Monday, June 17, 2013

Geek Time - My First Non-Apple Smart Phone

It's time for me to geek out for a few minutes. So, I apologize to those who come to my blogger for insightful commentary. This is going to be strictly geek speak. I've been the proud owner of an iPhone for several years. I love my iPhone. I love its shape, its style, and just about everything about it. My iPhone is a part of my life, and I feel naked without it. I don't leave the house without it, and it doesn't leave the house without me. We are attached at the hip. We are like Laurel and Hardy. I think you can figure out which is Stan Laurel and which is Oliver Hardy. I'll give you a hint. I'm the fat one.

Anyway, I digress. As someone who loves his iPhone like his own child, it is probably surprising to hear that about a month ago I bought an HTC One mobile phone. It sounds like something akin to the Pope becoming protestant. If you don't now, the HTC One is an Android phone. It is almost sacrilege to even think about owning an Android phone if you are as hardcore about Apple as I am.

So, why did I risk being burned at the stake to switch? That's a bit hard to explain. A month or so ago, the Samsung Galaxy S4 was released and I will admit that I was ... intrigued I guess would be the right word ... by what I saw. There was the big screen, the customizable operating system, the flashy accessories, and all of the other neat features that they had been advertising on television. I eventually decided to check one. Well, I was less than impressed. It looked great until I got it in my hand. The plastic body felt cheap and flimsy in my hand. So, I checked out the HTC One, which was released at the same time. It was a much nicer device than the Galaxy S4. And, after all, I was far more interested in the Android experience than just Samsung Galaxy S4.

So, I took the plunge. At first, I was amazed at all of the different customizations that I could do. I kept changing the widgets on my home screens, switched out wallpaper, rearranged app icons, and generally spent every waking hour customizing my phone. I have spent almost every weekend tinkering with my phone. I rooted it, updated it with a new ROM, restored the original ROM back onto the phone, and generally did everything I possibly could.

Here's what I noticed. When I have a phone that is highly customizable, I end up never being happy with the customizations that I make. Then I spent all the time trying to find a better way to customize. I am always searching for the best possible weather widget for my home screen because the one that I am currently using is slightly too blue, or isn't transparent enough, or the icons are slightly offset. The same goes for any widget on my home screen; the clock digits are too far apart, or Missed Calls indicator is the wrong shape. I have wasted so much time just trying to make my home screen perfect.

Don't get me wrong. I do like the HTC One. I just feel like Android offers too many options for someone like me. I could spend eternity trying to get everything looking exactly right ... and never succeeding. Who knows? Maybe I do have a little OCD in me. Hang on a minute. I need to reread that line five times to make sure it is right.

Anyway, will I stay with an Android phone? I don't know yet. I have found something about Android that I am not overly thrilled about. For instance, despite having a large screen than the iPhone, I have found it far more difficult to type on the HTC One onscreen keyboard. I'm not sure why, but it doesn't seem to respond as smoothly as the iPhone onscreen keyboard did. The jury is still out. I might end up switching back or I might stay. The one thing that I do know is that, for me, more available customizations are not always a good thing.

Will I switch back?  I'll keep you posted ...

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