A few weeks ago I stumbled across a used Android phone, the Galaxy A11 from Samsung. It was $45, so, why not. I'd never truly used the Android OS before. It came, I charged it, and dove in. The Talkback jestures similar enough to iOS, the ability to pop in an SD card up to 512 GB, Mass storage opportunities, no pun intended. I could use face or finger to unlock the same device!
Finding Apple Music had crossfading, the ability to have system wide audio processing, dynamic compression, limiting, not just in one app but across Android, it all caught me a bit off guard. What had happened? I thought, Android wasn't supposed to be this, good.
And then I found Getro, better known as the Commentary Screen reader, and a phone that wasn't so responsive, suddenly came to life. the experience even closer to what I'd found on iOS. Now, I could slide my finger up the screen and icons would be called out, as wasn't really the case with Talkback.
Choices Choices, Finally, maybe, that's what I had. IPhones are so darn expensive.
I researched, could I save a few dollars if I gave up my IPhone?
The flagship device, the Galaxy S23 was around $1000, ok. No, that's not saving money,
But, what about this A series that had captured my heart and got me thinking of this not so secret technology afair?
and, there, she was. The Galaxy A54,5G. She had me from before, she even said hello. She had just released a couple of weeks ago.
6 GB of ram!
A finger print reader below a sleek sheet of glass!
USB C, charging!
and that tempting ability, to pop in an SD card.
I strutted in a Lyft over to T-Mobile and asked the question? do you guys have the 54,5G? We sure do, he said as I heard the glass door in front of the display slide open, and, here it is, as Talkback on, sang out from the stereo speakers. She was thin, she was responsive.
I'm in, can I jump? as I handed my IPhone 13 over the counter. A part of me screamed out from inside, but I shoved it down. Oh, the possibilities, I'd have the device for at least two years I told myself. I'll learn the ins and outs, it's the same series of device as the A11, it's just got to be, perfect.
The road to redemption.
All the device data was transfered from the IPhone through what is called a Switch. The screen protector was instaled, the otterbox snapped on. I held her for the first time. All of my apps that were Android crossover of course, were in the same named folders, on the same pages of the home screen. It was almost like I had a new and improved iOS device. I charged her, put her to bed and fell asleep.
At 5:30 the alarm sang out, I reached over and hit a button, silence is golden, as I lay there for another 10 minutes.
After I got ready, I pulled up the Lyft app, now I had a primary Android device. The radio button that was selected, didn't read, but, if it was like iOS, I already knew what it was. I ordered a car, the chime was different. I went to work. I texted my fianci, as I slid my finger around the keyboard something was off. This was the first sign to me that there was a trafic jam up ahead. I couldn't type. Talkback would read some keys, and then, I'd slide my finger and the phone stopped speaking. I lifted my finger, an a keystroke was entered, unbeknownst to me. I put my finger down again, speach was there, I found the key, and then started typing. I had to move slower with jestures, with typing, than I did on iOS. I shoved it to the back of my mind, possibilities I told myself. Talkback stopped speaking again, another keystroke was entered. I grabbed my Bluetooth keyboard.
Data entry from the Bluetooth on the other hand, was lightning fast, truly, this? was bluetooth? I had never seen this speed before. Absolutely no, lag.
I turned the volume down and went to work. 10 minutes later, the stock notification sound screamed out! um... Oh my god? I was in the office. That's not good.
The day passed, I got home, the battery was at 80%, woo, that's cool.
I instaled Getro, better known as the Commentary Screen reader, the phone was blazing fast! As fast as my computer. launching applications the fastest I've ever seen. You hit the app, it's up.
Loading web pages, the same, no time!
I tried typing another text message, no dice, the same thing as above.
I recorded a voice memo. I played it back, no noise floor! W?T?F! So clear.
I went to share the recording. Getro crashed. No speach. I turned on Talkback, the Talkback sounds were there? No speach.
Great, now I have to shut down the phone, and hope I don't hit the emergency button.
I shut down the phone. I restarted it, speech rate was at 150% Uh, what? as I strained to understand what it was saying. I finally got to the settings and slowed it down. Wo.
That little voice which I had shoved down at the store, was now nagging me. HOW COULD YOU CHEET! HOW? COULD? YOU? After all I've done for you. What did I ever do to you? She's better than, I am?
I made another recording, the phone didn't crash, I tried to text it, it was to large for a media message. Media message? um... Cowabunga dude, flash back from the 1990's.
I put the phone to bed after setting my 6AM alarm.
I woke up. I reached over and hit a button. The alarm did not stop. My eyes were still closed and I was still on autopiollet. I hit another button. Getro was speaking, but I couldn't hear it, the alarm was so loud, and what the hell is this music? I turned up Getro's volume, the alarm now looping 3, 4 times at this point. I picked up the phone. I swiped the screen. I double tapped. That damn cartoon music was going to be in my head all day. It wouldn't shut up. I can't, turn off the alarm I yelled over it in a groggy voice at my fianci. The phone finally screamed out a message over the already loud alarm, something about the clock being full screen and not being able to dismiss it from the home or back buttons as they couldn't fit on the screen. What the hell am I gonna do?
I swiped down, from the top of the screen, and hit another side button it stopped. I took a long breath. This time I didn't lay there for another 10 minutes. I was awake.
I booked the Lyft Getro read the radio button which talk back did not.
Ok, so, I use talkback in the night, and Getro in the day? Lord, now I'm cheeting on both a phone and on screen readers.
I went to work. The new Mettalica album 72 Seasons had dropped I enabled the Bluetooth on my small boombox. I pared the phone. The phone crashed, again. Now I was getting frusterated. and That voice in my head was laughing, she's so, much, better than me, isn't she. Isn't she.
I found out how to soft reset the phone, great no fear of calling emergency services from the office.
I had setup a pass code and finger print.
On break I used the phone. Now I have to use the, on screen keyboard, that stops speaking, and un, lock, the phone? Oh God.
It took a few times but I finally got it. My break was almost over. I double tapped on something, it didn't open. I double tapped again, the curser had moved. Now something else opened.
The frusteration was mounting.
The work day passed. I went home.
I shut off the phone. I found an old IPhone in the drawer. I pulled the sim and put it in the old phone. I booted it up.
Oh, My God. It just works. It just works. It's what I kept saying over and over. All the frusteration, all the little things from this OS I thought would bring me so much joy. It wasn't worth it. This IPhones battery was shot.
The next morning, today, I went back to T-Mobile, I traded in the Android, I got an IPhone SE 2022. The sighted manager couldn't even get the keyboard to work appropriately, he had to retype the passcode 4 or 5 times. After accessibility was turned off on the Android, it worked fine. Android fanboys can say what they want, Apple Fanboys can say what they want. Maybe it was the phone. Maybe it was, whatever it was.
I tried android. I tasted. The innisial beauty was enticing I learned my lesson. But this proticle son, has returned back to iOS.
Thank God for the IPhone!