My Switch from the iPhone to Android [Part 1]

I'll have to admit, I came about the switch rather abruptly... But after finding myself without any phone at all, I decided that I might as well give Android and the Nexus One a try. Here I am, less than a week later, and I am more than pleased with my decision to ditch the familiar iPhone and dive into Android.

What was/is my initial impression? Well, I've tried to organize this a bit...

Software:

The first thing that becomes obvious from the moment you boot it up (after painfully waiting for it to finish it's first charge at the behest of Google I might add) is the ridiculously well integrated use of all of the Google Apps and the cloud model. This is to be expected on a mobile OS made by Google I suppose, but it truly is the single biggest strength of the platform in my opinion. Seeing as how I'd just recently COMPLETELY switched over to Google Contacts, Calendar, GMail, and basically every other Google app the experience was amazing. I'd always been using the Google cloud for GMail and had switched between Google Calandar and iCal over and over. Sometime in the last couple months though, I'd set up Google's Sync with my iPhone, and all of my computers also pulled all of my information, my life, from the Google cloud. Having all of my stuff on in the cloud made setting up my Nexus One as easy as entering my Google credentials, which is the first thing that it has you do.

In a matter of minutes everything I would expect, productivity wise, was there. I must also say that the Nexus One being an unlocked GSM phone was amazing... I didn't have to spend any time at a wireless store getting them to switch my service to a new phone (a usually lengthy process). It was almost surreal, to be honest. There was a sort of "this just works" feeling to it.

The next most noticeable thing was the vast degree to which I could customize the device. On an iPhone there are only a handful of settings. You can choose a ringtone and a sound for text messages. There really isn't much else there... On Android one can set up specific sounds (of which there are many to choose from) and methods of being notified about just about anything - including application specific notifications. When I say that, I really mean everything... One can adjust how often syncs are performed for each individual application, as well as things as specific as if the track ball will light up, if it will vibrate, if there will be an audible alert, and if so what. As if that weren't enough, the only way the iPhone can alert you is through a pop-up, there is no collection or organization of various notifications. On android there is this notifications bar, where you will find iconic representations of all of your notifications. If you'd like more information you can pull the 'blind' down and see all of the details. Fantastic.

All of this customization started to remind me of my Blackberry days, where I more controlled my user experience, not Apple...

More on the hardware to come later.