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OT: Choosing smartphone???

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  • OT: Choosing smartphone???

    So, It looks like I have to get a smartphone, despite not really wanting to carry the monster sized thing....

    There are Apple, and there are Android. What I do not know about the two fill entire user manuals (if they actually exist)

    I understand that Apple is very restrictive on apps, and I will probably need to get some apps that are fairly narrow focus ones (specific to election workers, etc).

    Android is pretty open about apps, so the ones in question are likely to be available but everyone else I know seems to have Apple, and the one Android tablet we have gets little use, nobody knows how to use it, which is not a great advert for Android on a phone, despite it being pretty popular.

    I also see people saying that no they can't do <whatever it is> because they have Android. Seems like smartphones would all do about the same things no matter what.

    Is the app situation really that different between the two?

    Is there a significant difference between the functions available on the two?

    It's also possible that an Android tablet would run the apps I want, without having to have a different phone from the family. That I do not know yet.
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  • #2
    I have a $120 LG K7. Low end android smart phone (now superseded) that is 90% of an I-Phone 6 (which I also use..). Usability - all in what you are used too. I hate Apple anything but that's 'cos I don't spend the time using it it.

    Apple - choose you memory option at purchase. Android - add an SD card of your choice and increase it over time. Used 16G I phones are cheap for a reason.

    There is no significant difference between the two platforms now. Sure, you can find apps not on either, but for the most part that issue (from 4 years ago) has gone away. Many users bitching about about Android are still using 4.x... 4 years old. Apple tends to update all devices but does age-out the older stuff. Phone companies tend NOT to update MAJOR revs on Android though the life of the phone, but you can root it and install whatever if you really want to (I don't).

    Apps? I only use a couple - for my music and for connectivity the company. The rest I could care less about.

    Apple/Android- choose your poison. They all work; they all break when you drop heavy crap on them. With Android you can get low cost phone (or not if you choose); not so with Apple unless you buy used.
    Last edited by lakeside53; 11-06-2017, 03:38 PM.


    • #3
      I'm a fan of Android for a variety of reasons, mostly because it's what I know. Android is being used more and more by various law enforcement and military / defense entities so I've been developing apps and testing hardware with android operating systems at work.

      That said, I was in the same boat as you, JT, until just recently. I was really resisting getting my own smartphone but finally went with a Samsung Galaxy J3 for about $110. (in the post below, I said it was a J5 but it is actually a J3).

      It is big, but you *almost* get used to it. It still spends more time out of my pocket than my old phone did because I get tired of carrying it but most of the time it's not noticeable.


      • #4
        For Android apps, go to to see what they have. It's searchable.

        I've had Apple and Android. They are both quite capable. Both have their own stores that allow you to download apps.

        I eventually moved to Android 5 or 6 years ago. I found that some of the apps I used daily were not available on Android. Then I found there were similar apps that filled the same niche, and they were free! As always, when moving from one program to another there will be some things the old one did that the new one does not do. By the same token, the new one will do some things that the old did not do. Human nature is that you will only notice the missing / different functionality.

        So I fall into the "happy with Android" category.

        I did not like the fact that apple tends to have more things that depend on you knowing to "swipe here in this direction" or "press there" etc. It's the extension of the apple desktop interface that is known to be quite intuitive... once you learn the couple of dozen special key combinations or menu locations.

        I also did not like the fact that I needed to have iTunes installed on a PC in order to do things like backing up the phone. I run Linux, which is not supported by Apple's iTunes for some reason.

        I'd look first for the application that you want, then decide on the device that will run it.

        P.S. If you have an android tablet, you can probably run your software without having to buy anything, so it's easy enough to check it out.
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        • #5
          I have been falling in love with motorola these days. I have been carrying a smart phone since the early 2000's when windows mobile was the only game in town. Owned every flavor except symbian based stuff, windows, android, apple & android again.

          The motorola offerings these days impress me with simplicity of the flavor of the OS they run as in very little to no bloatware, and they also have industry leading battery life. This is a big one for me. I have a motorola e4 that cost me 80$ with taxes out of metropcs. However I will be upgrading to the moto G5 Plus after christmas season. I just wanted something to hold me over until I could decide on what to get next. For a unlocked phone with the specs it has for under 300$ with no contracts or monthly payments I think this is a good deal.
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          • #6
            If you need specific apps, check to see which platforms get support. If it's only one ... your decision is easy.
            If you already have an ecosystem built around one phone then changing to the other might be problematic.

            After those it's purely things like price, techno-religion, and so on.

            Regardless of choice ... they are addictive and you find all kinds of things that are just too cool ... get the most storage, etc, your pocketbook allows.



            • #7
              I forgot to mention; If you decide to get an Android based phone, the user interface is quite customize-able, so is it is possible for every carrier + manufacturer combination to have a different look and feel. Google's Pixel has the most basic stock layout, Sprint has another and Verizon has yet another.

              I have not looked at sprint or AT&T in the last 3 years, so I'm not sure how they are doing. I have Verizon, and they put the same look and feel on all of their Android phones, regardless of manufacturer.

              The upside is that you might find one that you think is perfect. The downside is that each vendor has to add their private customizations to the OS in order to get security patches installed, adding a delay. I'm getting frequent security patches from Verizon for my 2 year old Galaxy S6. By frequent, I mean whenever a new security hole is disclosed, they patch it within a month or two.
              At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

              Location: SF East Bay.


              • #8
                I'm an Android user and will never have an apple, I don't like being tracked every time I use my phone, apple has multiple trackers built into there phone, people think they turned them off but they didn't find the hidden ones. I have a good friend that works for apple so I get all the dirt, like when apple comes out with a new phone they recommend you update your older phone which actually slows your phone down so you want to buy the newer one.


                • #9
                  I'm still using teh flip phone, for as long as I can. Sorry, can't tell you what smart phone you should buy.


                  • #10
                    I don't have a smartphone, but I am considering the purchase of one, although more likely an Android tablet. I have an old Archos 7 Internet Tablet that runs some ancient version of Android (probably Ice Cream Sandwich), and a slightly newer WinBook with Win10 installed, but the Archos seems to have a defective accelerometer and the Windows device has only about 16 GB installed so I need to use a memory card or USB stick for storage. The 7" touch display is also very hard to use with the desktop as I am used to. But I do like the fact that it has a standard USB port.

                    Last night my friend asked me to come over to help him with his iPad or iPod or whatever it is. I had bought a card reader with an Apple compatible mini-USB connector as well as the standard USB-A plug, and it fits his device, but I could not figure out how to read the files on it. I think Apple requires the use of some sort of specific App to play music or video or look at images, but just browsing files like Windows Explorer seems to be disallowed at the authorized user level. I also tried to help him use email (gmail). I clicked on the "MAIL" icon and it opened something that showed various mailboxes but no way I could find to compose and send an email. Somehow I got a full-screen dialog box that had the usual To:, Subject:, and Message panes, and I was able to send an email to me, but I don't know if I could describe how to do it. I tried using Safari to open "" but it came up with their website where I chose "get gmail" but nothing seemed to happen. It was not the user interface I am used to when I (very rarely) use my gmail.

                    I liked some of the Android apps and I was able to find ways to browse files and use Bluetooth communication and various other basic applications, as well as some cool apps like bowling and billiards and car racing. I tried to make a simple Android App (on my main computer) but I could not get it to install and run. That is one reason I like the Windows tablet, where I can write applications using Delphi or other platforms and have them do what I want to do. I'm sure my needs are more specialized than those of most users who mostly want games, word processing, spreadsheet, image processing, and databases.

                    My phone is a simple LG306G TracFone that costs me about $8/month for everything I need in a phone. It has a crappy browser that doesn't seem to work, and a camera that I don't use, but it's perfectly fine for phone calls and text messaging. However, I have found increasingly more places where a smartphone is expected, such as discounts from Banggood and coupons from Groupon. I also have some WiFi cameras that may work better with a smartphone, and that's why I may get a low-end Android device. There is an Android tablet available from my MicroCenter store for $30 and an open box unit for $21.

                    But I might spring for a little more to get better features or larger display:

           has the best deals on Windows Tablets and Internet Tablets all available at your local Micro Center Computer Store!

                    I'm not even sure if such devices also qualify as smartphones. I found a refurbished Samsung Galaxy S4 for $120:

                    However, I would probably need to purchase some sort of plan through Verizon - I don't think the TracFone plan is compatible. I think I'm OK with just a tablet that can connect to WiFi at home or to hotspots in public places.
                    Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by duckman View Post
                      I'm an Android user and will never have an apple, I don't like being tracked every time I use my phone, apple has multiple trackers built into there phone, people think they turned them off but they didn't find the hidden ones. I have a good friend that works for apple so I get all the dirt, like when apple comes out with a new phone they recommend you update your older phone which actually slows your phone down so you want to buy the newer one.
                      Google (android manf) is just the same). Sure you can turn off location services, but there's many other way to track what you do and close to where you are.. look at the list of resources asked for by your apps for a start.
                      Last edited by lakeside53; 11-06-2017, 07:35 PM.


                      • #12
                        I use Android (Samsung Galaxy S5, their last model that had user replaceable battery) because I hate to support the proprietary everything Apple is famous for. Proprietary software, proprietary charging and data cables, proprietary my ass on top of pushing to give up your privacy. I still vividly remember the fun of registering an iPad a few years back. It's true that Apple makes good product, but their greed makes me sick.

                        I used Blackberry when it was at its prime time. Their e-mail was second to none. Unfortunately, they dropped the ball with smartphones.

                        At this time, however, I have a different problem: I'm trying to catch up with the rapidly deteriorating service provided by [email protected] and other carriers in my area (Chicago suburbs). That's what really sucks big time and is getting worse every day. Unfortunately, my work depends on it too much.

                        I may be replacing my phones soon. Will be looking toward Motorola, but I'm still on the fence on this.
                        Last edited by MichaelP; 11-06-2017, 07:35 PM.
                        WI/IL border, USA


                        • #13
                          Apple anything is first expensive. and anything u get to add on has to be apple..even the charger. The plus is u don't need to know much to use them, and when something goes face down, u can take it to an apple store, usually in a mall, and they WILL fix it.
                          Android phones are for the rest of us. U can do 90% of what an Iphone can with free downloadable apps.
                          Once u begin to use the smartphone capabilities, u will become attached to it
                          I don't like Apple anything because of their better than everybody attitude and price.


                          • #14
                            I picked a Motorola Moto X smart phone. It has an Android OS on Verizon. I make limited use of apps so I can't speak intelligently on that use. My selection was based primarily on battery life. I can't tell you how many times co-workers have asked if I have a spare outlet in my work area so they can charge their Apple phones. With normal use as a telephone, the battery on my phone lasts 3 days. With limited surfing and normal telephone use I get 1.5 - 2 days before needing to charge it.



                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MichaelP View Post
                              I use Android (Samsung Galaxy S5, their last model that had user replaceable battery) because I hate to support the proprietary everything Apple is famous for. .
                              I have an S5 also, and for the exact same reason. I have a spare battery, takes me about 2 minutes to power down, eject the dead one, install the fresh one, and power up. Try that with an S6 or later.

                              I really hate to see Samsung and others go the Apple way, removing a lot of the flexibility and freedoms with their proprietary, "we know what is best for you!" garbage.

                              If you get into these a little more (or a lot, I suppose), you can legally jailbreak Iphones so that they are wide open to whatever flavor O/S is available for it, but say goodbye to many security updates and patches, etc. I've heard that you can do something similar with specific carrier android phones, changing to another carriers O/S flavor, but you might want to read up on it to insure you don't end up with an expensive paperweight.

                              Dan L
                              Salem, Oregon