New Christmas Present: Google Phone

Well, my wife gave me a Google Phone for Christmas, and so, you will hopefully see some content about the phone and developing for it.  For now, let me just list some various tidbits about it for now.

First, I have noticed a definite difference in the Network.  We switched from Alltel to T-Mobile in order to get the phone.  I didn’t really have a signal problem in my normal stomping grounds.  Now, I get no signal in my parents house and have to walk outside if I want to place a call.  Coming out of church, I had to turn the phone off and back on again before it realized that I had a signal.

Another thing is that the phone doesn’t appear to use the hardware to the fullest extent.  For example, I haven’t found any applications that use the multitouch features, but Engadget reported that Ryan Gardner demonstrated that the phone does have the capability.  The other feature is the accelerometer.  It doesn’t seem to switch from landscape to portrait except when I open the keyboard.

The big feature that I need is a quick easy way to put the phone into etiquette mode.  If I walk into church, I would like to be able to turn the sound off so that it only vibrates.  Currently, the only way that I have found is to either turn off the sound in each individual application (like GMail, Calendar, Phone, etc.) or Silence the phone so that it doesn’t even vibrate.  Furthermore, I would love to have profiles.  When I am out and about, I would love to have it notify me if I get an email, but if I am in the office at my computer, I would rather my computer notify me rather than the phone.  I would like to configure profiles so that I can quickly switch between settings.

I hope to eventually develop some applications for the phone.  I am excited that this is very possible.  I have already installed the SDK.  Here are some links that are helpful:

Here are the applications that I use so far:

  • AcroBible Lite: A complete Bible on the phone
  • Bonsai Blast: An addictive little game
  • Browser
  • Calculator
  • Calendar: I use my Google Calendar much more
  • Camera: the camera works, but it is not the greatest camera
  • GMail
  • IM: I haven’t used it much, but I talked with my sister once
  • Maps: I used it to help with directions a couple of times.  I also used it to look up a phone number for ordering pizza.
  • Market: easy to install applications
  • PapiJump: a cool little game that demonstrates the accelerometer
  • Power Manager: easy to turn on/off things like the GPS
  • Tag ToDo: todo list application
  • The Weather Channel: nice application for looking up the weather
  • WeatherBug: Another interface for the weather
  • YouTube: only to watch Google Tech Talks

I installed the G1 Central application, but it didn’t really work.  I was hoping for a quick way to change the settings for where the phone rings, but it didn’t support those features.

Another thing I would love to have is a VPN to connect securely to resources at home while on the road.  I found an idea about using Juniper, but I haven’t tried it yet.

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