As regular readers of EclectEcon know, I was deeply disappointed with Apple's iPhone5 and its mini-iPad. I was hoping Apple would come out with something the size of the Samsung Note2, but I'd have been content with an iPhone the size of the Samsung Galaxy S3. (see this, for example). I certainly wanted something larger than the iPhone5 and smaller than the minipad.
So, even though I knew there would be serious transition problems, I bit the bullet and bought a Note2.
The Note2 is LARGE. I really like reading on it, so much so that I rarely use my iPad for anything anymore, and I've de-activated my iPhone4. The Note2 gets a bit heavy or awkward when I hold it for a looonnnngg time, and for most people the S3 might be a better choice, but I like the size. The clarity of the screen and the size of the phone make it wonderful for me and probably are enough to swamp all the problems I am having to deal with:
- My problems are almost exclusively due to my difficulties of adjusting from nearly 4 years of using iPhones to using Android. I know that lots of people prefer Android to iOS, and maybe it's as good as or better than iOS, but the transition has not been easy for me.
- Apps. The apps for the iPhone are generally better than those for Android (for example, consider The Weather Network apps). As one friend pointed out, "Android apps are fewer and lower quality." Also, finding the apps I want on the Google play store hasn't been very easy.
- Button placement. I keep hitting the blessed volume and screen-off buttons on the sides of the phone. I never had this problem with my iPhones. Maybe I'm having this problem with the Note2 because it's bigger, but I think the problem would be less if the screen-off button were on top.
- Where's the friggn "silent" switch? I can put the Note2 on "no ring" by pushing the volume down to zero, but then when I turn it up again, there is an annoying sound I can't seem to get rid of.
- It's weird.... where are my backups? Where is everything? I'm used to having an iPhone back up to my computer. Maybe that's unnecessary but it is definitely disconcerting.
- texting: I haven't figured out how to make text messages show up on the opening screen without having to open the whole Android shebang. That was a nice feature of iOS. I don't like having to turn my phone on and then having to open the texting app just to read a friggn text.
- iMessage and FaceTime. Those "free" features of Apple were time and money savers. I know we can use Skype video instead of FaceTime, and iMessage isn't all that valuable....but it's a big saver when you're texting people in another country.
- and how do I get all the stuff I bought via iTunes onto my Note2??
But in addition to the size, which trumps everything above, here are some other pluses for the Note2:
- The SD card. I love being able to store a whole bunch of stuff on a $50 64gb micro SD card. That was always a complaint I had about the Apple products.
- Kindle and Kobo, et al. I can buy e-books directly from them. I don't need to exit the app, go to the store to buy the e-book, then go back to the app. I really do miss Stanza, though, and wish it were available in Android.
- Replaceable battery. I'm ordering a second battery so I'll have plenty of backup power whenever I'm away from a charger for a long time.
Several times early on I was so frustrated that I almost sent it back. I'm old, and I hate having to relearn stuff that works reasonably well for me, so learning Android and unlearning iOS has not been pleasant for me or for anyone around me. Fortunately, our 13-year-old granddaughter is familiar with Android and was able to help me through a few things.
One thing that might be a plus but which often confuses me now is the different type of auto-completion in Android. In iOS, auto completion guesses at a word (and even, embarrassingly at times, corrects it not always in ways I'd like). In Android, there's is no auto-correction, and the auto-completion always presents three good guesses about what word I'm trying to type. I think I'll get to like this feature.
[I don't know when Amazon.ca changed but as you can see from the links below, they now offer a much broader range of products than they used to, and the Canadian prices are often comparable to the Amazon.com prices and sometimes even lower. Yea!]