Saturday, January 22, 2011

I finally own a smartphone, and it's not an iPhone

After years of being an outcast amongst my colleagues, happy with a simple mobile phone that just made phone calls, I made the decision to upgrade to a smartphone. Why would I, since I was actually happy with my "no frills" Nokia and it's excellent battery life which makes a smartphone look retarded. At work we are working on making our web applications more mobile friendly, so we needed a range of smartphones to get a "real" feel of usability and performance, especially when utilising HTML bells and whistles.

Since a MacBook Pro is my development platform of choice (with VMWare Fusion allowing me to use Linux and Windows whenever I want to), and that I am a happy iPad user, it would be assumed that I would get an iPhone. Since there was already a glut of iPhones and Blackberries amongst my co-workers, and I have been envious of my Google friends and their Android phones. So a "droid" shopping I went. So what did I get - a powerful HTC or Samsung Galaxy, import a Nexus S? No, I purchased an affordable (AUD299), middle of the range Motorola XT5 running Android Eclair 2.1 Why? As I said previously, we wanted to test "real" usability and performance, and the majority of our users who had Andriod phones would not be running 2.2/2.3 or have the latest 1 GHz processors. As developers we need to remember that our users do not always have the luxury of upgrading when the next great piece of hardware and/or software arrives, and we need to ensure our applications perform well on a wide range of platforms. Certainly we should the extra capabilities of the latest devices, but also ensure a good experience for those users without the extras.

To-date I am very happy with performance of my XT5 and Eclair functionality. Now if I can stop writing little python scripts that do things on my phone, I can get back to testing the application performance.

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