Monday, December 1, 2008

T-Mobile G1 Has a Great Sense of Direction

Ah, December in Chicago. No sooner does it arrive when we get the first significant snow and painful commute times. Still, good 'net access does help matters somewhat especially for CTA users. The CTA has been putting its buses online through its bus tracker which scales nicely on cell phones. Even on my older Treo 680, the web site loads well and is easy to use.

But the G1 has another weapon in its arsenal, GPS. Like most GPSes, the G1's functions poorly indoors but works perfectly outdoors. It was made for guiding people through the cold city at night. Thoughtful touches on the G1 allow me to use it even while wearing a pair of light wool gloves. While I haven't been particularly impressed with the G1's keyboard so far, I can really appreciate that its large size allows my to type even while wearing gloves. The trackball is also useful in this regard as the G1's touchscreen, like all touchscreens becomes virtually useless when you are wearing gloves. Finally, pressing the G1's home key allows me to navigate between my six most recently used applications, making it easy for me to switch between my browser and Google Maps. Awesome.

Of course this being the G1, things didn't go perfectly. At one point during my day, the screen just went blank and couldn't be turned back on again. I opened it up and popped out the battery and SIM card and the G1 roared back to life when I put them back. Why? Doesn't the G1 like the cold? Well it better get used to it, because winter has come to Chicago.

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