An update on my Nexus One/Android Experience

I first wrote about the Nexus One when it first came out, I’ve been carrying it as one of my daily devices for awhile now. Here’s some updated thoughts on the good, the bad and the ugly.

The Good –
It’s fast. It’s hard to use devices that can’t match a certain fluidity of use and the N1 delivers on that. Both in terms of overall device speed and T-Mobile’s rather speedy 3G network (when I’m in coverage) make it a delight to use.

Google Integration. If you use Google services, nothing delivers at the moment like Android. Gmail, Google Cal, Google Voice, etc are all tightly integrated into the platform.
Hardware. HTC is delivering killer hardware these days. N1 is an example of state of the art.

The Bad –
Battery life. This one’s sort of mixed. At first, I had a hard time getting through a work day. After lots of tweaking of settings, sync services and other stuff, I can now easily get through a full day but it took literally weeks of tweaks for me to get there. The average user wouldn’t have a chance.

Games. Or lack thereof. I don’t have to worry about running down my battery by playing games as I have none installed. Zero. I just can’t find a good Android game. Maybe I’m missing something but I do a lot of gaming on my iPhone. A lot.

The UI. Sorry, I don’t like it. One of these days I really need to get Sense on this device. Too much time on silly things like animated wallpaper, not enough on things people use.

The Ugly –
Keyboard. It’s awful. Google I can’t believe you shipped this thing. Fortunately it’s relatively easy to hack HTC’s rather EXCELLENT keyboard on the device. Sadly, there’s no real version of Swype available for the N1. Swype should just be the default for every Android device.

Anything Non Google. As great as Google services integration is, anything not Google is well, mediocre. Two email clients? Sheesh, why do I want that? Exchange integration is about the worst I’ve ever seen with limited support for email and contacts and no calendar support at all. Media sync? It’s non existent. Too many table stakes features missing.

Overall? The N1 is a great device if you use Google services (at the moment, I depend on them). For my critical mobile functions of email, PIM, RSS and Twitter the N1 delivers well. For my secondary app level functions including media, gaming and long tail apps, the N1 still falls short. The velocity of mobile we saw this week does show what happens when Android is in the right hands. Both the Samsung Galaxy S and in particular the HTC EVO 4G show what state of the art mobility look like. Both are built on Android 2.1, although you’d never know it. Perhaps, that’s as it should be.

2 responses to “An update on my Nexus One/Android Experience

  1. As far as the games go, I agree – even the most serious user wants to have them available these days.

    The problem still, is the limited app storage available on every Android device brought out so far. I’ve had to uninstall all of the games I’ve downloaded and purchased, and I find myself shuffling apps because I’m constantly hitting the limits of free space. For example, I had to uninstall Google Earth as soon as I’d had a play with it – this is the kind of thing it’s cool to have to hand, but not essential, so it loses out.

    I’m pretty sure this space issue is the #1 factor strangling takeup of paid apps, and game development on Android.

    Having said that, there are some pretty decent games coming out now, this video covers some of them (link below). Hard to find on app market without knowing they’re there, though.

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