Sunday, December 4, 2011

Time for Android? Part Two

I touched briefly on why I'll probably switch to an Android phone soon, though really all I said was that Maemo and Meego are dead, and that Android can do most of what my N900 can, hardware limitations aside.

Wait, there's Windows Mobile 7, which I've heard is a decent OS,  Sorry but it's not for me.  Android is more open.  For all it's faults, it has a good community and a lot of apps.  It's maintained by Google, and I use and like a lot of their products and services (this blog is currently hosted on Google's Blogger, for instance).  I use Windows, I liked my old WinMo 6.5 phone, I just like what I've seen and heard of Android more.

Okay, okay, here's why I'm really considering the switch:

The truth is, Android has grown up.  I remember when my friend got the G1.  It didn't have an on-screen keyboard. It didn't have a lot of things I'd expect from a smart phone.  I was curious, perhaps a tad jealous, but the only appeal was in Android's newness, not in it's lackluster (at the time) feature set.

Cut to the present, a few years later.  I'm sick of scrolling through the hundreds of albums on my phone to find the one I want.  It's the year 2011, I should be able to say the name of the band and have that album be first on the list.  Oh shit, it looks like Android can do that.  It looks like any music app that allows searching can use Android's voice keyboard.

I've had my eyes on the Nexus Prime (now dubbed the Galaxy Prime) for a little while, curious what cool new bells and whistles it would bring with it. Watching it's announcement video, also the announcement video for Android 4.0 (aka Ice Cream Sandwich), I saw a lot of things that impressed me.

It looks like Ice Cream Sandwich is bringing better multitasking with it (Maemo 5's great multitasking is one of the things that keeps me using it).  I don't know how browsing the web compares, but no doubt Android has more options than the N900 does.

One of the things that kept me loving the N900 was the preservation of my workflow.  I use a lot of open source, cross-platform apps and I don't like the idea of settling for closed sourced solutions.

Well, Notecase Pro has an android version coming soon.  LibreOffice is said to be working on some Android apps, though they're years away.  Firefox Mobile seems to be ignoring the N900 from now on, which I can understand, but they are still churning out Android updates.  Quill is a decent (and open source) alternative to Xournal.  I'm looking at my workflow, then looking at the Android Market, and I'm not seeing many problems right now.  Ppen formats are being more widely adopted and that helps a lot--I don't have to use an official LibreOffice app to edit a LibreOffice file, for instance.

Looking back at my N900, I know for a fact that it doesn't have a voice keyboard.  And it doesn't handle Dropbox as well as Android looks to.  And the N900 is a little chubby, with a small screen to make it worse of all.  Sigh.

Okay, so I'm probably going to switch to Android.  But which phone?  I'll have more notes on that later, I'm sure.

Till then,


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