My New Phone and a Downside to Open Source
So far I think it was the right decision—it seems like a very nice phone. One problem, however, arose. I had been looking forward to being able to link it to a portable bluetooth keyboard via some third party software. I tried installing the software and it didn't work; the phone thought bluetooth was turned off even though it was actually turned on. A little searching located an exchange online between the producers of the program and a customer with the same problem. It turns out that the software does not yet work on the Incredible.
The Android operating system is open source. One result is that manufacturers and carriers can, if they wish, produce their own customized versions. And do. One result of that is that a program that runs under Android 2.1 on one phone may not run under the "same" operating system on another. A second result is that when Google brings out a new version of the OS—Android 2.2 aka Froyo is supposed to be a large improvement over 2.1—it may take quite a while before it is available for all of the phones that are, in hardware terms, capable of running it. Froyo is currently available for the Nexus One, a close relative of my phone made by the same manufacturer. It is unclear how soon I will get it.
Of course, another result of Android being open source is that independent programmers can, and do, bring out their own improved versions, along with instructions how to substitute them for what comes with your phone. Odds are that, if I am willing to risk something non-standard, there will be a version of Froyo I can run on my phone considerably before Verizon announces one.