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Hello Android Central Community!
I'm a newbie to the forums, and as recommended by Mr. Streater , I would love to introduce myself and give a little background.
My journey with smart phones began a number of years ago with the Palm 700p. I then enjoyed an HTC Hero with Android 1.6 (later updated to 2.3 which basically ruined the phone). In 2012 I moved to an iPhone 4S, which I loved as the best phone/mobile device I had ever owned. That continued up to the point when I updated to iOS 7, which I liked almost nothing about. Because of the failure that I felt was iOS 7, when it was time to upgrade my device (which I also switched carriers too) I started putting serious consideration into giving Android another shot.
I didn't dislike it the first time, but as my device aged the functionality also degraded to the point where it was almost unusable by the time I was ready to upgrade. I didn't experience such degraded functionality or performance in my iPhone, which was one of the things I loved so much about it--the hardware was completely solid for the two year cycle that we revolve our phones around.
To prepare myself for the trip to get a new phone and carrier, I started reading about the various "hot" phones in the market and narrowed my selection down to three: HTCs One, LGs G2, and the iPhone 5S. I went around to the store about a week before Christmas, which worked perfectly for me because it took me almost the entire wait time to decide on a phone as I walked back and forth holding, examining, and testing the functionality of all the devices. In the end I picked the LG G2, I liked a lot of things about it, and in the end if I ended up hating it I could return to the store and swap it with the iPhone for a $35 restock fee (plus the difference in phone cost).
I've worked on being patient throughout this period (since the 18th of Dec), and while I really like my phone in many ways, there are just some things that I either cannot stand or am irritated by. I'm starting to get near my last day to decide, and I haven't been overwhelmingly successful in my attempts to figure out some of my perceived "deal-breakers", so I turn to the community for advice and help. I am more tech-savvy than I was when I had my last Android, so I am not opposed to changing things at a more complicated level. I just need to get an idea if what I'm hoping to accomplish is even possible, or if I'm chasing dreams.
Experienced members, if I am only supposed to introduce myself here and not the issues I apologize in advance. Just let me know and I'll edit this post to remove it all.
Now onto the fun parts. In short order here are the things that are making me want to take the G2 back for the iPhone. They are loosely listed in order of frustration and how much it matters to me overall:
- Visual voicemail doesn't work as it should with Google voice. Apparently Verizon is money hungry (like we already know) and makes getting it completely functional a giant pain, or maybe even impossible. I have it almost right, but the play from dialer function doesn't work. I don't feel particularly comfortable allowing a 3rd party app to replace this service for me, and I refuse to pay Verizon 2.99 a month for something that Google gives for free.
- The email app/client issue. Why in the hell they have the stock email app strip out CSS, I just don't understand. No one wants to have to resize their email to read it. Of course there are plenty of other third party email apps, but none of them say that they present emails like you are on, you know, a mobile device. None of the reviews mention it either. It seems that the only way that I can know is to try them each one at a time until I find the one that doesn't present the email poorly. Does anyone have suggestions?
- I hated that there wasn't a one-touch silence like the iPhone has. I really really like having the ability to silence my phone without having to mess with it. I have found a close second after playing around with the phone for a while that works okay, although it still isn't great. From the lock screen I can hold the power button until a "power off" menu pops up, then if I release the power button and then repress it, a menu comes up that has the sound/vibrate/silent buttons. I tried to find how to add additional widgets to the lock screen, but it looks like there are only certain ones that are possible to add to that area. Is there any other options to put my phone into quiet mode that doesn't require me to perform so many steps?
- It appears that the stock messaging app cannot support a conversation between 4 participants particularly well. Every so often incoming messages go to the individual contact's bin instead of the group text. It seems like it gets dorked up on the outgoing every so often too. (initial investigation hasn't show any strong contenders for a valid replacement, or even what is causing the problem. Has anyone else experienced this and found a solution?
- Lastly the Spotify app doesn't send track data via BT streaming. There are details that I won't quote exactly right but the gist is that they didn't build their app to support it because stock Android doesn't provide it, even though most manufacturers or providers add it in (the "it" being AVRCP 1.3). There are some .apk hacks that I've found that I could replace my "official" Spotify app with, but again I find myself being irritated that is necessary.
To the security conscious users I am curious if there are any other things I should enable or change on my device. I have set up the lock screen, encrypted the phone, enabled administrator from my email and the android device manager. There seem to be several different unnecessary apps and bloatware things on the device, and I know that I can't get rid of them without rooting, but is there a good place to get a list of things that you can/should remove and then a list of things that you cannot/should not remove? If/when I decide to root my phone I want to make sure I don't make a whole mess of work for myself to correct my mistakes.
In the end I really do think that it is fantastic that there are so many things that can be changed with the phone. The screen is amazing, and the battery life is pretty darned good too. But in the end if I have to devote half my contracted time to just setting the dang thing up how it should work from the beginning, then I question how good the customization aspect really is. I think that a considerable amount of time was just me getting accustomed to the differences in how iOS and Android work, so I am still on the fence. I like the phone but I still can't decide if it is the "right" one for me.
If you've stayed with my post this long -- Thank You! I'm sure some of it was painful to read through. I look forward to playing more in the forums and getting to know you wonderful people.
Thanks for your time