Lots of buzz about the Droid over the weekend as more users got their hands on a device. My first take is posted over on SlashGear and it’s mostly positive. If, however, you’re thinking of getting one, here’s a list of five things that you should know about before you buy.
1. Applications. Despite the 10,000 apps in the the marketplace there’s too much stuff still missing, especially in terms of entertainment. That means a real lack of good games, no eBook readers like Kindle or Noook, no Slingplayer etc. Even worse, Android 2.0 still has a limit of 256mb for application storage. Sorry, that’s not even close for what most users need. Also not seeing a lot of best of breed applications. I still can’t find a decent Twitter client that comes close to what’s available for other platforms. Apple’s lead in the app marketplace is now 10x but beyond numbers, it’s the depth, breadth and quality of the apps that make the app store stand out.
2. Security. No real password protection. Hardware or SD encryption. No remote management or wipe. Maybe Ok for consumers but hardly good enough to protect anything important.
3. Exchange. It’s nice to see Exchange support native (HTC has offered it for their Android devices for some time) to Android but it’s not a great implementation. Too many issues, especially in terms of calendar.
4. Keyboard. Sorry, the keyboard just doesn’t work for me. The keys are too flat and too close together. This is the first time that the virtual keyboard is better than the physical one and that one’s not great (there’s a few better keyboards for sale in marketplace)
5. PC Sync ) I know the idea is to move everything to the cloud but the reality is, there’s a lot of folks who still want to do local sync to Outlook and get their contacts and calendars on their devices that way. Worse, there’s no media sync. I understand some folks prefer to just drag and drop their stuff on their device but I can’t imagine why (unless you’ve got a tiny music collection or are just moving limited content such as podcasts). I certainly don’t want to try and replicate my playlists in iTunes or Zune one song at a time, digging through directories on my desktop.
Even with these issues, I do believe Android is going to be force to reckoned with in this space and the Droid, if for no other reason than because it’s on Verizon’s excellent network is going to be a very popular device. I do think it’s going to appeal to more of a geek audience than a mainstream audience at this point.