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Diary
By jayhawk88 (Fri May 27, 2011 at 10:42:10 AM EST) (all tags)
Advice needed


So it's time for a new phone from work. A year or so ago everyone in my department started getting Blackberry's, right around the time the iPhone 4 and Droid's started ramping up and making our Bolds and Tours look like stone tablets. We've all been chomping at the bit to ditch these devices ("Oh, you want to load a web page? Ha ha, no"), so now the question faces me: iPhone or Droid? Or Windows Phone 7, right? Heh, I know, it made me laugh too.

I'm honestly having a tough time deciding which way to go, and am interested in some feedback. I've always kind of had a weird relationship with mobile technology when it came to my job. I'm needed of course, need to stay in touch, but not necessarily at the level where I'm desperately seeking the latest and greatest new features in the field. Hell I had a Windows Mobile 6 device up until getting this Blackberry last year, with an email experience so horrible I barely bothered with it. No one in the office even uses Blackberry Messenger, despite the fact I hear it's so great it's almost single-handedly keeping Blackberry alive at this point. Only in the past couple months have we looked into tethering.

Partially I'm going to use this as sort of a personal pro/con list, but feedback is always good.

iPhone:

  • iTunes. For better or worse, I've completely bought into iTunes at home for music, as well as podcasts. Jenn got me an iPad a while back as well, and recently we've dropped cable, and I got an Apple TV in the living room, so the girls can watch Toy Story 247 times over the next 5 years. I'm kind of all in at this point. I know there are ways to break my media free and keep the same functionality, but I have to be honest: I'm not the hacker I used to be. Between work, keeping up with the girls, and everything else that comes with domestication, my patience for solving tech problems is really at an all time low. It just needs to work, dammit, so I can get on with my life, and/or get to bed.
  • The Great Unknown, i.e. iPhone 5. I was going to wait until Apple dropped the 5, but the State System has pushed my decision date to mid June, otherwise I'll be on the hook for buying the device (they're going to a stipend-type system for the monthly bill). Which probably eliminates the 5 for me, cause I'm not going to want to drop $399 or whatever the Apple Tax Price for it is. Plus, it seems like the improvements for this version will be cosmetic at best, unless I really wanted to move to TMobile or something. Do I really want to buy into a year-old phone at this point? Seems like I might be making the same mistake I made with the Blackberry.
  • The Apps. Legion, of course, but what am I really getting? I've had some experience with this from the iPad perspective, and there's some cool things of course, but I've yet to really run into anything besides maybe the Nook Reader that screams to me "Yes, you must have this, it will change your life". From a work perspective, what is it giving me? I know this is a valid question from the Droid perspective as well.
Droid:
  • The Great Unknown. I've made spent like 30 seconds using a Droid up to this point. Will I like/hate it? The iPad has kind of/sort of given me an idea of what to expect from iPhone.
  • The Second Decision: The good thing about Apple at least is that once you make that choice, the choosing is done. Go Droid, and you then have a second major choice to make, perhaps even more important than the first, as to which device? Again, I'm kind of at the point in my life where crawling through reviews on Engadget and half a dozen other techs sites isn't my idea of fun.
  • Managing it: Again, the iTunes factor. Say what you will, but having one-stop shopping in the form of iTunes is nice. Doesn't seem like it's that easy from the Droid perspective. Plus I probably wouldn't go cold turkey on iTunes because of the Apple TV and iPad.
Hmmm...Did I just talk myself into the iPhone? Everytime I think about getting a Droid and trying to get my music and pods synched up, while still managing the other iOS devices in my life, I get a little twitchy. What am I missing with a Droid? I do rely on GMail pretty heavily, Docs somewhat, and would like to start utilizing Calendar more. Advantage: Droid there in any way?

It just seems like there should be something that would make my life much better from a work perspective, and that thing would be better served with a Droid. I don't know what that thing is, or even why I think this. Maybe it's just marketing working it's magic on me. Looking at my list there, iPhone seems like the obvious choice, but for personal reasons. Why can't I shake this feeling that I should be going Droid?

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New phone time | 19 comments (19 topical, 0 hidden)
Droid by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #1 Fri May 27, 2011 at 12:00:24 PM EST
There are many droid phones with different capabilities...these comments refer to mine, an HTC EVO.

Pros:

Cons: For Android phones in general, there's lots more choice, both for hardware and for carriers.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
However by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri May 27, 2011 at 12:01:46 PM EST
If I hadn't gotten mine free, and didn't work for a group that did Android development, my own choice between iPhone and Android wouldn't be clear cut.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
The music bit is slowly going away. by MartiniPhilosopher (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri May 27, 2011 at 12:06:16 PM EST
I got my beta invite for gmusic yesterday. Too bad my hero is stuck at 1.6 -- 2.3+ is supposed to have the fully integrated app.

Whenever I hear one of those aforementioned douche bags pontificate about how dangerous [...] videogames are I get a little stabby. --Wil Wheaton.

[ Parent ]
Good list by duxup (2.00 / 0) #6 Fri May 27, 2011 at 01:40:46 PM EST

Another Pro:

  • Widgets 

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[ Parent ]
the feeling is because nobody likes proprietary by infinitera (4.00 / 3) #4 Fri May 27, 2011 at 12:54:22 PM EST
Except when they want things to work without integration problems.

Given the iDevices you have, I think you did talk yourself into iPhone already. ;)

[…] a professional layabout. Which I aspire to be, but am not yet. — CheeseburgerBrown

Seems to me by Gedvondur (4.00 / 1) #5 Fri May 27, 2011 at 12:56:12 PM EST

You did talk yourself into an iPhone.  You are already part of the Apple Collective, and comfortable with the tools.  Besides, you'll have it for two years and get another one.  Gmail works great on it.  By the time you need to decide again, the whole world will have changed.


 


"Adrenaline dumbs pain" - xth
I think probably so by jayhawk88 (4.00 / 1) #17 Sun May 29, 2011 at 08:23:15 AM EST
Maybe part of it is that I just like the idea of a Droid, trying to "get back to my roots" so to speak. Not that I was ever a Linux kernel hacker but still.

It is kind of amazing to me how much one's view of themselves can change without you realizing it. Example, if I were forced to describe/classify myself, I probably would still tick the box next to "gamer". But I'm not, really. I still play WoW and I bought/play Civ 5, got Starcraft 2, but that's really about it for the past couple years. I mean cripes, I haven't even played Portal 2 yet.

[ Parent ]
I'm pro-Android by theboz (2.00 / 0) #7 Fri May 27, 2011 at 05:58:08 PM EST
I sort of own both devices now, although the iPhone doesn't have phone service turned on.  Realistically though, phone calls are maybe 5% or less of what I use my phone for, so I wouldn't judge either based on that.

For me, the iPhone 3G OS feels a bit primitive, and the iPad doesn't really seem that improved other than having multi-tasking.  Android has multi-tasking as well, but the main advantages the interface has for me are 1) a "back" button, which is extremely useful, and 2) a home page that you can put widgets on.

As for applications, both seem to be equally good, except that iPhone is missing emulators for old school games, which you may not care about.  Otherwise, both have decent ftp, rdp, ssh, Dropbox, Netflix, Skype, etc. that I use.  Both seem to do Exchange email ok too.  In my personal experience, I ran into a bug where iOS doesn't allow any third party apps to run anymore for some random reason, and I read blogs where people say you should never install applications directly to the phone, only do it by synchronizing with iTunes, which again, feels primitive.  Also, I've discovered no real text to speech capabilities like I have with Android, which is very useful.  I hate iTunes and don't want to use it, and Android gives me decent ways to get applications and media.  I download MP3s from Amazon anyway, so the fact that I can easily do that from my phone is a big win so I don't have to get some .mp4 files or whatever it is that Apple uses that doesn't work on anything else.

Hardware wise, my Droid Incredible and the iPhone look similar and seem equally sturdy.  The screens are about the same in terms of picture quality, and the onscreen keyboard is similar enough that I don't see any real advantage either way.

The bottom line for me is that I am biased toward Android.  It's not an unfair bias in my opinion, because I love my iPods.  I would like to think I went into things with an open mind, and was close to going iPhone for a while (I found a place in town to get jailbroken ones that I could run on T-Mobile and use a third party app store.)  However, I had so much trouble with T-Mobile's quality of service that I switched to Verizon about a year ago and they only had Android at the time.  At this point, I would view the iPhone as a step backwards in terms of features, reliability, and usability for me.  I've never had issues with my Android phone, and as an I.T. person the interface and setting it up all felt intuitive.  That being said, since you're already an Apple guy, you may not like it as much as the iPhone.  However, I do think that the iPhone is overhyped and that Android is unfairly maligned so I would suggest you go to a store and play around with both and see what you think works best for you.
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That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n

Doh! I forgot to mention Flash by theboz (2.00 / 0) #8 Fri May 27, 2011 at 06:00:38 PM EST
I was very disappointed in Steve Jobs for his personal crusade against Flash.  Business applications I use for work depend on Flash and work fine in the Android browser.  They don't work on the iPhone or iPad.  Also, more importantly, the lack of flash makes the web useless to my four year old who likes sites like pbskids.org.
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That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n
[ Parent ]
I'm a different type of Linux fanboi I guess by theboz (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri May 27, 2011 at 11:12:14 PM EST
For me it would be more like I enjoy being able to jailbreak my iPhone, install Flash however it's possible, and circumvent the limits of the device.  I may likely end up doing that with my daughter's phone if it can help me get third party applications working again.
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That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n
[ Parent ]
I don't know how well it works ... by lm (2.00 / 0) #14 Sat May 28, 2011 at 06:27:21 PM EST
... but, depending on the generation,  it is possible to jailbreak an iPhone and install Android.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
I can't compare iPhone to Android by lm (2.00 / 0) #13 Sat May 28, 2011 at 06:25:44 PM EST
But I find my iPad to be far more intuitive and easy to use than my wife's Android. UI wise, my only significant complaint is that one can only switch between apps via the home button. I would have thought that a gesture would have been more intuitive. (I did have a few before iOS 4.x was released but that release solved most of my bones to pick with the OS.)

I don't get the "use iTunes as an installer" thing. I've never done it and in close to a year of using my iPad, I've yet to run into any problem.

On the other hand, my wife does quite like her Android. Most of her quibbles with it are not functions of Android per se but a function of our mobile provider (T*Mobile): the long wait before Froyo was available to download for her model, locked hardward, etc.

In theory, I would really like something like the Atrix. But it looks like Motorola and AT&T bodgered  the implementation.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Motorola DynaTAC 8000X by chuckles (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri May 27, 2011 at 09:28:33 PM EST
Very solid phone

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
I'm planning on getting a Nokia E7. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #12 Sat May 28, 2011 at 08:27:13 AM EST
This may be a silly move.

I like my iPhone by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #15 Sun May 29, 2011 at 02:23:19 AM EST
that said, it kind of depends on what kind of infrastructure your employer has set up for this stuff. Unless it's all hosted by your wireless carrier, your company might be better set up for some devices over others.
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if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
Well by jayhawk88 (2.00 / 0) #16 Sun May 29, 2011 at 08:15:19 AM EST
We still use Groupwise at work. I'll pause now and let your laughing fit subside.

...

We've got plans to switch to Exchange Real Soon Now (tm), a plan so well thought out that it's been in effect for the past 3-4 years at least, and will probably continue for at least another year or two. I'm not expecting to be on Exchange at this point next year.

Groupwise does have a product based on ActiveSync that will play nice (relatively speaking) with iPhones and Androids, so we officially do support both. Outside of that though, we don't have anything in the way of management. That's the one downside, as it's definitely going to be a step back from BES mail/management, but what can you do? Blackberry hasn't really shown any signs that would lead you to believe they can avoid getting on the fast track to Palmsville.

Still, it's going to eventually come and bite us in the ass, I know. We're kind of in limbo with a lot of things right now, waiting on projects to finish that are going to take months/years, not weeks.

[ Parent ]
well by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #18 Sun May 29, 2011 at 09:10:29 AM EST
if that's the case then it's probably not going to matter what you go with. We're primarily weighted toward Blackberries at the moment, with the iPhone only recently allowed because we only recently figured out how to support and secure them properly (and when it became obvious that everyone wanted them and we were going to HAVE to) but we still don't have a lot of Android or Windows phones outside of the people testing them in IT.

A lot of people still like BB, mostly because it's what they're used to and it's been around so long it's well supported. But that's not really what you asked.

I think what it might come down to is how much you think you're gonna want Flash. Also how long your contract/upgrade cycle is going to be when you get a new phone.
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if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake

[ Parent ]
(Comment Deleted) by mellow teletubby (2.00 / 0) #19 Sun May 29, 2011 at 10:23:59 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by mellow teletubby



I love my Motoroloa Droid X. by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #20 Sun May 29, 2011 at 11:06:01 AM EST
Mostly. I wanted to go with Verizon for a few reasons (most of the people I'd want to call use Verizon, so I could have fewer talking minutes, unlimited internet usage and texts built in to the package, and a 22% discount through my employer). That said, I still use an iPod Touch for music - I just find it more intuitive, and I don't have to worry about my phone's battery life (that was an issue for me in the beginning, but with the new OS, the battery life seems to be much, much better for whatever reason).

My only complaint is syncing with the Exchange server at work. Ever since we switched to Exchange from whatever we had before, I've had trouble, both using MacMail on my work computer, and with my phone getting the mail. It'll work fine for a while, then it won't automatically sync, and I have to manually get mail, then it'll stop automatically refreshing the inbox and I have to do that manually, then it'll stop sending mail. The fix seems to be to drain the battery completely (or, I suppose, taking the battery out - I haven't tried that yet). Honestly, I blame the server more than the phone, since there have been a number of issues unrelated to mobile use, but it could well be the phone.

Other than that issue, I've had no problems with the phone, I like the UI, it's pretty speedy for internet surfing, I truly love SWYPE typing, and it takes remarkably nice snapshots for a phone. It's also sturdy enough that I don't worry so much about dropping it or tossing it into my backpack when I don't have pockets.

If Verizon had had the iPhone when I was phone shopping, though, I likely would've gone that direction. If I had the choice now, I'm not sure what I would pick.
--
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin

New phone time | 19 comments (19 topical, 0 hidden)