From BB to Android: Some Concerns


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  1. BoogieNYC

    BoogieNYC Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Okay, I've made the decision to a) dump my Blackberry; b) get a Droid X; c) not worry about the fact that all kinds of goodies are coming forth on VZW between now and January.

    Some concerns I have leaving Blackberry and getting an Android-OS handset:

    1) will my google-hosted email/domain work as seamlessly with the Droid as far as mail delivery as the BBerry? I'm told it will.

    2) will my contacts (included in both Outlook and the Google Apps side) sync as fluidly as they do on the BBerry? I'm told they will.

    3) will my calendar (included in both Outlook and the Google Apps side) sync as fluidly as it does on the BBerry? I'm told it will.

    4) Will I find a good, solid application that will allow me to create/edit/handle tasks on the Android, sync with Google Tasks and then subsequently sync the tasks (two-way) with my desktop Outlook (both home and PC)? I have no real idea, but I have faith ;-)

    5) Will I dig using a real handset as opposed to a limited, quasi-archaic device that needed an infusion of new-ness two years ago? Yes, I will :)

    To answer my own questions to my best ability (please feel free to chime in), 1) my understanding is that a Google-hosted domain works the same as a gmail address so when I get the phone, the google-hosted email address will be my default email. The 2) contacts and 3) calendar will sync equally well as will my email, although Verizon couldn't confirm this. They told me to contact HTC's help line, but I have a feeling that I either contact Google or give the Droid X a 30-day test run. And I'm guessing it will be more than capable, and won't require an app to do all this like the Blackberry does.

    4) Tasks don't sync wirelessly on the Blackberry side. In fact I've sort of given up on using my to-do list and just use my calendar to sort of keep track of my to-do list. The problem is I'm sort of not keeping as tight a handle on my to-do items as I sort of need to. And that's four sort of's too many. I may check out Remember the Milk and see if that, coupled with a PC-sync utility, works for me. It'd be really nice to completely forget about having to sync with a wire and not have to pay the extra $15 to Blackberry or Verizon in order to do so. It's not the $180 a year, it's the fact that it's a pleasure to have everything backed up without having to remember to back it up.

    5) I'm seriously looking forward to getting a Droid X. Some issues -- like battery life, overall device size, getting used to the OS (learning where stuff is, etc.) and most importantly, figuring out wtf "rooting" is and how it's accomplished, and keeping up with everyone -- 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 3.0 (WTF) -- is giving me a half-chubby ;-)

    Thanks thus far and in advance for getting me so stoked for the upgrade :D
     

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  2. Technocrat

    Technocrat Member

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    As someone that just went through this a few weeks ago (only difference is an Evo) I will try to answer this.

    Without knowing how you are currently setup I can't exactly answer your questions, for example are you using BES, BIS, Exchange, etc? I will give you the general answers.

    1-3) An overwhelming YES! In fact it works so well and so seamlessly its stunning. There will be a few things you will notice that don't work quite the same or as well, such as mail formatting, but overall you will get over it pretty fast. Your response to this question in your post is pretty spot on.

    4) Here is the one area where I miss the BB. Tasks and notes. There are a few apps to do these tasks. But syncing them back is seriously lacking and I find pretty frustrating. I found springpad to be a wonderful app for keeping track of notes and syncing them back to their website. But I would love to have the ability to sync them back to Exchange instead. I am sure it will come in time but for now it's one limitation that's frustrating for BB converts.

    5) Without a doubt!

    Here are one more things I miss from my BB. Sound profiles. Everything in BB could have it's own profile for sounds. How loud, how long, what sound, etc. I miss this feature alot. You can kind of do this with android but no where as robust as BB.

    I have had a BB for years. I have gone from model to model every year or so. In fact I just had the new Sprint Bold right before my conversion. At first I wasn't sure if I would like the change. I use BB for work ALOT and was totally in love with the tools it gave me. So not having those tools would affect my abilities. After the first two days I knew there was no way I was going back. It did everything I needed and more.

    Everyone's experiences are different, but I think you will be so blown away you will never look back.
     
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  3. BoogieNYC

    BoogieNYC Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Tech, I am running on BIS -- but because I have Google Apps synced on both the desktop (to Outlook from Google Apps) and the Sync App on the BBerry side, I've already been wirelessly syncing Calendar and Contacts. And of course my email comes in without incident.

    However, since the Droid X is a native Google product, I think (or hoping) it will be just as seamless as the BB with the Sync stuff now. The Notes and Tasks aren't syncing at all, which is of course an issue, but I figure once I hit Android City I'll be able to find apps that will either let me sync the stock Android apps to Outlook one way or the other. Not as simple as it should be -- ie simple and automatic -- but as long as it works, I'm okay.

    The Droid X, btw, I believe has the sound profiles you're looking for. I know it has very good data-handling/battery-saving profiles and I think there's an app you can get that will let you change your settings on the fly. It's called Sound Manager Sound Manager - Android app on AppBrain and it's a freebie. The other one I saw was Setting Profiles Lite - Android app on AppBrain -- not sure if either of these will accomplish what you want, but -- and this is something I really like about the Android OS -- there's got to be an app out there that will come close to if not completely accomplish what you need.

    It's sort of like the Palm OS was years ago, before the era of Smartphones. I really liked getting and tinkering with new Pilot/Palm apps and the Android community has that same feel/flavor.

    So far I'm really jazzed about making the move, or as much as I can be without actually having made the move yet ;-)

    Thanks for the feedback ;-)
     
  4. Technocrat

    Technocrat Member

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    Really you shouldn't have much of an issue and if you do, you know where to come for answers. But you should find it to be really painless.

    If you happen to find an app that does sync notes and tasks please let me know. But I have searched high and low and have yet to find one that does. Like I said you will find great apps to do those functions but no syncing. :(

    I have tried all those sounds apps. Though they improve that ability they are not as robust as they are on the BB. Though not a deal breaker, its simply something I miss. I am sure that will change over time, I am not worried about it.

    I spent the first 8 hours with my phone literally installing and playing with new apps. It's just like the Palm days, though on crack. It shames the BB app store. You will find it to be a fun and rewarding experience I am sure.

    Enjoy your Droid!
     
  5. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

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    That has actually been the biggest thing I miss. It's nice to have centralized management of all alerts: audio, vibrate and LED. There are some profiles apps for Android but they just aren't quite the same. Though, to be fair, the Android profiles app tend allow you to change other behaviors such as WiFi, Bluetooth, Display, etc.

    Ah, I was wondering why you said tasks didn't sync wirelessly -- they do with BES. :D

    I've only casually glanced at threads involving anything with Outlook sync but it doesn't look promising. There are definitely solutions out there.

    I definitely agree with that statement. It's one reason I'm not switching back to the BB. However, when it comes to profiles, the apps I've tried come close but not quite close enough (IMO). Of course, this could change in the future.
     
  6. Technocrat

    Technocrat Member

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    One thing to bare in mind with these type of discussions is how young Android really is. It's still an infant. So I am sure all these things will improve over time.
     
  7. BoogieNYC

    BoogieNYC Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks for the feedback...

    Tech, despite not having tried it, Remember The Milk supposedly replaces the Tasks/To-Do list and can sync -- again, in theory -- with the SprinxCRM OutlookSync for Remember The Milk. Whether or not it works -- or is safe -- is another issue completely. I'm a bit leery about installing unknown 'ware on my PC -- especially given I'm running Win 7/64 -- but once I get settled in with the X I may try it.

    And I definitely see the resemblance between the Android evolution and what happened when the first Pilot became the USR Pilot, then the PalmPilot and then Palm. The first few years of grass-roots software manifested into something awesome, although Palm really squandered its place in the then-untapped smartphone market.

    I'll get around to checking out the sound profiles; can't speak to exactly which of these features the Droid X will support, but like you indicated, being that the Android OS is so young, this will be something that will evolve down the road. Like Takeshi mentioned, Android is very good about letting you set profiles for wifi, data, bluetooth, etc., so I'm guessing this functionality will come either via an installed app or via an OS tweak. I've watched my BB battery die a slow, gruesome death while it powers the phone's Facebook updates; so it will be nice having some centralized control over what and when and how the phone updates itself. And frankly, I typically only go with either standard "ring all the time" or "vibrate all the time." The only time my phone is completely silent is during movies in theaters and funerals -- and I'm happy to say I rarely attend either ;-)

    Either way, I appreciate the feedback and I'm looking forward to being a card-carrying member of the Droid community. July 15 can't come fast enough for sure ;-)

    Thanks again :)
     
  8. Benjie

    Benjie Well-Known Member

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    Let me throw something in here. I came from a Touch Pro 2. I use Exchange and it Exchanged just fine. I use Excel and it Excels just fine. I use Word and it Words just find. I use HanDBase and it HandBases just fine. From the Touch Pro 2 I go to the Evo. Goodness. I hate the screen keyboard. Absolutely hate it. The device though is fast. The Exchange setup went like a champ and has not missed a whatever. I purchased DataViz's Documents to Go to get my Word and Excel compatibility and thing is, DTG's spreadsheet applications has its very own issues.

    If you are looking for a business device, do a lot of looking. I did and went with the EVO knowing I would not like the screen keyboard (my really one and only complaint). I did not realize how much I would come to hate it.

    When the next bit keyboard Android comes out (Galaxy S I think it is), I may go to it to get away from the screen. Consider what you have, what you need and go from there. Would I repeat the jump to the Evo from the Touch Pro 2? No. The Evo really is not a business oriented device. The Evo is fast and that's about it.
     
  9. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

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    Try another one then (it is Android, after all). I can't stand the Droid's screen keyboard. That's why I use Swype.
     
  10. Technocrat

    Technocrat Member

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    I use Swype, but its not for everyone. My wife and co-workers prefer thickbuttons
     

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