Too Busy For Words - the PaulWay Blog

Thu 9th Dec, 2010

Send in the Androids

After several months of prevarication, wishy-washyness, and preferring the known to the unknown, I have finally decided to buy an Android. (This was lengthened by Optus' local store deciding that the best thing to tell customers when you're out of stock is to not bother ringing them to ask whether they've got stock or not, and they're not going to tell you when it arrives either.) I settled on a Samsung Galaxy S because it seemed to be the best of the current crop of 'droid phones, and it was lighter and easier to use than the Nokia N8. Besides, I think Symbian is a dead end and would rather get something with a future and a bit of openness.

Overall the experience has been good. The interface is nice, the touch interface smooth, and once you get to know the basics it's fairly consistent. The hard part has been learning the new ways of doing things. For instance, you don't select a ring-tone from your own music files by going to the ring tone settings; you open up the music player, select the file, get the menu and choose 'set as' a ring tone.

The most frustrating thing was realising that my favourite ring tones - samples from The Goon Show and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop - and (more importantly, perhaps) my contacts were all in the memory of my old Nokia 5310i. I thought about the agonising process of trying to save all the numbers onto the SIM (losing lots of useful detail in the process because SIMs think address books are single-entry affairs) and then laboriously transferring the details out of my head into the phone again.

And then I remembered that the Nokia has a "Backup" feature, which will write a file out to your SD card containing the phone's memory. I'd done one of these relatively recently. It's a zip file. A quick search through the files in it showed a whole directory of vCard files. Anther directory held all my ringtones (which also included a fabulous native duck call from a friend that sounds like it's going berserk - I use it for my brother). Unzip, copy them back onto the SD card, and the phone sees them again. Even better, the phone can do a bulk import of all vCard files it finds, so a relatively short time later I had all my contacts in - and saved to Google Contacts, so I can edit them on a reasonable computer.

Hooray for open technology!

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