The Motorola Droid Gets Android 2.1, New Features.

Well, it has finally arrived. Android 2.1 for the Droid.

While I have personally have been using a 2.1 ROM for awhile now (Smoked Glass 6.0.1) (TRY IT HERE) I still have been waiting to try the “official” update and see what Android has decided to do with the features that are capable in 2.1.

Android 2.1 brings a fairly large number of improvements and functions for a point release. We’ll all have different thoughts on what specifically will be most welcome in the update since we all have different needs, but voice-to-text and multitouch support in native apps are tops on my list.

While not as visually stimulating as the previous ROM I was using, I still find some of the aspects of the OS have improved. The UI performance is much more “snappy” and the response seems to be much more exact. Also, the built in pinch zoom is a nice standard feature to have, and is useful. There are also a few apps out there now that I have can install with 2.1, (Google Earth, etc) and those are always nice features to have around.

The biggest disapointment I have found so far is the lack of changing the GUI at all. While this may be a somewhat unimportant feature in most aspects, I find that when I get a major and much awaited update (Especially a release that has been delayed over and over again), I really do like a fresh feel and look to be included, even if in some small way. I would have especially enjoyed the NEXUS ONE style launcher, but I can’t complain, as I still do enjoy the slide up drawer that the DROID is still using. (There is an alternative downloadable launcher on the market known as the HELIX Launcher and its included in the Smoked Glass ROM) that does style itself somewhat after the NEXUS ONE style launcher, but I really don’t find that this is necessary, and tends to be a memory bloat of sorts.

Here is a quick list of some of the updates that Android 2.1 includes:

*Key Advantages:*

  • Email – Yahoo Mail is now supported – customers can simply sign in with their Yahoo! Email address and password. Note: Yahoo! Email is not available over Wi-Fi
  • Pinch to Zoom now available in the Browser, Maps, and Gallery
  • Speech-to-Text – Customers can now use their voice instead of typing whenever a text-entry box appears.
  • Google Goggles is now preloaded
  • The new Gallery application uses 3D layout and shows both pictures taken with the customer’s Android device and images from Picasa Web Albums account online.
  • Live Wallpapers offer richer animated, interactive backgrounds on the home screen. Access them with a long press anywhere on the home screen. Tap Wallpapers, then Live Wallpapers.

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LinkedIn Profile is up

I recently, finally and thankfully finished setting up my profile.

I can finally breathe a sigh of relief, as that is something that has been left sitting for awhile.

While we are on the subject, let me post some links real quick that will direct you to more info on me (J.D. Langley) and STUDIO85:

Much thanks from Studio85!

iPad Fail: Why even waste your hard earned money?

This is more of a rant than anything guys. I (J.D. Langley) and STUDIO85 don’t really enjoy bashing products, but occasionally one comes out that you just have to say something about.

There are so many reasons for people to think first before even considering purchasing an iPad. (Especially if your into anything techy, and need something that will actually bring real productivity to the table)

First, something that has a name that first suggests a much more feminine and intimate product is only the start for what I find (My Humble Opinion)  is an incredibly foolish attempt by Apple… Jobs has made it a point to make any product his company releases look far more important than it really is.

I think it will be the most common device in second-hand electronics stores when people realise it has no real application at all in the real world.

I am just going to keep this simple and let you do the thinking when it comes down to it.

  1. 10 hr battery life. Wow. E-Readers typically see consumer needs of 20-40 hour battery life.
  2. NO USB ports, No SD card slots… Wow… REALLY? So for this self-proclaimed “Middle-of-the-road” device, would you not think that this would be a must to help bridge that gap? If the device is supposed to be a replacement for other devices used for simple tasks, a user should be able to add pictures to it with an SD card or take files off the device with a USB key…  So if you’re thinking of plugging in USB speakers, uploading from your digital camera or using the countless other USB devices out there, tough.  Adapters are going be available, but for a cost… Like usual with Apple. Notice how Steve Jobs glossed over this lack of feature during the release?
  3. Where’s the multitasking? No multi-tasking means that if your reading something on the web, and want to add some notes to your document without closing the browser… NO CAN DO! The original program will need to be shut down to open the other app… Can you imagine the downfall this means when trying to compete in the “netbook” arena?
  4. NO Camera… It might have been nice to Skype your buddies from the iPad but if there is no multitasking you can’t exactly surf and video-chat.
  5. The need to dock with an external keyboard for effective typing. Proves the lack if innovation on Apples part to give us something better to work with for on-screen typing.
  6. It doesn’t support Flash. In other words, users who are browsing and hoping to experience a full web experience, promise to be fully disappointed. This is a huge FAIL in my opinion…
  7. It’s ugly. The bezel surrounding the screen is huge, making the screen seem even smaller than it is. A huge advantage Apple has had is the beauty in their products. I would say its  a loss for them on this design. A quick comparison between the iPad and its competition reveals that some products, especially HP’s Slate, are actually on equal footing, if not better looking than Apple’s iPad.
  8. They have given us a 10″ iPod Touch, without all the features of an iPod touch…  No new screen innovations, and no improved interface technology, and apparently a huge amount of missing features.. In whole, nothing worth investing in.
  9. End result… If I buy an iPad I will still need an iPhone and a laptop to really achieve anything beyond an “Infotainment” result…

I would have to say, after some other conversations with bloggers and reviewers, the iPad fits into the “Mom and Pop” catagory for infotainment devices. This device I am sure will provide hours of fun and entertainment to those that fit into those catagories, but for true hardcore “Techies” and people that are looking to expand their computing abilities with a unit like this, I would say keep looking, keep saving, and invest in something else.

Many thanks goes to Adam Jackson for his input on this article too.

Post was written in the STUDIO85 Creative Services Office, but in no way reflects companies position with apple.

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