Seeing the Android Light

I hath wandered in the technological desert for two years but salvation has come in the form of a Samsung Galaxy A3.

It’s no surprise to anyone that knows me that I wasn’t a fan of my old phone – the Nokia Lumia.  I’ve written before about the pitfalls of having a Windows Phone as your weapon of choice, and rather than these issues being ironed out over time as you bear the burden of them, things actually got worse.  The lack of good apps and reasons to stick with it wore me down. The phone’s power button broke as well to boot, leaving my sole method of interacting with my phone being an accessibility option that drained battery like nothing else.  Why I put up with it so long I have no idea.

But now things have got immeasurably better.

The Samsung Galaxy A3 runs on Android, which is a far, far better platform for a phone than Windows is.  Its interface is light, user-friendly and much more customisable right out of the gate than the Windows Phone was.  The phone itself is sleeker too, with a hard matte back and two cameras (as is standard on most phones now). When you spend as much time looking at something as you do your phone, you want it to look good. Now my phone does.

The saving graces of the Lumia were that it had good notes functionality through OneNote and that its predictive text suggestions were good.  On my first day of having an Android I installed the OneNote app that has a clearer interface than the Windows Phone version did and I set up a predictive text system that will learn my texting habits over time.  A few hours were all it took for me to have a phone that was more functional than my old one.

And then I made it even better.  The Android app store blows the Windows equivalent out of the water and into another ocean all together with the amount of variety and choice it has.  I was quickly able to install better and official versions of apps I had on the Windows Phone that were pale imitations of what they should be – so now I can get football scores, breaking news, Wikipedia and Snapchat all from the sources I want.  All my e-mail accounts are handled well between Android’s own mail server and Gmail’s own app.  I was able to download all my old phone contacts via Facebook and be able to sort them so that only those I want on my phone’s contact list appear.  My phone is now a one-stop device for anything I want to use, which it has never been before.

My favourite new app is PushBullet, which does many fancy things including sending all of your Android notifications to your computer so if you are using that you can respond on the computer – which works for everything including texts.  This is super easy to set up and completely free.  You can also send messages, push pages and copy/paste between your phone and computer, which can be really handy.

The IF app allows you to use powerful conditional rules to do certain functions when conditions are met.  Things like sending you an alert about the weather, letting you know if there are tweets from people that you’ve missed etc.  The possibilities with it are almost endless.

Even this blog post was posted from my new phone via the WordPress app, which was simple and easy to set up even on a self-hosted site.  The editor is clear and comes will all the basics you need to make posts. Anything you can do online you can do with an Android phone.

So far my expectations from Android have been met and then exceeded by some way.  My phone has gone from something I use as little as possible to something I want to use as often as I can.

No-one should ever be forced into the darkness of having a Windows Phone.  If you find yourself afflicted so, please follow the Android light to escape.

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