5 things I love about switching to Android

I have been using the iPhone (2G and then 3G) for three years now, and had never once considered moving to another platform.  However, due to the ongoing hardware issues with the iPhone 4, the iOS4 API restrictions, and AT&T’s crappy (and limiting) network, I decided it was time to shop around.  I ended up getting the HTC Evo 4G from Sprint, and haven’t looked back.

Here are my 5 favorite things about the Android OS after 3 days:

Widgets

The Pandora Widget: Managing background apps without having to load them.

Easily my favorite change from the iPhone, widgets are extensions to your apps that let you interact with information without having to start the full app.  For example, I can see my Facebook and Twitter feeds right from the “desktop”.  If I want to give a “thumbs down” to the song playing on Pandora in the background, I can do that without having to launch Pandora.  View today’s agenda from my sync’d Google Calendar?  Yep!

Sensible Multitasking

As I wrote earlier, Apple’s release of iOS4 was a sore disappointment. Apple decides when to close apps for you.  Not with Android: You can choose to let an app run in the background by simply going back to the “desktop” or you can exit through the app’s menu.  Easy.  And it means that apps I don’t need to run in the background never slow me down.

Open API

The iPhone API is notoriously closed.  I had been jailbreaking my iPhone for years just to get some simple functionality, such as a quick toggle for Wi-Fi.  Android doesn’t have this issue: I’ve already downloaded several widget toggles (including one that quickly turns on the Evo’s camera LED for a super flashlight).

Plus, I have already been able to customize my phone to:

  • Automatically turn off notifications (but not incoming call rings) from 10:00 pm until 7:00 am with the Sweet Dreams app.
  • Change my default SMS app to ChompSMS
  • Change my default browser to Dolphin HD

Notifications

Android notifications: teh hawtness

The iPhone has 2 kinds of notifications: intrusive (push notifications and SMS messages) or invisible (new mail).  If I was in my WordPress app and got a new mail message, the only way to even know if it was important was to switch apps.  With Android, there’s a single screen for all notifications, and it’s easily accessible from anywhere by pulling straight down from the top of the screen, so I can check all my notifications without breaking my workflow.  TNT (‘taint nothin’ toit).

File/Folder access

When I plug my Evo in to the computer, I have access to the entire SD card contents.  Which means moving documents, pictures, and music is super simple.  Plus, with the free iTunesAgent for Windows, I can still sync my iTunes playlists.


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3 responses to “5 things I love about switching to Android”

  1. evologynow says :

    My friend showed me his HTC EVO the other day and I was really impressed with it. I didn’t know about all these features though. Thanks for thorough review!

  2. Ant Pruitt says :

    Great read. Can you get your digi cam and video some of this in action? I’d like to see. Still counting down to my upgrade in Nov.

    -RAP, II
    @antpruitt

  3. Anarchist Quaker says :

    Aight, then, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRlxyJqvv88. My first video entry into these here Inner Webs. Hope you like it.

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