Yesterday I waved bye bye to my Android phone and officially ended my experiment with the platform. One of the Android wear watches went with it (I've still got a Moto 360 if anyone is interested). The good news is that it went to a very happy recipient who I know will get a lot out of it. The better news is that I'm back on Windows Phone. I've learned quite a lot in the few months I've been using an Android phone and an Android Wear watch.
- It doesn't really matter that much which kind of phone you have. They all work well and they all do the fundamentals. When I moved to Android I had this vision of all the new and exciting apps that I could run now I had the most popular mobile platform. True, I did download a few of these and play with them a while. But then I went back to doing the same things I've always done, which my Lovely Lumia supported very well indeed.
- Android has some great bits (the way that you can bind actions to events is really, really nice) and some really clunky bits. For me the most irritating aspect of the design was the way that huge chunks of the screen were given over to things that didn't add any value and just took up space. And the mail and calendar applications seemed much more confusing and harder to use than their Windows Phone counterparts. The address book and phone user interface I found fiddly too. These comments only mean that I had these issues, they don't mean that you will of course.
- Having notifications on your wrist is very, very nice. You might get a bit tired of the email ones, but knowing that you aren't going to miss a phone call or a text is rather pleasing and occasionally really useful.
- The battery life of the current crop of Android wear devices is nowhere near good enough. Much as I loved the user experience and screen of the Moto 360 watch the fact that it conked out at around 5:00 pm made it pretty much useless. You can blame me for having the "ambient" mode turned on to force the screen to hang around longer, but I like using a watch as a watch I can look at and get the time instantly. When I'm giving lectures I like to glance at my watch to see how much time I've got left, with the Moto I couldn't do this (even in ambient mode it struggled), and with the Sony watch the screen was a bit hard to use in this situation. I should have had a look at the LG watch which has a lower power screen I suppose, but I really didn't like the styling of that one.
So, I'm now back on my Lovely Lumia 1520, running the Denim update and coupled to a Microsoft Band. The Band tells the time all the time and at the end of 18 hours of heavy use has around 60% of the battery left. Splendid.