Android Market opens up and the G1 Achilles heel is exposed

Summary:One fun aspect about the T-Mobile G1, and I imagine the same thing occurs with the Apple iPhone, is visiting the Android Market regularly to check what applications and games have been added. I visited the Android Market several times this weekend, without seeing much of anything going on. However, while browsing my RSS feeds this morning, I ran across Michael Gartenberg's post on the Android Market update and went to check out the Android Developer's blog. I then launched the Android Market and found a mini-explosion of applications with there currently being 61 applications and 20 games available. This is still a drop in the bucket compared to the iPhone, S60, and Windows Mobile platforms, but it is still early in the game.

Android Market opens up and the G1 Achilles heel is exposed
One fun aspect about the T-Mobile G1, and I imagine the same thing occurs with the Apple iPhone, is visiting the Android Market regularly to check what applications and games have been added. I visited the Android Market several times this weekend, without seeing much of anything going on. However, while browsing my RSS feeds this morning, I ran across Michael Gartenberg's post on the Android Market update and went to check out the Android Developer's blog. I then launched the Android Market and found a mini-explosion of applications with there currently being 61 applications and 20 games available. This is still a drop in the bucket compared to the iPhone, S60, and Windows Mobile platforms, but it is still early in the game.

By my last count there were 47 applications and 15 games available on Thursday afternoon. There are now even a couple of tip calculators ;) I downloaded a couple of new applications (official Twitroid release, JogTracker Beta, Ringdroid) to try out on my device and now have 27 applications and games loaded on my G1. My internal storage available currently shows up as 17MB so I don't have much more room to add applications. I hope that someone comes out with a utility to store applications on the microSD card or the benefit of having an "open" device with 3rd party application support may be lost.

I don't know if it is directly related to the large number of applications I have installed (requires further testing), but my G1 will often just sit there with a blank Home screen after I press the Home button or go back to the Home screen. It seems that the G1 doesn't cache the Home screen and dynamically builds it or something. After much use this weekend I also found it started to drag and have the pop-up warnings appear that I could force quit or wait for an application to respond. While I like the G1 for the most part, I don't think it is quite ready for the power user who wants to load lots of applications.

I also noted that a few games are now appearing with the word Demo in the title and and read the comments that indicate these games are extremely limited in functionality. I assume these games may eventually be released as paid games, thus the word demo in the title.

In addition to the limited amount of storage capacity for applications, I have also discovered what the real Achilles heel is to the G1 and that is battery life. I found I have to charge the device at least once during the day to make it through a full day with my standard, power usage practices. This covers about 1.5 hours of surfing in the browser (on my daily commute), Gmail/Calendar/Contacts sync enabled, no WiFi and limited (15 minutes) of Bluetooth, just over an hour of music/podcast listening, and about 20 minutes of phone calls. With WiFi or GPS enabled the battery goes down even faster. It would be nice to have time profiles for syncing with the Google servers as your device may actually die overnight if you don't plug it in. The good thing is that it used standard miniUSB to charge up and it charges very fast. I think we will eventually see 3rd party batteries with higher capacities come out, but it would be nice if HTC/Google would improve power management.

Topics: Mobility, Apps, Browser, iPhone

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

zdnet_core.socialButton.googleLabel Contact Disclosure

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.