From Colour Stained glass to the monochromatic Bot
The Gripes of a WinMo switchover!
Just got my Dell Streak this Wednesday, unlocked from dell direct (at the temporarily reduced price!). From order to receipt was just 48hrs! Which was quite nice!
As you may infer from the title, this is my first Android device, previous to this (and still somewhat current) I used the HTC HD2 running WM6.5, (and probably would not have switched had the 5” streak been available on WinMo!).
These are my first impressions (in a 48hr period) on switching over (and I should add that my views on the device may be somewhat inter-twined with that of the O.S, and vice-versa!)
Somewhat underwhelmed, as someone else pointed out (don’t know why), but hopefully will get more excited as time passes.
Bigger Screen! If what you’re after is a screen bigger than the HD2 4.3” then this is for you, as it increase the visual real-estate of the HD2 whilst keeping the slip form-factor and with negligible weight increase! The HD2 looks positively tiny in comparison, the galaxy S? looks like 3”. Quality? Quite good, LCD wise, as I cannot speak for AMOLED. Problems? Control of brightness! adjustable on the home screen, but seemingly with an inaccessible life of its own within opened apps. (I know if you check the ones that have settings options they supposedly give the option to copy the system default, but i don’t believe they really do!).
Landscape Default, immediately corrected with ADW home Launcher! Haven’t been able to load any others, probably due to it being v1.6 Donut! I am missing the fully-fledged abilities of my SPB shell though!
Utilities; be prepared to look for your own for the majors (app killer/Task manager, File explorer). Widgets seem rather limited (or non-existant), possibly due to it being Donut 1.6. Touchdown?!
Apps: Whilst this may be an Android selling point, I personally (and currently) only see this as complacent ease-of-accessibility. There may be a lot, but the ones that really count aren’t there in numbers like on WM. I’ve only found limited singles for my major requirements, so be prepared for some slight frustrations
Ebooks: If you are a major ebook reader like me, be prepared to have to convert your whole library to just one format. On my HD2 my primary app was uBook; which read html, txt, rtf, pdb, prc, formatted everything on the fly into numbered pages and automatically remembered the last page/position you were on (even after complete exit and unit power-off!). My first two options on Android, aldiko and laputa, wouldn’t give me access to my library on the card. The third, iReader, could read txt & html files from my card, but had no numbered pages (only a top-to-bottom kinetic scroll option), so after laboriously scrolling down to where I was in the book, imagine my horror when I accidentally used the back tab, which took me back to the SD card library, on going back in, right at the Top again! Okay, my bad lets see what happens when I jump to device home; go back in, yes it’s still at the same place. But should it completely close or be app killed, or device shut off, guess what? Right Back At The Top Again!
Fourth time was the charm with FBreader, which could access my card to read my ePub converted library (Nobody please mention calibre! This system hog slowed down my PC, when batch converting only 100 text/doc file, for over an hour!), although it still has no numbered pages and is still a top-down kinetic scroller (I have to book-mark paragraphs). Fingers crossed for when its completely shut off.
Comics: only one real option so far; ACV! Comics look brilliant (re: sharp/vibrant/colourful)on the 5”screen, with well adapted settings options for landscape and portrait viewing controls.
Videos: Rockplayer for all your multi-format needs! Unfortunately it’s got that subtle playback issue (slight scratchy audio and video sync) that other people have reported for which you have no recourse to tweak the settings, as there are none! Unlike Winmo
Photos: No file/folder differentiating photo manager like Resco’s yet! (No separate icon option for camcorder recording either)
Youtube: accesses and plays fine, but seems to default to the lowest quality (will see if I can update or change the default)
Internet Browsing: the default browser is surprisingly quite pleasant (speedy and easy to use), although some sites default to mobile, and it has this annoying issue (probably Dell related) of not showing the additional product page options in the Android marketplace if you have the device in Portrait mode! (Weird, I know!). Readeable (in portrait!) on NO ZOOM!
Navigation: I am not missing my use of stand-alone nav systems, as, from the little I have used it, Google Nav seems quite brilliant!
Audio managers/Players: seems to be only one major rated one so far (audio manager pro) which I have yet to use, but I do miss my S2P/Coreplayer apps
Games: Now this seems to be where the 5” screen and Android /marketplace seem to have a kissing spot. I have only d/l’d Robo Defender so far, but it is brilliant (nope, not over-using the word!), and with similar games to utilise the screen ,and system, the future is golden.
Social Networking: don’t use, but i do think Android’s widgets, with spaciousness of the screen would go together.
So, overall (and thank you for bearing with me in my diatribe), in switching over to the Dell Streak on Android; for the 5” Screen, yes its worth it. (For the O.S. on its own without the screen, and on 1.6, not really for me). (Not a hardcore Winmo fan perse, but it is much more mature and fully fleshed than Android! Even now with all major players, including its creators, seemingly having bailed!)
If you want to read comics on a larger screen DEFINITELY!
Ebooks, yes (but with the above caveats).
Video? Need more players w/ settings to tweak!
So, the future is bright, the future is: the Dell Streak on Android!