Mobilephobia, can that be a word? It certainly described my view of mobile phones in the past. I never liked the idea of being contactable where-ever I was and the “advantages” such a having Net access on, proved to be rather a let down. So I continued my dislike of phones.
There are two words in relation to phones and fear, one being Nomophobia – which is the fear of being out of touch (the opposite of me) and the other telephonophobia – the fear of all phones. For the purposes of this article I will use my term of Mobilphobia.
Those of you who read Openbytes a few years ago will remember my shocking experiences of Windows Mobile, which whilst I should say “complimented with” the MDA Mail, I think its far more accurate to say “slapped together with” The experience was awful, constant crashes, unresponsive system, lack of any real functionality. I could go on, I wont. This article is in regards to my Andoid and HTC experience which has completely changed my view of mobile phones (and indeed mobile surfing et al)
The Android operating system is based on Linux (as if you didn’t know) and that was evident from the moment I booted it up. Smooth, fast operation and rock solid stability. This is not a review of Android per say and more to list what I consider essential, decent apps for it.
Can IRC work on a mobile phone?
Simple answer, yes. One of the measuring sticks as to how useful the phone would be to me was the facility to use IRC. Last year I bought a Netbook specifically to take away on holiday and keep up with my online presence, however I was looking for something a little less large.
Ive tried a few IRC apps for the HTC Hero and the award for the best one would be DaraIRC which is currently in version 1.1.0, simple and effective. Android happily lets IRC run in the background whilst I get on the other things. The only thing Dara lacks is the ability to set your password automatically for registered nicks and unfortunately upon login have to use the “/msg nickserv identify” command. Dara does log chat either nor will it allow copy and paste, but hey this is a mobile app and keeping it simple is probably for the best. Small issues though for a fantastic, FREE client.
You can visit DaraIRC homepage here: http://www.webimpact.co.jp/darairc/
After my sucess with IRC, I had little doubt that I would run into difficulties with updating Openbytes via the mobile. Wordpress offered the software (free) that allows you to post to your blog. Its simple clean interface allows control over your WordPress account without having to do it via a browser. One word of warning though, when your posts are in draft form on your mobile they are only stored locally. I would like to see an option to upload them prior to publishing (or maybe Ive missed that option on the WordPress software)
You can get the software here: http://android.wordpress.org/
Twitter – Tweeting on the go?
Peep is the default package that was bundled with Android on the HTC. I won’t bore you with a review of something so simple, but it does its job well and integrates with Android perfectly to tell me when new Tweets arrive in.
RSS? – No problem!
Keeping ontop of my RSS feeds was simple with PureRSS, it can be set to update at regular intervals and I am alerted to new posts in the same way as new tweets or new emails.
I won’t continue on as this is not so much a review but more of my thoughts on a subject which Ive had strong opinions on in the past (Mobile phone computing) Whilst my Winmob experience probably prevented me from getting excited about it in the past, Android and the HTC has changed all that. I can now be productive on a mobile and whilst the touch screen is not the best keyboard in the world for me, I’m getting used to it and am certainly productive if Im on the train or wanting to keep up my online presence whilst on the move.
The HTC/Android will certainly be taking the place of the Netbook when I go away on holiday this year and whilst I am sure most (if not all) of what I’ve said is “old news” for the regular and devoted mobile phone users, you have to understand that I paid no real interest in the market after my experiences of Windows Mobile.
Goblin – firstname.lastname@example.org