The New Phone Revisited

Earlier this month I traded in my iPhone 3Gs for a Samsung Galaxy Sii. I know what you’re thinking. Everyone’s moving to iPhones… not away. I get it. This was the right move for me. So far I see no reason to question my decision.

First things first. For most people the iPhone is a great choice… maybe the best choice in a smartphone. It does nearly everything you’d want and since Apple vertically controls the whole “i” universe everything meshes seamlessly. It just works.

For me that strength is a weakness! I want more than a phone. I want a geeky toy where it’s possible to push the envelope and poke around.

My Samsung runs on the Android operating system. It reveals more of its inner workings and programmers take advantage.

Take GPS for example. In order to lock on and be useful a GPS system has to find orbiting satellites and track them. All that is hidden on the iPhone. All that is revealed on my Samsung.

Is it valuable? Probably not, but it’s interesting to me.

I’ve download a bunch of apps, nearly all free, that perform needed and unneeded tasks. One program monitors my location and the time then adjusts the phone’s ringtone and vibration to match my situation.

It’s quiet if I’m in the studio while our news is on. It’s quiet overnight while I’m asleep. It’s also programmed to turn the sound up if I’m in the car leaving work. It takes advantage of the phone’s ability to know where it is.

I went on EBay and bought a $16 dongle that plugs into my car. It’s an OBD2 adapter that reads all my car’s sensors in realtime and sends them to the Galaxy Sii via Bluetooth. A $5 app running on the phone analyzes the data, displays it and even records it for viewing later.

There’s a function which will record a video of my driving while overlaying my car’s gauges and a properly navigated Google map! Seriously, that’s nuts.

The versatility Android phones give outside developers is well beyond what Apple grants its devs. That’s part of the reason the iPhone has more long term stability than my phone. I’m willing to take that.

I picked up my old iPhone last night. It felt bulky compared to the Samsung. The Galaxy Sii is larger in height and width, but a lot thinner. That thinness is its most obvious physical feature when you grasp it.

Within days of my purchasing the Galaxy Sii Samsung announced a newer phone! It will run a newer version of Andriod (though I would expect that version to be customized for my phone too… after awhile).

You can’t stop and wait for technology! Sometimes you just have to pull the trigger.

11 Responses to “The New Phone Revisited”

  1. Matt from Northford says:

    I’m waiting for that new phone, the Galaxy Nexus, and then I’m dumping my 3GS. I hate the hoops you have to jump through to make ringtones and the closed nature of Apple’s product.

  2. Scott says:

    Geoff,

    As yourself I love the Samsung Android. I am new to it as well and find it amazing! Would you PLEASE share with me what site you use to get your apps?

  3. Brett says:

    Waiting for the Samsung Galaxy Nexus for Verizon – can’t wait. My 1st edition Motorola Droid is pretty far behind the curve, and the hardware buttons are starting to deteriorate, righht on schedule for the new in 2.

  4. Dave says:

    noticed that you are speeding…slow down…lol!

  5. Heather says:

    Scott, it might be more useful to visit market.android.com on the computer and search for apps that way rather than your phone :)

  6. achernow says:

    You can get all of the GPS info out of the iPhone too. I have an app for it. (I’ll email a screen grab if you want.)

  7. Lou Lange says:

    My Samsung Fascinate suits me fine right now. My next one will likely be a Motorola next gen (the Droid Razr looks interesting). But you are also right-the technology moves at warp speed, and catching up is unlikely…LOL

  8. Richard says:

    Sold! Keep the info coming !

  9. vinnya says:

    if you keep waiting for the next best thing you’ll wont buy anything

  10. Rick in Putnam says:

    hey geoff, what is this app you use to silence your phone at certain times?? need it here. :D

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