19 September 2015

tech difficulties

How many screens does one family need?

We've been messing with phones a lot recently, but they are not the only stand-alone screens around here.  My Asus HD 7" is beginning to show some age as it needs to reboot a lot.  I wiped its memory and it was happy for a while, but reboots are coming back.  I picked up a bargain Transformer 10" detachable-kbd Windows tablet (now running Win 10) but it's challenging to use as a tablet; its back is quite slick & needs some grippiness if it wishes to be the HD7 replacement.  For some reason T100 gel covers are nonexistent so it's either go with strips of electrical tape or a get a near-fit case plus an Xacto knife to make the buttons align with the openings!  Bizarre. *

clockwise: 5" and 4.5" Droids 4.4.2, iPhone 4s, HD7 tablet, T100 WinX tablet (keyboard not shown)
And oh yes, the phones.  My wife decided an iPhone would be her best option and I figured I'd help her out by joining her, so two quite new Android 4.4 models (top two in this image) were swapped out for iPhone 4s - mine black with minimal memory, hers white and with enough to replace her iPod Classic.  After about a month I feel I've learned a few things about Apple, Android and myself.

No denying that Apple has the phone game down, even with these older bodies.  I've heard that newer ones are faster and smarter, but the hardbody 4s is one solid chunk of telephone.  It pretty much does what I need - except play music, ironically.  I've had no end of trouble getting that part working!   While I had heard the Apple camera was a fine one that killed the compact market by itself, I find it just as poor as the Droids I have owned; apparently the camera stories began with the model 5?

On the other hand, group chat is effortless with my siblings now, and most Google items are politely tucked into the iOS system (we're both on 8.4-something).  No massive complaints operationally.
And yet...

My many forms of electronic gear had solidified around the micro-USB connector.  Tablets, phones, even my K-s1 dSLR used the same cable.  (No mourning the passing of micro-D camera cables here!)  The mUSB are ubiquitous and we own a car charger for it.  Suddenly the wide (pre-Lightning) Apple port  is required in several places to keep phones charging.  And they need that a lot; perhaps iOS9 fixes that, but the 4.5" Droid I had acquired definitely did better there (the 5" Droids are daily chargers like the 4s).  We have two i-cradles which are nice for almost drop-and-go charging - but of course my new protective case would be too thick to allow the cradle to accommodate it.  Silly me, thinking it was up to others to keep things simple.

I also miss widgets.  The iPhone is two clicks away from most data sources,  but I can power up the Android and have weather, phone status and a few other status reports all on one screen.  I grew accustomed to that and I miss it.

for now I'm planning to return to the smaller Android and see what I think.  Maybe in a week it will drive me a different kind of crazy, we'll see.

* Later: I found a 2-piece shell that owners suggest does improve the grip.  I shall just use the tablet cover & leave the keyboard as is, since some owners say it interferes with full screen tilt..

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