G1 First Impressions

So now I’ve had a little time to play with my G1 phone, and my initial impression is that it shows promise, but isn’t fully usable yet. In particular,

1. The keyboard is extremely difficult for me to use. I had especial problems keying in my Google account password which is auto-generated gibberish like fi{\=f(CK&Z/_|Z,. The punctuation characters were way too hard to type, and I kept accidentally submitting the registration before I was finished typing it, and had to start over. I wonder if I can plug in a real USB keyboard? However what I really want is voice and/or handwriting recognition. Even Graffiti would be an improvement.

2. The screen is too small. I want at least twice as much area. Larger might be even better. However it is usable for YouTube and other sites that have been redesigned for it. Browsing Amazon was painful though.

3. I find myself constantly missing the target with my large fingers. More often than not I activated the link below the one I was aiming at. Maybe that will improve with practice.

On the other hand I’m still incredibly psyched about Android as a software development platform. The flaws are in the hardware, not the software. Unlike the iPhone, Android is an open platform, not one particular device. If the G1 doesn’t quite clear the bar, the next devices may. Indeed there should be a range of form factors to satisfy different needs.

One Response to “G1 First Impressions”

  1. James Abley Says:

    I had the same problem with clicking on links with my fat fingers. Take some time to play with the trackball – it’s very easy to get accustomed to using it.

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