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An Android Update - TMobile G1

I still love my G1, and I got a pleasant surprise recently. I was out at dinner with my wife, and we needed to look something up. So we decided to race, her with her Blackberry Curve (and Verizon), me with my Tmobile G1. The kids were excited, and so I turned it on and saw a note about an update. I clicked "OK", not really thinking about it since I get these messages all the time from apps I have installed on there. Just as my finger was pressing the screen, I read "Android" in the message and couldn't stop myself.


I hate OS updates, especially when I'm trying to do something else. So I sat there, waiting about 10 minutes while it downloaded the update and then restarted my phone. It applied the update as well, so the restart was about 5 minutes more. There were some cool images on the phone as it applied the updates, so at least there was something to look at.

The update finished, I popped a browser, looked up my item (losing horribly in the race) and went on with my evening. The next day, I was riding in the car with Kendall next to me, and I got a message from someone. Normally when I respond, I pop open the keyboard and type my response. This time, I clicked the screen to highlight the text box and was about to open the keyboard when a virtual keyboard popped on screen.

That was cool. I'd never seen it, and with Kendall leaning on my arm, I didn't have to move. I one thumbed a message out, making a few mistakes, but not many, and sent it. All without opening the phone. Since then there are a few times when I've used the virtual keyboard, since it's easy to do, works well, and provides feedback about which item you've pressed. It's not quit as quick as the physical keyboard, but it works well one handed and I don't have to open the screen.

The other interesting thing I noticed was during a phone call. Where I live the voice mail system never connects automatically. When I call, it assumes I need to leave a message and I have to his ***, then enter my phone number and password. However the interaction between the ***, the message to enter a phone number, and then the message for the password, is slow. You can't jump the gun and you have to wait. However when I wait, my phone always goes dark and I have to hit the menu button to bring the virtual dialpad back up to make the entries (or open the device).

This time, I hit *** and then listened for the system. When it responded I was set to hit "Menu", but all of a sudden noticed a padlock icon on the screen with a "double tap to unlock" message on it. A quick double tap and I was entering info again. It doesn't sound like much, but it's a much easier, and simpler way to handle this, and it really made me appreciate the OS.

Little things like that are why I really like Android and this phone. I'm not sure I'd always want to be stuck with the virtual keyboard, but it's nice to have that option.

The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest


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