Join Date: Mar 2010
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| | For me, its the Blackberry by FAR!!
I gave the Motorola Android a fair chance, but when I switched to a Blackberry my stress level went from a 10 to a 2.
If you are under 30, or don't use your mobile device for business purposes, this post does NOT apply to you. (No offense to the under 30 crowd. It's just that you grew up with a lot more technology devices and learning new ways of doing things are easier on you.)
If you need to send and receive phone calls, send/receive text, send and receive email, manage your appointment calendar and otherwise continue doing your job, this post might help you.
Background - I am an over 40 self employed business person. I hope I save someone the pain and stress that I had by trying a Droid. I use MS Outlook for mail and calendaring on my desktop. I was a long time Palm Pilot then Palm Treo user. The Treo finally wore out and time to upgrade. I would have stayed with Palm, but their new products seemed lame compared to Droid and Blackberry.
The Verizon store salesperson (energetic early 20's) told me the Droid was the way to go, hands down it's the coolest thing in the Verizon armory.
I don't know if I even want this thing, but the salesman says there's a 30 day return policy (less restocking fee). Okay let's do this. I'll buy it. What a disaster from the very start.
1. I took my Droid home and, like I've done with my previous 5 phones, expected to hook a cable to my desktop and sync my email setups, contacts, calendar, etc. I just wanted to sync up my life and keep on trucking. WHAT!!! the Droid won't synch with Outlook desktop?!?! You've got to be effing kidding me right? A day and a half later here's the deal. The stock answer is "of course the Droid syncs with Outlook desktop". You just need to do it wirelessly through your Gmail account." I already have 7 different email accounts and I don't want a gMail account - too damn bad, if you want to continue your life, you'd better get a gMail account, and learn to use it and learn to use google apps - like calendaring too. Crap. There's got to be a better way, this can't be possible. So yes there are companies that claim to have an "app for that". CompanionLink is probably the leader. Forget about it - unless you like limping along or making do with cobbled calendar. Nice folks at CompanionLink. I called their tech support and quickly talked to friendly helpful people. They are hamstrung by Google, who won't give them the info they need to update the native Droid calendar. So CompanionLink needed to develop their own Calendar app, which as of mid-Feb 2010 not very robust. As you follow my experiences here, you may sense my growing displeasure with Google. They are beginning to "do harm". In any case, I decided to sync the google gMail way. Also forget about your outlook task list and notes. Google probably wouldn't mind if you'd stop using your Microsoft apps altogether.
2. Issue 2 is solely a Google issue brought on by my need to have a gMail account. So trust me when I say this, I am the only person in the world with my firstname and lastname, so imagine my dismay when I see that firstname.mylastname(at)gmail.com is already taken. WTF? in fact my last name is so unique, I was able to sign up and set up the gMail account with mylastname(at)gMail.com. I got to thinking, I must have set up the
firstname.lastname(at)gmail.com account a long time ago and just forgot the password. So I continue thinking, "I'll just call Google customer support and have them help me straighten this out." BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAA HOOHOO-HAHAHAHAHA Another 3 days later I figure out out how utterly ridiculous I am for thinking that I should be able to contact Google customer service. Who do I think I am anyway? I am not important. As to Google, not only don't they have phone support or chat support, they don't even have support using email. WTF?? Google, the company that wants to take over the world, doesn't want to talk to their customers???? Whatever. Oh don't get me wrong, they have processes on their web site for reporting issues. You simply fill out a form and submit it, but I am 99.99 percent sure that it is completely automated, because there is no "other info or comment" section on the form and no matter what info I put in the form, and no matter how hard I tried to beg to speak to someone about my email name being hi-jacked, I kept getting the same form letter back telling me that there was not way to help solve my problem. Okay so I give up, I'll just use mylastname(at)gMail.com. I really do not like Google at all....
3. I Need to make a phone call. Clearly 50% of my first 30 calls the person on the other end says "what is the matter with your phone? I can barely hear you, get closer to the microphone, it sounds like you're in a tin can, I'm hearing an echo.....", and so on". If you buy a Motorola Android, get used to starting every phone conversation with "Can you hear me okay?" Two days later and after many conversations with Verizon tech support, we figure out that the original phone may have had a bad microphone, so they swapped it out for me. I still have phone problems, though less often. It turns out that the snap-on hard case is a bad design too. It causes the speaker phone to echo to the other party and probably causes the other microphone issues as well. I finally got to the point where 95% of my calls were trouble-free. But that still sucks.
4. Ass dialing, pocket dialing, lap dialing, slight touch of the sleeve dialing, ... All I want to do is make a call, talk on the phone and hang up. Is it too much to ask that the phone stays hung up? After a phone call ends, the Droid displays the recent call log, with the little touch icons allowing you to instantly make another call. PFFFFFT!!!! If you buy a Motorola Android, be prepared to train yourself to hit the hard-to-push main power button on the top edge of the phone, or hit the menu button on the front. I couldn't be completely trained in 30 days and after 25-35% of my completed calls, I still would end up accidentally dialing another call from my recent call log. Annoying for everyone involved. It is kind of funny at first, but after about 50 accidental calls in 30 days, your tolerance for this type of humor will wane.
5. Navigation. Comes in handy if you don't crash trying to use it. It's really cute when you're trying it out for the first time and not really lost, but come on google, on the third day I owned it I needed to navigate to an area I've never been to in Detroit. You should hear the navigation voice pronounce "M-39 Southfield Fwy Svc Drv". And oh, I needed to go from the hotel to Starbucks. The cute little droid seemed to know what I wanted to do, make a right, go half mile, another right, etc..... "you are at your destination". It took me around the block an back to the hotel. Going from Starbucks back to the hotel, it took me around the block and back to Starbucks. Okay I'm sure that it is my fault, but it's just not intuitive.
6. You'll need an App Killer?? What? What for? You see, on the droid the applications don't have an exit or shut down button. Google doesn't have one but don't worry, there's an app for that. But it comes with a little bit of spammy-adware. A lot of the "free" apps are like that.
7. Merting aty fivbe oclkock. Both the slide out keyboard and the touch screen suck bad for big fingered folks like me. and I never did find any arrowing scroll arrows on the touch screen. So if I needed to correct something three lines ago, I needed to accurately as possible touch the screen a little beyond the error and back arrow over it. Clearly 20% of my keystrokes are the back button key to erase errant keystrokes. The auto-completion and voice command dialing and searching were way cool though.
8. Need to look up a contact by company name? Forget about it. Last name? Maybe.
9. Do you want to start the phone or an app simply by touching a button on the front? Nope, you gotta hit the main power button on the top edge.
10. Need to set up a POP3 email account? It's supposed to work but didn't for me. By the way, while googling for some customer support on this, I see that dozens of fine folks have had their email account settings wiped out for no apparent reason. I'm better off for not getting mine set up in the first place. 10 Strikes. I took it back and I'm feeling way more calm.
Maybe the Android is good for doing some really cool things with really large media files (whatever that means), maybe even two at once..... but I need to do some really boring things like making phone calls to people that I know, then hanging up the phone, setting appointments and sending texts and emails. I switched to the Curve 8530 and haven't had it 12 hours yet. It's not completely set up but it is already a much more productive business tool.
My opinion is that it won't be simple for a long time PDA user to change to a Droid and continue doing things the way they always have. I want a business tool that I can use, not one that wants to change the way I do business.
The Motorola Android was not for me, but I've talked to several people who really love it - none of them business users. Best of luck everyone. I'll stick with the Curve and I'm sure that there'll be something better out in two years when it's time to replace it.