Thursday, January 8, 2009

1st feedback on Android and the G1

Some feedback on my shiny new G1 handset Dream-Edition. I've used it for a couple of hours only so I'm utterly unable to answer the question I had in mind ever since I heard about Android: Is it really an iPhone killer?

Anyways, after two hours of using it, I can tell:

  • It boots pretty darn fast. Much faster than the iPhone. I expect it's gonna get worse since early versions tend to be more lightweight. Let's hope this won't change.

  • I had troubles joining the open-wireless network at Google. It tried to grab an IP for several minutes and that really frustrated me. Hopefully it eventually got an IP and could become more useful than a brick. It's amazing how these new phones are useless without Internet connectivity. It was very frustrating to see the G1 failing to grab an IP when my iPhone worked just fine.

  • The Google Maps application kicks ass. It's much much better than that in the iPhone, especially in terms of latency. On the iPhone the map tiles load one by one and very slowly (even on the WiFi with a high-speed Internet link). On my Android it's blazingly fast.

  • The Alarm Clock application is a joke. That of the iPhone is much more complete and serves as a World Clock, Stopwatch and Timer.

  • There is already a whole bunch of cool free apps on the phone!

  • edit: When you hold the G1 in your hand, your thumb begs to have a button on the right side of the handset. Alas, there is no such button and the buttons below the screens are unreachable without changing the way you hold the handset. Too bad. This is really an usability oversight.

My main concern right now is that the G1 is unable to see the SSID of my home WiFi network and I have no explanation for this. It's a standard WEP network and works just fine on my 2 MacBooks and with my iPhone. Yet the G1 doesn't even show its SSID in the list of available networks (it does see the networks of my neighbors however). Very frustrating. Some other Googlers who use the same ADSL-modem-router seem to experience the same issue.

Anyways right now Android looks very promising to me!

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