If you are old enough to remembrer Windows for Workgroups 3.11 you probably remember it fondly. It connected to the internet (14,4000 for the lucky, 28,800 or faster for the incredibly lucky!) and rarely crashed if you knew what you were doing.
Stable, but just barely.
A phone should not require a nightly reboot as my Jelly Bean based Galaxy Note 3 does to ensure that the alarm wakes me up in the morning and the telephone app doesn’t lock up.
Put simply, I can not recommend Android Devices to anyone. Not with Iphones and Windows Phones out which actually WORK as phones and alarm clocks.
Yet, I am still carrying it mostly happily.
What I was looking for:
a. wanted to only carry 1 device, not phone, iPad, and a kindle (to have books read to me.) To do that it means I am starting to buy books from google or convert from kindle to fbreader. This is for a very specific use case – I find it valuable to have text spoken to me as I read technical or other non-fiction books. I need to try the general screen readers as well. In general my iphone 4 was better at this use case.
b. I chose to invite complexity of android into my life by getting a Note. I don’t recommend android to people in general.
c. If you choose android give up any pretense of privacy. You have none. Stuff I did on my phone began showing up on my laptop searches. I now use tor router, a limited keyboard and duckduckgo for much of my day to day work. Check out google play guardian project apps for a bit more privacy.
I believe iPhone and Windows Phone are superior in almost every way. For me solving the myriad problems of it was a way to refocus on a consumer product and technology in general.
a. A consumer should not have to go hunting for a podcast player (pick your favorite standard feature,) nor should they then have to download 4 which each have radically different UI’s to pick their favorite.
b. NO ONE should have to use touchwiz (sorry, I get a hairball just thinking about it. )
c. It is huge.
d. My first one had a gps defect, many did (See http://goo.gl/PaIx3V for details.) My AT&T replacement fixed it.
g. Every useful app wants access to everything about me they can find. Why a flashlight wants to see my contacts I do not know – perhaps to enlighten them.
h. bluetooth stereo fails in my car so most of the voice features fail for me – bloody heck, my iPhone 4 worked better!
And yet, I find it works well for me.
Best I can tell it is for a series of reasons – *’s next to the ones that are strongest:
*a. Email while less pretty works well and has a filter by unread mode which I like. (Though it is a bit broken, you have to go back to the list instead of forward and backward in mail.)
*b. Being able to read all the events on the calendar in month view is glorious.
*c. Nova Launcher makes me happy (without this I would have returned it due to touchwiz)
*d. The battery just keeps going
e. being able to swap keyboards is nice – though all want to access my most private things.
*f. After a month I began actually using the stylus. For note taking in meetings it is less obtrusive and works very well.
*g. the large screen is glorious
h. I have become a fan of todotxt(.com) and it works well
*i. I loved that I could try 70 GTD todolist apps till I found one that i like.
j. evernote and last pass work well.
*k. multiwindow is AWESOME
**l. widgets rock (tip of the hat to Nokia Symbian for this idea.)
*m. dolphin browser
n. google now, though a privacy nightmare, is very cool
*o. Tasker, once I figure it out, will be amazing
Things that would make it perfect: 1. if i get screen reader working to read just when i want, 2. if I could get it to read (text to speech) my email and let me respond to email handsfree while driving.
Also, worth noting, Amazon deserves public shaming for not including Text to Speech in kindle on Android and for not supporting video and Amazon Instant Video on Android when it IS supported on Kindle which runs android. Basically they have pushed me to purchase books on google and video on Vudu. I assume this is not what they intended.