Switching to Android after 4.5 years of iOS

After over four years of using an iPhone daily (first a 3G and then an iPhone 4), for the past month I’ve had the pleasure of using the Google-sanctioned LG Nexus 4 as my work phone. Trying to have a positive angle on things, I put together a short list of things I like about both OS’s:

Things I like about Android

  1. The freedom to choose my default browser/camera/whatever
  2. Third-party apps are less restricted by the OS
  3. The notification system (mostly)
  4. Superior autosuggest system (both in the stock keyboard and alternatives such as SwiftKey)
  5. Widgets
  6. Google Now (have no experience of Siri though, since it wasn’t supported on the iPhone 4)
  7. Integration into Google’s ecosystem and support for multiple Google accounts
  8. Automatic app updates

Things I like about iOS

  1. Better scrolling and touch responsiveness in general (not sure how much this is a hardware issue)
  2. Consistent, well thought-out UI
  3. Despite #2 in the previous list, overall better selection of quality apps
  4. Better default lockscreen notifications
  5. Seamless integration with Mac OS X

A few words about the hardware

A big part of the experience is of course defined by the hardware. The Nexus 4 is a very powerful but elegant phone, and I have found myself truly enjoying the big 4.7″ screen. Surfing the web and reading articles definitely feels less cramped, but I couldn’t imagine going any bigger, at least on a day-to-day phone. The camera on the Nexus 4 is OK, clearly better than the iPhone 3G but worse than the iPhone 4.

New “Privacy on” alert in WordPress 3.0

Sometimes it’s the little details that make you smile. When a new WP site is in development, you obviously don’t want it to be visible to search engines. A simple setting in the installation process (and the admin) allows you to choose this, but it can be easy to forget once you’ve set it.

About a week ago a submission to the WordPress trunk enabled a new mini-alert in the admin header, which reads “Privacy on” when the blog is hidden from search engines. Small addition, but very helpful when going live with a new site! I hope this feature remains in the final 3.0 release (due in May according to the current project schedule).

Bad Google!

Can anyone suggest a good online feed reader and webmail which doesn’t begin with a G?

Google Buzz created quite a stir from the start, with concerns over it’s privacy policy. The first time I logged in to see what all the buzz was about, I thought is was odd enough to see “followers” who I definitely know have never used ANY social media service. Some of them were probably just confused by the “Try Buzz” -notice and have since forgotten about it.
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Google Maps for mobiles – very nice!

At Google they seem to know how to make good mobile applications. After getting a hint from a friend via email, I installed Google’s latest mobile map software on my Nokia 6233 phone. Initially I ran into some trouble — for some strange reason the UI was all in German! Perhaps they thought that wouldn’t matter, since Finland is so close to Germany. :) Well, unfortunately it seems the only way to change the language is to switch the whole phone’s language from Finnish to English. I hope Google fixes this in the future…

Anyway, once I got the language issue out of the way, the app started by showing a general view of Finland. It’s easy to zoom in by clicking once on the main navi button, or type in a location via the menu on the left. You can have up to 9 favorite locations by adding a ‘star’ on the map.

Google maps on my Nokia 6233

For drivers who don’t need a full gps-based navigation system, Google’s offering seems really useful. It’s easy to get driving instructions simply by entering the starting and ending point. I’m also really impressed with how fast and responsive using the map is, even here in the middle of the Finnish countryside using regular GPRS. Point your mobile phone browser at http://www.google.com/gmm.