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It’s been four days since I set out on my “journey” to join the ranks of the Android elite and what a four days it has been. When I came up with the idea of a 30-day Android challenge, I had no idea what feedback I would receive. I’ve never really hid my iPhone use and for the most part, I think a lot of you knew what phone(s) lay next to me. Most of your reaction has been overwhelmingly positive and while a few detractors were able to extract a reaction out of me, your welcoming thoughts in the comments and through social media have done nothing but make me recognize yet again why I have some of the best readers in the world.
Enough of that, let’s dive right in and talk about the first four days of my Android experience. Let’s just get right to the point with the one thing I’ve itched to talk about, Swiftkey rocks. I mean like really f’in rocks. I know a lot of you swear by other keyboards but I’m in love with Swiftkey. If I could kiss the developers, I totally would. Seriously, tell them. Coincidentally, the timing of my experiment has even coincided with their newest beta and it’s even better than the trial I originally installed. There is absolutely nothing that I have enjoyed more in the last four days than Switfkey. To those of you that recommend it, I owe you a big thanks. The idea of replaceable keyboards is clearly something most iOS users never dream of and those that do, can only make incredibly limited changes (see: themes) via jailbreak. The idea of using something like Swiftkey on iOS is now, unthinkable. So let it be said that the ability to use custom keyboard software has won me over in a big big way.
Update: I almost forgot to add how awesome it is to use Google Voice as a default dialer or have it ask me if I want to use it. That’s. Freaking. Useful.
On the flip side, I do believe there is an argument to be made that the overall look and feel of iOS apps is better. That’s not to say that Android apps are bad, on the contrary and better is as we all know, relative. That being said, this is a subjective review of my first four days on Android so you may feel differently. If there is one thing I noticed was a big concern, it was the idea that this experiment was for me to try and convince others that one platform is better than the other. On the contrary, this entire experiment is for me and me alone. I have no wish to convince anyone of anything. If you read my thoughts and recognize the truth (or lack of) behind them, so be it. Oh yeah, I’m not doing this for pageviews either, or greed or any other hidden agenda conspiracy aliens landed in Roswell reasoning that’s been tossed in my direction. I had a thought to experiment, I have an audience with which to tell those thoughts and so here I am. If you had millions of readers at your disposal and thought they would enjoy this, you’d try it too.
On another note, I won’t be touching hardware, this isn’t a review of the HTC One S or any other device I’ve got laying around. Which brings me to another point, I started this experiment with the intent of carrying it all the way through on one device (HTC One S, but your opinions have me wondering if I shouldn’t add to that. I have a Galaxy S II laying around and while that’s obviously not Ice Cream Sandwich, I may swap out phones and see how you guys handle your own phone swaps.
As a quick wrap-up, I’m truly enjoying this little experiment of mine and by that I mean I’m truly enjoying my Android experience. My biggest problem? My continued searching through mycolorscreen.com. That site is addicting and it’s a problem for me, I’ll spend all day trying to emulate your icons, lockscreens, homescreens and productivity will go right out the window.
As for my want to try new phones, I’ll let you all be the judge of that. Throw out the idea that ICS is the latest and that’s the only thing I should use. I want to get into the nitty gritty of todays Android, and with less than 5% of all Android smartphones running Ice Cream Sandwich, Gingerbread seems like the next best thing to try. What do you say? Should I experiment with everything at my disposal?
I’ll update again another few days and expect my thoughts to go a little more in-depth as I truly throw myself at the mercy of the Android overlords.