Adrián Yanes

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Archive for the ‘nexus’ tag

My thoughts after two months using Nexus 4

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Two months ago my lovely N9 passed the way in terms of performance. Every-time I was using things like the mail client or the browser, my feeling was that it was too slow compared with the latest devices that I see around me. It is obvious, we are talking about a smartphone that is one year and a half old; in addition, the competitors are releasing better hardware every 3 months, hence, such dead is natural and expected.

I tried Android phones time to time, mainly for testing and design purposes, I do like to try different models & Android versions, however, I never spent a long period (i.e. more than one week) using an Android smartphone as my primary device.

I got a Nexus 4 two months ago, the price, hardware and the absence of any vendor customization layer (such as in the Samsung’s version) was the main reason to acquire it. I been using it all this time as my smartphone, here goes the things I do like and the  top-ten apps of almost my everyday.

Android system

Overall the latest Android version is pretty stable, still ugly as hell, but as always it is a matter of taste. I did not invest a second in installing themes or UI customization (I am aware it is possible, I just do not care, I do believe a UI must be beautiful by default). The system itself is pretty fast, the integration with Google services is finally reaching a level of smoothness and speed that make the experience really enjoyable. The sync functionality with things like WiFI passwords, browsing history and so on, really helps the everyday (I assume paying a price on privacy though).

The responsiveness of the UI/UX is pretty good, something expected having in consideration the kind of hardware that runs the thing. Again, the Nexus 4 is a battery eater, a mainstream feature in any smartphone (less blame physics this time). As a normal user: phone + messages + a bit of maps/navigation, the battery runs out in 18 hours.

Features such as the encryption of the phone, data info about apps/processes and the new notification system are pretty cool (again ugly, but they do the job).

Apps

I think the main advantage of the Android is the ecosystem itself + the facility to develop for it. That makes the Play Store a great repository of all kind of apps. I need to highlight that in any ecosystem (including the beloved iOS) the amount of apps that are crap VS good apps is huge. I would claim easily that the ratio is 2/10 for good apps. Anyway, there is a lot of gems in the store, some of them free others cost a couple of bucks, but so far really worth software in several aspects.

Note the main apps I used daily are: Phone, Messages, Email, Maps and Calendar (surprise surprise!)

In addition, here goes the ten apps that I use the most (without any particular order):

  • WhatsApp: I suspect one day this kind of services will get kill, either by operators or the platform itself (likely Google will provide a more unify & efficient to talk). Still it is a must for anyone.
  • Yelp: if you live at US and you trust peer-reviewing as a source of knowledge, it is your app, specially for restaurants & services.
  • Runtastic: I do love running, and even more since I can track anything with Runtastic. It is the dreamed app for any runner that cares about routes, peace and distances (amount others).
  • SoundHound: maybe I am antiquate, but I still listening radio on my car, this app helps me to track those songs that I want to remember later.
  • gReader: so far the easiest way I found to read my RSS on Nexus 4.
  • Reddit is fun: if you use Reddit, you would love this, the power of Reddit extremely optimized in a compacted by useful UI.
  • Battery: this app is the only way I found to show the percentage of battery on the notifications are & status bar; it also tracks other values such as temperature, voltages, etc.
  • Remember the milk: TODO tracker. Mainly used to remember things to do or to check, it works pretty decent in its free version.
  • Out of milk: the best way to remember the shopping list, track prices, and so on. The barcode reader functionality is a cherry.
  • Mint: the mobile app for  http://mint.com. In my opinion the best way to track your finances with a simple click.
  • World Clock: a simple but useful widget to have different timezones on the main screen. Not sure why such functionality has not been integrated natively on the system itself.

Conclusions

Overall the experience with the Nexus 4 is being pretty positive, mainly for the ecosystem that the store offers. Still quite buggy in certain aspects, such as connectivity and calls (maybe is the operator). The main complain I do have is about how ugly is in general (although there are some beautiful apps, often those that have an iOS version as well). I guess it would get improved with the time. Not sure if (already) the ad-service included in some apps is too intrusive, maybe we end in a world in which the smartphones are full of banners or some kind of intrusive ads (terrible but possible).

Anyway, for now due to the price & performance I recommend the device, at least to give a long try.

Written by Adrián Yanes

febrero 10th, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Posted in android,nokia,technology

Tagged with , , ,