How I'm using Android's Digital Wellbeing functionality to reduce endless scrolling of social media, and reduce my reliance on my phone.
My first impressions with the Pixel 3A
Last week I replaced my OnePlus 3 with a Pixel 3A.
Both Anna (https://annadodson.co.uk) and I have been thinking about getting a new phone for a while, but as both our phones were doing fairly ok, and we didn't want any unnecessary expenses, we decided to keep an eye out but not yet get anything.
I'd originally heard about the Pixel 3A on the TechMeme Ride Home podcast (https://anchor.fm/techmeme-ride-home/episodes/Tue--0507---All-The-Headlines-From-Google-IO-e3v85p) which sounded really nice.
But then when I saw both Ed George ( https://twitter.com/Sp4ghettiCode ) and Graham Smith ( https://twitter.com/whoisgraham ) tweeting about the fact that they had just got one, I was very interested. As respected Android devs, I see them both as having done the research and know what they're doing - so it meant that I didn't have to do as much research, right??
I could've waited, in all fairness, but Google did a deal where you got a Nest Home Hub, too, so it meant the phone was effectively £280 instead of £400, and we all know I love a good deal. Unfortunately that it still in the box, as is the Google Home Mini I've got, but maybe one day they'll make their way out - we're an Alexa household currently, but are looking at being multi-platform.
So what are my opening thoughts, one week in?
- The migration tool was pretty cool, especially being able to just connect up another phone and have it sync, but for some reason my Google Play Store decided not to download anything so that didn't quite work as expected
- I had rooted my OnePlus 3 so I could get better privacy control over my device, but hadn't used much on the rooting side for a while, largely because Google are making it such a pain to do. I decided I wouldn't root this device quite yet, which means I'm able to use Google Pay - which so far I've done a couple of times and it's been pretty useful, but has just saved me getting my wallet out
- Battery is much better than my two year old OnePlus 3, and the second day I had it I was tethering + playing music almost all day without it even running out of charge the following morning. Pretty decent!
- I am however missing some of the convenience gestures I could use from the lock screen - turning the torch on quickly, and controlling my music
- I'm a fan of the always-on display, especially as it prompts me with the upcoming calendar event
- The fast charge seems to be on par with the OnePlus Dash Charge - again a big decided in whether I got it or not, as being able to quickly boost battery was very important
- It has a headphone jack, so I'm happy
- Booting is super speedy - not that I need to that often, but it's good to have!
- I'm liking Android Pie, although I'm sad I no longer have the multitasking button so can't toggle apps as quickly
- I bought an official case, which although a bit pricey was quite nice, and has a good feel to it
- The camera seems to be pretty decent, from the few shots I've taken of our black cat, Morph
Overall it seems to be going well - hopefully it'll last as long as my OnePlus 3!
EDIT: And something I forgot to mention was that the fingerprint sensor isn't in my location. I'm very used to it being where the home button is on my OnePlus 3, and combined with the placement of the headphone jack on top, it means I'll regularly unlock my phone as I'm taking it out of my pocket, which is quite annoying.
EDIT: I also found the way to easily swap between apps is by swiping on the soft touch buttons, left to right. And by holding it for longer I can skip between multiple apps - nice stuff!