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Sunday, November 28, 2010

My new Android phone

I've been a cellphone user since the earliest days of the cellular phone technology. I started with a very large bag phone from a company called Unicel and through the years I've had many phones ranging from the bag phones to flip phones and eventually some pretty small "smarter" phones with cameras and so forth. As the years have progressed, my cellphone has morphed from being strictly a communication device to use in emergencies to a device that served as my digital hub. I sent photos, texts, inquired about movie times, fetched sports scores, and occasionally made a phone call. Through all of that though, I've never had a true "smartphone". Yes, I've had Palm Pilots, PDA's, and even a Nokia N800, but never a true smartphone.

For the most part, cost was the major factor in holding out as long as I did. As the years progressed, it became apparent that I was becoming more and more dependent on my phone to help manage and organize my daily life. I was a U.S. Cellular customer for many years and had fully intended to remain one, but I was specifically waiting for them to release an Android phone. I resisted the iPhone temptation primarily because of the cost and the AT&T network. I wasn't convinced that AT&T had the coverage in our area that I required. I'm also a Linux zealot and an Open Source aficionado, thus an Android phone made perfect sense for a guy like me. U.S. Cellular released an entry level Android phone called the Acclaim which didn't really interest me...I was waiting for the announced Samsung Galaxy S phone that was coming to U.S. Cellular. The first availability date I was given was sometime in August (2010)...that became September...then October...and so on. I couldn't wait any longer so after months of playing one vendor off another, I chose to switch to Verizon Wireless. They had the phone I wanted. A Samsung Galaxy S phone called the "Fascinate". Suddenly my life changed! I could a cellphone change my life? Simply put, the Samsung Fascinate put all of the things I need on a daily basis at my fingertips. No more having to find a wifi hotspot and firing up my laptop or netbook to download a file or look something up on the internet. No more trying to find the right combination of words to send to Google via SMS in order to look something up. No more posting to Facebook and Twitter via SMS...I can now do it all right from my new Android device.

What I haven't mentioned up to now is that my digital life is very much tethered to Google and its various applications. I use Gmail almost exclusively. I have hundreds of documents on Google Docs, hundreds of contacts in Google Contacts as well as Google Voice, and my life is scheduled on Google Calendar. I even have an extensive photo library on Picasa. Given that Android is a Google creation for the most part, I was happy to see how easily my digital life integrated with my new phone. My contacts, emails, appointments, and even pictures...just showed up. That's pretty cool. Now my life is easy to access...from anywhere. I like that.

Over the next few days and weeks I'll be posting more of my adventures with my Android phone. I chose the Samsung Fascinate, but that are MANY Android devices now on the market. I'll be primarily addressing Android as an OS as opposed to any specific phone. If you are a lucky owner of an Android device I hope you'll follow along and join me on my adventure...if you don't have an Android device then come along and learn more about them! See you soon!


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