My move to Android AKA Android vs Windows Mobile

Android is faster, more responsive, more intuitive, looks great and the app marketplace is amazing! I really wanted to get apps for my Windows Mobile 6.1 device but it was SO difficult! Within 14 hours of having my Android phone I’d downloaded multiple awesome applications which we’ll cover later 🙂

One of the biggest problems I found with Windows Mobile is that I felt constrained, there were so many things that I wanted to do but couldn’t…the big one (for me) was an e-book reader. There are so many times that having a book to hand would be great:

  • On the train
  • Waiting in receptions
  • Visiting the in-laws 😉

are just a few of them.

When I got Windows Mobile 6.1, I had a look online and saw there was indeed a Microsoft E-Book reader available. I downloaded it but couldn’t use it as it wasn’t designed for 6.1…bit of a fail! There is a support forum thread dedicated to this where a fix was mentioned about 2 years ago, but as far as I know, it never materialised. So for the 18 months I had that phone, I either had to carry an actual book around or lay off the reading!

The first day I got my Android phone, I downloaded a brilliant app called Aldiko which sorted all that out 🙂 See more below…

Marketplaces

For me, this is a huge revelation…the Android marketplace is amazing 🙂

I know Microsoft brought out the Windows Mobile Marketplace but, let’s be honest, it isn’t very good is it? I often had trouble signing in…sometimes I couldn’t connect from my device and other times it’d be the desktop version that wasn’t working. Once I was in it wasn’t plain sailing either…I found the entire thing clunky and difficult to navigate. Also I was never 100% sure if I was downloading a free app or a trial and I just didn’t feel comfortable as a user.

It’s possible that it’s just a personal thing that I don’t get on with the Windows Marketplace and that it’s a pleasure for everyone else…but I doubt it 😉

On the other side of this fence is the Android Marketplace…

It’s easy to navigate, it’s quick, it’s clear, it’s full of brilliant apps, it’s fantastic:

This brings me nicely onto:

Apps

This was probably the hardest part of being a Windows Mobile user; seeing all the iPhone users with their fancy apps…compasses, games, programs for work etc…and then Android came along and allowed people to do the same thing…not on at all! Finally Microsoft brought out the Windows Marketplace but, as I say above, it just didn’t seem very good.

I’ve had my new HTC Hero:

for about 3 weeks and am finding new apps almost daily. So far, these include:

Advanced Task Killer:

This is a great and very handy app for quickly and easily shutting down all the processes still running in the background. Great for making sure you don’t run low on memory!

 

Aldiko:

Aldiko Book Reader: Download and read thousands of books right on your Android smartphone.

 

and it’s already loaded with:

  • Art of War
  • The Prince
  • Hamlet
  • Othello
  • Macbeth
  • The Iliad

and more…giving me great reading material whenever & wherever I want it; something Windows Mobile could never give me.

To me, this really is brilliant 🙂 When the Christmas gatherings got too much, I was able to easily chill out and read Othello…nice!

I love how it’s home screen is laid out like an actual bookshelf…it might be gimmicky but I like it!

It looks great, works quickly and smoothly and has a brilliant selection of books. I’ve only downloaded the free books, ‘cos I love the classics, but you can also purchase O’ Reilly and MS Press books on there too; making them a truly portable aid.

Bonsai Blast:

A brilliant, fun and very addictive game where you simply need to get 3 coloured balls in a row:

I repeat, this is very addictive and will quickly take up a whole bunch of your time! Great for passing a few minutes or longer in queues, on public transport, waiting for the kettle to boil etc…but those few minutes will almost certainly stretch into 15-20 with a few cries of “just one more go” 🙂

CaveDroid:

A cool retro style 1st person game where you fly through a tunnel avoiding obstacles and collecting points. I can’t find any pics but I’ll keep trying.

Evernote:

Evernote is a pretty well known note-taking app and is very handy to have…I haven’t had cause to use the audio note yet but I can imagine that being pretty useful.

It’s very easy to use and will get a fair bit of use at partner events, seminars, that kind of thing.

OI Shopping List:

This app is brilliant. I’m a little upset that I’m this happy and excited about an app that lets you make lists but it really is very good.

It let’s you put in an expected/known cost for each item and then gives you a total for the list…the best bit is that, if you add in the costs as you go, it gives you a running total of what’s in your trolley/basket/arms. Very useful 🙂

Another great feature is that once you’ve list an item and cost once, future lists will pull that info out automatically…again, very useful! A recent update has given it a “Quantity” column too, which makes it even easier to use.

I’d definitely recommend this app for anyone that buys more than 1 thing from shop 🙂

There are plenty more apps that I’ll detail in future posts. If you’ve got any of your own you’d like to add in, let me know in the comments.

Summary:

I’ve only had my Android phone for a few weeks but I really am truly impressed with it…much more than I was when i got my WinMo 6.1 phone. I am a BIG Microsoft supporter and not particularly a fan of Google at all…however, with Android, they offer the far superior product so that’s what I, as  consumer, chose.

If you’re looking for looking for a cool, stylish, fun, helpful, useful, “check it out mate” phone…DEFINITELY go with an Android device. I’d still recommend Windows Mobile before anything else for a work device, but for a personal mobile device, Android is the top dog in my opinion.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this so please, leave a comment and let’s get a discussion going 😉

5 Replies to “My move to Android AKA Android vs Windows Mobile”

  1. Rich,

    Interesting post, I’m a long standing Windows Mobile sufferer and share your disappointment with the apps. What’s the Exchange ActiveSync support like? Does it use a third-party add-in?

    Cheers,

    Guy

  2. Hi Guy,

    Thanks for the comment…not sure I’ll still have as many friends at MS now though!

    The Exchange ActiveSync support is built right in but I don’t think it’s licensed directly from MS. It seems to be a bit problematic for some people (http://androidforums.com/htc-hero/7096-exchange-activesync-htc-hero.html) but others have no issues at all!

    I haven’t had a chance to test it out myself yet what with Xmas, BETT and the snow, but I’ll definitely let you know once I do.

    Cheers
    Rich

  3. Dude, you’re an idiot. “When I got Windows Mobile 6.1, I had a look online and saw there was indeed a Microsoft E-Book reader available. I downloaded it but couldn’t use it as it wasn’t designed for 6.1…bit of a fail! There is a support forum thread dedicated to this where a fix was mentioned about 2 years ago” What fix? I am using MS Reader since my first PocketPC 2002, and yes – I’ve been using it on WM6 in 2007, WM6.1 in 2008, and WM6.5 in 2009 (the last three on HTC TyTN II).
    One thing I *MISS* on my android phones, is MS READER!
    I haven’t found simpler/easier ebook reader. Not to mention ability of creating .lit ebooks yourself from anything that MS Word can open (which means basically anything – after right conversions in case of pdf junk or such).
    Sure, calibre and pdb format is OK, but kudos to .lit
    And there were plenty of other ebook readers for Windows Mobile, so what the fcuk are you talking about? LOL!

    Anyways, if you provide any actual links to this mysterious “fix” for this mysterious “incompatibility” of MS Reader with WM6.x – I will take back calling you an idiot 🙂

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