Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Say hello to Calvin.

Calvin is my new phone. It's a T-Mobile G1, made by Google, and it's one of the most amazing devices I have ever seen.

A note about the naming of this device: I have a recent weird thing where I like to name things after Presidents.  My laptop is named Millard, and my sister's guitar (which I named) is Franklin.  As in Franklin Pierce.  Also, my future puppy will be named Fillmore.  

I got it yesterday, and I've been playing with it (AND studying histology, don't worry) since I got it.  Those pictures I took of it are not that great; the G1 has an amazing camera, but ironically it does not have a feature where it can take pictures of itself.  Bummer.  So those were taken with my old camera.  Anyways, I don't know how much you can see, but it has Gmail, Google Talk, Google Calendar, and everything fully integrated.  I already was obsessed with all those things in the first place, so really it's perfect.  I'm still playing with a few things and I don't completely understand how everything works, but it's pretty simple to use.

I've never had a fancy phone that had e-mail and Internet on it before; I've spent the last four years with two different Motorola Razrs, which I loved dearly but they were very simple.  So this is a huge step for me.  When my phone started fizzling out, I did a little research on what type to get.  I knew I wanted something with more capabilities, and I could have gotten a Blackberry for a lot cheaper, but this just seemed like the most logical choice.  It has a touch screen and a slide-out keyboard (as you can see in the pictures) and supports a whole lot of really amazing apps, iPhone style.  If anyone's interested, I'm going to run through some of my favorite and not-so-favorite things about the phone.

Apps.  The G1 is pretty much only as functional as the apps you download for it.  I'm still playing around with them and there are probably some more I need to get.  I only know one other person with this phone and he's been helping me out by recommending some. (thanks Gerrit, I knew you were in my life for a reason.  Well, other than that whole marrying-my-best-friend thing.)  So far, my favorites are:
- Locale.  The idea of this one is phenomenal.  Execution - not so much.  I think I may take it off, actually.  But the premise is that it uses the phone's GPS capability and the availability of Wi-Fi networks to determine where you are at any moment.  It then uses this data to change your phone settings.  For example, I have it set to automatically be on silent mode whenever I'm at school, and on "loud" when I'm at home.  I also have different wallpapers set for each place.  The problems with it are that it requires GPS be on at all times, which eats up your battery, and even so it still sometimes doesn't pick up location changes, which could be really bad.  
- Shazam.  Liz has had this on her iPhone for awhile, so most people probably know about it - but you can just hold the phone up to a source of music and it'll tell you what song is playing.  Pretty straight.
- ShopSavvy.  I haven't actually used this one yet, but it uses the phone's camera to scan barcodes and shows you prices of that item in different stores near you.
- WikiMobile.  Wikipedia.  On the phone.  Can you GET any more useful than that?
- Gmail.  This one comes with the phone, but it synchronizes PERFECTLY with my Gmail, which I am 100% addicted to already.

The keyboard is the one thing that's kinda annoying at this point. It is still really difficult for me to use, but I'm so glad it has a QWERTY keyboard.  I'm sure once I use it a little bit I'll get quicker at typing.  Also, the Chat application is being annoying today and not letting me sign on.  I'm sure I'll get the kinks worked out once I really know how to use it though.  I would definitely recommend this phone to anyone who is considering it.


Neal said...

Verrry cool! I love the app store stuff on these newage phones we've got. The BB has an official app store and the Crackberry app store, which I just dlded, so IDK how they compare yet. And that's so weird that it can't take pix of itself yet. The BB's have been doing that for years. Oh well..

And I must say I concur about the Google integration. It's the best thing since sliced internet.

Gerrit Burke said...

Nice! I haven't seen the white one yet! glad you're enjoying it!

As far as locale goes... I'd encourage you to keep playing with it a bit more. I use it and don't keep the gps on, but then again I don't use the location based settings changes... only time based ones.

Glad you like the phone though :) and even more glad to be marrying your best friend...

Andrew said...

Why can't Verizon get a cool phone that I can buy!??!?! AT&T has the iPhone, Spring has the Prix (or will), T-mobile has the G1... gracious. Verizon has CRAP.

I'm not bitter. No.

allison said...

Neal: Crackberry. I laugh every time I say that word. And I say it a lot. I'm almost sad that I don't have one because I want to call it that.

Gerrit: Yeah, time-based wouldn't really work for me, because the times I'm in class/library are really different from day to day. I'm not giving up yet, though.

Andrew: Verizon has hands down the best coverage. So at least you can make phone calls. Also, just think of the massive amount of money they're saving you by not tempting you to buy a $200 phone with a $25 monthly data plan. (Yeah, I know that probably doesn't help.)

Neal said...

Andrew, Verizon has the Blackberry Curve. It's amazing. Check it out. I'm posting this on my Curve as we speak.

allison said...

Wait - I just remembered. Verizon also has the Blackberry Storm (I think that's what it's called?) My friend Kacie has it. She will probably read/comment on this eventually. It's pretty sweet - a touch screen but you click when you press on it to type? Hard to explain.

WikiStevia said...


Nice phone. Perhaps we can schedule a duel one day with a set of tasks which should be accomplished using only the phone... your G1 vs my Bold vs whoever else wants to play.

I would, however, like to point out that google did not make it. They made the OS - a variant of android. HTC made the phone.

WikiStevia, +1.

allison said...

You're right. +1 for you.

And I like the duel idea. On our row alone we have the Storm and the iPhone in addition to yours and mine. We could get a third party to assemble a list of tasks.

Neal said...

Wikistevia: I don't know you, but I'm totally game for that if time zone isn't a factor.

Andrew said...

eh, i've tried the blackberry curve and some of their other high end stuff... their high end one(s) hardly compare in my opinion. although i wouldn't move from verizon to another service for anything, it's just too good haha.

Chris said...

You might ask around and see if there is an extended battery available. Not likely, but possible. I'm glad you like it - I was a little worried when I tested out the keyboard.