Nexus One, Week Five

8 02 2010

As you might expect, my perspective as a mobile user has completely changed since getting the Nexus One – and taking the mobile media and communications class. I’m now watching the growth of mobile platforms and examining mobile content through the lens of someone constantly seeking Android apps. My views used to be pretty iPhone-centric. I assumed an iPhone app would suffice and satisfy a content owner’s needs for a mobile application. But as the marketplace becomes more fragmented and new platforms emerge, this is obviously not the case. RIM’s Blackberry remains the most popular smartphone platform in the United States, but Android doubled its market share from 2.5% in September 2009 to 5.2% in December, according to comScore. Palm, meanwhile, lost some of its market share. As more carriers release Android phones, Google’s market share will continue to grow.

Here’s an update on my experience with the Nexus One:

System update. There are so many  great features on the phone that I didn’t care very much about the lack of multi-touch. But once I heard that multi-touch was coming in a system update, I kept checking my phone, waiting for an alert. After a couple days, I finally received the update and have been pleased with the ability to pinch zoom in and out.

Navigation. I continue to be wowed by the Google Maps Navigation feature. Using the turn-by-turn voice directions, I successfully arrived at a meeting in Capitol Hill (among many other locations). When I reached my destination, the map view on the phone automatically switched to a street view of the building. I love that this is built into the system. Now if they could just release an update that would change the robotic navigation voice.

Camera. I’m on Day 8 of my Photo-A-Day Project, using the Nexus One camera, Photoshop app and Posterous. I’ve been enjoying my small mission and learning more about what the camera can and can’t do.

I finally figured out how to turn off the annoying shutter sound that the camera makes every time you snap a photo. When I searched for solutions, various forums said turning off the ringer will silence the camera. I typically have the ringer off, but I’ve discovered that I have to turn the ringer on, enter the camera mode, then turn the ringer off. THEN there’s no creepy shutter sound. (Yes, I know the sound actually exists to prevent creepiness.)

Apps. The UrbanSpoon app is now available for Android. This is a welcome addition to my phone. So is the WordPress app. I also downloaded the PDANet app, which allows you to use your phone as a wifi router. I haven’t set it up yet, nor do I really have any need for it right now, but some day this could be very valuable (say, on long car or train trips). There is a PDANet app for the iPhone, but you have to jail break your phone to use it. (Things like that make me happy I’m supporting the open Android system.)

Walking on campus

I’ve been trying out the CardioTrainer app, which uses GPS to track your runs, walks, bike rides, etc. It seems pretty accurate. It also has an indoor setting that works as a pedometer, so if you’re on a track or treadmill, you can still record your workout. I just got an armband for the Nexus One, so I’ll be trying out the app on a treadmill to see if it accurately counts my steps.

Accessories. I’m less pleased with the armband. The Amazon listing claimed that the armband was for the Nexus One and the G1. I was skeptical that it would fit the Nexus One, but for $12, I was willing to try it. I probably should have listened to my skepticism. The phone fits fine in the case, but the hole for the headphone jack doesn’t line up to the phone and there’s no access to the power button at the top, which you use to turn the screen on. I’ve been using the armband, but not putting the top flap over the phone. It’s still pretty secure, but not ideal. Fortunately, the touchscreen works pretty well through the plastic.

Lesson learned: As more and more companies create Nexus One accessories, buyer beware.

Lastly. I’ve been enjoying Google’s series of short videos about the making of the Nexus One.




One response

8 02 2010

I am thoroughly enjoying your detailed reports of the nexus one performance week after week. it’s well written and will certainly be a useful tool for anyone who is researching the device. and i have to admit i am becoming quite impressed with it, based on your descriptions. me – the born sceptic when it comes to devices that seem too cool to be real and too hyped to possibly live up to its expectations. good job and keep the blog going. and don’t worry about the arm band. it appears to be a better fit than the aftermarket rubberized raincoat i bought for my nokia dumb phone. but i only shelled out 5 bucks. with the exact same reasoning, for 5 bucks i could afford to try. my nokia still lives a dangerous life on the trails, in constant peril of sweat and rain. (btw, i hate gloabl warming – this should have been snow at 3000 feet, but that’s blog food for a different context)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: