Tuesday, April 2, 2013

An iPhone Fanboy Tries Android

I haven't written here in a while, but I'm about to undertake a project that I think would be good to document as I go along. I'm going to be trying out an Android phone for at least a month in place of my iPhone 4S. This is significant because I am an iPhone fanboy. Ask anyone who knows me. I generally have nothing good to say about anything other than iOS. But it occurred to me that I should really try out Android if I am to be an objective critic. Thus, this experiment was born.

I'm not completely inexperienced with Android. For a few months shortly after it came out, I experimented with a Nook Color that was, at first, just rooted. Later, I installed CyanogenMod 7. It didn't go very well. I ran into quite a few annoyances, and eventually switched to an iPad. In retrospect, it wasn't really a fair test of Android. The Nook Color isn't the best device to show what Android can do. Especially running a pre-Honeycomb version on a tablet device.

This time around I am setting up a fair evaluation. That is, as fair an evaluation I can without spending too much money. So, I set out to find an Android phone that could run at least Jelly Bean 4.1 without breaking the bank. After some research I settled on the Samsung Google Nexus S. It can be had for about $150, has a stock upgrade to Jelly Bean, and is compatible with many custom ROMs like CyanogenMod. Another thing that makes it attractive is the 4" screen. The smaller screen is a plus for me. The vast majority of the time I'm using my phone, it's while holding it in one hand and tapping and typing with my thumb. My hands aren't very big, and I know from trying out larger phones that I can't comfortably use a 4.5"+ screen with one hand. This may cause a problem later if I end up wanting to switch, since there are no good, small Android phones anymore. But I'll cross that bridge when, and if, I come to it.

The Nexus S arrives tomorrow. Here we go. Next: Set up the phone and replace the functions that I rely upon on my iPhone with Android apps and functions.

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