Starting on my second Android year
I got the Samsung Galaxy S3 last June and I have to say that I have on the whole been very pleased with the experience. Of course, for the first couple of months it was all new and exciting and there was work to be done to replace the Apple applications I had previously been using. There were one or two frustrations due to missing some of the functionality that I had got previously from my favourite iOS applications . Mostly it didn’t take me very long to find suitable replacements and I have to admit that now I rarely pick up the iPhone or iPad. Yes – I still have the iOS devices. There are some iOS drawing applications on my iPad that I still like to use. There is the DayOne application that I use for journalling and I am hoping that they will soon come out with a version of the application for Android.
It’s all about the text input
I do do quite a lot of writing and I have found that the methods for getting text into Android are much better than available on iOS. I started to use SwiftKey and I liked that application very much for the way that it was able to spookily guess my next word so easily . What it wasn’t so good at was, the British English dictation and so I changed to the application from Nuance call Swype . I try to dictate as much as possible because it is so much faster than typing. I find it very easy to speak in a way for the phone to understand what it is that I am saying and for it to end up being very readable on my pages. For example, yesterday I dictated 600 words using my Samsung Galaxy S3 and I was able to do that very quickly indeed. The text when it was finished only needed the usual amount of editing as I would have done if typing. This was because the application was able to get most of the words correctly and I only needed to do some slight word changes and a little bit more of grammar changes.
I bought Android applications
I had spent a fair amount of money on buying applications for iOS . This was for applications that I liked to use, some applications that I just wanted to try out and some applications that were for me to do reviews of. With Android I have bought some applications to get things done, but many of the applications that I use have been free ones. Most of the time the applications that I have bought have been the right ones to buy first off. I haven’t had to swap applications after finding that the first one I tried wasn’t the right one for me.
Android phone and tablet
Following with these successes that I had with the Samsung Galaxy S3 I decided to also get myself the Nexus 7 . It has been handy to have two Android devices to work with and I really like using the tablet the size of the Nexus 7. One of the main things that I use the Nexus 7 for is the reading of books on the Kindle application, so I am often carrying the device around the house with me to continue reading wherever. I can continue reading even when I am sitting down having my lunch. I don’t have to worry about the book closing by itself, As happens with paper books. Sometimes I will also use the Samsung Galaxy S3 for reading on the Kindle application.
Security on Android
One of the things that I am interested in is the Pretty Good Privacy cryptographic method of security. I am also interested in using encrypted e-mail by using certificates. It is very easy to get a certificate on the the email client client on iOS, but I haven’t found it so easy with the Android mail. I don’t really need to send unencrypted e-mail often, so I don’t worry about it too much.
For some time I didn’t have access to 1Password for creating, storing and managing passwords, but now there is a new version for Android which is working very well. I did try another application for managing passwords but I need something that will synchronise with the 1Password app that I have on my Mac and iOS.
Some people worry that Android is not as secure as iOS and users are likely to get hit by malware, personally I don’t have a problem. So long as you use software from reliable, trusted sources you will probably be OK.
What do I miss of iOS
Not a lot actually. As I mentioned I have the art apps such as Procreate and Art Studio that I will use on the iPad from time to time. Apps like Blogsy for the blogging, Byword and Editorial for writing and linking up with iCloud. Drafts on iOS is so much better than the Draft Android app, it does so much more and had changed the way I worked with text on iOS completely. At least we have Dropbox for the easy movement of text from one platform to another.
Android is completly rubbush for editing video, so I do miss iMovie for iPad and also Pinnacle Studio. Not yet found a video editing app for Android anywhere near as good. I will keep my eyes open for a vide app and it will perhaps happen one day.
My Twitter app on Android is not as good as Tweetbot. I have been using one called Carbon, which is OK but I would like be able to have a light background with dark text. My eyesight doesn’t work well with the text the viewed the other way around.
Having all my Apple stuff working together is nice but it is workable to be sliding between platforms. I would be using Omnifocus more if there was an Android version. So I do miss the iOS version of that get things done app. I don’t miss much and I find more that I get annoyed by iOS and the way it works and that is what keeps me on Android. The alternative keyboards on Android are amazing and I miss the soft back button on Android when I use iOS. If iOS had Swype or SwiftKey I could go back.
Mobile Audio Editing
iOS wins on this one. Android has the AGC Automatic Gain Control which messes with my audio recording. It is still usable but I have to work a bit harder to set up the mic right so I don’t record too hot and clip the audio. Audio Evolution Pro on Android is OK but I prefer to use Twisted Wave on iOS. I often carry the iPhone with me just so I can use it with my Giant Squid lavalier mic. I miss other audio app such as BossJock and the iOS version of AudioBoo. I have got a workflow to record audioboos on Android in Audio Evolution Pro, convert it in Media convertor to MP3 and send to Audioboo by email. I can do whatever audio editing I need to do and it works pretty well.
The fan boys are fighting it out!
Just lately I have noticed on one or two of the social websites that there is animosity between the Android fan boys and the Apple fan boys. Both sides of the fence have admirable qualities in terms of usage of their system and when it really comes down to experience, there is no huge amount of difference. The Android people complain about the closed system of the Apple experience and while there is some truth in this it is not absolutely set in stone true either. There are lots of different settings that you can work and play with in the Apple system that make it link up to hardware, software and systems outside of the Apple universe. The Apple people say that the Android operating system is not as secure to use and is not as well defined or as easy-to-use as is the Apple way of doing things. Once again there is some truth in it, but not the complete truth. As far as I know I haven’t had any problems with my Android security, but then I tend to get all of my Android software from reputable sources.
I did see recently that a one time fan of the Android devices defected back over to Apple and the iPhone and while doing so complained about the Android fan complaints. He cited this as being a reason why he was going to stick with Apple. This seemed to be a little bit silly as far as I was concerned because both sides are just as bad as the other. I think it is more important to see which side of the fence works better for you and run with it. If it is possible to do as I am doing where you are working with Android and Mac together with a little bit of iOS thrown into the mix also, then you can have the best of the all worlds.
Will I stay with Android
Right now that is yes for sure. I need the better keyboard of Swype or SwiftKey. I am also stuck with another year of paying for the Galaxy S3 to the phone company anyway. The Nexus 7 is working great and is a delight to use. It was a great price and for me better value for money than an iPad Mini would have been. A very good thing about having the Nexus 7 is the fact that I get the OTA updates to the operating system quickly and I don’t have to resort to using something like CyanogenMod as I did with my Samsung Galaxy S3. When you do something like that then you also have two go through the process of doing the rooting which can sometimes be a little bit technical and daunting.
I do still sometimes wish I hadn’t been tempted away and was still with both feet in the Apple and iOS camp, but it works for me the way I am doing it now and I am happy enough overall with sliding in between Android, iOS and Mac OSX. I get done what I have to get done with what I have.