Apples and Oranges

, posted: 15-Jun-2012 11:29

It was with some trepidation that I brought the HTC One X home, knowing that if it was going to have a shot at being my new primary phone, it needed to integrate into an ecosystem that consists of a lot of Apple technology. Our primary home computer is an iMac, my work machine is a Macbook Pro, and prior to receiving the HTC One X I was using an iPhone 4 for my mobile communication needs. I am used to all this technology integrating seamlessly, with media, calendars, and other data all being easily shared across devices.

The most important point of interest to me was figuring out the best way to get my music collection from iTunes onto the HTC One X. While one solution is to connect the phone via USB and then manually copy the desired files, due to the sheer number of albums and songs involved, this was not really a practical approach. Instead I opted to use the free doubleTwist OSX desktop client. Because doubleTwist can be configured to automatically import iTunes playlists, I can still use the latter to manage my music collection, and yet have my chosen playlists copied to the HTC One X.



By default doubleTwist will perform the synchronization when the HTC One X is connected via USB, but it also has a feature called AirSync, which offers wireless synchronization in a similar way to the iTunes Wifi sync functionality. AirSync is available via a paid add-on to the free doubleTwist Android media player. As luck would have it, there was a 50% off sale just in time to coincide with this blog post. I purchased the doubleTwist Pro upgrade which, in addition to wireless sync and AirPlay streaming (more on that later), gave me a few extra features such as podcasts, equalizer, and finding missing album artwork. The latter two features will only really prove useful if doubleSync turns out to be a worthy primary music player, but it seemed prudent to take advantage of the reduced cost of the Pro upgrade.

I am used to being able to synchronize my work calendar between my iPhone and the iCal application running on my Macbook. Initially I had this set up to create new entries using my iCloud (Apples cloud storage platform) enabled calendar, which the HTC One X doesn’t support out of the box. But as I also lean heavily on Google for mail already, it seemed logical to switch to using Google Calendar instead. This was a breeze to configure, and gives me exactly the same sync functionality that I’m used to, with new calendar events set up on either my laptop or phone being automatically synchronized to the other.

As mentioned earlier, doubleTwist supports streaming via AirPlay to an Apple TV (v2 or greater). This is a feature I use all the time with my iPhone in order to display photos or videos on our TV, so I was very keen to try and get it to work with the HTC One X. Unfortunately there are still some kinks to be ironed out, and so far I’ve only been able to successfully stream audio and videos from the doubleTwist media player. It is also meant to be possible to stream photos from any photo viewer app, but I’m yet to get that working. Additionally, the streaming was not initially very reliable, and playback would cut out partway through a song. I was able to get much better performance by enabling the ‘Keep WiFi alive’ option in the ‘AirTwist & AirPlay’ settings.

The AirPlay support that does work is pretty easy to use. Once the feature has been enabled in the doubleTwist media player, there will be a wifi icon shown next to the playback controls for both video and audio. Selecting that will show a prompt asking you to select the playback device, and choosing ‘Apple TV’ from the presented options will initiate playback on your TV via the Apple TV.





As well as the Apple tech I’ve already mentioned, our router is an Apple Airport Extreme. This is a relatively recent newcomer to our home network, and was purchased to fix an ongoing stability problem with wifi connectivity affecting our many Apple devices (iPhones, iPods, iPad & Apple TV). While this has addressed our stability problem, I was a little apprehensive as to whether the HTC One X would have any issues connecting to the wireless network. Thankfully there don’t appear to be any significant issues there, and the phone has no problems accessing our wifi network. I have seen the occasional instance where the HTC One X won’t always automatically reconnect to wifi after waking up from its slumber, but it will always comply when manually asked to do so in this situation.

Despite initial concerns, the HTC One X has made itself at home in our Apple-centric network. It has even surprised me in some instances as to how it can integrate with our existing tech, especially the ability to be able to stream music and video from the phone to our television via the Apple TV AirSync feature. Granted, some of this functionality took third party software to achieve, but I’m hardly going to count that as a major negative, as I was able to achieve a level of integration that exceeded my expectations. The only feature I’m currently missing is the ability to display photos from the phone on my TV via AirSync, but I’ll continue to work on that in the hopes that I’ll be able to get a workable solution.

About the author

Hi I'm David, a self employed software developer on the wrong side of 40, residing in Auckland with my wife and two children. I am a passionate All Blacks and Blues fan, gadget junkie, mature aged gamer, and connoisseur of fine heavy metal (and music in general). I currently own an iPhone 4, but am very open to trying new technologies, and can't wait to see what the best of Android can bring to the smartphone table. I enjoy keeping up to date with the latest technological advances in general, and am encouraged to see that the smartphone market is no longer an iOneHorseRace. I’m very interested to see how the HTC One and Ice Cream Sandwich fares in this regard.

Other related posts:
HTC One X: Bring on the Games!
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HTC One X Movie Editor






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