My Droid, My Dream Come True

Image Source: http://www.productqas.com

I’ve been using my Blackberry 8830 since November 2007. I got it around the same time lots of my techie friends were getting their iPhones, but I refused to switch providers as my family has four lines and it was just too much to go through that kind of hassle. I’m sure you understand.

My Blackberry did everything I wanted it to. I was able to communicate through e-mail, Twitter and ultimately Facebook as well. But as time went by, browsing became an issue. The model I had did not have a built in camera and the multimedia functions of it were just not fulfilling my needs. So much so that when I was in my own home and other Wi-Fi environments, I got in the habit of using my iPod Touch to access all of my social networks and communication needs.

Then came the Droid.

This is an early holiday gift from my husband. (You’re welcome Chris. Now you don’t have to go shopping for me.) After reading and researching the Android Market and checking out the many features of the phone itself, I took a field trip to my provider’s store this past Sunday. Here are the initial features that sold me:

  • 3G network
  • camera (by the way it’s a 5 megapixels)
  • video camera
  • 3.7 inch touch screen
  • pre-installed apps (like Facebook and YouTube)
  • Wi-Fi capable

I turned off my Blackberry forever. It was funny. A few days later my 6-year old asked me if I missed it and I realized that for the last couple of years she’s known me to pretty much always have it with me. But the answer was easy. I didn’t miss it at all.

I walked out of the store, got in my car and just for fun used the Google Maps with Navigation over speakerphone to get home. The voice over the Droid gave me ACCURATE, turn-by-turn directions to get right to my driveway. Not that I won’t still use my Garmin GPS, but it’s nice to have an alternative.

One thing that the gentleman at the store explained to me is that I would no longer be able to use Microsoft Outlook to sync my Calendar and Contacts. Bummer. So, when I got inside, I fired up my computer and exported everything out of Outlook and imported everything into my Google Account. This is something I had planned to ultimately do anyway, I guess I just needed a reason. Check this out:

  • Google Over the Air updates – no need for a wire to sync your phone – it happens over the air and automatically – Holy Cow!!
  • Integrated Google and Facebook contacts – so someone calls me and I see their Facebook picture
  • Rotate the Droid and the screen changes to landscape, rotate again it goes back to the portrait orientation
  • Android Market
Image Source: http://www.dialaphone.co.uk

I’ve been downloading and using a few of the apps from the Android Market. There are about 10,000 apps there. I realize that for you iPhone users, there’s still no comparison, and I’m not writing about the Droid to bring it into the classroom, but because it’s such a great productivity tool for me. So here are the apps that I have downloaded and used so far with thanks to Damian Bariexca and Paula White:

  • Twidroid“twidroid is the industry-standard twitter client for android and among the most used twitter applications across all platforms. it’s available as a free and commercial pro version that supports all twitter features as well as functionality that is customized to the capabilities of android devices.”
  • Flashlightsimple white screen allows you to see in dark places
  • Mother TED“Mother TED allows you to watch the latest TED videos based on Themes, Talks and Tags.”
  • Where“WHERE is a bundle of cool GPS apps all wrapped into one. Are you looking for the hottest restaurants, jonesing for your next coffee fix, or need a cheap fill-up? Maybe you want to know the local weather, traffic or headlines? Whatever you are after, WHERE has it.”

It’s not quite yet a week. I have so much to learn. I’ve been bookmarking some great resources and I plan on posting more on the Droid in the near future. If you have one and care to share your experiences or some apps that have been helpful, please do. If you are thinking about getting one,  don’t hesitate to ask me about mine.

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11 thoughts on “My Droid, My Dream Come True

  1. Hi Liz, Lisa. I bought a Droid a few weeks ago. It’s not running TweetDeck or Layar yet, but that will come, I suspect. I am noticing delays in camera processes, and the battery case sometimes slides off, but overall, this is a powerful phone so far.

    I am hoping to make it down to PA.

    nice site improvements. –Richard

    1. Hey Richard!
      I haven’t experienced the issue with the battery cover yet. But I will say that I am experimenting with conserving battery power.

      I was using a widget on the main screen for Twitter but deleted in on the third day and am now just sticking to Twidroid. Too many notifications.

      Thanks for your comment and compliment – hope to see you at Educon2.2!

  2. One of Android’s big draws to me is the openness of the platform (without having to go thru the rigamarole of jailbreaking everytime there’s an update). To that end, I love the site http://www.androidanarchy.com/ for finding apps that aren’t in the official Android Market (including PDANet, which allows you to tether your Android phone).

    Beyond that, I’ve enjoyed using these apps:

    NewsRob for my RSS feeds (syncs seamlessly with Google Reader)
    gTasks for syncing my Google Tasks
    Ultra Notes for keeping pw-protected text notes
    Barcode Scanner for… well, yeah.
    Evernote also has an Android app that’s in beta, but it works well enough for what it is (would still like to see a full version, as I use EN every day at work)

    The one thing I’ve still yet to see is a good contact manager that syncs contacts and makes them accessible on the phone and on the web. I’ve tried using Skydeck as well as regular Google contacts, but as much as I love G-products, I find their contact manager to be clunky, awkward, and unintuitive. If you come across anything like that, I’d love to know about it!

    1. Thanks for the great resources Damian. I immediately bookmarked http://www.androidanarchy.com/ and will check out the others as soon as I get a chance.

      I have committed myself to giving Google Contacts a solid try. I’ll let you know if I find a tricks to it.

      Also, last night I downloaded Skype Lite and used the Chat feature. Pretty seamless and since I only pay for a certain amount of Text messages, I think I’ll be using it quite a bit for IMing.

  3. Rob Usdin says:

    If you want to still use Outlook, you can get Google’s Outlook Calendar sync. It will sync the Outlook calendar to Google Calendar and vice-versa. Just Leave Outlook open all the time and it will sync at regular intervals. Then the Droid syncs to Google Calendar as well. I do this for my work PC (which is on all the time anyway) so everything is always synced.

    –*Rob

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