I got an Android a few months ago for some mobile web app testing. (I then proceeded to focus my attention to wrestling dragons for said web app, which didn’t leave much time for blogging.)

I really hope they they’ve worked on user experience, because my onboarding experience was absolutely awful – it was several hours before I was able to successful type the username and password to my google account, and the phone refuses to do anything until you’ve set up a google account. I had more trouble setting up other apps and services, and in some cases ended up sending passwords to myself, because I was really just that sick of typing in the same sequences over and over on a crummy touch keyboard.

The Swype keyboard is fairly nice for normal text. Even so I don’t relish typing a mobile screen, so I mainly end up entering login information, where alternate keyboards aren’t much help.

I didn’t get the latest-greatest model (which changes weekly anyway), both because I don’t have steady income, and because I wanted to see what a typical user experience would be like. I got a T-Mobile LG Optimus-T, which comes with Android 2.2.2. I’ve since unlocked the phone, but from what I can tell, I wouldn’t be able to take much farther in the Android versions because the hardware requirements increase with each release.

It still runs my geolocation-based web app, so I can use it “in context”, which was the whole point of the exercise. It’s also able to run Disk Clock fairly well, although the app-switching use case is making me reconsider the startup animations even further. (The fact that it’s running Disk Clock at all hints at some other stuff I need to get around to publishing.)

I also realized I should probably have a case for carrying it around. I got a soft case – it seemed (quite unscientifically) that a hard case would just transmit any shock through to the phone. I assumed it would have cut-outs for the buttons, but in fact there are specially designed extrusions, with a peak to push the button an a thin area around to allow it to move.

The new device also pushed my “charging station” over the edge. I don’t know how tolerant the devices are of slightly off input-power, so I’ve kept around each power supply. I pulled out the twist-ties to keep the cables straight – a technique I’d been using the keep the computer and power iPad cables sorted out.

Posted Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 under Review.

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