Saturday, December 01, 2012

Galaxy Player 4 with Gingerbread vs Ipod Touch 2 with IOS 4

I recently purchases a Galaxy Player 4.  Previous to that I was using an Ipod 2nd Generation.  Since the Ipod 2 is many generations of Ipod old I am anticipating a leap forward with a Galaxy Player.

This is my first Android device, so I don't know if the problems I have with it and the things I like are Android items, Gingerbread specific items, or Galaxy Player items.  I also don't know if it is because my use case for the player for is wrong for what it is designed.  I am mostly using it as a PDA and an app device, with the media player features as secondary at best.  Perhaps the Galaxy Player is not designed for that.  The Ipod seemed to do PDA, apps, and media (music and video) pretty well.

I really want to get off the Apple platform to stop paying more for my devices and to have more competition in the market place to make all devices better.  Additionally, I am going to have to change connectors to get a new Ipod anyway, so might as well get a new device and new connector.  The connector on the Galaxy Player is at least a somewhat standard connector.

I'm having trouble getting use to the power button being on the side.  Not sure it is just because I am use to it being on top on the Ipod, but when I try to turn it on with one hand it feels like I am going to drop it.  It appears to be too easily activated when bumped.  It also often gets bumped and activates the screen when just trying to adjust the volume.  This happens not because I hit the wrong side of the device, which happens, but because it is hard to push the volume button without bumping the power.

Power plug and head phone jack on top.  I got use to them being on the bottom on the Ipod 2.  Not sure how I feel about them being on top.

  • Note App
    I'm note sure if my issues with the out of the box note taking application are a learning curve or if it is just worse.  The one on my Ipod is very straightforward.  I turn it on an it is like a pad of paper.  I just start typing and it also saves as I type.
  • Google Services Native.
    I was not able to run Drive and Chat at all on Ipod 2.  Although, after being excited to get an Android device for this reason, it turns out that Drive doesn't work as well as I had hoped.  I desire a more desktop like experience.
  • Cameras
    The Ipod 2 has no cameras.  The Galaxy Player 4 has a front and rear camera.
  • Removable Battery.
  • Microphone
    The Ipod 2 had no microphone.
  • Memory Expansion Slot.
    I was concerned that if I bought an expansion card that I would lose the 8GB of internal memory, but I read something from someone online that said that they got 40GB after adding the max 32GB card.  Ipod 2 and other models after it are limited to what they came with.
    Ipods come with as much as 64GB, but the 64GB models are very expensive.  Buying the 8GB Galaxay Player and a 32GB card would be much less than a 32GB Ipod.
  • GPS
    The Ipod 2 had no GPS.  Now I can use more accurrate location data and perhaps GPS navigation.  Unfortunately it seems to not function very well if there is not Wifi available.
  • Longer Battery Life
    But still too short.  Best estimate is about 4 hours of continuous use.
  • Stereo Speakers
  • Somewhat Standard USB Connector.
    It will be less expensive to buy or more likely that other devices I have will have a connector that they can share.
  • Screen Clarity
    Screen is much clearer than my Ipod 2.
  • Access to the File System
    Android gives me access to the file system on the device and on my computer without having to go through some special program like Itunes.
  • Charging Time
    Initially the Galaxy Player charges fairly quickly, like the Ipod 2.  I wish the life of the battery between charges was longer.
  • Multi Tasking
    Chat and Skype can be running both give me notifications.  On the Ipod 2 when I close most programs I can not receive notifications from those programs.
  • FM Radio
    There are times when an FM radio is still handy, especially with a wifi only device.

    I can listen to local news and traffic.  I can listen to music if I don't have music loaded on the device or if I just want some variety.

    I have not tried yet, but I a nice feature of the FM radio would be the ability to record.

    The only issue with the FM radio so far is that it does not receive digital stations.
  • Auto Correct
    After I switched to SwiftKey 3 and tweaked the settings I was able to get it to stop incorrectly automatically filling in what it thought I was typing.

    It now is very useful.  It attempts to guess the next word I want based on the context and based upon my writing style that I think it learns as it goes.  Even after I finish the previous word it tries to guess what I might type next.  It gives three options and usually does pretty well and if not, it does well with in a few keystrokes.

  • Auto Correct
    Initially auto correct was awful on the Galaxy Player.  It seemed to always try to finish my sentence with a period before I am done and auto corrects words I don't want auto corrected.  The Ipod had some issues with auto correct as well, but not as severe as what I am experiencing with the Galaxy Player.  I am not sure if I got use to it and found a way to maintain my rhythm or if it is just better.  I seem to fumble a lot with the Galaxy Player and it seems hard to quickly undo what the player did for me and keep typing.This appears to either be a problem with the default keyboard or the settings of the SwiftKey 3.

  • Lack of Short Cuts to Manage Music Player When Not Logged In.
    Galaxy Player has no shortcut to manage the music player when playing, but not logged in.  The Ipod allows you to bring up the pause button just by double clicking the circle button.  It also allows navigating to the next and previous track by the same means.  It even mostly works with Pandora.

    On the Ipod the pause button needs to be separated a little more from the navigate buttons, since I often hit the navigate button when trying to pause.  Even with that it is still a nice feature.
  • Have to Hit OK After Pin.
    I have to hit OK after typing my pin to unlock the Galaxy Player.  On the Ipod it unlocks after the fourth character is entered, since it knows the pin is exactly 4 long.  No more.  No Less.

    Not really sure if this is a con or not, but it does trip me up every time, since I am use to it the other way.  On the Ipod frequently I mess up the pin, but it quickly tells me it is wrong, or I already feel I have messed it up, and I type it again.  No OK necessary.
  • Notifications When Screen Is Off
    When the device display is off and a notification happens I hear a noise, but when I turn on the screen I have no idea which program has something to notify me about.

    On the Ipod, most notification show on the screen without even unlocking the Ipod.  Email makes a distinct noise.  On the Galaxy Player email makes the same notification noise as everything else.

    When a calendar item alerts, all I hear is the noise.  Nothing on the screen telling me it is a calendar item.

    Some notifications are in the pull down, but I have not seen calendar items and chat notifications there.  That list is also ordered with the newest items on the bottom, so I have to scroll to see the most recent messages.

    Having the messages pop up when not logged in is possibly a security violation and yet very useful.  Even if it did not pop up while logged out, having it pop up as soon as I logged in would make it easier to find what potentially needs my attention.
  • Memory Expansion Slot Limited to 32GB.
  • GPS Drains the Battery
  • Screen Drains the Battery
    Have to run on dim brightness
  • Battery Life
    Even with turning off GPS and turning down brightness, the battery life isn't much better than the Ipod 2.
  • Screen Size
  • Screen pretty much the same width, but taller.  I was hoping for a bigger screen all around.  Still need to determine if taller is better.  Ipod 2 has similar problem.
  • Landscape
    Neither handle landscape typing well. End up with just a little space at the top to view document.

    Portrait typing is difficult because the keys are too small in portrait.  The Galaxy Player seems to handle landscape even worse than the Ipod 2.
  • Back Button
    Back button closes keyboard?  That's not intuitive.  The back button in general is not intuitive.  Of course neither was the circle on Ipod.
  • Light Up Buttons
    They are only used when the screen is on anyway, so why not just get rid of them and make the screen bigger and just put that functionality on the screen.

  • Weather
    The Ipod 2 comes with a weather app.  It is a light, basic app.

    The Samsung Galaxy Player has weather apps that can be downloaded for free, but that takes searching and installing.  It was handy to have it there from the start and then download other apps if I needed more functionality.

    I initially chose the Weather Channel weather app.  Afer word I notice my battery life going way down.  I looked at the usage and it was using as much as the display on full brightness.
  • Wifi
    I have noticed a couple of bumps connecting to a couple of networks. They start to connect and then give an error and then a while later they connect.  Networks that were fine on the Ipod 2.
    The g/n Wifi makes it faster, but the range is just as poor as with the Ipod 2.  I always got much worse range with my Ipod 2 than with my laptop.
  • Music Player Does Save Position
    The music player on the Galaxy Player does not save the last position in the track I was listening to after a while.  For that matter it doesn't even remember the track I was on.  The Ipod 2 also had the problem with the position in the track after some amount of time or after being removed from memory, but at least it would remember what track I was on.
Update 10 Jan 2013
  • Battery Life RevisitedThe battery is all over the place with this thing.  I will tweak things and it will be somewhat acceptable battery life and then it will start draining the battery over night.
  • No Upgrade Option
    After searching I found there is an app call Keis and you have to set your device into Keis mode to use it.  Keis is a Samsung thing.  It is kind of like Itunes, in that it lets you manage the device and install updates if the manufacturer has them available.
    I installed everything, only to find they do not have an Android up grade for the Galaxy Player.
    I contacted Samsung and they confirmed that Gingerbread was the most recent version they have made available for that device.  When I asked them about plans to allow an update to something more current they said they did not know, but keep checking their web site.

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