Trying out the Nexus One

I just got back from OSCON,  which was fantastic as always.  Its always a great opportunity to learn from some very bright people in the community, as well as to meet with friends, colleagues, and partners in crime.  Hopefully I’ll do an event review post at some pointer this weekend.

Today, I am excited to be playing with a new Nexus one thanks to Qualcomm Innovation Center and Rikki Kite.  This is going to be my second attempt at replacing my constantly crashing Blackberry with a Android based phone.   Last year at OSCON, I came home with a G1 Dev Kit, and while it made a fun phone to hack around on and use while on vacation, I encountered two issues that made it difficult to use day to day.

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  • Battery Life -  The latest cyanogen mods made this MUCH better, but still not a full day of use on a single charge)
  • Little to no exchange support.  No I’m not a freedom hater.  Its just that my employer uses exchange heavily for calendaring and e-mail.  Cyanogen eventually added ActiveSync support with “Work Email”, but it left a bit to be desired.  Touchdown for whatever reason never worked either.

Other than those I loved the phone. The keyboard was great, it made a great phone for Internet use and apps, but my primary use of a phone at this point is email and calendaring for work.  So for anything other than hacking projects, or trips where I wanted to use the data / GPS features I mostly left it sitting on my desk.

So far I’ve been using the Nexus One for about 24 hours.  Having come with FroYo (Android 2.2) I was pleasantly surprised to find it included built in support for both Email and Calendar sync via Exchange’s ActiveSync.  So far most, if not all, of the issues I had with the G1 have been resolved.  The only thing I miss from my Blackberry / Android G1 experience is a real keyboard.  I’m mostly fumbling about on the touch screen still.

Things to try out next / Pending Questions:

  • Is the $20 Touchdown app still needed? So far I haven’t used the native ActiveSync support long enough to know if its sufficient. I’m going to stick with it and see what features I’m missing.  It would be nice if someone had a table comparing the two feature sets.
  • How to filter what e-mail shows up on my phone. Theres a lot of crap I mean low priority e-mail that I’d prefer to ignore until I get back to my desk.
  • Music Sync – Looks like Rhythm Box supports the NexusOne pretty well.  Going to give that a shot later.
  • Tethering – I know it can be done. there seems to be a button for it. I just haven’t tried it out with Ubuntu yet. I’m sure it will work.
  • Find a decent jabber client for non-gtalk use.

Hoping I’ll be able to stick with this one!

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