One week with a ‘droid

Tech lovers come in all shapes and sizes, hold different preferences and have unique values. More often than not it’s these values that shape the way we buy gadgets. Your number 1 priority may be to buy the product that gives you all the bare functionality you need, without having to shell-out a small fortune. If that’s the case, you most likely don’t have an iPhone. You may value quality, and reliability and don’t mind paying to get it. Sometimes, a brand is the most important. You either like what it says about you, or you just enjoy using a particular manufacturer’s products.

Some brand loyalties are so fierce that they create an unusual and fanatical hatred towards anything else. It can get nasty at times, with people being deliberately offensive towards anyone who dares to have a different opinion to yours. The most obvious example is Apple fanboys vs. Phandroids. To me, it’s ludicrous, but it’s no different to fierce loyalties often found in sports. Manchester United football soccer fans have a fierce rivalry with Manchester City fans. Or, the Cubs versus the White Sox. Since many tech nerds traditionally aren’t sporty, they aim their “fan psyched” towards tech brands instead.

Here at Today’s iPhone we clearly love iOS, if we didn’t, this would be the worst job in the world for us. I’ve always loved its simplicity, its reliability and the way it just fits in to my day-to-day life without making a big fuss. In fact, I’d find it almost impossible to replace my own personal phone with anything other than another iPhone. I wrote about that not long ago, so I won’t go in to that again. For my work/e-mail needs, I’ve always wanted something different. Something that works well for typing emails, but also syncs with my TiP email and calendars seamlessly. For me, that leaves two choices: Android or Blackberry.

One week ago I purchased my first Android handset in almost a year, and my first in 2011. In 2010 I’d had the Nexus One and the T-mobile G2. Both were running stock versions of Android, as was my only previous Google-powered phone, the G1. All of them were great phones, but each had its own pitfalls which eventually led to me replacing it with something else. The Nexus’ onscreen keyboard was horrible to use, I didn’t have the time to mess around with trying to find a custom version to suit my needs, I just wanted  one that worked. With the G2, I loved having the QWERTY, but the poor battery performance and having to physically flick up the screen to access the keyboard meant it wasn’t as easy as it should be. I replaced it with a BlackBerry, which served me well for almost 12 months.

My most recent purchase has been a refreshing change from its predecessors. The new user interface in Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) is vastly different from anything I’ve used previously. All the menus have been cleaned up, the nerdy green color has been replaced with a cool blue. It’s clean and straight lines give it an edge which – combined with the fantastic Galaxy Nexus hardware – would make it a genuine threat to the iPhone if it wasn’t for Apple’s dominance in mindshare.

If I’m honest, I’ve had a great week with my Nexus. I stuck in my personal SIM as soon as I found out it was unlocked, and have been using it since the day I bought it. This may surprise you, but I’ve not missed my iPhone one bit. It’s been sat in the dock almost constantly acting as a personal hotspot. It may well be that I’m in that “new phone honeymoon” phase, where every sight of your new phone makes your heart flutter. I feel it as I look at the clean lines in the text message conversation thread, or the little LED notifier flashing, even when the little trill alert goes off. It’s an excitement and a buzz that I’ve not had for a long time with a new phone.

One scary thing for me is that in the past, I’ve traded that excitement in for the iPhone. The phones in the past which have excited me at first have never fitted in with my life as smoothly as an iOS device has. The iPhone has never “wowed” me – “it just works”. The Nexus, at the moment, seems to be doing both. I know that I can’t make a true judgement on that for a month or so yet though. If the excitement is still there, and it’s still comfortable being my main phone, only then will I consider it a true replacement for my iPhone.

Saying that, it has been lacking a little in some areas though. Sound quality and the lack of syncing with iTunes has made music playing a chore, and I’ve avoided it altogether. It’s no big deal at the moment, since I spend all my time in front of my desk at home. But when I go out for a stroll, or run faster walk, I do have to take my iPod with me. Gone are the days of just carrying one device. It’s not a big deal, just a minor inconvenience. One other thing I’ve noticed: crashing apps. I’ve counted at least 5 since last week. More than I’ve had in the past year on iOS – if I don’t include running iOS 5 in its beta stages. Hopefully, as ICS becomes more widely available, compatibility issues with apps won’t be such a problem.

Tell me about your experiences with phones. Which devices have excited you the most at first? Does the excitement wear off, or you still as in love with your phone as you were on the first day?

 

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  • Ramah

    Thanks for the article. I’m an iOS user for the past 3 years and have wanted (sometimes) to switch to Android. But the main things that keep me from doing so are music integration and your new and fantastic phone is outdated within a few months with Android.

    • Kayjay45

      It may be outdated but if your enjoying the current phone you have than who cares really,and to the author maybe you should try google music store up to 20,000 songs and U can now buy music str8 off the android market and there should be aa way to sync your iTunes to it as well..I can’t wait till I get the galaxy nexus I was holding off for the 32gb for T-Mobile but I think I’ll settle for the 16gb

  • http://www.facebook.com/tylegend Kool-Aidrian Hudson

    Thanks to the new Google Music (and removable storage) you don’t need that wretched iTunes to sync your music. The Galaxy Nexus is straight-out the best phone on the market. Too many Fan Boys will say otherwise because their brains have been fully washed of any substance.

    • http://twitter.com/25lifecrisis Jason Keiter

      yep just use google music to load all your music. No need to use Itunes

      also the crashing apps is just due to compatibility issues. Devs are slow to get their apps working on the new OS

  • Onlythestrong303

    Ive been a long time user of Android since I had the G1. I recently had the HTC Sensation… and I was just dissapointed with the phone, the quality, I just didnt care for it. Needless to say, that was the straw that broke the camels back. I sold it, and I been doing heavy thinking, and I think I want to get an Iphone. I need something fresh, because in my opinion, I always seem to have some kind of problem with Android.

  • http://www.facebook.com/servontius.turner Servontius Turner

    Just wondering if someone can help me decide between getting the Galaxy Nexus or the 4s. I like both Android and iOS but the one i purchase comes down to ultimately which has the better camera. I know MPs don’t tell the whole story of a camera’s performance so there is no need to explain that to me. If there is someone out there that can help me with this i’d greatly appreciate it!!

    • Nupicasso

      The iPhone 4S has the best camera on a phone and has been rated as high as a quality point n shoot. If camera is the deciding factor, and look no further than the 4s.

  • Anonymous

    Cam, download Google Music to your computer.  There’s a way to go into the settings and tell it to sync all of your songs that you’ve already downloaded and from that point on to automatically sync any purchase that you make in iTunes.  You’ll also, of course, download the Google Music app to your phone.  After the initial setup all of your iTunes music will be available to you through Google Music on your phone and you’ll be back to carrying just one device. 

  • Anonymous

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  • Nymoblie

    Apple iOS is the best. It may be simple but it always works. I’ve owned Andriod phones alway a problem.