounded and vaguely like leather. Mmm...

Plus I'm familiar with Android as a smartphone OS. I'm up to my neck in Google as-is, so I'm not shy about adding something else to my omni-account. Plus it's pretty easy to develop Android applications on a PC, if I'm so inclined, and of course there's a great app library in place with OMFG ANGRY BIRDS:

Seriously man, just walk away.

Sure, I miss out on iTunes syncing, which is a pain. I've got more music in iTunes than I could sync to anything short of an iPod Classic, not to mention a few movies I'd like to have available on the go. But then again, I've got the iPod Classic. I don't need my phone to play movies for me; I've got that covered.

And I mentioned that one of the Droids would be free, right?

Next up: Apps, accessories, and using French music to terrorize my wife.


Sell Used Cell Phones said...

Go for Android! Android holds a vast options of phones so there's a lot to choose from in terms of smartphone models, plus I think Android is more user friendly than the iPhones.

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