day one with Android and Samsung Transform

Update 2 hours later: After spending some time with my phone, I have at least come to a truce. I am loading some apps, plugging it in for an overnight charge and hoping that my friend’s comment about Android learning about the battery is accurate. Gnight little Android phone. Tomorrow we tackle Google Voice, GMail and Outlook sync. And just like I told a friend who was worried about buying a new PC, “in a few days it’ll just be a computer.” Hopefully, in a few days it’ll just be a phone.

My brand spankin new Android phone arrived at the end of the day yesterday. (How is it that we can’t get a mobile phone delivered during business hours, and we always seem to be waiting on the delivery?) And the ominous sticker on the front of the phone said, “Please do not power on until you have spoken with our setup team at 800-xxx-xxxx.” It was as if the thing might explode if I turned it on without authorization. But I did as I was instructed and waited until about 10am this morning to call in and activate my new phone, the Samsung Tranform, sporting Android 2.1 AND a touchscreen (ala iPhone) AND a keyboard (ala Blackberry) that was certain to be the smart phone I was finally waiting for to wrestle the Blackberry Curve out of my hands. Right?

Before lunch the phone had already cried uncle and was telling me the battery was critically low. WTF? I had charged the dead phone all night. Is that why the Task Killer app is the first thing the IT guy at work said to install? Not happy with out of the box experience #1.

But certainly it was something that I had done in my initial setup. I mean the thing wasn’t even on for two hours and I hadn’t taken a single call on it.

So let’s see what I HAD done. Installed the Advanced Task Killer, installed the SprintID (this was the part of the set up the tech support team was so focused on, but it looks like a collection of prefs and wallpaper/icon sets to me), and tried to figure out how to sync my contacts. Oh, wait, that’s what was running the entire time in the background. My phone was warm to the touch all morning, as I synced my gmail account and Google Contacts with the phone. I didn’t really want to have all 2oo+ people in my phones address book, but I’m sure I can reset that later. Okay, so strike one against me for having the phone doing a battery intensive task (wireless access, memory intensive, backgrounding-all-the-time) and not realizing that’s what was killing my battery. And chalk one up for the task killer once I understood how critical the function was.

Lunch with another techie spawned the question, “Why didn’t you just get an iPhone?”

My answer was pretty confident at this point, “I wanted something to fiddle around with. And I already have an iPad so I understand the Apple iPhone OS. I wanted something different.”

I’m still haunted by those words at the moment. As I struggle to “fiddle” my Android phone into a workable setup, I am also thinking about Verizon’s generous dataplan and what it would cost to jump ship from my carrier. My iPad “just works.” It sounds like a cliché, but when you spend a few hours with your phone only to have it die within hours (again, my fault) you begin to categorize any fiddle-time  as pain-in-the-ass time.

Tonight I have made a total of 1 calls on my new Transform. I have spent a couple of hours looking at blogs about Android setups, and Android Critical Apps. I am still somewhat optimistic that my new phone and I will make peace and I will be a shining example of the techie that shows off his well-apportioned Android phone and says, “It’s great. I love it.” I mean the dang phone, if I get it working and not dying every two hours, does have a keyboard and a touchscreen. And the best of both worlds has to be better than typing on the iPhone with predictive spelling on.

Now I’m going to fire up my old Curve and make sure I have the critical phone numbers I have added in the last few days, that might not have made it to my Google Contacts database. Tomorrow I will tackle why the Outlook Mail/Calendar setup did not configure correctly. And I can always bug the IT guy to help me. But I hate when I have to do that.

permalink: http://uber.la/2011/03/android-phone-day-one/ ‎

Other posts of potential interest:

Android smacks the iPhone in web browsing, the Next Web

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