My Android Adventure
So Shelley and I, after being on prepaid phones for years and years, decided to get with the times and get us some of those new-fangled smart phones. I had been using a hand-me-down iPhone 3GS with an a la cart data plan, and I was ready to get a phone with a nicer camera. After poking around, I learned that I could get two phones with unlimited data and texting on T-Mobile for about $100 a month. Sold.
Buying the phones was an ordeal, largely because Shelley was trying to port a pre-paid phone’s number within T-Mobile, which they’re not really set up to do. It took hours. Shelley got some kind of phone with a keyboard. She loves it.
I got a Samsung Galaxy II, mostly because of the nice 8 megapixel camera.
It worked fine for the first little bit, and I was happy that most of the apps I rely on were available for Android. And then it started to be annoying.
- It is constantly updating apps. When it does this, the phone slows to a crawl and apps hang or become unusable.
- It crashes. Often. Just yesterday, while on my run, it updated a bunch of stuff mid-run, which meant that my podcast app started failing. Then, when I got home, it turned itself off and wouldn’t respond to the press of the power button.
- You know how when you slide to unlock on an iPhone, it just works? Not so much on this phone. It works most of the time. Sometimes it doesn’t. And then the phone just sits there, unusable, until it decides to unlock.
- You know those earbuds with the play/pause and volume buttons? Only the play/pause button works on an Android phone. You can’t adjust the volume at all using the earbuds, which is super-annoying.
- Friday the alarm decided not to go off.
- Because all it takes is a press of a button and a swipe anywhere on the screen to unlock the phone, it is really, really easy to unlock the phone when pulling it out of your pocket.
- Once, the Google maps app crashed so hard that I had to reboot the phone.
- There are hardware buttons for volume and power, but the buttons for home, back, menu, and search are all touch sensitive, which means that I’m constantly accidentally invoking them when I don’t mean to.
- When someone sends me a link in a text message and I click on it, the phone pops up a dialog box asking me what I want to do: open the link? make a bookmark? copy the text?
- The stock keyboard is awful, so I had to replace it. But the new one does annoying things, too. On an iPhone, if you delete something that is autocorrected and then retype it, the phone is smart enough to know that it shouldn’t autocorrect it again. Not so much with this phone. If you accidentally tap outside the keyboard, the phone becomes super-touch-responsive and makes the keyboard go away.
- The battery doesn’t last very long, and my first experience with the battery draining completely was that the phone, apparently, does not charge unless it is powered up.
- The phone is constantly, constantly, informing me about something.
I went to the T-Mobile store today and put my name on the priority list for an iPhone. I’ll have to plunk down $100, and my bill will go up by $20 a month, but at this point, it’s worth it just to get away from this phone.