Goodbye, old friend? Not really!
For the last several years, my smartphone or mobile device, has been powered by Windows Mobile. Originally, I chose the Windows Mobile platform the way any operating system should be chosen:
First, I laid out what I would be using the mobile device for:
- Outlook Contacts, email
- Security Camera remote viewing via VPN
- Windows Desktop Remote Access
- MP3 player when traveling or waiting in a doctor’s office, etc (rare)
- A free Bible software for those same rare times of having time to kill
- NOT for making phone calls
First, why not for making phone calls? Well, the darn things are hard to use for a phone call (IMHO), either your ear makes random selections (on a touch screen) or the screen is locked just when you have limited time to respond to an automated system, and I can neither see the screen outdoors nor hear it in a high noise environment.
My Motorola Razor, on the other hand, does an exceptional job of making phone calls, is easy to use and slips into a front or back pocket – no fancy or obnoxious belt carrier required.
Your Applications Determine Your Mobile Operating System
Once I knew what I would use the mobile device for I could choose applications. For a couple of the most critical features, Windows Mobile was the only platform the vendor offered an app for.
In fact, stupidly enough, many of those vendors STILL do not offer an iPhone or Android app! But, who cares? Someone else has filled the void. And while in one case I paid $250 for the Windows Mobile application, my new Android app that replaces it is FREE!
Did you hear that, the Android FREE app is better than the paid app from the vendor. But wait, there’s more (as they say on TV commercials); the same provider has a paid app (for less than $10) that builds on the functionality of the free app. I don’t need those functions, but I may buy the app just to support the developer.
In retrospect, though, I made the right choice at the time – neither the iPhone or the Android had been invented yet.
And just like with any other computing device, the decision of which operating system to use should be application determined and not whim or fancy.
One requirement for a Windows Mobile phone is ActiveSync. It sucks, big time. It runs all the time (get the free ActiveSync Toggle utility to kill it), does not always connect, does not always work when it does connect.
First off, I don’t want to synchronize my entire PC to the stupid mobile device.
Second, I DO want to sync my contacts which I have organized into sub-folders. Guess what? ActiveSync will NOT sync those sub-folders.
Piece of junk.
Samsung Omnia II Windows Mobile Device
My most recent Windows Mobile device was a Samsung Omnia II (running Windows Mobile version 6.1), which was not perfect at all – and I knew that. But it was the best phone that Verizon offered at the time for my needs.
The screen is too small, you cannot see it outdoors, they made it 1/8″ too narrow to put the stylus inside the unit so instead it dangles outside from a tether – what IDIOT thought that was a good idea?
Besides all of that, the battery life is poor, especially if you use it!!
Running the VPN app I quickly determined sucked the battery dry quick, so I found I had to connect the VPN, do what I needed to do, then disconnect. I could always tell if I left the VPN connected inadvertently because the unit got pretty darn warm to the touch.
iPhone or Android?
So once I decided to get a GOOD mobile device, I had to choose between iPhone and Android. At first I thought all of the apps I needed were iPhone only (remember? The applications determine the operating system!), but after digging around I found that by summer of 2010, Android apps were catching up, fast!
So what was the final determination?
iPhone is currently offered only by AT&T, Verizon is at LEAST 4 months away and that is not for sure.
In my area, and many areas, AT&T service stinks about as bad as what Windows Mobile in general does. Verizon, on the other hand, has the best overall coverage and an unlimited data plan. Again, I really do not need the phone to make calls with, although I might start now that I can see the screen and use the darn thing easily, what I do need is high speed broadband – and I don’t want to have to keep checking the meter to make sure I don’t go over the limit into surcharges.
So my new phone is a Motorola Droid X; huge screen, fast processor, good battery life and the Android platform. Nothing is perfect, but it looks pretty promising so far.
Listen to this blog post on AudioBoo!