Flowers Behind Bars
Back in February I blogged not once, but twice about ‘TheBest Gadget I’ve bought this year…(so far)” my new G1 phone. Which, basically I was very happy with.
There were however a few things which were really not very good. The camera being the most disappointing feature, being slow to respond, very blurry and having no video capability. Well, this week ‘cupcake’ or firmware version 1.5 of the Android operating system appeared and has made many improvements.
So I thought it was time to have a quick word about that and reflect on how many of the ‘features’ I am still finding useful and what has since dropped by the wayside.
Sticking with the camera – I have found this unusable till 1.5 came out. Now, from the photo above you can see that the quality is acceptable and more importantly the time delay has been improved on and usability of camera save, share or delete functions all much easier than before. By the way, this looks like there may be flash involved but there isn’t any flash on this phone. Also the camera can now shoot video which certainly is good enough to watch back on the camera I haven’t yet tried viewing it later on a computer.
Other than that the only things I’ve noticed about the firmware update has been that perhaps the browser is slightly faster, but many of the options in various widgets and apps are more obvious and easy to use. I’ve found it hard to quantify but keep noticing small things that are slightly better – not a great review but there we are.
Now, looking back at what I thought were good features in my initial review to see what (if any) I am still using.
GPS – is good, I’ve used it much more than I thought I would and other than being a little slow (this is a general 3G problem) it is accurate and easy to use. What I would like is some form of bookmarks or breadcrumbs feature which I believe are available through Marketplace but I haven’t found anything I liked yet.
Gmail integration – excellent, can’t fault
Google Cal – OK, but I haven’t found a ‘view’ I like. still like it and use it but probably only becuase it interfaces with google cal so all my stuff is there… if I was just looking at this as a phone calender solution I would find it hard to use.
Apps like Shazam (which recognizes music being played to tell you what it is) and Shop Savy (which scans bar codes on books, CDs, DVDs and some other things and gives you reviews comparative prices, etc.) are excellent. I use both of these a lot!
Fbook – a facebook app is alright but then I don’t check facebook that often
BBC News widget – always gives you something to read when you have 5 min and want to look at your phone for a bit.
Games – I can take or leave. Some have been a little more addictive than others, but really it is good that there are so many in the market place so you can simply try out new ones now and again.
Notebook – there are lots of different ones and I’m still trying a few, but they are very handy and I’ve used these for simple shopping lists, reminders and for taking full notes of sermons or at meetings.
As for build and robustness – generally I do take care of the phone, so it hasn’t been too abused but I’ve found the keyboard still satisfactory sturdy when you slide the screen out, it is very easy to use and responsive. The screen is easy to read in all lighting conditions I’ve noticed so far (I am in Scotland so I’ve not had too much glaring sunshine to test this with).
So, in summary, still by far the best gadget I’ve bouthg this year (so far) …. oh and BTW my other major gadgety purchase has been a PS3, which is great but not as good as the phone. Now, while I might find this a bit useful to look back on I really can’t imagine why anyone else will still be reading this all the way to the end so for those who have here is a quick word of thanks… Ta!