[FoRK] Atrix / Xoom Details

Stephen Williams sdw at lig.net
Mon Mar 14 11:16:33 PDT 2011

On 3/14/11 10:42 AM, David Edmondson wrote:
> On 14 Mar 2011, at 4:48pm, Eugen Leitl wrote:
>> I am buying an iPad 2 and not a Xoom.
> Why? (Haven't played with a Xoom, but it does seem that the iPad 2 trumps it on specification, never mind general usability.)

Development target.  I'll probably always develop for Android first as the Apple process is too much of a pain to lead with that.  
And there is a lot more flexibility on Android.  With the Xoom in particular, Motorola has said that it is fine to root it, 
especially for development.  At some point, the choice is between an open platform like a Linux PC and a closed-to-a-degree platform 
closer to a Playstation or XBox.

>> Phone still Android.
> Why?
> I spent a couple of days trying to use an HTC Wildfire with 2.2.1.
> I'll admit that it's an entry-level device, but the overall impression is pretty awful. The UI looks like something from the 1980s, though perhaps the 320x240 screen has something to do with that. The complete lack of consistency between the supplied applications can't be blamed on the screen size.

An Evo has super hardware, lots of horsepower, nice finish, and very responsive touch UI.  Apps are mostly nice.  The email client 
seems great to me and works well with my Linux server, Gmail, etc.

I haven't used the SMS/IM/chat apps much there.  Few things are going to beat the WebOS (Palm) Pre's SMS/IM app for ease of use and 
multi-service integration.  Hopefully when I'm completely on Android it has as good as an app.

> The non-Gmail email client comes a very distant third behind Apple's iPod Touch (don't have an iPhone) and RIM's Blackberry mailers in terms of usability (K-9 is not much better). Gmail is not particularly impressive. The calendar application wastes screen estate like a poor joke and is, perhaps largely as a result, mostly impossible to use. The only saving grace (compared to the Blackberry that it might replace) is the personal hotspot support (and, I suppose, the lack of requirement for a Blackberry server somewhere in the network).

With Android, you can replace any app for any purpose, and integration that other apps have with that service will switch to the new 
app when you make that choice.  Bad apps are A) temporary and B) opportunities.  Nothing is fundamental to the platform really.  I 
think just about all UIs could be made much better.  Assuming that the "consistent" (straight-jacketed?) iOS UI is the one true 
solution is not likely to last.  I have a lot of ideas about how to radically change things, which tends to push me toward the 
platform where I could most easily implement and ship such improvements.

Additionally, I really don't think I'd want to give up multitasking to go to the iPhone.

> Of course, a Wildfire is £150 and an iPhone 4 is £500, so perhaps you really do get what you pay for.
> Are the £400-£500 Android phones actually usable?

Seems good to me.


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