keskiviikkona, lokakuuta 03, 2012

Life with Android, part 1

I've been curious how the other people like their phones. I mean, of course, the people who use Android instead of the one true phone, the iPhone.

My teenage daughter has been torturing a Samsung Galaxy Ace for a year now and I suggested to her we could exchange phones for a limited period of time. She said yes, a bit too eagerly. I suspect I will have a difficult time getting the iPhone 4S back.

(I was told her friends at school said your dad must have lost a few marbles to do something so stupid as trade an iPhone for a crappy Android.)

Here are some observations from the last two days:

Battery: The battery lasts a day, barely. And I got a new, fresh battery for it. I have 3G, wifi, gps and bluetooth turned on, but I had them on in the iPhone too and it lasted almost two days with a single charge.

Unresponsive UI: Often you tap a button on the screen or the back button on the bezel and nothing happens. Thinking you missed the button you tap it again and then it suddenly wakes up and reads your tap twice. This could be due to the 800 MHz single-core CPU being too slow, but it never happened with my old iPhone 3GS, which also had an 800 MHz CPU.

Cannot be used as a clock replacement: When the power/lock button is pressed, the screen wakes up but the time is shown in very tiny numbers at the top-right corner of the screen. I think I will start wearing a watch.

Cannot be used as a music player: I copied files from my iTunes media folder to the /Music directory of the SD card. The built-in music player and couple of 3rd party ones I've tried do not understand the metadata of the .m4a files. Only the few music files that are in .mp3 show properly. The unrecognizable files are all lumped together under "Unknown artist". When tapped on, they do play, but it makes it difficult to find the song you are looking for.

I haven't yet found a good way to copy playlists. Software called doubleTwist starts reading the playlists from iTunes but did not finish even though I allowed it 24 hours to do its job. (I have about a dozen playlists, so the task should not be an enormous one.)

Software called TuneSync copies playlists and music over wifi and requires running a server on the Mac. It seems to work, but the free version only syncs 20 tracks. The full version is a bit expensive to my taste. (But I might go with that if nothing else works.)

A2DP profile on Bluetooth is not always used: I have a earpiece from Jabra that supports A2DP (stereo quality sound) but sometimes the phone chooses to communicate with phone quality protocol. This never happened with the iPhone.

Weather app thinks I'm in Hyvinkää. Every time I launch the built-in Weather app, it shows me the weather in Hyvinkää, Finland. That's about 50 km from my real location.

The Navigator is really good: I had never had a chance to use a turn-by-turn navigator app on a phone but I had plenty of experience on using the Maps app in iPhone while driving. Not fun. Usually my wife operates the iPhone on the car trips and she often gets lost. The Navigator app on the Android gave us clear, audible instructions that allowed the driver (me) to concentrate on the traffic and not play IT support.

I'll keep you posted on further developments.

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