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Life with the Android Dev Phone 1

Recently, Nitobi got an Android Dev Phone, which is a copy of the T-Mobile G1 phone that Brock got earlier in the year. I'm currently using it as my primary phone while I figure out whether I should get an Android Dev Phone or the OpenMoko. I'm still leaning towards Android, but I have noticed that there are a few major usability and other bugs that I've found while being a casual user, and not a dev.

If the Android phones are going to beat the iPhone, they have to do everything the iPhone does. That means that they have to be able to sync with my computer. Now, the Google G1 is a dumb device as far as this is concerned, and it acts as an SD card reader. I originally thought that this was awesome, and copied my music to my 4GB MicroSD card that I put in the phone. However, I also decided to install another application, and BOOM. SD Card is Unreadable.

The Android Phone for some reason handles the mounting in software, and can't deal with IO from the phone and copying files at the same time. If this is the case, it should lock the user out of the touch screen with a USB Connected screen, keeping functionality for an emergency phone only, BUT instead we can access most of the features. Only the RingDroid application is able to detect this operation. I'm most likely going to add this check to the Android version of PhoneGap, as soon as we get some serious I/O features. I was lucky and I was able to reformat the device with my digital camera. A lot of people won't realize that it needs to be reformatted and will throw away bad storage. This can get fairly costly, since 4GB and 8 GB Micro SD cards aren't disposable yet.

This seems to me like it's usability fail. I'm going to load the new Cupcake Build on the device with the Multitouch patch on the Java Stack in a couple of weeks to see if the new build fixes the issue. I definitely consider this a major bug, and I'll probably file this if it's not resolved in trunk.

Other than this, (and the Battery issue that's been blogged about EVERYWHERE), I'm pretty happy with the performance of the phone, and I'm hoping that Android can take off and be a challenger against Windows Mobile for all the phones that both techs and non-techs use.

*Update* - After I first posted, I found the bugtracker. I realize that I have to upgrade the device to see if this bug still exists. I predict it does.