A Year on Android

Soooo…about a year ago, I said that I was debating the merits of staying with the (then quite old) iOS platform, or moving over to the Android platform, to use one of the Samsung products.

If you paid attention, you would have noticed that I got a cash bonanza from Samsung for switching to them and using their contactless payment system (much more convenient than using cards, even before I had a chip card!). Now I’m even earning rewards from Samsung for taking advantage of Samsung Pay (as long as each transaction is 5 minutes or more apart).

So, what have I missed over in Apple Land?

Not much.

Let’s see what they’ve changed since last year…on my Android phone, I can swipe any which way I want and my phone unlocks – if it’s gone to secured lock, all I need to do is put one of four fingers on the touch sensor and it unlocks for me. On Apple? I have to press the home button twice in order to unlock the device – most of the time having to enter my unlock code to get going. That is so much more tedious!

After the S6Β not having expandable storage (and yes, I did go with the S6, but a 32GB USB flash drive serves a good purpose for me), Samsung decided to restore that functionality in the S7 phones, combining the SIM Card slot with a MicroSD card slot. Apple? Nope, we don’t want you to have expandable storage, never ever ever! Just buy more iCloud storage. Oh, you mean 5GB isn’t enough to back up your 32GB iPhone? Haha, oops…give us $5 per month kthx!

Oh, and how can I forget…removing the 3.5mm headphone jack? Fair enough, you were first to remove the floppy disk from desktops and optical drive from laptops, but seriously? What next…a “professional” laptop with no regular USB ports? Oh, wait.

So, here’s the big question…after a year, would I honestly switch back to iOS?


Why? Well, the number of reasons are multiple – but here are a few highlights that I can think of immediately –

  1. Home Screen Widgets – If you never had them before, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. It’s so easy for me to do things without having to go into apps or having apps running in the background – e.g. I can control media just from my home screen (or from the notification drop down – none of this swipe up, then swipe right to change media as you do now in iOS 10)
  2. Back and recent apps buttons – At first, I was victim to muscle memory whereby I would try to swipe to the right to go back to the prior screen or browse to the prior page. Now I’ve trained my muscles the opposite way – I found myself trying to press the back button on my iPhone when I was using it while in Australia (more on that later!), only to find that it wasn’t there.
  3. Split screen apps – Not the most common feature that I use, but something that is useful when you’re trying to watch a video and look at a webpage at the same time. It’s a feature that proved so popular that Google implemented it in Android 7.0 Nougat.
  4. App Overlay – It’s an extension of the split screen apps, but it’s nice to be able to drag an app down to the lower right corner of the screen and keep it on top of another app. In fact, I used this recently when I was taking photos at Costco – I had the gallery open with reference pictures and then had the camera in the background so I could do the updates to those photos.
  5. Screen Mirroring – Admittedly, this was helped greatly by buying a Samsung TV (on the down money, thanks Cash Bonanza!), but since I already had a Chromecast, I was able to mirror my screen from day one out of the box. Apple? It’s not an Apple TV, so bugger off! We don’t play with other companies’ devices!

What do I miss from the iPhone?

Admittedly not much. If there was anything that was a convenience item it was something that I was reminded of while in Australia – since my iPhone and iPad are on the same iTunes account, I could remotely activate the personal hotspot on my iPhone just by going into the settings app in the iPad and turning it on. With that said, the iPhone doesn’t give you the option to (in case you may have let your password slip and not know it) restrict connections only to authorized devices

I even said that there were two apps that I used on my iPhone that I was not sure I could live without on Android – Solebon and Overcast. Well, the Overcast problem was solved with a quick search of Google Play, where I found Podcast & Radio Addict – it gives me the same feature that I loved about Overcast, plus more speed options (ever listen to a podcast at 3.0x speed…it’s difficult to follow!!), as well as support for streaming podcasts and radio stations. Oh, and it lets you search the iTunes directory…all for free (or if you want ad free, it’s like $2)

Solebon? It turns out that wasn’t an app I used all that often – I did download it when they launched an Android version, but I think there’s dust on the icon, even though it is on my home screen! πŸ™‚

Movies I have seen

Hello again, friends πŸ™‚

I’ve been doing quite a lot in the last few months, but this is something that has been sitting in my drafts queue for about 3 months now, spurred on by my still-poor knowledge of movie quotes.

This is a partial list of the movies that I have watched, or recall watching portions of… πŸ™‚

It’s an update of this list; there’s a lot of duplication πŸ˜‰

– Rain Man
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
– The Martian
– Interstellar
– The Hunger Games (Part 1)
Top Gun
– Days of Thunder
– E. T.
– Room
– Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert
– Strictly Ballroom
– Romeo + Juliet
– Back to the future trilogy
– All three of the known Indiana Jones movies. (Ok, there is a 4th, but nobody acknowledges that one!)
– Terminator 2
– Ghostbusters (original, partial – only through 64 minutes or so)
– All the Way (HBO film)
– Her
– The Visit
– Santa Clause
– Toy Story 1, 2, 3
– Cars
– Horton Hears a Who
– Wreck-it Ralph
– Silence of the Lambs
– Night at the Museum
– Titanic

And I have these in my queue to watch –

– 2001: A Space Odyssey
– Behind the Candelabra
– Brainstorm
– Gravity
– Inception
– The Bone Collector
– Animal Kingdom
– Blackhat
– Broken Arrow
– Cold in July
– Deadpool
– Heathers
– Meet the Feebles (I laughed my ass off at the description, plus it’s by Peter Jackson, of Lord of the Rings Fame)
– Night at the Museum parts 2 & 3
– The American President
– Trumbo
– Ghostbusters

And many many more πŸ™‚

The Sunday Snap, Week 7

Yes, I have been slacking in getting pictures up; I just need to make the time to do these πŸ™‚

However, as I have mentioned, I have literally tons of photos (tens of thousands)…so there should be something to share.

In this case, here is a picture of something that just isn’t there anymore. If you’ve every played an older version of Microsoft Flight Simulator, you will be familiar with this location. It’s what is now known as Northerly Island in Chicago.

In 1999, when this photo was taken? It was still Meigs Field (KCGX/CGX). This is what it looked like from the Sears Tower in May –


The Sunday Snap Week 3

coathanger - 1

We’re back in Australia, and this photo of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. During that trip, I would go under the bridge at least 3 times – once by foot, twice by boat and possibly once by car. The one thing that I didn’t get to do was to actually cross to the North side by bridge; I did that twice by boat – once to Taronga Zoo and once to Manly Beach.

You’ll also notice the Pacific Pearl in the foreground. There’s a good reason that the Overseas Passenger Terminal is located in Circular Quay πŸ™‚