G Phone Calling… HellOOOooo!

Back in May, after weeks of consideration, I had made the decision to purchase an iPhone. Soon after that, Apple announced 3g so I decided to wait. Finally, in July with much anticipation I trekked over to the Apple Store and was stopped cold in my tracks by a 4HOUR LINE.

Annoyed and without a solution I hadn’t done anything about it until this week. The Google phone came out last week and so I was even more uncertain. Given the complexity of the issue and the number of features to consider, I brought out the big guns… my nine year old daughter.

After she recited the available features of each phone, I decided the 3 most important to me are surfing the web from anywhere, GPS, and a convenient way to purchase the darn thing. Since Apple didn’t offer the latter, I bought the G1 by T-Mobile.

UPS knocked on the door last night and I’ve been like a kid on Christmas morning ever since.

Some quick and dirty thoughts about the browser as a consumer and designer.

1) The browser is more than I expected from mobile. It really allows you to enjoy the full web.

Here is how it renders Mihmorandum a well designed blog of which I am a frequent reader. Notice how it allows you to see the site how it was intended to be seen, while also allowing you to read it with only a minimum horizontal scroll. (2 zoom outs)

2)I have definitely endured some frustration in getting used to it. My most frequent peeve is that the home key doesn’t take me back to the browser’s home page, it takes me back to the device’s home. It’s the equivalent of hitting home on your browser and being taken back to your desktop.

3)I can see the eventual disappearance of the drop-down navigation menu. When touching the link, I am taken to a new page and the hidden links are never revealed. If I scroll through the links the hidden links are revealed on “hover” as they should be… I just don’t think that very many people will navigate that way on this browser; which could spell doom for the drop down.

Caution: Really geeky sentence coming, I’ll try to make it brief. If the navbar is absolutely positioned the scroll wheel can’t “see” it; so it CAN’T be hovered. In this case, Hidden links will never be revealed by android’s browser and accessing those links is impossible as far as I can tell. If anyone can let me know in the comments if the same is true of the iPhone I would appreciate it. It’s safe now, total geekyness is over.

Despite the early frustration I am thrilled with the phone. Each time my daughter hears me swearing under my breath, she sighs, and says “no one under 20 should have a phone that cool.” I’m determined to prove her wrong.

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5 Responses to G Phone Calling… HellOOOooo!

  1. SPK says:

    I’m pretty jealous. I’ve been keeping up with the G Phone and I predict I would prefer it over the iPhone because of the tactile keyboard. (I have an iPod Touch – so I’ve used the software a lot)

    Have you seen the TechCrunch reviews of the apps? (Don’t be mad at Arrington for all his internal linking) There are some amazing apps out there and since they aren’t “locked” to what apple wants you to have – the G Phone will quickly become like firefox with the extensions.

    Please keep posting your reviews and specifically the apps you check out!

    (p.s. your link to that blog needs to be corrected – you have an extra http in there)

  2. Thanks PK I fixed the link. When I first read that Apple was heading toward open source is when I decided to buy the iPhone.

    So, it was big part of my decision but I knew Google would allow without me even checking, they “get it” and always have, that’s why they’re Google.

    I’ll try to keep posting about it but I’m afraid my posting frequency will go down (I know that doesn’t seem possible) because I recently got even more busy than I have been.

    And thanks for the heads up about TechCrunch, maybe I’ll check it out, even if they are pagerank whores :)

  3. SPK says:

    Well, hopefully that’s a good sign that you’re so busy. Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.

    Your fans need you.

  4. David Mihm says:

    Hey Tim, thanks for the roundup. I have yet to take the plunge into either the i- or G-phone world but will keep this in mind when I finally make my decision next year…

    It’s a very interesting theory on the dropdowns…don’t you think that the devices will simply get better at reading them, though? It seems crazy, especially for large sites, that everyone will be listing every single link in their navigation all of a sudden…

  5. You’re right David, it does seem crazy but it’s happening.

    I think you’re right about the devices getting smarter… and I believe they’ll figure out the scroller can not find a link that is absolutely positioned.

    But they are not going to change that most mobiles users will open links by touching them rather than scrolling to them.

    Just like you and I click most links rather than tabbing to them on a desktop; and when you touch them there is never a hover event…

    Interesting, huh?