An open letter - questioning my switch to Android...
I'm not looking for or expecting to get any sort of empathy, that's not what this is. It's a vent I guess. It seems like I have several minor issues with this device that when combined make me question my decision to switch to Android. It feels like I have to find a workaround for everything. I understand the phone, I understand the "openness" of Android, the customization, etc.
I am not an Apple guy, I dislike Macs quite a bit and I'm an Art Director, but liked my iPhone (switched due to AT&T coverage). For me, a smartphone is a tool and should fit seamlessly into my life so i don't have to think about it. I find myself trying to just get the X to a place that it did the things my iPhone just DID, like full Outlook sync without paying, not having to find apps to do something that causes me to have to do something else in something else or there will be conflicts, use 3G (!!!), etc. It's just a pain and far more involved than it needs to be for a device that Motorola said is a "consumer device". I'm a technically savvy guy so I can only imagine what the avg user would experience, like my wife who HATES this phone.
I know this is a first Android device for a lot of people and I can't be the only one who is disappointed or frustrated and just about ready to bail. For me to suck this all up hoping it will get better is as dishonest as the iPhone 4 users saying that the antenna thing is no big deal. No one likes to feel like they mad the wrong choice, much less all the BS and money that comes along with it.
- 07-21-2010, 09:58 AM #2
- 07-21-2010, 10:01 AM #3
Not every phone is for everyone. The way I look at it is that if you want a simple phone that just does things than a Blackberry or iPhone is probably the way. If you're looking for "more" than an Android phone is probably for you.
That's what's great about the cell phone industry right now, a ton of different devices and something for just about everyone.
- 07-21-2010, 10:07 AM #4
This is my first Android device. I came from the Balckberry Storm 1. So this was a huge upgrade for me. There have been a few bumps in the road but nothing I couldn't handle. This phone aoutshines what I had. Makes me wonder why I didn't switch before. I also consider myself pretty tech savoy. Just a few months ago I switched to a MacBook Pro after being an avid PC user all of my life. But with any change there is some adjustment. Now I will propably never go back to a PC.
- 07-21-2010, 10:08 AM #5
This is natural when switching platforms. I had the same reaction when I got my first BB after switching from WinMo. Give it some time to get used to the new platform and how things work differently.
Android is nice as it gives you choices on what programs to sue to perform the same functions. It's not necessarily built into the OS and locked down so that is all you can use. Android provides the basic functionality and then lets you install an app that gives you the experience you like for that function. This is what I am really starting to like about Android over my BB.
To make you mind up on a device inside of 1 weeks use, is jumping the gun in my book. It's really jumping the gun when you are switching OS's at the same time. You have a lot to get used to switching devices and OS's in one fell swoop. Be patient, customize the device to your liking and don't be afraid to keep changing things up until you get it the way you really like.
Things to conisder and apps to install to help
AppBrain - lets you search the market and find the best apps for you and syncs your apps to a cloud for recovery later.
awd.launcher - better functionality than stock launcher and you can backup your settings to your SD
handcent SMS - best app ever.....makes my SMS experience sooooooooo much better
Those are just a few things I have found to help my experience in the change over from BB.
Give it some time and don't make up your mind yet. Remember, you have 30 days to decide. Use them all and give the device and OS a fair shot.
FWIW.....my only complaint is that the phone is a little to big for my liking when in landscape. Just a little too wide IMO. I find myself actually using portrait for everything accept browsing. In protrait, it's absoultely perfect and the Swype keyboard is sick nasty......
- 07-21-2010, 10:10 AM #6
But did the Iphone just do? I don't know when you got the Iphone or what version you started with. But Chances are you got the phone as your first smart-phone, you picked it up, and integrated it into your life. It fit seamlessly into it because you had no preconceived notion of what your phone was going to do for you. You found out how to better use your phone in your everyday life.
There is no reason you should be able to look at an Android and think similarly.
As for Exchange syncing. The Droid X has it, with out Touchdown (although apparently Touchdown is loads better), and the Iphone didn't "just" have exchange sync out of the box. It came later.
- 07-21-2010, 10:14 AM #7
- 35 Posts
I came from Windows Mobile 6.5, I own an iPad, my work on call phone is a BlackBerry. So I have experience with 4 mobile OS's. They all have their strong points, they all have weak points (I'm really down on WinMo at the moment so dont' ask me to talk about their strong points..I need space )
Changing OS's is hard. Things that worked easily for you before you have to learn how to get them to work for you with the new system. Things aren't where you are used to them being. I do like the openness of the Android OS that allows me to customize the appearance of my device and how it operates.
I agree with others above though that every OS isn't for everyone. If you really don't like it..take it back and get something that you can live with. If you are set on avoiding AT&T though you aren't going to use the iPhone for the forseeable future and android is the only thing really that really compares with iOS.
- 07-21-2010, 10:19 AM #8
To the OP: I got rid of my iPhone because it required too much wired synchronization for my usage. Blackberries and Androids were quicker to embrace some of the cloud technologies available in the marketplace back in the earlier iPhone days (2G and 3G). You might be better off if you took your Outlook info and put it on a cloud too (either via exchange server, including many of the cheap/free services available, or Mobile Me or by syncing with an online service like Google or Yahoo). iPhones are much better at cloud-syncing now, so if you decide to switch to a different OS, having your information in a common cloud location makes the transition seamless.
- 07-21-2010, 10:21 AM #9
- 07-21-2010, 10:24 AM #10My phone is....Incredible!
- 07-21-2010, 10:31 AM #11
- 7 Posts
I came from an iPhone, to a blackberry to android.
If your tech savvy, well honestly these are things I don't think you shoudl be complaining about, you should know it takes a little time to get used to everything as its a completely differeant OS. As states earlier they all have some strong points and all have their weak ones. The iPhone is a great phone, I'd probably still have one if I dident hate AT&T and the fact that I was paying out the *** for me and my fiancee.
As far as teh average user, my Fiancee isnt tech savvy at all, I gave her my OG Droid and she had no problem figuring it out and she loves the phone. As someone else said, after only a week I think your jumping the gun. The OS is completely differant, you can't exspect it to work in the exact same way as the iPhone, WinMo, and BB devices.
Once you get it setup how you want, I think android is one of the best OS's out there.
- 07-21-2010, 10:35 AM #12
I moved from BB to Android last Fall, and found it took me 10 sec. to be in love with the OS. Why? Customization. If one isn't into fiddling around with their device, than Android isn't the platform for them.Droid Charge
There is nothing constant but change.
- 07-21-2010, 10:48 AM #13
- 670 Posts
Granted, it's a bit of work making a transition from prison life (iPhone) to freedom (Android), and some of us are more comfortable with a more controlled environment, as that enforced by Steve Jobs. I hope you will keep in mind that most of us spent days, weeks and months getting everything we needed set up on the iphone, within the strict constraints that exist over there, and our expectations are such that we expect to have that all available to us immediately on Android.
Regarding syncing with Outlook, I spent $100 a year for Apple MobileMe to provide wireless Outlook syncing, whereas I picked up Companionlink for a one-time charge of $40 that does more for my syncing needs than MobileMe did.
I've spent much of the last few days enjoying the diversity and freedom of the Android environment, and delighting at filling up my DX with new apps and widgets.
Also, have you noticed the rate that program improvements are typically provided on Android apps, vs. iPhone? I remember waiting for many, many days in agony waiting for critical program updates that had to go through the Apple grinder to be released. I love it that Android developers can make their improvements NOW.
Good luck, and if you decide to go back to the iPhone, I wish you the best. If the iPhone didn't exist, we wouldn't be enjoying this gigantic burst of technological advancement, and consumer choice.
Wow, a lot of responses! Thanks for all the helpful advice and encouragement. I also have a BB for work so I understand and REALLY dislike that. I have had smartphones for a while so I know there is a learning curve and I am trying to take that into account. Not every device is for every person either, I get that too. I really WANT to like Android since it's really the only other current option, I dislike Apple as a company as well as my searing hate for AT&T.
Addressing a couple points -
- I LOVE the wireless syncing.
- My wife needs to stay on Outlook for her business. A $40 option is not what I want to do, nice that it's there, though. I just think this is a glaring oversight.
- The quick app updates are a very nice change.
- VZW has answered all 3 of the calls I have made inside 4 minutes. Awesome +.
- There is at least one alternate for every app available which IS very nice. Like I mentioned, the option to show missed call notification popups or SMS popups should just be there though, for example.
Sitting here staring at 1X instead of 3G is infuriating, though. I am at my desk in downtown Chicago where my 3GS had an abundance of signal. This may be the killer and is probably clouding my judgment a bit.
Thank you all, we'll see how the day goes. Great forum here. To say I dislike the Apple fanboy types would be an understatement and it's refreshing to have a far less blatant version of that here.
So, is there anyone that feels/felt the same way? What did you or are you doing about that?
- 07-21-2010, 11:22 AM #15
They said there is a general network issue in the midwest region, they know about it, not taking any more trouble tickets about it, they're working on it. Vague, we'll see. I have no experience with how quick they are in fixing these kinds of network issues. There is another thread about this and several people seem to be having this issue.
The desk placement is great, the commute to get to it is not. Thanks!
- 07-21-2010, 12:35 PM #17
- 760 Posts
Ecal; I was an avid BB user, and an avid iPod Touch user (that's as close as I got to the iPhone) and while the BB served me well (if increasingly more out of date as time went on) it was pretty incredible how for me iOS went from "Wow, look at the cool apps!!!" to a toy I let my toddler daughter use if she's cranky when we go out to eat. Now...I know that iOS devices really suit some peoples needs, and that's totally fine, but honestly the majority of the time I've used that set of products I've felt like it easily enables me to do a bunch of superficial stuff but with little depth.
Now, it's very clear that Android still has some holes in its OS that need improving (although many of them are already fixed via 3rd party apps) and buying in at this point, as opposed to this fall with the UI overhaul coming in Gingerbread, is just accepting that one of the tradeoffs for so much depth is also waiting on development, which while insanely fast right now, isn't linear (i.e. some things are improving at a faster rate than others).
Android can't ignore the corporate market (especially with Gmail and Gdocs expanding their usage in businesses and educational facilities) so that will have to be something that is addressed sooner rather than later. In the mean time, find apps that will address your needs, or else trade it back in for something that better suits your needs.
Either way, I hope you find a solution that works for you; they are after all tools in addition to toys
- 07-21-2010, 12:50 PM #18
My wife's having a slightly harder time than me - but I'm a tinkerer by nature so Droid suits me well.
I've also found some weird things that we had to "work around" - like how the only google calendar you can sync to is your email account one. My wife and I shared a separate google calendar on our iphones with no issues at all - but now we had to "share" that calendar with each of our gmail associated calendars (and vice versa) to get it to work. It was a frustrating couple of days trying to figure that out but we did get it.
So I do feel your pain about the switch - but ultimately - I'm happy we switched and I think my wife (and probably you and your wife) will get happier with the X as time passes and you get used to the quirks. I know when we got our iPhones - my wife was confused for a while (it was her first smartphone) but for me coming from a BB it was a huge step up compared to what I was used to with the BB. I'm finding this step (from iPhone to X) is more of a sideways (different things to get used to) step than a huge leap forward like it was from BB to iPhone.
- 07-21-2010, 02:37 PM #19
- 307 Posts
Coming from a Bold 9000, I am wondering why I waited to make the switch. This is my first Android device. The functionality is far superior and for those who need to access online email interface (no POP or iMAP enabled) the BB just doesn't cut it. Now, I actually have true mobile internet access.
One of the things that I surrendered to (and which has made the transition so much easier) was to port all possible email accounts to gmail. This won't be ideal for some, but it has been much easier to have a centralized email account (and I'm not talking about Touchdown).
My only complaint is battery life; I am a heavy user (especially browser) and even with all juice saving tips enabled, battery life is adequate at best. I need at least a short recharge in the car/office at least once during the day to make it through ~14 hrs. Otherwise, the device has been exceptional and completely bug free.
- 07-21-2010, 03:15 PM #20
I used to have an iPhone and switched from it for the Palm Pre and then the HTC Hero. I had all kinds of problems with the hero, which were design issues.. not OS issues.
I briefly switched back to the iPhone 3G, but by that time I had gotten so used to the way things work on Android I couldn't find apps to do what I wanted to on the iPhone.
I basically felt the same way you described, but switching TO an iPhone, so I got the My Tocuch.. and the rest is history.
This is the same if you switch from Windows to Mac or Linux, or from any OS to any OS, you have to find new ways to do what you wanted to do.
I would say if there's that level of frustration in learning the new platform, then you should just stay with what you know and keep (or go back to) the iPhone.
If you're willing to try something new then I bet within two weeks with an Android phone you'll never be able to go back to the iPhone.
At the same time, if it aint broke don't fix it... if you're comfortable with the iPhone then stick with that.
- 07-21-2010, 04:22 PM #21
I like customization, the ability to do whatever I want, the myriad of choices. That's why Android suits me much better than iPhone. I said on another forum, with Android, you make the phone yours with whatever app and look you want, no restrictions. You are not limited by what one company wants your experience to be.
I hope you'll find everything that you need in Android. Plus Froyo's coming out soon and that'll smooth a few things over and bring additional support and fixes.Samsung Galaxy Nexus (Dec. 2011)
Previously: Droid X (July 2010) - Blackberry Tour 9630 (July 2009) - Dumbphones (pre-July 2009)
- 07-21-2010, 05:23 PM #22
- 07-21-2010, 05:34 PM #23
- 744 Posts
Give it some time and learn. Read these forums, follow the blogs, and talk with other Android users. I know two guys that dumped iPhones for Android and love it, one got the Aria one came to VZW for the X. I know another that's switching next month to a Captivate.
Put the iPhone out of your head, and really give it a shot. There is a learning curve any time you switch platforms. I was very frustrated when I first switched from Windows to Linux (Kubuntu 9.10 and now 10.04). I'm glad I stuck it out. I still run both OS's on different machines, but I love the stability.
- 07-21-2010, 07:30 PM #24
I'm a newb as well. I had been using iPhones since the first gen with a 6 month break with a BB Curve. I have also used WinMo devices as well as a Treo. Overall I really like the X and Android. I love the ability to customize so many aspects of the OS, and I particularly like the way notifications are handled. With that said here's a few things that really strike me as annoyances that added together really make the decision to stay with Android much more difficult.
1. Unified inbox. BB has this nailed and iPhone really caught up in the last two revs of the OS. One stop shopping for email. The Android is a hodge podge of really poor email clients. I use Gmail for personal use and Outlook Exchange for work. The built in Exchange client is very basic and would get the job done for simple email. I'm out in the field quite often and I need complete access to my emails. This includes server side searching of my messages which you can't do with the stock client. Turns out Touchdown is a really nice email app that gets the job done. Only problem is that it costs $20 and it doesn't do POP or IMAP! So now I'm out of pocket $20 to get the same functionality as a stock iPhone, and I still have to use two email apps to get the same functionality as the single iPhone app. Is this supposed to be better? I was slightly confused when I looked at the unified inbox only to find out Gmail wasn't there. Great, I guess Google's definition of unified isn't quite the same as mine.
2. What's up with the inability of Android to scale images in certain applications? If that sounds vague I apologize. What I mean by that is in several instances I have run into issues where I can't zoom in/out of images. I have to look at them in full size and pan around. The stock Gmail client as well as K9 does this with email embedded with images, one of my favorite apps Evernote does this as well. It's extremely annoying to try to look up notes that I have embedded pictures.
3. Cut and paste support is sporadic at best. I remember so many people chastising Apple when they finally released cut and paste support. You know what...they really deserved the criticism. Funny, I don't hear too many people complaining about Android's implementation which is juvenile at best.
4. Double tap for zooming in and out in the browser doesn't work very well. The way that the iPhone does it is much more intelligent. Also the lack of folders support was a fantastic discovery for me and my 154 bookmarks. That's after I realized that Android doesn't support book mark syncing with their own products.
There are other little things that really need to be polished as well. Please don't get me wrong I really like Android, the DX, and I'm going to stick with it, but these are a few of the things that really strike me as barriers to making Android the best mobile OS. Sorry for the rant.