Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Nexus S

I have had my Nexus S for more than two months now - I got fed up with the iPhone 3G's slooooowness, and did not want to pay through my nose for the technologically already outdated iPhone 4. After a bit of research I decided to take the plunge and go Android.


Now that I have used the thing for a while, here are my impressions. First, the good stuff:

  • zippedy-zippedy fast. This has mostly to do with the faster processor, and the fact that Apple doesn't give a shit about your old hardware when they update the OS.
  • no iTunes anymore on my PC. This sounds silly, but I swear I breathed a huge sigh of relief when I deleted that particular piece of crap software from my computer. How Apple think they can convince people to switch over to using their software and hardware when such an integral part of their user experience for windows-users is the worst #$%$ piece of crap software ever is beyond me. So long, iTunes, long may it be before I see your slow ass again.
  • Every setting accessible. I had jailbroken my iPhone, and was all set up to root the Nexus S, but there is really no need if you don't want to run a custom ROM. You can change nearly anything in the settings, and if you can't, there is an app that does it for you. I am currently using Swype as input method, for example, and got rid of the annoying and unnecessary fake shutter noise of the camera via the app silentSnap.
  • Multitasking. Handled excellently, and without burning resources needlessly. 
But all is not flowers and buttercups in Android garden. There are some things that Apple is just better at:
  • Systems integration. This is a biggy. Apples iOS is really the smoother operating and eco-system. From the centralised App-settings to the way Apps play nice with each other, iOS just works. For example, in Android you can choose your music player, podcast-player etc. So far so good, but then try and controll your music with the button on your headphones? Disaster. I like to listen to podcasts on my bike, but if I try pausing them, random music from winamp will start up - or nothing will happen. There is, as far as I can see, no real policy for how various apps can hand off control over the headphone button, so it is a matter of luck, or rather the current specific state of the phone, including which apps are suspended/running/still in memory. Urgh.
  • The music player. Apples iPhone evolved out of the iPod, and it shows. This thing is made to play music, and simply better at it than anything Android currently has to offer.
  • Simplicity of use. Apple's iOS, by virtue of being less capable, is also simpler to use. The difference is not large, but noticeable - Android will use a bit more of your brainpower until you are used to it.
Aaand that's it. All in all, I much prefer my Nexus S to the iPhone 3G, even back when the 3G wasn't running 3.1.3 and slow as hell. Still, I don't have a direct comparison to the iPhone 4, so I can't really recommend dumping that one for an Android in good conscience. I am happy with the Nexus, but maybe I'd be happy with an iPhone 4 too? Yet... No. iTunes. Any. More. Ever. ;)


  1. My husband also has an android phone (Droid 2) and likes it. I have an "old-fashioned" phone which I won't even describe since it mostly texts and calls people.

    Your comments iPhone vx. Android seem indicative of Apple vs. PC in general. Ease of use/simplicity vs. flexibility. My sister uses and Apple computer. If I were a writer/graphic artist or something of that ilk, I'd probably use it, too. You don't have to be computer savvy and they're reliable. But, if you want to do something out of the ordinary, you can't. Period.

    Since I am computer savvy (more or less), I prefer having control over mindless simplicity. That's why Word Perfect is my editor of choice over MS Word, which defaults to a whole bunch of settings that just get in my way and are a real pain to overcome. (MS went the middle path - flexible but so complicated that few will do anything but the standard but not as simple as Apple).

  2. Yup, that's more or less it. Also, I had a very bad experience with the old Apple OS 9.1 - I know OS X is fundamentally different, but I am not ready to pay a premium to have less control over my own hardware.