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Goodbye Windows Phone, hello Android

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Posted

I bought an HTC 8S back in February and the screen cracked on the 20th. I wanted a new phone because I know that if I dropped it again, the screen would become unusable. I couldn't resist the Nexus 5. I paid $399 + tax & S/H for the black 32GB model and I couldn't be happier. Coming from a 4GB device, it's nice to not worry about installing too many apps.

 

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The first thing I noticed was the display. At ~445 pixels per inch, individual pixels are damn-near impossible to see. The colours are great and the viewing angles are superb. Also, Android 4.4 is amazing. Windows Phone 8 has its strengths but at this point, Android is superior. I love WP8 and I want it to be the #3 smartphone OS but Microsoft has to improve a lot of things before it comes popular enough for companies to make apps for it.

 

Anyway, got any app suggestions? I've installed a bunch so far but I'm curious about the lesser-known ones.

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For me, a few must-haves on my Android based devices, not really lesser known or anything but -- Firefox beta (so it syncs with my Firefox desktops, plus ABP), Swype and Hacker's Keyboard (depends on the app which keyboard I want), Tasker, FBReader, ES File Manager and Task Manager, ConnectBot (this gets Hacker's Keyboard), and OneNote.  There's others I use but those are pretty common among all of mine.  My Android usage is pretty lightweight.. calls, occasionally reading, etc, most of my mobile work is done on a Windows based tablet, my Androids are more of "lightweight consumption" aside from the phone.

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For me, a few must-haves on my Android based devices, not really lesser known or anything but -- Firefox beta (so it syncs with my Firefox desktops, plus ABP), Swype and Hacker's Keyboard (depends on the app which keyboard I want), Tasker, FBReader, ES File Manager and Task Manager, ConnectBot (this gets Hacker's Keyboard), and OneNote.  There's others but those are pretty common among all of mine.

ES File Manager and OneNote are two apps I wanted to get before my Nexus 5 arrived. Thanks for the suggestions! I'll check out those apps. (Y):yes:

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First, I would at least root your phone and install a custom recovery like CWM or TWRP. Then a few apps I always install are....

Titanium Backup

ES File Explorer

Adaway

Autostarts

Lightflow

Just a few recommendations. I have more apps installed.

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ES File Manager and OneNote are two apps I wanted to get before my Nexus 5 arrived. Thanks for the suggestions! I'll check out those apps. (Y):yes:

The file manager is super handy, move stuff around between the device, my home network, Dropbox/SkyDrive, etc.   Don't have a single Droid based device that doesn't have it.  OneNote works very well too, I only read documents with it, editing is done via the desktop version and sync'd through Skydrive.

 

Couple more -- PushOver, receives notifications from a few sources here on my network, used in conjunction with PushAlot for my WP. Trello, works with the site, sort of like virtual post-its.  Out of Milk is a nice list that can sync with multiple devices.  PCMonitor, interfaces with a few Windows based servers here so I can babysit them.  The uTorrent front-end, just because I like to keep an eye on my Linux torrent downloads.  Using Nova Launcher at the moment, rather like its flexibility.

 

Never had a craving to root my phone however, works fine, reasonably up to date, backs up to the cloud, all that stuff -- my tablets I've done since I had to go with custom firmware anyway since they don't get Android 4.x.  TWRP works nicely there yea, handy for the experimenter.

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Nice choice in phone!

 

Office/Productivity apps:

- Adobe Reader

- Office Mobile (only if you have a 365 subscription)

- Officesuite Pro 7 - paid alternative to Office

- Quickoffice (free alternative to Office, from Google)

- Google Drive & Keep

- Microsoft RD Client - Remote desktop client from Microsoft

- JuiceSSH - SSH client

 

Launchers (not necessary, but if you want to customize):

- Nova

- Apex

 

Keyboards:

- Swiftkey

 

News readers: 

- Flipboard

- Google Play Newsstand 

 

Other apps:

- Google authenticator - awesome app for two factor authentication code generation. You can use it for more than Google services (Microsoft, Dropbox, etc.)

- Dropbox/Skydrive - your cloud service of choice

- Engadget 

- HD Widgets - highly customizable weather widgets

- Xbox Music (if you have a subscription)

- Google Play Music - cloud based music service

- Pandora

- Astro file manager/ES File explorer

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Posted

First, I would at least root your phone and install a custom recovery like CWM or TWRP. Then a few apps I always install are....

Titanium Backup

ES File Explorer

Adaway

Autostarts

Lightflow

Just a few recommendations. I have more apps installed.

Thanks! I'm going to keep it stock for now. I plan on rooting it after a couple of years or whenever Google stops releasing updates for it.

 

The file manager is super handy, move stuff around between the device, my home network, Dropbox/SkyDrive, etc.   Don't have a single Droid based device that doesn't have it.  OneNote works very well too, I only read documents with it, editing is done via the desktop version and sync'd through Skydrive.

 

Couple more -- PushOver, receives notifications from a few sources here on my network, used in conjunction with PushAlot for my WP. Trello, works with the site, sort of like virtual post-its.  Out of Milk is a nice list that can sync with multiple devices.  PCMonitor, interfaces with a few Windows based servers here so I can babysit them.  The uTorrent front-end, just because I like to keep an eye on my Linux torrent downloads.  Using Nova Launcher at the moment, rather like its flexibility.

 

Never had a craving to root my phone however, works fine, reasonably up to date, backs up to the cloud, all that stuff -- my tablets I've done since I had to go with custom firmware anyway since they don't get Android 4.x.  TWRP works nicely there yea, handy for the experimenter.

Yeah. My best friend suggested it too. I have an ASUS wireless router with a USB port for external storage so I can't wait to use it with that. Nova Launcher is another app I wanted to get. Again, thanks for the suggestions. (Y)

 

Nice choice in phone!

 

Office/Productivity apps:

- Adobe Reader

- Office Mobile (only if you have a 365 subscription)

- Officesuite Pro 7 - paid alternative to Office

- Quickoffice (free alternative to Office, from Google)

- Google Drive & Keep

- Microsoft RD Client - Remote desktop client from Microsoft

- JuiceSSH - SSH client

 

Launchers (not necessary, but if you want to customize):

- Nova

- Apex

 

Keyboards:

- Swiftkey

 

News readers: 

- Flipboard

- Google Play Newsstand 

 

Other apps:

- Google authenticator - awesome app for two factor authentication code generation. You can use it for more than Google services (Microsoft, Dropbox, etc.)

- Dropbox/Skydrive - your cloud service of choice

- Engadget 

- HD Widgets - highly customizable weather widgets

- Xbox Music (if you have a subscription)

- Google Play Music - cloud based music service

- Pandora

- Astro file manager/ES File explorer

Thanks. You've made quite a list there. I'll be sure to check out each app.

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Posted

Thanks! I'm going to keep it stock for now. I plan on rooting it after a couple of years or whenever Google stops releasing updates for it.

Can always root and that is it so you can take advantage of the apps. SHould get OTA's as long as you dont apply a custom recovery.

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I pretty much just use the apps that I use on all devices. Flipboard, Kindle, Twitter haha. I need to figure out what is killing my battery though, I will have a full charge and leave it on my desk without using it for a few hours and come back and the battery is over half way gone. It didn't do that when I first got it.

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Can always root and that is it so you can take advantage of the apps. SHould get OTA's as long as you dont apply a custom recovery.

I can, but wouldn't that void my warranty?

 

I pretty much just use the apps that I use on all devices. Flipboard, Kindle, Twitter haha. I need to figure out what is killing my battery though, I will have a full charge and leave it on my desk without using it for a few hours and come back and the battery is over half way gone. It didn't do that when I first got it.

You should be able to see which apps use the most battery life. Over half of it gone while idle means something is very wrong.

 

Anyway, does anyone know how to sync Facebook profile pictures with contacts? In Windows Phone 8, you can link phone contacts with Facebook friends which changes their contact picture.

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You'll need something like haxsync to get it to work. It's a Facebook "issue" even though it used to work on Android before.

Suffice to say, I hate using Facebook images because people put their kids or something and i'm like WTF, who's calling! LOL. It's not glancable anymore and know right away (unless you have a specific ringtone that is). As soon as I get used to 1 image it gets changed to something else and I gotta get accustomed again.

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I wouldn't root if you don't feel you need it. I'm a pretty advanced Android user and I develop apps for it and never felt the need to root for over two years now. It's not worth the potential risks, update issues, instability, ...

 

You'll notice the best and most valuable Android apps are the ones from Google. I'm an almost daily user of Google Maps, Hangouts, Play Music (All Access subscription, ...). I only much prefer Dropbox over Google Drive.

 

With Dropbox you can get full-res automatic uploads of all your pictures and they hardly take space. The more you use Dropbox automatic uploads the more free space you gain in your Dropbox.

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I can, but wouldn't that void my warranty?

Sure. But it is just as easy to remove root access as it is to enable it.

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Congrats but I just recently switched from Android to Windows Phone and I love it. I got the Nokia Lumia 1520, it is a beast of a phone!

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Congrats but I just recently switched from Android to Windows Phone and I love it. I got the Nokia Lumia 1520, it is a beast of a phone!

 

Same here, I had the nexus 5, and the 4 and the original as well, had a few iphones too, got the Lumia 520 last week and I'm not looking back and plan to have a 1520 by the end of next week.

 

The quality and usability is just so much better than anything I've used before, no more rooting, no more jailbreaking, just turn it on and go, does everything I need it to do without any trouble, probably the only thing I miss is seeing the constant signal/wifi/battery indicator, I can swipe down for it at any time but it's the only thing I miss, also wish there was a good google voice app but the tradeoff is worth it.

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Same here, I had the nexus 5, and the 4 and the original as well, had a few iphones too, got the Lumia 520 last week and I'm not looking back and plan to have a 1520 by the end of next week.

 

The quality and usability is just so much better than anything I've used before, no more rooting, no more jailbreaking, just turn it on and go, does everything I need it to do without any trouble, probably the only thing I miss is seeing the constant signal/wifi/battery indicator, I can swipe down for it at any time but it's the only thing I miss, also wish there was a good google voice app but the tradeoff is worth it.

 

Yeah the google services really are not well worth it on the windows phone, google really hate anything related to Microsoft. Google voice is useless on the platform, even going to the site. You can't even play any voice message.

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I miss, also wish there was a good google voice app but the tradeoff is worth it.

Have you tried MetroTalk from the Windows Phone Store?

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Since 4.4.x has QuickOffice and most other apps already built-in, I personally install most apps by Google, such as G+, Play Music/Movie/Newsstand/etc.. I have never used Titanium Backup and not a fan of it. Google drive backup is "plentily" enough.

I'm not sure what's your daily usage, there are many websites publishes app reviews/best apps for the week/etc.. 

 

One thing for the Nexus device is that you will have tons of custom ROMs and Kernels. 

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You'll need something like haxsync to get it to work. It's a Facebook "issue" even though it used to work on Android before.

Suffice to say, I hate using Facebook images because people put their kids or something and i'm like WTF, who's calling! LOL. It's not glancable anymore and know right away (unless you have a specific ringtone that is). As soon as I get used to 1 image it gets changed to something else and I gotta get accustomed again.

Damn. I miss seeing my friend's Facebook pictures when they call me. They don't change it often and if they do, it's a picture of them.

 

I wouldn't root if you don't feel you need it. I'm a pretty advanced Android user and I develop apps for it and never felt the need to root for over two years now. It's not worth the potential risks, update issues, instability, ...

 

You'll notice the best and most valuable Android apps are the ones from Google. I'm an almost daily user of Google Maps, Hangouts, Play Music (All Access subscription, ...). I only much prefer Dropbox over Google Drive.

 

With Dropbox you can get full-res automatic uploads of all your pictures and they hardly take space. The more you use Dropbox automatic uploads the more free space you gain in your Dropbox.

The risk bothers me and I don't feel the need to root it yet. Google will release more updates for my phone and I'm happy with the way it functions. Yeah, I looked through the Play store for app published by Google Inc. and installed any that looked useful. Most of the useful ones were already pre-installed.

 

Sure. But it is just as easy to remove root access as it is to enable it.

I guess so but I'll tackle that when the need arises. For now, I'm happy with stock 4.4 KitKat.

 

Congrats but I just recently switched from Android to Windows Phone and I love it. I got the Nokia Lumia 1520, it is a beast of a phone!

Thanks! The Lumia 1520 is a great device. It has a Snapdragon 800 processor just like the Nexus 5 so it'll perform nicely. It's too big for me though.

 

Same here, I had the nexus 5, and the 4 and the original as well, had a few iphones too, got the Lumia 520 last week and I'm not looking back and plan to have a 1520 by the end of next week.

 

The quality and usability is just so much better than anything I've used before, no more rooting, no more jailbreaking, just turn it on and go, does everything I need it to do without any trouble, probably the only thing I miss is seeing the constant signal/wifi/battery indicator, I can swipe down for it at any time but it's the only thing I miss, also wish there was a good google voice app but the tradeoff is worth it.

The main strength of Windows Phone is its simplicity. All the essentials are built into the OS unlike Android which is becoming increasingly modular. Old system apps are now standalone apps that can be updated on their own. With WP8, it's nice for out-of-the-box usage but bad for updates. Even a small change would require an OS update.

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I found it quite hard to go from WP8 to Android when I switched back (Xperia Z).  How have you found it?

I didn't get over it, and moved back to a Lumia 925 recently.

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Damn. I miss seeing my friend's Facebook pictures when they call me. They don't change it often and if they do, it's a picture of them.

 

The risk bothers me and I don't feel the need to root it yet. Google will release more updates for my phone and I'm happy with the way it functions. Yeah, I looked through the Play store for app published by Google Inc. and installed any that looked useful. Most of the useful ones were already pre-installed.

 

I guess so but I'll tackle that when the need arises. For now, I'm happy with stock 4.4 KitKat.

 

Thanks! The Lumia 1520 is a great device. It has a Snapdragon 800 processor just like the Nexus 5 so it'll perform nicely. It's too big for me though.

 

The main strength of Windows Phone is its simplicity. All the essentials are built into the OS unlike Android which is becoming increasingly modular. Old system apps are now standalone apps that can be updated on their own. With WP8, it's nice for out-of-the-box usage but bad for updates. Even a small change would require an OS update.

 

There are pros and cons to this though.  It means you can remove things that you don't want in the OS, which is one thing I do miss about Android.

I also miss the notification centre, and that WP8 doesn't handle all notifications.

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Hello,

This thread is for you: http://www.neowin.net/forum/topic/1193307-2013-switchers/ ;)

 

I can, but wouldn't that void my warranty?

Rooting does NOT void your warranty. This is a false rumor.

There is a catch though: It does not void your warranty if you bought it from Google. If you bought it from Best Buy or LG (not sure if possible) there might be some legal mumbo jumbo.

But no: Nexus 5 devices are base for development and have unlocked bootloaders.

You will get OTA updates even if you root (Note: if you root. If you install a custom recovery or another ROM, you wont). The thing is that those OTA updates will install but remove your root. You will just have to reroot and thats it.

That being said, I only use root on ES File Explorer and Terminal Emulator. Maybe you might not need it :)

 

Anyway, does anyone know how to sync Facebook profile pictures with contacts? In Windows Phone 8, you can link phone contacts with Facebook friends which changes their contact picture.

This broke back in 4.0 or 4.1, dont remember which version. It actually isnt broken: Its just that Google has decided not to implement it correctly for it to work with Facebook and is another sneaky way for you to use Google+

The reason I say this because there are 100s of apps that you can download and install and it again does it automatically of assigning your Facebook contact's pictures to your phone/Google contacts perfectly, so no, it is not a Facebook problem.

Im currently using this one: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ro.weednet.contactssync

Ive found this one too https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.syncme.syncmeapp which Im gonna give a try now :)

Its just a pure dictatorship of Google.

Anyways enjoy your Nexus 5 :)

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Sure. But it is just as easy to remove root access as it is to enable it.

 

As said above ^ I was under the impression Nexus devices were good to go with regards to rooting?

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Hello,

As said above ^ I was under the impression Nexus devices were good to go with regards to rooting?

Their bootloaders are unlocked.

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Hello,

Their bootloaders are unlocked.

Technically it's locked. But it's easily unlocked in fastboot. And can be re-locked without losing any data/partition.

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