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  Reply # 1867923 18-Sep-2017 10:58
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Thanks for the replies.

 

I've been pondering this most of the weekend, and the thing that leaps out at me is the preponderance of caveats around Android.  I guess having been in the Apple camp for so many years I expected more vociferous endorsements from the Android camp.  The fact that so many responses here also remark on the stability and consistency of the Apple product is pleasing to see (for a generally bias-free response), but it also surprises me that Android isn't "better" in these areas.  I guess I find it odd that a phone from a top-tier manufacturer like Samsung would have so many limitations.  Battery drain for simple apps like Facebook or email seems bizarre, and does make me wonder whether buying into Android would be swapping one set of issues for another.

 

I also hit upon the key issue/dilemma for me.  It starts with the smartwatch.  My Garmin is leaving me wanting more, and the Gear S3 is calling out to me like a psiren.  But the Gear S3 is only usable with an Android phone (specifically, a Samsung phone).  So to indulge my smartwatch desires I would have to change handsets.  And while the Note8 looks like a very nice piece of hardware, it sounds like I would be trading a stable and supported platform for a far more variable experience.  So, to retain that stability, and to trade up in the smartwatch stakes, I would have to go with an Apple Watch.  Which really doesn't do anything for me.  I looked again this morning, and it really just doesn't excite me.  I can't explain it any more.  Maybe it would be different after using it in the real world for a while, but from the outside it doesn't grab me in any way.  Plus, the Apple Watch doesn't inspire me with confidence that it would continue to be usable for more than a couple of years.  I could probably make peace with a 4-5 year lifetime, but I think that would be stretching things, with even the first generation models already looking very long in the tooth just two years later.  And then there's the price - $599 for the starting price, albeit same as the Gear S3, but it feels worse for a device that seems to be built to obsolescence.  And then there's the iPhone itself.  My iPhone 6 is approaching it's end-of-life period, currently 3 years and mostly okay.  But if I did buy an Apple Watch then that means an eventual replacement iPhone.  And when I look at my options there, I find it disappointing - a 12-month old iPhone 7 Plus would effectively be a size upgrade and little more (excluding Force Touch and the dual cameras) for $1419.  The 8 Plus has the wireless charging, the dual cameras, faster processor etc, but if I want to avoid a storage downgrade would have to move up to 256GB and pay $1749!  And don't get me started on the iPhone X!  When I bought my iPhone 6 128GB three years ago, I cringed paying $1200 at the time, but I feel I've got good value over the years.  The replacements are ever more expensive, but seem to offer little more than marginal improvements.

 

So my dilemma becomes even more convoluted: switching to Android really feels like a leap into the unknown, with a potentially variable and inconsistent experience, but the Note8 at $1599 seems like a positive bargain compared to my choices in the Apple system.  The Apple products certainly are solid and well made, and give a reliable experience, but it pains me to pay those prices.  And I still haven't solved my original dilemma about smartwatches.

 

I could just give the whole thing away, keep my iPhone 6 for another year, and hope that things improve with next years offerings.  But I seriously doubt that the prices will improve (if anything they'll probably just get worse).  There may be improvements to the issues with Android that have been raised here, but there's probably as much chance that they won't improve.  I fully expect that if I wait another year, the model numbers will change but the key tradeoffs will remain.  And my current phone will be a year older, and worth less for a trade in.

 

A few people have suggested practising with a "cheaper" phone, but spending $300-$500 to test the waters seems a little extravagant, and if I ultimately decide to stick with Android and buy a "forever" handset, then the overall cost is bumped up by the cost of the practice handset.

 

I really don't know what to do.  I feel very conflicted by the problem (which is probably the most "first world" problem I've ever had - it's just a phone, for crying out loud!).  I guess I'll just ponder it a little longer until I can make sense of it all.


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  Reply # 1867944 18-Sep-2017 11:25
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Buy a cheap Android just to see if you like the basics of it ? As mentioned elsewhere, I like the Xiaomi Note 4X. Won't have vanilla Android though. Also missing Band 28 (I think). Just a thought.





rb99


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1867976 18-Sep-2017 11:58
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I have been an Android user, switched to iPhone for the last 3 years and now in limbo between S7Edge and 7s+. I have used both Apple Watch and LG G Watch R. I have also dabbled with the Garmin VivoSmart which was a very nice fitness device. At present I am traveling and have had my home country sim card in the iPhone and the host country in the S7Edge. In terms of smoothness and UI fluidity, iOS is definitely better.

 

But if iPhone was 100%, the S7E is 90%. Its still pretty damn good. The app experience is generally better on iOS, but this also depends on which apps you use. The apps I have been using so far, majority of them are better (by a small margin) on the iPhone. 

 

But here are my general 2c on both:

 

Apple:

 

More fluid UI and generally, it just works.

 

I am not a fan of the design, the phone is much bigger for the screen and the lack of fast charging is disturbing. Keep in mind there is a Fast Charging tax in the new iPhone 8, 8+ and X. You have to buy a separate USB C charger along with the USB C to lightening cable.

 

I do love the stereo speakers and the camera is also pretty good. The battery life is generally better on iPhone, especially the stand by time.

 

Android:

 

The UI isnt as fluid, but then again, I can customise the heck out of this thing. I mean, I love to design the home pages so the apps are within a thumbs reach, hide all the apps I dont use frequently in the app drawer, have the widgets I want on the screen. Have a custom lock screen, use Nova Launcher. Etc

 

The design is better than Apple - I am currently using the phone without a case (waiting for the dbrand skin to arrive) and it feels so much nicer in hand.

 

The fast charging is amazing. I put it on the charger when I go to the shower, its up to a usable state for the next few hours until I am out. So it works in my favour. I also just purchased the wireless fast charger - will see how this goes for me.

 

The camera is good (7+ is better - not by miles though).

 

Headphone jack FTW - I can actually use the music player to play my playlists in my friends car without needing to bluetooth pair etc. I dont even remember where the #dongle is.

 

Now in terms of the wearables:

 

Garmin Vivosmart worked with both android and iOS, so that was a good thing. Apple watch is definitely very nice, polished and looks good too. Better than android wear. I left my Apple watch at home because i dont want to carry around another charger for another connected device when travelling. I like to go to my old school watches (gshock) when travelling. I dont miss my Apple Watch at all. I can do with less notifications in life. Oh speaking of which:

 

I am torn between the notifications in iOS and Android. I like the features you get with the Android notifications, but I also like the control of it with Apple. So this one is a tie because both have good and bad.

 

I still dont know if I am going full android or full apple. I am a fan of both and frequently switch over to the other side. Having said that, I should mention that both my devices are second hand and I would not pay full retail for any of the devices. 

 

If you were looking to try out Android, check out the last year's flagships or LG G6 or V30. 

 

If you want to stick with the Sammy camp, Note 8 is amazing and Harvey Norman have the best bundle offer I believe.


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  Reply # 1868018 18-Sep-2017 13:08
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Three points to the OP:

 

1. I agree with the suggestions to trial an Android phone before making the switch. But there's simply no need to buy the latest/greatest or even go for brand new - why not just pick up a s/h phone? This means the loss when you sell it (either to upgrade to a better/newer Android handset or return to iOS) will be minimal. But certainly making the jump is a big gamble if you have spent megabucks on a Note or similar and don't like it - under this scenario you'll be making a far bigger loss returning to iOS!

 

2. Don't underestimate the value of launchers to change/improve/customise your Android experience. You may indeed like the iOS-like rip-off nature of some brands' overskinning of Android, but if not it's easy as to stick an alternative launcher on. The advantages of the app drawer and widgets alone are enough to ensure I stay with Android for a phone (whereas I ended up remaining with iOS for a tablet), but I don't like the Huawei interface - Nova Launcher was the perfect answer. So, even if you don't initially like a handset's interface, try out a launcher.

 

3. The Gear S3 does (kind of) work with iPhones, but apparently the results aren't too pretty. (eg http://www.zdnet.com/product/samsung-gear-s2-3g/) Personally, I've had significant compatibility problems between my S2 and an Android handset (worked perfectly with my LG G3, really dodgy with my Mate 8), evidence there's never any assurance in the Android world of guaranteed interoperability!


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  Reply # 1868020 18-Sep-2017 13:15
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My only advice is find something that is pure Android as possible to avoid any excess bloat or terrible UI's. Nothing beats a pure Android experience of a Google phone (Nokia 6/8 is also pure Android). 

 

This is my own personal experience; while I appreciate Samsung from a hardware perspective but I utterly despise their UI in all aspects. Basically I'll go around a Samsung device if I can so I do not have to touch their UI.

 

 


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  Reply # 1868049 18-Sep-2017 14:13
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The talk of software bloat is pretty dated, and should be taken with a grain of salt if the reporter is in the US, where carriers are renowned for cramming extra 'stuff' onto their specific firmware. Samsung TouchWiz is nowhere near as kludgy as even 3 generations ago.
I was an HTC adherent for generations (Hero to M7), until I bought my S6. Maybe I'm used to the Samsung now, but by the time I put a different launcher (Apex), set up Tasker to automate a bunch of tasks, load up homescreen widgets (including ones I made myself using Zooper), disable things like S-Voice and remap the Bixby button to open Google Assistant ( or in camera mode act as a shutter button) it doesn't really matter what the screen looked like when I first turned the phone on. It operates nicely with my Gear S3, and the only thing I miss from a Wear watch is that apart from raising my wrist to see the time or read a notification, I have to use two hands. With Wear 2 you are able to manipulate notifications one-handed by flicking your wrist. Not sure if the Apple watch can do that.

Then I pick up my iPad Air2 and am presented with the same layout as Steve Jobs held up on the iPhone ten years ago.

In an earlier post I tried to point out some of the shortcomings you may discover going from Apple to Android. The biggest decider for me (apart from cost) is whether you want someone else to decide how your device should look sound and operate, or have something the way you want it.




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  Reply # 1868074 18-Sep-2017 14:35
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Do not buy a cheap Android unless you hate yourself. A year old flagship is a far better proposition, especially as the price is usually around half.
Anyone that says they hate the Samsung UI has not used the latest, I'd hazard to guess.

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  Reply # 1868075 18-Sep-2017 14:41
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Oh and I forgot to mention, design my own watch faces and have them automatically change depending on my location. Have my phone change to car mode automatically and read my texts aloud when I'm driving. Read my calendar and put itself into flight mode when I'm on a flight.
The list goes on and on.




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  Reply # 1868078 18-Sep-2017 14:48
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At lunch I went and had another look at the Note 8, and there's no question that it is a very attractive piece of hardware.  I particularly like the pen - I have a Surface Pro 3 and enjoy using a pen (though I find the pen to be a little temperamental lately), so the stylus on the Note 8 feels good when navigating round the screen.  I know Steve Jobs said years ago that if you need a stylus to use the device then you've "failed", but I like to think of it as accentuating the user interaction.

 

Walking back to work, I tried to identify the specific hassles I have with iPhone that I would be trying to resolve.  In reality, they probably aren't major things, but over the course of a day/week/month, I find them to be irritating.  Firstly, the inability to change default programs.  I don't particularly like Safari, I prefer Chrome, as I use a Google account to sync my browsing and bookmarks across my PC and mobile devices.  While I'm not embedded in a Google world, I do like using Chrome.  But on iOS, I can't set this as a default so when I open a link in an email it opens in Safari instead.  In a similar vein, there's no deep integration with 3rd party apps like LastPass.  So if I create a new account, or sign in to a new app, I have to load LastPass, find the account listing, copy the password to the clipboard, and then reopen the webpage/app and paste the password in.  Not the end of the world, but annoying when I'm trying to be more secure with passwords, particularly in a hurry.  TouchID only seems to work for me every other time, and sometimes takes a while to register.  I don't have an Apple TV, so airplay has limited value, but I do have Chromecasts on every TV set in the house, so casting is a more useful function.  Siri promises so much, but often fails to deliver.  My phone automatically connects to my Kenwood car stereo, and I can launch Siri from the headunit, but she often doesn't understand what I'm saying (though she's probably not alone there), but it gets a little ridiculous sometimes - I say things like "Send a text to Jane Doe" and she replies "I'm sorry, there's no one with that name in your contacts." So I say, "Send a text to my wife" and she replies "What do you want to say to Jane Doe?"  WTF, why didn't you understand the first command?  Or I abbreviate it to "Jane", and she comes back with "I'm sorry, I didn't understand that, did you mean "Jane"? "Yes". "What did you want say to Jane" I dictate the message, which she gets 50% wrong, and then asks "ready to send?" I say no, because it's wrong, and have to start all over again.  The whole process takes several minutes, at which point I realise I should have just pulled over and txted it manually, rather than trying to "live in the future."  And worse, despite Apple's claims that Siri works better with 3rd party apps, if I try to send a message via Viber or Telegram via Siri, it doesn't work at all.  If I ask Siri to start Spotify (rather than the default Music app) while I'm driving, she claims she can't do that while I'm driving!  What's the point then?!?

 

So - a lot of little niggles, and I guess I wondered whether Android, which is supposed to be more malleable than Apple, would solve these problems along with letting me use a nice smartwatch.  I suspect many of these things might work better in Android, but it also sounds like the experience varies.

 

I also went through my apps to identify the ones I used most - daily use would be Mail, Flipboard, Telegram, Spotify, Facebook, Chrome, Netflix, Neon, Onenote, Homekit (for quick control of Hue lights).  Regular weekly/monthly apps would be BNZ banking, Lastpass, NZ Blood, Storypark, Messenger, Onedrive, Youtube.  Some people have noted that Facebook is a battery drain, but are there any other apps in this list that have known issues on Android?  For the most part, these all work reasonably well in iOS (except Lastpass, as noted above).  Is there an Android equivalent for the Homekit integration for Hue lights?




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  Reply # 1868084 18-Sep-2017 14:59
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1eStar: Do not buy a cheap Android unless you hate yourself. A year old flagship is a far better proposition, especially as the price is usually around half.
Anyone that says they hate the Samsung UI has not used the latest, I'd hazard to guess.

 

That's interesting to read.  I spent about 15 minutes in store today pootling on the Note 8, and I did wonder why people dislike the Samsung interface so much.  Obviously I have nothing to compare it against, but the comments about stock Android puzzle me slightly.  Possibly it's because I'm coming from Apple, I tend not to seek out high levels of customisation and would probably accept what I'm shown most of the time.  I have had occasion to play with my sister-in-law's android (P10?), and find it baffling to use.  However, I wasn't too confused by the Samsung, and it was mostly intuitive - frequently used apps on the home screen, swipe up/down to see all apps, swipe from the right for the quick launcher, swipe down from the top edge to get the notification bar, home button in the middle of the bottom edge, recently used apps button on the left, back button on the right.  Digging through the settings might be a different experience, but for the most part a complete novice found his way round most things pretty easily.  It's also fast, but then I'd expect that to be the case for a brand new flagship - I guess the big question is how long it stays that way.  I'd hope for at least 2-3 years before seeing any kind of slow down.

 

 




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  Reply # 1868088 18-Sep-2017 15:04
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Dingbatt: Oh and I forgot to mention, design my own watch faces and have them automatically change depending on my location. Have my phone change to car mode automatically and read my texts aloud when I'm driving. Read my calendar and put itself into flight mode when I'm on a flight.
The list goes on and on.

 

That kind of thing sounds cool.  I guess there's a part of me that is also looking for the "future" that technology often promises but frequently fails to deliver.  Apple to me has always been a purveyor of that kind of technological future, and sometimes it gets it right, but too often it falls flat - like my Siri/car examples above.  I like technology that promises to be exciting, and part of what I'm looking for is technology that makes me stop every now and then and go "woah, that is cool!"  To give another example, I could use Siri to turn on my Hue lights, but my iPhone has to be plugged in to the mains for that to work, and I have to shout for it to hear me and register.  So close, but disappointingly far at the same time.


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  Reply # 1868092 18-Sep-2017 15:16
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Lizard1977:

 

I haven't invested in the Apple ecosystem, other than the apps I've bought in the App Store (not many).  I haven't even made real use of the iCloud.  Where I do feel a little conflicted is that my wife is invested in the Apple system, and we had been using Family Sharing for apps.  I feel, weirdly, a bit like I'm abandoning her and going over to the "dark side." 

 

 

 

 

I was talking to a recent Apple to Android convert on the weekend as he plugged his Samsung into a stereo at a party and he was exclaiming how much he likes the connect-ability of android - much simpler to connect to computers, other phones and stereo's. Very easy to move music, movies and photo's after the iPhone, and he was loving the 128Gb uSD card he had installed.

 

Don't get to hung up about the app's - I can't think of any situation where I have been envious of the Apple store apps, and a couple of situations of my apple mates being jealous of android apps.

 

The flexibility of android has enabled me to roll back to old (and more familiar) versions of app's when an app update has been too much for me or my old phone to deal with. The flip side is that there is a much wider range of technical/geeky apps available on android, as apparently there is more freedom for developers to use the phones hardware than on apple.

 

I have rooted all my androids and removed the factory app's that I didn't like.


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  Reply # 1868137 18-Sep-2017 16:08
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Anyone that says they hate the Samsung UI has not used the latest, I'd hazard to guess.

 

For me that means actually having to use for for an extended period which means acquiring one and spending money which could be spent elsewhere. I just don't like how they order stuff or all their own Samsung stuff they pile on or try to get you have an account for. I have a Google account, I don't want more crap to manage. It's far easier to avoid them and go for something clean.

 

I also dabble with makes when I get the chance; Sony, HTC (had a few), Huawei (Nexus 6p). Some were fun, some were not. Before the 6p ,Sony had the nearest pure experience for me, the utterly awful hardware faults turned me off that experiment. The 6p was great until it bootlooped itself out of nowhere. My next great experiment is a cheap Xiaomi that I intend to purge the OS from and fiddle with as I do not want to deal with whatever iOS inspired Android mutation they have. Will a $300 POS do me? Quite possibly. I doubt I'll get full mileage out of a flagship ever upon reflection with the 6p.

 

I guess I just avoid Samsung as I view them the same as Apple; everybody has them and I don't know why as my experiences with them have been blergh. My only Apple experience was when iTunes hit PC for the first time way back when. It then mangled my music collection into a horrific folder structure and I pissed it off after and refused to deal with an Apple product ever since. 

 

EDIT: Maybe they have changed since then but I'm not about to find out unless somebody gifts me one. My wife has provided me her old S5 while my 6p sits dead but it's running in ultra-power saving as it's not in the best condition and data use drains the battery at the rate of 1% per minute (no joke). It's working pretty damn well as a text/call only device but that alone is driving me nuts until the Xiaomi gets here.

 

Upon further reflection I had a habit of shunning the mainstream things. If something looks excessively popular I always start looking outside of that to see if there is something more interesting.

 

 


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  Reply # 1868153 18-Sep-2017 17:02
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I can control my Hue lights by voice (and app) from my S8. But then again I can control them from my Google Home and my Amazon Echo by voice and my Harmony remote with a button press as well so it obviously isn't that technically challenging.

Bear in mind that I started with an HTC Hero in about 2010 running Android E (Eclair) which was waaaay inferior to the iPhone 3G at the time. Through all the iterations to Android N (Nougat) at the moment. The way I tweak my phones has been iterative over that time, and I am a novice compared to some who have contributed here.
Huawei's version of Android is not typical of most OEM skinned phones, don't use it to evaluate Android.
Not sure if Apple has trusted devices or places but I find it really handy that I don't need to use fingerprint/face/iris detection to unlock my phone if I'm wearing my Gear S3, or in my car with Bluetooth connected. Heaven forbid I might need to use a PIN or password (how inconvenient would that be!).




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  Reply # 1868154 18-Sep-2017 17:14
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tripper1000:

 

 

 

I have rooted all my androids and removed the factory app's that I didn't like.

 

 

 

 

The problem I found with rooting,  is that some banking apps may not work. Or you may get a security warning that it has been rooted, and there potentially could be security issues with your device. This is a very big issue for me that I didn't realize prior to doing it.  


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