Coming Back and Trying Android Again (WP User)

fitchalcyone

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Hello, everyone. I've been a long-time user of Windows Phone (back during the WP7 days) and am now having a go at Android again. My first experience with Android was with Sony's first stab at a tablet, the Sony Tablet S. If I remember correctly, this ran on Honeycomb, and I truthfully didn't quite know what to do with the thing. I had it for a few months, and then the Surface line was announced. Needless to say, I sold the Sony soon after. All during this time, I was using various Windows Phone devices. HTC HD7, Lumia 900, Lumia 920, Lumia 1520, and Lumia 635. My primary phone is the 1520 and the 635 is my cheap running phone. I've picked up the Galaxy Note Edge as a side project/secondary phone sort of thing, and am giving it a try to see how I feel about Android these days. And yes, I know this is an expensive side project. :)

Truth be told, there are two main things that drew me to the Edge after all of this time: the design of the phone and the inevitable application of 5.0. Generally nothing really wows me about Samsung's designs, but for some reason the edge screen made me take a second look. Also, you can burn me at the stake for saying this, but I perceive 5.0 to be like the Windows Phone of Android from an aesthetic point of view. So, this is how I began my venture back into trying Android.

I've had the Edge for about a month now and am still trying to find my way around the functionalities that the OS provides. I do understand enthusiasts' appeal for the OS due to the sheer amount of things you can do with it, but truthfully I don't find myself that interested in doing that much for now. I wonder if this is what causes a lot of the inconsistent performance that I run into with this phone. The main quirk I've noticed on multiple occasions is that performance will just begin to chug through. Overall "framerate" dips and I remedy this either by restarting the phone or leaving it alone for a while. Since I am still sort of new to this, are there any recommendations you all have for optimizing performance? Again, not really crazy about rooting and the like just yet.

The actual phone is nice. Several of my coworkers keep asking me if they can play around with it. It's a very intriguing design, for sure. One thing that baffles me to no end is why did Samsung use what seems like two different materials for the two colors? I prefer white devices over black because they just look "cleaner" to me. With that in mind, I opted for the white Edge. While I love it, why on Earth does the back plate feel like some cheap plastic? I've noticed the black gets the rubbery, leatherlike material on both the Note 4 and Edge. The white? On both the 4 and Edge, hard, cheap plastic... I thought maybe it had something to do with AT&T's backplate, but even the Qi back has that same feel. Side note: I've purchased the Qi back and the wallet case from Samsung for this phone. The other hardware bit that I really like is the screen. I'm usually not much of an AMOLED guy, but this one is nice.

Moving further into the experience itself, I like the app selection, though I guess this is a given since I come from WP. I'm still finding everything I need, so I'll have to elaborate more on this later. Any recommendations? Oh, and the ads on most everything is something different. Not a big fan of it, but I know that's Android.

To be honest, this has just been a Wifi device for me this past month, and I have yet to use it as a phone phone. I have been carrying both my 1520 and Edge everywhere I go, though, using both as I see fit. As has been established, I do have my feet in the Microsoft door quite a bit and am trying to find ways to enjoy both devices without feeling like I'm losing out when I pick one over the other. While I do like certain aspects of the Edge, I feel like the overall experience isn't as consistent as what I'm having with my 1520 right now. Again, this is why I'm holding out for 5.0.

Thanks for reading my first thoughts, I'm sure I've left out some things right now. If anyone has any pointers for me as far as getting more comfortable with using this phone, I'm all ears. Thanks so much!
 

Rukbat

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Most Windows program developers have been at it a long time, and have kind of settled into the "Windows mindset". Everything is in the same place on all Windows programs, they all look pretty much alike (insofar as a text editor can look like an email program) ... it's been years since Windows 386 was released, so it's mature (so mature that it's tripping on its whiskers - you know, a 64 bit UI sitting on a 32 bit multitasker sitting on a 16 bit operating system; DOS is sill in there, and you can still run old DOS programs) and no one comes up with the menu bar on the bottom, or options in the File menu.

Android? They're changing the UI constantly. I'm still running Gingerbread apps (that's like running Windows 98 apps - boy, do I wish Diskedit still worked on 8.1, or even on XP). There's no "standard", so a developer (I don't think any other OS has had as large a percentage of "modify a skeleton app" apps) can put anything anywhere, and "consistency" is almost as meaningless as "standard" is becoming. (RS-232C defines a 12 volt, 25 pin interface. Tell that to people running 5 volt, 9 pin "RS-232" on their device. Or worse, Radio Shack's old 3 pin 5 volt "RS-232".)

I think that eventually (I don't know if I'll live long enough) we'll see Android settle down and the menu will always be 3 lines in the upper-left corner (or wherever they end up being) and we'll have more consistency.

But Android gives you about the same "DIY" experience as Windows does - Wireshark if you're a network admin, a dozen really good email programs, all sorts of things you need for any field. Unlike an iPhone, which is basically "this is what we make - buy it or don't". Apple may give Google a run for sales, but Microsoft is the competitor for those of us who want our pocket computers to be able to make phone calls (as opposed to iPhone users who want their phones to be able to run a few apps).

BTW, rooting is "Run as administrator". It's standard Linux, Google just chose to leave it (and a few other external commands [in Windows terminology]) out. The problem is that the app or Windows program rooting the phone has to run as Administrator in the phone, which is the ability it's trying to install, so ... Catch 21-1/2 - there's always a bug or hole somewhere to exploit to get admin long enough to shove one file su) into one folder (/system/bin) - and that's all it takes. Rooting won't do any more damage than right-clicking a program in Windows. It's what you can do with a program running with all rights - like rm (Windows' del) -rf (recursive, force everything, including system and read only files) /*.*. IOW, wipe all of storage clean. Oops - that means that Android and Linux just got wiped out. But running a rooted app to, say, record your phone call? The only problem is that HTC is the only manufacturer that doesn't consider rooting itself to void the warranty.
 

tcmoon

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I did the same, though my son now has the 1520 and loves it. I feel that Windows is much better, but the Apps that I need aren't on WP, so for now I'll wait before going back to WP.

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