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Verizon Galaxy Nexus First Impressions

I just got my third Android phone. You can read about my previous experiences: T-Mobile MyTouch 3G First Impressions, Why people get Nexus phones: I rooted my MyTouch 4G after less than one day

This time, I got a Nexus phone—the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I’m just going to list the positives and negatives. These are positives and negatives for me. There may be things you care about that I don’t and things I care about that you don’t. Either way, you may find these lists useful in some way.

Positives

  • Swipe-away notifications.
  • Swipe-away recent apps list.
  • Software buttons.
  • Beautiful screen.
  • Built-in screenshot ability without root (volume down button and power button together).
  • Verizon LTE network.
  • I have a Tasker profile that’s a tweaked version of what Juice Defender does. It’s either near-instant or only one second to reconnect when the screen turns back on.
  • No shutter lag on camera.
  • Camera photo quality better than most reviews would have you believe.
  • Speaker is audible, despite what negative reviews say.
  • No need to root to get vanilla Android.
  • Will get updates to new version of Android before other phone models.
  • Not much bloatware on here, but Verizon managed to squeeze a couple of useless apps on. With Ice Cream Sandwich, you can disable these apps even if you can’t uninstall them.

Negatives

  • Headphones are noise-reducing ones, which are really uncomfortable for me. I know others prefer these. And I found an extra set of old headphones I can use instead.
  • Autorotate is slow.
  • The Android File Transfer app for Mac OS X needs the phone to be unlocked (makes sense, but confusing before you know it), and can transfer only one folder at a time from Finder.
  • Even though speakers are audible, they are not loud, so you will have to crank them up to the max volume to get decent sound.
  • Facial recognition to unlock takes too long. It has to load in a second or two before it even tries to recognize your face.
  • Battery life is not good. The screen is huge, and in the battery stats it easily takes up more than 50% of the battery use. Fortunately I can make it through the whole day using my pseudo–Juice Defender profile in Tasker. I also bought an extra battery from Verizon for $20.
  • The menu soft key (which is now three dots) is sometimes at the top of the screen and sometimes at the bottom of the screen.
  • Keyboard autosuggestions is worse than the Gingerbread keyboard, which was awesome. I used to get four or five autosuggestions. Now I get only three and have to long-press on one to get more.
  • Now that file transfer is MTP, I can’t use DoubleTwist as I normally would. Luckily, I could copy a ton of music and then use the AirSync plugin to finish the rest of the sync wirelessly. I understand why Google moved from MSC to MTP, but it’s also screwed things up a bit.
  • The screen is large, which is beautiful, but it also means I can’t do one-handed WordFeud/Words with Friends while on the bus.
  • If you use the slide-to-unlock unlock method, there’s no way to disable the haptic feedback on it.

Overall, despite all the cons, I love this phone. Ice Cream Sandwich has a beautiful UI, which is a joy to use. The phone is fast. And Verizon’s LTE is wonderful.

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Apple and Mac OS X Computers Education Linux Ubuntu

The woman who dropped out of MATC after mistakenly buying a Ubuntu laptop from Dell

I know I’m probably the millionth person to comment on this (is millionth even a word?), but I have only two things to say.

1. To the anti-Linux folks and tech “journalists” who blame this on Linux not being “friendly” enough for new users or being for only those who want to tinker with their computers, how exactly would Ubuntu (or any Linux distro) have been friendlier or easier to use in this case? Does Ubuntu have any control over the fact that Verizon gives you the impression its software is necessary to set up an internet connection? Or that Verizon’s CD provides Windows-only software for it? Does Ubuntu have any control over the fact that Microsoft has made Microsoft Office closed source and not made a Linux version? Does Ubuntu have any control over MATC’s requirements misleading people into thinking they need Windows when Linux will do just fine? Did this woman really have to drop out of college because of the laptop?

2. To the supposedly pro-Linux folks who feel the need to harass this woman through Facebook or whatever, shame on you. Should she have known better to research what computer she was buying before plunking down $1100? Sure. Is she an idiot? No. She’s just an idiot when it comes to computers, and I know a lot of otherwise brilliant folks who are idiots when it comes to computers (I was a computer idiot only five years ago myself). There’s no need to send hate mail her way when the people really at fault are the “journalists” who don’t actually do any kind of investigative reporting and rely solely on catchy headlines and misinformation to gain readership and website hits.

A friend of mine recently went back to school for interior design and previously had been a Mac user. Surprise, surprise—she got herself a Windows computer, because she knew AutoCAD wouldn’t run on her iBook. Somehow, though, I can’t picture WKOW 27 running a news story on Mac OS X forcing her to drop out of college because it doesn’t run AutoCAD, even if she had stuck with her iBook.

Edit: Here’s an example of a Mac user on Yahoo! Answers who is having trouble with the .exe file to set up her Belkin wireless router. Anyone going to run a news story on it? Doubtful.