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  1. MrIphone

    MrIphone Member This Topic's Starter

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    Hi everyone, I'm a current 3GS user (don't stop reading just yet!) and am seriously considering an android phone as I'm not that impressed with the latest iPhone.

    I've never used an android device, but I read enough tech forums to have seen hundreds of posts flaming the iPhone in favor of Android.

    Now, I'm not here to listen to how bad the iPhone is, I was well aware of it's shortcomings before I signed on the dotted line, and for the most part, have been happy with my phone (I jailbroke for 7 months which helped!).

    Anyways, here's where I need some advice:
    From what I understand, android phones arnt like current iPhones in that when the latest software comes out (2.2 "Froyo", I believe?) not all the current phones can run the new software?

    The main points of concern leaving the iPhone is the general responsiveness of the touchscreen / keyboard, music player (I've used iPods for years) and genenal speed and snappiness of the OS. I'm in the UK and will looking to buy the latest/best/ most powerful handset - I've looked at the HTC website but I've no idea which is considered their flagship device?!

    Have seen some videos with Sense UI running, which I think is some kind of skin? I really like the multiple home screens, widgets etc. Can I get the evo 4g at all in the UK?

    I appreciate your help, I don't have the time to really go and sit and play in a phone shop, so will be ordering online if i make the jump over!

    Is there an android "simulator" anywhere I can use on my Mac (yes, I have one of them too!) to experience?! And do they sync with iTunes?

    Thanks in advance.
     

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  2. Reines

    Reines Active Member

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    Unfortunately yes that is true. If you remember the old phone market from before Android/iPhone, it was very rare for phones to get updates. iPhone and Android changed this, but because Android runs on so many different devices some do get left behind (partially due to being old and not capable of running new versions, and partially for marketing reasons). Most newish phones should probably get 2.2, but it is a good idea to check before buying anything.


    The OS is nice and responsive/snappy. I've never had an iPhone so I can't compare directly, but I highly doubt you'd be disappointed. From what I've heard the music player isn't quite as good, but again I can't compare.

    Possibly the HTC Desire at the moment. The US seems to have been getting a lot of love recently but less so elsewhere.
    I have a HTC Desire and love it, but I am quite interested in some of the phones coming out (not necessarily to the UK :() at the moment, such as the Galaxy S, EVO and Droid X. I'm not sure how long it'll take, but I'm also really interested to see if anyone comes out with something to counter the new display in the iPhone 4. As much as I dislike Apple I will admit the new display does look amazing.

    Unfortunately not, it's CDMA only which means it wont work in Europe. :(
     
  3. MrIphone

    MrIphone Member This Topic's Starter

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    Thanks Reines.

    Can android oboes sync with iTunes? I use dynamic
    Playlists etc a fair bit so it would be great of they did.

    Also, does anyone know if if the whole "me.com" suite of services (contact sync, calendar sync, bookmarks etc) works with android too?
     
  4. cr0wnest

    cr0wnest Well-Known Member

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    1. Unfortuntely only a handful of android phones will be upgraded to 2.2. This doesnt necessarily mean older phones will not be able to run them. Someone may make custom ROMs for you to root the phone to run 2.2. Although it voids warranty and do expect instability.

    2. Yes, as an ex-3GS user, i have to agree the overall responsiveness/snapiness of the OS is better on the iphone. But this doesnt mean Android is bad, its still very usable. In fact sometimes i think its even better. If you'd like to know, the Desire is currently HTC's flagship product and it WILL be the first 3rd party phone getting Android 2.2

    3. Sense is HTC's UI application. IMO, this is what makes their phones more customisable and more user-friendly than other android phones out there. I dont own a HTC phone so i cant really say much about it, but ive used my parents' HTC Desire and i must say, Sense UI makes the Nexus One UI look half cooked.
     
  5. mrqs

    mrqs Well-Known Member

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    i'd hardly say iphones get updated any better - afaik the 2g isn't getting ios 4 at all and the 3g(s) are only getting a skimped out version with half the new features stripped off

    as for the music player; i'm not sure why (i've been happy with it), but many people have complained that it's really primitive
    luckily if you find that to be the case, there are plenty of free 3rd party music players in the market
     
  6. Mostly Harmless

    Mostly Harmless Well-Known Member Contributor

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    The music player is a tough one. There are a lot of options on the market to replace the stock music player (which isn't very good) such as bTunes and doubletwist (which I am using currently) but nothing is as good as the iPhone's music system (I found the genius playlist to be one of the greatest things around). I think the players out there for android will continue to get better so that's something to look forward too. Music is usually sync'ed like you are placing files on a usb drive, just plug your phone in and drag and drop, pretty simple.

    What android phones may lack in overall responsiveness/snapiness (which doesn't lack that much) more then makes up for it in customization. There are so many apps out there to customized the phone to your liking. From home replacements to SMS replacements, wallpapers, live wallpapers, widgets, etc....
     
  7. takeshi

    takeshi Well-Known Member

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    Correct. Different hardware and the possibility of a skin (Sense, MotoBlur, etc) means different builds of the OS are required for the devices. Not every device will be upgradeable to the latest OS release. Not all devices are upgradeable at the same time. A skin theoretically adds time to the time it takes for the OEM and carrier to release an update once the Android source is released to them.

    In the Apple world there's only one model for each generation since Apple makes the OS and the hardware.

    Definitely try out any device in person, as is usually recommended when shopping for a new device. The stock Droid (550MHz) can lag a little but running Froyo and overclocked (800MHz-1.2GHz) it's extremely smooth. I'd suspect that any of the current top models won't have problems in this area as many of them are equipped with Snapdragons running at around 1GHz. Granted, processor speed isn't all that determines responsiveness but a faster processor can make a significant difference.

    However, there are those that are apparently more sensitive to lag and frame rates than others. If you're one of those there's no telling if you'll be happy or not. That's why (in addition to being able to assess physical characteristics for yourself) trying out devices in person for yourself is important. I strongly suggest making the time or deferring your purchase for when you do have time.

    See the bottom of this reply.

    Pretty simple, really. Different people have different needs/wants. Ever notice how people don't all like the same foods/colors/books/music/movies/cars/etc/etc/etc? Same thing. I know it's a novel concept for many people who post on forum sites. ;)

    What really doesn't make sense though (IMO) is the number of Android users who apparently don't seem to realize that they don't have to use the stock apps.

    Better is always subjective. I'm personally very happy with 3. However, I don't have any need/want for Genius playlists as I don't find them all that useful. Again, it's highly subjective and nothing is one-size-fits-all.

    I wouldn't really consider drag and drop to be the same as syncing. There are plenty of sync solutions that work with iTunes and Android. Search for more suggestions but off the top of my head I can name Doubletwist, iTunes Agent and Sailing Media Sync. There are plenty more choices out there and each one has its pros and cons.

    There's really no "usual". With Android there is almost always a number of ways of doing anything and getting music on your device is no different. Since I only want a small subset of my iTunes library on my Droid I rely on a sync solution as manually copying and manually updating/refreshing would be extremely tedious. I use iTunes Agent but it doesn't support playlists (each device is associated with a playlist that determines what songs are synced to the device). If my SD card was large enough I'd probably just drag and drop everything.
     
  8. MrIphone

    MrIphone Member This Topic's Starter

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    Cool, thanks everyone, I think I'll get a desire on a new contract, that way I have a 14 day cooling off period if it's not for me. I find playing with something for 5 mins in a shop is enough to get a true feel for the device. So, assuming i gonandngrab one after work, what widgets/apps are out there that are *must haves*?!
     
  9. semperLux

    semperLux Well-Known Member

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    *frustrating* I've uninstalled DoubleTwist twice because it seems to take over my pc and has an ongoing chat session with my EVO, very strange. No setting that I've found changes this. I agree with Mostly Harmless though, I*anything* has a firm grasp of music management. While I don't think that music management on the EVO is bad, is still no where near as thought out as iTunes--but this will change, I'm sure. Aside from syncing, as far as music players go, I've actually grown fond of HTC's installed music player widget. It took a little getting used but once I did, I really liked it.
     
  10. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants Moderator

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    Double twist IMO stinks. Now snce your on a mac, I can't help you with syncing unless you have bootcamp windows. If so, read the link in my sig about sync'ing with winamp. Works awesome. Otherwise, another way I've seen that gets good reviews is iSyncr, available in market. No experience, so this is hearsay.

    Music player - download bTunes from market. It mimics the ipod touch interface, and it works quite good. Fastest I've actually seen honestly, and I wish the dev would make other skins. It even has a lockscreen widget that displays from the lockscreen too. You can also change the track simply by hitting the camera button, which is great for when your driving.

    Tapatalk. Samsung Moment. Yep.
     
  11. Chroma

    Chroma Well-Known Member

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    I'm a mac user with a music fetish and I use smart playlists also. Missing sync for Mac+Android works faaaar better than doubletwist. I use meridian as the music play on the phone and its a little bit better than ipods I must say
     
  12. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants Moderator

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    Btunes is faster(loading etc) than meridian. I rocked merdian for a loong time. Still have it installed. Now if this guy who made btunes would take the core of btunes with a zune-like ui... heaven for me.

    Tapatalk. Samsung Moment. Yep.
     
  13. Chroma

    Chroma Well-Known Member

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    I'll give Btunes a shot. But with 2.2 the entire phone is lightning fast and Meridian no longer has the load lag when starting or browsing music. Instant:D
     
  14. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants Moderator

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    Ah very nice. But I use btunes in my "converting" process to show the isheep how they can seamlessly transfer to an android. Side by side with an iphone, the ui is *almost* identacle.

    Tapatalk. Samsung Moment. Yep.
     
  15. mrqs

    mrqs Well-Known Member

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    duh

    what i meant by not knowing why, is that i usually don't see comments about why someone doesn't like the android stock music player - they just say it's bad, without mentioning any specifics on what they find is bad in it and what they'd like instead

    a few i like:
    calwidget - a very customizable widget for the google calendar
    swiftp - simple ftp server for the phone, so you can access your files via wifi or through the internet from any computer
    mysettings - an app to quickly access common settings like wifi on/off, screen brightness etc
    remote vnc - to remote control your computer from anywhere
    tigergba - a gameboy advanced emulator to play pokemon on :)
     
  16. MrIphone

    MrIphone Member This Topic's Starter

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    Wow, thanks everyone for your input. Am going to forgo my lunchtime swim today and head to a phone shop to take a gander at the desire and a samsung galaxy S, although the sense UI I've seen in alot of YouTube videos seems like a pretty big plus point for me, so am
    Already swaying towards the desire. I'm sure I can properly get a custom rom etc from somewhere but insane to test "out of the box" functionality.

    Will report back with my thoughts for those that may care why I think!!

    Thanks again everyone.
     
  17. mrqs

    mrqs Well-Known Member

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    altho' the super amoled screen is pretty tantalizing, as a galaxy (non-S) owner i'd advice against going with samsung - they're dreadful with customer support
     
  18. MrIphone

    MrIphone Member This Topic's Starter

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    Honestly, all this "screen technology" stuff doesn't interest me, hense why I'm even considering android in the first place, the new iPhone doesn't really offer me anything. Camera - I almost NEVER use, gyroscope? So what! Amazing new screen, yes it looks great in real life, but I've never once looked at my iPhone and been dissapoibted by the clarity or resolution or whatever. As long as it's perfectly responsive, and visible in the daytime, I'm not that fussed. It seems this new screen and FaceTime are the two new features of the iPhone, and neither seethed much of a big deal to me!
     
  19. mrqs

    mrqs Well-Known Member

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    samsung's super amoled apparently addresses the rather dismal daytime performance of regular amoled displays (such as in the htc desire... and pretty much every other mid-high end android phone)
     
  20. MrIphone

    MrIphone Member This Topic's Starter

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    Ann thanks mrgs, that could prove to be a key factor in the imminent lunchtime test!
     
  21. MrIphone

    MrIphone Member This Topic's Starter

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    Well, it didn't take long at all to see what this android lark is about - that is ONE HE'LL of a phone!! Very responsive, fast OS, loved all the widgets, homescreens etc, browser seems pretty good too. I have order one on contract with a 14 day cooling off period. I'll use it solely for 10 days no matter what and then make my decision!

    Very very impressive.
     
  22. fangorious

    fangorious Guest

    My two main complaints are the lack of shuffle-by-album (and I've tried multiple other players: meridian, rockon, ^3, doubletwist, MixZing) and very poor support for multi-artist albums like soundtracks and compilations*. I see bTunes is a paid app, can someone comment on how it handles these two issues? The stock app is getting better with multi-artist albums in that it will classify all songs in a common folder as being a single album, so that helps as long as whatever you sync with organizes them in that fashion. But it should use the tags, that's what they're there for.

    The music/photo syncing has also been a thorn in my side. I will look at Missing Sync more closely but it appears to be way more than what I want/need and costs $40. I really didn't like the desktop DoubleTwist app. It wants to replace iTunes and without being able to fully articulate without installing it again I was annoyed with the photo syncing. I've been almost happy with Salling Media Sync. It has the right idea. It gives me a list of all my iTunes playlists (smart and static) and iPhoto albums/events. I put a checkmark on the ones I want to sync and click sync.

    The problems are it seems to duplicate the .m3u files on the phone, and most egregiously it downgrades the tags to 1.x removing a good deal of information like, you guessed it, Album Artist. This seems to be the biggest complaint on the Salling forum. Any song file with Album Artist will have the Artist tag overwritten with the Album Artist track (in many cases "Various Artists"). It also has it's own organizational logic so compilations where every track has a guest performer will be split up into multiple folders. Which then breaks the stock players behavior of grouping all files in a folder as being an album. The Album Artist track is there to clarify where they go. The original files are organized in a common folder.

    What I really want for music syncing is a dumb version of Salling. I pick my playlists, it copies the files with the same folder structure relative to the root of the library. Why has nobody written that? If they have and I'm missing it, you will receive great karma by telling me about it. :) People complain about having to use iTunes ... but it's these little bits of polish that it takes care of for you that make me not care about anything else.

    Honestly, those two complaints about the stock music player and the syncing situation are my major complaints about the entire Android experience.

    *
    Issue 5938 - android - Better support for Album Artist vs. Artist tag data in music player - Project Hosting on Google Code
    Issue 3679 - android - RFE: support for Composer field - Project Hosting on Google Code
    Issue 2397 - android - Music player "Artist" classification should use "Album Artist" tag - Project Hosting on Google Code
     
  23. IOWA

    IOWA Mr. Logic Pants Moderator

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    As long as you have the album tagged, btunes will shuffle inside an album just fine, regardless of artist. If you had windows winamp would solve all your syncing woes, link in my sig.

    Tapatalk. Samsung Moment. Yep.
     
  24. fangorious

    fangorious Guest

    In terms of touchscreen multitouch performance, the Galaxy S wipse the floor with the Desire. This the single reason I haven't purchased a Nexus 1 (it's the Google branded version of the Desirs, same hardware). Admittedly, everyone I know with a Nexus One has claimed they don't notice any problems in practical use. But I think they're also not really playing any games, and at the price tag for a Nexus 1 ($530 full retail, I hate contracts) I just can't overlook it.

    YouTube - Samsung Galaxy S - Multi-touch.mov

    I really didn't like the TouchWiz interface on the Samsung Behold II so I'll have to get my hands on my carrier's variant of the Galaxy S to see how the new version of it is.
     
  25. mrqs

    mrqs Well-Known Member

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    oh right, i forgot one complaint i have with android's handling of music, tho' it appears to be system wide, not related to the player (?)
    special characters - i haven't got any to work properly at any point
     

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