Friday, January 8, 2010

Motorola Milestone

Motorola released a device called the Droid, exclusive to Verizon Wireless in the US. A short while later, they announced the Milestone, a non-Verizon-locked phone.

I ordered one, and have been playing around with it for a week (not long, but long enough).

So, some thoughts.

  1. The initial thought is that all smart phones will come this way
    • the day of the monolithic phone OS and majority built-in apps is over
    • the phone OS will do very little, but will provide a platform
    • your functionality will come from apps that you download (free or paid)
    • your phone stability might be compromised, as could your information depending on the trust worthiness of the app provider
  2. Its not better than my Nokia E75 in many respects, but there is the promise and hope of improvement in the very active Android Market, which is teeming with tons of apps (both rubbish and useful)
    • It doesn't allow you send/receive business cards via SMS or e-mail
    • You can't send a file to it via Bluetooth (or receive one)
    • You can't change the sort order from First Name, Last Name for contacts
    • You can't adjust the sync frequency for syncing to the various Google services (e.g. Contacts, Calendar, Mail) and corporate services other than, at most, 1 hour. Weekday/weekend, 4 hour and other options would be nice.
    • Battery life is just as rubbish - 1.5 days, maximum
      • But not bad considering its a much bigger screen
    • etc, etc
  3. Its fast, and the on-screen keyboard isn't bad - I haven't yet had to resort to the physical keyboard
  4. The IMAP and corporate syncing (read Exchange) support is superlative
  5. It multi-tasks!
  6. Android OS is still immature, and rough around the edges - that's why a manufacturer like HTC spends time and money developing their own UI

All points to a device that requires some polish, both from an OS and app provider perspective. Sounds positive! So what are the negatives ?

  1. Come on Motorola, where is Android 2.1 ? Its been out now for at least a week, and this Milestone of mine is still running 2.0. Hell, I'd even be happy with 2.01
  2. Come on Google, I thought you were all about "not doing evil" ? Why can I not buy paid applications from the Android Market ? Its only available in some countries.
    • There is a way to get around this; use market-enabler, which requires you to hack your phone, which I can't do yet because the phone is still so relatively new

Overall, I'm happy with the device. Should I have waited for the Nexus One ? Nah, I like a keyboard on my devices. I'll pass.

Lets hope Motorola and Google get their act together.