You all probably have a broad idea of how Android runs based on Will’s review, so let’s go over some of the additions from Cupcake. Widgets are very cool, but finding them in the on-device Market is tricky. It would be nice if you could filter results based on widget support, but that’s another coin for the wishing well. The biggest update in Cupcake was the on-screen keyboard, which (and bear in mind this is coming from a long-time BlackBerry-user) is fan-freaking-tastic. The prediction is spot on, the response time is snappy, and according to Rogers reps, adapts its sensitivity depending on where you typically touch, almost like the keys move to where you usually try to hit them. Many of the smart shortcuts that I had enjoyed on BlackBerry, such as tapping the spacebar twice for a period, and automated capitalization, were there and made typing out messages a breeze. My only complaint would be the options menu button right next to the comma – mistakenly hitting it would regularly interrupt the touch-typing groove. Here’s a quick demo of the keypad and brief hardware tour.
Now, I said ominously on page one that there are “significant gaps in the operating system”, and hinted at one of them in the video (no copying and pasting from the e-mail app or automatic hyperlinking of URLs). This is by far the biggest roadblock for me, but another that I found somewhat shocking was the inability to send files via Bluetooth. This thing has a stereo Bluetooth profile, but no file transferring? I’m sure Google has their reason for this, and they’re hard at work cranking out new builds, but it’s still an unforgivable shortcoming in a competitive smartphone market. Another random hole I spotted was the media player’s inability to recognize .WAV files. My voicemail transcription service sends them as e-mail attachments in case they mistranslate, and it was bizarre to see a format supported on the spec sheet just not work at all. Finally, I experienced my fair share of application crashes requiring a forced close, and not just third party apps, either. Chalk those last two up to random glitches if you like, but nevertheless, there are plenty of holes that seriously dampened my experience with Android. I can only imagine what else is still left undone.