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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    Hello:

    As noted above, I currently am a BlackBerry user (9930 and Playbook). My carrier, Sprint, has not provided a viable upgrade path for me, so I am looking into alternatives to BlackBerry. The upcoming HTC One has my attention and I am hoping to answer a few questions about my ability to use an Android phone while maintaining local control over my PIM data. I should stress here that I am at the very beginning of my exploration of Android OS, so hopefully you can tolerate what I expect will be some basic questions.

    1) Is it possible to fully use the phone while preventing it from storing my PIM data on Google's servers?
    -- My understanding is that you must create, or link to, a gmail account in order to access the Google Play store (and possibly do other things on the phone). Doing so creates a means for Google to back up your calendar, email and potentially other data to its servers. If I must establish a Gmail account, then can I do so strictly as a means to access the Play Store, while preventing the non-Gmail email accounts (and their associated calendars) that I will actively be using, from getting backed up to the cloud, but still enabling those (non-Gmail) accounts to automatically pull down mail periodically?

    2) Can direct, local syncs between the phone and MS Outlook on my computer be performed (via wifi/ bluetooth/ USB)?

    3) Does the native calendar app accept and properly process incoming iCal invites (especially those which would be sent by a BlackBerry), and can invites for events be sent from the calendar when the events are created?

    ETA: Assuming I can get away with not registering a Gmail account, what are some of the best non-Play Store options for obtaining apps?

    Thank you
    Last edited by ewthompson585; 03-20-2014 at 02:47 PM.
  2. #2  

    Default Re: Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    Welcome to Android Central! I can't answer all of your questions, but you certainly can create a Google account simply to log in with your phone and to access the Play Store. You could use the stock Email app (instead of the Gmail app) to access your non-Gmail or Exchange email accounts, and those won't sync with Google.

    There are a number of Outlook sync solutions out there (like CompanionLink), but I can't speak to how good they are. There's no native Android functionality for direct syncing with desktop Outlook.

    Hope you enjoy Android!
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  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    Thank you, B. Diddy! The info you provided was very helpful. I look forward to learning more about Android.
    B. Diddy likes this.
  4. Thread Author  Thread Author    #4  

    Default Re: Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    Updates to my questions from earlier: From reading I have done (and B. Diddy's reply), it appears that I can avoid having my email, calendar and contacts data synced to Google, by simply not establishing a Gmail account. As this will render me unable to access the Play Store, there are options like the Amazon App Store, Getjar and Aptoide from which I can obtain apps without needing a Google account. From what I am reading there are viable alternatives to Google Maps out there, as well as many of the other Google Apps which require a Google account.

    What remains unclear is whether I can set up a non-Gmail account to automatically pull down mail on a schedule, when I have Google sync turned off (in other words, are the sync settings "one size fits all" or can sync settings be different for various accounts).

    What I am also a little fuzzy about is whether the native email client is vendor agnostic, or somehow tied into Google. B. Diddy's response would indicate that using the stock email client, as opposed to the Gmail app would prevent info syncing. I just want to be explicitly clear about that actually being the case.

    Bottom line: if I do not establish a Google account for the phone, am I safe from having email, calendar and contact info uploaded to Google servers, and can I still have my non-Gmail email pull down mail on a set schedule?
  5. #5  

    Default Re: Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    You can't sync different email accounts at different times with the stock app, but there are many email clients in the Google Play Store. I would suggest that you do set up a gmail account and simply not use it, turning off syncing. This way, you still have access to the Play Store. Installing apps from other sources can open you up to all sorts of potential malware, including grabbing the data you are trying to protect. However, that brings up a big decision. Your gmail address is your key to all things Google. If you turn off syncing for everything Google you get no backups, updates, calendar syncs, etc. Of course you could install a 3rd party calendar app.

    Having said all that, you are missing out on the entire experience of Google/Android. I'm not sure you want an Android phone if you are just going to cut off Google. Can't do it with Apple either or Microsoft, and I have no doubt Blackberry also has all of your info.
    Pat

    Galaxy Nexus 10 - stock KitKat 4.4.4
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    ewthompson585 likes this.
  6. #6  
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    Default Re: Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    Quote Originally Posted by ewthompson585 View Post
    Bottom line: if I do not establish a Google account for the phone, am I safe from having email, calendar and contact info uploaded to Google servers, and can I still have my non-Gmail email pull down mail on a set schedule?
    I think you can do what you want. I also don't sync anything with google. I have a google account to access the play store but I remove the account from the phone when I'm done with the play store to remove the google sync accounts. I don't like having the frivolous accounts on the phone so I mostly use the phone with no google account and it works fine; it is very usable without a google account (depending on what you want). The only drawback is some apps need the google account to check the google play license manager. But if you log in once a week or so to update apps then it doesn't seem to be a problem. Otherwise some app might give a license error if you haven't logged in for a while.

    I use K9 mail for 3rd party email but as others have mentioned there are a lot of email clients you can try. K9 does mail independently of any of the other accounts.

    Note that some of the google apps still work without a google account. Maps works, maybe some stuff is limited, not sure, but the basic stuff works. So you aren't completely cut off from google.
    ewthompson585 likes this.
  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  

    Default Re: Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    Thank you for the input, patruns. I have a couple questions based on what you wrote. If I set up a Gmail account, then turn off syncing (to avoid info upload), my non-Gmail accounts will not get mail delivered to them (using the stock email application) unless I manually query the email server. Is this correct? I understand that I can seek out a third party email client, which will provide the ability to sync different email accounts on different schedules. I will likely look into that. Since I don't want my calendar or contact data in the cloud, I don't plan to use Google Calendar, and will likely go with a third party app (I have heard Business Calendar is excellent). Concerning backups, I wish to back up my PIM data to my laptop. That is easily done, correct? And to sync calendars with people in my circle, my hope is to send and receive events directly via email -- I have heard varying accounts of how effectively Android handles .ics./iCal data. Do you have any input on that?
    Many thanks,
    Quote Originally Posted by patruns View Post
    You can't sync different email accounts at different times with the stock app, but there are many email clients in the Google Play Store. I would suggest that you do set up a gmail account and simply not use it, turning off syncing. This way, you still have access to the Play Store. Installing apps from other sources can open you up to all sorts of potential malware, including grabbing the data you are trying to protect. However, that brings up a big decision. Your gmail address is your key to all things Google. If you turn off syncing for everything Google you get no backups, updates, calendar syncs, etc. Of course you could install a 3rd party calendar app.

    Having said all that, you are missing out on the entire experience of Google/Android. I'm not sure you want an Android phone if you are just going to cut off Google. Can't do it with Apple either or Microsoft, and I have no doubt Blackberry also has all of your info.
  8. Thread Author  Thread Author    #8  

    Default Re: Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    Thanks crabbz. I am trying to wrap my head around exactly what is synced when there is an active Google account on the phone. Here is what I think I may do:

    Set up Gmail account for purposes of accessing Play Store
    • Sync will be turned off for this account
    • this email account will never actually be used once it is set up
    • this account will remain on the phone at all times, but will lie dormant


    Install third party mail client, such as K9 Mail
    • This client will contain the numerous email accounts I actually use
    • Sync will be turned ON for these accounts, to enable pulling down email periodically
    • Data backups will be achieved through direct, local syncing with MS Outlook (through something like CompanionLink as noted by B.Diddy above, or The Missing Sync, or Android-Sync)


    Will this setup provide a firewall against my non-Gmail accounts (contacts, emails and associated calendars) being uploaded by Google?

    Thanks for the info about Google Maps...this was the main app I was concerned about losing access to, if I opted to completely exclude Gmail from the picture. However, if I truly run no risk of having my PIM info synced, by turning off sync for Gmail, then I'll probably just leave the account on the phone to ensure continuous access to the Google Apps I do want to take advantage of.

    Again, I know these are basic questions, and I appreciate folks' patience and input.

    Quote Originally Posted by crabbz View Post
    I think you can do what you want. I also don't sync anything with google. I have a google account to access the play store but I remove the account from the phone when I'm done with the play store to remove the google sync accounts. I don't like having the frivolous accounts on the phone so I mostly use the phone with no google account and it works fine; it is very usable without a google account (depending on what you want). The only drawback is some apps need the google account to check the google play license manager. But if you log in once a week or so to update apps then it doesn't seem to be a problem. Otherwise some app might give a license error if you haven't logged in for a while.
    I use K9 mail for 3rd party email but as others have mentioned there are a lot of email clients you can try. K9 does mail independently of any of the other accounts.
    Note that some of the google apps still work without a google account. Maps works, maybe some stuff is limited, not sure, but the basic stuff works. So you aren't completely cut off from google.
  9. #9  
    tgp
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    Default Re: Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    If you create a throwaway Google account in order to access the Play Store & Google Maps, I don't believe this will affect your other accounts at all. They will not be backed up by Google. If course their login credentials will be stored on your phone, but they're only stored locally unless you choose to back them up to your Google account.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
    Current lineup: Nexus 5 (primary device), Lumia 920, Moto G, and Lumia 520. There, I did it; I updated my signature!
    ewthompson585 likes this.
  10. #10  
    crabbz's Avatar

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    Default Re: Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    You don't have to create a gmail account for the play store! You can create a non-gmail google account if you don't want to worry about another email account out there. -- https://accounts.google.com/SignUpWithoutGmail

    However this still adds sync accounts to the phone. When you enter contact and calendar PIM data you select what account to associate the entry with. If you don't associate anything with the google account then it won't sync to google even if google sync is turned on. So you can avoid google just by not using the account. Personally, I don't like them showing up in my apps so I remove the account but that's up to you.

    I just did a test and logged into my google account. It adds a sync account for the following: app data, drive, google play books, google play movies & tv, google play newsstand, people details. I don't see the google account as an option in the calendar nor contacts. This must have changed in one of the updates. I guess this is because I'm using a non-gmail google account. I don't know if it is normal, and I don't know what 'people details' means in the sync settings now. But this seems nice.

    Of course you need other accounts to enter the data into. My S3 has local accounts that just stay on the phone but I'm not sure if that is normal for all android devices or if it is a samsung thing. I sync with a cal-dav and card-dav server so I added sync adapters for those which provide accounts on the phone. I don't know about syncing with outlook. I think companionlink has its own PIM app, dejaoffice, so you are tied to that if you go that route. But I believe it uses its own database so your data won't go anywhere else.

    One thing I noticed about the sync settings. You can disable individual syncs in the account settings but it appears if you turn off sync globally then when you turn it back on it enables everything. It doesn't seem to remember what you had disabled. So that's something to be careful of.
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  11. #11  
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    Default Re: Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    Pop onto BB10
  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  

    Default Re: Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    Quote Originally Posted by TechTinker View Post
    Pop onto BB10
    You have no idea how much I want to do exactly that. If it wasn't for the unlimited plan I am on, Sprint would be left in the dust for a carrier that actually carries the Z30. I'm not interested in the Q10 - I already have the 9930 (OS 7) and I consider it pretty much the apex handset in this form factor (I actually like the trackpad). But unless Sprint works out something real fast whereby I can get my hands on the Z30, I'm looking at the front door on BB, and jumping ship for this new HTC One. I want a phone with a screen that is large enough for me to retire the PlayBook and have one single every-day-carry mobile device.
  13. #13  
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    Default Re: Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    Quote Originally Posted by ewthompson585 View Post
    You have no idea how much I want to do exactly that. If it wasn't for the unlimited plan I am on, Sprint would be left in the dust for a carrier that actually carries the Z30. I'm not interested in the Q10 - I already have the 9930 (OS 7) and I consider it pretty much the apex handset in this form factor (I actually like the trackpad). But unless Sprint works out something real fast whereby I can get my hands on the Z30, I'm looking at the front door on BB, and jumping ship for this new HTC One. I want a phone with a screen that is large enough for me to retire the PlayBook and have one single every-day-carry mobile device.
    Just buy a Z10 or 30 directly from BlackBerry. I think the Z10 is $299 or something. HTC One doesn't have an SD slot to expand your memory.

    Posted via Android Central App on BlackBerry Z30
    ewthompson585 likes this.
  14. Thread Author  Thread Author    #14  

    Default Re: Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    The new HTC One which drops next week supposedly has an SD slot, but then it also lacks a removable battery. So it's not ideal, but it's the best option I have right now. I prefer the Z30 to the Z10, but if the Z10 is retailing for $299, it is worth looking into. However, if I were to buy it direct, I am not even sure Sprint could activate it. I haven't read any reports of Z10 or Z30 handsets running on the Sprint network. But it is something I will check into. Thanks for the thought, will let you know what I find out.

    Quote Originally Posted by pgg101 View Post
    Just buy a Z10 or 30 directly from BlackBerry. I think the Z10 is $299 or something. HTC One doesn't have an SD slot to expand your memory.

    Posted via Android Central App on BlackBerry Z30
  15. #15  

    Default Re: Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    The sync and notification capabilities of Gmail accounts and non-Gmail accounts are completely separate. If you use the stock "Email" app, it has its own sync settings and you CAN set that app to automatically download messages and notify you of new messages for that account and have the sync for Gmail turned off. I have 3 mail accounts on my device, 2 Gmail-based (in the Gmail app) and a corporate account (in the email app). All 3 have their own sync intervals/settings and notification settings/sound.

    As others have said, you can set up a Google account and just turn off all sync options for it so that you ONLY use it for access to the Play Store then configure your other mail account and use that for contact and calendar sync to that server.
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  16. Thread Author  Thread Author    #16  

    Default Re: Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    Precisely what I needed -- thank you very much!

    Quote Originally Posted by hallux View Post
    The sync and notification capabilities of Gmail accounts and non-Gmail accounts are completely separate. If you use the stock "Email" app, it has its own sync settings and you CAN set that app to automatically download messages and notify you of new messages for that account and have the sync for Gmail turned off. I have 3 mail accounts on my device, 2 Gmail-based (in the Gmail app) and a corporate account (in the email app). All 3 have their own sync intervals/settings and notification settings/sound.

    As others have said, you can set up a Google account and just turn off all sync options for it so that you ONLY use it for access to the Play Store then configure your other mail account and use that for contact and calendar sync to that server.
  17. #17  

    Default Re: Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    Quote Originally Posted by ewthompson585 View Post
    Precisely what I needed -- thank you very much!
    Sure. I guess there should be a qualification on my statement though. This MAY all depend upon what device you're using. This may not be the case with say, a Galaxy S4 with TouchWiz. On my Moto X, I can turn off sync for my Gmail accounts and leave sync on for corporate. In fact, each of my Gmail accounts has its own sync/notification settings (I can even set different notification tones for each account, which I can't do on my iPad). The Moto X my screenshots came from is a stock device, and is about as pure of an Android experience as you can get without getting a Nexus device.

    The first screenshot shows the access to individual settings for multiple Gmail accounts. The second screenshot shows the sync settings for my corporate email, the third shows the settings screen I used to access the corporate account sync settings. The 4th shows the main settings screen where you can see Gmail and Corporate email accounts and the last shows that you can turn off sync for any Google apps you don't want to sync.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android-screenshot_2014-03-22-22-27-28.png   Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android-screenshot_2014-03-22-22-27-07.png   Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android-screenshot_2014-03-22-22-26-42.png   Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android-screenshot_2014-03-22-22-26-30.png   Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android-screenshot_2014-03-22-22-27-35.png  

  18. Thread Author  Thread Author    #18  

    Default Re: Potential BlackBerry convert with questions about transitioning to Android

    Anybody watching this thread currently use the HTC One (2013)?

    If so, what are your experiences with charge times, and overheating issues? Does the phone get hot (not warm) while simply idly charging? Any other reproducible situations?

    I am keenly interested in the HTC One (2014) but I need to get a clearer idea about how the HTC One line handles power management and heat. It seems to really be a problem, and the fact that this detail is missing from so many reviews stinks to me.

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