Well let’s deal with the problems first…
First, Android 1.5 doesn’t play nicely with ics files, so invites over email don’t work. Even if you use the browser(s), it seems that you can’t accept the invite via that method either. So even though the calendar updates like greased lightening to Google Calendar, you have to add meetings you are invited to manually (for now) and you can’t use the calendar app to invite others. If you want to do that you have to use the web interface.
Second, Android chews data like there is no tomorrow. Granted the 150+MB that I’ve used in the last 24h is as much due to grabbing apps, playing with YouTube and otherwise populating the device. This device is going to certainly push me through the 250-300MB/month that I was pushing on the Bold, so I’m glad I have been able to “slide” my data plan over, according to two Rogers agents, there is no difference in BB and regular data. This is a nice seque into the good.
The good… just about everything. I purchased the device 24h second hand off Kijiji and the guy I got it from basically had done what I was planning on doing – Buy the $450 Hero (vs the $600 Magic), unlock it and get it ready to roll on Rogers by updating the APN and other settings.
Primary gateway IP: 172.25.0.107
So a quick SIM card swap and a quick boot later (way faster than BB!) I was up and running.
In my first 24h I’ve played with Layar and this is really where things are going to go in my opinion. AR will give data a home in our world, not just on screens in an office, lab or class. I’ve played with Google Sky and been blown away by this “ancient AR” app. I’ve had to grab the Smsfixtimes app to deal with the SMS timestamp issue, but that opened the world to the modular nature of the phone. Don’t like the default client for “X”, find another one and try it out and more often than not, it works (except it seems for games that seem to really suck right now).
I’ve grabbed chompsms as my SMS client now, I use Dolphin as a secondary browser (for one essential feature – saving YouTube videos… ’cause you never know when Bug’s going to want/need a silly song) and I’ve grabbed Ringdroid to chop mp3s into ringtones easily. All this is Android stuff, but where this device really shines is via the Sense UI.
Ubergadets are all about data and HTC has figured out that data is only useful when it is presented at the right time. So HTC has cooked up Scenes that let you choose how to display data. I thought this was a gimmick at first, but as I build the Scenes, they are making more and more sense. Some of the widgets are GPS enabled, so the update based on location, other apps help with usability in certain conditions – like driving. So until Eclair hits (I’m hoping I’ll be able to do the update even though I’m not with Telus) I can build my own car mode.
I’m just starting to scratch the surface and if I were to characterize the experience that I’ve had so far when it comes to smartphones – WinMo is your ‘rents phone… it’s a computer that got misplaced to make calls, the iPhone is for those who want everything neat and tidy, BB is for those who want a bit more customization, but want to have a solid base underneath, Android is the wild west with things coming and going – pretty good most of the time, but there are some rough spots that really give it character.