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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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Another Day, Another Need In Boulder For iOS and Android Devs

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Orbotix, one of our investments (and a TechStars Boulder 2010 company) is looking for an iOS and an Android developer.

If you don’t know Orbotix, they make Sphero, the robotic ball you control with your smartphone. And if you you wonder why you should care, take a look at Sphero on his chariot being driven by Paul Berberian (Orbotix CEO) while running Facetime.

I got the following note from Adam Wilson, the co-founder of Orbotix – if you fit this description email jobs@orbotix.com

We are looking for two new full time positions to fill as soon as possible.  We need talented iOS and Android Developers that are not afraid of a little hard work and a little hardware!  You must have an imagination. No previous robotics experience necessary but it doesn’t hurt.  We want someone that can help make an API, low level protocols, implement games and work on other research and development tasks for Sphero.  We expect some level of gaming history and previous experience in the field. There are online Leaderboards and some side tasks include coding up demonstration apps for our numerous interviews, conventions and for fun!  We pay well, have plenty of food and beverage stocked including beer, redbull and the famous hot-pockets, are in downtown Boulder and literally play with robots all day/night long.  Read our full jobs posting at http://www.orbotix.com/jobs/ for more info.  Take a chance…. email me at jobs@orbotix.com.

Two Weeks Later, I’m Loving The HTC EVO

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Google gave all 5000 Google I/O attendees an HTC EVO (I guess it’s a Sprint EVO) running Android.  For the past two years I’ve been using an iPhone and have become increasingly disgusted by AT&T’s service which is horrible (and deteriorating) in the cities I frequent – most notably Boulder, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, NY, and Boston.  So – I decided to give the EVO+Android a real shot and use it for a week as my permanent phone. 

When I wrote my post Open Android vs. Closed iPhone right after Google I/O a few folks took shots at me for pimping a free phone that I got at a conference.  Given the amount of money I regularly shell out to screw around on hardware and software (I’m one of those guys who happily buys things just to try them out) I shrugged this off but figured it was worth pre-empting since I’m sure this nonsense will come around again.  So – there’s the disclaimer – I got this phone for free (although I did sit on two panels and spent a day and a half talking to people at Google I/O.)

While there has been plenty of fan boy and anti-fan boy chatter about this phone, I can only find one thing to complain about – the battery life.  It’s still running Android 2.1 so I expect there will be plenty of battery tune up in Android 2.2, but out of the box the battery only lasts about six hours.  I’ve tuned my settings so I can get a full day out of it, but am still carrying my USB cord to grab some juice from time to time.  There a few tricks (like charge it with it turned off) that help a lot, but it feels like the iPhone 3G did when it first came out where I was always paying attention to how much charge I had left.  Fortunately this will get better with software (quickly) and – since the battery is removable, I can just carry a spare around.

Ok – that’s literally the only thing I don’t like.  The screen is phenomenal.  All of the apps I run on my iPhone are available on Android – I even found a few new ones.  The camera is killer.  The email client is much better than the iPhone.  Search for anything is lightening fast.  Voice recognition – er – recognizes my voice.  I have a phone that tethers and – if I want – I have a hotspot (bye bye MiFi.)  My applications remember their state and come up instantly because they are still running in the background.  The browser is fast.  Google Maps + Navigation is incredible, especially for someone who can’t read a map to save his life.  I can dial a phone number, look up an address, and get directions from within the calendar.  The weather app knows where I am.  Google Voice works great and is tightly integrated.

And – for the payoff – I can make a fucking telephone call on this thing.  I can’t remember the last time I looked back after a day and thought “wow – I didn’t drop a single call today.”  Now the only dropped calls I’ve had are when I’m talking to someone on an iPhone and they drop.

I’m looking forward to iPhone 4.0 coming out so I can see how it compares.  My guess is that I’ll get the Android 2.2 upgrade at about the same time so I’ll have both to play around with in June and July.  The real result will be to see which phone I’m using when I get back from Alaska in August.  In the mean time, the HTC EVO is a winner and – as a result – the smart phone thing is going to get interesting now that Apple has some real competition and can no longer just walk all over Microsoft and Palm.

Did I mention that I can’t wait to get my hands on an Android Tablet?

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