I recently switched from a 2008 smartphone running Windows Mobile to a Samsung i5700 Galaxy Spica that runs the open-source operating system Android put out by Google. Here are some impressions after two weeks of use.
- I really miss the old phone’s hardware keyboard. Typing on the touch screen is slow and error-prone, especially since the Swedish layout has to cram in three extra keys. And for some reason the Swedish dictionary never makes any word suggestions. What’s up with that?
- Everything is so much prettier under Android than under the 2008 version of Windows Mobile.
- The web browser finally works equally well as desktop software. Among other things, it will allow me to blog from a tree-top in the woods again.
- I love the ease of finding, downloading and installing new software under Android.
- The Spica offers a respectable maximum volume on its audio output, which is a big improvement over my old phone.
- Finally I can use the GPS to find my way around and for geocaching (Geobeagle!) without paying for an on-line map service. Google Maps piped straight into my handset for free, yay!
- Google Listen is a really slick podcatching client. Sadly one of my favourite podcasts, Radio Lab, hasn’t made sure that its feed works there.
- I can’t get the dedicated Gmail client to work, but the generic e-mail client works well for that purpose too.
- The “PC Studio” Windows software intended to allow USB cable communication with the handset is ugly and bloated and I can’t get it to work. All I want is for the phone to act like a USB memory stick, OK? Can anybody suggest a good alternative for Linux?
- In order to get the SD memory chip out of the Spica you have to open the case. Poor design.
- Question: I have a html file on my SD card. How do I make it my web browser’s starting page?