Sunday, June 8, 2014

Back To Android: A Month Later – What Android Got Right


My usage of the Android operating system is entering the end of the first month. I now have spend adequate time with the OS to really compare where Windows Phone 8.1 is at and what it is missing to truly compete with the most popular OS in the world. There are areas where Windows Phone completely destroys Android, but there are far too many basics where Android simply has better functionality than WP does, and to be very honest, a few of these would push devices like the Lumia 1020 to the front of most people’s shopping lists.

1) The HTC One features direct DLNA playback from the stock music and gallery Apps.


The HTC One has streaming DLNA playback available right from the stock music and video players. The Lumia series requires PlayTo to use this feature – and PlayTo only works when running in the primary App position. This means if you leave PlayTo running in the background and switch over to check your email, PlayTo will stop playing at the next song. Android allows the App to continue to play regardless of what is going on in the foreground.

2) The HTC One allows for connecting external USB Flash Drives.


With a $2 cable from Amazon, you can expand the storage of your HTC One in seconds. Any external drive that does not require power can be hooked right in to the MicroUSB charging port and be used for storage. This means you are no longer limited to the on device storage for photos and videos. This feature would make a device like the Lumia 1020 the ultimate device on the planet. Can you imagine having unlimited storage in your pocket to go with the Lumia 1020 and the camera grip? It would be pure magic.

3) The HTC One offers true VPN setups and usage.


While the average smartphone user probably doesn’t even know what a VPN is, corporate and educational users sure do. With full VPN support baked into the system, Android has a leg up on the suffering Windows Phone version. Will Microsoft get there, of course, but will they get there fast enough to make an Android user skip the Galaxy S5 or the HTC One M8 before next year? Probably not.

4) Microsoft gives better Apps to Android than Windows Phone users.


This one really bugs me to no end. I can honestly say that the OneDrive, Outlook and OneNote Apps in Android gave me a better overall experience than their counterparts in Windows Phone. I know that the Outlook App is technically baked in to the system, but seriously, the Android App is quite amazing. All three of the services simply shine on the HTC One. It actually made “switching over” easier than the HTC program that does all the work for you.

I have to admit at the moment to being torn between my beloved Nokia Lumia 925 and the HTC One. HTC has done a superb job of crafting the One into the best feeling hardware I have ever owned. The metal chassis reminds me of my two favorite Windows Phones so far, the Titan and the Radar. I honestly have to admit, that if HTC releases that rumored W8, which is the HTC One M8 body loaded up with Windows Phone 8.1, I might be tempted to let my 925 go. Of course, if they would just build in support to write to a USB flash drive to my 925, I probably wouldn’t have to look at another device until the 2015 Windows Phones are released.

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