The indicator light has changed my life.
Honestly. On my iPhone, if I received a text, the screen would light up with the person’s name and the opening content of their message, while a sound would play (unless you’d placed your phone on a silent mode). Not so on the Evo. I’ve opted for a sound, of course (there are a lot more options – and it really does change the personality of the phone to customize it), but the screen will never light up with the notification like an iPhone. Instead, there is an indicator light. You can choose to disable it, but it’s changed the way I interact with my phone, my email and my workflow.
The notification screen on the iphone will flash once and disappear. Missing it is an unpleasant feeling, knowing that your folly will force you to perform a superfluous tapping motion (the power button). Of course, to see any content of the message on my Evo, I also have to hit power to show the lock screen, but I don’t feel like I get the content dangled in front of my face and if you’re too late? Too bad, should have been faster, you now must read the message or risk forgetting it as the phone forgets to notify you again (or does so while you are away or wearing it in the pocket through a few layers).
The light above the carrier logo (see picture) is actually the charge light. The screen does not turn itself on when I plug it in, the orange light simply turns on. The notification light is not visible in this picture, but it is behind the speaker mesh and towards the HTC logo.
The Android vibrates shortly twice, then the sound plays and the indicator light flashes — and continues to do so. On the iPhone, if I had totally missed the first indicator (and sometimes I had missed even the second and third. I felt that the phone sometimes selectively decided to alert me only the first time), I had no way of knowing that I had a text or other notification until I manually pressed power to check the screen. And sometimes even then the notifications were not present because of AT&T but that is another story; except, it’s kind of not, as the carrier and phone are so tightly interconnected — which is hurting the iPhone both in terms of sales and in terms of getting the largest audience possible involved and excited about their technology. In a world where contracts with cell phone companies expire more tortuously slow than the world of phone innovation, which is a fluid, birthing mess of phone flavors, constantly one-upping the competition (and sometimes themselves) — in a world with all that going on, the costumer is constrained to phone according to carrier and not appeal, when the band of the phone (GSM or CDMA) fully shackles it from operating outside of a limited number of competing carriers. If you find a carrier more suited to your location or data needs, you might have to leave behind a perfectly good phone. It’s wasteful.
I digress. So, there I am with my inert iPhone, looking prettily up at me from a desk, and little do I know that there is a text hanging out there for me to be read. I could go on that way for hours. Silly girl, having missed both alerts, you will suffer for your crime against the iPhone. That’s how I feel like it would be, if it were a Toy Story toy sometimes. My boyfriend calls it ‘Skynet’.
My Evo is on the desk, and upon my return from the next room over, I know that I have missed the two short bursts of scooting and buzzing and sounding at me from the way the green light flashes at me. It’s not harsh, it is the slow, insistent flash of something that wants to let you know what’s up without shouting it in your face. I can choose to check who sent me what at a stopping point that’s good for me. If I am in the dark, it does not light up the entire room. The preview display is a setting I could have turned off on the iPhone, but I enjoy the preview. If only I could have stopped the screen from bursting on to show it to me.
I no longer check the Gmail tab in Firefox as frequently. I have so many open that I can’t see the unread message count, and why should I have to anymore when my phone will give me the heads up.
Don’t even get me started on how much I use the four physical buttons (home, menu options, back and search) or the kick stand. It offers the perfect angle for desk use, though I admit to only just having used it to watch a show. I used Rock Player to play some .avi episodes of The Venture Bros. It looks glorious; so, too, my pictures. My frequent use of the stand started as me trying to avoid scratching the non-flush camera lens. I tried placing the phone face-down. No. I couldn’t see the notification light. Placing it back-down was a light and careful task, a controlled motion due to the worry of lens damage. The kick stand eliminates all that. It’s a habit that I thank HTC for.
I don’t mind peeking out the top of the screen from a pocket to check the light now and then, either. It’s less intrusive on the people I’m around. I don’t have to press the phone, just glance.
The reign of the Evo is leading to an almost zen experience.
It is interrupted by my Venture Bros. ringtone.