Nerd Corner: Which Is The Best Writer’s Phone?


The story so far: Having had my stuff stolen I’ve been without my phone for two weeks and haven’t missed it as much as I thought I would. Without Google Maps you have to start asking strangers how to get around, and if you say you had your phone stolen they start to think you’re after money.

Now a dilemma presents itself. The  new phones are out, Apple having released the iPhone 11 and 11Pro, both of which are, frankly, disappointing – minimal upgrades, the lenses are ugly and the bump is still there cutting into the screen. Apple has even gone so far as to suggest that their premium interest is no longer in phones, and with their attention turned to their new streaming service it feels like they’re not really bothering.

Then there’s Samsung, with their dodgy upgrades, exploding phone scandal and generally more chaotic, less intuitive phones. But lo, the new Samsung Note 10+ has a built-in stylus that auto-translates to typed notes, making it the kind of gadget writers have long dreamed of. Oddly, it’s the one aspect most tech bloggers skip over, saying they don’t have any use for notes. Q. Why are so many bloggers Canadian? It’s a low-population country, do they all stay in all winter making videos?

So here’s the problem. I’m in a multi-Mac household and the Apple iOS is famously sticky, making the thought of change/incompatibility terrifying. I know the Samsung manager is meant to sort all this out, but there are issues. What about iTunes transfers? Bluetooth pairing? 3rd party apps? Rebuying all your stuff? Just how hard is it to go back and forth between the two OSs?

Nobody has been able to answer this last question for me, yet it’s a crucial one. If you can’t switch software from an Apple household to and from a Samsung, what’s the point in changing? Won’t it just be a huge pain?

I’m sure there are Samsung users out there and it would be interesting to know – although after my experience in the Samsung ‘experiential’ store I may never change! Tell me your positives and negatives, especially if you have one of the Samsung Note models.

12 comments on “Nerd Corner: Which Is The Best Writer’s Phone?”

  1. Peter Lee says:

    Of course there are other Android options. Google make their own excellent phones – the Pixel range (Pixel 4 due out next month) – and the beauty of those is that Android updates the OS on the first Monday of every month and you get the updates immediately. I’ve never owned an iPhone, but the Pixel has a transfer tool to take settings from your iPhone to your Android. Granted, there are some apps that may be Apple only, and iTunes isn’t an Android thing either, but you can still use streaming services, and some (such as Google Play Music) let you upload your own MP3 collection to the cloud for free.

  2. Peter Tromans says:

    My experience of handwriting to type is with Microsoft. It doesn’t work well with my scribble and I’ve given up trying to use it.

  3. snowy says:

    Short and painless answer: If you liked the ‘X’, get another ‘X’.

    On handwriting:

    “But lo, the new Samsung Note 10+ has a built-in stylus that auto-translates to typed notes…”

    Handwriting recognition has been around for ages [last century], even on iPhones but requires adding a free app.

    There exists a native Google Handwriting recog. extension to Gboard, [ie. it is not a Samsung exclusive, but it was not bundled into any of my droid devices as standard].

    Results vary depending on lots of factors, [I used to write reports, surveys, test results on a PDA using Graffiti for years without problems.]

    To the general, [this info is Android general and can/SHOULD be corrected/updated by anyone that has actually gone the Apple to Sammy route!]

    “What about iTunes transfers?”

    There are tools that help with this, but iTunes is mostly a ‘closed garden’. I suspect [but can’t know for certain!], that you would probably end up ‘managing’ your media on the Mac and just pulling down bits of content to the phone as and when required.

    “Bluetooth pairing?”

    Bluetooth is an externally defined standard not tied to a particular brand, [to state the obv.], so pairing shouldn’t present any problems. But if you are controlling something eg. an appliance that requires a manufacturers app to function: stereo, TV, fridge, heating, check that the app is still available and compatible with the latest version of Android.

    [***Esp. TV, streaming box, etc – if you are in the habit of using a phone as the remote.***]

    “3rd party apps?”

    Mostly from the Google Play Store, not as carefully checked for quality or security. Some are good, lots are complete dross.

    “Rebuying all your stuff?”

    If you maintain a fruit based household it should present no increased risk, you would still hold all your media in the Apple basket and then pull down content as desired, [as back in the days of the iPod.]

    “Just how hard is it to go back and forth between the two OSs?”

    Once you have made the leap and sorted out all the problems, [there will be lots of irritating minor problems that require manual intervention or workrounds], it is no more difficult than swapping back and forth between different makes of car.

  4. Brooke says:

    “Just how hard is it to go back and forth between the two OSs?” As hard as living with a difficult spousewhile having an affaire with a vain paramour…will ask tech support today;but pretty sure of answer.

  5. admin says:

    I hadn’t thought of Samsung as a vain paramour but I will from now on. It does look a bit flirty.

  6. Brooke says:

    Reverse them–I have Samsung–difficult to work with but doesn’t constantly require “accessorizing” with latest fashion items.

  7. snowy says:

    Oh, if you really want to sling money about like a drunken sailor, there is the Samsung Galaxy Fold.

    £2000, 3 screens, 6 cameras, breaks within a week, or sooner if you let fluff get inside it, [might be a bit of a wait though; while they fix some issues. On the up-side none have caught fire – yet, but with TWO batteries in each unit they are not really playing the odds on that].

  8. chazza says:

    Since I have limited understanding of modern technology, I can proudly state that I haven’t the slightest idea what you are “talking” about!

  9. admin says:

    ‘On the up-side none have caught fire’

    O brave new world etc.

  10. Kit says:

    I agree with Snowy. You don’t have to buy the newest phone; Apple will sell the older ones for a while yet. I started out with the first Droid phone and really loved it, but it did not last. All the memory filled up and it just wouldn’t work, frankly. I bought another Droid and it ended up the same way. I finally switched to an iPhone (I’ve got a 6S Plus, which is now three or four years old), and I really love that it is so stable and just keeps working so well.

  11. Helen Martin says:

    Nothing concrete (or vinyl) to add but didn’t realize Canadians were all bloggers. CBC radio gives us a program every week with bits and pieces from audio blogs to encourage us to follow them. Perhaps that is encouraging a blogging habit. I was a guest on one once – met the blogger in a coffee shop.
    Did you know that in 1700 there were 2,000 coffee shops in London and men were spending so much time in them that women got up a petition against these purveyors of stinky,sloppy,dishwater beverages?

  12. Denise says:

    I like my galaxy 9 although I wish I had the notebook instead , too late now. My husband has an apple work phone and has it connected to his galaxy when on standby,

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