I finally did it – I slipped the sim from my failing iPhone 4 into a shiny new Google Nexus last night.
And damn, the thing just worked. And it’s So. Much. Better.
But….there are things I wish it had. I figure I’ll take notes here, so folks can both learn from my experience, as well as
tell me what an idiot I am help me out.
Here are the things I really like:
- Much better screen, faster, etc. There are tons of reviews that go over all of this, so I’ll not belabor the point. This is a way better device in tons of ways than the iPhone 4. And my son has a iPhone 5, and it’s bigger, and frankly looks nicer as well.
- All my stuff from Google automatically just…works on the phone. I logged in via my main Gmail account, and all my cloud-based stuff with Google showed up. All my photos on Picasa, all my contacts via Gmail (I’ve been using Gmail as a way to bypass Apple’s terrible contact “solution,” all the apps I had already downloaded when I set up my Nexus 7 tablet a while ago. It was very, very slick, and it makes me both trust the service, and want to feed it more of my data. While I am wary of having my data on any one provider, as I have written before, Google’s commitment to “data liberation,” which is enforceable via the FTC, gives me far more comfort than Apple’s closed world. And, as far as I can tell from my family’s experience with Apple’s approach to the cloud…well, Apple is terrible at it.
- The camera is ridiculously better than anything I’ve ever had.
- Most of the apps are clean and work very well. Google search is really, really good in voice mode. Google Calendar works seamlessly as well. Twitter is elegant. Etc.
Now, here’s the thing I really, really don’t get about the Nexus 4: Why on earth, when I plug it into my computer, doesn’t Google Play come up, so I can manage my phone from my Mac?
I know, that’s how the iPhone works, but it’s a very good way to manage the device, and I don’t understand why Google wouldn’t take the same approach. Google Play is turning into a pretty good App Store, and I’d prefer to use it on a bigger screen (the PC web) as I manage all my Android apps.
Anyone have a good reason for why Google hasn’t pulled the switch on that?
I’m running into any number of minor irritations with the phone – there are a few apps I use a lot from the iPhone that I have to figure out how to connect to my new Android world, but I am sure I’ll get there.
In short, I think this phone is for real. It’s gotten me off the iPhone, and I couldn’t be happier about that.
So what apps should I use? What are your favorites? Any tips and tricks?
UPDATE: Thanks for reminding me about wireless updates, no need to plug into a computer. And thanks for all the tips, keep them coming. One irritation I have found in the following day or so of use is the way Android handles text manipulation. I don’t find it easy to insert the cursor where I want to, for example. I’m sure I’ll figure it out…