An Apple Fanboy Hoping for a Better Android
The last Android device I used as my primary phone was the HTC Hero on Sprint. Knowing that Android has come such a long way since then, I desperately wanted to give it another shot. Apple's iOS seems tired and I'm still not sold on the iOS 7 redesign.
Putting aside the investment I have in the iOS ecosystem with apps, movies and photos, I purchased a Nexus 7 hoping to be wowed into the Google ecosystem once again. I moved my contacts and calendar to Gmail and began using it instead of iCloud as my main email address. Ready to try Android with open arms.
I went to my local Best Buy and purchased a new Nexus 7 about a week ago. I was excited to try something new. As any technology nerd, I was excited to start it up and put it through it's paces. The hardware is great, I love the size and the screen is perfect. Once it was charged and booted up for the first time, I put in my Gmail credentials only to be disappointed.
I had to hold the power button and restart the tablet. Immediately out of the box, the device crashed. But, I'm willing to look past that and assume of the hundreds of other Android devices like the HTC One, this is not a common occurrence.
Attempt #2 and I was able to login with multiple Google accounts, everything synced, I was ready to go. I download the apps I use the most, Pocket, Pocket Casts, Twitter, etc. I still found the Google Play Store difficult in discovering quality apps, so I downloaded Twitter's official app.
While the blown up phone version of Twitter is passable, compared to the Tweetbot seamlessness I have with iPhone, iPad and Mac I found myself just picking up my iPhone to read Twitter anyway. Even with Nexus 7 in hand.
I was did find Gmail on the Nexus 7 to be great, though not so much better than iOS that it would sway me. I felt notifications on the Nexus 7 were alive. The ability to delete an email from the notification tray was pretty magical (compared to the iPhone's retched notifications). And when I turned the screen on, I didn't feel like it had to catch up with what happened the past hour. It was updating, syncing, and notifications were current. A nice change compared to iOS's constant dismissing of notifications that I had already dealt with.
Reading on the Nexus 7 was great, and I enjoyed watching a couple movies as well. But whenever it came to doing something productive or using an app that I need for work, I kept picking up my iPhone.
Then as I prepared to go on the radio and talk Back2School apps, I wanted to offer equal apps for both Android tablets and iPad. But as I put together my list, apps like Solar Walk, Periodic tablet, Endless Alphabet for my kids, iStudiez and iTunes U, I found no equals in the Google Play store.
The more I used the Nexus 7, since I genuinely enjoy the form factor, the more I noticed the quirks of Android. Scrolling is still not as fast or as smooth. And that's what I do 90% of the time I'm on the device.
So many of the apps I've come to love on iPhone have no Android version or equal. And there's still the convenience of iMessage that, for me, works great across Mac, iPhone and iPad. No one I know uses Google Hangouts.
I've played with an HTC One and now own an Android 4.3 device. I like them both, but not enough. I can still get more done, be more productive, and work faster on my iPhone and iPad.
I'm hoping with 5.0, Android that it becomes an OS I can use on a daily basis. Eliminate the quirks, get scrolling right, and develop some quality tablet apps.
Here's hoping for a better Android.