Friday, April 5, 2013

7 days turned to 20 days

This is my 2nd post and my last post on the issue, for now. Please read this first

For those that don't want to read anything :

All in all, by a small margin, I am back using iOS as my day to day device, but I will not put the Nexus into a drawer or try to pimp it to friends or not even to my wife. I will keep it, and will test it periodically when there are updates to Android, and who knows, I might not go back next time...


I used Android on the LG Nexus 4 for almost 3 weeks when I only set out to use it for 1 week. I liked it, I liked it a lot. The device itself is as close to perfect as you can get. I have heard people talk about very bad battery life but that was just not the case. I never ran out of battery, but I always had to charge it when I slept, which is similar to the iPhone, although the iPhone could run for almost full 2 days. The 16 GB storage is a shame for such a device. It is way to small. With a screen like the Nexus has, you want to watch videos, video podcasts, screencasts and so forth. But in order to do that, you have to have at least 32GB, and this is why I have 64GB iPhone 5, but I doubt I would buy a 128GB model if it became available. You could add that I would like to have a LTE connection on the phone but the case is moot as LTE in Norway are like trolls, people say they have seen one, but no one can offer any proof of its existence :) It is here, but you have to be in the right spot and not move an inch. Also people bitch about the camera being bad. I don't know if it is just me, but after digging through the phone and finding well hidden camera settings, my pictures became crisp and full of nice details, the images on the Nexus were very good, and comparable to Nokia Lumia 920, although in darker environments the Nokia beat it hands down, no contest, but in normal lighting, they were very good. The issue I think is that the default settings are all low quality and changing that wasn't obvious, and no camera phone is as good as the iPhone 5, it is the king of the hill.

There are a few things I didn't like, but they were all Android issues. Although it seems extremely trivial, having a browse to top is remarkably useful and missing from Android. On iOS you can click on the top of the screen and it will whisk you away to the top of twitter/facebook/intstragram or a browser to name a few. Using the volume buttons to go page up and down is just genius  I have no objections to physical buttons as long as they serve a purpose. On my older Android phone, there was a search button, I would have like to have one physical search button on the device. The facebook client was just extremely awful. Doing edits was just plain out horrible. When you type in a text, and you need to fix one letter f.ex. you typed s instead of a, it is horrible on Android, and on the Facebook client, it was just futile attempt and would hang the phone completely at random intervals, so it would actually save you time just to go back and type everything in again.

Unlike Andy Ihnatko, I did not see any improvement on the keyboard of Android or iPhone, and if anything the iOS keyboard was better. I didn't get used to the swipe typing, but the suggestion of words was very good on android. I must say that I have turned off any autocorrect on both phones as it was never ever helpful. Android did not allow me to type in all Icelandic characters which is a big failure. But I am sure my hands are much smaller than Andy's.

But one of the biggest failures must be that because there are no physical buttons, the phone will display buttons at the bottom of the screen to do away with keyboard, menu and search. For most apps this works as expected but it is quite easy to put your finger on it when typing f.ex.a space or a dot (.), but when playing games, this is just ridiculous. The buttons become stuck in ON state and when doing games that have touch on the right side, like all driving games, it becomes way to easy to accidentally click on the home button and voila, you are no longer driving at 200 mph but looking at your home screen and your game is lost, and why does the phone only support landscape left ?

Games like Angry birds was just great, although the game itself looked very good, all backdrops were in excellent quality, all controls and the birds themselves, became quite tiny, it didn't look good. EA Need for speed games were great, except for games that were more than 1 year old, they looked fuzzy, out of focus. Not grainy as expected, but all smeared, like the screen was very dirty.

There were excellent apps on Android. Kindle app for one was fantastic, same with Audible app. Both apps allow you to search and purchase items directly which is just great and one of the biggest failures of Apple to block that. I got a much better podcast app than the awful podcast app on the iOS. I got pretty good ebook reader. Putting stuff on the phone was very easy, although I needed to use some Android file transfer app since I use a Mac, it wasn't bad, and a way I prefer greatly above iTunes sync everything, which always ends up taking huge amount of time. On Android I could add that 1 song, that 1 podcast or that 1 video as easy as drinking water in less than 5 minutes before leaving the house, but when I need to have that file on an iPhone, it always ends up re-syncing my phone, taking a backup, refusing to move certain files, and picking those files from what looks like a webform is so slow that it is almost useless. Well I guess I have issues with iTunes after all :)

All in all, at the end of the day, I am back on iOS. But not because it is way better, but only because it is marginally better. I would probably rate iOS at 85% perfect, but Android only at 65-70%. The devices would have to score even, at 95% each, but because of the storage, it lowers the ratings of the Nexus, down 10% at least. Of course keep in mind that these numbers are made up here on the spot while I typed them, but I am back using iOS because it gives me less grief. If iOS 7 isn't something completely new, earth shattering new, when it comes out, and Android 5 will most likely fix all the issues I have with it, then there is very little keeping me from moving over to Android full time, and being an iOS developer, this isn't just saying.

iOS 7 must become better. Larger screen than iPhone 5 is a must! It is much better having larger screen than I would have thought. I do expect iOS 7 to come with full bindings support and a few more cool things like that, but Android is getting so close to iOS that it is scary.

On a lighter note, I think Samsung royally screwed up with Galaxy IV, and that it isn't better than Galaxy III, not in any way. They still haven't released Android 4.2.2 which I had on day 1 of the Nexus, and was one of the big reasons to buy the Nexus above Galaxy III, phone companies just don't understand the need for updates.