What’s Wrong with Google Android and the G1

There’s not a lot wrong with Google Android 1.0, or indeed with the G1 phone it runs on. But here are the few things I’d like to see improved:

The Hardware: T-Mobile G1

  • The battery struggles to last even a few hours of use without needing a recharge. Granted my phone is all shiny and new and I want to play with it all the time, but even a “normal usage” situation would require a daily recharge. This is a bit of a hassle, and I’m fairly sure I will accidentally break off the bit of rubber covering the mini-USB charging socket at some point.
  • The G1 is a bit too heavy. At 158g it’s heavier than the 133g iphone, and slightly heavier than the Blackberry Storm. This isn’t too much of a problem in these cold months when I keep the phone in my jacket pocket, but come summer it might feel a bit big and bulky when I don’t have a coat to keep it in.
  • The G1 gets a bit warm if you’re constantly browsing about, especially near the bottom where you’re actually most likely to be holding it.
  • There’s no 3.5mm audio socket (but a cheap £3 lead from ebay sorts this out no problem).

The Software: Google Android 1.0

  • You can’t edit your Google Docs or Spreadsheets. This came as quite a surprise to me, I was so used to whipping up a quick spreadsheet or draft doc using my old Psion Revo that I had thought this ability would be a no-brainer.
  • There’s no Flash viewer, so no access to e.g. BBC iPlayer
  • There’s no PDF viewer (although you can view PDFs via Gmail and the browser)