A little over a month ago I detailed my journey into the Android realm after leaving the safe and familiar grounds of Appleland. To recap, I had used every Iphone since they had Iphone, and rather impulsively switched to a Galaxy S5 Active. For those of you who are still thinking about making the switch, here are some updates and some more app recommendations.
I got a Moto X 2014
I dumped the S5 Active and swapped it out for the Moto X. I was intrigued by the efficient software design and the built in Moto Assist features. The Moto X runs a near stock version of KitKat and has some add ons that are useful, but I don’t use them as much as I thought I would. If you spend much time reading Android forums you’ll notice that the Samsung TouchWiz software is not well thought of UI. Well, let’s back up for a second and make something clear.
Unlike the Iphone, Android phones all have a slightly different UI (user interface) along with apps you don’t want (bloatware). Your phone will have the software Google designed, Android, with a bunch of extra shit the manufacturer and phone carrier throws on top of it. Some of these features are useful, some are not, all take up memory and RAM though. So unlike an IPhone, where the software is uniform on every device, each Android phone has a slightly different feel. Now you can switch the UI out with different launchers (Google Now and Nova are my favorite) but it’s important to understand your native UI and bloatware as well.
Back to the story, so I decided to take the S5 back and spent a good amount of time considering my options. One thing that can lead to near mental paralysis of choosing an Android phone is that their are some many great phones that are pretty similar. R/PickAnAndroidForMe is a monument to the challenge of choosing between excellent and slightly different options. The best phone from each manufacturer is referred to as the flagship; right now that’s the S5, Nexus 6, Moto X 2014, LG G3, HTC One M8, OnePlus One and Sony X3.
Why did I choose the Moto X 2014? First, I wanted something with a screen over 5 inches. I wanted an efficient UI. I wanted an AMOLED screen. I wanted forward facing speakers. I was intrigued by the design and as mentioned the Moto Assist features. The Moto X is an Iphone-esque version of an Android phone. It doesn’t have as many feature as the S5, but the ones it has are more useful. It’s an efficient design, both the software and hardware, and aesthetically pleasing.
How big of a screen do you need? I thought a 5.2 inch screen would be a challenge but you get used to a new phone size very quickly. Now Iphone 5 and belows seem ridiculously small. The screen is so tiny! I thought the Nexus 6 would be too large and didn’t consider it, now I think it would not have been an issue. So unless you have tiny hands, go for the biggest screen you can stand. Lawyers need a lot of screen real estate to read documents etc, and a big screen makes taking a tablet to court unnecessary. I used to take an Ipad to court for my typical non-contested hearing/announcement docket. Now I usually just take my phone and some pens. I also rarely bring the physical file since we scan everything.
More Apps to Consider
IFTTT- Stands for “If This Then That”, and it’s a much more user friendly version of tasker and Llama. If you want to automate your phone and don’t want to spend a lot of time doing it, this is they way to go. Two “recipes” I use are 1- my phone automatically switches to silent when I enter the courthouse. 2- My phone stops looking for wifi signals when I leave my house (that way it’s not using battery life searching for networks while I drive).
Pushbullet- This syncs information between your phone and computer. It can send texts to your computer, you can send files to your phone etc.
Google Keep- This is a great notes/reminder product and has become my goto to do list and idea storing area. If I think of an idea for a case, or for a blog post I jot it down in Keep and set it to remind me again in a day or so.