My Google Nexus One is slowly starting to win me over. After a few errors in getting it set up (I’m willing to accept a good deal of the blame upon reflection), I really like the device. It’s not going to displace my iPhone as my primary device until they solve the entertainment experience and give me a better way to access my music, videos, and other entertainment content that lives in iTunes. Below are some initial thoughts on the device and my experiences using it.
You really need to commit to Google’s suite of cloud services to fully enjoy the device – I live on Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Talk for personal purposes and Google Apps at work. If you can fully commit to those services, the Google Nexus one rocks. It’s not so much a phone as it is a portable cloud client. The one nice thing about the deep integration between the device and Google services, though, is you no longer have what I call “sync anxiety” – the fear that something you do on your mobile device won’t end up showing up in the other places where you want it to appear. With the Nexus One you’re basically operating on the live data – the concept of syncing isn’t really so relevant.
There is one area where I do find this frustrating and that’s contacts. I don’t use Google Contacts – I don’t think it’s a full-fledged product just yet and that isn’t where my contacts live. Having a good, free desktop sync product that would get my contacts from my Mac Address Book onto my Nexus One. I’ve been slowly but surely working on cleaning up my Google Contacts, but this is kind of a pain.
On a more positive note, the native Google Voice implementation is great. It has me considering dropping Phonetag – it’s not that translations are better but that its tightly integrated and getting the raw audio fies quickly and easily makes up for the less accurate translation.
This device is an email powerhouse if you like Gmail and are comfortable with a touch keyboard. I’m much faster dealing with email on this device than I am on the iPhone. There are two reasons why I say this. The first is search. Beauae you’re operating on your real Gmail inbox, I find that search and retrieval works much better and it works much faster. It also supports all of the booleans and search by label functions I use on the desktop version. This is a huge time saver if you have a large mailbox.
Speech to text is handy, but imperfect. I have been playing with the speech to text functionality and I like it. Apparently you have to be connected to the internet for it to work, but its great when you have the privacy of a car or office and have a longer email or blog post to do. It isn’t quite good enough to be a go-to but it does work.
As an iPhone owner, I really want the ability to run background applications. It is as awesome as advertised. That subject is worthy of its own post.
My last gripe is the lack of padding around the keys on the keypad. I can type much more quickly on the iPhone because the padding around each key seems larger, allowing me to type confidently and quickly.
To really love this device, you need to give it a week and approach it with an open mind.
Oh, and I composed this whole post on the GNO using WordPress’ android app.