Motorola Droid now best Android phone ever

Motorola Droid now best Android phone ever *via DVICE Atom Feed by Stewart Wolpin on 10/28/09

Motorola Droid now best Android phone ever *

A few weeks I go I proclaimed the Motorola CLIQ the best Android phone ever, asterisk, at the time it came out.

On Nov. 6, the new Android champion will be the Motorola Droid. That’ll make Verizon customers/Apple haters happy now that the carrier has a phone to match its vaunted 3G network, or will have when it becomes available on Nov. 6 for $200 after the usual contract stipulations and rebate.

Handling the phone for the last couple of hours, I find Droid’s imperfections overwhelmed by Android 2.0 advances that help unify related functions and, first and foremost, its gorgeous screen.

medpicArray = new Array();bigpicArray = new Array();var req;var bigpicWidth;var reqXML;var backBtn;var nextBtn;var fadeSpeed = 1;var page_refresh;var tgcat;medpicArray.push(‘/galleries/verizondroidhandson/Droid angle front-THUMB2.jpg’);bigpicArray.push(‘http://dvice.com/galleries/verizondroidhandson/Droid angle front.jpg’);medpicArray.push(‘/galleries/verizondroidhandson/Droid Right angle-THUMB2.jpg’);bigpicArray.push(‘http://dvice.com/galleries/verizondroidhandson/Droid Right angle.jpg’);medpicArray.push(‘/galleries/verizondroidhandson/Droid Front VZW Home-THUMB2.jpg’);bigpicArray.push(‘http://dvice.com/galleries/verizondroidhandson/Droid Front VZW Home.jpg’);medpicArray.push(‘/galleries/verizondroidhandson/Droid Back-THUMB2.jpg’);bigpicArray.push(‘http://dvice.com/galleries/verizondroidhandson/Droid Back.jpg’);

document.write(‘‘);

At 3.7 inches diagonal, Droid’s display is the biggest on a cellphone, yet the Droid is only a hair larger and actually a bit thinner than the CLIQ. Even better, the LCD is 854 x 480 (WVGA) or 400,000 pixels. Most similarly sized screens are 480 x 320. In less tech terms, text and colors are sharper, bolder and crisper than on any other cellphone LCD I’ve seen.

All Together Now
Droid is more than its screen and slide-out QWERTY keypad. To make non-verbal communications easier, Motorola borrows the contact-centric phonebook from CLIQ’s MOTOBLUR social-network interface. Contacts in your phone book include text and email data, but let you compose a message or post to varying your contact’s pages on social-networking sites such as Facebook without having to actually boot the Android Facebook app. Droid also handily merges all the info from contacts culled from varying app phonebooks and email contact lists, such as Facebook and Gmail.

Further unifying disparate functions, the home page-based Google Search now scours not only the Web but data on your Droid. For instance, if you do a search on U2, you’ll find websites, plus websites you’ve visited or bookmarked, apps, contacts or, optionally, YouTube and your music. You can change these search options in the settings.

Google Maps now comes with voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions and “layers” — instead of having to choose a normal map view or a traffic view or a satellite view, you can overlay these options on top of each other. You can also share your location with other Google Navigation users for keeping track of your peeps or coordinating arrival at a mutual destination, i.e., “I’m lost, do you see where I am? How do I get to where you are?”

Moto Quibbles
I have some initial complaints. First, the 5MP camera is slow to process the large images. And, despite included image stabilization, indoor shots with the dual LED flash come out blurry if you don’t hold the camera stock-still until the shot is processed. Photos also can be geotagged, but oddly this is not the default setting. I’m not even sure why there is an option to begin with — what is the drawback to having all your photos automatically geotagged?

Like the CLIQ, Droid’s slide-out horizontal keyboard is three-line rather than four, which means you’ll need to tap ALT to access the number keys.
YouTube playback was hinky on my demo unit, especially when I tried to watch videos in HQ. They’d get stuck in “loading” and never actually play. Unlike other Android phones, there isn’t a “full screen” zoom option, which means videos that do play play in the middle third of the screen.

But Droid’s big, sharp screen makes everything easier to read, Android 2.0 adds the kind of intuitive interface that makes using a complex cellphone easier, Verizon’s EV-DO network speeds net surfing, and Droid’s solid metallic body fills klutzes with confidence.

Now all we need is an iTunes-like Android client software.

Advertisements

15 ghoulish apps you can download to your iPhone

via DVICE Atom Feed by SCI FI Wire Staff on 10/28/09

15 ghoulish apps you can download to your iPhone

Whenever a new gadget appears, you can be sure it will be demonized in popular culture. Gothic novelists wrote about haunted typewriters. There were Twilight Zone episodes about evil electronics and telephones that went straight to grandma’s grave. There were movies about cursed computers long before there were PCs (HAL 9000, anyone?), and there are countless straight-to-DVD flicks about eerie cellphones.

But it used to be that those hauntings were involuntary. Nowadays people are willingly downloading the ghouls, ghosts and goblins themselves, usually at about a buck a pop. Follow the jump below for our 15 favorite scary iPhone apps.

To read the list, follow this link our sister site, Sci Fi Wire.

Netflix details PS3 disc distribution for November, ‘confident’ it’ll have ample supply

via Joystiq [PlayStation] by Alexander Sliwinski on 10/28/09

Netflix is confident that it will have ample supply in November for every PS3 user who requests a disc for its recently announced streaming service. Speaking with Joystiq, Netflix Vice President of Corporate Communications Steve Swasey wouldn’t disclose the number of reservations the company has received for the free PS3 Netflix disc since the company announced the program on Monday, but did emphasize, “We’re confident we’ve produced enough discs.” Distribution centers apparently already have the units.

Swasey told us that the company is still hammering out the distribution details, but the plan is to send out a press release sometime in November announcing that the discs have shipped. Customers should receive the red envelope in about the same time it usually takes for a Netflix shipment to reach them. He expressed that “there’s no VIP list or special circumstance list,” so everyone should be receiving it around the same time.

Asked if there were any points he’d like to clarify about the recent announcement, Swasey told us that the disc was the best solution currently available in getting PS3 users the Netflix service, downplaying the need to always have disc in the tray. “They put the disc in whenever they play a game.” When pushed on why an integrated solution wasn’t implemented, he said, “We haven’t given any reason. The key thing here … it’s very easy and no different than playing a video game. We’ll have an update in time.” The integrated solution is expected in late 2010.

Netflix doesn’t like to discuss HD content in nitty gritty detail yet, but confirmed that the PS3 will have a similar offering to the Xbox 360, which outputs 720p and stereo sound.

Keep an eye out for an announcement in November for when the discs ship, then put that eye back in when the disc arrives. You’ll need both to appreciate those episodes of Dexter.

Netflix Streaming Coming to Wii Next, Naturally

via Gizmodo by matt buchanan on 10/28/09

Netflix is finally, officially about to hit the PS3, leaving the Wii as the odd console out. Well, besides past hints and the whole “duh” aspect, StreamingMedia swears that the Wii is next, and has seen pitchas to prove it.

Of course, those pictures can’t shared in order to protect they’re source, and what’s more, they’re hearing that “Nintendo originally planned to bring the Netflix service to the Wii before the end of this year” but they’re “also considering holding off on the Netflix service until they release their next generation Wii HD unit in early 2010.” So, uh, just keeping your breath on that one.

[Streaming Media via Engadget]

AT&T’s first Android phone: A Dell?

via Betanews by Tim Conneally on 10/7/09

By Tim Conneally, Betanews

Dell has smartphones on the way, but it’s not talking about them yet.

In fact, the first Android-powered smartphone on AT&T’s network could be coming from Dell, according to reports this afternoon.

Citing unnamed “people briefed on the plans,” The Wall Street Journal today claimed that Dell will have a smartphone on AT&T as early as 2010.

In September, a 3.5″ touchscreen Dell smartphone known as the “Mini 3i” was shown running Open Mobile System (OMS), an Android-based operating system central to China Mobile’s “OPhone” platform. That platform thus far has been supported by Lenovo and HTC subsidiary Dopod, with many more to come.

The smartphone that Dell is saying is not really its Mini 3i, at least not yet.

The Texas PC company, however, has thus far been hesitant to discuss its movement in the Chinese mobile sector, even though China Mobile has highlighted Dell’s participation in the Android-based OPhone project several times.

Dell declined comment today to Betanews and others on its plans for smartphone distribution, domestically or otherwise.