Hi there Internet,
I want to keep this update a short one. I used the Adam off and on at work today, and here is what I feel about it.
First off, I should have chosen the 3G version. That would make life so easy, especially now that BSNL has drawn first blood with launching a Rs.999 per month unlimited data plan for the iPad.
I don’t have any way right now to go online with the Adam when away from my home wifi, and here’s why:
I wanted to use my EVDO USB modems with the Adam, but I realised too late that the modified Linux kernel used by Android does not feature udev, which is essential for usb-modeswitch, the fantastic tool that makes using these modems a breeze on Linux. The alternative is to use a personal wifi hotspot, either a standalone device like those made by Cradlepoint, or a hotspot creation utility on a mobile phone.
A friend of mine is willing to give me his wifi hotspot device, but I am yet to take up that offer. I considered installing Joikuspot on my Nokia E71, but the Lite version supports only WEP [Correction: the Symbian version I downloaded has no security] and HTTP/HTTPS (which means no proper security or POP, SMTP, Youtube) and the Premium version costs money. In any case, 3G services are yet to arrive to my carrier, so I can wait for a couple of months.
The wireless LAN at my workplace uses MS PEAP authentication, and probably has some restrictions. I tried to configure the Adam to access it, but there was no way to provide my domain password (that I know of, without rooting the device), and so the attempt failed.
I then thought of sharing the connection on my work laptop through wireless, but I know that it just messes with my IP settings and does not work. I googled for a solution to use my laptop as a wireless access point, and immediately hit upon Connectify, a nifty utility that fixes the broken access point functionality in Windows 7 and helps you create an access point or ad hoc connection for sharing an internet connection quite easily.
I downloaded connectify and installed it, but I realised later that the Intel wireless ‘cheapset’ on my laptop does not support creation of an access point. Connectify was able to create an ad hoc connection instead, but unfortunately the Adam can’t use ad hoc mode without rooting. Further, upon testing with my mobile phone, I realised that getting onto the internet was a long shot anyway because of the proxy authentication lying in between.
I even tried to tether my mobile phone through bluetooth with the Adam, so that I could use Dial Up Networking for Edge, if I could figure out how to set it up, and if the capability exists. However, and very strangely, while the Adam could see my phone on bluetooth and even pair with it, it could not create the bluetooth connection. So there was no point in my trying out DUN. I could not determine, after repeated attempts, why the phone and the Adam had transformed into uncommunicative spouses.
So I have laid my mobility plans with the Adam to rest for now, and this sucks because I can’t even use GPS navigation properly. I did download India map data on Osmand for offline usage, but I think it needs to be online to download tiles etc. I downloaded and sideloaded the Google Map apk from http://majj.com, but it too is useless without an internet connection.
I have also downloaded FBReaderJ from its official site, but the ebooks I have are mostly in txt format, and unlike the standard Linux / Windows versions, the Android version of FBReader does not do text files yet. Such snobbishness. I plan to install coolreader from its official site tomorrow. It seems to support a wide array of formats.
I would like to revisit some of the things I said in my first review. The Pixel Qi is a very strange animal. A light coloured background shows very little colour change at moderately deep angles on the left side (landscape), but visibility gets affected immediately if you move to the right. Holding it in portrait mode will immediately give you a sense of shallow viewing angles, and there is some eyestrain at normal backlight brightness. The reflective mode is helpful here, but then you wish for more ambient light.
With a dark background, the viewing angles are quite another story. Visibility deteriorates at rather shallow angles on BOTH sides in landscape. I don’t remember how it appears in portrait orientation. Vertical viewing angles are poor if viewed from the bottom in landscape, and it makes you feel that the 3 degree elevation is nowhere near adequate.
All of this, coupled with the lower contrast and sharpness, and of course the higher price, makes me wish I had opted for an LCD with 3G model instead. The sunlight readability of the Pixel Qi is some compensation, but given my likely use case, probably not adequate. I did try out the sunlight readability on the street today, and tried to use Osmand. The time to first fix was quite long, but it was working alright thereafter. It somehow refused to change orientation, which makes me want the Google Map functionality more and more. Oh, the sunlight readability was good, by the way, but the glare off the screen (direct sunlight, didn’t you say?) would probably make you want to avoid it.
Alright, this is all for now. I’ll post even more reviews this weekend.
Short update, did I say?