I’m in the middle of a trip to the east coast of the US. Normally I bring my phone and my laptop with me, and because I’m normally just wandering around visiting family I’m never too far from my laptop. But this time I have some additional running around to do, so I brought the 770 with me to try it out “in the field” so to speak. Granted my usage patterns aren’t quite what you see out of most normal people, but I was just curious about how using it would work out. Here’s a couple of things I didn’t necessarily expect:
- Normally I’m walking around Palo Alto and the rest of the Bay Area, so I’m not surprized when there are a dozen access points in a typical scan. However I’m finding a lot of Wifi coverage even outside of the Bay Area. A real lot.
- The hardcore mobile people always crap all over Wifi as an alternative access mechanism because it doesn’t work everywhere. They just can’t picture people wandering around and searching out an access point when they need to do something. Maybe that’s true if the company is footing the bill and you feel it necessary to have them pay every cent possible to increase your comfort and effeciency during your business trip. But for those who don’t feel compelled to throw 5 to 10% of their income at data services month after month, the TCO of a wifi device as compared to a cellular device could be worth the inconvience. Think teenagers and young adults. And then think PSP and Nintendo DS. And then, if you’re working in mobile and some kind of little tingle doesn’t go off saying that “there could be something interesting going on there”, think about the 770 release with Google Talk. If there’s still no tingle go and get your head checked, there’s something wrong with your Spidey Sense.
- It’s more convenient to check my email infrequently from a more capable device than it is to check it all the time from my handset. With even my 6680, which has been a great device overall, sometimes when I see an important email come in the reaction is “damn, I can’t reply to that from this, I’m going to have to write a decent amount and it would take forever.” And of course I conclude I need to get back to my laptop ASAP and reply. Which distracts me until I find my laptop. With the 770 around I can just take a few extra minutes and write a decent reply if I need to. And searching through my back emails to pull together multiple threads into a serious response isn’t an impossible pain. The 770 is filling a hole for me here. Not one that I expect everyone will have, but for me it works out great in that role.
- It’s actually not a pain to carry in the front pocket of my jeans. When I saw the thing I thought the only place for it was on the endtable or in a backpack. But it’s not bad to lug around at all. Better than carrying around a PSP even, and tons of folks do that. I still think the cover is misdesigned, but I now realize why it’s there.
I’m sure there are plenty of cases for which the 770 is a poor match, but I’m pretty happy in using it for this trip. I wanted to like it though, so it’s certainly possible I’m focusing on the positive and leaving out a lot of negative. But I think the positive is a real positive and not just some illusion of my bias.
Something I haven’t really seen yet are the applications that tie in well with D-BUS, the interapplication messaging framework in Maemo that allows for things like the homescreen pulling together info from multiple apps. Given the way I’ve ended up using the device (semi-connected, pulling it out during existing downtimes to checkup on mostly my email) it would be nice to have a configurable homescreen instead that pulled together a few different apps that would update once I connected. Really though, I think that would be a nice to have and not a necessary given what I’ve been using the device for so far.