Sunday, June 27, 2010

android, nice but...

Ok, who don't know android, the smartphone platform from google? Since the first iphone the smartphone sector is a fast growing market. Recently, both apple and google released a new version of their smartphone platform with lots of improvements and new features. For me, as an opensource enthusiast, android was always the prefered platform, but when i bought my nokia n900, android wasn't that popular. With the release of the nexus one i strongly though about to buy it.

Now i'm glad i didn't bought it. Last week my brother bought the new samsung galaxy s with android 2.1 and i finally could play around with it.

So far i'm disappointed. Why? (n900 vs. galaxy s)

Let's start with the positive about android:

It looks nice. Very nice. Compared to my n900 the android ui is much more colorful. But i guess it's not google's work. As far as i know every company who sell android phones makes his own user interface. Please correct me if i'm wrong. Anyway, in combination with the super amoled display the android phone looks really cool.

Secondly, its fast. Even if its still android 2.1 (android 2.2 should get again much faster) it's very responsive. But since it has a 1Ghz prozesser and the very latest hardware it shouldn't be a suprise. Other advantages over my n900 are a better webbrowser or google maps. Ovi maps really sucks here, but thats something which i don't use that often. There are also much more "apps" available for the android, but i really don't miss any "app" on my n900. They should just improve things like the webbrowser ;)

Let's move to the negative about android:

The first thing i wanted to configure was wlan. At home we have a wireless network with wpa2. Establishling the connection was no problem. The phone immediately found the network and made a connection. Afterwards it wanted to get the ip-address. The problem is, i don't have an dhcp server set up. Every pc/laptop/mobile is configured by hand. In android's case i couldn't find a way to configure it. I don't know how to set up the ip-address or dns-server. Maybe i oversaw it elsewhere but for now it looks like i have to set up an dhcp-server just for that phone..

Another big minus is the poor integration of various services, like jabber. On my n900 it's very easy to set up new accounts. Since it's a real linux it's also very easy to get new protocols like for icq. On the n900 you can add accounts for nearly every protocol and the real big plus is that it's directly integrated into the phone. Every conversation is listed under "conversations", dosn't matter if it comes through icq or a sms. Futhermore, since facebook can be access through jabber, it's one of the most awesome features at all. I have all my friends directly in my contact list and can chat with them through facebook without starting any chat app.

On the android you just have a gmail integration. Actually you can also add an facebook account, but it just imports the contacts. Chatting is not possible. At least it didn't work for me. Don't know if i oversaw here something again. Other protocols are only available through apps like meebo and because of that, there is absolutly no integration with the, for example, contact list.

Video chatting was also not possible. Don't know how that works, i'm pretty sure it works somehow, at least for google talk. On my nokia n900 it's possible to make video-chat's through skype, sip and google-talk (ok, first since the last update).

Another showstopper was the youtube player. I wanted to compare the screens with a hd-video from youtube. I searched for "black eyed peas" and found immediately the official music video from "i got a feeling" in high definition (with mYtube). Android's youtube client found.. well.. everything but not this video. I've tried other videos too, but while my n900 always found the right video, the android phone found always something else. It didn't found any hd-videos at all. Don't know how that youtube client works, but thats something which should be really improved.

Right now i'm glad that i didn't bought an android phone. I really would miss some great features (xterm is by far the most important application anyway). We will see how android improve in the future and, more important, how nokia will improve his meego platform. I can't wait too see the first meego phone. :)

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