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Old 03-11-2011, 04:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Another Android Flirtations Comes and Goes

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A while back I caught the Android bug. Had to have it. Got myself a Samsung Epic, found some things to like, but others not to like. Mostly it was about the hardware, not the OS. So I got an Evo to replace it. The entire time I was switching back and forth to my BlackBerry Bold, but the Android periods were getting longer and longer. I was beginning to think I had turned permanently.

In the end I'm back to my BlackBerry 9650 though, with a couple lessons under my belt. The greatest realization I came to was this: I don't particularly like Android. What I did like was the HTC Evo from a hardware perspective. The Evo is large but thin. The 4.3" screen is fabulous for things like Google Maps, pictures, movies, etc. Great camera too. And web browsing, always the Achilles Heel of BlackBerry, is an entirely new experience on the Evo, thanks mostly to the large screen. Event he on-screen keyboard, something I've always loathed, was easy to use and quite pleasant really on that large screen.

But it's funny how we often have to re-learn the same lessons, several times even. My #1 priority remains email. Yet again I found I was trying to turn the Evo into a BlackBerry as far as messaging goes. I did this same thing with a bunch of Nokias way back when, tried it with some basic dumb phones like the Moto RAZR2 (yeah, that was a FAIL all right!), and then I tried it with my Android phones. I went so far as to actually buy an aftermarket email program simply to have a unified inbox. Nothing, not even the paid solution, came close to the BlackBerry email experience. All the free email solutions had one fatal flaw or another. Often is was the inability to set up accounts with certain email providers. Hotmail seems to give a lot of them fits. Others wouldn't remember my appearance settings. One kept defaulting back to the "light" theme, and it's hideous. The developer, quick to respond, says "they're working on it". Great. He seems to put out an update every six months or so.

Another alluring feature of the Evo was the ability to "root" it and be able to use free tethering. Just wheeze data right from Sprint. Sounds great, but there's just one problem: I have major moral qualms about stealing services. I'd love to be able to tether my iPad and use the 4G service, but I'm not going to pay another $30/month for it, especially when I don't know how often I'd use it. I know one thing though - I'm damn sure not going to steal it.

Another strong selling point for BlackBerry is BBM. That's just the best darn im program out there. Better class of users too. It seems like the folks I have as BBM contacts are just a bit more focused than the crew that slings around text messages. I know I'm talking in MAJOR generalities now, but this is my subjective experience. It's especially true with my wife! She's an iPhone user and text message junkie. Everything she sends me is either a repeat of somebody else's text message or something mundane like her issues with the manicurist at the nail salon she frequents, local gossip, etc. Oh. My. God. I've told her to save that stuff until we're sitting down for dinner. Then I can listen to all that fluff. But if I get one more sms from her that begins, " I just HAD to tell you this...." I'm going to go postal. I'm sure that if she had a BlackBerry and BBM she'd do the exact same thing to me. But the point is that she doesn't. My BBM contacts don't seem to think that way. Maybe it's because they're more business users, or maybe the BlackBerry appeals to a more purpose-driven user base. Whatever. It's just refreshing.

Lastly, I think I just plain outgrew the silly drama of the various Android forums. They seem to be a bunch of kids either scamming the system or whining about not being able to scam the system. I found myself longing for the community of professionals that use BlackBerrys and spend their time simply trying to improve other users' experience with the platform. Maybe it's a generational thing with me and I'm just turning into an old codger. Whatever the reason, I couldn't bear going to those forums for answers or simply to help.

So once again, I re-activated my Bold and put the Evo on a shelf. The registration message and individual account activation confirms came streaming in, and it was like a cool breeze on a hot day. Open source, my ass! Just give me what works best for me. I really wanted to like Android, but a user should have to try to like something. In the immortal words of Maurey Ballstein, "THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT, BABY!!"

Last edited by rambo47 : 03-11-2011 at 04:15 PM.
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Old 03-11-2011, 05:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another Android Flirtations Comes and Goes

Welcome back to the Black(berry) side. We did leave the light on for ya!

And a good rundown on real issues from a real user's point of view.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another Android Flirtations Comes and Goes

I'm glad you posted that. I was edging toward android as well but think I will wait a bit and learn from your experiences. Can't hurt to ponder a little longer.
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Old 03-12-2011, 08:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another Android Flirtations Comes and Goes

I fought the siren's song from Android for a ling time. While there is plenty to love with Android devices, too much of that stuff is just not anything I will use.

The other kicker is battery life. Heavy users cannot hope to last a day, especially with the large screen devices like the Evo. It's especially noticeable when the phone is new to you because you'll be playing with it so much, changing the background image, fussing with settings, etc. You can always get a high capacity battery to help, but then your sleek and sexy Evo becomes a brick in both size and shape.

Everybody should try an Android device some time, maybe for a week. You'll see the hype vs. reality of Android, maybe get some ideas for apps on BlackBerry, and probably scratch an itch that has been nagging at you. Some folks will find that Android is really the right system for them. That's good too. Everybody acting in his own self-interest make the whole machine run best.
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:46 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another Android Flirtations Comes and Goes

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo47 View Post
Some folks will find that Android is really the right system for them.
Me. (For now.)

You will pry my Evo from my cold dead hands. This is the first time in my life that I bought a tech device, and nearly 1 year on I still feel no urge to upgrade to a newer device.

That said, BB is still the King of Email, and I don't email nearly as much as I used to. I IM more than I email at work, and my online personal life has gone Facebook. About the only time I use email now is if I'm either deliberately trying to create a record of a conversation, or I'm communicating with a relative Luddite.

The only thing I really miss about my old BB is BBM, and ever since I learned that BBM is coming to Android (YES!!!):

source: Exclusive: BlackBerry Messenger will launch on Android and iOS | BGR

I am over the moon, and my last lingering BB regret is gone.

I'm fickle, though. I accept that all this could change in a moment, and I am not married to the Android OS either. I'm very curious to see what the future holds for BB.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another Android Flirtations Comes and Goes

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathrynhr View Post
Me. (For now.)

You will pry my Evo from my cold dead hands. This is the first time in my life that I bought a tech device, and nearly 1 year on I still feel no urge to upgrade to a newer device.

That said, BB is still the King of Email, and I don't email nearly as much as I used to.
I completely agree with all of this word for word! I do, at times, miss the BB keyboard, especially when needing to type a pretty long email, but if I feel I need to do that, I will jump on the laptop.
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Old 03-14-2011, 01:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another Android Flirtations Comes and Goes

Had a Samsung Vibrant (T-Mobile) and was thrilled when the CIO wanted to have it. He needs 2-3 battery changes PER DAY to use it with push e-mail. Luckily I gave him three batteries.

Bought a Samsung Galaxy Tablet. It's OK. The iPad is more usable. I like that it is not tied to Apple's store, but it can't do HTML e-mail and that stinks, and the US carriers have disabled voice features on it.

Was given a Xoom as a demo. 30 days. Sent it back after 14. It was OK; Honeycomb was a step up from Frodo, but it wasn't a game changer.

I'm with Rambo on this one - I just don't think Android is that great. I assume I'd feel differently if I wanted to root it and load another ROM, blah, blah, blah. But I don't.

So I will stick with my BB and my iPad. Works for me.
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Old 03-15-2011, 12:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another Android Flirtations Comes and Goes

Same here (re: Kathyrnhr and jsconvers)... it took Android to make me leave RIM, and I am quite satisfied. Rooted and running stock.

I do see and appreciate some of Rambo's points; still, I have been able to tinker with my Android device and get it to surpass my needs. I readily admit to tweaking the email to look and behave more like BB. Since work and personal email are Google-powered, and I am immersed in the world of G in other ways, Android makes sense.

I don't see myself getting a tablet anytime soon, but honestly, the Xoom is not priced to compete with Apple's offerings, IMHO. I think Motorola was a bit too ambitious.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another Android Flirtations Comes and Goes

Android is much more useful if you buy into the whole Google experience. GMail, Google Calendar, etc. I may swap back to my Evo from time to time, especially around updates. I too can be a little fickle, and I'm always searching for "the next great thing".

For me though, BlackBerry works the way I do.
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Old 03-17-2011, 09:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another Android Flirtations Comes and Goes

<-Tried Android for a month.... and stayed.

For me, it was about managing my website remotely (and occasional emails/texts...) since I have to block it at work MYSELF (oh the irony). Thanks to my current g/f, I'm up to 2000+ txts a month (WHAT!?!??!!!!)
Admittedly, battery life sucks... and yes, it WAS worse in the beginning, tinkering with apps, backgrounds, good apps, sucky apps, etc.... but I've got a happy medium now..and the EXT life battery is great.. This heavy user charges at night only.. and lasts all day, way better than most fare..
I WILL NEVER BE AN IPHONE USER.... No patience for Czar Jobs; they're lucky I own an iPod really. And the iPad? I got them at work, great paperweights IMHO., keeps my chinese food warm too.(LOL).. Waiting on version 2 to arrive now..

Cheers, MM
PS: Hiya Rambo/Neighbor.... East Hanover here...
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:01 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another Android Flirtations Comes and Goes

I found myself giggling today in a Starbucks at around 4:30 PM. I was in this state of mind after seeing my battery meter still well above 50% having not used a charger all day. I didn't realize how much I had to worry about having enough juice left late in the day on my Evo.
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Old 03-28-2011, 08:05 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another Android Flirtations Comes and Goes

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo47 View Post
I found myself giggling today in a Starbucks at around 4:30 PM. I was in this state of mind after seeing my battery meter still well above 50% having not used a charger all day. I didn't realize how much I had to worry about having enough juice left late in the day on my Evo.
So are you saying that Androids don't have enough power?

Now isn't English wonderful because you have to think what I really meant by that comment.
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Old 03-29-2011, 07:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another Android Flirtations Comes and Goes

Quote:
Originally Posted by rambo47 View Post
I found myself giggling today in a Starbucks at around 4:30 PM. I was in this state of mind after seeing my battery meter still well above 50% having not used a charger all day. I didn't realize how much I had to worry about having enough juice left late in the day on my Evo.
Juice can be a big issue on the Evo, I agree. Especially if you're in an area with a weak data signal or your phone is constantly switching towers.

At my office (downtown Cincinnati) I get great battery life. I get a solid 4G signal and only I lose about 10% every 4 hours or so with normal use.

At home I'm halfway between two cell towers. One of these towers is great... it gives me 2 "arches" of 4G or all 5 bars of 3G. The other tower appears to have no 4G and only weak 3G. But for some reason I can't understand at all, depending on where I am standing in my house, it will connect to the one or the other. (Which SUCKS... I am still looking for a reliable way to force it to ignore the weak tower, or hide it from the phone or something.)

The result of this is that when I am at home and not using WiFi (I'm usually not; that's another story), my phone burns through the battery big time as it bounces back and forth between the two towers.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:01 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Another Android Flirtations Comes and Goes

I switched from my BB a couple years ago to an iPhone 3GS and then to an iPhone 4. Last week I upgraded to the Atrix since Best Buy had them free on Wed if you signed a new 2 year contract. Since my wife's cousin who's also one of the managers there has had one for awhile now had been telling me about it and after I played around with it for a day while over at their kids birthday party, I decided to give it a try. So far it's 10x's better then my iPhone as the ONLY time I need to connect it to my computer is to move pictures and music around, other then that I'm so glad not to be tied to the computer for upgrades of the OS and any apps that come out.

Battery life has been great for me so far. I have my gmail and exchange pushing to it through a 3rd party app, since I'm traveling a lot for clients of ours, I'm on it the same as my iPhone and I was charging that between visits and a lot of times while at the client sites. I'm trying to get away from using a laptop to as little as possible when I'm at home but I'll be damned if I'm paying the $300 they want for the docking station. I do have to admit that it's a sweet little thing they have for it after seeing what my wife's cousin can do with his. Of course his Atrix is rooted and mine is stock as can be. I got tired of jailbreaking just so I could have a mail tone that I could actually hear when at home. With my Atrix, I've found that I can have the volume down to 50% and I still hear it even when mowing the lawn. I'm sure I'll find a dock for it on craigslist for under $100 somewhere. I sold my IP4 because my wife didn't want to go through another phone swap even though she could've used it for the facetime to video chat with her mom.

Overall I'm very happy with it. Other the stores not really carrying cases or anything for this as they seem to cater to the EVO croud more then anything. I was able to order a nice case/holster combo online for under $15 shipped on Friday and it just came as I'm typing this. I'll be tossing an invisibleSHIELD on it tonight since one of my team had a spare one that he gave me just too keep the screen nice and clean.
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