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Old February 17th, 2011, 01:44 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I am a former windows mobile user (Sprint Mogul and HTC Touch diamond), who currently has a blackberry and a palm pre. I am looking to make a change soon, to try and go from 3 devices in my pocket (blackberry for work, pre as phone, ipod touch for games and musc) to one, or maybe two. My exchange server will allow the iphone on, but will not work with android (they are considering allowing the droid pro on, but that doesn't appeal to me), which means that an android phone can't replace my blackberry. Based on the following views and requirements, do you think Android (specifically the Xperia Play) makes sense for me?

1. I don't social network. I don't use twitter or facebook or anything like that.
2. I do use the gps on my pre or blackberry every now and then (don't need to in my lexus, but my station car does not have one, so when i rarely drive it anywhere but to the train, I would like to be able to use it)
3. I am a big time mobile gamer, mostly playing rpgs and strategy games. I love the range of games available on my ipod touch. I don't play things like angry birds.
4. I currently have at least 70 games on my ipod touch, so good organization is important to me.
5. I don't like tweaking. I used to do it on my windows mobile phones, and grew to hate it. I will not be flashing custom roms or anything like that.
6. 4g tethering would be a huge plus, although I may just buy a 4g mifi when they are out.
7. I am not sure how I feel about large screen phones, but if there is less in my pocket, maybe it will be alright. My father-in-law has an evo 4g, and it is a beautiful phone, but man is it big. I don't see how it can fit in my pocket along with my wallet (I don't want my phone in the same pocket as my keys for obvious reasons).
8. I am a huge fan of google services in general. I use gmail exclusively for personal email, and use google reader extensively.

I am also wondering how android gaming in general compares to iOS gaming. I almost exclusively play rpgs and strategy games, and have no interest in things like Angry Birds. Most of my favorite iOS games have been smaller titles that suit my relatively niche tastes, and I am just wondering if Android has games that I will like. I know it has the big names, but how is it below the surface?

Here are some games I have recently enjoyed on iOS, to give you an idea of what I like:

100 Rouges
Ashe
Hills and Rivers Remain
Monkey Island
Carcasonne
Chaos Rings
Dungeon Hunter
Highborn
Final Fantasy I/II

Thanks in advance for any responses!

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Old February 17th, 2011, 01:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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stick with iOS
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Old February 17th, 2011, 01:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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stick with iOS
Could you explain why you think that? The physical controls on the Xperia Play are very appealing to me, so I'm curious to hear why you think I should clearly get an iphone.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 02:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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stick with iOS
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Could you explain why you think that? The physical controls on the Xperia Play are very appealing to me, so I'm curious to hear why you think I should clearly get an iphone.
Android is not known for its gaming. This is really where the iPhone beats Android to the curb. It has maybe a handful of good rpg games that can 'compete' with iOS. The best android games so far are on Gameloft. They've only ported about 17 of their 78 games from iOS. The thing with the Ericson Play is that because of the keyboards, none of the games are customized for it out so these games need to be updated and the collection of games so far are only a handful. I believe most are from Gameloft. You'd need to follow if they are going to port their PSP games to Android. A good thing with the Play is that there will be game emulators that will take advantage of the keyboards for you to play various emulator games.

With Android, you get selection (3.5" screes, 3.7", 4", dual core, single core etc) and the ability to customize the phone to how you like it. Google Nav is a great app and integration with all things Google is the selling point of Android.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 02:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You can check out the Android Market to see if the games are to your liking. Here's the link to it: http://market.android.com/

It looks like based on your situation, the iPhone seems best for you. It works with your work place, has the games you currently play and can replace your personal phone as well. If you want to replace your three devices, the iPhone will do the job best.

An Android phone will probably replace your iPod Touch only if the game selection is to your liking. Since you do not do social networking at all, you really do not make good use of the social networking integration on some Android phones. I personally like the HTC Desire Z's integration with social networking. The biggest advantage with Android is the Google services. Android phones allow push email only with Gmail. All other email clients are polled. (I'm not sure about Exchange.) I happen to like the fact that I know when I get an email the instant I receive it.

Any reason why you cannot replace your personal phone with your BlackBerry? What do you do on your Pre that you cannot do with your BlackBerry? I think the BlackBerry is very good for a work phone. I personally use one for work and I do not see how I can replace it with something else even if they did allow it at my work.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 03:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Your list of requirements result in neither iPhone or Android phone being a good fit. But on principle alone, I would choose Android. Ultimately you have to make the call. Here's my analysis of your requirements:

For me, business needs are first priority. If your company bans Androids from their exchange server, that's a big disadvantage in my book. I refuse to carry two phones, and this would likely break the deal for me with Android.

Thus far, the majority of Android games are casual. Though this may change in the next year or so, thanks to the Sony playstation phone, it will take some time for devs to create those blockbuster games you like.

I'm a fan of larger screens. I own an Evo. My wife owns the iPhone 3Gs. Put the two phones next to each other and you'll see the size difference is not that much. It doesn't make sense to me that an iphone in your pocket is comfy, while the evo in your pocket causes your pants to tear. It's just not that big of a difference. The Evo does have a MUCH larger screen because of better engineering; it uses most of the surface of the phone. On the iPhone, there is a ton of wasted space above and below the screen. Bigger screen means less fat-fingering when typing, and a much better experience interacting with the phone: video, games, readability, etc.

Btw, I keep my keys with my wallet in one pocket, and my phone in the other. Keys scratching wallet = acceptable. Keys scratching phone is not.

GPS goes to Android. Google's Navigation has voice turn by turn directions. And it's free. And if you use Google web apps, Android is awesome at giving you access to all your google data.

You don't like customization. But that's a very general statement. I don't like customizing the aesthetics of my phone (theming, custom roms, etc), but I DO like customizing the phone so that it works the way I want it to work. I rooted so I could control my battery consumption, to control what apps are important to me, to enable me to transfer files to and from the phone wirelessly, to enable aspects of my hardware that weren't enabled by default. I also like apps and interfaces that give me a large menu of settings so I can use the app the way I want to use it. The thing that frustrates me to no end with Apple products is that they put form over function. Things are so watered down for the sake of simplicity. I don't want my phone to assume I'm stupid.

Some other perks to Android:

1) profile apps. You can schedule when the phone should silent the ringer based on time, location, etc. Useful for when you're at work or school, or you don't want to be woken up at night. Not possible with iOS.

2) widgets. get the info you need without needing to open any apps. Lay out your homescreens any way you want. Use toggle widgets to turn on/off various features of your phone. I still can't believe the icons in iOS can't be placed anywhere. They all have to line up consecutively.

3) phone automatically becomes a USB mass storage device when you connect to PC, unlike iPhone/iPad, which forces the device to be a camera. With Android, you can copy files to the phone via drag/drop, and these files are actually accessible by the phone. No need for bloatware like iTunes to sync stuff over. Though if you have a ton of music, there are good apps to help you manage your files.

The more you play with Android, the more you realize that in every aspect, it just does more than an iDevice. And for some people, that's too much enablement, making the iDevice the better choice.

If you're the type that doesn't mind using multiple mobile devices, and you're a huge gamer, the Sony phone might be the best fit. I don't know much about it other than a few videos I've seen.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 03:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Stuntman View Post
You can check out the Android Market to see if the games are to your liking. Here's the link to it: http://market.android.com/

It looks like based on your situation, the iPhone seems best for you. It works with your work place, has the games you currently play and can replace your personal phone as well. If you want to replace your three devices, the iPhone will do the job best.

An Android phone will probably replace your iPod Touch only if the game selection is to your liking. Since you do not do social networking at all, you really do not make good use of the social networking integration on some Android phones. I personally like the HTC Desire Z's integration with social networking. The biggest advantage with Android is the Google services. Android phones allow push email only with Gmail. All other email clients are polled. (I'm not sure about Exchange.) I happen to like the fact that I know when I get an email the instant I receive it.

Any reason why you cannot replace your personal phone with your BlackBerry? What do you do on your Pre that you cannot do with your BlackBerry? I think the BlackBerry is very good for a work phone. I personally use one for work and I do not see how I can replace it with something else even if they did allow it at my work.
I could only do split billing for phone/data with at&t, and living in NY, that is not an attractive option, which is why I have a seperate phone and blackberry (ironically, my bb is on sprint like my phone, but sprint can't split bill so I can't activate phone on my bb, or buy my own bb to get connected to our BES server).

I deleted my facebook account a while back and have never understood twitter's purpose, so yeah, social messaging is out. I do love bbm though, so that is something I will miss if I go to an iPhone, although I understand that there are cross platform services that are similiar (I only use it to talk to my wife anyway, so switching services would not really matter).
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Old February 17th, 2011, 03:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Curious to why android is not allowed on your exchange server while iphone is.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 03:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Curious to why android is not allowed on your exchange server while iphone is.
It doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with Android; it's just that their company's IT hasn't evaluated Android as a robust/secure means to interface with exchange.

This is all going to change as Android becomes the vast majority of smartphones. My company supports Android on our exchange server.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 03:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by novox77 View Post
Your list of requirements result in neither iPhone or Android phone being a good fit. But on principle alone, I would choose Android. Ultimately you have to make the call. Here's my analysis of your requirements:

For me, business needs are first priority. If your company bans Androids from their exchange server, that's a big disadvantage in my book. I refuse to carry two phones, and this would likely break the deal for me with Android.

Thus far, the majority of Android games are casual. Though this may change in the next year or so, thanks to the Sony playstation phone, it will take some time for devs to create those blockbuster games you like.

I'm a fan of larger screens. I own an Evo. My wife owns the iPhone 3Gs. Put the two phones next to each other and you'll see the size difference is not that much. It doesn't make sense to me that an iphone in your pocket is comfy, while the evo in your pocket causes your pants to tear. It's just not that big of a difference. The Evo does have a MUCH larger screen because of better engineering; it uses most of the surface of the phone. On the iPhone, there is a ton of wasted space above and below the screen. Bigger screen means less fat-fingering when typing, and a much better experience interacting with the phone: video, games, readability, etc.

Btw, I keep my keys with my wallet in one pocket, and my phone in the other. Keys scratching wallet = acceptable. Keys scratching phone is not.

GPS goes to Android. Google's Navigation has voice turn by turn directions. And it's free. And if you use Google web apps, Android is awesome at giving you access to all your google data.

You don't like customization. But that's a very general statement. I don't like customizing the aesthetics of my phone (theming, custom roms, etc), but I DO like customizing the phone so that it works the way I want it to work. I rooted so I could control my battery consumption, to control what apps are important to me, to enable me to transfer files to and from the phone wirelessly, to enable aspects of my hardware that weren't enabled by default. I also like apps and interfaces that give me a large menu of settings so I can use the app the way I want to use it. The thing that frustrates me to no end with Apple products is that they put form over function. Things are so watered down for the sake of simplicity. I don't want my phone to assume I'm stupid.

Some other perks to Android:

1) profile apps. You can schedule when the phone should silent the ringer based on time, location, etc. Useful for when you're at work or school, or you don't want to be woken up at night. Not possible with iOS.

2) widgets. get the info you need without needing to open any apps. Lay out your homescreens any way you want. Use toggle widgets to turn on/off various features of your phone. I still can't believe the icons in iOS can't be placed anywhere. They all have to line up consecutively.

3) phone automatically becomes a USB mass storage device when you connect to PC, unlike iPhone/iPad, which forces the device to be a camera. With Android, you can copy files to the phone via drag/drop, and these files are actually accessible by the phone. No need for bloatware like iTunes to sync stuff over. Though if you have a ton of music, there are good apps to help you manage your files.

The more you play with Android, the more you realize that in every aspect, it just does more than an iDevice. And for some people, that's too much enablement, making the iDevice the better choice.

If you're the type that doesn't mind using multiple mobile devices, and you're a huge gamer, the Sony phone might be the best fit. I don't know much about it other than a few videos I've seen.
Thanks for the reply. This might sound silly, but my wallet cost more than any phone I have ever owned, so letting it get scratched really isn't an option. Right now I do wallet and ipod touch in one pocket, keys, bb (those things are tough!) and pre (in a sleeve) in the other.

I'm just carrying too many devices though, and am getting sick of it. I also find that i often let my phone battery die, because i forget to plug it and the bb in, and my bb has to take priority (I am a lawyer).

Phone as mass storage device would be great, except that my work computer automatically encrypts all mass storage plugged in (yikes!).

On customization, I guess I just hit a wall with windows mobile, where I was spending more time tweaking that using it, and now I kind of want to just use it and not think about it much. I gave up on building my own PCs for the same reason.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 03:45 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with Android; it's just that their company's IT hasn't evaluated Android as a robust/secure means to interface with exchange.

This is all going to change as Android becomes the vast majority of smartphones. My company supports Android on our exchange server.
The iphone was not allowed until the 3GS with its hardware encrytion. Even if a device is not officially supported, the exchange server will accept it if the phone can support the security protocols. For example, my pre actually connects even though it isn't offically supported. But Android phones can't, so I can only assume there are exchange security features which Android is not compatible with. They are currently testing the droid pro, but if that is certified, it will be the only android device allowed on.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 04:34 PM   #12 (permalink)
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The iphone was not allowed until the 3GS with its hardware encrytion. Even if a device is not officially supported, the exchange server will accept it if the phone can support the security protocols. For example, my pre actually connects even though it isn't offically supported. But Android phones can't, so I can only assume there are exchange security features which Android is not compatible with. They are currently testing the droid pro, but if that is certified, it will be the only android device allowed on.
Interestingly, there's some custom Email.apk (replacement for the stock email program on your phone) that ignores Exchange security protocols so that your Android phone can connect. The default Email.apk on the stock ROM for my Evo supports the security protocols, so I'm able to connect. The Email.apk bundled with pure Android (AOSP) ROMs do not support the exchange security protocols. I guess HTC did something right. So... if some Androids are secure and others aren't, and given there are so many flavors of Android, it makes sense that some companies just blanket ban them.

This is something Google should address. Get encryption standardized for all Android phones. Could already be in gingerbread. I haven't looked into it as it's a non-issue for me.

If mass storage is not an option, you can install sshd on your phone (once rooted). Then you can use PuTTY and SCP to manipulate/transfer your files wirelessly. This might be too much tweaking for you though
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Old February 17th, 2011, 05:08 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Interestingly, there's some custom Email.apk (replacement for the stock email program on your phone) that ignores Exchange security protocols so that your Android phone can connect. The default Email.apk on the stock ROM for my Evo supports the security protocols, so I'm able to connect. The Email.apk bundled with pure Android (AOSP) ROMs do not support the exchange security protocols. I guess HTC did something right. So... if some Androids are secure and others aren't, and given there are so many flavors of Android, it makes sense that some companies just blanket ban them.

This is something Google should address. Get encryption standardized for all Android phones. Could already be in gingerbread. I haven't looked into it as it's a non-issue for me.

If mass storage is not an option, you can install sshd on your phone (once rooted). Then you can use PuTTY and SCP to manipulate/transfer your files wirelessly. This might be too much tweaking for you though
I agree that the security issue is one they really need to address. I actually tried connecting an EVO 4G to my exchange server and was not allowed to. If they can't get the security in place, they will never get widespread workplace acceptance, and given the demise of windows mobile, I think android would make a great choice for those work place specific mobiles running custom software in places like warehouses. I for one would love to have one of those large hi res screens (pocket concerns notwithstanding) with a dual core processor for working with large office files!
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Old February 18th, 2011, 07:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
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GPS goes to Android. Google's Navigation has voice turn by turn directions. And it's free. And if you use Google web apps, Android is awesome at giving you access to all your google data.
One size does not fit all and GPS is no different. Google Maps Nav is free and it works well IMO but it's not the best option for anyone who is frequently in areas without coverage (even with its caching) or travelling internationally. A GPS nav solution with locally stored maps would be better suited for those in such situations.

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For me, business needs are first priority.
Quote:
Originally Posted by novox77 View Post
I'm a fan of larger screens.
Quote:
Originally Posted by novox77 View Post
I also like apps and interfaces that give me a large menu of settings so I can use the app the way I want to use it. The thing that frustrates me to no end with Apple products is that they put form over function. Things are so watered down for the sake of simplicity. I don't want my phone to assume I'm stupid.
That's all fine and well but the OP needs to determine his own preferences and how Android might or might not fit in. Not only the preferences mentioned above but preference for UI's and specific devices. It's not just a matter of looking at the specs to see if Android meets requirements. There's quite a bit of subjective decision making involved in selecting any smartphone.

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Android phones allow push email only with Gmail. All other email clients are polled. (I'm not sure about Exchange.)
Nope. ActiveSync is push and IMAP idle accounts are push as well.

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I personally use one for work and I do not see how I can replace it with something else even if they did allow it at my work.
I can. ActiveSync support is very good in my experience though I do use Touchdown instead of the stock email app on my Droid. I prefer ActiveSync to a BB on BES. Even on BES, email is puhed and reconciled whereas AS offers true sync.

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Curious to why android is not allowed on your exchange server while iphone is.
Same sort of reason why my company only allows BB's. The specific "why" for a given company doesn't matter. Each can define its own policies.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 08:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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IIRC Sony is bringing lots of playstation games to the Play.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSfpArW7Ic4
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Old February 18th, 2011, 08:59 AM   #16 (permalink)
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IIRC Sony is bringing lots of playstation games to the Play.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSfpArW7Ic4
My hope is for a combination of PSone games, PSP games, and original, high quality games designed with the physical controls in mind. If this platform gets traction (which will have to mean more phones getting playstation certified) then I think it could revolutionize mobile gaming, which is why I am here thinking about android Before, I was just counting the days to iphone on verizon (I refuse to get at&t, since I am in NY) but now things are getting interesting!
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Old February 18th, 2011, 09:16 AM   #17 (permalink)
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My hope is for a combination of PSone games, PSP games, and original, high quality games designed with the physical controls in mind. If this platform gets traction (which will have to mean more phones getting playstation certified) then I think it could revolutionize mobile gaming, which is why I am here thinking about android !
That's an interesting point. I hadn't really thought about the impact this Sony phone could have on the entire industry. Android is the perfect OS to handle phones designed for gamers (dedicated controls for gaming). And if this phone catches on, it's conceivable that other manufacturers will also create gaming flavors of phones, if not solely to take advantage of all the games that play better with dedicated controls.

Mobile gaming is a proven market. I owned the pioneering original Nintendo Gameboy in the late 80's. And looking around today, I see the DS is doing just fine. So why not incorporate gaming into our phones? That's one less separate device people have to tote around.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 10:03 AM   #18 (permalink)
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That's an interesting point. I hadn't really thought about the impact this Sony phone could have on the entire industry. Android is the perfect OS to handle phones designed for gamers (dedicated controls for gaming). And if this phone catches on, it's conceivable that other manufacturers will also create gaming flavors of phones, if not solely to take advantage of all the games that play better with dedicated controls.

Mobile gaming is a proven market. I owned the pioneering original Nintendo Gameboy in the late 80's. And looking around today, I see the DS is doing just fine. So why not incorporate gaming into our phones? That's one less separate device people have to tote around.
Exactly. And by requiring that phones meet certain certification requirements in order to be "playstation phones" with access to a seperate appstore, Sony could actually take care of the hardware fragmentation problem which currently makes game development more difficult than it needs to be, without impacting the ability of manufacturers to choose whatever hardware they want for their non-gaming phones.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 10:13 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Exactly. And by requiring that phones meet certain certification requirements in order to be "playstation phones" with access to a seperate appstore, Sony could actually take care of the hardware fragmentation problem which currently makes game development more difficult than it needs to be, without impacting the ability of manufacturers to choose whatever hardware they want for their non-gaming phones.
Sony has set up a Sony app store
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Old February 18th, 2011, 10:26 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Sony has set up a Sony app store
In addition to the one they are using for playstation certified device games?
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Old February 18th, 2011, 10:51 AM   #21 (permalink)
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In addition to the one they are using for playstation certified device games?
Not sure this was the article:
Sony reveals PlayStation Suite framework, store for Android gaming -- Engadget#
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Old February 18th, 2011, 01:17 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Yeah, that's what I was thinking of.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 02:47 PM   #23 (permalink)
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The iphone was not allowed until the 3GS with its hardware encrytion. Even if a device is not officially supported, the exchange server will accept it if the phone can support the security protocols. For example, my pre actually connects even though it isn't offically supported. But Android phones can't, so I can only assume there are exchange security features which Android is not compatible with. They are currently testing the droid pro, but if that is certified, it will be the only android device allowed on.
One person I know says that Android does not integrate well with Exchange. I do not know the reasons and we did not discuss that issue any further.
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Old February 18th, 2011, 05:14 PM   #24 (permalink)
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What you are going to need to do is get some emulators for ps1, gba, snes, etc...and see if they have games you like. Plus the gameloft games and a few others.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 03:29 PM   #25 (permalink)
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ive had android on exchange for awhile now. im just curious what the atual issue is
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Old February 19th, 2011, 05:51 PM   #26 (permalink)
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2011 is the year Android is going to get it's games. Open Feint has a HUGE library of games they are going to almost all port over to Android. We have Snesnoid, Nesoid and all of those other console emulators, don't forget about that. Plants VS Zombies is going to be ported and lots of other devs are transitioning. Android sales are still growing rapidly, it's just a matter of time until we take over.

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Old February 21st, 2011, 08:56 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Why is Google a selling point for the android? The way I understand things is that if you got a smartphone you can just pull up Google on the internet. Do you get more perks through Google by having an Android phone?
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 05:41 AM   #28 (permalink)
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why is google a selling point for the android? The way i understand things is that if you got a smartphone you can just pull up google on the internet. Do you get more perks through google by having an android phone?
google goggles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 06:54 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Why is Google a selling point for the android? The way I understand things is that if you got a smartphone you can just pull up Google on the internet. Do you get more perks through Google by having an Android phone?
In general, a dedicated app on your phone will be easier to use than a mobile-version of a website. One of the advantages of using any of Google's programs is that your data is on the cloud, meaning it can be accessed as long as you have a data connection. That means you never need to back up your files. Calendar events and emails are auto-synced when you first sign in to google on your phone.

Google also has a lot of high quality apps that come free with Android phones: Maps, Navigation, Voice, Shopper, MyTracks, Goggles, Sky Map, Picasa, etc.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 11:52 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Why is Google a selling point for the android? The way I understand things is that if you got a smartphone you can just pull up Google on the internet. Do you get more perks through Google by having an Android phone?
You can do a voice search just by speaking into the phone with the app. You cannot do this with just internet access on your phone. As someone also mentioned, Google Goggles allow you to take a picture with your smartphone camera and search Google with the app. You cannot do this with just internet access on your phone.
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