The transition from iOS to ICS. (iPhone to Galaxy Nexus)

Consider this a mini-blog on a switch which well, I’m trying to do. I’m writing this everyday and making updates when I have something to tell you guys, so please be patient. =)

Firstly, I’m quite invested in iOS, so that makes this switch even harder. ICS though, has given me an onus to switch.

Android wasn’t anywhere as good as iOS to this iteration. Yes, hurl abuse to me for that if you want. But it simply is the case. Android 4.0 is miles ahead of even Gingerbread (2.3), and it comes close to iOS on being polished.

 

1] Size: The first thing you notice about the Galaxy Nexus is the size. It’s simply huge.

GalaxyNexus_vs_iPhone4S

Galaxy Nexus vs. iPhone 4S (Photo courtesy TheVerge.com)

It’s possibly too big. I have a few pants, where the Galaxy Nexus simply won’t fit into my pocket. Even though its quite a bit smaller than the Galaxy Note, you can’t get over how big it is. 4.65″ was possibly a bad idea by Samsung/Google. I would have been much happier with 4.3″ (including the onscreen buttons) to make it more like the size of the Nexus S, which is possibly the most perfectly sized phone, I have ever held.

2] Software: IceCream Sandwich is a big big step forward for Android. When I first got my Nexus One, the only thing I said was, Android needs time. 2.1 was simply a piece of crap, compared to any version of iOS out there. I said that give Android till 3.0 (4.0 in this case for Phones) to get there. I was spot on.

The first gripe and possibly the only reason I didn’t stick to my Nexus One, was the Keyboard. It was simply pathetic on 2.1; and equally pathetic on 2.3. The ICS Keyboard is the first time an Android Keyboard (Stock) is close to as good as what Apple did with iOS 1.0. Simply put, it took them long enough.

There are a lot of things to like about the Android Keyboard, from the Instant Voice Dictation (which works well only over 3G or a strong Wifi Connection) to the 5th Row of Symbols for quick access.

ROM: Just for information, I’m currently using a AOSP 4.0.3 ROM developed by bigxie from XDA-Developers and its quite stable with minimum crashes around the OS. Also, 4.0.3 is big step ahead in bug fixes as compared to 4.0.1.. So upgrade now, if you’re a Galaxy Nexus user.

About Device - ROM by Bigxie from XDA

 

Widgets: I’ve finally understood by Android users go so ga-ga over Widgets. Quick access to everything you want on your homescreen is actually a boon. You just glance at the latest things and you’re done with it. You don’t have to go into an App (thankfully, considering how ugly most are) to get your daily fix.

Twitter Widgets on my "Social" Homescreen

 

I particularly like the ESPN ScoreCenter, Twitter, Pulse News and Facebook/Google+ Widgets. Power Control is a must as well. Calendar, Gmail and TV Show Favs widgets get notable mentions too.

Widgets on my "Sports" Homescreen

But again, there are some gripes.. The widgets don’t look streamlined. Every Widget has their own design scheme which honestly makes my various homescreens look quite out of place. Too many design policies spoil the broth?
I wish I could theme my own widgets, so as to make everything look elegant and perfect, then I’d have no gripe about Widgets at all. I have to mention that I don’t use a lot other widgets that I would normally want to use, eg. System Info Widgets, FeedR Widgets, Plume Widgets (also the app), etc. because they are simply ugly and clunky to use.

*developing*

3] Applications:

The applications very capable on Android, but simply put, they aren’t as pretty or elegant as iOS Applications. It takes some getting used to. I think we all can agree that the new Twitter for Android is definitely the prettiest Twitter app on Android, but it doesn’t look anywhere as good as even the older version of Twitter for iPhone (Tweetie2) or Tweetbot. Infact, every other option like Plume, Twicca, etc. are just butt-ugly.

This doesn’t imply that the App’s are any less functional, some are even more functional than their iOS counterpart. But this trend carries out throughout almost every app you compare on Android and iOS.

This is probably down to the fact that Android apps have to run on all devices, low to high end, which forces developers to lower the visual quality of their apps, but this is sad truth for any Android apps.

*developing*

4] Battery Life:

Battery Stats; Screen on time of 1 hour 52 minutes.

If you cannot go a full day without having to recharge the phone, I think most of you will not continue with the device. This is pretty much the case with the Galaxy Nexus.

Battery life on the Nexus, is appalling. Battery life of 10-11 hours (total, including standby) for general usage, is simply not acceptable.

I understand that half of the low battery life is down to the fact that the ROM I am using is an AOSP 4.0.3 and not a proper 4.0.3 ROM for the Galaxy Nexus, but it still doesn’t warrant the pathetic pathetic pathetic life.

As you can see in the image above, the Battery dropped to 20% after just 7 hours of usage and about 2 hours of Screen on time, I should  say, this is not a full brightness. It is around 50-75% brightness with 0-20% for sometime.

This battery life, is simply not acceptable as I have to charge atleast twice a day and what’s worse is that my Car charger cannot keep up with the Galaxy Nexus power draw (read this article for reference).

This is one major factor that I cannot deal with, and if the battery life doesn’t improve by leaps and bounds when 4.0.5 does come around for this phone, I may be forced to get rid of the phone.

 

todo: Screen, Usability, Sound Quality, Gaming, Cloud.

Tweet to me @Ad1tyaS about what you’d like to see in this article.

5 Comments

  • January 2, 2012 - 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Nice read, will be following this. I agree very strongly with one point. The screen is retardedly huge! Nexus S has the kind of perfect screen size/shape. I hope the next iPhone (dubbed 5) has a 4″ screen & retains the rugged body of 4/4S.

  • January 4, 2012 - 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Surprised you’ve lasted this long on ICS. Other meeker souls have given up a long time ago. Mad props to you. Newb query though, why aren’t you using the stock ICS rom instead of AOSP?

  • Ad1tya
    January 4, 2012 - 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Stock ICS wasn’t giving me the latest updates. I had a yajkuxw build, not yajku. Maybe that had something to do with it. I was still stuck on 4.0.1 + the Volume Bug fix update.

    4.0.3 has a lot of stability improvements. It also added timestamps to the Notification dropdown.

    The AOSP ROM I’m using is anyway, as close to Stock with a few minor tweaks.

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