Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 2

Today, I listened to podcasts from about 6:30 am to 9:00 am, then i-heart-radio from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm with a few phone call breaks in between. Yeah, I'm a sports talk junkie. So shoot me. I pay for the Jim Rome premium membership so I can get commercial free podcasts. More often than not, I listen at the gym in the afternoon or walking the dogs in the evening. With the iPhone, I had to sync up with my living room media server to get the latest Jim Rome podcasts, as getting them directly from the phone did not work via iTunes -- a combination of the podcast not being listed in iTunes' database and no way to specify my log in credentials. My other favorite podcast is EconTalk. While it's listed and not login protected, it often weighs in over the download limit enforced by the iPhone for 3G. So I usually have to sync with my living room server to get that on iPhone.

It took a few tries, but I finally found a podcast app in the Marketplace that could handle the Jim Rome podcast called MyPOD. To make it work though, I had to manually enter the feed URL. And I haven't read all the instructions, so the background/foreground playing and lots of the controls are mysterious to me. I've used many similarly confusing apps on iPhone too. One app I really liked but that wouldn't handle authentication was Google Listen. It's one of those side projects that Google employees are encouraged to do. It's open source. And it's really a nice demonstration of how to make a clean, simple mobile app. But it won't handle my favorite podcast :(.

Rome-ee comes on live in SoCal at 9, so I grabbed I-Heart-Radio to listen live. It works exactly like the iPhone app. As a platform straddler, I really appreciate that, despite all the animosity coming from Apple over cross-platform apps. Those of you who stay loyal to your iPhone, remember, it's your iPhone, not Apple's. If you like an app but it breaks some user interface rules that some platform engineer at Apple wrote down, think about whether you like that app because it breaks the rule, rather than in spite of breaking it.

A couple downsides I found today... First, the headset does not initiate voice recognition. And neither can a Bluetooth headset. This will mean that I'll need to car dock to safely place a call while driving. Nexus One does have a very nifty car mode that gives easy access to voice dialing, maps, and directions! To be fair in comparison, when I purchased my iPhone last August, I had to wait about 3 weeks for Apple to unleash voice control. The headset control also doesn't work quite as documented. The discussion forum seems to indicate this might be a problem specific to the AT&T version of the phone.

Second, no Skype app. I did find an app called Fring which claimed to do Skype chats and voice. I have not tried it yet.

I really love the screen. I've powered the iPhone up a few times to get a phone number today. It looks dull to me, lots of muted slate blue. Nexus One is really vibrant!

So one of the big concerns Apple has with letting users and developers do what they like is battery use. It's now 9:30pm. I've been messing with the Nexus One for an hour as I wrote this post. It hasn't been plugged in for 15 hours and 6 minutes. Battery level is 19%. Maybe instead of suing HTC, Apple should have them build the iPhone. (That's my way of calling bullshit on Apple. I'm sure it will be a recurring theme.)

Until next time...


  1. There is a Skype app for Android, but it still seems to be in beta. Fring does work very well though, just as well on the Nexus One as it did on my old iPhone, and I can actually make voice calls over EDGE(I bought a T-Mobile Nexus One around late February, but am still on AT&T =\). If it's anywhere as good as my iPhone was after jailbreaking and running 3G unrestrictor, you shouldn't have a problem using Skype to voice chat over 3G.

    By the way, I do agree with you as far as reasons to get a new phone. I have had an iPhone for the past two years and was honestly just fed up with the closed platform and treatment of developer and customers. It was nice to switch to a phone running on an open platform.

    I also have to say, after going on nearly two months, there's no chance at all that I'll go back to an Apple device, especially not after the nonsense that was brought up in the iPhone OS 4.0 announcement keynote.

  2. Thanks for commenting, David. You bring up a very important point, which I'll address in a post soon. That is, the major brands will be on Android. Most already are (e.g. Amazon). Many have stuff in the works (e.g. Skype, Sirius Radio). Many of the fun games that sprouted up on iPhone are on Android (e.g. Doodle Jump). The numbers mean it's just bad business now for these players not to be on Android too.


Do us all a favor when commenting... First, let us know if you have used an iPhone, any Android phone, and/or the Nexus One.