Android is not an operating system for the weak hearted. If you know what you're doing and have some basic understanding of what's going on behind the curtain, then Android can be very satisfying. The UI is very customizable, although the defaults suck. (This refers to the Motorola Droid version. I haven't played much with HTC's custom interface.)
The main problem is with the multitasking. It's a great idea in theory. The problem is that most apps stay open by default, which ends up sucking away your battery life. It's not clear to me how to quit applications or whether it's even possible to quit certain applications. Your best bet is to use the Advanced Task Manager, which is kind of ridiculous to expect normal people to use.
I keep most of the hardware capabilities off by default (bluetooth, WiFi, GPS, syncing), which helps battery life. However, Android isn't smart about turning these on automatically. When I open Google Navigation (which absolutely kicks ass), it should automatically turn on the GPS satellite.
Google Navigation rocks. So does voice search. And I love the various barcode scanning apps. I also love location-aware computing in general (which the iPhone has also). For example, when I do a Yelp search, it finds places close to me automatically.
In general, I'm happy with Android. Apps are well-integrated into the phone. Google services are especially well-integrated. I wouldn't recommend the phone to newbies, but for folks like me, the power of the phone makes the UI warts worth the trouble.
These are special apps that I have on all my devices. Click-through on the device pages for device-specific apps:
- Business Calendar
- Google Voice
- AirDroid. Lets you manage your device (including file transfers) from a web browser.
Haven't settled on a good podcasting app yet. I use BeyondPod on my tablet, and I have TuneInRadio on my phone. Doggcatcher is a paid app that folks recommend.
Google Voice Integration
- Never run out of minutes again: Make free VoIP calls on Android
- Make free VoIP calls from Google Voice