Android as Google’s Moat – I like this take on Android as a defensive product for Google. I also like what that implies for us as consumers–costs keep decreasing while functionality keeps increasing. Can you believe someone wanted to charge for a web browser at one time? Now there are several free browsers, and they are still trying to out-do each other in features and speed!
Are We Better Off Today? – Definitely. I think the problem is that we have a skewed idea of "comfortable". If I have food in my belly and shoes (hopefully some $1 Old Navy flip-flops) on my feet and I'm not bleeding, chances are I'd say I'm comfortable.
Ok, so it wasn’t the “official” official release, apparently just the leaked official release. But the update went smoothly, and the phone is insanely faster and better than it was before. I found this video guide that shows how to install by downloading the executable to your PC and running it with your phone attached to USB–no need to root your phone to run this update if that’s something that worries you.
I’ve been waiting patiently for Sprint to update the HTC Hero to Android v2.1. First it was going to happen in March. Then April 9 was the date. The latest date I’ve heard is April 16…we’ll see? Anyway, there are several apps I’ve wanted to grab for a while, but couldn’t get because I’m stuck on version 1.5. Yeah, I know I could root my phone and do it all now, but I have too many other things to do to waste time trying to fix my phone after I screw it up.
Turn by turn navigation is the big selling point. Sprint’s turn by turn navigation is atrocious. Ok, maybe that’s not fair. Once you have it running, it’s not too bad, but I’ve found it’s much more convenient to just use Google Maps without the turn by turn feature. Another reason it will be great to have Google Maps work with another little gem I want to grab as soon as I get the upgrade…
I haven’t given up on it yet. In fact, I think it still has the most potential. As soon as it will let me post Buzz->Twitter it will probably be my go-to social app. But right now I can’t even use the Buzz Widget. It’s sort of ironic that it’s already out there for the iPhone, but I have to blame Sprint/HTC for using such an old version of Android (hurry up with the update!)
It’s just a toy. But it’s one of my favorite toys to use on a computer. On second thought, maybe I don’t want this on my phone. The ability to multitouch and fly to your current location are very cool. I’ve been in a situation recently where I was trying to use landmarks to navigate (Maps and GPS fail), and this would have been very helpful. Again, the ability to apply layers is very cool, and I’m interested to see how well the multitouch navigation works with it.
FlyScreen will actually run on Android 1.6, so until the Sprint Hero is upgraded to 2.1 you can’t use it yet. But this is a really cool little app that replaces your stock lockscreen with stuff you use the most. That means fewer clicks/touches to do the things you do the most. Not a good app for people who always lock their phones, but for those of us who seldom leave the house, it’s perfect!
If you have fat fingers (literally) like I do, this app will make typing emails and texts on your touch screen a heckuva lot easier. It predicts which letters you are going to want to type next based on the letters you’ve already typed and enlarges them, making useless letters smaller. As someone who types reasonably fast on a standard QWERTY keyboard, I’m constantly frustrated by typing on that tiny screen.