So recently I lost my iPhone 4 on the way back to the office from lunch. Two things of note:
I had location services turned on on the iPhone, and could use the “Find my iPhone” feature to track it down. I managed to work out roughly where it was, to within 20-30 metres or so, but the location kept jumping around, indicating the phone was inside (or inside a drain) and couldn’t use GPS. This turns out to actually not be that helpful—I asked around various shops/businesses (including where I bought lunch) but without having a good idea about the precise building or room, there’s not much you can do. One feature I unfortunately did end up using was the remote wipe; I’ve lost a phone, but don’t have to worry about nefarious use of personal information.
To replace the iPhone—which had been carrying along nicely, no complaints—I bought a Nexus 4. This turns out to be pretty full of features, and nearly half the price of an iPhone 5 (yes, I could have bought an iPhone 4 or 4S, but, y’know…). Some impressions:
a. The phone itself is pretty solid, and really light compared to previous smartphones I’ve owned. It’s a slippery sucker though, and seems to willitself off tables and armchairs.
b. I had an Android phone a few years back, and although I thought it was good, it didn’t have the same level of polish as iOS. This version (Jelly Bean) actually looks nice, and I’d forgotten how cool it is to use things like widgets. I totally understand the benefits of Apple’s walled garden, but it’s nice to be able to do your own digging. The one glaring exception is the gmail app—on iOS the recent-ish update to the gmail app is beautiful to look at, and the Android version is just plain old ugly in comparison.
c. I seemed to encounter the issues with buggy wi-fi that have been bugging others. Wi-fi at work was fine, but the connection at home kept dropping. I came close to just returning the damned phone as I wasn’t able to reliably download apps, but in the end installed a third party app that brought the issue under control.
d. One new feature in Android is Google Now. This allows you to do voice searches and commands, and also brings up useful information (e.g., appointments, flight details) by intelligently working out when you’ll need them. So far I’ve only ever been told about the weather and upcoming calendar appointments, so I lead a dull life (most plausible) and/or Google needs to mine my data deeper (also plausible, and somewhat disturbing).
e. I don’t have a constant mobile data connection. Whether this is to do with poor coverage from Virgin or a hardware/software fault I don’t know, but it is something I miss from the iPhone on O2.