LinuxNiche

The ramblings of a Linux geek

Jun 14, 2009 - 5 minute read - Comments - Linux

Android! (NITDroid)

Hello to All!!

So, recently I decided I wanted to get an android phone.  With the release of the Palm Pre and it’s WebOS it sparked me into considering a touch-screen smart phone again.  The last time I looked at these the iPhone was the only real contender, and considering I *despise* Apple and several of it’s business strategies (for example: here), I never really cared to look at it.

Now of course, over the past couple of years it’s been pretty much impossible to avoid that damned iphone as every person on AT&T is obsessed with the thing and insists on showing off all the cool things their phone can do, like fart.  I mean because really, what good is a phone that doesn’t fart? (<-sarcasm).

So anyway, because it’s been impossible to avoid here’s my 3 second review: I hate typing on glass, the interface is typical Apple “pretty”, and it pretty much comes off to me more as a toy than it does a phone.  It completely fails at doing any real work simply because one critical component is missing: Multi-tasking.

So then I hear of the Pre.  I watched every day new news articles and read all the features and even watched all the videos of the demo for a week up to it’s launch.  Quite simply, this phone looked (and looks) awesome.  Unfortunately, I hate sprint.  Man, personal bias just keeps getting in the way, huh? ;)

Now, the Pre’s release was a record-seller according to palm and sprint, but the reviews that I have read so far left a bit to be desired.  Most don’t like the smaller keyboard (although I do know some Palm fan’s that liked the centro’s keyboard, all personal preference) and the lack of choice when it came to onscreen/hardware keyboard.  Always having to flip the phone upright to type can get annoying, according to some.  Then you have those that just plain did not find it intuitive.

All that aside, I do think that if it were not for the Sprint exclusive, I would have jumped on the Pre bandwagon.  And since I’m impatient and don’t want to wait till next year I started googling again for other touch screen phones.  I of course ran into the Blackberry Storm, but I had read several negative reviews on that phone and I currently have a Blackberry Pearl.  While Blackberry is great for the business stuff, I’m just tired of Blackberry.  Both the Bold and the Curve are available on my provider (at&t) but, well, meh.  I wanted a “fancy” phone that I could actually use for work (sort of like my Nokia Internet Tablet, only with a phone).

(Special note to be made here, the Blackberry Storm 2 is also just around the corner and should be watched carefully.)

Then I ran across a phone I had completely forgotten about: The T-Mobile G1.  I don’t have any bias towards T-Mobile, so switching to them wouldn’t be a problem, but I started wondering when the next android phone was going to be released and OMG, this is the year for Android.

Well doesn’t that suck, here I am stuck.  I can’t switch to T-MO and get a G1 now, especially not when it’s end of life may be september, and I wouldn’t be able to buy one of the many new phones when they come out at the reduced 2-year agreement price.  What a dilema!  What can hold me over for at least another month or two until some of these phones trickle out?

Well, my trusty NIT comes to the rescue again with NITDroid, and since I’m somewhat decent at computers I followed the “Hardcore Install Guide” which included flashing the device.  I was going to blog on the installation procedure, but there’s no point.  It went pretty much exactly the way they describe it.

Next page we’ll see how it looks..

So, It’s installed and running – How does it look?

device

apps

software

mail

notifications

Getting these screenshots was not easy!!  You better appreciate them :P.  (Personal plea to the gods of Android: There has got to be an easier way to get a screen shot besides rooting your phone, or loading the SDK!)

What about performance? That’s where I sigh my head. I’m not sure if android is to blame, or the tablets hardware, but if I run NITDroid for even 10 minutes straight it starts to lag tremendously. The screen touches take seconds to register and click, apps open slowly, etc.

Despite that, I do think this is pretty sweet.. it’ll definitely let me get used to feel of the android OS until I get my hands on a real phone, and it gives me something to use my Tablet for again ;). I just wish I could find (or they could port if it doesn’t yet exist) the Android Market on here to add the near 5k applications over there. There is a small software application that has SOME, but looks third party and not official. Also, some of the settings (like Date & Time) do not save over reboots, which can get very annoying.

But still, it checks my email, browses the web, and does all kinds of other fun things in the Android system – hopefully it keeps me occupied for a little while!

Till next time.

Tags: Android

comments powered by Disqus