Evolution of the Mobile Life: Part 1 – The Move

By Joel Gray

Today, cell phones are commodities.  We expect to replace them every 1-3 years, and the reasons vary from breaking hardware to desired new features.  Recently I have went through this very process and want to share a series of articles with you detailing my experiences and observations of living in an increasingly mobile world.

Recently both my wife and I found ourselves with mobile phones that were having problems and, due to our cell phone company being acquired by a national provider, the phones would soon cease to work on the network.  This time around we decided to shop for phones that fit us rather than settling for the phones available from our provider.


My wife’s needs were simple, she wanted phone that was easy to use and she wanted to be able to get her Gmail on it.  She did not care about Internet access, music or other advanced features.  My needs and desires ended up being a bit longer list; however, the main feature I was looking at was stability.  My previous phone was a Windows Mobile 5 HTC P4300.  While it was a large phone, there were a lot of things I liked about it; however it required frequent reboots and I’d been forced to hard reset the phone about once every 3 months requiring configuration and reinstallation of all of the applications I used.

After looking at the phones available in our area from the various providers, we decided that we would both go for the T-Mobile G1 (HTC Dream) running the Android platform.  It seemed to encompass everything that we were looking for.  We made the move and anxiously awaited the arrival of our shinny new phones.


Our phones arrived on a Tuesday night.  After waiting the prerequisite time to charge them fully as directed by the instructions, we sat on the couch with our handsets and a quick-start guide.  My first impression was that it was a very organic interface.  All of the press goes to the ease of use on the iPhone, but in my opinion Android is just as natural.  I came to this conclusion after a conversation about 45 minutes after the unboxing.

Wife: “I think I’m going to like this thing.”
Me:” “Oh? Why’s that?”
Wife: “Well, it’s much easier than my old ***** (bleeped to protect the innocent) was.”
Me: “Yeah?”
Wife: “Yeah.”
Me: “Really?”
Wife: “I’ve set everything up from Gmail, contacts and calendar already.”
Me: “Cool!”
Wife: “Oh, and I never opened that book once!”
Me: “Sweet!”
Wife: “I even found Pac-Man on the Market!”
Me: “Awesome!”

My experience was similar, I had my basic phone functions up and running in a few minutes and had already began using the browser to go through Google Reader’s unread list.  Searching Google was effortless and viewing YouTube videos was almost faster than my laptop! All was looking well!

Next time

The first few days of course are the honeymoon and much joy is to be expected.  In my next article I will discuss the experience of daily usage and begin talking about some of the applications that increase the general quality of our lives.