Sunday, 25 December 2011

Finally Ditching The iPhone...

Yes, it really has been two years since I last upgraded my phone. Well, ok, I'm short by a few weeks, but my upgrade was due early, according to O2, and who am I to disagree?

I had only two ideas when I went phone shopping. The first was that I never ever want to see another iPhone. I like the phone, and I'm (almost) certain that the latest one is streets ahead of the 3GS model I have had for the past two years. The deal-breaker is, quite simply, iTunes. It is clunky, and slow, and a real pain in the posterior. Yes, I'm running it on a PC and not on a Mac... but iTunes is supposed to be designed to run on both.

Unfortunately, syncing my iPhone depended on the use of iTunes. It became such a hassle that I avoided syncing, which meant that, on more than one occasion, I didn't have the latest addresses and phone numbers on my phone. I also found that, if I had updated a couple of addresses on my phone and a couple on my computer, the system couldn't cope, and it went with the most recent update - thus losing important contact information.

On more than one occasion iTunes froze my phone completely, necessitating a trip to the Apple shop in Bluewater. The last time it happened, the staff had problems re-booting my phone back to factory settings...

The other idea I had when looking for a new phone was that I didn't want a Blackberry. Not after the whole Blackberry system went down for three days. Blackberry Messenger is, IMHO, the Betamax of the text messaging world...

After having a little look in the O2 shop, I realised that there really wasn't any choice. I wanted Android as an operating system. There were many more phones running Android than the last time I was in the upgrade market, but the latest version, Android 4.0 (the famous "ice-cream sandwich") only runs on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus at the moment. Given that this upgrade was going to involve another 24-month contract, I wanted the most recent version available.

The Galaxy Nexus is larger than the iPhone - of course, I'm talking about my old iPhone - but the Nexus is thinner and lighter. The home button is "missing" on the front - it appears as a touch-screen button once the phone is switched on - this is taking me a bit of time to get used to, as is not having the power switch at the top.

I'm still getting used to the minimalist feel of the Nexus - the main touch-screen buttons, always available when the phone is on, are home (goes to the home screen), back (goes to your last viewed item) and recently viewed. The last option means that you can have lots of apps open at one time, but I haven't found any real use for it, partly because the only apps I've been using so far are the internet, Tweetdeck, Gmail and my contacts. As I get more apps, I suspect this will get to be more useful...

I've had lots of fun updating my contacts. First I had to export all my contacts over from Microsoft Outlook - another clunky program I will be more than happy to see the back of. Then I weeded out the obvious duplicates - Google does most of the hard work, but there were still items which I had to check and confirm manually. I spent far more time than I should playing with photos - I allowed my geeky nature to indulge itself to the fullest by hunting out photos of people who haven't assigned themselves a photo - basically it makes my phone's address book look much prettier.

There are one or two apps which I shall miss from my iPhone - iPieta being the main one (though I see that there is a variant coming out for Android) - but I mainly used my phone for messaging and checking the internet... and phoning, of course - so hadn't downloaded many apps anyway.

There are lots of features I haven't had time to explore yet - such as the voice-activated search option - and I think that I shall have a great deal of fun exploring... so, if you'll excuse me, I have a phone to go and play with...

7 comments:

Andy said...

I switched from a 3GS to an Android phone about a year ago, and I like it. If you had music on the iPhone, you might check out the DoubleTwist app which can move your iTunes music over to the Android.

Mac McLernon said...

Thanks for that tip, Andy... it'll be very useful!

EFpastor emeritus said...

Thanks for the info. I think I shall stay with my simple phone! :-)

gemoftheocean said...

Have to say I am a total Luddite where phones are concerned. In the US I use one of the simple flip phones that cost about 15 bucks and go month to month for about 10 bucks. Doesn't take pictures, but that's why I have a camera. Stores names/phone numbers and has an alarm clock and a few other doo dads. If I break it, no big deal.

Here I did inherit Qbunny's crackberry -- and it's fine. Now I just need to have a go at his passwords on his email accounts.

On the side of the angels said...

I have no problem with 3-D Trigonometry or special-rule-syllogism & combinatory logic, can understand the trickiest Thomistic concepts or nuance of Nichomachean ethics, can even handle an Umberto Eco or a von Balthasar or even the complexities of a Brazilian soap-opera, nave an IQ which puts me in the global top 0.0000074%....

...but I haven't got a bloody clue what you're talking about!

You're making my brain hurt - maybe I should go and relax and do something less brain-taxing; like learn korean?

Zephyrinus said...

I'm with "On The Side Of The Angels". I enjoyed reading your Post, Mac, very much. I found it extremely amusing and interesting. BUT. . .
I didn't have a scoobie-doo what you were talking about.
Thanks for the entertainment.

Jay said...

Shame you did't persevere with the iPhone - the iPhone 4S would have been a revelation in comparison to your 3G S. Still the Nexus is a good phone, and being native Android, with no customisable skin, OS updates should be available quicker than had you gone with a HTC or other Samsung device.

There are a lot of iPieta apps out now for Android, it is a shame that you can't get the app in one as you can for the iPhone, but Android struggles with apps that size. The apps on the Android Market can be found here:

https://market.android.com/search?q=ipieta&c=apps

One great feature with the Android Market is when you choose an app from the Android Market, it installs instantly to your phone - no need to connect the phone to a PC. Just click install on the app on the Market when browsing on your PC, and it starts installing on your phone.

One neat app, if you text a lot, is SMS Backup. Get the one by Cristoph Struder:

https://market.android.com/details?id=tv.studer.smssync

It backs up your SMS to GMail, under a label titled SMS. You can set it to auto back up, so every time you get a text it automatically sends to GMail. Makes it so easy to find SMS using Google search on Gmail.

There is so much more. Android is a lot of fun, I'm sure you will love your new phone, and discovering all the great apps.

You may know about Catholic Tech Talk, if not try it out. A useful site that is exactly what you would expect, geeky Catholics talking tech! :-)

http://catholictechtalk.com

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...