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G1 Power User Group Journal Entry 2
General thoughts:

  • Paperless Check-in | American Airlines allows paperless check-in and boarding passes at O'Hare (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX) and Santa Ana (SNA). Use your browser to check-in and have the 2-D barcode for your boarding pass sent to your phone. At the airport, you turn your brightness up and place it on the reader at security or the scanner at the gate and voila, you're in! The first time I tried at SNA, it worked at security but not at the gate, where they manually checked me in. The second time, at ORD, it worked in both cases. Overall it was pretty smooth and I hope AA rolls it out to more airports.
  • Soft-keyboard | I do sorely miss having an on-screen key-board so I can type one handed or without opening the keyboard. Hopefully I'll get Cupcake this week
  • Response Times | Every once in a while when I run certain apps or return to the home screen, the phone seems to slow down quite a bit. Sometimes I've had to wait 30 seconds for the icons to appear and I can go about my business. I know it's not a computer, and performance is about on par with Windows Vista... but never having slowdown is always a nice thing to strive for.
  • Camera | I'm a bit disappointed by the camera in the G1. Even though it's 3 mega-pixels, the quality isn't that good. I would have loved it if the G1 could replace my point-and-shoot so I would only have to carry my DSLR if desired, but I guess I have to keep both my cameras.
  • Misc Pic 1 | This is a picture of me using Google Sky Map at Griffith Observatory over Thanksgiving. I used it to identify three abnormally bright stars in the sky. To the upper left of the phone is a bright bluish star and a bright white star just above it, to the lower right of the phone is another bright (blurry) star. Sky Map told me those were not stars, they were Venus and Jupiter on the left and Mercury on the right!
  • Misc Pic 2 | Here is the custom phone holder I built to mount my G1 to my windshield with my Garmin suction cup kit. I built it out of scrap wood and painted it black. The G1 is a bit tall so I have to tilt the mount downward to remove it. I cut a hole in the bottom of the holder to allow the USB cable to plug in. Speaker phone works fine, but I have to cut another hole in the bottom so the mic isn't obstructed.

  • BreakTheBlocks Lite | Installed & Uninstalled | Nice simple Arkanoid style game but the free version doesn't have very many levels and I wouldn't pay for a full version
  • Dyno Might | Installed | This is an in car performance meter, but it is in extremely early stages. At this point all it does is automatically start when a large g-force is detected and it records the max g-force, total time and total distance traveled in meters. At this point it doesn't offer much but I'm hoping that it will evolve quickly.
  • Robo Defense | Purchased Full Version | This is the first app that I paid for because I liked this game so much. I've submitted some suggestions to the developers, who seem to be pretty quick to respond so I'm looking forward to additional features in the future. I've wasted a lot of time playing this...
  • CTA Tracker Lite | Installed | This app tracks Chicago Transit Authority bus routes. Looking up the old 56 Milwaukee that I used to take, it says there is a 15 minute wait for the stop near me old apartment. The UI is a bit lacking and the long list of routes and stops are a bit clumsy, but I'm sure it'd be handy if I needed a bus in the city.
  • PdaNet | Installed | A tethering app to use the G1 as a modem. I've used it a couple times but it seemed a bit slow and sometimes it would drop the connection to the phone and sometimes it would just stop responding. I'm hoping they will release some updates to improve performance but for now it's handy if I need it in a pinch. Since it installs on PC first, the G1 makes a great jump drive so I can install the app on any computer.
  • PhoneFlicks | Installed | A NetFlix queue manager that provides basic queue editing capabilities. I wish it had context sensitive menus instead of making you click on every title and opening another page in order to do something with it, but it might be handy to quickly add something to my queue in a snap.
  • My Coupons | Installed | Essentially a coupon blog with direct links to images of coupons that you can print and use. Coupon clippers and deal seekers may find this app pretty useful, though I'm not sure yet.
  • PAC-MAN | Installed & Uninstalled | Classic Pac-Man implemented by NAMCO itself. A fun throwback to the 80's but I found the touchscreen, trackball and accelerometer controls all to be clumsy and not that enjoyable so I uninstalled.
  • Labyrinth Lite | Installed & Uninstalled | This is a balance game where you roll a ball through a maze by tilting your phone. I liked it but the trial version only has 10 levels which I easily beat and I don't think I'll pay for the full version.
  • PapiJump | Installed & Uninstalled | Silly game where you try to help your little smiley pink ball bounce higher and higher by tilting the phone. Simple fun that gets boring pretty quickly
  • Abduction! | Installed & Uninstalled | Similar to PapiJump with better graphics and more features, but still gets boring after a while.
  • Bonsai Blast | Installed & Uninstalled | A puzzle game where you have to shoot like colored balls in order to pass a level. Pretty fun and I like that it was a decently sized game for free. I played it until I won it on all three difficulty levels and was a bit disappointed that there wasn't some kind of ending.
  • Brain Genius Deluxe | Installed & Uninstalled | Kind of like Brain Age for the Nintendo DS, it exercises your mind with activities and puzzles, but I found it kept repeating a small set of activities and I wasn't entertained enough to keep it.
  • The Weather Channel | still installed | This app is the best app for weather, but just like weather.com, this app constantly reminds me how much I despise The Weather Channel. This is the slowest app I have by far and today it crashed three times attempting to display the current radar map. Not to mention that The Weather Channel can't seem to get the current weather correct, let alone tomorrow's or next week's weather. The one redeeming factor is the high quality video they offer, which is pretty nice.

Posted 05/25/2009 11:55 PM in Geek Stuff, Reviews, Work | Total Comments: (1)
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I'd heard good things about the camera in my new Sony Ericsson phone, so the lens seems to make more of a difference in picture quality versus sheer megapixel count (despite the audacity in requiring proprietary everything to make a hard connection to most Sony products). As for apps, I'm glad you enjoyed your first purchase, which certainly makes the outlay involved seem less regretful. I remember seeing a T-Mobile phone with some version of PAC-MAN built in, but I actually enjoyed all the modern variations included in a Namco collection I recently picked up for the 360. Offering achievements really does make the going more worthwhile. Championship Edition's good, too (for the right price).
Submitted by Dan on 05/26/2009 11:02 AM

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