Symbian to Android - 2 (new!) Questions


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  1. Thethinker

    Thethinker Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hi Folks,

    First up, I've done some digging on this forum and really hope the questions I'm going to pose have not been answered previously - I certainly couldn't find the answers via search if they have!

    I'm new here and come to you as a current Nokia user (N95 / N97 at present). I've used Symbian for years and grown really comfortable, but just recently two key things have happened. Firstly, the N97 let me down just once to often (certainly way too often for the financial outlay), and secondly, some colleagues showed me their Android powered handsets. The speed, seeming simplicity and sheer "it just works" factor have all but wowed me to the extent that I'm thinking of moving from Nokia to something Android powered (potentially the Desire).
    However, despite questioning my colleagues there are a few funadamental things I'd like to ask that are specific to the way I like to run my smartphones, so I thought I'd put them out here to see if people who are immersed in Android could provide some advice. I'm also sure that other Nokia users looking to make a move away may also benefit from the answers. Apologies in advance if the questions appear rather simplistic!

    1. Podcasting is a big deal to me - the native (to most handsets) Nokia podcast app is great. Is there an Android equivalent - i.e. one that can I can enter feeds into and which will allow automatic / manual OTA download & management via wifi or 3G?

    2. I'm with Vodafone in the UK and my monthly data usage is 500MB (and now supposedly doesn't have a "you can go over this now and then and you'll be ok" feature). I'm therefore quite old skool with regards to managing apps online connections - something Symbian lets me have full control over. Does Android allow me to view clearly my data usage over a period of time (between counter resets I suppose), and do data enabled apps "typically" allow scheduled connections (and drop connections after data has been collected - i.e. an email app that connects once an hour, downloads headers then disconnects)? I know, I know, I'm living in the 1990s on this one, but I genuinely see data charges being a real battle-field with the networks going forward, and not necessarily in a positive way for consumers.

    3. If you hold the Desire in the bottom left.... Just kidding!

    Thanks in advance for any assitance you can spare.

    Cheers,
    The Thinker
     

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  2. timh

    timh New Member

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    I came from an N95 too, and I've been on Android for about 6-7 months so..

    1) There are a few (free) podcast apps, the most popular is probably Google Listen. It's different to the Nokia one but works the way you want, i.e. it'll periodically check and download stuff in the background. The Nokia app (as far as I remember) was better in the sense that it let you subscribe to a new podcast and download all the old episodes easily, which is a frustrating omission from Listen. There are other podcast apps though.

    2) No. Basically when you install an app you give it permission to do what it wants, and it will continue to do that. (This is only a major pain in the ass when roaming, it's all or nothing and IMO Android does need some way to limit what can use data when.) However, with most apps that generate a lot of traffic (RSS readers, podcast clients, Spotify) you can tell them to only sync over WiFi so it'll just do that stuff when you're at home and not at other times. You can disable background data use for the built in google apps (mail, calendar) but they're pretty efficient with data transfer and by doing that you'd miss out on the biggest advantage Android has over Symbian.


    The overall feeling is that I have less control of my phone with Android than I did with Symbian, I have to trust it to do what's best - but generally it's fine. This mostly manifests itself in the management of running tasks; I much prefer the simple Symbian approach to the clever but occasionally flawed Google one.
     
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  3. grainysand

    grainysand Well-Known Member

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    The Desire lets you toggle mobile data on and off at will. Once turned off, no background data can be transmitted. The same thing is available on all HTC phones with Sense (Desire, Legend, Wildfire, Incredible) and all Android 2.2 phones. There're also some free apps on the market that also do the same, like APNDroid.

    NetCounter lets you see how much data you've used.

    Hop on the Android train. I think you'll enjoy it and be pleasantly surprised. Former Nokia user here, too, and I couldn't be happier.
     
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  4. Thethinker

    Thethinker Member This Topic's Starter

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    Appreciate your answers on this folks. I think for me it's the "letting go" of control if that's not way too dramatic - guess it's an old fashioned fear of picking a device up one evening mid month and finding it's blown my data limit. Unlikely I guess.

    I'll check out Google listen, so thanks for pointing me in that direction in particular.
     
  5. JsT

    JsT Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted to drop a note to say I've recently moved to Android too, swapping my Nokia N97 to a HTC Desire. The best phone move I've ever made, the amount of things that Android can do that Symbian can't is one long list!
     
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  6. PhoenixFx

    PhoenixFx Well-Known Member

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    I'm also about to jump ship from Symbian to Android. I too had a very limited data plan like the OP, so I have a similar experience; but luckily with the android device I'll be getting a 2Gig plan :) .
    Just out of curiosity, can you name few useful things an Android can do but Symbian cant ?
     
  7. mrqs

    mrqs Well-Known Member

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    seconded - i'm quite skeptical about that claim
     
  8. Thethinker

    Thethinker Member This Topic's Starter

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    That's exactly the move I'm looking to make, so thanks for your comment. I too have to say though that I'm not sure what Android can do that Symbian can't, although I fully understand that for many people (myself included) the N97 hardware experience has, perhaps unfairly, tainted the Symbian OS experience.

    So, if it looks like the Desire can achieve my main use cases for a phone, then now it's time to find the cheapest sim-free deal I can!

    Thanks again.
     
  9. rchacin

    rchacin Member

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    I left my Nokia E series (61i, 63), which I've come to be comfortable in the past 4 years. My advice is if you like plug n' play, E series is cool. If you like tweaking and a lot of alternatives, then Android is the place to go. It's been a month for me since I switched, and altough I wasn't at ease the first two days (I was indeed very excited), now I'm at ease and still very excited!
     
  10. JsT

    JsT Well-Known Member

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    The ability to actually multitask for a start. With my N97 I find programs just closed themselves all the time for no reason, in Android I've found no such problems so far.

    The amount of support in terms of apps too, the Ovi Store is frankly an embarressment to Nokia with very few useful apps and a lack of decent business apps and games. The Android Market is full of useful applications and time wasting games.

    The ability to have 7 multiscreens on a HTC Desire, to be able to truly organise the applications and widgets you want, not just the 1 homescreen on the N97.

    Maybe I should have put the number of things that Android can do SIGNIFICANTLY BETTER than Symbian.
     
  11. JsT

    JsT Well-Known Member

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    Without a shadow of a doubt. The N97 was a hardware disaster. But sadly Symbian itself looks out of date, its slow and clunky with limited ability to customise. No wonder Nokia are now looking to Maemo for the answers.
     
  12. mrqs

    mrqs Well-Known Member

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    that's a pretty ignorant statement, considering symbian actually has true multitasking, unlike android
    sure you can take nokia's fiasco-phone and find fault, but don't blame the os for that
    my samsung galaxy has a hard time keeping more than 2 apps backgrounded with the miserable amount of ram it has, but that doesn't stop me from liking android

    so in short: android's apps are more easily accessible and you can customize its looks
    i wouldn't consider those as "something android can do that symbian can't" in the context of your original post (also, it's not what i'd consider a long list)

    nokia looking to maemo? where have you been for the last couple of years?
    they're looking to meego for the high-end smartphones and symbian^3/4 for the low/mid-range
     
  13. JsT

    JsT Well-Known Member

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    I didn't really have the time to make a huge list, I've been a Nokia user since 2001 so I'm well aware of Symbians many failings.
     
  14. PhoenixFx

    PhoenixFx Well-Known Member

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    Symbian had multitasking capabilities for almost a decade now. Don't know why your programs closed automatically, but I haven't had that many issues running a couple of programs at once. You cant run many, but that is understandable given the amount of memory and other resource limitations in Symbian phones. But IMO that is more of an issue related to what hardware Nokia and other Symbian phone manufacturers decided to put in to their phones, than an actual limitation of the platform itself.

    Ovistore is a very recent attempt by nokia to provide Apple appstore like experience to symbian users, but there are HUGE number of applications out there that are NOT listed in ovistore. I hardly ever used Ovistore.

    sure,if you really need 7 home screens and 100 widgets.. ;)

    Yes, agreed.. Android is significantly better and faster at doing stuff compared to Symbian. But in terms of pure functionality IMO Symbian platform can do just about everything android can.
     

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