Thursday, July 07, 2016

Moving from Windows Phone to Android

The hardest part about moving to Android from Windows Phone was admitting that Windows Phone was not meeting my needs.  This was really hard because there is so much to love in Windows Phone.  I love the live tiles, I love the Cortana integration (especially how it automatically reads texts to me in the car via my Bluetooth car stereo), and I love the way it works.  In fact, I had tried out Android for 4 months and ended up coming back because of the things that Android just didn't do.

  • No live tiles
  • No unread count on phone, text, or email tiles on home screen
  • No reading texts via Bluetooth in my car
  • Lack of seamless integration with my Microsoft services (email, calendar, etc.)
So I gave the phone back to my wife.  She used it and was OK with it (although she missed a lot of the same things I did) until the camera lens cracked.  We don't know how it happened and there's not a scratch on the rest of the phone but the camera was unusable.  Well, this was unacceptable.  We looked at our warranty and there was a $79 copay to get it fixed.  Ouch!  I looked around more and found that Best Buy was selling the Lumia 640 (a nice mid-range Windows Phone) for $30.  So we got my wife one of those and she's happy with it.

So now we have an Android phone and nobody to use it.  Well, I have this issue with not being able to let a problem go without solving it so I continued to see if I could make Android as good as Windows Phone.  So, after researching I found workarounds for many of the issues.
  • The Nova Launcher has an add-on called TeslaUnread that shows unread counts for phone, text, and email programs.
  • The ReadItToMe app will read me texts via the Bluetooth in my car.  It's not as good as Cortana but it gets the job done.
So, as I thinking, "hey, this could actually work" the reality of the Windows 10 Mobile hit.  The reality is this - it's not as stable as Windows Phone 8.1.  It would crash a few times a week, it would lose wifi almost daily, Cortana would crash while reading texts.  I got really frustrated so I picked up my Nexus 5x and started using that.  After a month or so, I found that I had no real desire to go back to my Windows Phone.  It's not that didn't like Windows Phone - I still like it better than Android - but I needed a reliable tool and Windows 10 Mobile on my Lumia 930 was not providing it.

So, now I'm using an Android phone.  I do miss my Windows Phone and once Windows 10 Mobile gets stable I'll seriously consider going back but for now, Android is good enough in most areas and really great in others.  So I'm sticking with Android for now.  We'll see what the future holds...

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