Froyo on myTouch is okay…

I was super excited to get a Froyo upgrade on the T-Mobile myTouch and even though they notified me in Septemberish it might be showing up soon I think I got it just before Thanksgiving.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Actually, it may have been a prophecy on what effect using Froyo on the nearly obsolete myTouch (no headphone jack) would have.  You get sleepy from eating too much turkey on Thanksgiving, so did the myTouch when having too much frozen yogurt.

Don’t get me wrong, I like finally having access to a better OS and I’m not blaming Froyo in the least, I’m blaming the myTouch’s mucho suckiness (which has done much to persuade me to ditch T-Mo completely when my contract is up.  Hello Verizon!)

It’s just that now my phone responds like my family after a big Thanksgiving dinner.  Barely at all.

I’ll list the grievances it brings in no particular order:

1. If your security screen is more complex than one dot, you’ll probably have to enter it a couple of times, because of lag.
2. Random system reboots.
3. Text messaging will become your least favorite program due to slowness and bugginess.
4. Answering calls will occasionally prove difficult.
5. Downloading from the market will occasionally prove difficult.
6. Count on all of your programs running slower.
7. Google Maps now takes 10x as long to open and use.
8. Count on staring at your background sans apps for several seconds if not occasionally a minute while it loads them.
9. Occasionally count on the same problem when you go to your apps section.
10. Hate that you can’t have the speed of 1.6 with the apps of 2.0+

Some Froyo-induced problems (I’m guessing):
1. Alarm clock takes longer to get to.
2. You can no longer use vibrate and silent in the same setting. It’s either set phone to vibrate OR silent. (Before I would just volume down to vibrate or one more notch to silent, convenient.)
3. Voice dialer (or whatever it’s called) only works with a bluetooth, which I have, but not on me 24/7.
4. Browser starts as small as possible on pages that aren’t mobile friendly.
5. USB connectivity will sometimes not appear when you’re plugged into a computer (I usually have to reboot the phone and then it will recognize it’s plugged in via USB, never a problem with 1.6).

The annoying stuff I have to go through with it reminds me of having to constantly buy a whole new Mac computer cuz when you installed OS 10.newest the old computer didn’t like it and ran slower. I guess that’s just technology, or maybe just less good phones.

But I’ve got some work arounds for those of you stuck in a contract you can’t wait to ditch when it comes time.

Auto Task Killer
This free gem is available on the market and let’s you end programs, like it says. Sometimes freeing up memory is like giving the myTouch a little coffee after the turkey dinner.

Text Messaging
*Limit the amount of texts your phone will save so it will delete some, that will speed things up just a hair.
*When I write a completely new message, sometimes when I try and type in the recipient it wigs on me and does the letters all screwy. Instead, leave that box for a second and type out the message first, then add a recipient. Works like a charm every time. Oh, and if your text is sluggish, wait a few more seconds, it’s like the phone has to catch up. I know, waiting sux.
*If you need to get a message out quick, use someone else’s phone. Unless you’ve already been texting the person and have the screen already open it will take longer than you’re used to.

Security Screen Wiggy
*Knowing that your screen is going to freeze or move slow, if it looks like it’s not following your finger anymore, just hold still on the dot your own for a second to let it catch up and then resume. Timing will be tricky on this, but if your phone does it often enough, you’ll get the hang of it.

Lastly, the best solution of all is ditch the myTouch as soon as you can. Get a phone with the latest Android OS on it, since it will have been designed to run at that efficiency.

And get used to counting on things taking forever to open, like an old Dell PC loading up. After all, you’re stuck with this phone, unless you’re cool with 2 more years of T-Mo, then just get a newer, better one–if they’ve got it.

Oh by the way. If you got an upgrade notification, but navigated away from the screen and are thinking, great I’m screwed, well, you’re not. Just go into settings>about phone>system updates. You should be able to continue the download.

I Phone It With Android

No, iPhone isn’t getting Android.  That’s far too stifling an environment for the Android platform.

For many of us the conversation is changing from “Hello, I’m a Mac” to “Hello, I love me some Android.”  As an avid Mac-user (I still can’t part with my lime green iMac for nostalgic reasons), when I first heard of the iPhone I only dreamed of the day when ownership of another Mac toy would soon become a reality.

Then the money came, and the T-Mo contract was running out.  Do I iPhone it?  My biggest turn off?  AT&T.  Yeah, I know, it’s not like T-Mo’s network is giving me the coverage of Verizon, but hearing the nightmarish stories from friends and that a lot of people were getting unlocked iPhones for T-Mo, I hesitated.

Second biggest turn off: Mac snobbery.

I love my Mac, I do, but let’s face it.  Mac does the same thing every time.  They grab the market on something and then make it impossible to customize and charge ridiculous prices for cool technology until someone gives them a much needed ego slap in the face.  I am a little pleased to acknowledge I’ve jumped on the bandwagon of that much needed slap: the Android platform (for me, via myTouch, but I say if it’s got Android, love it).

Google Knows, iPhone Woes

Let me be straight with you.  All I know of iPhone is what I’ve seen other people showing me and the few random minutes I ever get to play with one.  iPhone is pretty cool, but some of them apps have a hefty price tag, especially considering the apps you can get with the Android market for free.

COOL FREE APPS

Google Maps. Much like what you’re familiar with if you use the web, Google can find it for you and fast.  Plus with GPS enabled on your phone, you can follow along with a little blue dot…at least until Google Navigation, a free addition to Google Maps.  Don’t want to pay Verizon, or Apple for expensive navigation apps?  Not willing to fork out the dough for a sweet Garmin Nüvi?  Google Navigation is your answer.  Mind you, it’s still in beta testing as of this post, but I find 95% of the time it works the way I want it to, and when it doesn’t, it’ll still get you there, it might just take a street longer.  Hence, “beta” testing.  In the end, I’ve just saved $100+ to get me a road navigator (and you can buy something to hold it up in your car like a Garmin).  You can also use it to look for restaurants, shops, whatever, and read reviews about them.

Pandora. Is it free on iPhone? (I really don’t know).  Well it is here, runs like a gem, and I can get my Pandora fix anytime I want.

Geobeagle. I love Geocaching.  Check out geocaching.com for more specific information.  But once again, with this free app, I can go caching (think treasure hunting) for free, once again without buying a Garmin.  You can also look up clues via the browser on your phone, use Google Maps to get an idea of the area it would be in, and log the cache all without your computer.

ShopSavvy. Wondering if you’re really getting a deal on something?  Scan the barcode using this app and find out what it’s going for on the net.  (And supposedly local too, but less available depending on where you live).

Ringdroid. Make your own ringtones, quick and easy.  (aka, you don’t have to edit them on your computer, export them, import them on your phone…. etc.)

Shazam. Heard a song on the radio and every time you never catch the name of it?  Use this app to find out not only what it’s called, but who wrote it and the album it’s on.

Reveal. An eBook program with a lot of free classics on it, such as Treasure Island, the Scarlet Pimpernel, etc.  I also use it for scripture reading.

Amazon MP3. Just as easy to use as the iTunes Music store, with the ability to sample songs, and a quick download via linking to your Amazon account.

The list could go on and on.  There’s free apps for Facebook, Twitter, something cool called Google SkyMaps, fun free games, reminder apps, and more.  All of this available on any Android phone.

One more thing… I love the interactivity with GMail and the Google Calendar. I can edit contacts on the internet, as well as calendar items, which to me is a huge plus because it seems like the phone (even the swankiest) can be much slower than just doing it via computer. You can also color code events via different calendars. I have contacts birthdays, US Holidays, personal, and work calendars all in different colors.

Convenience
could easily be synonymous with Android.

THE MYTOUCH SPECIFICALLY

There is some small regret that I didn’t wait just a little longer to go Verizon with the new Droid, but I’m still pretty happy with my HTC myTouch.  The virtual keyboard took me all of a day to get used to and the customizable background a huge plus (especially over the non-customizable iPhone).

The camera is a step up for me coming from the Nokia 5300, at 3.2 MP, though I wouldn’t have minded a bit higher, especially considering the Droid at about the same upfront cost has 5 MP (in addition, a physical keyboard).  But the pictures are still sharp, and the video great for a phone.

Battery life can seem short if you’re constantly using the 3G network for internet access.  I ran Pandora on both 3G and wifi, and got much longer life connecting via wifi.  I was also told by a few people that the 3G was faster.  Not the case for me.  Downloads were significantly faster with wireless, though the 3G speed is still good.

The keyboard text predictor is fabulous and I find typing for me goes just as fast if not faster than having a physical keyboard.  I have noticed, however, on occasion while browsing the virtual keyboard is a bit sluggish–not enough to make me hate it though.  And I do love me some full web browsing.

The ringtones are easy enough to customize, but your alerts and alarms will take some thinking (and probably ringdroid), which I felt was a step down from my old Nokia.  Still, the phone is something I love and I promptly bought a protective hardcase for it with a swanky design.  The phone does come in 3 colors: red, black, white (I chose black).

Android Platform: A++
myTouch phone: A-