Yesterday I bought myself a Google Nexus 5 phone to replace my iPhone 5C. Although I’m a rock solid Mac user – I couldn’t imagine trying to live with either Windows or Linux on my desktop – I find myself drifting away from the iOS world. In the last year, for example, I’ve used my Kindle Fire tablet far more often than my iPad. But the main thing provoking the switch is that I really want to increase my use of my Google Glass. Restrictions in iOS (especially the inability of user apps to route IP traffic between BlueTooth, WiFi and LTE), coupled with the flakiness of the iOS Mobile Hotspot feature, mean that Glass simply works better with an Android phone. (And before you say, “but of course”, the changes that have affected interoperability have all come from Apple.)

Now I’ve tried this Android switch once before, and it was not a pleasant experience.In August 2011, I acquired an AT&T Samsung Infuse. It was big, fast and gorgeous, as I wrote here. But my infatuation soon wore off. The problems were many: overheating, bloatware, lockups, buggy software, the failure of AT&T and Samsung to keep the software up to date, and a handful of incredibly annoying “features” with no workaround. (Posting a notification when the phone was fully charged – often in the middle of the night – was the most asinine.)

So that experiment lasted less than 6 months, and then I returned to the walled garden. So this time I’m trying to be smarter about it. By choosing Google’s own Nexus, I can be (pretty) sure that I’ll always have up-to-date software. And I know where they live….

2 Responses to “Switching ecosystems (again).”
  1. Robin says:

    I’ve had a Nexus 5 for 8 months, and I’m very happy with it. No overheating, no bloatware, haven’t seen lockups, the software is updated regularly. A small amount of buggy software, but not from Google. It definitely doesn’t tell me that it is fully charged, but then I have most notifications turned off.

    I did have a hardware problem, but Google was very helpful. It turned out to be a bad battery, but it was at first intermittent, so it looked like software. Once we got it diagnosed, they were willing to have me order a new one and then send the old one back. Unfortunately, this happened when I was in Europe, and they would only send the new one to the address the original one was sent to, so I had no phone for a while, but I think that this would happen with any provider.

    One piece of advice — get a case. I dropped my nexus 4 many times (it even went through the washer and dryer!) and all ended up well. I broke the glass on this one when it was brand new, because the glass goes all the way to the edge and it’s easy to hit glass, not the housing, when it falls to the ground. It’s very stylish, but I would prefer a hardier product.

  2. geoff says:

    Good advice, Robin. I picked up a holster for it this morning, but that’s just a stop-gap.

    The most useful piece of software I’ve found so far is MegaSound. I was going crazy having every application notifying me in exactly the same way. I do need a better email client though: something that’s much more efficient in using screen real estate.

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