Looks like the official cupcake release is delayed a bit I was able to do a manual install of cupcake on my dev phone (Thanks Debajit for the pointers!). Top feature I was looking forward to is the onscreen keyboard. Especially somewhere like the browser, it was always a pain before to have to flip open to type something, flip closed to view, flip, flip, flip. The onscreen keyboard has been working great. Few mistyped letters here and there, but I still do that on my iPod touch as well, so I’m not faulting it that.
Probably the most interesting point from converting over (I’m going to try carrying my Android phone instead of the E71 for the next two weeks and see how that goes) was actually more service than phone. The contacts app has an option to copy contacts off the SIM, but I always have too many phonebook entries for that to work. I run out of storage space on the SIM trying to copy my contacts over.
So what I had done last time was use Funambol to upload my contacts from my S60 phone, and then downloaded the connector app to my G1 to pull down contacts. It worked okay, but some of the data was somewhat munged (most contacts ended up in “last name, first name” format when they came over to the G1, and it just looked ugly). I was going to do that again to sync over the new contacts I have on my Nokia. But then I remembered that Nokia Sync supports S60 now, and decided to give that a try instead. It ended up working out quite well! Once I had my contacts all cleaned up (and now they live in gmail, where I get a lot more use out of them) syncing back to the Nokia seems to work almost as well as syncing from the G1. Have to see how it works over time, but it looks good. Getting S60 supported in Google Sync is a pretty slick move in terms of being able to entice over new users to Android.
One thing that still doesn’t work out quite perfectly for me is the account support. I have a main Gmail address I use for all sorts of personal stuff, and collects a half-dozen of my other email forward currently. It’s where I’m connected to folks on Latitude. Then I have a Google for domains setup for work, and that’s where I store my work emails and my actual calendar. Problem is I can’t get this mix of accounts to work quite the way I want them to. I would like to use email with both inboxes (and default to personal email when other apps are sending by default), I would like calendar to use my apps for domains account, and I would like maps to use my gmail account (I put a little Latitude badge in the sidebar of this blog with a happy little motorcycle zooming around wherever I happen to have last been, I love it!).
So what I’ve ended up with is my main gmail account embedded as the base setting in the phone, and using the browser to access my work email and calendar. Not horribly slick cause I don’t get notifications. However, the browser uses local storage for both calendar and email, so they’re available offline. Unexpected and very welcome! Still, I would love to see multiple account support in the native apps. But I’m going to have to fool around with the browser capabilities in this release. The mobile mail app in the browser is making me drool. Great stuff.
I also downloaded the 1.5 update of the SDK to poke around still. Seems like from the application developer side Android is getting little love. The number of devices in market along with the demographic skew of the audience just don’t make for a compelling target. I’m pretty anxious to see how the upcoming devices shift that however. I’m hearing lots of the old hands from mobile saying that the lack of a formal program to facilitate OEM integrations is a limiting factor in how fast Android can spread. Lots of manufacturers might be interested in it, but they tend to flail around when trying to get projects done with it and have no one to turn to. I’m definitely still rooted in the “cautiously optimistic” camp. The way that should work out with Android is that someone will put together a professional services firm disassociated from Google to help those folks plan and implement their efforts. And I think there’s still plenty of room and time for that to happen.