Wednesday, November 14, 2012

friEdTechnology Got an Android: Switching from an iPhone 4s to a Galaxy Note 2

I've been a die hard iPhone fan for years, but for my 41st birthday tomorrow I decided to get a Galaxy Note 2. The iPhone withdrawal pangs have almost stopped now, so it is with barely shaking hands that I write . . .

I like the Galaxy Note 2.

I'm impressed.

Here are the features that won me over. I don't even understand why I like some of them, but sometimes these things are more about how one feels than what one thinks.

1. I like the way the water ripples on the home screen when I unlock the phone. You can sort of feel it. It's cool. I can show it to people who have iPhones and they feel sort of jealous.

2. I like the way you see the icons at the bottom on the unlock screen and can open the application you want as you unlock the phone. For example, let's say I want to unlock my phone because I have a text message. The text message icon on the bottom of my phone has a little 1 on its edge. I can touch, hold, and drag up on that icon and instead of being taken to the home screen of my phone, I am taken directly to the new text. Nice.

3. I like the stylus. I know Steve Jobs hated the stylus, but I am not Steve Jobs and have never even dressed as him for Halloween (though I'm not ruling it out.--it would probably be better than the redneck costume I donned in 2010.)
But anyway, I like the ability to draw, and the touch sensitivity is amazing. My signature and handwriting looks like artwork, and that's not a compliment to my skills. It's just slick. I keep reading the smoothness of the device is "like butter," which I promptly translate into "like buttah" in my head.
4. I am amazed by the shape recognition. When you click on that little shape recognition icon then draw a shape, the Galaxy Note 2 makes it look good for you. Example . . .
5. It's no secret that I love Google Tools, and that's really the main reason I switched to the Android OS. When I went to the Google Teacher Academy in New York recently and stayed in Chelsea, I tried to use my new (at the time) Apple map to get me to the office where I needed to be. My iPhone 4s told me it was SIX MILES away. Of course I promptly used my non-integrated Google map to double check . . . .3 miles away, right around the corner. That could have been the turning point for me.

6. Another turning point was Siri. I had high hopes for you, girl, but you can't understand ANYthing I say when I am in the car.  NOT that I text and drive, but sometimes I might like to add a note at a stoplight. Largely, that's a no go with Siri. I have higher hopes for Doreen---that's what I've decided to call my Android lady.

7. Another thing I think is really amazing, and your iPhone does this too now, is Google+ Instant Uploads. Here's how it works: I take a picture with my phone, then as soon as I hit wifi/plug in (or whatever parameters I set), the picture is automatically uploaded to a private spot in my Google+ account at full quality. That's UH MAZE ING.

8. Last but not least, I am amazed by the Google drive capabilities on this phone. Check out this widget:
In case you can't read that handwriting, fabulous as it is, you can switch accounts on the Google Drive without signing out---true switching, pull up starred documents, and create a new document right from the widget. I will actually be able to present from Google Drive with this thing as well because it's so gigantic you could see it from SPACE.


Let me be clear to those of you who are still reading, since seriously, you are really interested in this topic, I do miss some things about the iPhone, and I would never say never about having one again. I love the iPhone. I still miss it a little bit, including the group texting, which I thought was nuts when I first tried it, and especially the happy pretty emoticons which I can't see properly anymore, TweetList, which is my favorite Twitter app on the iDevice, and all of the expensive and numerous apps I now own but don't use.

I'm sure there's more. If you're interested in hearing the rest of the saga, please comment, +1, Like, Tweet or whatever you do to show that sort of thing and I'll keep blogging about it.
Image posted on Google+ by Max Huijgen

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