14 May 2014

The Apple Traitor

I recently got a new phone. Why? Because my previous phone is older than Eli and it was beginning to die, literally ... as the battery wasn't even charging properly anymore.

My first smart phone was an Apple and I think this is the case for a lot of people because Apple's persuasive marketing convinced me I want one. I remember thinking "I don't need a smart phone. As long as I can make and receive calls and text messages, that's all I need from a mobile phone." How things have changed .... 

Today, our expectations of what our mobile devices should do have changed. Making a call is still a requirement but so is being able to get on the internet, take high quality photos, watch movies, integrate with our other devices, be a GPS navigator - just to name a few features we demand of our phones today.

Apple revolutionised the smart phone game but over the years other competitors started to emerge in the market but, I continued to be loyal to Apple by always opting for an iPhone  ... until now. Admittedly I only made the switch away from Apple because they may or may not introduce a new phone. And it won't be released until towards the end of the year but I can't hold out for that long.

So I recently purchased a Samsung Galaxy 5. Why buy out right instead of join a plan? I did the maths and for me, I mostly use data. I'm usually at home utilising our home internet data via Wifi so I don't require a large data plan. Actually, Ian and I have been on prepaid for the past three years. When we reviewed our usage we realised plans were a waste of money for us.

A few people have asked me how the Galaxy fairs against the iPhone, Android vs IOS (Apple) so I thought I'd do a little comparison. If you're looking for a review on techie specs and gadget features I suggest googling and finding other sites and blogs who do this in more detail. This review is more on the main functionality differences I instantly noticed as a general user between the two phones.
  • Larger Surface Area. Yes Samsung phones are bigger than the iPhones but you get over the "bigness" in a day. As humans we adjust and accustom to change and within hours you forget that you even complained about how large it is. Admittedly now when I pick up an iPhone I think they're really cute cause they're so tiny. Only other time I noticed the Galaxy's size is when I put it in my back pocket and sit down. I feel like I'm sitting on a flat screen tv and I'm going to break it. 
  • Loss of some Apps. Some apps do not have an Andriod version, which is kinda annoying. I don't really download apps so the limited apps I do want to use I was hoping to continue to have access to. There are some equivalent Andriod apps available which people have recommended eg. Phonto to replace Over. But there are a few that are waiting for an Andriod version to be built eg. Picture Postie
  • iMessage. Obviously moving to Samsung I've lost the option to send iMessages to fellow iPhone users. For those who don't know what iMessage is, its a free service from Apple that allows users of iOS-powered devices to send text messages over Wi-Fi instead of text message using a telco provider. The iMessage works for iPhone and iPod devices. For iPhone users you will know whether a message has come across as an iMessage by its distinguishable blue bubble instead of telco standard message which appears in a green bubble. Now ever message I send is costing me money unless I use other Wi-Fi message sending services such as Whatsapp
  • Extra Steps. With the Galaxy I noticed some of the features or tools an everyday user would use requires an extra step to complete compared the iPhones. For example to call someone from your contacts list you press the Phone icon, identify the contact you want to call, press their profile and then you have to press the call button before the phone commences the call. Compared to the iPhone to complete the same task you would press the phone icon, identify the contact you want to call, select their profile and the phone will commence the call. Same with editing a photo the Galaxy requires the user to take extra steps to complete the task. 
  • Predictive Text. The Galaxy has this option called predictive text which is similar to iPhone's autocorrect. Predictive text is a technology used in text messaging that suggests words to a user based on the letters being entered and the overall phrase being written, making messaging easier and more efficient. I actually prefer this technology over the autocorrect for two main reasons. As you are keying your word predictive text suggests and displays three potential words it assumes you are trying to write. When I see the word I am trying to write I select it to be added to the text message, removing the need to write the complete word minimising finger strokes. iPhones assumes a word you are trying to use and replaces it which can be annoying if you've written the word only to be autocorrected and replaced. Hence why there are so many autocorrect fails and memes online. Last reason why I prefer predictive text is it predicts the actual next word (not sure how it does this) and suggests them to you. About 70% of the time the word they suggest is spot on again, minimising finger strokes which is a win in my books. 
  • Options and features for all creatures. There are so many setting feature options it can be overwhelming. I played around for a few hours and made changes but then had to reboot my phone a week later losing all the changes I made and restoring phone to its original settings. So now I'm using all the default settings, colours, size text, background image and message tones cause personalising this phone will require half a day and ain't nobody got time for that. You can even download free or buy skins for your Galaxy.
  • Android has replicated a lot of the same functionality as Apple but there are a few that requires retraining your self. For example copying a text or image. With an Android a menu bar appears at the top of the screen when you highlight something with the intention to copy it. The only thing I can fault with the menu bar is it consists of icons and no description of what each does. So I had to play around and use each icon to figure out what each one did.
Here are a few commonly asked questions I've gotten since getting the Galaxy5 I thought I'd also cover:
Q. Is it a better phone?
A. Like I mentioned my previous phone was already really old. It wasn't charging, there was a lag doing the simplest tasks, camera quality wasn't the best and I've dropped it a few times, so a newer phone from my previous one was always going to be better. Is it better than an iPhone? Technically yes, from a specification perspective but I think its personal opinion. 

Q. Do I think the Galaxy is better than iPhone?
*sigh* ..... *thinking long and hard* ..... *thinking about the functionality differences but also what I use my phone for* .... *thinking about whether what I do is easier now or before* ...... *thinking whether that out weighs my complaints about the phone* ....

Q. Is it true its easier to use than an iPhone?
I think the answer to this is based on the end user and their capabilities to adapt and learn something new. I think if you currently use a touch screen smart phone it won't be hard for you to learn how to use another touch screen smart phone. I do feel the Android operating system mimics how you navigate on a computer and use programs which, probably explains why people think its easier to use than an iPhone.

Q. Is it (Samsung Galaxy5) compatible with other Apple devices?
Yes of course. It's in Samsung's best interest to ensure integration between the two brands. This is something I hear a lot "But everything else I have is Apple and I don't want to change." Samsung also utilises USB ports so you can recharge or transfer data across from you phone to your laptop / ipad. If anything I think it's easier because you don't need software to transfer your data across.
Q. Would you get an iPhone again or are you an Android convert?
Yes I would. If I was in the same scenario again in a few years time and the newest phone on the market was an iPhone I would get it. As I previously mentioned my smart phone needs aren't too technical and specific, so as long as I can make calls, text and take photo's that's probably the scope of my requirements. 

This was not a sponsored post just my personal view of the Samsung Galaxy 5 and because I keep getting asked about the difference and my opinion of it.
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