Wednesday, June 24, 2009

New Tech

So just days before HTC introduces 2 new Android based cell phones we bought new G1 phones from T-Mobile. So far we're very pleased even if we missed the latest and greatest.

I love the integration with gmail, google calendar, and google contacts. It means I don't have to back anything up and I can see my wife's calendar without any effort at all. That's really good. The built in web browser is perfect for the inevitable lookup of something while out somewhere and away from a "real computer".

In addition, though, the phones just seem to work, with nice features - particularly once the 1.5 version of the firmware got installed. They integrate well with all kinds of networks including our home wi-fi.

Some of you will know that I have no love of Apple or Microsoft. With the G1 I get a nice alternative that lets me do what we want, and which gives us an excellent user experience to boot.

Sorry if this post comes across as an ad. I'm just happy to finally have something that lets me carry my address book, calendar, and what-not in a single device that simply works. I used to be able to do this with a Palm Treo, but this puts those old Palms to shame.

The new Palm Pre looked nice, but for me the keyboard was too small and the Sprint sales guys weren't hungry enough. The G1 had a nicer keyboard and an great UI too.

Anyone considering taking the smart phone plunge should at least consider the G1. I can't claim it will change your life, but it could, and it's awfully nice in any case.

3 comments:

  1. Nice. I have the iPhone, and the place I am most likely to go when I browse starts at Google anyway. Gmail, Google maps, Google Docs, Google Calendar.

    Can't afford to switch over at the moment, but good information to have. Thanks, Jeff!

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  2. What Google app are you using for the address book? Or is it part of the phone? If it is part of the phone, can you back it up on Google?

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  3. Hi There.

    The address book turns out the be your contacts in gmail. Google's put a lot of effort into that. I've got contacts with multiple physical addresses, 4 email addresses, 4 phone numbers, notes (like driving directions), etc.

    A copy of your address book is kept on the phone - along with your calendar and even some of your gmail - and it syncs automatically or when you ask it to. Which means you don't have to have connectivity to look someone up or make a change. And wherever you make the changes - on the phone or on a computer - they'll appear on the other side after the next sync.

    Handily, Google will let you export all that contact data as a CSV file that you can manipulate any way you want if you need to put it somewhere else.

    Finally, because all that contact information is in gmail, it's backed up for me by google.

    I haven't done this yet, but the G1 acts like a bit thumb drive too, and I think you can back up any other data by simply plugging it into your computer, turning on thumb drive mode, and copying files off it. That would work with Windows, Mac, or Linux machines. Nice and simple. No extra software needed. I like that!

    I'm not sure the new HTC phones are going to provide the same level of integration with google's services, so if you like this stuff check them out carefully before you buy.

    Enjoy!

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