Spent a week with Android

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by boomhower, Feb 14, 2013.

  1. macrumors 65816

    boomhower

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #1
    I had a hardware issue with my iPhone. I took the opertunity to pick up a modern Android device as I haven't used one since 2.3. The phone in question is a Galaxy Nexus

    Likes:
    1. Play Store: I love it. It's much easier to me search an item and pop them into different tabs in a browser than the back and forth the app store requires.
    2. App switching: vastly better than Apples version.
    3. Notifications: Apple is similar but Android has been doing it longer and it's much more refined.
    4. Google Now: Worlds better the Siri for me. For whatever reason Siri just cannot understand me. Google Now gets it 95%+ of the time. Vastly more responsive and quicker to respond.
    5. Notification light: Why Apple hates these is beyond me.

    Dislikes
    1. Battery Life: This can vary per device but it was particularly atrocious. I think it's slow to charge as well which exasperated the problem.
    2. Syncing: Or lack there of. All I sync is music and it was a complete non starter. I'm sure part of the issue was I'm using a MPB and that's not a great combination. Tried doubletwist, no go. iTunes rocks here.
    3. Keyboard: It's a larger screen but I was no where near as accurate as with the iPhone keyboard. Don't know what Apple does but the darn keyboard is the best out there.
    4. App quality: By in large it's well below iOS apps. On apps that there was an equivalent from the same developer they were pretty equal. There are several apps I had to find a substitute and they were just no where near as good. TV Episode tracker was a particular thorn in my side.
    5. USB functionality: This is the obsolute deal breaker with me. In my provided work car there is a USB port I can plug my phone in. With iOS it shows the information of what's playing and I can browse media via the cars touchscreen. Steering wheel buttons also work. Much safer than using the phone. With Android the car doesn't even connect at all. I spend the better part of my 12 hour shift in this car so it's a huge deal for me. It's the same story in my personal truck. Everything works with iOS and nothing with Android.
    On the fence:
    1. Widgets: I used to love them but after a few day my main screens looked just like iOS, a bunch of frequently used apps. I liked a few widget like my podcast, weather, and TV widgets but it's not something I'll miss in the least. The one with the most potential is the Google Now widget but it just released yesterday so no much time to experiment. While nice I won't miss them.
    2. Screen size: I've been wanting a larger screen for a while. The larger screen is great for movies and web browsing but it does make it more difficult to use one handed, texting in particular. I use my phone one handed a ton so it was particularly noticeable. I'm not clamoring for a larger screen as hard as before but if Apple introduced a ~4.5-5" iPhone I would likely bite.

    In conclusion Android is a very very good OS. I am really glad I took the chance to use it and see what the revisions over the years have brought. But for me iOS is what works for my uses and my needs. For those that prefer Android and can certainly understand their reasoning. I completely fail to understand the bandwagon bickering between the two camps. Do to the short time I anticipated using the phone I didn't root it but that is another big pro to me, aftermarket ROMs. My replacement iPhone will be coming today and it will be JB within the hour.

    Just my thoughts.
     
  2. macrumors 604

    cynics

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #2
    Seems like a fair assessment, I like Android a lot but at this point prefer iOS on my phone.

    I would suggest trying different keyboards though. I find the iOS keyboard way too featureless (auto correct is bad, there's no user dictionary I can select certain words to fix, it doesn't even show upper or lower case). I wouldn't have a problem with it if they let me use another one.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2010
    #3
    OP: Very similar experiences going from an Ip4 to a Galaxy S3. I had to endure it for 4 months until the Ip5 came out. Particularly annoying was the inability to automatically bluetooth with my car. I had to do a manual sync in the car about 3/4 of the time. I did like the form factor and would jump at a 5 inch Iphone.
     
  4. bmac4, Feb 14, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2013

    macrumors 68020

    bmac4

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Location:
    Atlanta Ga
    #4
    Are you running android 4.2 on the Gnex? That keyboard is miles ahead of any keyboard I have ever used.

    With the widgets I would keep using them and you will really start to love them. That is one of the things that makes android so awesome. Those are one of the main things I miss since I went the iphone 5.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 65816

    boomhower

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #5
    OS was 4.1 as it was a Verizon Gnex. I used both the stick keyboard and handcent that I had bought ages ago, neither we're as good for me as the iOS keyboard. I've heard the 4.2 keyboard is a massive upgrade too.
     
  6. macrumors 68020

    bmac4

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Location:
    Atlanta Ga
    #6
    Yea if the Verizon one ever gets 4.2 you will really start to love that keyboard. I had the Gnex and now have the iphone 5 and I do miss that keyboard. I miss hit letters on my iphone all the time. The screen is just a bit too narrow for me. You could also try swiftkey it cost but I liked it a lot too.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 65816

    boomhower

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #7
    Swiftkey was the keyboard I was using. Handcent was the SMS app, brain fart.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    jrodsep

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #8
    Actually I'm my time with android (which was almost a year) Swiftkey was far and away the best KB I have used ever (including PC's and smartphones).
     
  9. macrumors 68020

    bmac4

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Location:
    Atlanta Ga
    #9
    I thought it was pretty good as well. I still like the iOS keyboard it just lacks a couple of feature. I wish it has a swype method to it in some way, and if you would pull up the word as you type and make a simple movement of your finger to select that would be awesome. Other than that I think the iOS keyboard is pretty darn good. Now if the screen was just a bit wider would have a champion, but that is a whole different story.
     
  10. Guest

    falconeight

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2010
    #10
    There are only two cellphone OS's. IOS and WP8, all the rest are copies.
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    bmac4

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Location:
    Atlanta Ga
    #11
    What?
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    bohbot16

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #12
    No offense boomhower, but even Hank only understands about half of what you say :D
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 65816

    boomhower

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #13
    I think it's my rather complicated accent. I'm from the north but have spent the better part if the last decade in the south so I have some oddball Yankee/southerner dialect.
     
  14. macrumors 68040

    Dr McKay

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2010
    Location:
    Kirkland
    #14
    Yeah man I tell ya what...Did one of them snipe hunts last night man with them sticks and bags and Whack! Whack! man, go Woooo-loo-loo-loo! ... Talk about big mistake y'all... It's right there in that cooler.
     
  15. macrumors 604

    cynics

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2012
    #15
    Lol! If you say so.....
     
  16. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2012
    #16
    Your thread should be called a week with a Galaxy Nexus because every android phone is different on certain things.

    1. The Galaxy Nexus is known to have poor battery life.
    3. Did you try a third party keyboard? I dare say Swiftkey is the best keyboard on any device.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #17
    For syncing music have you taken a look at Google Music? It integrates with iTunes and auto updates when you add new music to iTunes. You can stream it over an internet connection or download it to your device to play locally. As for keyboards, is it possible that you are just used to the Apple keyboard still. When I was in your position I hated both the stock 4.1 and Swiftkey3 keyboards until I was used to them after a couple weeks. Now I really enjoy them, especially Swiftkey. I also really like the speech integration. I use it whenever possible without looking silly

    I got a good laugh out of that :rolleyes:
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Chris.L

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    Why would you want to run Cisco firmware on your smartphone?!
     
  19. macrumors 68020

    bmac4

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2013
    Location:
    Atlanta Ga
    #19
    I think this comment has pretty well taken over the thread.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 65816

    boomhower

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2011
    #20
    I didn't try Google Music. Once I found out that USB in car didn't work I knew I wouldn't be staying with Android so I didn't want to spend the time uploading a 15GB music collection to their cloud. The point about being used to the Apple keyboard is very valid and certainly could be the reason why I wasn't doing so hot with the Android keyboards.


    I said that battery life would certainly vary between devices, that's not a knock on Android in general. Just was a data point. The Note II in particular gets really good battery life from what I've heard but in general it seems Android doesn't get as good of battery life as iOS devices.

    I did use swiftkey and while better than the stock one I wasn't as efficient as with iOS. If I had used it for a longer period of time I may have acclimated to it better. As mentioned above it could be that I am just so used to the iOS keyboard I didn't give it enough time to get the rythm of it.
     
  21. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2011
    #21
    The iphone keyboard is in the play store.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #22
    Yeah I really wish Google would work with car manufactures or vice versa because that is one of the few knocks I have on Android. I hate that I still have to bring an iPod to get proper integration in cars
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    bohbot16

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    #23
  24. macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    #24
    I am particularly intrigued by the non ability of the nexus to function when connected to the USB input in your car.

    Can any one using a galaxy s3 or some other non nexus android phone confirm if they can plug it in their car (please specify method of interface) and have music work through car and steering controls?

    Never thought of this when I was using transit mostly but now that I am driving I need to find out if my potential purchase will work with it.

    TIA.
     
  25. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    Location:
    NY USA
    #25
    I think this is basically a fair and balanced review. However the only things I may point out are:

    1) Music sync, with Google Play Music app on my MBP it syncs all my music from iTunes, Amazon and the Play store to my Nexus 7 seemlessly. So maybe you just needed some more time setting it up correctly.

    2) BT, not sure about that phone, by my Nexus 7 conencts to my BT settings automatically once it detects them. Could it be a setting or something specific with that phone?

    3) Widgets take time to appreciate them and it takes time to break your iOS memory. I also set up my home screens to look just like iOS then after a while, slowly I started to move away from groups and icons to widgets and swipes. It is SO much better; but it takes time to adjust and for the first few weeks you are adding, changing and moving crap around until you get it right.

    Just my two cents worth.
     

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