Switching to Android/Nexus One from iPhone

After Google released the Nexus One with 3G AT&T compatibility, it looked like a perfect time to switch off the iPhone. Being able to use my current AT&T sim while maintaining 3g speeds pushed me over the edge (no pun intended). After a week of using the Nexus One as my main phone, here are some thoughts.

Top 6 Nexus One/Android Pros

  • Gmail – It won’t come as any surprise but if you’re a heavy Gmail user, Android should be your phone of choice. Labels, archive, search, and threads. Almost as good as the real thing
  • Hot Spot – with a simple rom replacement and wifi-tether, my phone is now a mobile hot spot. (Hello iPad 3G without paying an extra $20).
  • Widgets – News widget, foursquare widget, the homescreens of the Android are much more useful than the iPhone’s. Also, Maps has a live wallpaper that shows traffic for my current area, constantly.
  • Turn by Turn Directions – Built in turn by turn directions allows you to toss your GPS.
  • Widgets

    The power widget allows you to turn on/off power draining features of the phone from the homescreen. This is great since the Nexus One doesn’t seem to be able to make it through a whole day for me.
  • Google Voice – Full Google Voice integration… if you’re a Google Voice user. I won’t use Google Voice until I can port my existing number to it.

Top 6 Nexus One/Android Annoyances

  • Non-Gmail Email – I have serious issues with my company’s exchange account. For no discernible reason, the native Email app stops syncing mails. Refresh doesn’t help, deleting the account and recreating will solve the problem for a couple days. Infuriating. Also it’s not possible to search non-Gmail accounts. To top it off, there’s no way to access a Yahoo! mail account (except to pay for Yahoo! Mail Plus)
  • No Exchange Calendar Sync – No explanation needed.
  • Landscape mode only works turning left! – At first I thought many apps didn’t have landscape mode, but apparently turning the phone clockwise will not trigger landscape mode. This might be useful when reading in bed, but so far it’s been an annoyance.
  • Touch screen is inaccurate – in the browser, I find myself clicking on a link only to have the link below register the click. Reports of the Nexus One’s touchscreen being inferior are not exaggerated
  • No good Podcast listener – the best podcast app I’ve found is Google Listen. It auto syncs podcast but lacks double speed playback!
  • Missing Mint.com and Scrabble/Words with Friends – There is no native Mint.com or Scrabble or the Scrabble rip-off Word with Friends.

Over the course of a couple weeks, friends have asked me “Hey, is that a better phone than my iPhone.” I have consistently said absolutely not. You give up quiet a bit to go full Android over the iPhone. The pros just don’t outweigh the cons.

The only reason I could recommend a Nexus over an iPhone is if you’re heavily invested in Google apps, Gmail, Google Voice, Picasa etc. With that in mind, Nexus is competing against the iPhone 3GS, not the iPhone HD (or 4g) and iPhone OS 3.2. We’ll see what Apple has up their sleeve on Thursday and this June.

2009 Predictions Retrospective

2009 is ending, a year that started with Sequoia’s RIP: Good Times fresh in everybody’s mind. However, 2009 saw some major M&A activity.

I made some predictions at the beginning of the year, let’s see how they played out. Last year I was 50% correct…

  • Twitter will not be acquiredCorrect! Many people measure the success of Twitter in terms of traffic to twitter.com, but traffic isn’t what Twitter wants. Twitter is a platform and as Jack put it “Twitter’s a success for us when people stop talking about it”. I also predicted that Twitter would get their first sniff of revenue this year and they did in the form of search deals with Bing and Google.
  • Digg will not be acquiredCorrect! Digg’s appeal as an acquisition target went up threefold when they launched their innovate ad platform. No numbers have been released but as an avid Digger, the platform definitely works. I’ve clicked on my fair share of Digg ads simply because they appealed to me.
  • Apple will open up iTunes infrastructure to developers to start accepting micro-paymentsWrong! Apple did do something around payments, they enabled app developers to charge or in-app purchases in free apps. One step closer to opening up their payment platform. If Apple did this, Square would be belly up.
  • Android phones sales will not exceed iPhones, maybe in 2010Correct! AdMob’s latest metrics report, which measures ad requests not marketshare it’s clear Apple still has a substantial lead. Even based off ad requests it’s clear Android is no where near Apple and for this purpose, I’m calling it good enough.

    I guess I’m lucky that Google hasn’t released the Nexus One yet. Next year I definitely think Android will have a great marketshare than the iPhone purely based off the number of Android devices (low cost at that too) emerging.

  • Facebook connect will become more ubiquitous than OpenID as a way to login to websitesCorrect! Facebook says 80,000 websites have implemented Facebook Connect. The best number I can find for OpenID is 25,000. Yahoo will soon use Facebook for it’s social features, Facebook’s platform will only continue to grow.
  • IE6 marketshare will fall under 10% by years endWrong! IE6 still holds at 22%, and I still cry everyday.

Android SDK 0.9 Released – First Impressions

Google released the closest look at their new Android software today through SDK 0.9. I’ve been playing around the the emulator (my second time with the platform mind you) and my overall feeling is that they’ve got all their bases covered and it’ll be a solid platform. The question is will it be something special?



The first app I dove into was the browser. I was mainly interested in the CSS animations that WebKit has been implementing. I visited the test page on Surfin’ Safari and 2/3 the demos worked. The spinning div does not work. Animations ala iPhone, which I covered here, are not supported however. That’s to be understood since those were more Mobile Safari specific.


I noticed the notification system that appears if you swipe the title bar. Until Apple gets background apps working, this will be a huge competitive edge for Android. (Imagine all the chat applications that aren’t happening because you can’t background an App on the iPhone.)

Google Streetview

One feature that the iPhone Google Maps application is missing is Streetview. This is one feature where I can see Google telling Apple they are forbidden to implement thereby giving Android’s Google Maps a one up.

… and lastly

I’ll let the picture speak for itself.