Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Smart Phone upgrade!

Well, I finally went out and upgraded to a nice new Samsung Captivate Smart Phone with Android OS on the AT&T Wireless Network. Now I can surf and talk on the phone at the same time but with a lot more ease. I also picked up a Plantronix Bluetooth ear piece to make this easier. This is an upgrade for my Windows Smart Phone (NO more Windows phones for me). I dislike that phone now that I've had to live with it. Basically I'm tired of the OS and apps getting in the way of using the phone as a portable information platform. So I've started setting up the Samsung and so far it is working great. I'll need to organize the apps and where everything is but I've become very comfortable with the phone. I like the fact I can see it in direct sun light (or that I can just read everything on the phone!). I've started downloading apps (Facebook, Twitter, Mail etc) but I have a lot work more to go. I had been waiting on the iPhone but as I am an employee of AT&T I have to wait until our customers are pretty well settled out before I can get my hands on an iPhone. Now I'm glad I had to wait. :-) Don't get me wrong the iPhone is wonderful (I have an iPod Touch, great interface) but I've also wanted to get my hands on Android. So this became the chance I needed to do that. For now I'll withhold any more comments until I've lived with the phone a while (let the honeymoon wear off first). I'm also hoping to develop a few apps for Android but that will have to wait also. First I need to work on my web pages to make them more browser friendly. I think I'll visit the AT&T forums and look for tips and also read the online manual (probably with the phone). This is definitely a step up

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At 8/08/2010 12:16 PM, Blogger Neil Cherry said...

Update: Aug. 8 - I've been using the phone for about two weeks and I am happy with the overall performance of the phone. I haven't hammered on it as much as I did on the first day of use (good thing I have the unlimited plan ;-). Still it has been getting used quite a bit and I've noticed that the phone (as storage) behaves nicely with Linux. I've tried playing with Samsung's Kies but I wasn't able to load any music or access any databases (such as my contacts). One thing that I find maddeningly annoying is the 4 touch screen buttons at the bottom of the phone. They can only be activated by a magic swipe, not a simple push. I usually have to try several times to get it to do what I want. Also sometimes I accidentally touch the side of the screen as I grip the phone and it jumps off to open the app nearest the touch (argh!). Despite this I still like the phone as it does have a comfortable feel to it.

Battery life is a bit of a concern and I'm not sure why. I have to recharged the phone every day or two. Yesterday I went out on one of my long (106 miles) bicycle rides which skirted the Pine Barrens. I started with a full charge and by mile 64 the phone shut off (not enough power). I wasn't happy about this and I'll need to do some experimentation to resolve this. I'll try turning off the WiFi & GPS to see what that does to the drain rate. When I'm out riding I'm more worried about making emergency calls more than anything else. If I want to search for information I can manually turn on the data portions of the phone.

At the moment I have a number of apps loaded on the phone and I'll probably start removing a bunch of them soon. I downloaded a bunch of free apps and I'm finding that I don't use most of them. Many are redundant, I just downloaded them to make comparisons. I purchased one PIM (personal information manager) app but it seems to lack many of the features I need (score one for the Palm Pilot ;-). I've been relying on Google Calendar but I worry about Google and others snooping on my information.


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