HTC Nexus One


I have finally given up on the Windows Mobile platform. Even reading about the forthcoming Mobile 7 did not encourage me to stay with Windows Mobile.

Further, some key frustrations with my M900 caused me to take another look at what was available. The major issues were: the screen - I can't see it outdoors, the keyboard - it sticks a lot and so is difficult to use, the sound - it is not loud enough for me to hear the phone ring if it's in a bag or a pocket, Windows Mobile - the touch screen interface does not work reliably with too many incidents where touching to push triggers a link, or touching to trigger a link produces no response.

I have always liked the build quality on HTC phones, although I've never owned one. I have always thought Google an innovative software company. So the HTC Nexus One running Google's Android 2.1 software with a 1GHz Snapdragon CPU made by Qualcomm, and backed by an exploding App Store was a big attraction and I am extremely pleased with my decision to switch to the Nexus One.

Under Construction

This page is under construction - work began on 24-Feb-2010 and even today (07-Mar-2011) I still haven't decided what it should look like, even though it contains several interesting items. So to those of you still bearing with me whilst I put it together - sorry for not getting there somewhat quicker.. I am assembling the information in Mind Map form first and will compile it into more formal pages when it finally takes on some kind of shape (and when I have time).

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Initial Thoughts

Before describing all of the good points of the Nexus One I would like to list some of the obvious things that were missing and what I chose to do about them. Update: see Modern Trends in Smart Phones below.

bulletOutlook Synchronisation: I naively thought that every smart phone on the market these days uses Outlook Synchronisation. That is not the case with the Nexus One. I use Outlook at work and rely on my Contacts and Diary being available in Outlook, on my company Blackberry and on my personal smart phone, so when I found that the Nexus expects to sync with Google that caused me some concerns. Here's what I decided to do about it - there are other ways but this is my choice...
bulletDiary: I have always hesitated about having my diary on the internet as I see it as a possible security risk. Anyway I decided to take that path this time. Google offers a module that will sync an Outlook diary frequently and automatically with a Google diary and then the Nexus will sync with the Google diary natively since it is designed to do that. This gives me an advantage that I can give my wife access to my Google diary and she can then put in family appointments etc that I might have missed.
bulletContacts: this could not be done in the same way. Whilst Google provides a means of importing contacts from Outlook it has no form of synchronisation and so there would be forever the problem of keeping the contacts in sync. So this time I choose to buy an application from the Google Market called Missing Sync. This comes in two parts - a desktop component which needs to be paid for, and a Nexus component which is free. It is possible to use the Nexus component without the desktop component, but if you want to sync from your desktop instead of a web-based server then you need both parts. The Missing Sync synchronises a variety of things as well as Outlook Contacts including iTunes music, other media, etc. I'm just using it for Contacts. It worked straight off and I have had no trouble with it.
bulletFile Manager: I was surprised that there was no built-in File Manager to browse around and manage my files. From Google Market I chose Astro File Manager which was free and is a great little application. Worked first time with no problem.
bulletMicrosoft Document Editing: I knew before buying the Nexus that it did not provide for editing of MS documents and that Documents to Go would do the trick - and it did.
bulletPassword Vault: I needed a vault that had PC sync and again from Google Market Keeper seems to do that nicely. It is fairly simplistic but it has been my experience that if you wish to export/import across vault products then the complex ones cause the most problem. My favourite vault program has always been Ascendo DataVault but unfortunately it seems to be only available for Blackberry. CodeWallet v6 on Win Mobile is also very good. However I'm happy with Keeper.
bulletMSN: I wanted to chat on MSN (not just Google) so from the Google Market I downloaded MSN Droid. This seems to work ok too.
bulletMind Maps: Finally, I use mind maps quite a lot so from Google Market I downloaded Mind Map Memo. I haven't done much with this app so far but my initial test of it failed - it says it opens MindManager .MMP files and also FreeMind .MM files but when I choose the OPEN option it does not seem to have any way to browse to the folder where I have these maps installed. Haven't tried creating a new map yet.

Modern Trends in Smart Phones

According to the news agencies, the modern trend, rather than fill up a smart phone with every conceivable feature, is to provide an attractive set of features that will promote sales, and then to provide a lively market where the user can download precisely the features they want. That way their smart phone ends up tailored to precisely meet their needs and not cluttered up with lots of things they don't use but that take up storage or runtime resources through having drivers loaded.

The Nexus One clearly follows this approach because each time I have discovered something missing (like for example the ability to search the Calendar) I find there are several offerings on the Google Market that provide that functionality. Most of them are free and those that you have to pay for are cheap - example: the Calendar searching programs are free apart from one which costs $1.99.

So some of the things that are missing may seem surprising and disappointing but so far I have found all but one of the things I need.

The one feature I haven't found yet, which my old M900 had and I found useful, is the ability to tell it that it may use WiFI for internet but may NOT use the mobile network for internet unless I explicitly turn it on. The only thing remotely like that that it has is the ability to disable roaming on data networks so that you don't clock up large bills whilst abroad on holiday.

More Notes

This section is intended initially to be in Mind Map format.