My Dear Android

Last night, I turned on my Galaxy S20 FE (5G) again. To update apps, and compare a week away with the iPhone to how Android feels now. And, I must say, Android is still charming to me.

Telegram works better than on iOS. On iOS, VoiceOver gets stuck on a long message, not moving to the next message at all until you scroll forward. I've not tried Whatsapp yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if it worked better there too. Also, Doordash is a lot easier to use on Android, without all the reviews and junk getting in my way like on iOS.

But the big thing was my earbuds. I have a pair of Sony LinkBuds S, which sound great, work with either Google Assistant or Alexa directly, and not through the framework where you hold down the home button and use that sort of voice control interface, and has all the good stuff like noise canceling and transparency mode. That can also be changed through Google Assistant.

So, I can use it with my iPhone X R. It works pretty well, and I can use Alexa through it. But, the latency is awful, and it took a few tries before I could get it set up. On Android, though, the latency is mild enough to where I can deal with it, and setup was quick and easy. This is a symptom of Apple's issue of wanting control. I don't have the Airpods. I don't have the AirPods Pro. I do have the Sony LinkBuds S, which probably blow all AirPods out of the water with it's pretty literally chest-thumping base (at least for me and my hearing). The AirPods Pro, first generation, didn't have that. I have little hope that the second generation, or the regular AirPods third generation (that can get confusing really fast), would have that. Plus, there's one chord to rule them all.

That's right, USB C. I love it! It's everywhere, used on just about everything, and I can connect my phone to my dock at work and use it with a keyboard and wired headphones at work. Speaking of wired headphones, there are actually USB C headphones. There aren't many Lightning headphones. Yes, I can get Apple's wired headphones. But that's $30. What if I want a pair of $250 cans I can rock out to?

Lastly, TalkBack is on a good path. They've added basic Braille support, which they'll hopefully be improving throughout the coming year, Android 13 has Audio Description API's, and hopefully in the next update to TalkBack, image descriptions so I can see my cat that I had to give up recently. Poor little Ollie. On the iPhone, while image descriptions are bright and vibrant, Braille is starting to suffer a good many pesky bugs that make me not even want to use it. Maybe one or two will be fixed when iOS 16 is released, but they've got a week to do it, and I don't see them spending that much time on a minority of a minority. However, TalkBack's Braille support, while new, is pretty solid, a good base to work upon.

So, I wanted to post this to balance things out from my other post when I went from Android to Apple. My journey is definitely not over, and neither are the two operating systems in question. While we know what iOS 16 brings, new voices, door detection, and probably other stuff, the TalkBack team has been pretty tight-lipped on what they've been working on. I miss the days when we had more open dialog with them. But at least they have a blind person on the team that does interact with the community some.


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Devin Prater @devinprater