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  • So Long Windows Phone, Hello Android

    Posted on November 1st, 2013 Andy Parkes 1 comment

    Earlier in the month I wrote about my thoughts on the decision I’d be making for replacing my phone.

    You probably figured it out already from the title though…

    I’ve ended my long running association with Windows Phone and gone with the Samsung Galaxy S4.

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    As mentioned in the last post this was a tough choice. I genuinely do really like the direction Microsoft have taken Windows Phone, especially after the frustration that was Windows Mobile 6.5.

    Unfortunately, as with the Surface RT I mentioned recently the current state of the app store is hard to deal with. Too many apps either never arrive, are poorer versions of their iOS and Android equivalents or are just too late to the party. The Instagram app is due imminently for example when everyone else has had it for a long time.

    Instragram is a good example to use actually. Mrs P has been an iPhone user for some time and there are a ton of photos of my own children I’d never seen because they are day to day shots she takes and shares on Instagram. I miss plenty of things on Vine too as it’s meant to be used pretty much entirely through the app.

    I know those are two specific examples but on the gaming front WordsWithFriends and DrawSomething had come and gone as crazes go before the Windows Phone versions were available.

    I’ve only been using it for a week or so but I’ve already come across a couple apps that just aren’t available on Windows Phone that I’m becoming attached to. Live Scores Addicts is a particular favourite. And the Richard Tubb recommended DoggCatcher has fulfilled my podcasting needs and is used daily.

    So the phone itself.

    I was tempted to wait for the Nexus 5 but I ran out of time waiting for the official announcements as there were other people at work waiting on a phone upgrade.

    The Nexus 5 was annoyingly announced as I was writing this. It looks very nice indeed!

    As phones go it’s pretty big but it’s not so big that it doesn’t comfortably fit in the pocket and it sits nicely in the hand. The screen is really crisp and video and pictures look very sharp. I’ve not taken too many pictures but the results have been good enough for what I need it for. I’m still pretty taken back with how thin and light it is. The volume when using headphones is much better than on my last device and while it isn’t a huge thing I’ve noticed the difference when driving as some podcasts have entirely different volume levels to others and there were one or two I used to struggle to hear. From a performance perspective I’ve no complaints at all. It’s snappy and everything opens pretty much instantly. Although comparing the Galaxy S4 to my previous Omnia 7 on the hardware front isn’t strictly fair. The Omnia 7 was never meant to compete at that end of the market. (I think?). Battery life has been pretty good even while I’ve been hammering it while getting used to it.

    It also has some features I’ve not quite got to yet, such as eye tracking, multi window and air gesture which will be interesting to take a look at.

    The 4G speeds are obviously nice too…even if they are a little erratic depending on where I am. That’ll get better over time as the network matures (We’re with EE)

    Screenshot_2013-10-30-22-33-09

    Three of these were in our office in Coventry. One while I was visiting a client in Birmingham

    Android.

    This is my first real regular use of Android.

    I’m going to write a separate post about my experiences but initially it’s been pretty positive. If I had to choose one positive and one negative from my first impressions I’d go for the notification centre as the biggest win for me so far. It’s something that was severely lacking in Windows Phone and already I’m not sure what I’d do without it.

    On the flip side I miss the social integration Windows Phone has. Specifically the people hub and the me tile (is that two things?). It’s possible I’ll find apps that fill that gap for me in time though.

    I’ve also quickly discovered a whole world of customisation is available to me and I imagine it won’t be too long before I’m picking out one of the many available ROMs!

    Alongside the Nexus 5 announcement was the Android 4.4 KitKat release. Hopefully I won’t have to wait too long before it’s available for my phone.

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    Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. He is also Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013 and coordinates AMITPRO which is a peer group for IT Professionals in the Midlands area. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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    One Response to “So Long Windows Phone, Hello Android”

    1. Welcome to the world of Android! It’s been a couple of years since I road-tested all the different platforms (http://tubb.co/16RjXPX) and I’m still happy with Android on my Smartphone and iOS on my Tablet.

      I look forward to hearing your adventures into becoming an Android user!

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