Next blog post I will talk about 7 people drinking in a Best Western and me face planting in to a poll while catching the bus so embarrassing and painful. I really miss a dog which I am having a Juno walk with a school Saturday so stay tuned. About 3 months ago I switched from I-phone to Android. I am going to review how things are going talk about the strengths of Android and weaknesses. To do so I am going to break things in to sections. I got the Note 9 so let me start with that.
I had the IPhone 8plus and never really enjoyed it for some reason. I call it the decline to my wanting to change. The Note 9 is similar to the 8plus but has taller where the iPhone is wider. Overall as far as feel goes I really like the Note 9’s feel and size it’s nice to hold. Sound quality I like the Note 9 but the IPhone has much better sounding speakers. Not that the Note 9’s are bad, but if I were on an Island with no Bluetooth I’d want the IPhone speakers. Charging though I like the Note 9. I think Samsung giving you a faster charger out of the box is a plus. Also it supports fast WiFI which currently the IPhone doesn’t. Also USBC is just much better and is the standard with Apple going to USBC now for the IPad the Iphone has become foolish with the lightning port. Also the fact you have to buy a dongle to hook it up to a Mac is just observe.
Let’s talk about Android vs IOS. For the sighted folks hold on I think you will like this part still. I enjoy Android for being able to take my Note 9 and hook it directly up to a computer and drag and drop files on to it. I can even take a Doc file from my phone and move it to the computer. Samsung actually gives you a USBC to USBA converter in the box so you can easily hook it up to a computer. This is something IOS just can’t do who really wants to use ITunes these days? Yeah no one. Another aspect I like is customization. On IOS you have apps everywhere and its difficult to remember where things are. On android I have one page of apps and then I have widgets. For example if I am listening to a book on Audible I can from my home screen press play and the book starts playing. If I am finished with the book I can click on the open Audible app and the app launches. Something so simple but really makes it fun, because to fast forward and rewind it’s nothing and you don’t have to even have the app running. I have rearranged my home screen at least 3 times each time learning something new and incorporating something new. This is completely different from Iphone where it’s been the same for the last 5 years. Not to mention it has a headphone jack still and a SD slot.
My Note 9 gets good battery life, but I do think Iphone handles battery optimization better. I also think the Iphone handles ram better also. I think the common user just wants to have there phone working and things cleared out automatically Android I’m having to clear ram and put apps to sleep constantly to preserve battery power. I think this is the biggest space where Android could use work. Don’t get me wrong my Note 9 is amazing and lasts the day, but I don’t think one should have to do so much worrying. I may just be over zealous though myself.
Sound and options. Hands down this goes to Android. I have a pair of headphones that can play different codecs. Apple only does AAC. For example with my headphones I can listen to Sony’s HD Qualcomm HD and some more. To top it off if that wasn’t enough I also have Adobe Atmos. This thing is a blind mans wet dream let me tell you. I hear sighted folks talk about how great a TV set is with different 4K 8k whatever, but I finally get it with Android and all of these sound options. I literally heard Tyler Childress tap his guitar in a song which on Apple I can not hear it. So shame on apple for holding the sound codec to one option.
This is partly an accessibility thing, but I thought I’d give it’s own paragraph but I really like the Note 9 for being a phone. For example if my phone rings I can press volume up to answer and end to end the call. It also makes a tone when the call is connected and a tone when disconnected. Using this as a phone is actually enjoyable. The Iphone is fine, but I do like the fact I can customize and use the buttons on the device to do things. That leads me to a point. Why the hell Iphone to turn you off do you have to now press the side button plus volume down to turn the thing off? What happened to it just works? Now you have to do a 2 button combo just to be able to turn off the phone? Fail. I do wish Android had some of the emergency features Apple has built in honestly. Knowing I could easily get to 911 was actually comforting. I am not sure I could do the same on Android and feel that should be one feature they copy. That being said holding the power button and seeing restart or shutdown is so nice.
Now to the section sighted folks can tune out. Accessibility. I love the fact on my phone I have 3 screen readers. I have Voice Assistant by Samsung, TalkBack by google, and Shine plus by a Korean company. I do love having choices and again Apple is so wall gardened in. That can be a good thing for some things. I still find unlabeled buttons with Voice Assistant TalkBack has gotten better, but I would say it still is a problem too. I find that apps are pretty similar however IOS usually gets new features first. I journal a lot with an app called Day 1 and on IOS it has a feature where you can capture audio recording. Sadly this isn’t on the Android version. I do love using Android as a media consuming device. I use my Note 9 so much more than my IPad for listening to sports, or watching tv. I just really enjoy it for some reason. The race is getting closer. The fact I am not itching to go back to IOS should tell you something. I think that someone can pick up an Android and be fine. I do miss games on IOS. The blind offerings are getting better, but I miss games like spades and bowling. Voice Assistant has similar gestures to Voiceover on the IOS side it has 3 finger gestures and also the double tap with 2 fingers to pause and play music. TalkBack does not have any 3 finger gestures however I will say drawing the shapes has gotten easier and seems like it works most of the time. I primarily use Voice Assistant and switch to TalkBack when needed. It will be interesting to see what I think next year, but I think I will stay. I do think if your someone who likes to tinker and play with things go with Android. If you want a milder experience that will just work unless Apple tells you it won’t go with IOS.
I know I didn’t go to much in to depth, but I’m surprised how much I like Android. Six months ago I would have told you that your crazy and Android can’t do as much as IOS. Now I eat those words and sentiments. Being able to play with different audio codecs alone is so cool, and something Apple just doesn’t let you do. I hope Samsung keeps pushing Voice Assistant further also. Pie will becoming in Jan and I am honestly hoping to see some new features. If nothing changes and I feel it’s not progressing it might make me look back towards Apple. I have enjoyed some Android Apps and things they allow that IOS doesn’t. Take Audible again for example you can actually buy a book in the app. On Apple you have to go to Safari buy the book and then get it in the app do to Apple trying to take 30%.
One area that is getting better for me lately, but in the beginning was frustrating was browsing on the internet. Focus on Android seemed to be all over the place. I feel Apple gives you a better experience here. However on Android I have 4 browsers so I have several options to view a page. Recently on Apple even I was looking at the Bose website and it kept freezing as I was going down the page in safari. I changed to my Note 9 and was able to view the site perfectly. I think as people we believe one should be better than the other. Truthfully I look at screen readers and OS as tools in my tool box. They all have strengths and weaknesses, but as a savvy person we need to decide and try different options at times to yield the best result. For now I’m happy in Samsung land, but if things stop I will look elsewhere. That my friends is the best thing I could say. We as blind people finally have a choice. I got tired of paying the damn Apple tax, and I could switch and still survive and still be productive. Years ago this wouldn’t have been an option. Remember when Windows was are only option for a while because the Mac shutdown screen readers?