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I am an iPhone 3GS user, what am I going to miss switching to Android/Why should I?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Sparke, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. Sparke

    Sparke Newbie
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    Before I had a phone, I had a first generation iPod Touch, jailbroken from day one. When I did get a phone, I got an iPhone 3G (so yeah, I'm on AT&T), also jailbroken. I then upgraded to the 3GS about a year ago. What I love about the iPhone is the wide variety of apps, and the jailbreak community. After having iOS devices for so long, however, I'm getting extremely irritated with Apple and especially iTunes. I like to have more freedom with my phone, and jailbreaking helps exponentially, it's still not great.

    What I'd like to know is, though, when I switch to Android, what kinds of things are missing from Android that the iPhone has, and what about Android should draw me to it? I know customization is a huge plus, but other than that what would it be?

    I plan on getting either the Motorola Atrix, or possibly the Samsung Galaxy S II (still waiting on more information).

    Thanks!
    -Sparke

    Edit: Also, does anyone know of any good run tracking apps? I'd hate to part with having that kind of tool, as I use it so much.
     

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  2. coos lick

    coos lick Android Enthusiast
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    Welcome to the forums!
    For Apps, get used to things being a lot more open. No more itunes thank god. You can check out what's available on Google market on any browser - just go and have a look to see if there are replacements for what you are used to.
    For community, here is pretty good! If you are of a more technical bent, then xda is the place to go. I would have a look before you pick the phone - must say I prefer HTC as this seems a lot more open and better supported regardless of the spec sheet.
     
  3. Sparke

    Sparke Newbie
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    Thanks for the response! With the galaxy S, though, I know the first series was rooted, don't you think the second series will be as well?
     
  4. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Android Expert
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    you see, its custom ROMs and kernels that are the big deal!
     
  5. Sparke

    Sparke Newbie
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    ...oh. I thought that's what rooting meant. What else has to be done to be able to have a custom ROM?
     
  6. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Android Expert
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    To have a custom ROM you need NAND (internal memory) access, and device kernel source code for some enterprising dev to create a custom recovery with (this is like an emergency OS, it allows you to format partitions and flash updates to /System - the latter needed for custom ROMs)
     
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  7. Sparke

    Sparke Newbie
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    Damn. Well what are the advantages to having a custom ROM?
     
  8. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Android Expert
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    Welcome Sparke...

    First off I have a DX, which of course is made by Motorola and has a locked down bootloader. That means the kernel cannot be replaced. Now this hasn't stopped the dev community from dropping plenty of different ROMs, I am currently back on GummyJAR because it seems to play nicer with my GoLauncher than Liberty does on my device for some strange reason. But Liberty is a great ROM, as is Apex, Darkslide, Rubix, etc.... but now that I've gotten a feel for what a truly custom ROM can deliver (on a device the devs have cracked the bootloader and can replace the kernel), I personally won't get another Android device that is this tightly locked down. Which rules out the Atrix (Motorola), but that's just me.

    The reason I don't personally like Samsung is because of their pitiful support. While we Motorola and HTC owners (well, most of us) are looking forward to gingerbread dropping for our devices, those poor folks who bought Galaxy S's are still waiting on froyo... and that's inexcusable! So that knocks both of your choices right off the list for me, lol. But like I said don't let me stop you. Get whatever floats your boat.

    As for music, there are several free apps that let you download free music right off the web. I'm talking any song you want, and as many as you want, absolutely free. I have MusicJunk (which seems to have been pulled off the market sadly), and GTunes (still there) which both do this. And there are many more. Oh and I love the GPS apps, I use 3 of them regularly, and while I don't run, I'm sure they have a GPS app that tracks running. They have them for everything else.

    I've heard good things about jailbroken iPhones, I just don't have experience with them personally, so I can't compare them directly. All I can do is tell you what Android has to offer.

    Cheers
     
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  9. ElasticNinja

    ElasticNinja Android Expert
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    my friends has been running 2.2.1 on his Galaxy S since XMas, and my Mums being running 2.2 on her €99 Galaxy 5 since the same
    Blame the carriers - not Samsung
    People dramatisise it due to the US SGS variants and SGS 2.1
     
  10. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Android Expert
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    Ok I'll try to explain this in laymen terms to help you understand this as many people are confused by this. I don't know Apple products at all, so I'm going to use Windows as an example (I hope you are somewhat familiar with Windows)...

    Ok so Windows is an OS platform, much like Android and Apple are OS platforms. Now within Windows you have Windows 95, Windows XP, Windows Vista and most recently Windows 7. Now think of those as ROMs. They all run off the Windows platform, but they all tweak it a little differently. This is the same with Apple and Android. With Android we've gone from icecream, to donut, to froyo, to gingerbread (coming soon) then honeycomb (on down the line). These are all ROMs that are based on the Android platform, but they all tweak it a little differently.

    Now with Android we have a strong dev community that creates their own 'custom' ROMs. They take and tweak the Android OS to their liking, usually increasing the speed and performance of the device, while also trying to conserve battery power. Don't ask me how in the hell they do it, but they do. There are some brilliant minds working in the Android dev (short for developers.... you may have known that, but it took me forever to figure out what that stood for, lol) community. They are attracted to the open source of Android, and have created an OS 100 times more exciting than anything else on the market!

    But once again, thats just me. ;)
     
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  11. gadzooks

    gadzooks Well-Known Member
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    If you were at peace with what it's not (dual-core processor, 4G, ...), I'd consider Nexus S as well. I chose it for its respectable resources, simply Android operating environment, and timely updates.

    I'm pretty sure I've seen apps for tracking running in the Market but can't remember what they were. There's an Android Applications subforum here that'd be another good place to ask.
     
  12. Sparke

    Sparke Newbie
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    I'm a little bit confused by this. You mean that even though your phone has a locked down kernal, it was hacked to the point of the kernal being opened up, or they found a way around unlocking the kernal to install the custom roms by finding other means of installing the roms?

    And even though Samsung has terrible support for updates, it won't matter if it gets hacked and you can install custom roms, right?

    Thanks for this. I understand what a rom IS, I just wanted to know what the benefits of having a custom one. If the phone gets rooted, can some of these things still be done? Or does the term rooting include getting nand access?
    I considered the Nexus S, but I'd be afraid to invest in a phone that's not dual core, because it seems like soon enough all of the high end phones would be dual core, and I wouldn't want to be behind.
     
  13. Hrethgir

    Hrethgir Android Expert
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    I switched from the iPhone 3Gs to a Motorola Droid X, and I haven't looked back. I also had my 3Gs jailbroken, and while it greatly imporoved it, it still couldn't do what my unrooted DX can do. I honestly can't think of what you will be missing except a couple hundred thousand fart apps, LOL! The game selection isn't quite as big for Android yet, but I still have lots of games I enjoy plauing installed, and am always finding more. I wish there were better pinball games though, the Wild West/The Deep/Jungle Style pinball games on iPhone are awesome!

    As for what might draw you to Android over iOS besides customization, I'm not really sure, as that was the biggest selling point for me. I have my phone set up to look just like I want, and it was easy to do, even without rooting. Another big plus for me was never having to use iTunes again, I really hate it. Heck, with Android, you never have to plug it into a computer, you can back up your apps on the cloud with Appbrain and your contacts to gMail. No more syncing with a computer all the time to make sure you don't loose stuff. And if you root and use something like Titanium Backup, you can back up EVERYTHING.

    As for run tracking apps, there are plenty. iMapMyRide, Edmondo and CardioTrainer should be good for you. I've only used iMapMyRide, but it tracks your whatever you are doing, and then you can upload it to the server and even share it on Facebook and Twitter right from the app if you want. Pretty sure that exact same app is available on the iPhone, too.
     
  14. Rootmepls

    Rootmepls Android Enthusiast
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    I can't tell you how many threads I see like this. I'm in the same boat. At&t, iPhone (Jailbroken), used my upgrade plan and got a Captivate (rooted and ROMed). Added a Kingston 32GB Micro SDHC Flash Card in the first week. Ordered it off of Newegg.

    Samsung does drop the ball on updates but now that I have a custom ROM I dont' think I would ever use a stock Samsung firmware update again. I would just end up flashing over it. I found it harder to find a good Jailbreak for my current iPhone firmware and baseband than my Android phone.

    App market replaced all my normally used apps from my iPhone plus some new gadgets to play around with.

    And honestly I've gotten into the Android community a lot more than I ever did with the iPhone/Apple community. Never fit into that over zealous Apple Fanboy scene. At one point the iPhone was my favorite smartphone but so was the Blackberry at one time. I just keep moving to the next phone I think will give me the most use.

    Also love being able to change a battery finally without special tools and voiding a warranty because I open it on my own.

    Enjoy the ride!
     
  15. 330D

    330D From My Cold Dead Hands
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    To put it simply, if you are a tinkerer, android is your bag. There is so much you can mess with and customize, even without rooting. I own an ipod touch, and like it for its simplicity, but with android you can do almost anything you want or need to in order to make it your own. Once you start with the customizing you will never stop. It is a lot of fun. The open source platform and dev community combination is a powerful mix, and in my opinion is the future for smartphones.

    If you decide on android, all I can say is have a blast, and hang on, because it will suck you in!
     
  16. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Android Expert
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    Yes the kernel is locked down tight. They used a military level security lock that proved impossible to pick by the best of the best. So the ROM's available for the DX have to use whatever kernel Motorola is using at the time. So the amount of customization is limited, but that hasn't stopped the devs from coming out with their own offerings such as Apex, Rubix, GummyJAR, Liberty, etc.... but they haven't been able to make a custom ROM for it using a truly custom kernel such as Cyanogenmod. And once I played with my buddies EVO running Cyanogenmod I knew my next device was going to have to have an unlockable bootloader, because that is one badass ROM!!! And while nobody has gotten ahold of an Atrix yet to confirm or deny the bootloader is just as tightly locked down, my money is on it having the same type of security as the D2 & DX. Since it hasn't been picked yet, why would they change it? But IF by some miracle it doesn't, then I would say jump all over it.

    You are correct. I was only giving my own personal opinion about that line. But seeing as Samsung devices aren't heavily locked down, you should be able to run a Cyanogenmod (or other AOSP) ROM, in which case who cares what updates it gets. So that would be a positive for getting that device.


    Actually you have to be rooted to flash a custom ROM. And the advantages are purely subjective. Many people get a device, never root or ROM it and are completely satisfied with it. Some root their device, try a few ROMs, and decide to flash back to stock. Then there are others (like me) who flash a custom ROM and can never go back to stock. Because for us our devices seem to work much smoother with a custom ROM installed. But this is just something you'll have to decide for yourself. I can't tell you that you'll definitely get more out of your device by rooting and ROMing, you just have to experiment and figure it out for yourself. But that's where all the fun is, in experimenting! :D
     
  17. 330D

    330D From My Cold Dead Hands
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    I have also read that Motorola is going to start to be more dev friendly, and stop with the locked bootloaders. I can't remember where I read it, so no link, but lets keep our fingers crossed, because lets face it, moto makes some sweet hardware, aside from the stupid lockdowns....
     
  18. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Android Expert
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    I think that's wishful thinking unfortunately. Hey man believe me, if the Atrix has an unlockable bootloader, not only will I be extremely jealous, but I will definately be recommending it to anyone interested. I just don't see Motorola changing their ways anytime soon.

    The rumor you speak of came after an inflammatory statement made by a Motorola agent in a Motorola chat room. Someone asked him if Motorola was going to unlock the bootloader to make changing ROMs more accessible. And he basically said, "if you want an unlocked bootloader, buy something other than a Motorola".

    This brought a whole bunch of criticism from all over the internet. Then a PR rep jumped on and said Motorola was looking into ways to help their devices become more friendly to the dev community. But I personally feel this was just damage control since they've been saying this ever since the D2/DX lockdown. I am more apt to believe the first rep was stating the true Motorola stance on the locked down bootloader.
     
  19. Dark Jedi

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    Maybe battery life but many people rooted said their battery life was much better than stock. I never noticed a difference between rooted and stock. Hop you enjoy your new android device and it doesn't disappoint.
     
  20. EarlyMon

    EarlyMon The PearlyMon
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  21. novox77

    novox77 Leeeroy Jennnkinnns!
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    I second MyTracks. I'm not a runner, but I do use it to chart unmarked trails for hiking. The app collects LOTS of statistics: min/max/average speeds, elevation gain, min/max elevation, moving time, total time, distance, Lat/Long coordinates, etc, and you can also export the data to Google MyMaps where you can share your trails with others. As you move, it draws your path on top of Google Maps.

    MyTracks is a Google "pet project" and it's free.
     
  22. Outlaw71

    Outlaw71 Android Expert
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    Yeah here's the reason I personally dig Android over Apple. I've always given credit where credit is due, and I feel Apple deserves a lot of credit for bringing out a phone that really changed the landscape of the cellphone industry. I've read that they didn't invent anything new when they released the iPhone. I'm not really interested in researching it to know if they did or not because even if that's a fact, it still doesn't negate the fact that whatever they did do, it was a HUGE hit, and really made a lot of people want it, which in turn made a lot of OEM's want to come out with something equally as impressive. And the race has been on ever since. So this has all played into our hands nicely.

    Now then, having given Apple their due credit, I have to say I prefer Google's philosophy much more so than Apple's. When Google comes out with something like 'Google Goggles', 'Google Nav', 'Google Talk', etc... they release it to the public for free. So when you get an Android device, you know a large percentage of the things you'll be using on it won't cost you anything. Apple on the contrary comes out with things like iTunes and what not, and they look to make money off of it by charging their customers for those things. Which of course is the way things usually work in the world of business. It's just that Google doesn't work the way most other businesses do.

    And I'm liking the way Google does business.
     

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