T-Mobile Garminfone and Open Home: From Beast to Beauty

A more beautiful Garminfone.
The Garminfone with it's ugly face on.

The T-Mobile Garminfone has certainly garnered its fair share of negative reviews.

“Remember to bring your own camera, and maybe an iPod for some tunes.1


“the Garminfone sold through T-Mobile hasn’t got off to the hottest start since its launch back in June,2

and then there’s the oft-repeated sentiment echoed here,

“This is shaping up to be one of T-Mobile’s most spectacular failures.3

My family is on a family plan with T-Mobile. We also own three Garmin GPS units of varying ages. (they tend to get handed down)

We now own three Garminfones because of our respect for the Garmin GPS, and my love for Linux (Android is Linux) and a spectacular deal made by T-Mobile on the price of the phone in July.

However . . . as a smartphone, the thing is just plain ugly. Add to that the highly irritating fact that it comes pre-loaded with click-through apps advertising services like Amazon MP3 and Offers, Ciao! and Movietimes. It’s not that they are on the phone that bothers me, it’s that I can’t remove the icons from my crowded little desktop.

This is my phone.  I paid money for it.  Why can’t I get rid of things I don’t want to look at?  I tried T-Mobile customer service.  They said, “Sorry, try Garmin.”   So I contacted Garmin who told me, “Sorry, we decided you have to have these on your phone.  But you can change your home screen.”

What?  Really?  Cool.

Enter Open Home.  Open Home is one of the major players in the alternate home environment apps game.  For a few bucks I now have control of my “Garminfone experience” to quote the Garmin rep.  Control of my phone!  What a concept!

There are other Home Screen apps you can choose from, I chose this one.  I’m just ecstatic that I have the choice.  I get to choose what I look at when I look at my phone.  I get to choose what icons are on each of my seven screens.  I get to choose.  Sweet!

Thank you, Linus Torvalds for giving us Linux.  Thank you, Google for giving us Android.  Thank you, BetterAndroid for giving us Open Home.  Love you guys!  Really.


About gsanders

Greg Sanders writes whatever he wants in this, his more technical blog. He works as a design engineer for a major production audio, video and theatrical lighting company based in Colorado.
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