Take Note

I’ve been living with my new Samsung Note 3 for a couple of months now and can honestly say I’m still glad I made the switch. Every time I pick up @FrankDJS s iPhone 5s (which is, actually, my old one) I’m amazed I lasted as long as I did with such a small screen.

Yes, the Note 3 is a big device. But it fits in the front pocket of my most hipster-ish jeans, as well as various inside jacket pockets. When other pick it up, they’re usually surprised by how light it is (but not as surprised that I’m actually toting one, rather than my usual iPhone 5s).

Oh Note 3, how do I love thee?

Let me tell you what I most enjoy. I love being on a call with someone, using the microphone built into my Sennheiser headphones, while scribbling a quick note on the screen. I love being able to ‘hand write’ my texts and emails. I’m amazed by how accurate the handwriting recognition is on this thing. So the stylus is rarely out of my hands.

I love its ease of use. Yes, it took a bit of getting used to in the beginning, but after a few days I was pretty familiar with Android (less so the various Samsung-specific apps I quickly ignored and replaced with more popular alternatives). I’m adoring the flexibility of Android, including just how personal and intricate you can make the notifications.

Personally, I find elaborate ringtones and alerts about as attractive as a machete to the face. My phone is pretty much on silent 23 hours out of 24. When sitting in its dock on my desk, I get notifications via a very subtle flashing blue light. No heart-stopping klaxons or disruptive vibrations for me.

The Note 3 is definitely not a one-handed device though. With the iPhone, I could tap out quick text messages with my thumb. The vast expanses of the Note don’t allow this and, anyway I prefer the stylus. So I’ve stopped texting a walking (safety first!) but now ensure I’m standing still and have two free hands 🙂

Video podcasts are a thing of beauty on the screen. I wouldn’t watch anything longer, but when killing time on a train or a plane, it’s great.

I previously mentioned I bought a Nexus 7 as well. Actually, that primarily gets used for watching TV shows (I’m newly addicted to Game of Thrones) or casting them to one of the TVs via the Chromecast. The Note 3 is a great phone and tablet replacement – so if I’m not taking a bag with me, the Nexus just stays at home.

I’m actually surprised how little I miss my Apple devices. I still use my Macbook Air pretty much daily, but for non work-related stuff, it’s Android all the way.

Favourite apps

Now I have a couple of months under my belt, I thought I’d share a few apps I’ve enjoyed using and can recommend to anyone starting out on using Android:

  • Pocket Casts: my podcast app of choice. It’s flexible, configurable and easy to use.
  • Google Play Music: where my music lives. I’ve uploaded my entire iTunes library to Google Play music and it has even copied over my playlists.
  • Mailbox: this is where I access my non-work email. My iCloud and Google accounts seamlessly work this with amazing app and allow me to reach ‘inbox zero’ on a daily basis. Download. This. Now. Can’t recommend highly enough.
  • Today Calendar: this is the best calendar app I’ve found so far. It combines my work Exchange account (boo!) with my personal Google calendar accounts (yay!) all in an attractive interface.

So, in summary, the Note 3 is a keeper. If you find the iPhone 5’s screen little restrictive and you’re open to dabbling with Android, I can recommend the Note.

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