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Leaving Apple’s Ecosystem (Mobile)

So, I have been a Linux user for years before moving to Apple’s Ecosystem slowly. I started with the iPhone but used to bounce back and forth with no absolute loyalty between Android and iPhone. However, once Apple launched the first M1 Processor, I got a little bit of the taste of wanting to jump into the world of ARM more as I loved playing with it on Linux, and Apple really made it a lot easier to use ARM on an everyday computer without having to worry about certain apps not working.

I started with the M1 Mac Mini with 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage. I was so impressed, and it began to pull me into the ecosystem much further than ever before because it was much more Linux-like than the Windows stuff I am really just not a fan of other than when I wanna jump into VR for certain other gaming. I just use my gaming rig from my Linux machine over Parsec, which I have recently switched to Moonlight, which is much faster and more reliable over my home network to play games.

Week 1#

So, the first week, I tried picking up the Samsung Galaxy Tab 9 Ultra with the official keyboard case, but I returned it after a couple days as it felt way too big and wasn’t something I wanted to spend that much money on. I was trying to replace my iPad Pro, which I used kinda like a laptop and multi-media device, and just realized my new Samsung Galaxy S24 that I was getting in a couple days would be able to run DeX, which would help me replace the need for a tablet. So I ordered the nexdock, which should arrive in a week shipped from California.

Moving my apps over, I am not locked in any ecosystem for my music or pictures as I have always ensured that stuff stays local on my device and personal NAS. I do use Synology but backup to multiple other locations from my NAS. I did need to replace my Podcast app, which was OverCast on my iPhone, and looking into the different options, it seemed like I wanted to try one of those apps that allows you to do the new Podcasting 2.0 things, so I tried Fountain. Still, it keeps giving me trouble importing my podcasts, so I have ended up on Podverse for now, but I do not like it all that much.

Since all my messaging happens mostly on Discord and Telegram, I don’t really care about the loss of iMessage at all.

Week 2#

Trying to sort out my Podcasting as I am still not enjoying the experience with Podverse, I finally decided to download and install the open-source app AntennaPod. So far, it is the best experience for free apps by far. That said, I dislike it doesn’t support the boosting and such, but hopefully, Fountain will get back to me at some point so I can import my podcasts to it and give it a fair shot.

The route I am down now has been finding the right Mastodon app to leverage for my daily scrolling, and I will not say that I don’t miss having that lovely feeling app Ivory from Tapbots, as I love how it syncs my desktop and mobile location. I really want and NEED to have an app that holds my place in the scrolling, and on mobile, the one I have found that looks and feels the best so far has been Moshidon. It really has been something that I cannot say enough good about, just sucks that there is no desktop app, and I don’t even know if they did have a web or desktop version that would be in sync with the mobile location. The diversity, not being algorithm-driven, makes me want to consume it in the fashion I do for my home timeline.

Week 3#

So I can finally start living with a tablet and laptop-style experience with my phone as my nexdock has finally come in; that is what I am using to write this article. Over the past couple of days, I have been pleased with it, and the device feels really solid and works very well, but my biggest complaint is the trackpad. It missclicks and has no palm rejections, which is a significant oversight. Thankfully, there is a shortcut to toggle the trackpad off when typing things like this blog post where I don’t want the mouse getting moved around and miss-clicking as I type (which does happen when doing a lot of intense typing if you don’t toggle it off). However, overall I have been pleased with the nexdock experience with my Samsung S24 + being wired in. I don’t want the latency, and I like that it keeps my battery charged when I plug it into my phone, and I still get decent battery life out of the new dock.

I have started settling into more applications and am using Edison Mail. Still, I am trying to find another mail app that feels modern but lets me use my IMAP mail from FastMail with alias support… which just doesn’t seem like a lot of them exist on Android. I tried K9Mail, but it just felt way too essential for me, and I really wanted something that felt more modern. I have also been playing around with different browsers, and I think at the moment I am pretty happy with Vivaldi as it keeps things in sync across my devices and my search engine of choice, which sadly is just hard to set custom engines on many of the browsers on Android. I have also moved back to Todoist, and I have to say I am delighted to be back and even signed up for a year of service at the 48 bucks, which is a steal, in my opinion… for the way they handle cross-platform. They handle typing in when you want something due, etc., and automatically configure it into your schedule.

Biggest Drawbacks#

The biggest drawback for me so far has been the quality of the applications, not in that they are wrong but in the design language. This really is sad, considering we have things like Flutter and React Native, making building something that looks modern and sleek. In my opinion, it is not that bad, but most of the apps I gravitate towards feel very like early Android days or Linux apps that just feel out of place. Don’t get me wrong, function over form every day… but sometimes you want something that works excellent and looks nice. I guess the reason is the fact maybe I see most stuff is either free or people don’t charge because perhaps they are fearful of people others just ripping their APK to be downloaded from other places online… that said, I don’t mind paying for an app… and I feel like others wouldn’t as well… but just feels like I don’t see that much in terms of paid small apps like I do on iOS ecosystem.

Other than the look of the apps, I cannot say I have been disappointed. I have had no issues with speed or performance with this phone. I consistently have a swift and easygoing experience; the few games I like to play run smoothly, and I can multi-task without issue. Granted, I got a flagship phone, but overall, I think it has been a great experience.

Leaving Apple’s Ecosystem (Mobile)
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