Having suffered my HTC Snap for a few months I finally had enough of it and this week I bought a HTC Hero. So far I am loving it! I can't believe the difference between the two. It's like they were released a decade apart -- not in the same year.
I surprised myself by buying another HTC product after they gave me such awful customer support following my complaints about the Snap. I had to swallow my pride to do so.
The temptation was to just buy an iPhone, but, I dunno, that just doesn't seem very cool. With the Hero and Android I feel like I have a much more open phone and something I can play with and enjoy. Besides, the iPhone 3GS is too bloody expensive anyway.
While the Hero feels quite "Googley" it's not over the top and, in fact, is quite handy. There's lots of stuff with the Maps API in use to great effect and the Gmail client is quite cool.
It's even tempted me to start using the Twitter account I registered ages ago and did nothing with.
There's An App For That
In the couple of days I've had the Hero I've already managed to find a few hours spare to install the Android SDK in to Eclipse and I'm now at the point where I've built my very own (database-driven!) app for it. Took hardly any time at all. Two or three hours to get it installed, written and compiled.
Here's my app running in the emulator that comes as part of the SDK:
The app's home screen shows a summary of expenses I've logged -- what, when and how much. I can add/edit them, like so:
It's a bit unpolished but it's been fun so far and amazing to see how easy it is to develop an actual application for the phone.
The idea of the app is that I can record our household's outgoings as they happen (while out shopping and in "offline" mode). When I get home I can then upload them straight in to our copy of the Accounts database - rather than coming home and trying to remember what I spent where.
I could have done this with Gears, but that would have been too boring. I already know Gears and fancied learning something new. That said, my Gears knowledge came in handy as, like Gears, Android uses a SQLite backend for storage.
Alternatively I could have just made a simple website for entering the expenses directly online while I'm out, but that opens up the matter of security. As it is the database is on a server in my office (secured by default). If I put it on the web I'd need to secure it. Where's the fun in that!?