Hans D. Baumeister

Hans D. Baumeister

Religious Conversion: iOS2Android

Anyone that knows me understands, that I am deeply rooted in the Apple world.
In 2006, I’d made the final switch from Windows to Mac, due to severe issues with a then high-end Windows PC not being able to fluidly import DV content from a camcorder.

I’d actually “re-converted”, since I’d been an Apple fan ever since working as a lab-assistant in the Mac lab at college. Needless to say, I was very keen on getting an iPhone when they first came out. I finally splurged in 2009 and bought an AT&T-locked but jailbroken 3GS in Riyadh. After some ups and downs with this device, I received a used iPhone 4 from my employer to use.

When I started with the iPhone 4, iOS was still in version 4.x. Everything was groovy, I was very happy. Things really went downhill for me with the switch from 5.x to 6.x. Maybe its me, who knows, but I started having serious issues typing properly on the on-screen keyboard. Without any tactile feedback whatsoever, I kept hitting the wrong keys. Automatic word completion never worked for me, I’d always had that turned off.

Then I started having issues with the device, both from a software and hardware standpoint. When the battery died (no more than 1/2 day of regular use without recharging), I was glad to have an iPhone 4 and not a 4S, as a battery swap on a “4” is pretty straightforward and doable in 10 minutes or so.

When the phone ran awire at the CeBIT tradefair (my wife’s 3GS did the same thing, so it must be an iOS issue) by doubling keypresses and zooming the screen to roughly 110% (cutting off the outside border), I decided that my long-time relationship with the iPhone would be put to the test with an Android device. For a short time, I had considered a Blackberry 9800 series (keyboard slider), but after reading a bunch of forum entries, I decided that BBOS 7 just doesn’t cut it anymore.

I tested a Motorola Pro+ which I found on ebay a decent price (99€). The device is loaded with Android 2.3.6 which - despite the OS’ “Age” - is quite feature-packed and fluid. However, while the Keyboard is excellent, it is just too small for my clumsy fingers.

This is an age-related issue, I believe; some time ago, I had to send in the iPhone to have it repaired and switched back to my Treo 680 for the iPhone-free period. I remember, years ago, being able to type on the Treo quite quickly (and nearly error-free) - now, I have issues with that keyboard just as much as with the Pro+ keyboard. Also, due to the keyboard being below the display (instead of behind it), the display size suffers. I also had a few issues with hitting the “back” soft button instead of a top-row key.

I opted instead for a Sony-Ericsson Xperia Pro, a landscape-keyboard slider phone with a decent-sized display (a bit bigger than that of the iPhone 4), with physical “Menu, Home and Back” buttons (instead of silkscreened ones) and a very nice-to-use slide-out keyboard. Also, the phone is upgradable from the standard Android 2.3.4 to an official Sony release of 4.0.4.

I’ll detail my switchover-experiences in a separate entry, as soon as I’ve been able to gain some experience with my new phone!