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  Reply # 1868178 18-Sep-2017 18:42
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mattwnz:

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.  



If you rooted your device using a modern rooting method (eg: Magisk) then you won't have this issue, since you can hide root from applications of your choice. In my case, I've got ANZ GoMoney working perfectly in my rooted OnePlus 3 - including the NFC wallet.



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  Reply # 1868216 18-Sep-2017 20:03
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Dingbatt: 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.


Now that's a question. Is there a Hue app for the Gear S3? That would be very cool.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1868224 18-Sep-2017 20:31
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Lizard1977:
Dingbatt: 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.


Now that's a question. Is there a Hue app for the Gear S3? That would be very cool.


Haven't tried yet but probably possible using TaskS2 on the watch and Tasker on the phone. Not sure about the Tasker to Hue bit, but something to look into.

Edit: Just had a look on the Play Store there appears to be a Tasker plugin for Hue. I may have a look.




Areas of Geek interest: Home Theatre, HTPC, Android Tablets & Phones, iProducts.

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  Reply # 1868261 18-Sep-2017 21:51
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Lizard1977:

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?



You can use Swipe for Facebook instead of the official app - it's quite fast, doesn't drain battery and is free of the bloat that's in the official Facebook app. Alternatively, you can download the official Facebook Lite app from APKMirror.com (not available in NZ Play Store) but even the "Lite" app still uses waay too many permissions for my liking.
Besides Facebook, the rest of your apps should work just fine on Android.

I'm not familiar with Homekit but if it's only for Hue then check out Hue Pro - it's fast and has a lot of cool features like a lava lamp mode and a music sync mode (great for parties!). You can place widgets on your homescreen to quickly toggle your lights. Of course, you can also set up schedules and geofences. It also integrates with Tasker so you can take your home automation to the next level! Eg you could have your lights blink a certain color to alert you of important notifications/texts etc.

Huey is another interesting app where you point your phone at a TV or monitor and it'll sync your lights in real-time to the ambient colors of your movie. So if you're watching The Matrix, your whole room will turn green! It's pretty awesome.

I'd also recommend checking out Sleep as Android. In addition to being the best sleep quality tracker/alarm clock, it integrates with your Hue lights to simulate the sunrise, so you wake up naturally before your alarm even rings! Well you might think how is this any different than the regular light alarms in the official app, well the beauty of Sleep as Android is that it can wake you up when you're out of your REM sleep phase and you've entered the light sleep phase - that way you don't end up waking all groggy or tired. Sleep also integrates with your wearables for more accurate sleep phase tracking (I use it with my Xiaomi MiBand 2). Honestly, Sleep As Android + Hue have been the biggest quality of life improvements for me in recent years - I pretty much never wake up tired, never have to snooze my alarm, never oversleep, which has had a huge improvement on my health and productivity levels.

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  Reply # 1868265 18-Sep-2017 22:11
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I started out life with Android (LG P500 and Galaxy S2). I had an iPhone 4 for a year, before going back to Android (Xperia Z2 and now a Galaxy S7). Earlier this year, I picked up an iPhone 6 and decided I would try the Apple eco-system again for a bit. I lasted a week.

 

The thing is that I am too deep into Google now to consider an iPhone (Chrome, Gmail, Play Music, You Tube Red, Photos, Keep, Hangouts and Chromecast). So I understand that those heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem would find it hard to swap into Android for the same reason.

 

At some stage I might try Apple again. But at this point in time their hardware is too boring (same 4-year old design with huge bezels and no headphone jack) or just crazy stupid pricing (upcoming X - $2,000 for a phone - really?!). So I'll be sticking with Android for the foreseeable.


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  Reply # 1868283 18-Sep-2017 23:00
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TL;DR. 

 

Try out last years flagship android device and see how you go. Buy second hand to save some money but still get a better than average experience.

 

You will find most apps from iOS on Android. 




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  Reply # 1868468 19-Sep-2017 11:37
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Thanks for all the advice and suggestions.

 

After a lot of soul searching (mostly at 3am this morning while feeding my baby daughter), I have almost completely decided to go ahead with the Note 8 and the Gear S3.  I will probably hold onto my iPhone 6 for the short term, in case after a few weeks I find the Android experience intolerable, but assuming it all goes well I can then sell it on Trademe to defray the purchase cost.  And if I really can't handle Android, then I can always sell it and go back to iPhone if necessary.  In that event I fully accept that I will lose money, but I think I can rationalise it as the cost of experimenting with a new device.  Given how new and in demand the Note 8 is, I may be able to get a good price if it comes to that.

 

But, on the optimistic side, I think the Note 8 is a good choice.  While I hear what others have said about getting a practice Android, I'm not convinced that will help.  Any phone I can find to buy is going to be older, less featured, and will only really show me what the Android system is like generally rather than preview what a current flagship device can do.  If a Note 8 doesn't impress, I can't see how an older, cheaper phone will change that.  I understand that some people have advocated for a Vanilla Android system, but again I'm not especially convinced about this.  Perhaps if I had been burned by buggy, bloated skins in the past then stock Android might restore my faith, but for the most part I find the iPhone system acceptable.  There are some limitations, noted earlier, but I suspect that any Android will be able to solve them, not just stock Android.  I am taking a chance on the Note 8, and it is an expensive chance, but I think the odds are reasonably good of being happy with it.

 

I'm inclined to go with Spark, as they are my current telco and I'm happy with them.  They are offering a $100 credit plus the 256GB card, which if it is a Samsung card looks to be at least $279 in value, if not closer to the $399 value they advertise.  Because I'm also going to get the Gear S3, I've been looking at the 3G model that Spark sells.  It's the same price as the non-3G model ($599), but has the e-SIM functionality.  This seems like a win-win.  I assume I can use it without activating the 3G function (i.e. just use it as a bluetooth connected watch), or I can activate the 3G and use it standalone.  Is that right?


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  Reply # 1868791 19-Sep-2017 17:46
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Lizard1977:

 

Thanks for all the advice and suggestions.

 

After a lot of soul searching (mostly at 3am this morning while feeding my baby daughter), I have almost completely decided to go ahead with the Note 8 and the Gear S3.  I will probably hold onto my iPhone 6 for the short term, in case after a few weeks I find the Android experience intolerable, but assuming it all goes well I can then sell it on Trademe to defray the purchase cost.  And if I really can't handle Android, then I can always sell it and go back to iPhone if necessary.  In that event I fully accept that I will lose money, but I think I can rationalise it as the cost of experimenting with a new device.  Given how new and in demand the Note 8 is, I may be able to get a good price if it comes to that.

 

But, on the optimistic side, I think the Note 8 is a good choice.  While I hear what others have said about getting a practice Android, I'm not convinced that will help.  Any phone I can find to buy is going to be older, less featured, and will only really show me what the Android system is like generally rather than preview what a current flagship device can do.  If a Note 8 doesn't impress, I can't see how an older, cheaper phone will change that.  I understand that some people have advocated for a Vanilla Android system, but again I'm not especially convinced about this.  Perhaps if I had been burned by buggy, bloated skins in the past then stock Android might restore my faith, but for the most part I find the iPhone system acceptable.  There are some limitations, noted earlier, but I suspect that any Android will be able to solve them, not just stock Android.  I am taking a chance on the Note 8, and it is an expensive chance, but I think the odds are reasonably good of being happy with it.

 

I'm inclined to go with Spark, as they are my current telco and I'm happy with them.  They are offering a $100 credit plus the 256GB card, which if it is a Samsung card looks to be at least $279 in value, if not closer to the $399 value they advertise.  Because I'm also going to get the Gear S3, I've been looking at the 3G model that Spark sells.  It's the same price as the non-3G model ($599), but has the e-SIM functionality.  This seems like a win-win.  I assume I can use it without activating the 3G function (i.e. just use it as a bluetooth connected watch), or I can activate the 3G and use it standalone.  Is that right?

 

Quick question, do you have a Mac or PC? if you have a Mac and want to keep making phone calls and sending text messages from your Mac then there is handsfree 2 which works pretty good since it just uses bog standard bluetooth protocol.

 

https://www.tunabellysoftware.com/handsfree2/

 

Btw, do you use iCloud or Google for your email providing? If you're wanting to get the best integrated experience between your device then you're best to have a look at Google's services so then everything plays nice together.





Laptop: MacBook (Intel Core m7 1.3Ghz, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD)

 

Desktop: iMac 5K (i7 4.0GHz, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD)

 

Smartphone:

 


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  Reply # 1869002 20-Sep-2017 09:01
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To the OP, would be good to hear your thoughts on your switch after a few weeks of usage.




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  Reply # 1869032 20-Sep-2017 09:28
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matisyahu:

 

 

 

Quick question, do you have a Mac or PC? if you have a Mac and want to keep making phone calls and sending text messages from your Mac then there is handsfree 2 which works pretty good since it just uses bog standard bluetooth protocol.

 

https://www.tunabellysoftware.com/handsfree2/

 

Btw, do you use iCloud or Google for your email providing? If you're wanting to get the best integrated experience between your device then you're best to have a look at Google's services so then everything plays nice together.

 

 

I don't use a Mac - I use a PC at work, and my home device is a Surface Pro 3.  I never really got into iCloud, though I did give it a brief try when it was first introduced.  I preferred Onedrive and the Office 365 model, so most of my stuff is there.  I do have a Google/Gmail account, but I set it up as something of a burner account which I now hardly ever use.  I like outlook.com for my email, and don't plan to change, but may take another look at Google's services if I end up going with Android.  At the moment, the main thing I use is Chrome for syncing bookmarks and history across all my devices.




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  Reply # 1869039 20-Sep-2017 09:40
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Krishant007:

 

To the OP, would be good to hear your thoughts on your switch after a few weeks of usage.

 

 

Yep, will definitely do that.  

 

After reflecting on things last night, I've made up my mind to go for it.  As someone who often has feelings of guilt or remorse when making big purchases like this (weird, I know), the main emotion I'm feeling at the moment is sadness, strangely.  Almost like I'm turning my back on an old friend.  I have to say that for the most part I have really enjoyed my iPhones, and part of me will miss the familiarity of the iOS interface.  I also will have to unlearn a lot of muscle memory actions.  I tend to swipe up for the Control Centre to turn on the camera, and swipe down to Spotlight Search to find apps (which I put into folders to keep the home screen mostly clear).  When I've been playing with the Note8 instore, I've toyed with the different ways of getting to apps.  I know I'll have to experiment to find the best way to do things.  The only thing that worries me about that is that it might take a lot of tinkering to get things right - 4 years ago that wouldn't have been a problem, but now I have two young kids, free time is the rarest commodity.  Having more than 5 minutes spare time at home in the evening is a luxury at the moment.

 

Also, to answer a question I posed yesterday, it looks like the Gear S3 3G can be used without the 3G function being activated.  I spoke to someone on Spark Chat but they only said that because it was a non-removable e-SIM, she thought that meant you had to use the 3G function.  I checked with Samsung Chat, and spoke to someone in-store at Spark after work, and they both confirmed that activating the e-SIM is optional.  So that sealed it for me - $599 at Spark is the same price as the regular, non-3G version at places like HN or Noel Leeming, so it makes perfect sense to get the more capable 3G version.  If I want to use it standalone, away from the phone, then I just need to get Spark to activate it, and for $5.99/month I can share data from my main phone plan.  That should let me receive calls (but not make them, unless I pay $29.99 to also share texts and minutes), and use data-based apps for messaging, maps, etc.  I'm not sure if I will go ahead with that option, but it's nice to know I can do it if I want.

 

That leads me to another question that Gear S3 owners might be able to answer - in order to receive and reply to message notifications on the watch, do you need to have the same app installed on the watch?  For instance, my main messaging apps are Viber and Telegram.  If I get a new message and the notification comes through to the watch, do I need to have Viber/Telegram installed on the watch to be able to reply, or will the phone just handle that for me?


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  Reply # 1869419 20-Sep-2017 14:45
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Lizard1977:

 

Krishant007:

 

To the OP, would be good to hear your thoughts on your switch after a few weeks of usage.

 

 

Yep, will definitely do that.  

 

After reflecting on things last night, I've made up my mind to go for it.  As someone who often has feelings of guilt or remorse when making big purchases like this (weird, I know), the main emotion I'm feeling at the moment is sadness, strangely.  Almost like I'm turning my back on an old friend.  I have to say that for the most part I have really enjoyed my iPhones, and part of me will miss the familiarity of the iOS interface.  I also will have to unlearn a lot of muscle memory actions.  I tend to swipe up for the Control Centre to turn on the camera, and swipe down to Spotlight Search to find apps (which I put into folders to keep the home screen mostly clear).  When I've been playing with the Note8 instore, I've toyed with the different ways of getting to apps.  I know I'll have to experiment to find the best way to do things.  The only thing that worries me about that is that it might take a lot of tinkering to get things right - 4 years ago that wouldn't have been a problem, but now I have two young kids, free time is the rarest commodity.  Having more than 5 minutes spare time at home in the evening is a luxury at the moment.

 

Also, to answer a question I posed yesterday, it looks like the Gear S3 3G can be used without the 3G function being activated.  I spoke to someone on Spark Chat but they only said that because it was a non-removable e-SIM, she thought that meant you had to use the 3G function.  I checked with Samsung Chat, and spoke to someone in-store at Spark after work, and they both confirmed that activating the e-SIM is optional.  So that sealed it for me - $599 at Spark is the same price as the regular, non-3G version at places like HN or Noel Leeming, so it makes perfect sense to get the more capable 3G version.  If I want to use it standalone, away from the phone, then I just need to get Spark to activate it, and for $5.99/month I can share data from my main phone plan.  That should let me receive calls (but not make them, unless I pay $29.99 to also share texts and minutes), and use data-based apps for messaging, maps, etc.  I'm not sure if I will go ahead with that option, but it's nice to know I can do it if I want.

 

That leads me to another question that Gear S3 owners might be able to answer - in order to receive and reply to message notifications on the watch, do you need to have the same app installed on the watch?  For instance, my main messaging apps are Viber and Telegram.  If I get a new message and the notification comes through to the watch, do I need to have Viber/Telegram installed on the watch to be able to reply, or will the phone just handle that for me?

 

 

Also interested in your feedback. Stick with it for a bit, as with any big change, it will take a while to adjust. At the end of day, if not happy, you go back to iOS next phone.

 

My google app of the day recommendation: Google Keep. It's a fantastic note taking app which syncs nicely with your PC via chrome.




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  Reply # 1869465 20-Sep-2017 15:07
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Well I have ordered the Note8, and the salesperson at Spark mentioned that preorders were already shipping, so there's a chance mine may arrive before Friday (though I doubt it).  I was hoping I might be able to pick it up in store on Friday, but apparently not.  I also got the Gear S3, which I took straightaway.  Just set it up on iOS for the time being, to get used to the interface.  My first impression - after literally 20 minutes usage - is that it is awesome.  Obviously limited by iOS, but I expected that.  It's got a great feel on the wrist; despite what many said about the size, I don't mind it.  It's about the same size as my Citizen Ecodrive, so it's not an issue.  I do sometimes get bugged by my watch sticking to my wrist, something that never really bugged me about the Garmin's narrow band, so might just need to find the right strap type and size to fit comfortably. Looking forward to pairing it with the Note and seeing it's full potential.  Spark confirmed that I can activate the 3G later on if I want to. 


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  Reply # 1870471 21-Sep-2017 20:02
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My mates Note 8 arrived today so there's a good chance yours might arrive tomorrow. Congrats on your purchase btw and welcome to the Android club! :)

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  Reply # 1870496 21-Sep-2017 20:51
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There are some really good YouTube videos on the features of this year's Samsung flagships, some of which aren't immediately self evident, even for a seasoned Android user. Just watched one today on all the features of the S-pen. Almost made me wish I had a Note 8 instead of an S8.

Edit: Just looked at my YT history. If you google 'Video Gadgets Journal' there is a video of 200 tips for using the S8/Note8. And 'Tech With Brett' had the one on the S-pen.


By the way, if you can't get out of the habit of swiping up to get the control centre (quick settings in Android) then alternative launchers allow you to set gestures up to launch whatever you wish. So you could set a swipe up gesture to open quick settings.
I have double tap set to open the app drawer and swipe up to open quick settings. That way I don't get frustrated when switching between my iPad and S8.

And if you get homesick for your iPhone, just open the app drawer and it will look exactly the same as your old phone's home screen ;-)

You might need to import a strap for your S3. I can't find any decent ones locally.




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