30 days with Android

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  1. BluBrett

    BluBrett Active Member

    I've been an iPhone user since the first generation iPhone. Now with my iPhone 5, the whole experience is beginning to become a bit stale, so I decided to give Android a try. Anyone who's interested in my experience is welcome to follow along.

    Days 1-2

    First, I wanted a phone at least as good as the iPhone 4S. I have always liked the Droid RAZR, and found one in mint condition, with a bit of warranty still left for $140. Swooped it up, upgraded to 4.2, and began my evaluation.

    Android is less polished, less beautiful, and harder to use than iOS. It's really not something that can be argued IMO, Apple goes through great lengths to make their UI as close to perfect as possible, and then they make sure it STAYS that way. When I started using the RAZR I was surprised to find there is a file system, and I can manage most apps. Ironically, I can get rid of some things needed for the phone to work properly, but I can't delete any Verizon or Motorola bloatware (At least sans root.) Not planning on rooting it until the warranty is over.

    So, here are some of my likes I've discovered, in no particular order:

    -Customizability. It's no secret Apple doesn't let you customize much. You can move things around, but not exactly to where you want it to be. On Android, you can have whatever you want, wherever you want. At least for the most part (See dislikes below)

    -Home screen layout. Before I started using Android, I hated the home screen. I quickly found out that is because I hadn't customized it to my (minimalist) liking.
    --Widgets are great, but with the RAZR's short battery life, I avoid the ones that constantly access data.
    --Love the fact that the middle screen is the main home screen, as opposed to the farthest left screen. And I love the fact that if I press the home button from any home screen, it goes to the middle screen

    -Power control widget. Control wifi, bluetooth, location services, sync, and autobrightness from one widget? Yes please!

    -Files app. Makes the phone feel less like a mini tablet and more like a mini computer. Love it.
    -Downloads app. Didn't realize I wanted this until I had it, it comes in handy probably once every hour or so using the phone!

    -Pretty much anything I can't do stock, I can download from the Play Store. Cool!

    And my dislikes:

    -Cut, copy, and paste are miserable to use. It's the biggest iOS feature I would love to have here.

    -Zooming in on web pages is less efficient on Android vs. iOS. Scrolling too.

    -Can't move any apps in the app folder into their own folders (IE moving all Verizon apps into a folder, all Moto apps into a folder, misc folder, I like to reduce clutter)

    -Slide to unlock an't be used before/in addition to PIN lock.

    -Notifications are hard to determine from lock screen

    -Battery indicator doesn't and cannot show percentage

    -No stock notes app!

    -Chrome can't be set as the permanent default browser unless I disable the stock browser (I was wrong here.)


    -Turning off individual push accounts is difficult. In fact, most Android menus are difficult and I'm having a hard time deciding where a setting would be.

    -No stock voice memo app

    -Contacts were difficult to find within the phone app, and the only way to search contacts via the phone app is via a physical (search) button.

    -In Chrome and the stock browser, I have to press the menu button before the forward and back buttons. Also, the top bar doesn't go away while scrolling like in iOS. I miss Safari.

    -Can't, as far as I know, join my Yahoo and Gmail mail accounts into one app.

    That said, I am liking Android a lot more than I expected. Not sure yet if it is my "honeymoon stage" or if I might actually be liking Android more than iOS! Like I said before, it has the feel of a mini computer instead of a mini tablet.

    davidchsw likes this.
  2. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    Since you're using the razor, you have to keep in mind many of the complaints you have aren't with stock android, but rather with Motorola's flavor of android.

    It was interesting reading your experiences. I've always found iOS to be far too simplified and restrictive.
  3. NeXuS4

    NeXuS4 Well-Known Member

    I'm going to say this and it will come off as harsh but I don't mean it that way.

    You are evaluating all of our OS with out dated and poorly implemented hardware.

    Try the Galaxy s3, Droid DNA, Note 2 or something like that if you want the REAL android experience on Verizon.

    If you use that and you feel the same then I feel that will be more fair, as it stands now the majority of your "cons" are due to the fact you're using obsolete hardware on Verizon (hence all the "bloatware")

    My nexus⁴, for example, runs completely differently than the Razr even though they are both Android.
  4. rich2626

    rich2626 Well-Known Member

    Yeah,try one of the above phones,and then make up your mind,I used too have an iphone 3GS,and i absolutely hated it,mainly because of the restrictions,and itunes was a nightmare back then.

    Android is so much better,and you also have hundreds of different phones too chose from,with ios,you only have one option.
  5. uknow

    uknow Well-Known Member

    What gets me is ios is simple slow and expensive not to Mention even when root/jail break iphones u still cant customize them really same as windows phone ive had all three os and I stick with android pumping life with a s3
  6. NeXuS4

    NeXuS4 Well-Known Member

    Let's NOT turn this into an Android vs iOS flame thread.

    OP is just giving his opinion and I offered the best advice I could. That's all.
    El Presidente, lunatic59 and uknow like this.
  7. uknow

    uknow Well-Known Member

    You are correct im sorry but I was just sayimg from my experience that if you give droid time you will see all the plus's and after using it for a while you figure more things out theres way to much to learen about droids in that small time I was not trying to come off in a non positive way just reply to quick and didnt fully explain my self
  8. Now Android is indeed more attractive because it always brings the new surprise and also it can be used by the people who are not rich.
  9. BluBrett

    BluBrett Active Member

    My outdated hardware is snappy enough for me. Are cut, copy, paste, or my web browser complaints any better on S3 or Nexus? I know bloatware can be deleted relatively easily, and one day I will. For now, ignoring/disabling what I can is good enough. How about stock apps? Are those any better?
  10. NeXuS4

    NeXuS4 Well-Known Member

    Motorola is INFAMOUS among us android users for packing in the most bloatware due to the fact they seemingly sold their souls to Verizon a while back. Honestly if the RAZR is "snappy enough" for you then a quad core powered nexus⁴ or Droid DNA will blow you away.

    I'm not going to claim copy and paste is as easy as it is on a PC or something but I find it easy enough.

    Unfortunately if you want to stay on Verizon the nexus ⁴ is not an option for you since that phone only supports GSM (AT&T, T-Mobile)
    But that being said a lot of us would say the phone is easily worth switching carriers for by itself.
  11. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor Guide

    Regarding your dislikes:

    1. Cut, copy and paste is both a device dependent and app dependent feature. Android does not have an OS level cut,copy paste feature, but actually differs from brand to brand. This feature is different on a Samsung from a Motorola, and on apps that has this feature, its also different (The copy and paste feature on Mantano reader works differently and worse from the copy and paste feature on ezPDF for instance).

    2. Zooming in: depends entirely on your browser. In some, there are settings to control how much zoom you get on a single double tap, or when you pinch. This is an entirely app dependent feature. I personally use Boat Browser.

    3. Folders in app drawer. This is a launcher dependent feature. While for example, the stock interface on my phone does not allow this, I can download alternative interfaces called launchers from the Play Store that allows this. Launchers can change the interface of your phone. You can change the app drawer from a paginated iPhone-like interface to a long vertical scrolling list of entries or icons. You can change which icons you use on your homescreen, or whatever. Apex, Nova, Go and Holo launchers are well recommended.

    4. Slide to unlock before pinlock: Device dependent. Samsung's new lockscreen on the S3 for example, allows you to have the shortcuts, notifications, and a couple of widgets for music and weather over the pin lock. You have to slide the screen to access the lock before you get to the homescreen. Alternatively you can download a lockscreen app to show above your pin lock (Widgetlocker and Go Locker).

    5. You can download lockscreen apps that allow you to put notification widgets over the lockscreen. On other phones, the stock lockscreen already has notifications on it for messages, calls, etc.

    6. You can download an app that shows percentage on the notification bar (I use Big Battery Text). Newer phones like the S3 does this already by default.

    7. A stock notes app depends on the manufacturer. Samsung for example includes one on their phones.

    8. Regarding Chrome, on my device I don't have to disable the stock browser to have chrome as default. I am not sure I understand this?

    9. Bloatware: buy them straight out from sellers to not get bloatware. If you go through carriers, they will have bloatware. I buy my devices straight from Samsung.

    10. Push accounts: Each app has its own settings menu. Its there.

    11. Voice Memo: You mean a voice recorder? Other brands like Samsung has a stock app.

    12. Phone app: this again is dependent on app or manufacturer. For example, on a Samsung, you can start typing in the phone app and the contact which corresponds to the number or name you tap appears automatically. Or you can press the contacts button inside the phone app. You can get this for your phone by downloading alternative dialer apps like exDialer or TouchPal Contacts.

    13. On browsers, just tap on the phone's back button to go back. You don't need to use the onscreen back button. The phone itself has a back button. On Boat Browser you can disable the top bar when you scroll. But I kinda like it that it stays shown.

    14. To join the Yahoo and Gmail accounts under one app, you need to get an app that supports something like that, not use separate Yahoo and Gmail apps. For example, the stock Email app on my Samsung holds my Gmail, Ovi and Hotmail accounts. Apps from the appstore that can do this are K9 and MailDroyd.
    Crashdamage likes this.
  12. SiempreTuna

    SiempreTuna Well-Known Member

    Re the e-mail accounts: I don't know the phone you have, however on most droids, if you open the 'standard' e-mail app on your phone (not say, the gmail app), in the menu, probably under settings, you should find an option to add an account.

    From there you can add accounts from most e-mail providers.

    I have gmail and hotmail running in mine. At the top of the list of e-mails there's a drop down that lets me select either account or a combined view.

    I'm pretty sure most droids have something similar.

    You'll no doubt have now found a new issue with Android: fragmentation. Basically, although I've had Android for 3 years, I can't tell you for sure how things work on your phone because every model is just different enough to be a pain.

    Don't get me started on headphone support .. or rather, lack of it :)
  13. Stuntman

    Stuntman Well-Known Member

    I will argue this point. As a long time iOS user, you no doubtedly are really familiar with how iOS does certain things. There are some subtle and not so subtle differences between the iOS UI and Android (more specifically, Motorola's customised version of Android). When switching to Android, there will be an adjustment period while you get familiar with Android. As a long time Android user myself, when I use an iOS device, I have similarly difficulty in doing certain things because of the difference. Some have cause me great frustration.

    This is the biggest adjustment I had when using iOS. It's just different for me.

    You can try different launchers that allow you to hide apps you don't want to see in the app list.

    I recommend Battery Widget Reborn. There are a number of battery widgets that will show you battery percentage.

    You can always download your own.

    This is interesting. I'm not familiar with your particular phone, but on mine, I can set Chrome as the default browser without disabling the stock one.

    Chalk this one up to another one of the differences between iOS and Android. Android apps usually manage their own notification settings. You can configure the notification settings individually on an app by app basis. It allows you to only choose which notifications you want and how you are notified individually.

    Plenty in the Play store.

    I am glad you are enjoying your phone.
  14. bluebayou

    bluebayou Well-Known Member

    to be honest, I've never much liked motorola's style of UI in ANY of their android devices, minus maybe the droid 2. They seriously need to cut back on their fraternizing with google's vanilla stock OS..sheesh. And my hubby works for Motorola too (haha.)

    Anywho, you should try the Samsung Galaxy Note! 'Tis rad. iPhone gets old fast, imo..Android (no matter how shoddily implemented its UI is) will always keep things interesting to some extent (could be frustrating instead as well). ALSO, love that it supports flash & lets you TORRENT freaking movies and games on the go for storage.
  15. Adauth

    Adauth Well-Known Member

    Love my razr.
    Loved it even more when I rooted it way back when....:)
    Root that bad boy and it will be a night and day difference.
    My current droid razr imo is the most reliable, durable, and overall best smartphone I have owned and Ive had my far share including the HTC Rezound and Galaxy Nexus.
    Root it and embrace the options, possibilities, and freedom.
  16. Ssith

    Ssith Well-Known Member

    i agree with the poster above me. but i'll also add that once you install JB on that razr, it'll be even better as well. it gets rid of a lot of the bloat, and it allows you to uninstall a fair amount that it doesn't get rid of.

    most of the complaints you mentioned can be solved using apps, as most in this thread have mentioned. they may not be stock, but they're available.

    but rooting and taking real, full control of your device is just... awesome. you don't want that volume limiter they threw in there? good bye. you don't feel like smart actions is all that smart? see ya later. i'd recommend you just Titanium to freeze them, but you do what suits you. there are TONS of guides around.
  17. dan330

    dan330 Well-Known Member

    the OP stated he had an iph5 and bored
    but is comparing to his 4S to.... a Razor.

    thanks for the review.. and i look forward to reading more about your journey with android.
  18. BluBrett

    BluBrett Active Member

    Downloaded ex dialer, Go SMS Pro, and the Yahoo mail apps, which got rid of my biggest Motoblur complaints. Still hate copy & paste, seems to be the same as other android phones. Colornotes is a great notes app. Pretty happy with the phone so far!
  19. SiempreTuna

    SiempreTuna Well-Known Member

    I occassionally have issues persuading cut & paste to start working on e-mails and web pages, but when it works, it's fine.

    Also, it also seems to work in a very similar way to how I see my missus do it on her iP5. And seems to involve no less swearing :)
  20. Demache

    Demache Well-Known Member

    I won't lie, I liked Android's copy & paste a LOT more back when I had my Eris. The phone itself is horribly dated now, and isn't really practical to use for anything but simple applications (even web browsing is very slow). But damn, that trackball was pretty kickin' rad, especially for copy & paste. Using a touch screen seems a lot more clumsy.

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