I have been a long time Mac and Blackberry user, and have wanted an iPhone since it first entered the market. Because the network ATT uses in our area is an affiliate and not ATT, I cannot sign up for a plan. There are always ways around these issues of course, but as a technology professional, I need reliable access to email and messaging.
Until recently a Blackberry Curve has been my handheld of choice. My most recent Curve, and its predecessors, have supported my needs with few complaints.
When the Droid debuted in November, I saw an opportunity to have an iPhone-like experience on a much larger network. I purchased my Droid three weeks ago. I didn’t port my number immediately, as I had read a few negative reviews and wasn’t quite ready to leave the Blackberry at home. I’m happy to say that I ported my phone this morning and am now a satisfied Verizon Wireless and Moto Droid user.
I have a couple observations that I’ll share.
I am not an Exchange user. I use an IMAP email server. The IMAP client that is provided with the Android OS is buggy. I had many issues with it crashing and needing to be restarted. A quick search of the forums showed that I am not alone. I found an app by the name of K-9 Mail. I am extremely impressed with this app. It is robust enough to serve the purpose of a smartphone. It supports IMAP IDLE, which maintains a connection to the IMAP server in order to be instantly notified of new email. This is an obvious advantage to waiting for the client to check in every 5 minutes or so. When I held my Blackberry and Droid side-by-side, I would often receive the same emails fifteen minutes later on the Blackberry.
I’ve also been using an open source app called Expense Manager. The app offers organization in my expense reporting process. It allows you to take a picture of your receipt and associate it with a particular expense. It also supports the export of expenses into CSV format via email. I haven’t looked at similar apps, but this one is definitely convenient.
Finally, I’ve been using an app by the name of doubleTwist to sync my iTunes library to the Droid. For the most part, the app works pretty well. It also allows you to purchase MP3s via the Amazon MP3 store and your 1-click account. The app has the obvious limitation of not being able to sync any DRM protected music.
As a new user, I’m interested in seeing what apps others are using, so suggestions are definitely welcome.