Android

it_overview

We bought our first Maringret before there were smart phones let alone Android.In that era Palm Pilots dominated the market for Personal Digital Assistants. However as our Palm Pilots got older and older (and still worked) we realised that we needed to find a replacement for them before they failed and while we could still get our data off them.

We used our Palm Pilots for over 15 years: we never moved beyond the Palm IIIxe model as it had 8 MB of memory and provided all the functions we needed. We had used a variety of phones alongside the Palms without ever needing more. It was the advanced age of our Palms that lead us to investigate their replacement. Additionally as USB evolved the USB-based HotSynch facility stopped working on all of our 3 computers. Once that happened we realised that we could no longer backup our data and if we had to replace one of the Palms (we had bought some spares on eBay) we would not be able to move our data onto the new units. By the time we got around to migrating to the Android one of the two Palms failed and the other we hadn’t been able to backup for the previous 12 months.

We suspected that the smart phones might be mature enough for us to migrate to and looked at what the market place had:

  • Android
  • Blackberry
  • iPhone
  • Symbion
  • Windows Mobile

We ruled out Blackberry and iPhone as they were both closed machines with the manufacturer controlling what could or could not be written for and run on the platform. Windows Mobile we thought too reminiscent of Windows proper which always ran everything but long after the competitors had. Symbion involved Palm (nee US Robotics) later part of HP which had astronomically failed to develop the Palm into what it might have been. Of all the examples of technological “fumbling the ball” that story is a real doozy.

That sort of left Android to investigate. As always we relied on friends to gve us opinions, most Android friends seemed to have Samsung phones and were quite favourable and more than happy to demonstrate all the nifty features. We found a budget entry-level phone by Huawei on eBay and purchased it with the intention of determining if we could succesfully migrate from the Palm to the Android. And hopefully take our data with us!

Our explorations of the Android operating system fell into the 3 categories listed below and are covered on separate pages:

  • There are differences between Android (our phones run Gingerbread), some applications run on one but not on the other, some behave differently on each platform.
  • Being able to switch off the data mode is essential if you are on a fixed limit phone contract. This was built into the Huawei but we had to find a 3rd party version for the Samsung.
  • Battery management is another ball to juggle, the Androids are powerful but all that procesing power comes at the cost of power taken from the battery which leads to reduced time between chargings.


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