More Droid Stuff

Because you’ve not had enough yet.

And, while I have not heard any reports of people not being able to buy Droid phones, I’ve been unable to find any accessories for it that I want. The local Verizon store at the mall in Maryville had none. And the online store at Verizon appears to be out. So, I cannot find a carrying case or the docking station.

It doesn’t sync media players and your media has to be dragged and dropped from your PC via USB connection. Personally, I prefer that. I always hated itunes and windows media player sync applications. They duplicate things, take too long, and suck. So, not a complaint for me. But it may be for you.

At first, I didn’t dig the keyboard. But now that I’m used to it, I find it a bit more user-friendly than my crackberry. Keys are bigger and the shift/alt functions are a bit more intuitive.

Droid’s desktop (for lack of a better term) has three panels that you can scroll through. On the center (or main) panel, you can’t put shortcuts where it looks like the top row is. I can on the other two panels. I’d like to get four more apps on the main screen.

Another complaint I have is that the cable that came with it is too short.

Some folks may not like the fact that you really need a Google account to play with all the pretty things.

It looks like Verizon is about to make a mistake and charge a ridiculous fee for tethering your phone to your PC for internet connectivity.

Also, another review over at Knoxviews. The docking station looks pretty cool.

Update: Since someone asked about call quality, I’ll say it’s good. With the blackberry, my wife and others would complain that they couldn’t hear me when they called me at the office. My wife says she can hear me much better on this phone. Also, phone calls I receive are just fine.

14 Responses to “More Droid Stuff”

  1. How’s the call quality?

  2. aczarnowski says:

    Picked mine up on Sunday. Long time Palm user, it took me a while to decide it just wasn’t going to come back as a company.

    So far, I’m liking it too. My biggest problem is that ALT puts you in the number row but there’s no dedicated period. Makes typing IP addresses for setup a right PITA.

    The included cable is too short.

    I also wish I could remove the google search widget to get my top row on the main panel back.

    I still don’t understand widgets. And the five star marketplace has a lot of crapware mixed in with the goodies.

    Why must Verizon require a data plan when it does WiFi? Damn telecom lockin.

    But overall, a nice device. I’m going to miss my Palm Pilot though.

  3. I got the media dock and the car dock should be waiting when I get home.

    I love the media dock and want a second for my office. The only beef about the clock mode is it doesn’t dim near enough at night, so I end up putting it in lock/sleep before bed.

    The alarm clock works, though, and has replaced my old one.

    The shortcut pages are a bit odd, but I put my media on one side page and my utilities on the other and keep the top apps on the main page.

    I, too, had the sync turned off on my iPod. So I like the drag/drop method of the Droid.

    Call quality is very good. Far better than either blackberry I had. Bluetooth sounds better, too.

  4. Ian Argent says:

    The “ridiculous fee” is the same fee they charge for every other device to connect a computer to the internet – aircard, PDA, or handset, you’ve going to pay $59.99 a month for it. (PDA get’s lucky, they discount you by the cost of the data plan you have on the PDA – on a regular handset you eat the cost of any on-handset data plan you have).

    This isn’t news.

  5. Sigivald says:

    As Ian implied, how’s the tethering fee a “mistake”?

    It’s half the price of a dedicated 3G dongle plan of the same bandwidth cap.

    It might be a mistake if they were being undercut by the competition, but they’re not – tethering is expensive for everyone (in the US, at least). From Verizon’s point of view it’s no mistake – hell, it’s better than AT+T provides; competition in action.

    (Me, though, I like having iTunes handle media for my iPhone. One place to store everything, one set of playlists, one set of ratings and metadata.

    [Metadata and ratings are a huge value-add for me. “Make me a playlist of all my 4 and 5 star music, please”! – That’s how I filled my iPhone with music.]

    I’ve never really seen “you have to micromanage it all yourself at the filesystem level” as a feature, but YMMV. The disadvantage, of course, is that you have to use iTunes if you want it to work like that – though there are third-party tools to let you manually control it on an iPhone if you want.)

  6. RC says:

    “ridiculous fee” usually translates as “more than I care to pay”. Not an invalid attitude, the real question is how much is the margin for the service. Does it really cost $29.95/month (on average) to provide that $30/month service? Or does it cost $35/month and either needs some form of subsidy (which isn’t likely since the cost of the phone is the item that cell companys subsidize and make it up with the service plan) or does it cost (again, on average) $12.50/month for that service? That is the key question; when you fully load the price, what is the margin?

  7. SayUncle says:

    why would i pay that much for it if my phone already has the interwebs?

  8. RC says:

    I think they factor in the assumption that by teathering you will be driving more data utilization due to the added ease of use and functionality offered by the actual full size computer rather than the tiny, limited functionality telephonic device. But then, you knew that.

  9. SayUncle says:

    Ah, i got ya. I was thinking more along the lines of the only time I’d need to tether it was when I didn’t have a connection. Hence, my usage would be minimal since I have internet just about everywhere I go.

  10. RC says:

    In my case I want connectivity for my personal laptop when I am at work (don’t commingle personal and professional) or otherwise away from home with my itty bitty netbook (Touchbook now) and want Intertubes access. It’s either a dedicated dongle or tether my iPhone. Why have a separate dongle when my phone already knows how to shove things down those Intertubes.

  11. Overload in CO says:

    There are two programs (not apps) (I know of) that will allow you to sync your music: Sailing Media Sync or doubletwist. Sailing is reported to work better.

  12. Rivrdog says:

    Well, I was thinking about upgrading from my Samsung sch-I760 smartphone to a Droid, but reading this post kills that deal. I HAVE to have the connect plan, that is how I use my laptop away from home where there is no free wi-fi. BTW, that connect plan only costs me $15 extra/month now, and I have unlimited usage (which will go away as soon as I end the present contract).

    This post steers me back in the direction of a Verizon Netbook (they have a choice of two now), and downgrading my phone to an ordinary cellphone.

    Beautiful hardware, and scumbag contracts, it’s always that story.

  13. Ian Argent says:

    @Rivrdog – how much do you pay for your PDA plan? If you pay $45/mo you’ll pay that same $15/mo for tethering as before. The sum of PDA data plan + tethering plan = $59.99 (the industry-standard cost for computer connection, incidentally; along with the industry standard of 5 gb/mo of bandwidth.)

    And as far as I know* if you have unlimited now you’ll grandfather in – plenty of pc card users have. But I’m not familiar with the ins and outs of the contracts

    (*Disclaimer, while I work for VZW, it’s way up at the top end of the data tech chain. I know about as much about the money end of things as the interested layman. I’ve never even SEEN the billing system, much less logged into it)