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Androids FTW! - trinalin thinks things through — LiveJournal
Androids FTW!
Over four years ago, I bought my first Smartphone, an AT&T Tilt (AKA HTC TytnII). It was a wonderful addition to my World of Geek, but like all things, it got old. And in the World of Geek, a 4-year old Smartphone is ancient.

With my PC upgrade to Ubuntu 12.04, I lost out on my way to sync my phone & PC. No more contacts or calendar syncs for the treen! That was not good. So I started researching my options. I discovered that Android phones sync to Google and my e-mail program (Evolution still) can access Google calendars. So next up, who made a nice Android phone that also has built-in GPS and can work on AT&T's system?

Although I am not AT&T's biggest fan, I do like their Pay As You Go feature and I have over $170 worth of calls & texts on it. (Only costs $100 a year to top off the baby, and I've yet to use $100 worth of calls in one year.) My only drawback to switching to Android is the loss of DVD Profiler. There is a rumor, however, that there IS an Android version coming. Some day. Maybe. So I'll have to be careful buying DVDs when I'm oot & aboot until they get it updated.

OK, so AT&T, GPS, Android, up to date (or as up to date as can be). These were my criteria. And I settled on the Samsung Galaxy S II. But as I was researching this phone, I read about the NEXT version of the Galaxy S. And when I started reading the specs on it, I realized THAT's what I needed to get.

So I had picked my Phone of Choice - the Samsung Galaxy S III. It wasn't out yet when I first chose it, but I figured I could last awhile without backing up my calendar & contacts. I already had everything copied over to GMail for the eventual switch to Android, however.

As I researched more, I discovered a drawback to my planned upgrade. The newer Smartphones require a MicroSIM card, rather than the regular SIM card. I read up on people trimming their cards to fit, and buying a $25+ trimmer. But I went to my local AT&T store and a very perky and helpful lady (I think she was bored with no one to talk to) said that they could transfer my info onto a new MicroSIM for a $25 fee. Heck, that worked for me!

In order to use my Pay As You Go account on the phone, I needed to buy the phone outright. And turns out Amazon.com was selling the phone for $549. I hemmed & hawed for quite awhile until I broke down last Thursday and ordered it. And then got into my usual geeky OMG there's a package coming today!!!!!! mode yesterday while I waited for UPS to arrive with my new phone.

I ordered the pebble blue phone, which only looks blue under the right lighting. It's very pretty. Bigger length & width, but much thinner than my old phone. After installing the battery, I plugged it in to charge, then connected it to my Wi-Fi. After syncing my calendar and contacts, I played around with Google Play looking for apps to download. And my sister surprised me by finding me through Google Talk. My phone wasn't a phone yet and I was already receiving "texts." Heh.

Once it was sufficiently charged, I took it to the AT&T store to switch SIM cards. The gentlemen there were very nice and I didn't even have to take the old SIM out for the process. I called the folks as soon as the SIM was in place and everything worked just as it should. The folks said that I sounded clear to them (and they to me). So yay - it even works as a phone!

Later in the evening, I purchased and installed CoPilot Live. This was the GPS software I'd been using on my Tilt - inexpensive (much moreso than Garmin or TomTom) and reliable. After discovering that Samsung's Find My Phone software doesn't work in the US (an aggravating half hour of installs & checks & still nothing), I also bought Cerberus Anti-Theft for my phone. And once installed, it found my phone. (After judiang's recent "lost iPhone" scare, I thought I should get that pronto.)

Today, I'm still working on getting the phone how I want it. Alas, Bejeweled 2, my go-to game on the old phone, isn't available yet for this version of Android (Ice Cream Sandwich). I haven't found a euchre game yet for it, either, which was my other go-to game. There are several to choose from there, however. I'm also going to set up the SD card (currently an 8GB card, though I have a 32GB card now on order) to be my music drive.

Turns out the earbuds that came with the phone are pretty dire - the music was tinny, like it was being played by a cell phone (heh). But with my nice headphones, the music sounds proper. And the little pause button on the headphones works (although the volume buttons don't seem to - which, considering the cable is designed for iPods, is OK - perk with the pause working!)

Anyhoo, some more tweaking (the best part of any new tech, IMO) and it'll be PERFECT! Or at least as perfect as it can be. Woohoo! New Smartphone!

Current Mood: excited excited

2 comments or Leave a comment
elsaf From: elsaf Date: July 24th, 2012 06:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oooo... geeky

Sounds like a neat new toy. :-) My EVO came with Telenav GPS software installed. I have my choice of using it in free mode (perfectly adequate for my needs) or upgrading to a $5 a month subscription, which I'm not going to be doing, because free works just fine. The subscription gives you a database of things close to your route, which I don't think I need.

Yay smart phones!
judiang From: judiang Date: July 30th, 2012 03:21 am (UTC) (Link)
But I still love my iPhone. :D
2 comments or Leave a comment