As I’ve written about here, I’ve been trying out all sorts of new mobile devices. Working for a carrier certainly has its benefits and getting one of every new smartphone is one of them. I have been very interested in seeing if I could carry an Android device full time and the Motorola Atrix seems like it could be the device for me.
I’m not abandoning the BlackBerry platform, but Android is…cooler and I don’t have someone like Steve Jobs deciding what I can and cannot do on my mobile phone.
Anyway, some initial observations about the Atrix:
First of all, it’s FAST. One of the problems I had with the Samsung Captivate and other Android devices was that they’re often unresponsive. When I would turn on a device and try to type in my password to unlock the device, it would often not be able to keep up with my key presses. Ugh.
I really miss the BlackBerry platform’s ability to set a system wide font. As I get older, I am having a harder and harder time reading smartphone screens without my glasses on. On the BlackBerry, I can define system wide font settings and make the screen more readable for me in many applications, but Android doesn’t have anything like that. I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to use this device everywhere simply for the reason that I won’t be able to read it without my glasses and I don’t bring them with me everywhere.
I’m not a fan of Moto Blur (or anything like that added by device manufacturers). Why can’t I just have Android as Android? Why do I need the extra UI and applications layers that Blur and the other systems add? Makes no sense to me – get out of my way.
The Atrix has three email clients and they each work differently. Ugh! Why does there need to be three of them? The BlackBerry has one, so I can do the same things in different email accounts. The Gmail messaging client allows you to control what happens when you delete an email – you can go back to the message list or an older or newer message in the message list. I like that feature. The corporate and personal email clients? No such thing. For some ridiculous reason when you open a message then delete it, you’re taken back to the message list and have no configuration options that can change that behavior. Ugh! When I open a message and delete it, I want the messaging application to open the next message in the message list. Making me go back to the message list and select another message to open adds clicks to my experience and makes it take longer to get through my inbox.