It is now a little over two months since I first wrote about the RAZR V3i. Now for some follow-up comments and observations:
- It really is portable. I do not think I have ever managed to keep a phone on me for so much of the time before.
- Screen size and keyboard pitch make SMS composition and reading much easier than with previous phones.
- Apart from rare lock-ups, generally from shutting the phone too quickly after performing another operation, the main software issue is the regular disappearance of the SD memory card, which can only be resolved with a reboot.
- The camera quality is no better than expected for something without decent optics; the imager needs a lot of light to get a good picture. Having said that, it is handy to have a camera that is always with one; I have used it as a visual notebook.
Having been playing around with Java and NetBeans, and feeling comfortable using them, I was looking forward to writing some applications to run on this phone, which is about as portable as computing can get. However, the SDK from Motorola for developing mobile applications for this phone appears to be for the Windows platform only. Not impressed. When I can run the Sun Java Development Kit and NetBeans on just about any platform I wish (Linux and Solaris, in my case), I find it odd and just a bit disturbing that, what effectively is a plugin for these, is not cross-platform too.
I have opened a support ticket with Motorola, to which I have received an initial – and very unhelpful – reply of “Use Windows”. Having expressed my dissatisfaction at this state of affairs, I have asked for a contact at the SDK team to see if I can somehow extract useable parts for use under Linux. Watch this space.
After a few exchanged messages with Motorola, I am advised that a Linux version of the SDK will be available some time fairly soon. I can’t say fairer than that. In the meantime, I will press on with my generic MIDP application, using the generic J2ME emulator.