Wednesday 12 January 2011

Back to Android

My replacement Nexus One finally arrived on Monday evening.

Reconfiguring the new device turned out to be blissfully simple: almost everything was restored automatically from my Google account. This included WiFi passwords and bookmarks, which was a pleasant surprise. And all my apps were automatically reinstalled which was nice. The only things that were lost were my text messages and the layout of app shortcuts and widgets on the screen. Not too fussed about the latter as a slight rearrangement was due anyway, but I would have liked to keep at least some of my SMS history. Clearly there is an opportunity there as I've mentioned here before.

Three things struck me since having the device back. The first was how much I use it in conjunction with what I'm doing on my laptop - it is a secondary screen for looking things up, often satisfying my curiosity about who has just sent me an email without moving away from what I'm currently doing. It's less of a distraction than switching tabs or windows.

The second was how the combination of updating apps and running mobile Skype over wifi chewed through battery charge so fast you could practically count the level down. Switching off the wifi and exiting Skype restored battery use to normal levels.

The last item was how important the screen was to the user experience. Returning to the small, low-res, dark Samsung screen for a while has really highlighted how good the screens on top-end devices really are. Smooth animations, great fonts and intense colours don't make a great user experience on their own, but they certainly contribute enormously to them.

Perhaps the best way to express my delight at being back with this device is to quote Sondheim's Sweeney Todd when he is reunited with his razors: at last my arm is complete!

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