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Windows Mobile user, considering Android and Windows Phone

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by CSMR, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. CSMR

    CSMR Newbie
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    Im thinking about buying an Android phone (probably Samsung S3) and have some concerns about Android. (I am also considering Windows Phone 8, and while I like many things about it, I am disappointed by the slow progress in getting basic features, and in particular the lack of a user-accessible file system/store.)

    1. I am used to excellent Microsoft Exchange functionality from Windows Mobile (email, calendar, tasks, SMS sync, etc.). On Android this is provided by Touchdown. My only concern is that Touchdown is not native, so the native contacts (for example) will be different from the exchange/touchdown contacts. Are these properly synced? I want to treat my exchange contacts as primary, and I don't want Android to interfere with them, except correctly when I update information.

    2. I don't mind having a google account but I don't want to use any google services (gmail, google+, google voice, etc.). Will Android try to force me to use any of these, for example by automatically syncing to a gmail account?

    3. How good is the Onenote app compared to Onenote for WP8?

    4. Other people's android phones have extremely busy interfaces and huge collections of icons etc. and not much order. I want my phone to be streamlined, with only important information on the home page (exchange emails, calendar, tasks). Is that possible?

    5. Is android logical to use? Is there a consistent way to do simple things in the OS and in apps (back, forwards, select, menu, close, and so on), or is it a free-for-all?

    Thanks for reading my long list of questions and thanks for any input!
     

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  2. pool_shark

    pool_shark Android Expert
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    1. I can't answer because I don't use exchange.

    2. You have to have a google account to access the app store, but you do not have to use google plus, gmail, or google voice. In fact those 3 apps are available for download from the play store, so it's your choice.

    3. I never used either.

    4. It's up to you as to what widgets or icons you have on your homescreens, plus you can use 3rd party launchers for even more customization. I use nova launcher and I can launch over 50 apps without going into my app drawer, and I only have one widget and 5 icons (in the dock) on my screen at any given time.

    5. This is device dependent, but typical buttons are home, menu, and back.
    The apps all have menus, the options in the menus are up to the developers of the apps. Some apps have an exit, some don't, back will usually get you out, home will get you out, but the app may still be running or at least still in memory, just like windows mobile but on Android you can actually see it.

    I had WM mobile (Samsung Omnia) before switching to Android. There was a period of time needed for the adjustment, but overall for me, compared to WM Android is better.
     
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  3. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    1.If you are talking about sync'ing with an Exchange server, then Android will do that. You will need touchdown if you are trying to sync an Outlook desktop client. There will be some tweaking but once it works, its pretty smooth.

    2. You don't have to use your Google services, but frankly you will be doing yourself a big disservice if you don't give them a chance. I understand the desire to consolidate and stay with existing accounts, but things can be linked and migrated fairly effortlessly.

    3. Sorry, can't answer that other than to think that the native Windows app will have more to offer as a rule.

    4. Not only possible, but advisable. You can customize the phone pretty much ANY way you want. As much or as little, with very few restrictions.

    5. Android is consistent, although I don't know if I'd say "logical". Once you have the basic concept, it becomes second nature throughout the entire interface ... until they change it. :rolleyes:
     
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  4. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor
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    1. Exchange is native. You don't need a third party app. As previously mentioned, its just for Outlook.

    2. It won't force you as you can disable the sync, but they are turned on by default. Also I will also repeat lunatic's advice to give it a shot. They provide good service.

    3. It's practically the same. Both are severely lacking compared to the PC version.

    4. Yes it can be streamlined. It's up to you to setup your own homescreen, much like its up to you how to setup your Windows Desktop. Funnily enough, Android is closer to Windows 7 in terms of UI compared to Windows Phone 7. Although of course this changed with Windows 8.

    5. Depends on your perspective. As you come from a different platform, everything will be different. A veteran iOS user for example may find Android illogical, and vice versa.
     
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  5. CSMR

    CSMR Newbie
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    Thanks all: that's very useful and reassuring info about how Android works in general. I think I will go for it!

    But if anyone has experience with Exchange and touchdown I'd be grateful.

    I know that android's native Exchange support is not good enough. Last I checked it does not sync subfolders (!!) or tasks, does not fully support meetings and SMS sync. Also when people reply to my emails from gmail, the formatting comes out wrong, so I don't trust google software for email.

    That is why Touchdown exists, to provide fully working exchange support. I just want to know that using Android with Touchdown with Exchange information (contacts, email, calendar, tasks) as primary is seamless.

    Re: google services, these are products that I have evaluated and while I use google search (> bing) and google maps (very good), I prefer exchange (outstanding), facebook (not my thing but everyone's there) and SIP (industry standard)/skype to google's offerings.
     
  6. CSMR

    CSMR Newbie
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    Set up my Samsung S3 phone and am very happy with android so far.

    Customizing the settings and home screen was easy. Needed a google account but can use any email address for this, not just gmail.

    Touchdown works very well and feels like having Exchange contacts, emails, tasks, calendar as native. Easy to customize home screen with widgets for all these things.

    Knowing what permissions each app you are thinking of installing needs is a nice touch.

    File system could do with a tidy up in what is exposed to the user but great that it is there unlike iOS and WP.

    Overall a great OS for power users and the true successor to the old Windows Mobile. So thanks for talking me into it!
     
  7. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    That's great news. When you're ready to root, just let us know. ;)
     
  8. drexappeal

    drexappeal Extreme Android User
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    Wish I would've found your thread earlier. I was a die-hard Windows Mobile user, but when I made the jump to the HTC Evo 3 years ago, I haven't looked back and never regretted the choice. The only concern I had before was sacrificing a physical qwerty keyboard (Had the HTC Mogul PPC on Sprint).

    I think Steve Ballmer describes exactly what I felt about Windows Mobile, once I left:
    Ballmer sees Microsoft's 'almost no share' in mobile as an opportunity, regrets mistakes | The Verge

    This was after the Nokia deal was announced. The most poignant statement in the article is this one:

    Funny thing is, I knew Microsoft didn't care about mobile. They just released software and whatever it was, regardless of bugs, that's what it was going to be. While, it was a lot of fun initially with a boatload of ways to "customize" the phones, it was just such a hassle to find all of the information. In the 3-4 years I spent on Windows Mobile learning certain customizations, which took up much of my time, I was able to do on Android in a matter of 1 day without even needing to root my phone for administrator access.

    Looking in retrospect, there are certain elements of Windows Mobile that I still think are better than Android or iOS. And had they paid more attention to Windows Mobile earlier on in their development, I still feel like it could've taken on Apple without any issues (and I might still have a Windows Mobile phone, to this day...and I'm not talking about Windows Phone, which I personally feel is awful, in comparison, to Android)

    Here are some of the elements I still miss from Windows Mobile:

    - Voice search and calling
    I don't know what/how Microsoft did it, but Windows Mobile still by far had the best voice search and calling that I've ever experienced. When I would use A2DP to make a call, it would actually give me choices, rather than just start dialing automatically. And it would search for choices in my contacts. That helps tremendously, when you have people with similar sounding names or difficult names to recognize. Same goes for activating navigation. To this day, I still have yet to get Android's voice calling to work properly, using A2DP Bluetooth. I save myself more time pulling over, going to my contacts, finding a contact and starting the call, prior to getting on the road.
    Improvement of the voice calling/voice search on Android using A2DP would be a huge plus, if they could incorporate whatever it is that Microsoft did with their voice calling/voice search features on the Mogul and Touch Pro. And I'm positive it was a Microsoft thing, not HTC. Best part about it was, it didn't require data/network connection.

    - Automatic Root
    One of the oddest things trying to figure out was the concept of "rooting." Although, to this day, I still haven't had the time or patience to make sure I'm going through the process properly to root my phones. The fact that Windows Mobile had built in administrator access, so one could change the bootup sound, bootup screen, internal ringtones, etc...That was awesome. Granted, Android gave the capability of using mp3's/sound files as ringtones and alerts (unlike iOS), but eliminating ringtones I would never use by just going into the administration file...that just made things so much less complicated.
    And the best part was that, one didn't really have to search around to figure out how to get the phone back to completely stock, which would also include loading up all the built in ringtones and stock visual settings. The stock ROM was easy to find on every forum I participated in. With Android, because it has gotten so big and the OEM's have different elements that they change, that's one of the big reasons I haven't rooted to customize further. It's just been a mish-mosh of what is "right" and what "isn't right," that I just never bothered with it, even though I'd probably love Android that much more.

    Other than that, I'm a bigger fan of Android now, than I ever was with Windows Mobile, which is saying a lot because I spent a lot of time learning about the ins and outs of windows mobile.
     
  9. drexappeal

    drexappeal Extreme Android User
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    I'm ready to root, and it's been 3 years on Android for me!...LOL. Even during my brief stint as a Guide, while I had more time, I still hadn't rooted because I never had the time/patience to make sure that I knew everything I needed to know.

    Most important elements for me, that nobody actually gave me a straight answer for, were the ability to 1) Use the best step-by-step tutorial to establish Root, and 2) Have a step-by-step to get back to a completely stock ROM, regardless of customizations I had done.

    Answers I get are always, "Use Titanium Backup" or "It's so easy...just do it and forget it." But I don't like working like that. I hate making customizations without knowing exactly how to reverse what I had done, in the event something goes wrong.

    So, if someone would convince me how to create a backup that would revert me to a non-rooted/stock phone, after I've made all my customizations...and also give me a step-by-step guide (or one that is practically a "guide for rooting dummies"), then I'm all ears and eyes...LOL
     
  10. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum
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    It took me 6 months to root my Nexus One back in the day. And that was apparently one of the easier phones to root. Here's the plan I use and it's never failed me.

    Find, download and archive the stock firmware for your device. Depending on the device and model, it could be a simple click or you could need Lewis and Clark and an Indian guide to find it. Then you'll need the tools to flash it. For Samsung phones you go to SamMobile | Everything for your Samsung Mobile and get your firmware and download Odin. That's all you'll need for a recovery.

    If anything short of a complete and utter brick should happen during anything you are doing to the device, you simply put the thing into download mode, fire up odin and flash the stock firmware. You are back to a stock, unrooted, fresh out of the box state.

    To root really depends on the device, but if all you want is root, it should be fairly straight forward. If you want to let me know which one you want to start with we can get on the same page in the appropriate forum.
     
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  11. drexappeal

    drexappeal Extreme Android User
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    Thanks, lunatic. Admittedly, in the year I served as Guide on here, it was a little embarrassing never having rooted my phone...LOL, but I think it's time to bite the bullet and get into further taking advantage of Android. I'll give you a shout, as soon as I get the Note 3 and I have time to go through info and whatnot. Appreciate it much.
     
  12. dan330

    dan330 Extreme Android User
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    Note 3 is new.. the root process may not be out. (i have not looked into it).
    and first process released.. is always a little more complicated.
    then someone will release a 1-step root program after a little while.
     
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  13. PaulS

    PaulS Android Enthusiast
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    I'll give you my story so far and hope it helps.

    I have the old Galaxy Ace S5830i and this is my 1st Smartphone which I've only had a couple of months.I'm not new to modding though as I've been building my own PCs since Win95 and flashed loads of hardware over the years so I couldn't leave well alone.
    I used CWM(ClockWork Mod) to root the phone.No problems there.Then decided to unroot just to test but had backed up the phone using the option in CWM and also Galaxy Tool Box to back up the IMEI number and wrote it down(Important).Unrooting left the phone unable to connect to a Network.I started to research the problem but got bored so just re-rooted it using CWM and re-installed the back up,and all's well.If I had really wanted to go back I would have used,"Kies" which i have installed on this Notebook(Lenovo) and re-installed an official rom/firmware either Froyo or Gingerbread(Which is what I'm on now but rooted).

    OK.Here's was my procedure and all free stuff but you MUST get the correct files for,"YOUR" phone.

    Full-ish battery charge.

    Backed up Contacts/calendar and phone numbers using Mobile Backup II app(Not used Titanium so cannot help there)

    Backed up SD card on laptop as well.

    Copied update(Rooting zip) to SD and also CWM.

    Rebooted to Recovery mode and loaded the update.zip

    Rebooted to full phone on and found the,"Super User" option which means the phone was correctly rooted.

    Re-booted and used CWM to back up the Phone system.
    Re-booted to full phone and used the Galaxy tool box to back up the IMEI number.

    I hope it's not against forum policy to post a link to another forum but this is where I took quite a bit of info from,

    Root,Unroot,CWM,and how to Flash Galaxy Ace S5830i - xda-developers

    and I think this one is for your phone,
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2235366

    I was going to install a,"Custom Rom/Firmware" but am really happy with just the rooted phone and Gingerbread for now.

    HTH :)
     
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  14. Slug

    Slug Check six!
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    Can you take root discussions to the appropriate device sub-forums, please? They're off-topic to the OP's original questions and just confuse anyone jumping in late to the thread. :)

    Thanks!
     
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