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Discussion: Help from Android users?

Discussion in 'Accessories & Phones' started by FundyBrian, 1 June 2017.

  1. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    I'm hoping a Mobi Android user can help me.
    Since I don't actually know anyone nearby with an Android phone and who had an interest in photography I have only a limited knowledge about how they work. When I look at the Android phones for sale at cell phone booths I don't learn anything useful.
    In the summer I teach photographic workshops and sometimes mobile photography workshops and as long as most participants continue to have iPhones I'm OK.

    Recently a friend just bought his first smartphone - a Samsung A5. It seemed nice enough but I found the OS very confusing. He was travelling from Ontario and stopped here for a few days to visit. I was able to help him a fair bit and introduce him to some useful apps but everything was so different I had trouble finding anything. It was also my first experience with Google Play.

    I was surprised how different certain apps looked and operated in the Android version. All the text was very big. An app I often use is iWatermark+. It is so easy to use on the iPhone but a frustrating nightmare on Android. Trying to create a new watermark really tried my patience. Back and forth and round and round and start over and over. Trying to make small adjustments to the text size or position would send the text off screen where it could not be recovered and we would have to start over again. Sometimes we accidentally got the text crooked and could not ever get it straight again. If that had been my initial experience on iPhone I would have junked the app very soon.
    Other apps, like DMD Panorama look quite similar but not identical.

    I soon found I couldn't find several of my favourite iPhone apps for Android. No Fusion HDR? The HDR apps I did find are not ones I use in the iPhone version.

    I have often thought of buying an Android phone just so I would know more about it but I certainly don't want a second phone bill.

    >>>>>Is there any way I can use an Android phone just to use the apps and take pictures without using any online functions? Much the same as if it were an iPod. Wifi but no cellular. And definitely no monthly bill.

    >>>>>What would my experience be backing up the phone or downloading photos on a Mac computer? That's the only type I have access to.

    >>>>>For photography, what would be the best Android phones to look at? Which ones to avoid?

    >>>>>Are Android phones pretty much all the same, operationally, or will I find big differences between brands?

    In just one page in the B&H catalogue I see: Samsung, Google, Sony, Asus, LG, Motorola, BLU, CAT, Lenovo, Blackberry, Huawei, ZTE, Honor. I guess Blackberry is not in the Android camp. What about Sony? It must be a nightmare trying to support all the different types of hardware with the OS. Much the same problem that Windows has with so many hardware makers.
    From my perspective this is one of the things that makes Apple solid. No third party hardware.
     
    Ryn S and Lzed like this.
  2. Lzed

    Lzed MobiStaff Site Staff

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    I used to have a Droid tablet but that didn't last long. Just didn't find the same apps as in itunes and some apps were really poorly done (not that there are not those in itunes either). In the end I gave it to my nephew and he uses it still but he dosn't take pics or edit on it, mostly facebook as far as I can tell...

    I was reading a long time ago about one of the problems that developers have in the Droid world is all the different platforms available and many use a custom skin over Android so when the OS gets updated you have to wait until whomever you bought with decides to update the OS. One developer said iOS was so much easier and they only had to test of a few devices and when it came to Android there are hundreds and to make an app work on all the variants is really difficult.
     
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  3. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    Thanks, those are useful insights.
     
  4. MsDee

    MsDee MobiLifer MobiSupporter

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    I have a list of cross platform apps on Google Drive I have / can share. I have a Note II I use on occasion. I use it in Airplane Mode with Wifi on.

    You could use a variety of processes to upload photos... I will have to check if there is a cross - platform app for that.

    Not sure about phone Cameras... Samsung makes nice ones with many built in features and functions.

    Essentially the Android OS is the same. Samsung usually adds their own crapware and a few widgets, etc.
     
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  5. MsDee

    MsDee MobiLifer MobiSupporter

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  6. rizole

    rizole MobiLurver

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    You don't need a SIM card to run a droid. Just use WiFi for connections.

    The base OS is essentially the same but often with an overlay of the manufacturer's tweaks, enhancements and/or crapware. The Google nexus range is close to the stock android experience. Xiaomi are probably the biggest droid maker you've probably never heard of. They make good hardware cheeper than most without the bloat. Cant speak for thier cameras.

    Don't sweat the brands too much, it's all about the specs. Unlike Apple who (tend) to only make good quality hardware, android manufacturers make a range of phones at different price points with hardware that reflects it and that's why android is the operating system of the masses, you can get an adequate phone at a fraction of the cost of an Apple, going right up to a high end peice of precision engineering arguably better than an Apple.

    I make my buying decisions based on the best camera I can get for my budget. As the best cameras tend to be on the high end phones, getting a good camera is probably a sign the rest of the specs will be good enough.
    https://www.dxomark.com/Mobiles is a good reference for camera quality. I like tech radar for the reviews.

    For mid end phones the Motorola Moto G range stands out for me. At the higher end I've had good experiences with google, HTC, Sony and Samsung. I'd get a HTC and sony again but think twice about the Samsung. Google are solid but don't excite me. Although if you only want it for the camera there's less of a distinction.

    I can't speak about android phones on Macs but android OS is inherently more flexible than iOS by it's nature so problems you might encounter are likely on the iOS side. At the very least you can set up Dropbox or other cloud storage that works on both android and iOS and bypass a physical connection altogether.
     
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  7. ImageArt

    ImageArt MobiLifer MobiSupporter

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    Do you just want to get one so that you can teach with it?
     
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  8. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    Lots of good info. Very helpful background. All except I don't use any Dropbox or cloud stuff due to limited internet service.
     
  9. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    The main thing is that I want to know what I'm talking about when it comes to instructing mobile users about photography other than iPhone.
     
  10. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    I only use Lightroom to import my iPhone photos for backup on computer. That's what I do with all my cameras. As long as I can just plug it in by USB and have it appear as a camera in Lightroom I'm OK. I sometimes have problems where Lightroom will not dig deep enough into the folder structure of some cameras so I need to remove the card and put it in a card reader and manually navigate to where the photos are stored and then Lightroom can import them.
     
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  11. ImageArt

    ImageArt MobiLifer MobiSupporter

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    My first tablet was a Samsung Note 10 and I bought a card reader which you could attach and then download your photos onto an SD card as is or if you wish into a directory you create. You should then be able to use your existing card reader to load it onto your Mac.

    Accessories for Android devices are usually significantly cheaper than Apple!
     
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  12. mwolfer

    mwolfer MobiLurver

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    I would just add a couple things to what's already been mentioned.

    First of all, if you get a Blackberry made in the last year or so it will be android operating system.

    If you're wanting to use an Android mobile to research things for your class, I would recommend that you use a Samsung phone. So many people have Samsung phones.

    Good luck!!
     
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  13. alexfairkon

    alexfairkon MobiAddict

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    Samsung, Sony, etc. for communication with Windows PC require dancing with a tambourine and install programs.
    I like B-brands: zte, fly, doogee. They usually connect to the computer as a normal USB flash drive. With Linux too, no problems.
     
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  14. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    You're speaking the dark mysterious PC lingo.:)
    I'm hoping if I just use it as a camera that I can avoid much of the complexities.
     
  15. alexfairkon

    alexfairkon MobiAddict

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    I don't see much difference between a modern PC and the MAC.
    Android smartphone mast be cheap.
    I would be looking for Doogee shoot 1
     
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  16. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    I had never heard of Doogee so I just looked it up and indeed it sounds interesting. I gather that Doogee is made by Samsung or is it actually a distinct brand?
    Would I be able to use it like an iPod? Without requiring a cell phone contract? In other words, just for the camera functions and wifi.
     
  17. sinnerjohn

    sinnerjohn MobiLurver

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    I had no idea what a Doogee was either!
    I think you can't go wrong with what rizole said above and remember he said 'android manufacturers make a range of phones at different price points with hardware that reflects it and that's why android is the operating system of the masses'
    So the best Samsung, HTC, LG, GooglePixels are probably better cameras than the iphone (burn me at the stake now) but the lower end probably this Doogee are pretty poor.

    Android devices are way more customizable (is that a word). Can you still not make a custom ringtone on Apple?? The thing that fazes most iPhone users is the sheer amount of options androids have.

    Surely if you are teaching Photography then a camera is a camera? I can see that all iPhones are exactly the same, but Androids differ from manufacturer, don't see how you can get around that. Although anyone interested in mobile photography will probably have one of the premium brands.
    Its a sad fact that Apple Apps are usually better than Google, yeah even the same apps and Apple have a much better choice of photography apps. If you tried to replicate what you do on an Iphone on a Android you would struggle.
    We Android dudes just like a challenge ;)
     
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  18. alexfairkon

    alexfairkon MobiAddict

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    For sound first and foremost need a good pair of headphones!
    The smartphone can work without the SIM cards and contacts without registration in androidmarket and Google. You can on profile Flight, with available Wi-Fi.
     
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  19. ImageArt

    ImageArt MobiLifer MobiSupporter

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    I shall have to see if my MAC can read the micro SD card from my old Samsung Ace. If this is the case, I would say that it would be worth getting an Android with a micro SD slot.
     
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  20. rizole

    rizole MobiLurver

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    Should work fine. Cards are in the FAT32 format which iOS should have no problem with. Besides, iOS is just a modified version of Linux as is Android. Incompatibilities usually get built in because Apple do things the Apple way partly to lock in users. [RHETORICAL]How come every manufacture in the world can agree on USB as a standard for charging and data except Apple?[/RHETORICAL]
     
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  21. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    I wasn't referring to iPod because of music but that an iPod is like an iPhone without the phone. That's how I want to use the Android device.
     
  22. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    Because Apple always wants it to do more than the standard, like USB, will allow.
    It is useless to argue Apples and Androids. A person has their allegiance for whatever reason. What one person sees as a limitation the other sees as an advantage. That is outside my interest at this point. I'm mostly wanting to do my best to be able to speak about something other than iPhones with some actual user experience behind it. Not just theoretical vagueness. I do t want to leave the impressions that if you don't have an iPhone then you might as well go home. I don't want to sell iPhones to the Android users or vice versa.

    Although there are several models of iPhones as well as iPads, etc., what you can say about one pretty well applies to them all. There is a consistency of form and function.
    The Android world, I am seeing more and more, represents a sea of different manufacturers, models, and quality levels. The same app on one Android device won't necessarily look or operate the same on another Android device. Even the operating system might look different as a result of the manufacturer's skins or attempt to do Android in their own unique way.
    This troubles me because I don't want to have to say, well, this app may or may not work as hoped. If it isn't consistent then I should avoid mentioning it or people will be upset with me for recommending something that doesn't work, especially if they had to spend money for the app.

    I can share a list of iPhone apps that will do particular jobs well. I have tried them and I know they work. But for Android? I don't have a list or any experience to back it up. All I can do is what I do in my other Photo workshops. I use and know Canon cameras. Nikons are pretty much the same but I can't tell you specific details about them the way I can with Canons.
     
  23. alexfairkon

    alexfairkon MobiAddict

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    I used the iPad2. I have very good impressions about this tablet. It will be difficult for me to name an analogue in quality from the world of Android. Great screen, very good battery. But! IPhone 4 -5 -6 -7! Manufacturer, you forgot to put the battery!
    Complete with poor smartphones almost always have OTG cable and a normal battery.
    Sometimes you can charge GoPro or iPhone. My "iPod" dumb phone with buttons can issue 7.77 watts per hour. =))

    IMG_1739.jpg IMG_1736.jpg IMG_1741.jpg
     
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  24. FundyBrian

    FundyBrian MobiStaff Site Staff MobiSupporter

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    I guess everyone always wants more battery life on everything, even electric cars. No matter the size it is never enough. Although, I am quite impressed with battery life on the 7 Plus.
     
  25. alexfairkon

    alexfairkon MobiAddict

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    My Highscreen Power Five was bought almost two years ago, for about $ 200!!!
    The size of the case, like the Samsung A5 2017. The AMOLED screen is present.
     
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