– Ben Martens

Ok Google

samsung-galaxy-s7-0010Back in July I announced that we’d be switching to Android when our existing contracts were up. That time has come and we’re both using Galaxy S7’s. This won’t be the last post on the topic, but let me get some thoughts out of my head:

  • We went for crazy high end phones. There are a couple reasons:
    • With Verizon’s new plans where the cost of the phone is not something that is baked permanently into the service fee (yay!), it finally makes financial sense to keep a phone for longer than 2 years. Before you were kind of paying for it whether you got a new phone or not. So my thought is that if we’re going to keep these for 3+ years, let’s get something that has a chance to last.
    • These phones were in the same ballpark as what we spent on our last laptop. These devices get used way more than a laptop so it didn’t seem unreasonable that they should cost a similar amount.
    • Also, I like technology.
  • I feel like a tool n00b. I stared at my phone and literally had no idea how to send a text message. There are 1000 ways to do everything which is awesome but it’s also daunting at first. Thanks to some advice from Android-loving friends, I was able to pick a couple apps and get started. Yes, the phone comes with Samsung and Verizon versions of various apps but those things are generally best if you delete them immediately.
  • I LOOOOVVVVEEEEEEE having access to all the apps. All of them. I finally have full-fledged first party versions of every app I could ever want. I can buy all the gadgets and gizmos that I want and I can be confident that my phone will play nice with them. I’m like a kid in a candy store.
  • The fast charging is wonderful. The phones come with a 2 amp wall wart and when you charge with that thing, you can go from dead to a full charge in a couple of hours. It also tells you right on the screen how long it will take to get to a full charge.
  • There’s the inevitable “Why didn’t you get an iPhone?” That’s not going to happen. I’ll never buy Apple anything (long time readers are hollering that I had an iPod once.) I don’t think less of you because you have one, but it’s not for me. Oh, but I do think less of you if we have this conversation: “You got an Android? That’s dumb. You should have gotten an iPhone.” “Why? What’s better about it?” “I don’t know. It’s just better because … Apple.”
  • The other question I get is why I didn’t get a Google Pixel. The two big things for me is that the Pixel doesn’t have wireless charging and it’s not water resistant. The water thing hasn’t ever been a big deal but it’s nice to have on the S7. But the big one is that I’m hooked on wireless charging. It’s so convenient! We already have four chargers around the house and they’re compatible with this phone too.
  • This phone has tons of fun sensors on it that i don’t know how to use yet. The thumbprint sensor is incredibly useful. Not only is it handy for unlocking the phone, but I also love it for signing into my LastPass app. The LastPass app automatically signs me in to all the various websites and apps that I use. Fantastic.
  • The one disappointment for me so far has been Android Auto. I was very excited to hook my phone up to the Sync 3 system in my truck and get Google Maps, Ok Google, and more all right there on the screen in my truck, but it turns out that Android Auto isn’t enabled in my truck yet. I need Sync 3 version 2.0. It sounds like they started making that mere weeks after my truck was built. Supposedly there is a dealer upgrade coming “this year” but no word on the exact date yet or whether it’s free.

All in all, I’m happy with our choice, but I’ve been putting in a lot of hours to get the phones configured nicely. Tyla and I have shared calendars, contact lists, etc and it’s tricky to get that all configured in the Android ecosystem. I also have a long list of “how do I do X in the new phone” from both myself and Tyla. I’ve spent quite a few hours in the evenings chugging away. The nice thing about Android is that everything is possible if you can find the solution.

One thought on “Ok Google

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