I have been a true Symbian / Belle evangelist. I have been vociferous in its defence, and often ready to poke in the eye people who attacked its relevance. But the recent series of (what I consider) prodigious mis-steps finally pushed me into adopting an Android device (a Sony Xperia Pro).
I have been exploring the Android OS and some of the applications available on it.
Apart from from the need to eternally be vigilant as regards data consumption, I would say I am deliriously happy with both the device itself, and the Operating System (Android GingerBread) that powers things.
Something that immediately became apparent when I crossed over to Android is the number of quality apps for almost ANYTHING about which you can think. Symbian has a lot of apps in diffferent categories. True. But the variety/diversity, as well as the quality of the apps here truly had me stymied.
It is often a fact of life that one must always make compromises. Some of the compromises include the need to manage data consumption stringently. I have turned off background data and automatic sync in ALL the apps (onboard) that has such a facility.
I watch my data with eagle eyes, having been scared silly of how Android can gulp your 1 Gigabyte of data/datum in a heartbeat! This is quite a different scenario from my old Symbian where I do not have to be so attentive. I use apps like 3G WatchDog and Onavo to track what is munching my data, and at what rate. The ‘mobile data’ remains turned off unless I specifically have to go online. Lots of Android Apps are ad-supported. Leaving your connection on is sure to get your data/datum sapped in expeditiously!
Most apps that can be used to configure which Android apps can go online need your device to be ‘rooted’. This is a direction I do not want to take.
The most pleasant aspect of my new experience is the ease with which I can get things done, especially the entry of data on the phone.
The device comes with a hardware keyboard, but I have been so enthralled with SwiftKey Keyboard that I have not touched it yet! If you have an Android touchscreen phone, do yourself a favour. Install SwiftKey. It is as ominipotent as it is psychic. The hardware keyboard on this Sony Xperia Pro would probably rust from misuse. SwiftKey/Touchscreen all the way!
As a notable chronic app JUNKY, I have been busy installing, uninstalling and assessing apps on the Android platform. Special thanks to Harry Echemco for his indefatiguable support and advice while getting my hands dirty with this Android device.
All the apps I have installed – so far – were from outside the ‘Google Play’. While I recognize the risk (and I am ready to bear the possible consequence), I found it is cheaper for me (data-wise) to go to the website of the app Authors to download directly. Thus, I have not yet visited “Google Play” – an activity I understand is very
The following are the apps I have installed on the Sony ExPeria Pro:
- Super BackUp
- ZDBox (swiss army app with a cornucopia of functions!)
- Quick Settings
- HandyCalc (am amazed by this calculator)
- File Expert, Astro File Manager, ES File Manager
- GO Contacts
- MXPlayer Pro
- English Dictionary Free (need a more capable dictionary / thesaurus)
- ColorNote, Note EveryThing
- Onavo, 3G WatchDog
- ClipBoard Contents (prefer to aNDClip ‘cos it is ad-free)
- SwiftKey 3 Beta (Go Keyboard seems good)
- Opera Mini / Uc Mobile / QQ Browser
- FlipBoard (I don’t plan to use this – much)
- BarCode Scanner
- Daily expense Manager
- 920 Text Editor
- Internet DownLoad Manager
Some apps I miss SORELY from the Symbian world is Kylom Projekt, a wonderful outliner application. No equivalent on Android (ColorNote / NoteEverything is close).
Being a wordsmith, I have gone a hunting for dictionaries and thesauruses. I have found Android somewhat deficient in this area. Compromises, compromises.
The money management apps I found in my app scavenging are either too rudimentary, or over comprehensive. Still searching!
Definitely – I would say the grass is greener and more luxuriant on
this Android side!