I’m Leaving The iPhone Behind And Going Android Only For 30 Days, Can I Be Converted?

This is, by all accounts one of the bigger things I’ve ever done since the founding of TmoNews. So let’s just jump right in, for 30 days, I’m giving up my iPhone completely and going all Android. I’m calling it the “David’s going 30 days with the HTC One S since I know most of you would love to see me drop all signs of iOS in my household Android challenge.” Well, that wouldn’t be entirely true since I’ll still have my iPad and using that is part of the daily workflow. So there’s my one disclaimer. Otherwise, it’s pure Android for 30 days and who knows — maybe beyond that as well.

So here’s what I need from all of you. I need your help, I need your help with apps, customization, games, tricks, tips and more. Now, let me add that because HTC provided me a phone for the purpose this challenge, there will be no rooting, this is strictly a “consumer experience” challenge. I’d love to root, but it’s not in the works for this experiment.

So how do I feel about this? I’m both excited and a bit nervous, you get so used to one idea — but I’m looking forward to seeing how this turns out. Now, it’s not like I’m an Android virgin, I’ve obviously used it before, as I’ve done a ton of reviews of Android handsets. Lately, I just feel like I never spend more than a few days on one operating system. I have a problem swapping out phones quite frequently, at least my wife calls it a “problem.” I call it being a geek but that’s neither here nor there. This time, the gauntlet has been thrown. Will I be converted? Most importantly, will you help me through this?

I’ll be blogging my thoughts every few days, with some thoughts, questions, concerns, ideas, and so on. I hope you’ll all follow along with me on the blog, @tmonews and even my our Facebook page.

There’s a second announcement here as well. As of the past two weeks I’ve officially taken over DroidDog.com for the foreseeable future. So not only am I spending 30 days with a Android device, I’m now writing about Android most days as well on both TmoNews and DroidDog.com. There will be some posts that wind up on both sites, but DroidDog.com will go a little more in-depth into the Android world. We’ll talk about hacks, tweaks, ROM’s, customization and all the good stuff you’ve come to expect from your Android smartphone.

The challenge begins…now. Leave your thoughts below and tell me the best places for customization, themes, icons, twitter apps, google reader apps etc etc. You get the idea. The single most important part of this is my promise to be fair and impartial throughout the challenge. Let’s get cracking!

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  • Edward Hammond

    David, can you be converted?  Great question!
    I’ve worked as a network administrator for the last 30 years and have used nearly every computing device and operating system invented.  One of the things that I’m frequently asked by customers, family and friends is what type of computer should I purchase.  In the case of giving advice about smart phones my first questions for them would be:

    1. what would you use the smart phone for?
    Basic internet browsing, email, communication, games/entertainment or more advanced uses?

    2. what is your level of comfort with using a smart phone?

    3. Is the smart phone for business or personal use? 
    If business, would you need a secure device and would it need to be integrated with your business network?

    4. How much are you willing to spend up front and on a monthly basis?

    5. How often do you plan on upgrading to a new phone?

    6. How important is battery life?

    7. Would you prefer a physical keyboard

    I would lean toward suggesting an iPhone for someone that is new to smart phones and simply wants the basics.  The iPhone is very stable with a simple, consistent interface.  App development on the iPhone gives the user many options for adding features to the phone. 

    For a business user that needs a secure device that integrates tightly/securely into a medium to large business network I would suggest a Blackberry.  Granted that RIM is having problems, the integration of Outlook with BES can’t be compared to any other phone.  Battery life on a Blackberry phone is unparalleled.  Having the ability to swap a charged spare battery is another benefit.  The Blackberry phone’s keyboard is hands down the best option for data entry. 

    Windows phones have a great deal of potential and with the release of a
    new OS it will be interesting to see where Nokia and Microsoft go with
    their newest devices.  The new interface and the similarity with the new
    Windows 8 operating system will be a huge boost in popularity and ease
    of use as Windows 8 is accepted by likely a large number of users.   Hopefully Microsoft will be able to offer a comparable variety of apps such as Google and Apple.  

    For an advanced user that loves to play with configuring the device and would like to upgrade frequently to the latest and greatest, I would suggest an Android OS based phone.  Widgets are a huge plus and Google apps can definitely compare with Apple’s.  Android phones offer many more choices in screen size and abilities that Apple does not offer.  I think you are really going to enjoy using an Android device.  Android phones also offer keyboards which again gives the user an efficient way to enter data. 

    I look forward to reading your blog and hearing about your experience!


  • Templaroflte

    Good luck, David! I’m a long-time reader of TmoNews on Android’s Pulse News Reader, and I’ve actually considered the opposite end: picking up a used iPhone from a friend when he upgrades to give that experience a chance.

  • voodoo

    I have been on Android since day 1. Dealt with all the problems that have come with being a early supporter of the OS. My suggested apps have changed over time as the OS has matured. Here is my list of must have apps that help your user experience:
    Full Screen Caller ID: This  app is available in both free and paid versions. Allowing you to use all of the beautiful screen when receiving calls, texts, and emails. Uses high res images stored either on the phone or pulled from the contacts Facebook. 
    YouMail: Love how much you can customize this voice mail app. Personalized greetings for each person in your contact list. Also can send callers whom left a message a receipt of delivery. Important for me and my clients. 
    Taxi Magic: I take a lot of cabs. This app allows me to book a cab and then track it via GPS. No more hoping and waiting for a cab. Furthermore, I can rate the driver. 
    Splashtop Remote Desktop: Got this for free using AmazonAppStore. WOW! What a great app. I use it to gain access to work/home computer when I’m away. 
    Moon+Reader: I use my phone to read books when there is time. This app works very well and has loads of features to customize ones reading experience. Oh yeah, it can read a book out load for you as well. 
    Netflix/Hulu/Pandora: These are heavily used for me. Entertaining the kids or something to keep me occupied during a commute. Furthermore, with the HDMI features on most phones, I can use these apps on my tv in my bedroom. Saving me the trouble of having to run cable or install a media PC in that room. 
    List Master Pro: I HAVE to stay organized with work. This app helps me to do so. The export to email feature allows me to keep co-workers on the same page if needed. Lots of options and I can keep an entire inventory current through this app as well. 
    FlashLight: I know it seems like a silly thing to list, but I use it all the time. This one is my favorite for the widget features, shake phone on lock screen to turn light on, and price…FREE. 
    Business Calendar: This app was another free find on Amazon. Which I guess is a suggested app of its own. Biggest reason I love this app is, it looks like your using google calendar on the desktop, but on your phone. It does a great job utilizing all that google calendars has to offer. Meetings are color coded as I have set them. Easy to browse. Even easier to add events or meetings. I know have my entire office using this app. 

    There is other apps I could suggest, but those are more specific to my phone (g2x -no root) that offer me what I want from the phone. Such as “Camera ICS+”, “ICS Messaging”, “ICS Keyboard”, “Dolphin Browser HD”, “ICS Home”, and “Beautiful Widgets”. LG and Tmobile may not want me to have ICS, but developers have done there part to make it available for me. 
    I will not go into camera apps. Your stock camera will beat anything I can suggest. 

  • howaboutthisinstead

    Everyone here should go to XDA and BE respectful.
    Turn YOUR DEVICE into….something much more!!

    As per iPhone. I used to use it on Tmobile, but once i found out that my same price data supported the 3G network, I tried it and well, Im stayin for awhile now, so many flavors of android, modding, many phones.

    So yea, edge at maybe 200kbps download or…

    7Mbps down on HSDPA

    I dont even need to tell you what thats like.

  • Rob

    What I don’t get is how you’ve used EDGE this whole time with your Iphone(s). When my Sensation is on 3G now, I feel like it’s crawling.

  • PlowRox

    WooHoo Congrats! Now the first thing to do is spend a few hours doing the unthinkable…Customizing your device! move the icons around organize your screens, [mine are apps one page,all google stuff on another,games etc youll get the idea! and best of all you can now nest your icons with ICS make lil folders!
    Thats probably the biggest challenge with android…you have to think and not be told how to use the phone! :P That and you can customise your device without asking “mother may I”.
    Good luck!