Hmmm, I’ve just been checking out some of the features of the first phone running the Open Handset Alliance’s Android operating system. While one touch access to Google’s Search, G-mail (which is pushed to the device and includes synchronised contacts), Youtube, Calendar, Notes, Reader and Maps is great, I can’t help but feel users are missing out a little without easy access to G-talk (the latter of which has been left out of this first model due to it being incompatible with the operating system). Obviously a Google account is needed to use these services, although you’ll actually need one in order to even buy the phone, at least in America. Users sign in once on the phone to be signed in to all of the Google services through the preinstalled applications.
The device does have some rather strange omissions, and while not as strange as the features still left out of the iPhone, they did make me wonder a bit about what HTC was thinking. No video capture with the camera? No file swapping using Bluetooth and no support for stereo sound over Bluetooth? Only being able to use 3G coverage despite the severe lack of it worldwide? Maybe the phone has been rushed and these will be added at a later date but the five hours talktime for a phone that will constantly be connected to the web to work is ridiculous. Hopefully an extended battery is in production as we speak.
Despite these slight teething problems, all reports say that using the G1 is simple and a dream to use (the development codename was “Dream” and apparently spot on). Google’s Chrome browser works great on the G1’s 480×320 screen and websites are displayed promptly and correctly. Typing is much easier than usual thanks to the slide out Qwerty keyboard. When this keyboard is out the phone is used in landscape mode and the display swivels to landscape mode allowing easier viewing of web pages.
It appears that between writing this and posting it, Google Talk has been added to the list of available applications.