Although it has been a relatively short time since I announced my new Android phone, the reality is that today marks the third week since I got it.
As you might expect, going from no phone at all to a smart phone was quite a surprising experience. To be able to pack the power of a netbook into such a small device and have it still be able to function as a computer is no small feat.
As things stand right now, I quite like the little phone. It really is convenient to have an Internet device with me almost anywhere I go, even if I do have to keep an eye one the battery. Being able to sit down where ever I choose, and write a post for this site, without having to deal with carrying a laptop around is amazing, if a little hard on my thumbs (so the laptop isn’t going anywhere). And if all goes as I hope it will with the ssh client I just installed, it should be possible for me log in to my server to fix some service that has crashed or make a quick change to a piece of html code to read differently. Perhaps even more appealing in having an ssh client always with me is that it would allow me to make quick changes in a program I am working on - few things are more irritating than realizing how to fix a piece of code and not being able to try out the fix for hours.
In the future I hope to add even power to the administrative powers of my phone by setting up a monitoring service on my server - or perhaps on my router if enough flash memory is free - that would notify me via my phone if something went down. Beyond that, I eventually hope to find time to start creating software for Android, especially because in some areas the free options for functions are rather limited.
In fact, the limited amount of software is one of the things which has frustrated me about Android. Google’s decision to restrict the languages used for application development means that many open source applications will never be ported to Android (for example Pidgin) or are still not ready (for example VLC). As a result, when I looked for a video player that could play Xvid, I found nothing that was both free and appeared to work correctly, forcing me to convert to mp4 instead. I don’t know if other software can be used if you root your phone (and even if you can, I won’t root unless I am sure I will not loose my warranty from doing so) but given that Android is based on Linux, this lack of choice leaves me a little dissatisfied. The only other issue I have is the quirks in the Android Market search. I don’t know if this is a problem that is unique to my phone or carrier, but some things simply don’t show up unless you search by their name, rather than simply by their function. Considering that it is a Google program, this poor search seems rather shocking.
All in all, despite the limitations on application development, the my MyTouch Slide seems to be quite the phone. I certainly like its administrative capacity, and the GPS integration with Google Maps and directions has already helped me out a number of times. In short, I utterly refuse to swap it for an Iphone, even the Iphone 4 (I rather like holding my phone in my left hand)