Home > Other, Tech > Apple, I wish I knew how to quit you

Apple, I wish I knew how to quit you

AT&T's first Android OS mobile phone

AT&T's first Android OS mobile phone

So last week, I picked up the new AT&T Droid phone, the HTC Aria. It’s a smaller phone and much quicker than the iPhone 3G that I have. I enjoyed using it at first, setting it up, trying to get to know the nuances of the Android system and enjoying the freedom of breaking away from the Apple fanboi ranks. At first blush, it’s a refreshing change from the current trend of ever-larger smartphones (case in point, the massive, just-released Motorola Droid X).

Measuring 4.1- x 2.3- x 0.46-inches and weighing 3.8 ounces with the 1,200mAh battery installed, the phone is light and tight in every respect. We also adore the matte black rear that both rejects fingerprints and slides easy in and out of the average denim pocket. We will say, however, that the über-glossy display (a 480 x 320 resolution capacitive touchpanel) was a tad too glossy when taken outside (quoted from the Engadget review).

This in contrast with the iPhone 3G, which measures 4.52″ x 2.44″ x 0.49″ and weighs 4.7 ounces. Screen size is 3.2″ for the Aria and 3.7″ for the iPhone. Processors are a 600MHz Qualcomm (so not the 1 Ghz Snapdragon of some of the other Android phones out there) for the Aria and a Samsung ARM 412 Mhz processor for the iPhone.

The number of applications available in the Android store number some 70,000 vs. over 270,000 in the Apple App Store. While this seems to be a huge discrepancy, keep in mind that the most commonly downloaded apps are available in both platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Kindle reader, Twitter, YouTube, etc.). So with Aria and iPhone in hand, I set out to see if I liked one over the other.

A view of all the Android home screens

A view of all the Android home screens

I overall liked the speed of the Aria but found it a bit small in my hands. I also like the rounded back which seemed to fit my palm much more comfortably. I liked the haptic feedback on the keys and I liked the ability to jump to one of seven home screens simply by “pinching” the screen.

I also liked that “swiping” the title bar when there were notifications would drop down a screen that showed what the notifications were. Plus, Android allows for multi-tasking, which the stock iPhone doesn’t. That being said, I returned the Aria 4 days later. While I loved the Android OS, there were 3 reasons that I returned the phone.

  1. It was too small for my taste (the keyboard was a bear to work with, given my sausage fingers)
  2. It was missing some apps that I use a lot (Citrix being one)
  3. The battery life was poor (the iPhone lasted about twice as long, given the same use.)
A jailbroken iPhone homescreen

A jailbroken iPhone homescreen

A different homescreen theme

A different homescreen theme

So I am back to my jailbroken, unlocked iPhone 3G. I already had the multi-tasking though Backgrounder, the notifications through LockScreen, and the home screen jump feature through SpringJumps. I am able to add applications NOT in the Apple App store through Cydia and I can switch to another GSM carrier like T-Mobile.

It just didn’t make sense to switch just for the haptic feedback feature and the faster processor. I really wanted to love this phone. I love the OS but I’ll go month-to-month on AT&T until I find a phone that works better for me.

*NOTE* Both images are from my iPhone. I can switch easily between themes using Winterboard

Categories: Other, Tech Tags: , , ,
  1. Scott Hall
    July 16, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Hey Ody. Next time you get the itch to try out an Android phone, I hope you have a chance to use Swype or the similar SlideIT. I am in the Swype beta and it is what convinced me to go without a physical keyboard on my new phone. I know find regular “typing” on my work iPhone to be nearly unbearable.

    I don’t know if the AT&T Aria has this, AT&T has locked out a lot of stock Android/Google features from what I hear, but the default soft keyboard had a mic symbol on that let’s you dictate (Android 2.X). I found that to work pretty well.

    One last note, when you are feeling adventuresome, I believe that some in the Apple/Android community have managed to apply the Android OS to the iPhone environment.

    Happy hunting.

    • Ody
      July 17, 2010 at 7:22 am

      You rock, as always, my friend.

  1. July 15, 2010 at 12:42 pm
  2. July 15, 2010 at 2:42 pm

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