HCPLive.com Blog Spotlight - Is Motorola's Droid the Best Bet for Docs?

MDNG Primary Care, December 2009, Volume 11, Issue 12

More on Smartphones from the MoBlog.

MoBlog

In each issue of MDNG, we will showcase a post by one of the HCPLive.com bloggers. This month, we have selected a post from the , written by Eric Zeman.

The Motorola Droid (http://tinyurl.com/ylj82kh) is the best smartphone option for Verizon Wireless customers. The Droid is the newest device from Motorola and the best effort from the Chicago-based company in years. The Droid runs Android 2.0 (also called “Eclair”), an advanced version of the Android operating system from Google. It is a major leap forward for the Android platform (http://tinyurl.com/ ylolpog) and truly is an enterprise-grade operating system that includes a bevy of new features:

• Support for multiple Google and Exchange accounts

• Third-party “sync adapters” that allow apps to tie in to the phone’s sync services

• Quick contact menus for fast access to key information

• Unified e-mail inbox

• SMS and MMS search

• Improved camera controls with white balance, macro, effects, and more

• Improved keyboard layout, dictionary, and algorithm based on multi-touch support

• Double-tap zoom-in browser

• Bluetooth 2.1 support

• Better graphics hardware acceleration

A unified inbox within Android will make managing multiple e-mail accounts less painful (http://tinyurl.com/ykryvpj). This is good news especially for those who use more than one Google or Exchange account. Now business users can load both their work and personal e-mail accounts onto the Motorola Droid and more easily interact with those accounts.

Aside from the new platform, the device itself is extremely impressive. The Motorola Droid features EVDO Rev. A for super-fast 3G connectivity. GPS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR, and USB 2.0 will help you stay connected. The whole thing is powered by a speedy 600MHz processor.

The screen measures a generous 3.7 inches, with WVGA (480x854 pixels) resolution. If those fi gures don’t mean much to you, let me say this: the display is absolutely beautiful; it’s one of the sharpest and most colorful displays on the market. The Droid packs a 5-megapixel camera with image stabilization, dual LED flash, and autofocus. It can capture DVD-quality video (720x480 pixels) at 24 frames per second. The phone comes with a 16GB microSD card. Support for the Android Market and its 10,000 apps is included, and it has a full QWERTY keyboard for typing messages.

The combination of powerful software and good hardware makes the Motorola Droid one of the best smartphones available for physicians.

Windows Mobile 6.5: Is it Worth It?

Changing our focus now from hardware to software, if your practice uses smartphones that run on Microsoft software, I’d seriously recommend upgrading to the latest version of Windows Mobile 6.5. Your fingers will be glad you did.

Did you ever notice how smartphones that run Windows Mobile 6.0 or 6.1 feel “old”? There’s a reason for that: Those versions of Microsoft’s mobile platform were born nearly a decade ago when the only way to interact with touch screens was via stylus. Now, new screen technology lets us poke at our phones with our fi ngers. But Windows Mobile never really quite caught up to that trend and remained rooted in its old-school method of input—until now.

Microsoft Windows Mobile 6.5 works with a slew of new devices from a number of different phone makers. The biggest improvement to the software is that it has been made much more fi nger-friendly--interacting with the icons, menus, and applications on the screen is much easier and (almost) makes the stylus obsolete. More than fi nger-friendliness, Windows Mobile 6.5 has also fl attened out the folder architecture. This means it is easier to fi nd what you’re looking for, as there are fewer layers to dig through to fi nd applications, folders, settings, and fi les.

Another highlight is that Windows Mobile 6.5 supports the new Windows Marketplace for Mobile from Microsoft (http://tinyurl.com/yg5ga48). What’s that, you ask? It is a new apps store that offers nearly 1,000 Windows Mobile applications for download, with more added every day. Some are free; some require payment. Available apps run the gamut from games and social media tools to business and productivity apps.

The combination of new software and the growing Marketplace for Mobile makes Windows Mobile 6.5 a very enticing pick for physicians who want to use Microsoft smartphones in their practice.

Eric Zeman is an editor and writer with more than 10 years’ experience in the publishing industry. He writes the MoBlog (Mobile Web Blog) at www.hcplive.com/technology/blogs/MoBlog.