Searching Using the Droid, Eris

By Clint Boulton  |  Posted 2009-11-16 Print this article Print

Eris' customization beats the Droid, which offers the standard single screen to scroll through. The HTC Sense user interface propels the home screen on the Eris, providing you with six screens on which to open up applications at once. Just scroll left to right to access them. You can customize your widgets for music, people or Twitter and add special social, work and play "scenes."

The Search by Voice capabilities of both devices are a dream for simple requests. Clicking on the voice search option on the Droid and Eris, I said, "Weezer." Both phones executed the search in 10 seconds and brought me right to the official Website for the band. "Pizza in Connecticut" on the Droid and Eris also rendered search results relevant to my location.

But then I said, "I want to know how the Droid works," and the app fell flat. That query on both devices brought me to a site for a "Star Wars" game called "DroidWorks." Search by Voice keys in on certain keywords and ignores others.

I modified my search on both with the more direct query, "How does the Droid work?" and the first result was a link to the Droid on Verizon Wireless. That's about what I expected. The voice recognition in Search by Voice is an ongoing project, but when it works it's liberating and empowering. I did several other one-word searches and found what I needed.

Visual Voicemail was another fun app that I downloaded onto both devices from the Android Market. This app lets you access your voice mail messages without dialing into your voice mail box. You can scroll through text messages, play back calls and immediately call or text your contacts back.

I also accessed Facebook from both gadgets. This came preintegrated on the Droid, but I had to download the Facebook app from Android Market for the Eris.

All I can say after using Facebook on both is, "Eh." Unlike the Google Apps, these experiences were rough. I'm so used to accessing the social network from a large screen, where I can see everything.

On the Droid and Eris, I kept having to scroll up, down, left or right to read text. Facebook is farmore manageable from a larger palette, or the iPhone. Scoble was coarse but correct when he said Facebook on Droid "sucks."

The Droid does have the Google Maps Navigation turn-by-turn GPS app for Google Maps. The Eris doesn't, which could be the deal-breaker that pushes people to the Droid. This GPS app was a blast.

I tested it on a trip from Trumbull, Conn., to Stamford, Conn., about 27 miles, from a major expressway to a residential area. The GPS was a dream, calling out directions periodically and then finally in the last 10 seconds before I was supposed to turn.


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