HTC Vivid with Ice Cream Sandwich

A few weeks ago, I was able to borrow an HTC Vivid. I upgraded it to the latest version of Android: Ice Cream Sandwich. My overall verdict is that I like it, almost as much as iOS 5. Android is more polished than ever before.

Here’s what I like about the HTC Vivid ICS experience:

  1. Bluetooth keyboard support. Android ICS is the first release that supports my bluetooth keyboard, and that’s a killer feature for me. The GMail app is the worst when using the keyboard, because the keyboard suggestions pop up over the top of what I’m typing, which is very annoying. The other apps, including ColorNote, pop up suggestions just above the words that I type.
  2. Smoother Dropbox integration. Apps integrate with it far more easily by sharing files on the filesystem. This means that it’s much easier to keep my password database synced between computers than on my iPod Touch — I don’t have to think about it.
  3. One device instead of three. The Vivid has the functions of my iPod Touch, my Sansa Clip (FM Radio and Ogg Vorbis support), and phone. It’s easier to carry around one device and charge one device instead of three. On the other hand, it has to be charged more frequently than my iPod and my feature phone. The Sansa Clip is better for exercising because it’s so lightweight.
  4. Faster web experience, especially with web pages utilizing heavy JavaScript.
  5. Better web experience. The larger screen makes it easier to read web pages, books and email. Apple’s browser zooms in and out on the correct regions much better using double tap than does Android’s browser. It’s more convenient to watch YouTube videos on a larger screen and a faster CPU.
  6. Much nicer camera than the iPod Touch.
  7. Power usage stats, per application. The screen uses the most power by a wide margin.
  8. Network usage metering and control per app.

Here’s what I like better about iPod Touch:

  1. Apps are all on the desktop by default, instead of buried.
  2. No costly data plan.
  3. Easier to use apps. Most apps that can be found for both devices are easier to use on iOS than on Android, and they usually have more features on iOS.
  4. Better email app than Google’s Gmail app on Android. The Gmail app is too busy, and I haven’t figured out how to mark messages as unread.
  5. I find the iOS keyboard easier to work with.