Sunday, January 02, 2011

Caren Explains the Droid 2

I count myself among the 5% of women ages 25-39 who would choose an Android device over other smart phones. In fact, as of today I am on my second Android device. (You don't scare me, evil Android eye!)

I've only had it for a few hours, but I can see already that Droid 2 addresses some of the concerns I had with the first Motorola DROID after I bought last December.

Most notably it offers worldwide CDMA/GSM support which means I can now use it in London. Gone are the days of toggling between a GSM-supported Verizon phone (so I could receive calls to my US number), my DROID (so I could retrieve contacts) and a British-issued mobile phone (so I could make calls in London). Rejoice, rejoice!

Also, this Droid 2 has an immediate route to file management. I found it impossible to locate files once I had downloaded them to the DROID. Now you can easily see both local files and shared files from the application menu.

One cool innovation on Droid 2 is the ability to switch between multiple profiles. The default suggestions for profiles are "Home," "Work" and "Weekend." As someone who has a bad habit of reading work-related emails and messages while off-the-clock, I can really make good use of this feature. Being able to hide work-related accounts, applications and widgets in one swish of the finger is a welcomed feature.

It is also interesting to see which apps were pre-installed on the Droid 2. Blockbuster and "Need for Speed" apps are new to the menu, though they earlier appeared as "junkware" on the Motorola X, while non-standard/non-Google applications like Skype and Amazon mp3 return on this iteration.

There are also a lot more pre-populated desktop screens on Droid 2. While some -- like a desktop screen for quick-dial contacts -- are helpful, others (namely the news widgets) remind me of Windows Vista features I disliked.

So far so good, but there is one significant UX improvement I hope this Droid 2 will offer: a less-sensitive interface and/or smarter screen- locks during phone calls so I don't hang-up on as many people accidentally....because that's just rude.

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