I’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy S3 for a little over 48 hours, and I’m having mixed feelings on the Android phone. It’s difficult to make the switch – not because Apple was better than Android, but because learning an entirely new way of doing things takes some getting used to. There have been no standout flaws, though the default alarm tone sounded like waves gently lapping the shores, which did not succeed in waking me up, and caused some havoc yesterday morning.


Now that I’ve had 4G LTE, I don’t think I can ever go back to anything else. Everything loads so quickly – from the web browser to the Facebook app – I’m sold. I was excited to get 4G because I had heard it was significantly faster, but it’s something you can really grasp until you use it continually for a day.  Here in Grand Rapids, 4G LTE is available in most areas, but in some, like Mulligans, the neighborhood bar I frequent, 3G is the only option. This is disappointing given the strong desire to solve all disputes with Google, but Mulligans is looking out for me by providing WiFi, so I can deal.

The screen on the Galaxy is a thing of beauty, making videos, pictures, and even web browsers a brighter, sharper experience. The only drawback about this is that I thought my pictures would turn out as clear and as sharp as what I was viewing on the screen – they do not. This could be due to some settings that needs adjusting, so more on pictures later.

Swype is amazing. I never knew how slow of a texter I was until I used Swype. What is it exactly? It is a touch screen keyboard where you move you figure from one letter to the next, without ever lifting your figure from the screen. It then figures out what word you meant (because chances are you didn’t hit all the letter exactly), and displays it. It will even predict what word it thinks you will use next! Proper nouns are obviously a bit of a challenge for Swype, but it seems to learn them as you use the keyboard. The downside is, it is hard to while driving, but I suppose that could be a perk as well.


It seems to take an incredible amount of work to setup and configure the Android phone. Despite the fact that I’ve had an Android phone previously (and had backed up those setting to my Google account), none of my previously downloaded apps transferred. I’ve downloaded the essentials until I get some serious time connected to WiFi to download: Facebook, Pages Manager, Twitter, Instagram, Foursquare, Flickr, Pinterest, Google Drive (why doesn’t that come standard??), Dropbox, Evernote, Spotify, and Hootsuite.  I still haven’t configured much on this phone because it seems like a daunting task, one that I plan on tackling this weekend.

With my iPhone, I had it setup to always be on vibrate, no matter what type of notification was coming in, and if I wanted to turn the sound on, it was a mere flip of a switch on the side. With the Galaxy, the volume buttons on the side also have the ability to turn the phone on silent, vibrate, or varying degrees of loud; I accidently turn on the sound almost everytime I touch the phone.

A reader commented on my previous post asking about iMessaging – would I miss it he wondered? I didn’t think I would, but I do. Both the read receipts (thanks to all of you who don’t know how to turn that off) and showing when someone is typing are things that seem so normal to me now, and I found myself irritated with the lack of those features. Text messaging seems like a very dated form of communication on the Galaxy – so much so that I would consider using GChat or Facebook messaging before resorting to SMS.

Do not be fooled by the number of negatives, as I feel many of these are largely in part to an unfamiliarity with the phone and operating system. Apple’s iOS & iPhone might be easier to grasp quickly, but will it aid in the day to day productivity of someone ingrained in Google the way I am? Time will tell.

Do you have an Android phone? Any insider tips to give?

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