iOS to Android - Nexus 4
After three long years with an iPhone 4, I have finally upgraded to a Nexus 4. I had been bored of iOS for a while, having been using it since the iPhone 3G - aside from brief stint with Windows Phone 7 (we don’t talk about that).
I had considered going Android a few times, but never felt it was ready. It seemed a little too rough around the edges for me compared to the polished iOS experience. After a few years, though, the OS seems to have grown into its own and I was ready to take the plunge.
I got the Nexus 4 outright and the phone comes unlocked by default. The main specs are as follows:
Dimensions: 133.9 × 68.7 × 9.1 mm
CPU: 1.5 GHz quad-core Krait
Screen: 4.7 in (120 mm), Gorilla Glass 2, 1280×768 px
Camera: Rear: 8MP | Front: 1.3MP
The phone is wider than the iPhone, so it took a bit of getting used to. I was worried about dropping it at first while attempting to manoeuvre it with one hand. Apparently the Nexus 4 is 2 grams heavier than my old iPhone 4, but because I had a bulky case on my iPhone (put there in attempts to keep the shattered back and front glass intact…) it felt surprisingly light.
Anyway, the build quality feels solid. I remember playing around with some older Android devices over the years and they still felt quite cheap and flimsy to me. Not so with the Nexus 4.
The Nexus 4 is running Jelly Bean (4.2.2). Clearly it’s been a while since I’ve had a look at an Android phone, because my memories of jittery scrolling and weird, unintuitive navigation were proven wrong when I started using the phone.
The setup itself was easy - I just logged in with my existing Android account and it took care of the rest.
The thing with Android
The thing with Android is that the flexibility it allows for does not just broaden your personalization potential, but also increases the opportunity to screw something up. On my first day with the Nexus 4, my battery ran out in 2-3 hours tops. I had read that there have been some complaints about the phone’s battery life, but I didn’t expect to have my phone die after two hours of very light browser use!
I did some research on battery saver apps. Plenty of people said that they do more harm than good (they pretty much just toggle data and other settings, which you could manually do yourself as required), but I invested in Juice Defender Ultimate and it seems to have made a big difference. Juice Defender turns off your data connection according to your settings, checks for notifications at set intervals, automatically turns relevant services on when you use specific apps, auto allows/denies apps access to services, etc. Sure, I could do all this stuff myself, but it seems much more efficient to let an app manage it for me. I haven’t done a proper test, but my battery life has improved pretty significantly.
I’m not impressed with the front-facing camera on the Nexus 4, but the rear camera is excellent. The colors seem much more natural than in iPhone photos, which I’ve since realized look a bit over-saturated. The difference is only really noticeable to me once I view the photos on my Mac, not so much when viewing on the phone itself.
I’ve been looking for useful tool apps and found some nice ones:
Tasker (an amazing app once you take advantage of its potential)
SwiftKey (best phone keyboard ever)
SwitchApps (replicates the look of the iPhone’s accessibility menu, allowing you to assign app shortcuts)
X-plore (file manager)
And I got some games:
World of Goo
Game Dev Story
Thoughts so far
No regrets yet. I’m glad I didn’t switch to Android any earlier than this, as I still feel that the OS was not polished enough for me in its earlier versions. Now, however, Android seems to have grown into its own. My iPhone did have a better battery life and the battery seems to charge slower with the Nexus 4. However, I’m enjoying the added power and flexibility of the OS and don’t miss anything about the iPhone or iOS just yet.