My first week with Android after switching from iPhone
This is not my normal kind of post for this site, but figured it is tech related. Also anytime you talk to someone about their phone it can spark some good discussions. I’ve been an iPhone user for the past couple of years and before that I had an Android phone in the early 2.x days.
My iPhone 4S was getting old and and lets face it I had a case of hardware envy. I really liked how easy to use the iPhone was and with my entire family being on Apple devices communication and services was a great fit. But I’m a bit geeky and like to experiment with things and that is part of what drove me to change. Well that and the small screen and slowed pace of innovation by Apple.
What phone did I get?
After spending a week or so looking at the options I ended up choosing the Note 3 from Samsung. I know, its a huge phone but I really don’t talk much these days with the phone to my ear. So I was not too concerned about the size. It has even been called my small TV phone a co-worker. Had I not been limited to Verizon as my service provider my other choice would have likely been the Nexus 5 from the Google Play store.
One of the main goals for the new phone was something with a larger screen and more power. The Note 3 blows booth of those requirements out of the water. It is fast and packed with memory and with a screen measuring in a 5.7″, it really is almost a small TV.
While I’m still adapting to the change in phone size, it is so much more enjoyable reading news and emails on the phone. I can now consume more media that I would have had to wait for computer access to catch up on before.
What was I nervous about
It had been a few years since I last used Android and I know that it had come a long ways. But there was sure to be many surprises ahead if I made the change. Before taking the plunge I did some tests with couple of different phones that some of my co-workers had. This allowed me to see what the newer versions of Android looked like and how it performed.
Here are a few things that I was thinking about before making the switch.
Apps – Would all the apps that I use be available on Android. I did not play games on my iPhone much so it was more about my productivity, business and travel related apps. Would they all be available on Android or would there be a decent equivalent to my favorite ones. The good news here is so far all but one was available in the Play store or had a good option. The one that was not available was a to do list app for the Mac, that is just not there.
Face Time & iMessage – We don’t use this a lot but when we do its super easy for the family. As a household we were all iPhone users and had several Macs and iPads. So using these Apple products made communicating easy. I had really grown to like iMessage, it was built in and it did not matter if I used my phone or computer. This was handy when working, could not always have the phone available and could reply with my laptop. Not sure how this will change in the future, maybe we will try Skype, but most likely I will just be out of luck on my device for a while unless I convince the rest of the family to switch also.
Stability – Back in the early Android 2.x days, the OS was easy enough to use. It was not the best looking but worked. I had to power cycle my phone almost on a daily basis to keep it working smoothly and if I updated more than a couple of apps for get it. That would bring the phone to its knees. So I was curious on how this improved. With my iPhone I only power cycled it a few times a year and it did not matter if I updated one app or thirty.
Usability – How long would it take me to get comfortable with the Android interface, learn the ins and outs of managing the settings and such.
What do I like so far
It’s been a good week and I’ve enjoyed using the Note as my phone. The following are a few things that have already impressed me with using the device and Android.
Performance – The performance of the Note 3 can really be felt in how responsive applications are. The iPhone 4S really started to show its age when I updated to IOS 7. Besides the bubble gum appearance of IOS 7 the phone really slowed down.
Play Store – The app store has improved greatly over the past couple of years. It no longer looks like something that an amateur put together. The app selection is now very close to what Apple offers, at least for phone based apps. The additions of music, books and magazines are good also.
Display – The super AMOLED screen on the Note 3 is awesome. Besides the increase in size the brightness and resolution is incredible when compared to my old iPhone. I am really digging the quality of the display and when others see it the first comment is always about how clear it looks.
Things that irritate me about Android
After just a week with my new phone that is not much that has irritated me so far. I’m pretty happy with the change and looking forward to using Android more.
Music – So far I have a complaint about the way music is handled. There seems to be two methods of music on Android right now. The first being music that you bring to the table, for me that was the songs that I was moving over from the iTunes store. To do this I just copied them to the music folder via USB connection. The second music method is for songs that you purchase via the Google Play store or if you use the monthly subscription, these songs are available in the Play store music app. The music that you copy to the device is available in a separate music app, this means that I would have music in two places and that sucks.
This needs to be fixed and I hear that it might be in the future. The same app should be able to accommodate both of these music needs. I simply want to go to one app and be able to play all my music that I own. Short of this music complaint there has not been much so far that I have not liked.
Update: On a tip from Chuck Hirstus I was able to rescan my music files and they now show up in the Google Play music app. I will have to play with the app for a bit to figure out if I like how it shows me music from the two sources.
About Brian Suhr
Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design