An Android update

Following my less-than-stellar reviews of my Android-based HTC Desire, I thought it was only right to follow up. This weekend, O2 finally sent an over-the-air update, which brought me in line with the rest of the Android world – and what a difference it made.

In short: Android 2.2 rocks.

My phone’s battery life has dramatically increased. The “hard disk full” errors are gone, because I’ve been able to move a bunch of apps over to my SD card. (I wish I could set my SD card as being the default location for new apps, but this is still an improvement.) Interface glitches that made the experience feel unfinished have now gone.

Best of all, now that I’m unencumbered, I’m free to see Android’s strengths for what they are. This morning, I recorded a video using the built-in Camcorder app, and saved it directly to Dropbox. That’s not because the Camcorder app has built-in Dropbox integration; it’s because both apps talk to the Android system in a friendly way. Whereas apps on iOS work in isolation, apps on Android interoperate in clever ways.

There’s still room for improvement. For example, I’d love to see well-designed UI component libraries for Android, that developers can just pick up and run with in order to effortlessly create a unified user experience between apps. Having to know about my SD card and manually push apps in its direction also grates. But I’m certain these, too, will get fixed, and all in all, I now don’t have any hangups about recommending Android as a mobile platform.


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