Switched to Android (Nexus 5) Today – Serious Issues With Reminders/Alarms/Notifications
Long time Apple/iPhone user here. I'd been considering Android for a long time and finally bit the bullet, and got the Nexus 5.
I have a few questions, and I'm hoping someone can help me put my head back on straight; as I am super confused right now.
I have a pretty stock install... Things were very easy, as I'd already routed most of my "cloud" through Google for use on the iPhone (since the start); e.g., Google Calendar, Gmail, and Google Contacts (sort of halfway; when iCloud came out that split in two a bit, but I've been able to manually add back the difference, so no big deal). So essentially, I just put the old sim card in from my iPhone 4s, and signed in to my Google account, and voila, everything was connected (I'd commented that if I ever switched, this would be the case, and it was! Kinda funny).
I only used iCloud, really, for Reminders and for Notes. I'll miss that. I could edit Reminders/Notes on my Macbook and they'd auto sync with my iPhone, and vice-versa (same for the iWork apps–Pages, Keynote, etc). There are some Android apps to link iCloud and allow for synching of these apps, but from what I understand (and I work in this industry), linking your two major private information accounts (Google and Apple) with a relatively unknown third-party vendor is a bad idea, so it's a no-go; if you're ever tempted, don't do it.
Anyway, my question is the following: I'm used to IOS7's Notification Center. You could control, how various apps handled alerts; whether they displayed nothing, a drop down banner, or a popup that had to be dismissed. It also provided options for how the app showed history in Notification Center (the pull-from-top drop down), and Lock Screen, so on and so forth.
After a whole day of playing with Android (KitKat 4.4 no less), I have found NO WAY to have a simple reminder wake the phone from sleep/locked, and display any sort of reminder. The only thing I have been able to make it do is, if holding and using the phone (which, you'd be lucky to be doing at the exact time of your task alert, a very small, quick, alert appears up in the black status bar at the top of the screen, for about half a second. Then it disappears. Upon dragging down from top to bottom, this screen shows nothing about the reminder that just appeared for a half a second.
Surely I am seriously missing something. But have been through every settings menu on this phone, and nothing covers how reminders/alerts/tasks/etc are handled.
The Google Keep app further complicates things. Seemingly well-coded at first, you then realize, it is storing separate reminders (part of a different database) than reminders set by using Google Now. WTF?
Same goes for the Photo handling... Gallery vs Photos; basically the same app, but subtle differences; why include both?
This phone feels like a Windows system. Some bloatware (or at least several duplicate apps, and you have to install third party software to do the really important core functions you need to run your life.
I just tried (among 10-15 other apps) Don't Forget The Milk; an app I know from long ago and know to be a good overall app based on GTD. The Android version wasn't particularly well laid out, but most frustratingly, this app, too, had no notification capability. I'd set a task for a couple of minutes from now, wait for the time, and NOTHING WOULD HAPPEN. At least a couple of other apps I tried would beep and show the LED light blinking. NONE of the apps I have found can wake the screen, and show some sort of piece of information informing the user that a reminder/task/event is about to occur, according to their alert settings for that event.
What am I missing here? Do Android users just run around missing everything they're supposed to do every single day, or do they constantly check their phones to remind themselves of tasks and calendar events? Surely there is some middle ground? Help!