30 days with the Enemy: HTC One X (Day 10)

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.

Issues

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.

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  • mikejones3

     sync to the cloud with google music. You will find it much better then icloud. What else are you missing from synching from the cloud, google synchs everythign for me. 
     

  • roboguy12

     @mikejones3 He’s in the UK, so it’s not available. He said that in one of the first ones, but yeah if he weren’t he would realize that Google Music is insanely better than iCloud, as it offers 20,000 songs storage for free. It bothers me when people say iTunes match is so awesome because Google has the exact same thing for free. It is a shame it’s only in the US though.

  • Android User

    Fgs dude if u can access the notification panel with ur screen locked.. its so unsecure.. Any1 can unlock ur phone then… Read messages open facebook, gmail or any other app which gives a notification. Its a security feature and it helps when u have a password or a pattern lock enabled. Ofc useles if u have a simple lockscreen. And the restart problem is quite unusual. Not seen on most of the other android handsets… They never restart if locked nor they give erros after they reboot.. Must be Htc’s rom…

  • Mak

    iTunes Match is 25,000 and yes you do have to pay for it but any song that you have purchased thru iTunes does NOT count towards that limit. Any song you did not buy gets matched with the same song from the iTunes store. While Google Music might be better for some people I really don’t get why iTunes Match is a bad deal? Don’t get me wrong I love both Android and the iPhone.

  • Mak

    Along with this post, only the songs iTunes has to upload count toward that limit.

  • TiP_Cam

    Fortunately, I work from home and I don’t leave my phone lying around in public. If it’s not in my pocket, it’s on my desk at home, or in my hand. No one’s going to get hold of it and read anything. It’s not a security feature, if it was, I wouldn’t be able access my email or text messages, which I can. 

  • TiP_Cam

     @roboguy12  @mikejones3 If Google Music was available in the UK I’d sign up right now. But, it isn’t. So I can’t. 

  • stechmanski

    Screw the phone you are using and use a galaxy nexus. There are reasons people told you to do that
     

  • TiP_Cam

     
      I already have. I had it when it launched in November, for around a month. 

  • dc

    If you have an issue with the phone rebooting then it’s a software issue with that particular handset.
    I have the One X and haven’t had any of the issues you have reported.
    I had loads of issues with my iphone 4S and after a few software updates it was sorted.
    The reason i switched was the tiny screen, boring out dated OS and the fact that in 5 years there have only been 3 designs for the handsets.
    I’m delighted to have changed and unless there is a major overhaul with the size and design of the iphone and a major overhaul of the OS i won’t be going back.

  • pillsclenic

    Perfect keyboard from the play store, is a fantastic replacement for any stock on screen keyboard. You can tweak the size, sound and even theme. Because the only person who knows the best option for you, Is you! What other kinds of apps are you looking for to make the transition easier?

  • SamGibson

     @TiP_Cam Ah but there are ways…
     
    Have a look at masking your location with a proxy. I’m in the UK and it was a simple matter to use a US proxy to accept the invite then use Google Music with no issues.

  • TiP_Cam

     @SamGibson That’s sounds complicated, and shady. The reason it’s not here is because they don’t have the necessary copyright deals in place. I’m not one for infringing on that, sorry. 

  • 21stNow

    My recommendation for you is to go back to the iPhone.  I hope that doesn’t come off as harsh, but you don’t seem to be giving the HTC One X a fair chance. 
     
    In your paragraph about the use of the One X as a hotspot, it sounds like you are comparing your everyday, I set up my iPhone a year ago, use of your iPhone to an out of the box experience with the One X.  I’ve never used an iPhone as a Wi-fi hotpot.  With an Android phone, you would have to put in the password for the other device once, but it should remember it anytime you want to use the hotspot in the future.  I can’t imagine that you don’t have to use a password when using the iPhone as a hotspot, for at least the first use.
     
    If you want to use the One X as a hotspot in the future, there are widgets that you can add to the homescreen that will allow you to activate the hotspot without having to go through the menus.

  • rwbwinski

    T-Mumble has NO plan. They’ve had their asses handed to them in handset land, in network land, in customer service land, and now prairie grass chewing fourth-tier iPhone carrying small territory carrier-wannabees just fine in your territory land. So T-Mumble just stands there, in the middle of the street and keeps getting jack-hammered in the face DAILY with stupid pie and just keeps eating it like they have no clue what to do…

    I’ve never seen a technology company so at being inept at being a tech company,,,, no wonder customers are running away in droves !

  • Johnnyn

    For the keyboard sideloading you have to go to settings > security > unknown sources(enable this by checking this). If you don’t have that checked then the ONE X won’t allow you to sideload apps.
     
    Recommended keyboards: swype, swiftkey beta 3
     
    Browser: Dolphin browser HD
     
    SMS/MMS: Go sms pro.
     
    You might by content with your current stock browser/texting apps but you don’t realize how more useful/functional they are until you use the ones I just suggested!

  • SamGibson

     @TiP_Cam So much for investigatory journalism *sigh*. Too much to expect a fair and objective review I suppose. I’ll have to see if I can find an american author who’ll blog about the differences between the technologies and the cloud offerings I suppose.
     
    Best of luck with the One X anyway. I just got mine and having thrown off the shackles of Apple I’m far happier.

  • qpinto

    cam, use the places to find anything. you are allowed to use googles voice search to find things just like you would with siri. using your htc one xz as a hotspot has to be set up once, then never again as long as you dont change names or passwords on the device.
     
    the constant reboots as said before should be software wise as well. i wonder how tight/small pockets of jeans you wear, as since the one x doesnt come with a removable battery, holding the power button will cause the phone to turn off. d it 2x and there’s your reboot.
     
    instead of searching for a starbucks via maps, use places to find it for you. its easier and will open into maps with one touch.

  • Ahmed

    “The operating system doesn’t require you to confirm that you want to restart the phone”…   Yes it does, there’s something wrong with your phone.

  • MaeganBabcock

    I’d have given up and gone back to my iPhone by now. I had an Android phone and hated it. My iPhone just works.

  • Cubskru

    what happened to the challenge???
     

  • bcalpis

    What a wank. Connecting your wifi hotspot was difficult? Its the same as connecting iphone hotspot. That’s the problem with u apple users, your so lazy and basic that you would rather have apple sneak in user restrictions for the sake of an easy interface. Keep your biased comments to yourself rather than trying to put down those unlike u sheep.

  • bcalpis

    Ohh and I use dropbox to sync all my devices. Something I would miss if using an iphone.

  • TommyDaniel

    “Just pressing and holding the power/lock button for a few seconds is enough to force it to take action.” Every Android device I have had has given me options when holding down the power button, and then asking to confirm…

  • http://www.noba.co.uk/services/emergency-internet/ Glenn Elmore

    What happened? Any updates?

  • Boffo1

    Why would you want to type with a tiny IPhone?