Switching to Android/Nexus One from iPhone
After Google released the Nexus One with 3G AT&T compatibility, it looked like a perfect time to switch off the iPhone. Being able to use my current AT&T sim while maintaining 3g speeds pushed me over the edge (no pun intended). After a week of using the Nexus One as my main phone, here are some thoughts.
Top 6 Nexus One/Android Pros
- Gmail – It won’t come as any surprise but if you’re a heavy Gmail user, Android should be your phone of choice. Labels, archive, search, and threads. Almost as good as the real thing
- Hot Spot – with a simple rom replacement and wifi-tether, my phone is now a mobile hot spot. (Hello iPad 3G without paying an extra $20).
- Widgets – News widget, foursquare widget, the homescreens of the Android are much more useful than the iPhone’s. Also, Maps has a live wallpaper that shows traffic for my current area, constantly.
- Turn by Turn Directions – Built in turn by turn directions allows you to toss your GPS.
The power widget allows you to turn on/off power draining features of the phone from the homescreen. This is great since the Nexus One doesn’t seem to be able to make it through a whole day for me.
- Google Voice – Full Google Voice integration… if you’re a Google Voice user. I won’t use Google Voice until I can port my existing number to it.
Top 6 Nexus One/Android Annoyances
- Non-Gmail Email – I have serious issues with my company’s exchange account. For no discernible reason, the native Email app stops syncing mails. Refresh doesn’t help, deleting the account and recreating will solve the problem for a couple days. Infuriating. Also it’s not possible to search non-Gmail accounts. To top it off, there’s no way to access a Yahoo! mail account (except to pay for Yahoo! Mail Plus)
- No Exchange Calendar Sync – No explanation needed.
- Landscape mode only works turning left! – At first I thought many apps didn’t have landscape mode, but apparently turning the phone clockwise will not trigger landscape mode. This might be useful when reading in bed, but so far it’s been an annoyance.
- Touch screen is inaccurate – in the browser, I find myself clicking on a link only to have the link below register the click. Reports of the Nexus One’s touchscreen being inferior are not exaggerated
- No good Podcast listener – the best podcast app I’ve found is Google Listen. It auto syncs podcast but lacks double speed playback!
- Missing Mint.com and Scrabble/Words with Friends – There is no native Mint.com or Scrabble or the Scrabble rip-off Word with Friends.
Over the course of a couple weeks, friends have asked me “Hey, is that a better phone than my iPhone.” I have consistently said absolutely not. You give up quiet a bit to go full Android over the iPhone. The pros just don’t outweigh the cons.
The only reason I could recommend a Nexus over an iPhone is if you’re heavily invested in Google apps, Gmail, Google Voice, Picasa etc. With that in mind, Nexus is competing against the iPhone 3GS, not the iPhone HD (or 4g) and iPhone OS 3.2. We’ll see what Apple has up their sleeve on Thursday and this June.