Sunday, 25 April 2010

The Irritating thing about Android

I have recently got an Android phone so that I can write software for it without the irritating security issues you get with J2ME on 'normal' phones (boxes popping up saying 'do you want to let this program do this?' etc.).

I was very surprised that some things that most phones do 'out of the box' are a real pain in Android, that makes me think this is still a platform for gadget enthusiasts rather than end users.

These include:

* Sharing Contacts: All of the phones I have seen with bluetooth let you send contacts from one phone to another over bluetooth. Not Android - I ended up adding my contacts from my old phone to Google Mail manually. This made them appear on the Android one.
* Using the phone as a modem: My Sony Ericsson W890i just works - plug the phone into a computer and it appears as an ethernet card - dead easy (I think I had to select this as an option in the phone menu, but it was just a simple menu action. The nearest thing I have got with Android is a program called 'Proxoid' to run on the phone. You then have to use the ADB program that comes with the Android Developers SDK to forward packets to the phone, and set up your browser to use a proxy. A long way from an end user experience. I'll do a separate post on this so I can remember how to do it next time I am stranded in Spain and my T-Mobile broadband dongle won't work!
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