A Googley first week with my Incredible

Seriously, it seems like I've had my Droid Incredible for a lot longer than a week. Maybe it's just because I've been using Google products for so long (and in basically everything I do), that the whole Google ecosystem feels natural.

Seriously, it seems like I've had my Droid Incredible for a lot longer than a week. Maybe it's just because I've been using Google products for so long (and in basically everything I do), that the whole Google ecosystem feels natural. That's certainly part of it, but I think that, as iPhone users will tell you, a good touch-based UI will go a long ways towards turning a phone into an extension of you in a way that a laptop can never be.

Is the Droid Incredible an iPhone killer? For me it is. Verizon is a requirement and I live, eat, and breathe Google, so an Android smartphone is certainly the way to go. As ZDNet's Sam Diaz says, "the Droid Incredible killed my iPhone envy."

The phone itself is great and has been thoroughly and positively reviewed all over the place. However, even a week with the phone has me going to meetings without at least a netbook and has converged all of my portable work, entertainment, and information needs into a single very light device. I've also largely mastered the keyboard and the corrective/predictive text feature has learned enough words that I use that I can be far more confident just generally aiming for the right spots on the touchscreen and letting the software do the rest.

The second day I had the Droid, I uploaded a video of my daughter to YouTube (via the YouTube App on my phone) and emailed a link to my mom. I have vague recollections of hitting send without proofreading the email as my 5-month old daughter found some way to get herself into mischief. An hour later, my mom was utterly confused by a message of nonsense word substitutions. Now, the software is far more accurate and no longer even bothers suggesting the word suit when I really attempted to type another four-letter word that begins with an s and ends with a t. My Android knows me so well.

The GPS and navigation tools work brilliantly, the barcode scanner isn't just a wow device but is genuinely useful, and Google Goggles is so cool that it will warrant its own post soon. Suffice to say that when I updated to the new version tonight, I tested it by scanning the cover of Green Eggs and Ham and within seconds, I knew where to buy it and had links to everything I've ever wanted to know about the book and Theodore Geisel.

This is perhaps the most fascinating thing about the phone: although text input is relatively easy, there are plenty of other ways to get information into Android, all of which can be immediately integrated with the Google account of my choice, my Google Voice account, and Google Apps. The barcode scanner can read traditional barcodes or QR images. Any place that accepts keyboard input will also accept voice input. The voice recognition isn't as good as the OCR in Goggles, but it gets the job done while you're driving.

The phone isn't perfect. As I said, the voice recognition needs some work. The battery life is also pretty dismal. I'm still conditioning the battery, but I never leave home without the right USB cable or a car charger. I'm lucky to get 9 hours of hard use. And given that this is the computing and communication tool I now use more than anything, it spends a lot of time getting used hard. However, as my first week comes to a close, I don't have an ounce of buyers remorse. This phone is the tip of the Android iceberg as tablets and new phones start to pour into the market. My phone feels far more like a computer with an OS rather than a phone and I'm quickly finding that the Droid Does commercials from Verizon aren't just a great marketing ploy - I haven't actually found anything that the Droid, well, doesn't.

I think Jason Perlow put it best in a tweet tonight, if in slightly graphic Perlow-ese:

I loved my CrackBerry, but if iPhone is Jesus, then Android is the she-demon that seduces you and makes you become her willing slave.

Yep, that about sums it up.

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