This Is Not My iPhone

Back in May 2013, I was due for a smartphone upgrade. Rather than wait for Apple to release the next version of the iPhone, I wanted to see what other smartphones are out there. My choices where either a Windows phone or an Android phone.  I decided to purchase a Samsung S4 32 GB smartphone. I wanted to go with the Nokia Lumia 920 but the smartphone lacked apps.

My first impressions of the Samsung S4 were big. The screen size dwarfs the iPhone 4s. When I had to go back to my iPhone 4s, the small screen sized made it hard for me to focus as my eyes is getting old. The next impression from the Samsung S4 was “This is not my iPhone”. I made the mistake of trying to setup my Samsung S4 to work and look like an iPhone. I ended up having to reset the Samsung S4 three times. Needless to say I became an expert at resetting my new phone, which is not a bad thing but a frustrating thing. I will spare you the details of what happened but will say that I was cussing like a sailor (Note: I was in the Navy for 4 years). More than once, I almost conceded to return the Samsung S4 and get the iPhone 5. What stopped me?  Other than the self-punishment of trying to make my Samsung S4 work and look like an iPhone, the determination of not being beat by a new smartphone. I also really wanted to find out what is all the hype of an Android phone. I have talked to people who use Android phones and the majority of Android users that I talked to love their phones. This left me wondering what is there to love about a smartphone that has a not so attractive interface and make it so easy to mess up your phone with options to customize the smartphone. I needed a working smartphone and fast because that is my only communication to the outside world. I don’t have a home phone just my smart phone. What did I do? I conceded to the Android OS 4.2 and reset the Samsung S4 one final time and used the smartphone as it was intended with the stock apps.

The slow transition of moving from an iPhone to a Samsung S4 began. The next step was to install the apps I use on a daily basis. Over the last 5 months I tried, delete, or used different apps on my phone. Below is the current list of apps that I have installed on my Samsung S4.

LastPass – store and access my passwords

BeyondPod – download and play my podcasts

Register – Square app for credit card transactions

Evernote – Cloud based note system

NewsBlur – RSS reader

CrashPlan – Access my cloud backups

Voice – Google Voice

Team Viewer – Remote to other computers

Voice Recorder – Records my thoughts and ideas

GTasks – Reminds me of what I should be doing

Mint – Finance manager

Keep – Google note app

Facebook – need I say anything?

Google+ – Google’s version of Facebook

Google Hangouts – Google+ Video Conferencing app

Skype – Microsoft’s Video Conferencing app

TweetCaster – View my Twitter feeds

ES File Explorer – File Manager for my phone and Cloud drives

PogoPlug – To view and manage files on my PogoPlug

Flipboard – To keep up with the news

CNBC – Business news

Wikipedia – To access information from Wikipedia

Flixster – To see what new movies are showing and at what theater

Hulu Plus – To watch my TV shows

iHeartRadio – To listen to my radio programs

Netflix – To watch my movies

YouTube – See other people’s videos

Pandora – Listen to my music

Roku – To control my Roku

TV Guide – To see what shows are airing

IMDb – To look up information about movies

Redbox – To rent movies from my local Redbox

Play Music – Listen to my music collection

FuelLog – Keeps a log of how many miles I get per gallon after each fill-up

GasBuddy – Informs me of the nearest locations and prices of gas

Google Maps – My GPS

Waze – My GPS with a social twist

iBolt Dock’n Drive – I use with my iBolt car dock

Yelp – Helps me determine of some good places to eat

Yahoo Weather – Gives me the temperature no matter where I am located

Quickoffice – Allows me to view and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents

WhitePages – Reverse phone number lookup app

Number Guru – Another reverse phone number lookup app

Alarm Clock Plus – Wakes me up in the morning

Brightest Flashlight – Keeps me from bumping into walls in the dark

Prey – Helps me locate my phone if it is missing

Lookout – Scans my phone for viruses

Microsoft RD Client – Allows me to remove to my servers

Fling – Identifies what devices are on the same network as my phone

WiFi Manager – Connects my phone to wireless networks

Speedtest – Measures the upload and download speeds of the network my phone is connected to

With the above apps I use the stock phone app to receive and make calls, AT&T Messages to send and receive text messages, stock email app, and stock calendar app.

During the past 5 months, I have grown use to how my Samsung S4 phone works. I figured out what those small icons in the upper left hand corner of the screen mean, how to make changes to my phone settings, and organize my apps in folders to quickly access them. I have referred to my phone as a Swiss Army knife because I have setup my phone to do many different things. My phone is a communication device, organization device, computer and network troubleshooting device, entertainment device, GPS device, and all around device that keeps me functioning. Yes, I do depend on technology a lot but like the old saying “Technology is great when it works”. For example, I was involved in a car accident the other month and instead of using a pen and paper to copy the other person’s information. I used my Samsung S4 and Evernote to take pictures of the other person’s information. I also took pictures of the accident. Overall, I am pleased that I decided to make the switch to an Android phone and took the time to learn how it works. Will I continue to use an Android phone once my contact is up? Only time will tell and the ever changing winds of the technology world.

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