My first month of Android

After grumbling and ranting about how different things were for the first few days I settled in to a comfort zone. (My poor wife who has been using Android for a whole few months longer than me bore the brunt of most of it.)

What I felt like was this:

There were just soooooooo many choices. Sure I had tons of apps to install and use, but then I had to choose from so many things:

  • App launchers
  • Lock screens
  • App groups (not so challenging as I just replicated largely what I had on my Windows Phone)
  • Integration apps
  • Widgets
  • Do I use the native Android app, a Google version, or a third-party version? For example:
    • Using Truecaller as my dialler and contact manager
    • Choosing between the Android Messaging app for SMS, or the Google Messenger app, or even Facebook Messenger!
    • Built-in browser, or Chrome?
    • Google News, or MSN News?
    • And so on and so forth
  • Whether an app should actually have a shortcut or just be relegated to the “All Apps” section
  • Layout, layout, layout!

After weeks of tweaking and customising I’ve finally gotten to a happy point where I’m not really changing anything.

So can I now say….

Well not everything – but most things.

Certainly a number of things are considerably worse off than on Windows Phone, but you can’t always get what you want.

What are the things that are clearly deficient when compared to Windows Phone? This list is ordered by old man anger points:

  • Outlook integration with the OS (more on that later)
  • Integration of Microsoft services
  • Cortana is an app
  • Microsoft Band experience (more on that later)
  • Groove

What I can tell you is that I have become immersed. A couple of friends recently joked that this marked the end of me and Microsoft and that the next thing to happen is that I would replace my Xbox One with a PS4. All that is happened is I have moved away from the mobile platform and some of its surrounding components (eg. Groove, Microsoft Band – yes, more on that later).

I gotta say it is really weird being so late to the party. My next step will be to move away from my cheap Umi Super to a quality phone.

The original point of getting a cheap Chinese Android phone was merely to test the waters of the OS before committing to a more expensive device or even carrier contract. After having used both iOS and Android I’m sold on the latter and will be staying.

I would happily stay using the Umi Super except for the fact that the GSM module seems to lose connectivity when travelling faster than 40km/h, which means that using the phone with online content or even phone calls is not practical when in the car or on a train. The Bluetooth module is incredibly unreliable – requiring multiple connection attempts when trying to use already-paired devices like headsets or cars, and causing battery drain in wearables as they are trying to always stay connected. And the camera is simply woeful – sluggish and poor resolution.

So now it’s time to choose which manufacturer to go with.

The journey continues!

Also published on Medium.

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