The Best and Worst of the Google Nexus One

I have had the Google Nexus One for about a month now.  When I first purchased it I had no intention of going with T-mobile plan for data and just using the wi-fi connection.  I anxiously awaited FedEx two bring my package from Google and of course they did not show up until the afternoon.  I was eager to sign for my package knowing it was from Google.  I immediately took it to my office to open it.  It came in a plain brown box that had a caution sticker on the top that said caution lithium ion batteries do not load or transport package if damaged.  The FedEx sticker said it came from HTC America Houston, Texas.  I carefully slit the top of the box open to reveal a Google Nexus One Unboxing sturdy white box that was 8 inches by 4 inches that said Nexus One.  On the back was a sticker that said Nexus One with the IMEI number and serial number.  As I took the top of the box off I was immediately greeted by a beautiful black and gray device which was the Nexus One all tight and snug in the container.  I carefully took the Nexus One out of the box and sat it to the side.  I lifted off the first layer of packaging that gave way too a very nice neoprene case with the Android logo on it.  A quick reference guide and other documentation.  Peeled back the second layer to reveal a micro-USB connector cable, wall charger, dual ear piece headphones, 8 GB micro-SD memory card and a battery.

I opened up the back cover and inserted the battery and 8 GB micro-SD memory card.  Took the Nexus One and the power adapter and plugged it into the wall.  I was so excited I had to walk away from the phone until the indicator light turned green.  It took about five or six hours and yes I watched every minute it seemed like.  During this time I read the online documentation from Google.  I felt as though I was comfortable and ready to turn that Nexus One on and be able to connect to wi-fi.  The minute the yellow indicator turned green I unplugged the power cord held the Nexus one in my left hand.  Looked the device over top to bottom side to side.  At the top left of the device is the power button and I pushed it down with excitement.  As the device turned on with the nexus one X logo I was then greeted with a multitude of colors.  The device booted up I was given prompts to set the device up and to login to my GMAI L account.  During these prompts there was one that stated I did not have a sim card inserted and if I wanted to use wi-fi.  I selected wi-fi and it found my wireless router.  I selected it and was asked four in the pass key once entered within a few seconds my network assigned an IP address.  I was then able to login and finish configuring my Nexus One.  While connected to wi-fi I could do pretty much all functions except for make phone calls.

My e-mail, contacts and calendar synch’d with my Google accounts with no problem.  Not only with no problems but very fast.  I then connected to the Google marketplace where I was greeted with hundreds if not thousands of free downloadable applications for my Nexus One.  I quickly found Facebook and Seesmic for my Nexus One.  I enjoyed the live wallpapers which made my background interactive.  They were cool but needed something more my speed.  After extensive search I found Earth Live Wallpaper by Earthrot that gave me the ability to bring the universe to my wallpaper.  Now I have Jupiter rotating on my wallpaper and yes very cool.

The next morning at 0530 I took my Nexus One and went to Starbucks.  The Nexus One found the AT&T wi-fi access point I selected it and the Nexus One said it was connected.  I quickly and with anticipation launched the browser and nothing happened.  I selected the home page and was greeted with AT&T web page and the ability to login.  Once logged in through the website I had complete wi-fi access.  I quickly saved the new connection to my Nexus One and read the local newspaper online.  Over the next couple of days I was completely satisfied with my purchase of the Nexus One using wi-fi however, whenever I left the house and wanted or needed to make a phone call or access data.  It became painfully obvious I needed a voice and data plan from T-mobile.  I called them told them I did not want a contract only a month to month but needed unlimited text and data.  Basically I now have the coolest prepaid cell phone on the market.

Even with the new T-mobile service something did not seem right.  I was not getting full strength from T-mobile service and was frustrated quickly.  I finally called T-mobile to find out what the problem was.  Apparently when I activated my Nexus One without a SIM card it registered services differently.  T-mobile told me at that point that I would need to reset the Nexus One to factory specifications.  Lucky for me I use all Google services and did not have a lot of applications.  As I was speaking to the representative I was writing down the applications I did have downloaded.  He made a couple of adjustments told me how to reset my device and once I did that my Nexus One registered properly with T-mobile and Google.  I’ve then preceded to go into town that evening in order to try my service.  I had service where I did not have service before.  The transition from T – mobile to wi-fi was beautiful.  I now go from the office with wi-fi to the car which turns to T-mobile and back to wi-fi and notice no difference.  Well of course I noticed that speed difference between wi-fi and cell phone service.

I quickly determine that I needed an application that would connect to my corporate exchange servers.  After searching numerous forms the same application came up time and time again.  That was touchdown by NitroDesk this app said that it could connect to corporate exchange servers even with IT policies.  I went to the marketplace found touchdown and downloaded it to my Nexus One.  It came with a disclosure that said it was a trial version and to be sure it can configure and connect to your corporate servers before buying the full version.  The trial version was a complete version with a time limit.  Knowing my exchange server settings I felt confident I could get touchdown to work.  I went through the setup to register my Nexus One to my corporate exchange account.  I used the outlook web account settings and then asked me to accept the IT policy and create a four digit password (password for touchdown only not the whole device).  Once I did that I’ve received e-mail, contacts, global address list, and calendar data instantaneously as it happens.  I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the setup was and how quickly I started to receive data.

As I enjoy my social sites I needed to find an application that would post to ping.fm.  Once again after searching the marketplace and forums I found AnyPost.  After downloading and launching AnyPost it asked me for my Ping.fm account login.  Oh how sweet it was to make my first post using my nexus one.

I’d than needed to find a good RSS reader and hoping it would connect to my Google reader account.  And yes after searching and playing with numerous applications I have settled upon NewsRob.  It asked for my Google reader account login information once entered it pulled all my RSS feeds and allowed me to start reading.  One of the best parts is the ability to see feeds in HTML.

I did download a couple of games such as blackjack, word search and of course backgammon.  Instead of using Google talk only I downloaded eBuddy to pull in all my IM accounts so that I would be available no matter where and when I wanted. 

I plan to post pictures taken from the Nexus One at a later time.  I will also take some videos and post them to my YouTube account.

The Nexus One is sleek, sexy and highly functional.  After owning quite a few cell phones, PDA, laptops, and smart phones I must say the future is bright.

********

UPDATE

I can’t believe I left out the worse parts of the Google Nexus One.  Thank you @AnthonyRusso for your comment.  Here we go.

I leave Wi-Fi on constantly due to having access to a Wi-Fi connection 10-15 hours a day.  As I stated above the best part is being able to walk out of the office or home and have the Nexus One switch with ease from Wi-Fi to cell data.  With my habits this means that I cannot get through a whole day without charging at least once before I put it on the dock station at night.  If I turn off Wi-fi and do not use bluetooth and use straight cell data plan from T-mobile then I can make it through from wake to bedtime without a charge.  I do not believe if you have a smartphone such as the Google Nexus One that you should be limited to cell data plan only.  There are times I believe battery manufacture are to blame for this.  They do not seem to be making progress as the rest of the electronic industry is.

Video is grainy and not as nice as taking and viewing pictures on the Nexus One.  I have not found a zoom feature while videoing which would be nice.

I still have not found a way to create sound profiles.  On my BlackBerry Storm I like to create custom sound profiles for specific times of day.  I have one specific for work hours that is basically vibrate only accept for specific contacts. 

Smudging or finger prints on the screen is a pain and requires cleaning.  I find I wipe the screen 2-4 times a day.  When I was using the lock pattern I found that the smudge gave away the pattern.  Not good.

The four touch buttons at the bottom are sometimes not as responsive as they should be.  Except that pesky search button it seems to get in the way all the time.

I am not finding a way to select text in an email to copy and paste into the other apps.

There is a cell reception issue but believe T-mobile is more to blame than the Nexus One.  I find a lot of dead zones in my everyday travels.

********

Still with the negative features I am enjoying the Google Nexus One and look forward to the Verizon version in the next couple of months, I hope!

Posted in Android Platform, Mobile Devices, Reviews, Technology | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Whole new world through speech recognition

While playing with settings for my magic jack.  I came across speech recognition for windows seven.  I figured now is as good a time as any to start testing speech recognition.

microsoft_lifechat-lx3000 I was trying to use a Microsoft LifeCam VX-3000 which has a microphone built in.  I was not having very good success with the system hearing me.  I had to put the life camera about an inch from my mouth.  As you can imagine this would be an inconvenience.  Since I had to make a return two Best Buy I decided to purchase headphones/headset with a built in microphone boom.  I have had headsets in the past they used a 3.5 millimeter jack.  It was time to upgrade to USB for a more clear sound and microphone.  The credit back from my return would not allow for a large purchase.  After looking at the different headsets ranging from $20 to $275.  I settled on slightly above the cheapest set and still have high ratings.  I am now currently using Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000 Headset digital USB for superior clarity headset.  Not only does this have digital stereo headset but also of noise canceling microphone.

 

Setup was a breeze it took longer to open the pack each then to hook up and start using the new headset.  I chose USB because I have a USB jack in the front of my computer.  Easy access and easy setup was important in my purchase.  At the end of the USB jack there was a green sticker that informs me to install software first.  Normally I bypass any software to allow the system to find and installed drivers by itself.  However, I decided to follow instructions to the T.  I wanted to be sure the new headsets would be ready and configured properly for speech recognition.

 

These are stereo headphones which means there are two your pieces.  A lot of people do not like to have both ears covered.  I myself find it easier and better to hear what has been said or is playing.  This headset has eight nice size control mechanism about 3 to 4 feet from the headset.  It has speaker volume up and down along with microphone mute and a call button.  The mute button comes in handy especially when you have kids that interrupt.  For example the last 2 minutes of I had the headset on mute an it did not dictate what I was saying, thank goodness.

 

The reason I find speech recognition intriguing is not for laziness as some may think rather for blogging.  I find that thinking and typing at the same time is not one of my strong suits.  So thinking and saying works a lot better for me.  With that said I recommend everyone try speech recognition and yes so far I give the Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000 Headset five stars.

 

Next I will test the headset with the magic jack phone system.  I will report back to the blog with my findings on the headset and magic jack.  Yes this was typed by using speech recognition with the new headset.

Posted in Reviews, Technology | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Why you will want the Nexus One over the iPad

All the hype today is over Apple’s announcement of the new iPad multi-touch screen laptop/notebook/netbook/tablet computer.  Seems like an oversized iPhone or iPod to me at first glance.

You will want to buy the Google Nexus One because you are all in on Google services.  You are a user of Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, Google Voice, Google Reader and many other wonderful Google services. 

With the iPad starting at $499 for a 16 GB and the Nexus one at potentially $179 for 16 GB.  Not to mention the size of the two devices.  One you can put in your shirt pocket while the other will need to be put into a binder essentially.  They both have Wi-Fi while the Nexus One has 3G for a price less than the iPad will be with 3G capability.  Where is the microSD slot on the iPad?  Don’t tell me once again Apple limits expansion of memory.

Either way it goes the technology is progressing rather nicely right now.  Thinner, light weight and more compact is pleasing to me.  If your an Apple/Mac/iPhone user you will kill for the new iPad.  If your like me and keep an open mind then you will want the new Nexus One.

 

 

Posted in Computers, Mobile Devices, Technology | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Starbucks Gold my not be so Golden

Received my new Starbucks Gold card (gold) a week and half prior to my old one expiring.  The new one started on the 6th of January.  Here I am finally 15 stars into my new Starbucks Gold card and can compare the two.  You get a star for every visit you use your gold card, with money on it, to make a purchase.  You read that right you have to have money on the card and use it to get a star towards your rewards.  Here are the benefits of the new gold card by Starbucks:

  • Free birthday drink
  • 2 continuous hours of free Wi-Fi daily
  • Free refills on brewed coffee, iced coffee and tea
  • Free flavored syrups
  • Free tall (12 fl oz) beverage with every pound of coffee purchased
  • Exclusive offers & coupons
  • FREE DRINK EVERY 15 STARS

My Starbucks Gold Card

 

My old Gold card (black) benefits were as follows:

  • 10% off most purchases in participating U.S. Starbucks stores
  • A free beverage on your birthday
  • Exclusive offers & coupons
  • 2 continuous hours of free Wi-Fi daily

Old Starbucks Gold Card Program

I received the black gold card for free for all the purchases I made so no $25 fee.  If I did pay the $25 for the year that equals to $1.05 for the 15 visits.  I saved on average $0.68 a visit during these first 15 visits.  That same 15 visits saving on average $0.68 means the free drink would have cost me $10.20.  Wow, so far the new gold card does not save me anything and is costing me money.

Let’s break this down a little further.  If I stay to drink my Iced Coffee with sugar-free caramel and light breve and then take advantage of the free refill then the loss shrinks.  I order iced coffee and Frappuccino so there were no additional syrup charges.  I used the Wi-Fi maybe three hours last year.  That benefit did not help me and perhaps this year I will try to use it more so that I can see the benefit of the new gold card.

At least three of the benefits are the same but that 10% discount compared to needing 15 stars is a huge difference.  A lot of times the discount is what gave the Starbucks partners there tip. 

Early indications are the new Starbucks Gold card is NOT so Golden 🙁

What is your take on the new Starbucks Gold card?

Posted in Beverages, Reviews | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment