Its been a few months since my first look at Android. Since then I’ve had a chance to play with more of the finer details of how this OS works. And I’m very impressed with the direction it is taking.
First things first, living with the google stock image was good. But using a modded image takes this device to the next level. A rooted phone gives you access to some of the best apps I’m using the legendary CyanogenMod image that is based of the Cupcake 1.5 image and boasts massive optimization to give your phone some serious oomph.
Overall Android works very well. As a phone, it is easy and intuitive, everything is laid out well and should be a breeze for even dumbphone users. As a smartphone, the modded image provides almost anything that any other OS has to offer. Multi-touch, MS Exchange, WPA enterprise, wifi tethering (genius) among others make the package complete. Apps like Google Voice, Sherpa and Locale make everyday use of the phone just brilliant. Heck, I can even get turn-by-turn directions using CoPilot for just $35, which is a bargain considering a standalone one runs you around $100 or more.
Downsides. The one that bugs me the most is the lack of a better phone. I like the physical keyboard on my G1 but I’d be willing to use the soft-keyboard for a lighter smaller phone with a better battery life. Can’t wait for Rachael. However, this isn’t an OS issue. There are some issues with speed in certain areas. For example, switching orientation from portrait to landscape or back has a clear 4 second hang time. The touch screen sometimes isn’t responsive (again not sure if this is software or hardware). Apps like CoPilot or other more CPU intensive ones run sluggish on the G1 (maybe newer faster processors could fix this). While there are plenty of good apps in the market, there are certain areas where it is lacking. For example, the best task manager in the market is TasKiller, which is far from being perfect. T
The market search is terrible. Search is bad on a google OS? How does that make any sense? They are a search company! What is worse is that there isn’t a good website either to compensate for this. For example, a market website that lists all market apps, which can be searched and sorted by ratings or downloads (overall, month, week etc), post comments, links to developer site and other such info (Hint: Firefox addons).
I see Android as being well poised to challenge the market. Should keep things fresh and interesting as the competition heats up