Dec 1, 2016
It was a long time ago.
2008? 09, maybe?
Aeons in tech years, but less than 10 in “real” years. We were on a road trip. I was on my trusty BlackBerry Curve 8320, my two-handed, physical keyboarded work machine that had managed to pry me away From Palm OS — no small feat I might add.
In any case, my wife had decided to check out this new-ish device sporting a new-ish OS: Android OS. Moving to Sprint, she was willing to give a touchscreen device a chance.
I scoffed at such madness. Everyone knew that touchscreen devices could not be used for serious work. I was not going to compromise my productivity to test drive what was CLEARLY a fad. Thumb typing for life! Plus, why on earth would I use a mobile OS backed by a search company? Come on now… Did you see that prototype of the first Android device. Have mercy. Eew.
My wife had just gotten her new device the prior day. The screen was nice, the phone was surprisingly easy to figure out and the camera, compared to those on my device and her prior device — the reliable BlackBerry Pearl — was fantastic.
That road trip though…
What really blew my mind was the Hero’s mapping utility. I had already been well-versed in mobile navigation; I used an external GPS puck to power TeleNav on my BlackBerry (which didn’t have an onboard GPS chip). A bit clunky, yes, but it got the job done.
But then my wife stomped on my ego with Google Navigation. Even then, it was pretty darn good. Running side by side with my BBOS device, it wasn’t even close. Android provided a more fluid navigation experience.
When we got back, I actually took some time to learn about Android. The burgeoning app market. The search functionality. The limitations… and there were a few. But then, I came upon the concept of rooting devices, and I was well hooked.
Soon thereafter, I was on Sprint with a shiny new HTC EVO.
That Hero, represented a lot of firsts, even though it wasn’t really my device. First Android device really used. First mobile device I watched the World Cup on. First device I rooted.
This past weekend, while cleaning out some old gadget boxes, I found the beloved device. After juicing, it powered right up in its AOSP glory, ready to work. Now, it’s definitely showing its age, with the less than optimal battery life and dreadful boot-up time. Back then, Sprint TV was the best multi-media app available; now, besides today’s multi-media smartdevices, it looks puny. Having gone un-updated so long, it uses funny terms?
“What is the the ‘Android Market’ again?” asked my son.
In today’s world, it is clearly overwhelmed with regards to being a daily driver.
Nostalgia is a great sentiment though. It reminds us of where we’ve been, and how far we have come. The Hero definitely does that. It’s sexy with its retro hat on.
And all hats off to the ultimate mobile gateway drug.