Thursday, 30 July 2015

Contemplating a Switch from iOS to Android

More specifically, iPhone 6 Plus to Sony Xperia Z2.

How did this happen? Doesn't Android lead me to a world of false hope and disappointment every time?

Well ... perhaps not. I've always wanted to see if Cyanogenmod is a good fit for me but I've never owned an Android phone with official support so that was also a lesson in false hope and disappointments (generally waiting for OS updates from Samsung that never come).

It seems the Z2 has official Cyanogen support so I can take any frustrations out on the stock firmware by reflashing it bloatware-less.

Why the Z2?

A few days ago a good friend posted some video taken under water in a swimming pool. I know he's an Android guy, I guessed he had a waterproof housing.

Nope. Sony Xperia Z3. Caseless Underwater.

As someone who often gets creative with iPhone video, and knowing a lot of the iPhone sensors and camera parts are from Sony anyway, my interested perked a bit.

So at time of writing the Z3 is 9 months old, the Z2 is 15 months old. Almost pre-historic by smartphone terms. But both a great value proposition when compared to my (or future) iPhones.

Anyway, the argument for or against the hardware and features isn't what I'm writing about today (I may still yet be crushingly disappointed when my good-as-new refurb Z2 arrives). Although I will mention the Xperia Z2 has a microSD slot for up to 128GB expansion - again, another good value proposition for something I care about (storage for video rushes).

What about the apps? I've spent a good few years in the iOS eco-system (dabbling with Android here and there on the way). What equivalents are there?

Well here's my essentials and most-used apps on iPhone with what I expect to replace them with on Android (the handset is due to arrive soon - please don't disappoint me Sony!)

In order on my iPhone homescreen:

On Android there are OS settings and Google settings and I dare say manufacturer settings. Already I'm questioning if I made a good decision!

App Store
Google Play Store

Google Photos - though I dare say I will miss Apple Photostream






Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger

Google Now


Not sure on this one - however I am past counting my steps, and only really take data points on my weight - which I can put in Evernote or whatever. I do like the trend graphs Apple Health creates but hey ho.

Hours Keeper
Evernote probably. Although Hours Keeper also generates an invoice. I'm sure I'll figure it out, I don't do a high number of transactions per month so shouldn't be an issue.


Words with Friends
Words with Friends


MULE Returns
Not available :-(


Jetpack Joyride
Jetpack Joyride



Cinema FV-5



Camera (at a guess)


There are others of course but that's about it for my most used apps.

Apart from iMovie which I use intermittently but when I do use it I'm really glad it's there. The closest app on Android seems to be something called Kinemaster which looks okay except for a godawful subscription model to remove the watermark.

You'll note I haven't listed Apple's Music app. I think that app is singlehandedly responsible for me listening to less music due to the fact the app is a naff experience. I have been keeping my music in parallel with Google Play Music (free account) and find that a much easier experience to just listen to some goddam music rather than navigate the bizarre Apple Music interface.

Google Play Music also makes it possible to import music into your cloud library using only your phone. No sodding iTunes and Mac/PC sync malarky needed.

I have a real psychological problem with subscriptions because - you guessed it - it  makes it more difficult for me to be brand disloyal and fully independent. I've always bought my phones outright for this very reason and the fact the entire IT industry is heading toward a cloud subscription model fills me with dread. But that's to think about another day.

After I cancel my subscriptions to iTunes Match and iCloud Storage.

Refurb Sony Xperia Z2 via Argos on eBay: £220 with 1 year warranty.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Hush Hush New Star Wars Project

Well I can't let July go by without a blog entry. Things have been moving thick-and-fast for me, Deer Studios, and I.

If it's not FilmRaker it's SongRaker and if it's neither of those it's the miker smelting pot of lowest common denoms.

So imagine my excitement when me - Star Wars fan since it's UK screening Christmas 1977 - gets a draft of a hush hush Star Wars project through his letterbox.

Hush hush.