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24 hours with Android and Chrome

Reactions to a couple of the new toys Google has put out

Technology trends and news by Brad Feld
December 11, 2009 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/c62

As 2009 heads into the home stretch, I’m feeling techno-restless.  I’ve got two big end of year projects that I’m working on that will keep me in front of my computer a lot, along with a pile of new toys that have shown up in the past few weeks that I’m playing with.  So – yesterday I decided to start trying to use new stuff and see if I would switch.

I thought I’d start with some Googly stuff so I grabbed Amy’s new Droid to play with Android and downloaded the Beta Chrome browser.  24 hours I’m back to my iPhone, but I’m sticking with Chrome.  Here’s my reaction to both so far.

In theory, the Droid is a great idea.  AT&T service in Boulder has been terrible all year and it doesn’t really seem to be getting better.  I’ve really settled into using the iPhone comfortably for a data device, especially in reach of Wifi, but the dropped calls (and call quality) are maddening.  I know Verizon is happier here and I figured the number of folks saying positive things about the Droid meant the software would be “close enough” to what I’m used to on the iPhone.  After one day of fighting through the email client, the marginal keyboard, the terrible on screen keyboard, and generally feeling a massive loss of “speed” as I tried to jam through email, I gave up on it.  The screen is beautiful, but the hardware isn’t anywhere as nice as Apple’s.  I guess I’m just going to suffer through AT&T’s service for a while until they eventually either improve it or I give up or Apple opens up the iPhone.  At least for now.

Chrome is a whole different story.  I’ve been a Firefox user for at least four years and – while I generally really like it – I’ve noticed it getting slower and slower with each major release.  I’ve tried Chrome a few times in the past and always found it snappy, but the lack of plugins – most notably bookmark sync – but others that I use all the time like Glue – caused me to sick with Firefox.  Well – the Chrome beta now has bookmark sync and extensions – and it just kicks ass.  It is so much faster than Firefox, both with Google specific stuff as well as general web pages.  I’m now firmly in Chrome.

So – Google got one out of two switches from me today.  Not bad – we’ll see what new toys next week brings.
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