Motorola MILESTONE 2 review: Landmark droid
Quickoffice aside, the MILESTONE 2 calendar has four different types of view - agenda, daily, weekly and monthly. Adding a new event is quick and easy, and you can also set an alarm to act as a reminder. It is also integrated with the status bar and also offers pop-up notifications.
A file manager is one of the first apps you download from the Market – except there’s no need to do that with the MILESTONE 2 as Motorola have included the capable Files app. It can handle files and folders in bulk with the standard set of file management tools (copying, renaming, etc.).
The calculator is nicely touch optimized – the buttons are big and easy to hit.
The MILESTONE 2 features a decent alarm clock application, which allows a huge number of alarms to be set, each with its own start time and repeat pattern.
Finally, the YouTube app is easier to use than the YouTube site, considering the relatively small display.
GPS and navigation with Google Maps
The Motorola MILESTONE 2 comes with a GPS receiver, which locked onto satellites in about a minute with A-GPS turned off.
Google Maps is the titular application and its Street View mode is probably the best part of the deal in places where turn-by-turn voice navigation isn’t yet offered. If the Street View is available in the area you're interested in, you can enjoy a 360-degree view of the area. When the digital compass is turned on it feels like making a virtual tour of the surroundings!
Voice-guided turn-by-turn navigation using Google Maps Navigation is only available in select countries and unless you live in any of them the best you can do is plan a route in advance and keep an eye on your current location during travel.
Our MILESTONE 2 came with Maps 4.5 but if you update it to version 5, you’ll get access to some great features. Offline rerouting is one – if you stray off your course, Maps will recalculate the route without the need for an Internet connection. You can’t change the destination without connection though.
The MILESTONE 2 is on the list of devices that support all features of Google Maps 5.0 – 3D buildings (where available), two finger rotation, tilting and so on.
Android Market updated, looks much better
The Motorola MILESTONE 2 comes with a FWVGA screen and Android Froyo, so the number of incompatible apps is very low – it’s practically at the top of the smartphone food chain. The Market gives you access to over a hundred thousand apps, many of which are well-made and very useful.
The only restriction that may not be so obvious at first is that you have to live in one of the supported countries to get the paid apps. If you don’t, then you won’t even see them listed. The community has already found a hack for that (a little app called Market Enabler) but that would only show you the hidden paid apps. It won’t allow you to buy them anyway.
The structure of the Android Market is quite simple – a carousel of featured apps on top and below them, three sections (Applications, Games and Downloads). There is also a shortcut up there for initiating a search.
You can recognize the latest version of the Android Market by the big green carousel header. It sure is eye-catching but also takes up a lot of space. Also it’s a little redundant – it’s a featured list of apps, below which is another featured list. Luckily, once you get down to the individual sections of the Market, the carousel disappears replenishing the screen space.
The Applications and Games sections are divided into subsections (e.g. Communication, Entertainment etc.) so you can filter the apps that are relevant to you. Of course, there is also an option of displaying them all at once, but you will probably need days to browse them all that way.
The app detail pages have been redesigned as well and usability has improved. The install button has been moved to the top – the button is fairly big and prominent and it states if the app is free or how much it costs otherwise.
Unfortunately, the new version of the Market also brings down the trial time (the time in which you can uninstall your newly downloaded app and get a full refund) down to the measly 15 minutes. We get it, 24 hours was quite a lot before, but something in the sorts of 2 hours is way more reasonable than 15 minutes.