Droids Dream of Electric Sheep

Motorola Droid 2 in the Dock, in Nightstand Mode, dimmed

Motorola Droid 2 in the Dock, in Nightstand Mode, dimmed

Here’s an update on my further experience with Motorola’s Droid 2. Accessories widen the appeal of this slider keyboard smartphone.

Nightstand Mode

For example the docking station pictured above turns it into a versatile alarm clock. The phone reacts to being docked by going into nightstand mode. Your usual wallpaper (I chose the animated Zen Pond) remains in the background. There are buttons to exit nightstand mode, set the alarm clock, dim the display, a weather widget, the drat connected music player and a slide show. Two further screens lead to contacts and calendar as well as DNLA connections. Really all you need to decide if it’s worth-while to get up. The appearance is restricted, dimmed, it won’t disturb your sleep even if inches away from your face. And there is nothing that grows on you faster than an alarm clock you like.

Car Mode

The Droid 2 goes into another special mode if you click it into it’s car windshield holder. Big buttons lead to Location, Navigation and other apps. I haven’t used this much, but in comparison with the Navigon app on my iPhone, more care has been spent on adapting the user interface to the in-car environment and to safety concerns. Location had Google maps as the background and was instantaneous and eerily exact. One day when the traffic is low, I’ll have a shootout between Navigon and Google Navigation. It’ll be interesting to see if they choose different itineraries. I’ll probably crash at a Y-crossing.

Drat Droid Mode

All’s not fine and dandy, though. If you have a computer that is open and hackable, there’ll be drawbacks somewhere.

  • You really have to watch the battery if you want to make it through a day with one charge. Curiously, playing a lot of music (over Bluetooth headphones, no less!) isn’t the problem at all. Instead, I ran it down prematurely with the mail program being set to sync a lot of IMAP folders over the air.
  • Alarms are another problem. There’s no central configuration app as on the iPhone. Instead, every program can set pop-up, message bar and audio alarms. While I have no problem with the first two, I like my phone silent except for calls. One needs to go into the settings of each program newly installed to make it so. With great capabilities come great responsibilities …
  • I don’t know how long the slider mechanism will hold together in my hands, especially as it is stressed in the car holder. Time will tell.

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    3 Responses to “Droids Dream of Electric Sheep”

    1. Is it better to wait for Meego handsets or buy Android ones? Says:

      […] Droids Dream of Electric Sheep « Mostly Black & White […]

    2. what company makes better android phones HTC or Motorola? | Android Phone HTC Says:

      […] Droids Dream of Electric Sheep « Mostly &#66&#108&#97ck & White […]

    3. chammann Says:

      in answer to the pingback above, i prefer the droid over the htc legend i had before. one data point, granted.

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