I’m one third of the way through my 30 days with an Android phone, and the iPhone cravings are worse than ever. That said, thanks to everyone for helping out with the keyboard issue last week. I tried installing some third party ones, but, HTC isn’t playing ball. So, I switched on the One X’s “Trace” feature, and that’s been working well.
Last week I went to the Samsung Galaxy SIII launch event in London. A few hours travel meant that if I wanted to avoid the hideously slow and expensive WiFi connection on our national Virgin Rail service, I’d need to use a portable hotspot. You have no idea how tempting it was just to plug in my iPhone and go. The HTC requires more steps, but, since I had intermittent signal with the carrier I use on my iOS device, I had to go with the T-mobile UK One X. I tried connecting via USB cable, but, my Mac didn’t even recognize it was there. So, for the purposes of simplicity, I just went through the WiFi hotspot menus. Switching it on, entering the network name manually, and putting in the WPA key. Considering I’m used to just plugging in my iPhone and letting it do its thing, the whole process felt unnecessary. Saying that, my connection was fast. I was genuinely surprised. T-mobile isn’t regarded as having the best network coverage, but, it didn’t let me down once.
One big issue I had was finding my way around Earl’s Court. I’d never been before and wanted to find the local Starbucks or Costa coffee shops. I found the maps application to work well, and offered me some helpful directions. I could have used the app to “check in” or leave a review, but, I didn’t. I tend to only need maps to find where I’m going, not to let everyone know where I am. It was no more or less difficult than using iOS’ native Maps application.
I’ve experienced a couple of issues repeatedly since switching over to the HTC. Seemingly, it likes to reboot in my pocket, especially when I bend down to pick something up. The operating system doesn’t require you to confirm that you want to restart the phone. Just pressing and holding the power/lock button for a few seconds is enough to force it to take action. It’s happened three times in the past week. Each time I’ve thought the same “my iPhone wouldn’t do that.” Then it tells me there’s been an error and I should send a report. What kind of phone thinks that a forced restart is an error? I pressed the button – albeit accidentally – it didn’t restart itself.
Secondly, the lock screen. Notifications are accessible from the lock screen, which they should be. Drag down the drawer and tap on the message. It could be an email, tweet, text, whatever. I’ve found that with third party apps, it just doesn’t play ball. To access Facebook notifications or replies on twitter I have to unlock the phone, and only then does it load up. It could well be a compatibility issue with the app itself. Whatever the problem is, it needs fixing.
The overlying feeling is that I still feel out of the loop. I’m used to all my gadgets syncing seamlessly, through iCloud, iTunes etc, and that’s something I really miss when I’m not constantly using the iPhone.
To get through the next 20 days I’m going to need help from you guys. Suggest some apps, themes, or services I need to take advantage to make this a more pleasant experience. Tweet me: @TiP_Cam or comment below.