Android on my FreeRunner

So it’s just over two weeks since I started with Android on my FreeRunner and it’s time for an update. First of all I’m no longer using the Koolu images, they lack echo suppression support and as soon as I found that Michael Trimarchi’s Panicking port of Android does do echo suppression I switched. The added benefit of changing was that Michaels port has fixed the go-slow feel of the Koolu version and feels responsive and usable in most situations (though the soft keyboard is still a little slow).

Good points:

  1. Calls work flawlessly.
  2. SMS works flawlessly (and has a nice interface)
  3. Contacts can be added as shortcuts on the desktop
  4. Wifi works (though WPA2 Enterprise networks need some text file magic)
  5. GPS works nicely (I used GPS-status to see how many satellites it can see)
  6. Bluetooth works – or at least finds devices when scanning – not gone any further with that
  7. Web browser works nicely, even supports Google Gears

Bad points:

  1. NO ACCESS TO THE ANDROID MARKET – the Android Market application is not open source (a decision by Google) so you can’t access any applications hosted there. Whilst there are alternative sources they only have a fraction of the applications so this does limit things.
  2. The phone seems to stop being able to suspend if you define a APN for GPRS/MMS access. Resetting the APN to the defaults (none) fixes it though.
  3. I don’t seem to be able to download MMS/PXT’s – I suspect this is related to the APN issues and I may just not have the right info
  4. Accelerometers don’t appear to work – or at least the marble game I had didn’t react to me tilting the phone.
  5. Battery life doesn’t seem to be quite as good as Qtopia/Qt-Extended/QtMoko – I have to charge every 24 hours at present. That said the later kernels don’t seem to give me quite as long a lifetime as the 2.6.24 based ones so that may not be Androids fault..

But all in all I’m really quite happy with Android on FreeRunner, it easily outshines my previous favourite of Qtopia/Qt-Extended/QtMoko in terms of overall polish and usefulness as a phone! Thanks to all involved in the porting effort, and especially Michael.