Adventures in Android Land

Stefanie Hahn

Stefanie Hahn

By Stefanie Hahn

I just upgraded.  After pouring over the research… visiting the phones (four times, but who’s counting?), working to get the best deal, and waiting until the price dropped to where I wanted;  I did it!  Friends and co-workers cheered that I finally moved out of research-mode and into go-mode.

I love my new HTC Hero and all of the Google-fantastic-ness that comes with it.  The transition from my Palm OS phone to Google was fairly simple.  My Gmail, contacts, and calendar were a no-brainer.  After a few days, I had my bookmarks stored, a few essential apps loaded, my music, photos, and social media all set and I was off!

I knew I would love this phone, but a few things pleasantly surprised me:

  1. Screens – HTC is big on personalization.  The Hero has a screen for each part of your life — work, weekend, travel, music, etc. and with the ability to add a different “scene” to each screen.  Not a necessity, but I think it’s organizational with a fun twist.
  2. Facebook integration – I love that my Facebook friend’s information will connect automatically with my Google contacts.  Bliss!  Plus I get their profile photo, status updates, and whatever contact info they have on Facebook.  This rocks for friends that change their e-mail and numbers often.
  3. Hands free – The Hero also offers a few hands-free options — voice dialing, voice Google search and apps for translating speech-to-text.  The voice-dial is pretty accurate and makes finding contacts a snap.  As someone who is on the road a few hours each day, the hands-free options are wonderful.   Safety first!
  4. Notifications – Now that I know how to move around my android phone, I love the notifications bar that pulls down from the top of any screen.  I get call, voicemail, e-mail, text, twitter mentions and direct messages, download info and more — all of the latest and greatest information in one little touch.  The notifications bar keeps me up to speed.
  5. Keyboard – The lack of a physical keyboard was my biggest concern with choosing the Hero.  I played with it endlessly in the stores.  I figured if I had to return the phone, the lack of keyboard would be the reason.  Turns out… the touchscreen keyboard rocks too.  I misspell everything; the Hero corrects me as I type and offers suggestions along the way.  I can add a word to the phone’s dictionary with a simple tap.  Using the calibration tool helped tremendously too… now it’s basically effortless.

So consider an android phone at your next upgrade!  A tad less sexy than an iPhone, but still a hot date next to a BlackBerry or Palm, get the best of both worlds with great productivity tools and plenty of fun too.

Stefanie Hahn is the education director for Coldwell Banker Hearthside, REALTORS® in Willow Grove, Pa. Visit her Web site:

  1. Nobu Hata

    Great post! If I might chime in for those looking to convert:
    For AT&T peeps out there, the Motorola Backflip (their first attempt at the Android OS) is a phone I returned after two days of using it. Clunky, and my hands literally cramped up using it. Verizon peeps have the Motorola Droid which is an absolute dream. Y’all just be aware that there’s a big performance difference between Android OS 1.5 (Backflip) and 2.0 (Droid), and that the Android Markets differ from vendor to vendor. What’s available for Verizon, might not be for AT&T and/or Sprint, which was one of the other reasons I returned it.

    Had to get an iPhone, but I’m still jealous of you Droid users!

  2. Thanks Nobu! Great info. Felt a bit like I was writing a love letter to my android …