Sunday, March 10, 2013

Android for 7 days

After Andy Ihnatko decided that the iPhone 4s didn't do enough for him, I started thinking which usually ends up making a dumb decision. He choose the Samsung Galaxy III, I ended up picking the LG Nexus 4, and for a very good reason.

Because I have tried before.

guist of this is : Andy Ihnatko bought an android phone. I thought they were awful, but he triggered a curiosity in me, I bought one, and I totally love this phone. I must go see a doctor.

A few years ago, I decided to test Android and instead of just buying some cheap phone, I laboured over this and ended up buying HTC Desire, back then a top of the line model (a few days later the Desire HD came). I hated it. The build quality was good, but everything the phone did, it did it badly. The battery didn't live through the day, and usually gave up at around 5, the time I came home from work. Everything onscreen was ugly, dark and hard to read. There was a constant battle with storage, my mail was filling up the onboard memory and I could not move my email to the sd card, I could move a few apps to the sd card but not enough, and the card kept unmounting itself for no apparent reason, and the upgrades, or the lack of them was infuriating to say the least. My phone got 1 update after I bought it, a point release which didn't do anything, and thats where it stayed. I felt betrayed, cheated, left out. But when I looked around, this was the case with every other Android phone out there, every single one.

After less than a week the phone went into a drawer for over a year and got used once in a while as a guest phone for guests who visited me from iceland, so when they got lost in oslo, they didn't have to call me using very expensive roaming.

I even tried to get my wife to use the phone, it was expensive and I was frustrated that this toy wasn't usable. My wife hated it even more than I did and didn't use it.

Then ca last christmas, I rooted the phone and installed Cyanogenmod (hope I typed it correctly), since I had to use the phone as a second phone on a trip to Iceland. I don't want to pay ridiculous roaming charges. And it became a totally new phone. It was actually a useful device. Battery life was good and everything about it was good, not iPhone quality, but a good. On that trip, I almost bought the Samsung Nexus phone and was tempted to buy Samsung Galaxy III, but decided against it, Android wasn't good.

Ever since, I have been 100% iOS, and pretty much ever since the iPhone 3G came out, I have been using an iPhone.

BUT, Andy Ihnatko isn't just any man, not only is he funny, he actually makes makes mutton chops look good and he is like the poster boy for apple products, he likes apple products and he knows them. So why did he change ? Before I even read his articles (linked below), I decided that I should try to find out why. Because Android wasn't any good after all, right ? Well, I decided to purchase the 5" Sony xperia Z, but once I came to the store I remembered one huge thing. I LIVED IN NORWAY, and that meant I would have to wait at least 1 month before a device becomes available after it is introduced, even longer. Well, I then thought, what about the Samsung Galaxy III phone. Nah, it wasn't totally updated, it was old, it was plasticky cheap. Then my eyes caught on a black slick device with a very bad name it seemed, on closer inspection the name the store called the phone was just weird, they called it LG E960. It did not ring any bells for me, I had never heard of that device. So I looked at it and realised this was the LG Google Nexus 4, which is a much better name. The phone looked great, awesome even. On just flicking the screen, testing web browsing and such, it surprised me, it was so fast at doing everything, and it was super smooth. All animations, scrolling and zooming was super smooth and fast, totally Apple quality, even better. On closer inspection, the phone was much cheaper than the Galaxy III, same screen size and a little higher resolution, and Quad 1.5 GHz processor, 2GB internal memory and although it only has 16 GB storage, not expandable (common google), I bought it.

Excited like a 6 year old with a new toy, I sat in my living room, opened the box, which didn't contain much, a pamphlet, charger and a phone. No stickers, no headphones, nothing (again, common google, no headphones ? really). Well I turned on the device, the colors were crisp, the phone booted quickly, asked me for my google account, I enter it, and that was it. The phone was usable, all my contacts where there, my gmail account, gtalk and more. Less than 2 minutes after unpacking, I was using the device. WHAT ? Thats unthinkable :) My kindle app on the Android allows me to purchase books, fantastic stuff. Audible app also allows direct purchases. The podcast app actually updates itself. This is just scary.

Went to the Play! store, got all my previously bought apps, added a few others for ebook reader, podcasts and such. A few hours later, I had spent a few hundred kroner on the store. Got Most Wanted and few more games.

This device behaves great. This device is awesome. After 3 days now, I haven't touched my iPhone 5, not even looked at it. WHAT ? This device has the promise to be updated for a few years, since it gets its updates directly from Google. This device lets me run Commodore 64 games, and even program in C64 basic on it. I have other emulators as well, which work fantastically. Even though the battery says it has 15% left and is showing red by the end of the day, it doesn't just go empty all of the sudden, it actually works this way, and continues on the slow decline to 0%, which it hasn't done once. The build quality on this device is totally Apple quality. It doesn't feel cheap like the Galaxy III. I wonder if I will switch back by the end of my 7 day trial. It sure doesn't look like it. But this might totally be this new thing, new toy factor. Lets see if I get tired of it.

Now, I have read all of Andy's articles, and heard his explanation on Macbreak Weekly. I don't envy him. He actually gets hate messages, common people!!, this is a phone. My taking of his reasons for the switch is that he wanted a bigger screen, and I agree, having a bigger screen is actually great. He talks about the onscreen keyboard being better, I don't know about that, could be because I am writing not only english, but norwegian and Icelandic as well, so that might be why I don't think the keyboard is much better. But then we start to have different opinions. The two above reasons are why he is switching, screen size and keyboard. He says, he is willing to use apps that are not the quality of iPhone apps. I would not settle like that. Either the apps are just as good or better. So far, I would say that the apps and games I use are just as good as the iPhone apps. Of course I still haven't got replacements for all the apps I use, but I am getting there.

I think Andy made a mistake by picking the Samsung Galaxy III phone. It is more than one year old, Samsung Galaxy IV (4) is around the corner so future operating system updates are questionable. He bought an inferior phone, a good phone for sure, but inferior to the Sony Z and the Nexus 4.

I am actually looking forward for the next Macbreak weekly, for an updated view on him using the Android. As one reporter said, don't remember who, it is scary how Google is getting to do Apple quality products and Apple failing to do Google quality web services.

Links :

The first article :
Second :
Third :

And Macbreak weekly.

The Nexus 4 :