Changing to Android

Friday, July 16th, 2010 at 5:37 pm

A week ago I began writing a blog post with the self-explanatory title of “Should I get an iPhone 4?” That post is no longer needed, as in the course of writing it I made the decision to replace my aging iPhone 3G with an Android based device. Specifically the Samsung Galaxy S.

So what has prompted me to change? In order to answer that I took a step back and analysed how I have actually been using my iPhone in the (almost) two years that I have had it.

The easiest way to categorise my usage is to break it down into what icons I have in what areas of the iPhone.

The four icons I have in the dock are:

  • Mail – Checking email is my most common action, this is against my home IMAP server, but I am again considering trying Gmail.
  • Messages – I don’t send many text messages a month, but still an order of magnitude more than voice calls.
  • Safari – Looking up an arbitrary page is also something I do often.
  • Calendar – Follows behind email in regard to usage, this is synced with my Google Calendar.

Many of the icons I have on the various home screens are never used, this is across all of the screens. However, which screen an icon is on does relate somewhat to how much I use it.

Home screen 1:

  • Phone – Mostly to view missed calls, and very occasionally to make a direct call.
  • Photos and Camera – I will take a photo as a reminder (eg of a price tag or similar) and then forget to look at the photos. I also keep a copy of my camera club competition entries as a reminder of what my entries were.
  • Contacts – Occasional lookup in order to make a phone call. It is more useful for caller id of incoming calls.
  • Maps – For looking up maps when I am going somewhere unfamiliar.
  • Clock – To set alarms that fail to wake me up
  • Settings – Should be obvious…
  • LibraryThing – Web link to my book catalog. Has prevented me from getting duplicate books at book sales.
  • iPod – Very rarely I listen to the music I have on the phone.

Home screen 2:

  • eBay – Used more often recently as I decimate the collection.
  • WordPress – Very occasional input of blog post ideas.
  • Metlink – Very occasional use when needing to catch public transport to get somewhere.
  • OZ Weather – Although there now appears to be a full app, I still use the web app version to check the forecast.
  • LaTwit (paid app) – About half of my posts to identica/twitter/facebook are made from here.
  • HOYTS – Link to mobile version of Hoyts site for movie session time. (I also use the mobile version on the desktop as it is much more usable that the full site)

Home screen 3:

  • Facebook – If I am really bored and reading status updates through email isn’t enough, very rare.
  • IMDb – Before or after a movie to check details or look up trivia.

Home screen 4:

  • TouchTerm – Used once or twice to remotely change mail filtering when at a conference.
  • Flickr – Occasional use to search for photos.

From my research so far I haven’t found anything that I use my phone for on a regular basis that Android will not do out of the box. I expect that I will try out a variety of alternate apps, and in a few months I intend to write a followup post.

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