I have a new T-Mobile G1 running Android from Google. It’s an awesome upgrade from the Sidekick II I had been using. Although it still feels very “rough” around the edges, I can see a lot of reasons why it’s exciting.
The architecture is pretty cool — applications are a bundle of entry points called “intents.” An intent is roughly like a task: make a phone call, change a ring tone, share a photo. Any application can trigger an intent (within a permission system) or provide an action on an intent.
The phone itself feels solid, but has some problems. Battery life is terrible. The first day I had it, I had to recharge it 3 times. Seriously. Since then I’ve installed Power Manager to keep it charged the whole (or most of the) day. I paid for the application although there is a free version as well. Frankly, its amazing that this phone was released with battery life this poor.
The phone can be very sluggish. There are two things that always need to work quickly: the phone and the home screen. The phone is obvious; when someone calls you, you need to be able to answer. Although rare, you can’t always. The home screen frequently takes 10 or more seconds to appear. Since that’s how you launch applications, you’re just staring at your wallpaper or worse, a blank screen
No light sensor. You can set the screen brightness, but since the phone doesn’t know when it is direct sunlight, it can suddenly be too dim. I installed a application called FastBright which makes it easy to change the brightness, but doesn’t solve the problem
On the other hand, I’ve been very surprised by how many applications are available. The Market has thousands and thousands list — many of them for free. And there are even alternate Markets you can install and use. Crazy. Interestingly, there are reports that many of these applications are Open Source, but I can’t seem to find a way to list applications by license. Or even a place collecting Open Source Android applications. Does anyone know where this might exist?