Why I'm Switching back to Android from Windows Phone

Note: I originally posted this on my blog.

For anyone who's interested in technology and light on things to do, here's a good read.

In a few weeks or so, I'll be taking a dive back into the Google Ecosystem. I'm swapping out my HTC HD7 (Windows Phone 7.5) for a Samsung Galaxy Nexus.

That being said, I'm going to go through what I love about Android, and what compelled me to switch back to it.

Why I'm grabbing the Galaxy Nexus and heading back into Android

Android is Google's Operating System for portable devices, for anyone who didn't know. Because it's made by Google, there's a ton of things working in it's favour. One of the major one of these, which was announced a week or so back, is...

Google Now

You can watch the Google Now promo here. Google says that Google Now...:

...gets you just the right information at just the right time.

It tells you today’s weather before you start your day, how much traffic to expect before you leave for work, when the next train will arrive as you’re standing on the platform, or your favorite team's score while they’re playing. And the best part? All of this happens automatically. Cards appear throughout the day at the moment you need them.

This is a pretty major thing, and a really cool feature for Android. In the way that Siri tells you stuff when you ask it for certain stuff, Google Now just does it. The service gathers all this info from your Google Search History, which I turned back on after hearing the announcement.

Google Now really is a two-sided thing. On one hand, you have an awesome service that can predict what you're going to do and help you through everyday things. On the other hand, the privacy-concious people probably won't use this, due to the obvious tin-foiled hat stuff.

I'll be using this feature a lot.

Freedom

Yep, that's right. I like the ability to do anything with my device (well, phone) any time of the day. With Android, I can do the following:

  • Sync, like any other platform
  • Drag-and-Drop stuff, and basically treat it like a USB
  • Download any type of file while I'm on the device
  • Access the whole system using a file manager if I want to
  • Completely change the User Interface of the Home Screen, App Drawer and Lock Screen
  • Install apps from unofficial sources (not that I'd want to (malware))
  • Install a different ROM

TL/DR: I can do pretty much anything I want, whether I'm plugged in or not. This makes Android really powerful to a geek like me. I'll also list out an example now:

I've left home, and I hop on my bus. Then I remember that I've forgotten that song that I wanted to listen to during the ride. Dang! Oh well, I can go into Chrome (web browser), download an MP3 of the song, and use the File Manager to copy it to my music folder, and play it!

It's things like that which make Android really powerful, and turn it into a sort-of mini-computer!

Fluid

In the past, the term 'fluid' wasn't something I'd use to describe Android. However, with Jelly Bean being announced, the long-running issue of Android being 'laggy' (and the main reason I switched over to Windows Phone in the first place) has been solved.

Conclusion

I'm really glad to be back on Android, and I know that I've made the right decision. The improvements with Google Now, smoothness, and everything else that Android already had going for it make Android the platform to beat.