Android Smart Phone

September 24th, 2010 by alacy

I have had my Clie (a Sony PDA with Palm OS) since Oct 2004. So it is now somewhat out of date. My Motorola Razr phone battery was getting weak. Due to the way American cell phone companies work it is cheaper to get a battery with a phone wrapped around it, than just a battery once your contact is up (I have AT&T). So I decided to check out smartphones. That way instead of having to carry a cell phone and a PDA, I could just carry the smartphone. I have liked most of the features of the iPhone, but didn’t like the “locks” put on it by Apple.

The company I work (Humana) for has a perk of getting discounts from various companies including AT&T cell phones. I could get the new Samsung Captivate for half price. This phone runs Android; it comes with version 2.1 and promise of upgrade to 2.2.

I got it. Then one of nice things about Android is the large number of “apps” available for it. I found free apps to recover the “important” data I had in Palm format

A note app, Note Everything that could import my Palm notes.

A password app, OI Safe which read all my passwords out of the Palm “App” STRIP.

Then all kinds of fun apps, like Comics which gathers up the newspaper comics I like to read.

Google Shopper which will look through the camera and read UPC barcodes then tell you where you can find that product online or local stores so you can comparison shop. I got several other free apps.

What is impressive is how much electronics has shrunk in the 6 years since I got the Clie. The captivate is about the same height and width of my Clie but 1/3 the thickness. The Clie has 16Megs and I added a 128Meg memory card that largest it will take. The Captivate has 512Megs of Ram and a built in 16Gig memory card. I took the 2 Gig card out of my Razor and added it. But it will take 32 Gig cards. Then it has digital camera, cellular radio, speakers and microphone of course, and wifi radio built in. All of this in a package 1/3 the size of the clie.

But why did I get an Android phone instead of iPhone? I would like to say it is because it is more open. But is it really, I mean is really more open to the customer? With an iPhone, Apple has pretty much complete control over what is allowed and what isn’t allowed. Google has “released” Android in open format so anything thing can be added, right. But in reality the result is because it is “open”, the cell phone companies can alter it to do or not do whatever they want. They can preload “apps” and even prevent the owner from uninstalling them. They can prevent various models from getting the latest version of Android, and tell them to get it they have to purchase a new phone. I have heard that has come to pass on some Verizon phones. AT&T even “prevents*” the owner from loading apps that do not come from the official App Market. So Android phones instead of being controlled by android’s creator (Google), they are controlled by cell phone companies. They can only do this because Android is “Open”.

So why I did I get an Android phone? I guess I just like Google better than Apple!

* Note AT&T tries to prevent owners from loading non App Market apps, but there is a windows program that will load any app to an AT&T Android phone, and it doesn’t require rooting (Android equivalent of jail breaking an iPhone).

6 Responses to “Android Smart Phone”

  1. steve Says:

    Great post, Allen. I keep getting closer and closer to getting an android type phone. I want free tethering, and that’s something Verizon keeps closing up…. Maybe in November.

  2. alacy Says:

    As I remembered Verizon is preventing HTC Droid Eris from getting the Android 2.2 upgrade.

  3. alacy Says:

    How To Tether Your Android Phone For Free

  4. steve Says:

    One of the many reasons I have not moved to a smartphone that requires a digital plan is because of the way cell providers control phones. When I bought my first cell, a Razr, I realized that Verizon had intentionally crippled it. Thinking of investing the money in something whose features someone else can intentionally inhibit doesn’t move me to upgrade my plan. 🙁

  5. alacy Says:

    Does that include cars? A friend of mine retired from volvo and said every car they produced had every thing needed for such features like traction control but they are “turned off” in the computer until they are paid for. I bet that is true for all brands of cars with computers.

  6. steve Says:

    I would guess that the reason I don’t think that way about cars is because I am less of a motor head. But I do think that way about computers.