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Old 07-12-2010, 06:59 PM   #1
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Switching To Android

http://www.chadfowler.com/2010/7/11/...ing-to-android

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The Kindle app is a wonderful thing. Just like it is everywhere else. Now to sell my actual Kindle. Anyone want to buy a first generation Kindle?
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It reminds me of switching to desktop Linux. Linux is usually uglier and less usable than its commercial rivals. Android is similarly ugly and slightly less usable. I also find Linux more exciting. You can get deep into its guts. You can customize it to your heart’s content. You can program it to the limit of your capabilities (as opposed to the limit of its EULA). And it’s weird, in both a good and a bad way. Unlike switching to desktop Linux, I’m often finding myself saying: “Oh, nice. I wish the iPhone had that.”
I bet that describes a lot of Linux/Android users.
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:31 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by kjk View Post
http://www.chadfowler.com/2010/7/11/...ing-to-android

I bet that describes a lot of Linux/Android users.
That can be true. There are many things an Android phone or tablet can do that an Apple iPhone or iPad can't do. But to understand those things and know why they matter, you generally have to be a competent PC user in the first place...and a huge proportion of PC users aren't really. They can push the buttons they know to push to make things go....but they too often do it by rote rather than understanding.

Tendency (not a hard rule): iPhone tends to appeal most to rote users. Some one told them it was easy to use, so go with that, whether it's easy to use or not. They believe it is. Android tends to appeal more to people who know what they are doing from understanding and thus able to understand the things Android does better...and why that matters.

I base these observations on my own experience with my iPod Touch. I find it a pain to use. Not enough controls. Stuff that matters hidden away in places you need to go find. Pinching and squeezing all day gives me hand cramps. I want a trackball. ...and so on.

Cutting across all skill levels, though, anyone can hate iTunes....whatever their level of competence.

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Old 07-14-2010, 10:06 PM   #3
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Tendency (not a hard rule): iPhone tends to appeal most to rote users. Some one told them it was easy to use, so go with that, whether it's easy to use or not. They believe it is.
I think this is true to a large extent-for example, I can easily recommend an iPhone/Touch/iPad/Macbook to people like my wife, my father, my sisters, and various friends who don't have any technical knowledge, nor any desire to learn.

But its also the case for some of us who do have that technical knowledge, and are just tired of dealing with it. To me it is like cars-I used to do everything to keep my old cars running-replacing brakes, clutches, fan belts, and spark plugs. I enjoyed it, and felt the best way to feel confident about driving it was to understand it.

Now I don't even change my oil or windshield wiper fluid myself. I just drive it.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:05 PM   #4
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I think this is true to a large extent-for example, I can easily recommend an iPhone/Touch/iPad/Macbook to people like my wife, my father, my sisters, and various friends who don't have any technical knowledge, nor any desire to learn.

But its also the case for some of us who do have that technical knowledge, and are just tired of dealing with it. To me it is like cars-I used to do everything to keep my old cars running-replacing brakes, clutches, fan belts, and spark plugs. I enjoyed it, and felt the best way to feel confident about driving it was to understand it.

Now I don't even change my oil or windshield wiper fluid myself. I just drive it.
Problem with the Iphone is --sticking to your car analogy -- Steve tells you which roads to take, who you can take along and what you load, and how to hold the steering wheel. And you can't take it to the flash drive-in.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:08 PM   #5
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Problem with the Iphone is --sticking to your car analogy -- Steve tells you which roads to take, who you can take along and what you load, and how to hold the steering wheel. And you can't take it to the flash drive-in.
I don't think it is quite that extreme, but obviously we all drive differently.

The iPhone (and iPad) help me do what I need to get done, elegantly, simply, and enjoyably. I don't have many demands beyond that.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:24 PM   #6
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Actually I think it takes a lot more clicks to do a lot of tasks on the iPhone. Since you have neither hard key shortcuts nor can you setup widgets or toggles on the home screen. Just turning WiFi on and off takes all day.

Yes, a little easier to learn, but once you have spent just a little time familiarizing and customizing the others you are so much faster.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:34 PM   #7
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Actually I think it takes a lot more clicks to do a lot of tasks on the iPhone. Since you have neither hard key shortcuts nor can you setup widgets or toggles on the home screen. Just turning WiFi on and off takes all day.

Yes, a little easier to learn, but once you have spent just a little time familiarizing and customizing the others you are so much faster.
Faster for what, exactly? I read eBooks on my iPad. I watch TV shows and films. I browse the web, and I use Twitter. I access my work and home computer from the iPad to get occasional files. I check and reply to email. I chat.

I'm sure Android and WebOS can do these things as well-I doubt it really takes a lot fewer clicks in any OS to get things done.

Going to turn off or on wi-fi? Yeah, that's not a big time sink for me. But like I said, everyone has different needs.

Edit: ok, let's check.
Touch Settings
Touch WiFi
Swipe on/off Wifi

All day?

Last edited by kjk; 07-14-2010 at 11:42 PM.
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Old 07-14-2010, 11:50 PM   #8
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WiFi: don't forget that you have to do the same thing over once you have finished browsing, checking e-mail, whatever. And Android with a home screen toggle? Touch on and, once you are finished, touch off. So that makes it 6 actions to 2. Just one little example.

Same for bluetooth, etc.

No, not a deal breaker. (For me personally it is actually very important since I turn WiFi on/off 10 times a day since I don't have unlimited data but WiFi available everywhere -- fortunately my wife uses the old iphone 3G now and she is the perfect candidate). But it demonstrates the inefficiencies very nicely. And the fact that you cannot improve on little things like this makes me feel like I am in chains. Very frustrating -- I am paying a lot of money in order to be forced to work a certain way that very often is not suitable for me.

I was sticking to phones, we can't make any comparison IPad/Android tablets since there aren't any yet.

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Old 07-15-2010, 12:04 AM   #9
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WiFi: don't forget that you have to do the same thing over once you have finished browsing, checking e-mail, whatever. And Android with a home screen toggle? Touch on and, once you are finished, touch off. So that makes it 6 actions to 2. Just one little example.

Same for bluetooth, etc.

No, not a deal breaker. (For me personally it is actually very important since I turn WiFi on/off 10 times a day since I don't have unlimited data but WiFi available everywhere -- fortunately my wife uses the old iphone 3G now and she is the perfect candidate). But it demonstrates the inefficiencies very nicely. And the fact that you cannot improve on little things like this makes me feel like I am in chains. Very frustrating -- I am paying a lot of money in order to be forced to work a certain way that very often is not suitable for me.

I was sticking to phones, we can't make any comparison IPad/Android tablets since there aren't any yet.
Yep-like I said, everyone's needs are just so different. My wife has turned off wi-fi ONCE since she got her iPhone-when we traveled to Asia. And she just used airplane mode. But we don't pay for wi-fi, and have unlimited 3G.

I just wonder what is more common to the masses-turning on and off wi-fi 10 times a day, or leaving it on 24/7. If the former were the norm, Apple would have a wifi switch on the home screen, imho. But if you are saying all Android phones ship with it on the home screen by default, then maybe they are missing out.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:28 AM   #10
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Yep-like I said, everyone's needs are just so different. My wife has turned off wi-fi ONCE since she got her iPhone-when we traveled to Asia. And she just used airplane mode. But we don't pay for wi-fi, and have unlimited 3G.

I just wonder what is more common to the masses-turning on and off wi-fi 10 times a day, or leaving it on 24/7. If the former were the norm, Apple would have a wifi switch on the home screen, imho. But if you are saying all Android phones ship with it on the home screen by default, then maybe they are missing out.
Most Android phone do not have a WiFi toggle on the home screen (Sense UI does). But in the end, you can easily fix that yourself, in iOS Apple decided for you that you cannot. You cannot put any function toggle on your home screens, only programs. If you want to have easy access to function toggles on the iphone you have to jailbreak it.

You can't leave WiFi on, that will chew through your battery in 2-3 hours, max. WiFi will turn off in sleep mode, but every time you turn it the phone back on it will look for a connection.
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Old 07-15-2010, 05:28 AM   #11
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Linux is usually uglier and less usable than its commercial rivals
KDE is just as eye candy as win 7

And well, there a a few thing my low end android smparthone can do the iPhone can't.
"What apps do you use to do that ?" "None, it"s a built-in fonction"
Yeah, using mp3 as ringtone is someting even my first cellphone could do.

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Old 07-15-2010, 01:43 PM   #12
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I don't own an iPhone or an Android phone, so I can't comment on that.

However, I do own an iPad, and I simply don't turn off the wifi, battery isn't much of an issue with the iPad.

In principle, I agree with both HansTWN and kjk.

The restrictions that Apple has placed on iOS is frustrating at times, but as I grow older I care less and less about tinkering with my computers and am willing to accept some restrictions to just have them work.

That being said, if you are the type that loves digging through the guts of Linux then you are also likely the type that has no problem jailbreaking an iOS product. I mean if you have to tweak the guts anyway, what is a few more steps in the long process really?

Of course, a guy at work has an Android phone and it is a nice product. So, just buy what you want. Competition helps us all.
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Old 07-16-2010, 04:55 AM   #13
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I just switched to my first Android: the Galaxy S. I have not missed my iPhone 3Gs one bit.

The Android UI is not as polished as iOS, and the manufacturers' "enhancements" are a joke - even Sense is rather tacky, with that curved dock. On the other hand, a launcher app like LauncherPro skins the whole thing rather nicely, and makes it basically on par with iOS 4. And it's a simple "install and forget" process.

Plus, Android OS 2.2 is coming to most newer phones within a couple of months, and Android 3 is going to be here before Christmas. Android 3, if you remember, is going to revamp the UI, and since Google has the Palm OS's key UI designer, I am very hopeful.

Again, I am a very happy camper: I can watch Flash movies now, and in a couple of months, I will finally be able to browse the whole web, Flash and all, on my gorgeous 4" screen.
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