For the last couple of days I’ve finally begun to seriously consider deserting the standard O2 Joggler OS. I’ve tried a few alternatives since I first got the Joggler last year but, despite the limitations of the O2/OpenPeak software, none of them have tempted me to switch permanently. The pros have outweighed the cons enough to keep it in regular use… so far…
- It’s simple
- It works pretty reliably
- The traffic app is quite handy
- The internet radio is better than DAB
- It streams music from my router
- It’s limited
- The traffic/radio/music apps are pretty basic
- No new apps – O2 are clearly not interested in the Joggler any more
- The calendar is terrible
- The SDK is disappointing
The O2 calendar app itself was more usable than many I’ve tried but it ultimately failed, mainly because it never actually shows you what’s in the calendar unless you go looking. It really needed to display reminders on the clock screen. It also relied on the O2 servers for all the data, which tended to be really unresponsive, and was certainly no good with an unreliable broadband connection. As for the SDK, I’ll admit to being a bit biased, not being a Flash developer. It still wasn’t great though.
First up, a couple of strong contenders. There are others but for me the Joggler isn’t just a small server to run some Linux variation on.
I really like the idea of Jolicloud, and it was pretty simple and finger friendly. Unfortunately it always felt a bit sluggish on the Joggler, and it didn’t seem to replace the combination of O2 apps I was happy with, or open the door to new and interesting possibilities.
MeeGo is another OS that should be well suited to an always on touch screen device. I tried the image hosted on bug10738.openaos.org a while ago and it did work really well but, again, it always felt like the Joggler was struggling a bit. Definitely lots of potential though, and I would probably have spent a bit more time experimenting with MeeGo if I hadn’t tried Android…
I wasn’t really expecting much from Android, having seen less than enthusiastic reviews of previous attempts with Android 1.6, but I tried a more recent 2.2 version. First impression was that it was way more responsive than either Jolicloud or MeeGo, and the Android UI is a perfect fit for the Joggler. The first image I tried did have a couple of problems: the screen was a bit fuzzy and the the replacement for the usual Android buttons wasn’t ideal (I liked the gestures but you have to switch between them and being able to get at the notifications). Still, I had seen my Jogglers future, and it had a little green robot in it.
Downloading the second image was marginally more tricky because it wasn’t in English, but it has been well worth it because the screen is rock solid now. It also has virtual buttons in the status bar, which aren’t as fun as the gestures, but work all the time which is a bonus.
So now I just need to find replacements for the O2 apps I use the most. I’m planning to try out Dale’s traffic checker at some point, but TomTom now make their live traffic service available free on the web, which works ok:
Certainly more detailed than the O2 traffic app! It looks like there are a few music apps to try out as well, and I’m definitely keen to download the Android SDK to finally write my first ‘Joggler’ app!!