Chapter 7 – Switching Gears

This is a series of blog posts documenting my switch from iPhone to Android. To read the whole exciting saga, click here.

I’ve spent the past two weeks with a 4 year-old Motorola Atrix 4G phone instead of my almost-latest-and-greatest iPhone 5. I started using an iPhone in 2011, about the same time the Atrix was manufactured.

While the comparison was stacked in favor of the latest and greatest iPhone OS, The old AndroidOS showed promise.

Android Wins:

If you like a wide open ecosystem for a computer platform, Android is it. There are several app stores to choose from, and there’s no requirement to settle for one. I chose the Google Play store and the Amazon store and found an astonishing number of free and paid apps. If you make a security setting change to your phone, you can load your own apps by copying them to the system.

Android media support was simple — plug the phone into a computer via USB cable, and drag and drop media onto the phone. Ironically, having to use iTunes over the years forced me to organize my media to the point where copying the files over to an Android phone would be a workable solution.

I bought music during this experiment on Amazon, and unlike the iTunes store, the music is primarily DRM free.

Firefox for Android. I use Firefox at home and at work, and having my bookmarks and environment synchronized across home, work and my phone was helpful.

iOS wins:

Notifications — iOS’s VIP feature is a close approximation to BlackberryOS’ ability to filter what email gets forwarded to your handheld. ActiveSync is an all-or-nothing sync protocol, but with the VIP feature of iOS, you can set up stakeholders in your work life as VIPs, have their email notifications sent to the lock screen and not notify if anyone else emails. This one feature has allowed me to take my weekends back by prioritizing my off-hours contacts.

Connectors – the Lightning cable, while seemingly part of the connector conspiracy, is a nice connector. It’s small, fits either way, and feels solid. Micro-USB, while widely used, is more fragile and more difficult to connect.

Podcasts – iOS comes with a full-featured podcast client and the iTunes store is the largest collection of podcasts. I had to search for an Android podcast client, and didn’t find one that met my needs.

Next, I’m planning on moving my data and plan to a modern Android phone and compare it to its predecessor and to the new iPhone.

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