Becoming an Android convert

I'm totally sold

A month ago to the day, I walked into the O2 store in Brighton’s Churchill Square with the intention of getting rid of a piece of technology that I’d begun to despise. My 2-year contract had ended and I was due for an upgrade, and to my mind, being given a release from the iPhone 4 that had become both a part of daily life and a bane. Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S3 was waiting for me.

I bought the iPhone 4 in its first week of release; I was giddy at the thought of finally relinquishing my old Nokia N85, which while serving me well, had made me envious of all the fancy iPhone users with their touch-screens and high quality games. Now don’t get me wrong, my N85 had been a good phone to start with but over time it had fallen apart and slowed down. I so wanted to see how touch-screens had come along since my old, old, old, old phone, the monstrous beast that was the Motorola A915.

Welcome to the modern era

So I queued in the Apple store for an eternity and signed my life over to the devil for my brilliant new phone. The joke was on Apple because I don’t have a life. It had a huge Retina screen, lovely well-designed icons, a ridiculously well-equipped app store and it just worked. I was finally able to rub my brand-new iPhone in the faces of those who had snubbed my crappy old Nokia. It was like getting a girlfriend who was far kinkier than the old one and she didn’t even care if you told your mates what you got up to. Fuck it, the iPhone 4 danced so dirty your mates could tell just by looking at your pocket.

And so it was for a year or so –my iPhone and I got on well and she completed me. My better, electronic half. But then the inevitable pressures of life together took their toll and she started acting up. We’re not just talking time-of-the-month duty (yep, the metaphor’s wearing thin right about now), we’re talking a stressy nag of a phone that doesn’t even look fit to you anymore because it’s always aggro. It started when she didn’t wake me up for work and then despite pressing the right buttons, she stopped responding like she used to. Then she’d reboot without cause, or lose signal if I didn’t hold her properly.  We were drifting apart, and all the while I could see other people with their widgety Android phones and I wanted a piece of that ass.

Things did improve for a short while – Apple released an iOS update and I was excited about things like GPS-based reminders, but it was short-lived. I still wanted widgets. And a pattern unlock instead of a 4-digit code. And decent Google account integration. And the battery was dying and I wanted to change it. These things were trivial at first but the more my 4 got under my skin the more I thought about cheating on her. Apple had sold me the idea of a perfect device, full of features and well made but she’d unravelled over time and it was clear she was more of a Kate Moss than an Elle MacPherson.

Where I’m at now

So, here I am, a month later and I’ve upgraded. AND. I. FUCKING. LOVE. IT. This is the first time I’ve ever owned a phone that has felt like it does everything I need it to (and more). This bird’s a keeper!

I’m a big fan of lists, so here goes; this is a big list of shit that my new phone does better. But then again, I suppose I probably would have made one of these when I first got the iPhone.

  • Ability to turn off Wifi, Mobile Data, Sound etc quickly from notifications bar, rather than going deep into the iPhone settings menu to access these things
  • Removable battery
  • External memory slot to stick your bits in
  • Turn-based satellite navigation
  • Widgets! Oh, Praise the phone lord!
  • Synced browser bookmarks, history and logins through Chrome
  • Proper plug and play without the need for iTunes (CAN I GET A HELL YEAHHHH?!)
  • Integration with 3rd party apps to allow uploading/sending of content from within native apps such as gallery (e.g. upload image to facebook/twitter/other from within gallery)
  • Real digital camera features such as ISO, image quality, white balance etc
  • Different browsers with their own rendering engines, not just a styled Mobile Safari WebView as on iOS
  • Reject incoming call with choice of default text message (although it’s apparently coming in iOS6, and not too soon!)
  • Customisable lockscreen
  • Data usage charts
  • Live wallpapers

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