An Android device in my iLife

May 3, 2013

galaxytabI have had a Samsung Galaxy Tab 2, 10.1″ for two weeks now. The bank sent it to us when we placed some money in a long term deposit.

I am an Apple guy, with my Macbook retina, my iPhone 4s and a second generation iPad.

I have always been curious about Android and in previous posts you can see that I foresee that there will come the day where I will switch, but it is not going to be anytime soon.

After heavy configuring the Android tablet to make it look like my main tablet, with email, and tons of apps, I have been using it exclusively during these couple of weeks, and here are my first thoughts:

Hardware aside (I believe is comparable to my iPad second generation), Android is nice. There are some thinks I like more over iOS and some I like more.

What I like is the fact that you can arrange your desktops with the icons as you wish, and that you can create folders (like in iOS) and leave spaces, and also the fact that you can add widgets. At first that was a wow, now I recognise they are of a little value on a day to day, except the clock and weather.

The notification centre is far superior than the iOS. You can mute individual alerts and that is awesome. Also you have there the ability to have quick access to key setting such as wifi, rotation, etc… which is perfect.

You can also have direct access to apps from the lock screen. That is also cool. In iOS is just the camera.

I also like the fact that you can tell an individual app to upgrade when there is an available upgrade. No questions, just it upgrades when it can, and they you get a notification in the notification centre.

To switch and kill apps is just different. No better. There is button and you just swipe to kill or close. The buttons though are not place in a useful place. I find it easier to reach the home button on my iPad to go to home or to switch apps (even with the four finger gesture).

What I dislike is that the Play Store is a mess. Basically either you know what you are looking for or it is impossible to find anything. There is no categorisation, no nothing. I was trying to explore kids apps (as I believe I will give this tablet to my son) but you have to do this in a browser. I also don’t like about the Play Store the fact that you don’t actually see in a straight forward way if an app is for a tablet or for a mobile device.

What I dislike the most is that every time I open the browser it has to reload all the tabs!! Android basically does not remember the state of any app!! That for me is a must. If I am reading email and I want to go to a website I left open, I want to switch and see it and with Android it is not like that! It does open the browser, but then it opens the tabs with your pages, but you can see it is not the same.

If you are a Google user (and I am) then it is very well integrated. Personally I dislike the Samsung apps. I prefer pure Google, so I downloaded the calendar, gmail and chrome, and forgot about the default ones, the only minus is that gmail app has no unified inbox… and I am used to the iOS mail client where all my emails are in on inbox.

One more think I discovered on Android and that I quite like, is the fact you can be browsing the Playstore on your laptop and you can push the install of an app directly to your android device. Bravo. Cool feature.

Why I am not going to adopt Android tablet as my main tablet?

Because I am absorbed by the iOS ecosystem and Google users are equally supported. With my Android tablet I don’t have iMessage (that converts to SMS if needed), FaceTime, Reminders, Find my Friends… and everybody around me does… my brother and his wife, my mum, my girlfriend, my parents in law, my brother in law… so I have a lot to loose if I switch.

Also the simplicity of backups. With iOS if I loose it, I wipe it remotely, I get a new device and I restore it identically. I am sure I can manage to do similarly with Android but it is not out of the box like this. I could also run Skype, but the point is that I don’t want to run anything. FaceTime works fine and it is optimised.

I use my iPhone to listen to podcasts (sure you can also use android) and about 40 audiobooks per year. Android is still no competition for iPod use.

So for me, Apple wins. I will continue to use it for a while, but the reasons I mention are very strong for me to keep on with iOS.

 Edit: I am using the Android tablet as the main tablet as I want to discover everything, and I must say the more I play the more I like it.

I rooted it and installed CyanogenMod with Android 4.2.2 and it rocks. It is much better than the Samsung stack. More on new posts (how to root it with a Mac for example)


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