Samsung Galaxy S3, first experiences

First off, I think it is unfair to compare iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy S3. iPhone 5 would be more fair, but I bet that most of the iPhone users are jumping from iPhone 4 to a Android ecosystem. And as far as I know, iOS is pretty much the same on iPhone 5 but with more speed.

Me likey

Customisation. Apple products are awesome for their simplicity. They are easy to use, intuitive, and very smooth to operate. However, if you ever want to do something which isn’t supported in an Apple Universe, you are out of luck. Unless you jailbreak your phone, which I don’t have patience or desire for.

In S3 (and Android in general), customisation is the default. Don’t like the way home screen switches to next screen? No problem, just install a different launcher and tweak everything you like (my current home screen on the right).

Ease of use. S3 is pretty damn impressive. iPhone was easy to start using, but S3 isn’t hard either. Just click click click please login to Google thx bam and here we go.

Google ecosystem. We use Google Apps for Business in Aucor. So far, it has proven to be awesome and scalable toolset for a small company. Due to this, transition to a Android environment was very easy. Mails, contacts, documents, tasks, calendars… everything just works from the start.

Speed an battery life. What can I say? Speed is blazing compared to a iPhone 4, and I have to fidget a iPhone 5 to make any comparisons.

Camera. I don’t know about the quality aspect, but for me, its important that the camera actually starts fast. I have lost countless of important moments because iPhone opens the camera so damn slowly. This is way better. And the photos can be easily streamed to your Dropbox.

Notification center. Its nice to see what is happening in a one place.

The bad

Google Play store. Using it on a Samsung Galaxy S3 it just doesn’t feel near as smooth as App store experience. There are lots of crappy products, and every one of them are rated for 4 or 5 stars. Come on, 80 % of the apps there are utter crap.

Good thing about the Play store is that you get an instant refund if a commercial app sucks. Much better system than in App store. This also encourages user to try more stuff freely.

Searching doesn’t work nicely: after selecting one search result and going back to search results takes you back to Play front page. Meh.

3rd party accessories seems to be lacking. My Sennheiser ear plugs didn’t work (mic & controls), so at the moment, I am stuck with the S3 ear plugs. I need to find some better though, these aren’t so good.

Settings and that left bottom little button seem to work differently based on an active app. It can be confusing at a times.

My favourite Apps so far

  • Nova launcher Prime. With this, you can customise icons, home screen, application listings and much more.
  • Gtasks. Nice task manager that integrates with Google Tasks.
  • WordPress. Like the name implies, you can administer multiple WordPress sites.
  • Analytics. Google Analytics tool. In addition, Analytics Widget is awesome! You can actually make widget to a desktop that automatically shows how many unique visitors you have had on a site during the day. And because you can have many widgets, you can add all of your favourite sites on the screen. Nice.
  • Eye in the Sky Weather Pro. Very nice weather widget. Simple, clean and it works smoothly.
  • Fonecta Caller. This is a crucial app for me. It shows the unknown callers number when the call comes.
  • Press. This is pretty nice Google Reader app.
  • Lucid Round icons. They are clean, simple and very beautiful icons. You can switch icons with Nova Launcher Prime.
  • Yeah, and of course Facebook, Twitter, Spotify, Skype, Netflix, Audible, Kindle, Linode, Dropbox and Evernote Apps work too.

What I miss

  • Better mail client. So far I have tried K-9 mail and some other ones, but they don’t give the ability to archive the message with one click. At the moment, I use the native Gmail app. Its ok, but a bit too cluttered for my taste. If someone knows a good mail app, please let me know.
  • Better Google reader app. Press is nice, but there is too much sweeping needed to get where I want to.
  • Scoopinion app. I know that you can read the site using mobile device, but the site isn’t responsive the way it should be. Please guys, make an Android app for it or make the site better for all mobile devices. 🙂

Conclusion

Apple & Nokia/MS: you should be very afraid for your revenue on the smartphone market. Samsung Galaxy S3 is a pretty impressive gadget, and as an hardcore iPhone evangelist, I think that iPhone ecosystem needs to change pretty drastically to compete with Android.

Confession of an iUser

When iPhone 5 was first published, I was happy. I thought that Apple would finally leap forward and actually develop the platform for the better direction. After the specs were released I was very disappointed. Just the same old phone with some minimal improvements. Not funny.

So I bought a Samsung Galaxy S3. No torches and pitchforks, please.

I didn’t just buy it randomly. My little brother had it, and after fidgeting with it for a few minutes I thought “man, this brick is cool. I gotta try it.”

There are actually just 3 reasons I jumped ship.

  1. Stagnation. Apple iOS platform, and specially iPhone, has matured to a very stable environment. It has its drawbacks. Platform feels outdated, and every new feature seems to be glued on top of the old one.
  2. One crucial missing app. When I used Nokia years ago, there was this application called Pomo Palvelu (loose translation would be “Boss Service”) that searched for the unknown number from an external database when the call came. I have tens of unknown callers through a day, and answering them is a pain and it takes up my precious time. True, there are some options for the iOS ecosystem, but none of them work in Finland without jailbraking the iPhone. On Android, there is Fonecta Caller. It works.
  3. Constant revamping of adapters. Man, I really hate Apple for this. They do it every time. I don’t care much how advanced the new adapters and cables are (well, Thunderbolt is awesome), but why do I have to buy stack of new adapters and cables every time I cough up some cash for a new Apple iDevice? It is like pissing in the eye of the most loyal fans. Stop doing it, please. This is a one big reason I didn’t want to buy iPhone 5. If I have to buy yet a new stack of cables for the new phone, I might as well look for the greener pastures.

I know that new gadgets always feel better than the old ones. So, I won’t be doing the THIS IS AWESOME THAT OLD CRAP IS SO LAME -act. I will write about my experiences later, when I have had more quality time with my new Android.

Year 2012

Year 2012 was pretty tough on me. So many things have happened in a one year that it feels a little overwhelming to remember all of it. But, here are some relevant things that happened.

Awesome stuff:

  • Aleksi: my firstborn boy has grown a lot. He walks and almost talks now. It is only matter of months when he will say his first proper words. I can hardly wait.
  • Aucor Oy, my company: I have finally managed to solve some basic issues that should have been solved years ago. There is a lot of work ahead of me, but now it feels doable. I could not have done it without the awesome people that work in Aucor.
  • Bad habbits: I stopped drinking alcohol. I can’t say that I miss it. I never liked bars and people there anyway.
  • Self-image: I have learned a lot about myself, and I have grown to accept most of my weaknesses. I couldn’t have done it without JP Jakonen. Thanks, man!

Things that sucked:

  • Stress. Building a dream company is stressful and hard work. I have done too much work and sacrificed too many hours for the company.
  • Health. I almost lost it last year. Too much stress and everything that is related to stress almost broke me. I also had an diagnose for a disease that is not curable. Its not lethal or anything, but it will be on me for the rest of my life. Bugger.

What about the year 2013?

I don’t generally give any new year’s promises, they are somehow hollow. Instead, I list some things that I have thought about a lot.

  • Facebook: I really loathe it. Facebook just keep trying to shaft the privacy of users, and I can’t trust the service anymore. It is like every time you turn your back on it, there is some new privacy policy that gives Facebook the right to sell and share your stuff anyway they please. I understand it is a company and that the service is free. I really get that. But I just don’t want to waste my time and energy on it anymore. Every minute you spend on Facebook is away from somewhere else. I miss blogging. I want to do it more.
  • Coffee: I should drink less. That is hard, because I love it so much. I have tried to replace some coffee cups with tea, but damn, its different.
  • Time: I need more of it. Building a company is important, but family is more important. Everything else is secondary.
  • Health: I am going to continue my weight loss campaign. Now I have lost 10 kg of fat, and I have still 20 or so kilograms to go. Pace is slow, and I am in no hurry. It works, it’s important and it just needs to be done. Next year at this time I will be 20 kg lighter. Which is nice.
  • Friends & hobbies: this is related to a time-issue. I want to see more friends, take more leaves and just generally do more non-work related stuff.
  • Writing: next book is on the way and after that I really would like to write those fiction novels I have been working on.
  • Tattoo: time to get the next one. 🙂

Conclusion:

Even though it has been a tough year, it looks a lot more brighter now. I hope you have had an awesome year, and I really hope that year 2013 is going to be even better.

Happy new year 2013!

Autumn

Autumn is my favorite time of the year. Sun is still shining, but it isn’t too hot. Business in Finland seems to be stalling. Recession seems to be reality.

Tranquility

This has been a good summer for me. I hate heat, but I like the sunshine and rainy days. They are hard to combine, so I usually prefer autumns.

I have great expectations for the rest of the year. My mood has changed for the better, and there is some nice things waiting around the corner.