#1 Posted by hwy_61 (922 posts) -

This November I will be eligible for an upgrade, and having used nothing but iPhone these years has me curious to see what other options are out there. I have a few questions about how WP & Android handle certain activities I mainly use my iPhone for. Not sure how this is gonna look as I'm typing this up on an iPhone, if the formatting is all fucked up, I'll fix it when I get home. Here goes:

1. How does Android/WP handle podcasts? Is there a way to download them directly to your phone?

2. Is there a way to access music player options(pause, skip, volume) from the lock screen?

3. Is there a way to view videos on the Internet within a video player? Like, clicking on a video would launch the internal video player.

4. How is the experience on android without rooting/installing custom firmware? I kinda don't want to deal with that sorta thing and would rather have over the air updates from the manufacturer.

I have yet to walk into an AT&T; store and try these phones out myself. I'm leaning toward the Nokia Lumia 920, because of how goddamn sexy it is, but I'm keeping my options open. Thanks for the help guys!

#2 Posted by Dagbiker (6957 posts) -

I have only used verision only phones, but...

1. I rarly downloaded podcasts to my phone, but when I do I just go to the website and download as mp3. I do not know of a way to download podcasts automatically though.

2. Some phones.

3. The phones I have used, and that was only 2, dont work too well with video, there is a youtube player that you can watch youtube videos full screen. But watching videos is still kinda a hassle.

4. I have only installed apps, and never rooted, or installed custom firmware.

#3 Posted by jaycrockett (441 posts) -

1) You can download the mp3 directly to your phone from the internet or sideload. I had a problem with the Weekend Confirmed podcast link but no problem with anything else. Bombcast works fine. While the built in music player works ok, I bought DogCatcher for $5, because it preserves your progress within the podcast and handles the rss subscriptions.

2) You can with the Amazon MP3 player, which is free.

3) Yes, depending on the page. You tube and flash work fine. Other videos work as well but I'm not sure which formats are support.

Don't know about 4.

Ironically I'm thinking about going to other way and picking up a free Iphone 4. While I have no problems with my android phone I wish I had access to the iOS app market.

#4 Posted by psylah (2169 posts) -

1. I use DoggCatcher on android, which automatically checks and downloads new podcasts every X hours (I use the setting to download on WiFi only).

2. There are music player controls for the lock screen on many apps, the default player had it as well.

3. I don't know, when I click links to Youtube, it gives me the option to launch the Youtube app. I guess if you clicked a link to a .avi file it would ask if you'd like to open it with the video player app.

4. Installing custom software for my Samsung was pretty easy, install the drivers for your phone, download the custom firmware you want, open ODIN (firmware flashing utility) on your pc and connect your phone to your pc while in recovery mode. Takes maybe 10 minutes.

#5 Posted by Kidavenger (3528 posts) -

Android Nexus S

1. there are alot of free apps for podcast management but Doggcatcher is by far the best one, it costs $6.99 but it is infinitely configurable and very much worth the money, there is no desktop app for android, every app will handle auto downloads directly through the phone.

2. My phone has pause/play, skip foward and skip back on the lock screen, not sure if it is Doggcatcher or and standard android feature though; it only shows up if you locked the phone with the player active.

3. My phone plays videos through a player for Giantbomb/Youtube when you maximize the video.

4. It's not so bad now as it was a few years ago, but non Nexus phone can take awhile to get the latest version; anything that you would get now has atleast 4.0 and 4.0 is pretty sweet any changes they make going forward aren't going to be major steps in quality as they have been in the past (getting stuck with 4.0 won't be anywhere near as bad as when people ended up stuck with 2.1 or less which was most early android users).

#6 Posted by hwy_61 (922 posts) -

Getting some really good feedback here. Thanks guys.

I guess a follow up question would be, what is the thing you like most about your Android/Windows Phone?

#7 Posted by adambyrney (61 posts) -

I went from an Iphone to Android and what I will say is that all of the features are covered. It's much more customisable too, even on my mid range HTC phone.

Also, there is a free app called BeyondPod for android which can handle any podcast feeds you want.

#8 Edited by tunaburn (1890 posts) -

@hwy_61: i have android. have had it for a long time. got the droid razr now.

stitcher app is free has tons of podcasts that stream smoothly.I MEAN HUNDREDS. i listen to joe rogan and the giantbombcast all the time. as well as adam carolla.

yes you can do music stuff on screen lock.

yes it has video player. click the embedded video and itll open in youtube player if youtube. if not get mx player free from app store and itll open in that.

rooting super easy on android.

its fast. has a decent battery. and hasnt given me any problems.

#9 Posted by mikey87144 (1719 posts) -

Galaxy Nexus

1. There are a couple of Android apps like Dogg Catcher which automatically dl podcasts and save your progress. What I do though is that I linked my podcast folder on my PC to my google music account so my phone automatically all my podcasts ready and waiting in the cloud and it saves your progress.

2. The default music player has a lock screen but do yourself a favor and buy Poweramp for Android. Easily the best music player on any phone. It plays every type of file and comes with a great mixer if you want to tweak the sound. It also is usable on the lock screen.

3. An app to consider for that is MX video player for android. If I click on a video it usually opens that app to play the video.

4. The Samsung Galaxy S3 is a good phone. Also the HTC one x and the Droid Razrs. That being said I would go with a Nexus phone. Those phones are just stock Android and they usually have the best UIs.

#10 Posted by Kidavenger (3528 posts) -

I picked my phone specifically because it had a good speaker, I tend to put my phone down on my desk or nightstand and listen to music/podcasts or watch a video, headphones are nice when I'm out and about but at home I'd rather not be tethered to my phone.

Other than that, I like that I never have to connect my phone to my PC, the phone and podcasts update themselves when I'm connected to wifi.

I like that the cord I use to charge my phone is a standard micro usb that I already have alot of and are easy/cheap to replace if needed.

I like that I can back up important files from my PC onto my phone.

I like the alarm.

I like that I can pull the battery out and change it if I every needed to.

I like widgets, specifically the music player and there always being a play button on the home screen.

I like that my photos/video auto download to the cloud.

I like that my phone works with my stereo bluetooth headphones.

I have no idea whether iphone or wp8 can do all of these things, but these are what I find important in my phone.

#11 Edited by CatsAkimbo (616 posts) -

@Kidavenger said:

Android Nexus S

1. there are alot of free apps for podcast management but Doggcatcher is by far the best one, it costs $6.99 but it is infinitely configurable and very much worth the money, there is no desktop app for android, every app will handle auto downloads directly through the phone.

2. My phone has pause/play, skip foward and skip back on the lock screen, not sure if it is Doggcatcher or and standard android feature though; it only shows up if you locked the phone with the player active.

Definitely agree on Doggcatcher being worth it, very excellent podcast management. The lock screen buttons don't work on older versions of android (shouldn't be a problem if you're buying something new).

Depending on the phone, you'll have a built-in music player that probably sucks, but you can download winamp and get all the nice features you'd expect, like lock screen access.

Videos work very well. If you tap most videos, it'll give you an option to play it with the built-in video player and downloads it to your phone, or you can watch it in the browser. Oh and VLC is coming soon (or is already out?), so you'll be able to play all your weird .mkv files and such without converting them.

Whether you want to root/rom it or not really depends on which phone you get. The nexus has the best (clean) ui, and the SIII has come a long way. I haven't seen what the maxx has, but knowing past droids, I'll bet it's pretty terrible and you'll want to get a clean rom on it.

The best thing about android is just all the google stuff really. The maps app is really the best, still much better than the new ios6 maps from what I hear. And it's very customizable; I have all my main apps on one screen, including a big clock, weather, a button that silences the phone for just 2 hours, and podcast controls, so I never have to flip through screens or go through apps to control/see what I want to see. I hear ios has gotten better about system level stuff, but things like timed silent controls and silencing the phone during meetings on your calendar is really useful for me.

#12 Posted by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

I'm using a rooted/custom firmwared Galaxy Nexus. So to answer your questions:

  1. I honestly wouldn't know. I don't listen to podcasts on my phone (my commute is 30 minutes, the Bombcast is not 30 minutes), but I'm sure there are apps that do a really good job at handling all of that stuff for you.
  2. Yes, but it depends on what you're using to play music. Generally, all the standard stuff is on there except for volume, which is done with the volume rocker buttons.
  3. Yes. The only thing that may give you issues are embedded YouTube videos, but this really depends on what browser you're using, if you maximize a video, and if you have an app that will take over that maximized video.
  4. Stock Ice Cream Sandwich is fine. A lot of customizeable options are actually available to you through other launchers, like Go Launcher and Apex Launcher, without the need to root/use custom firmware. I'd just make sure that the phone you get, if it's Android, is running Jelly Bean or has a definite upgrade path to Jelly Bean.
#13 Posted by L1GHTN1N (445 posts) -

I have a HTC Trophy from Verizon, which is WP7.

1. You can go into the marketplace and subscribe to a podcast which auto-downloads it when it updates. I've never used it but I've heard quite a few people bitching about it not working.

2. Yes, you can pause/play, fast forward, rewind from the lock screen. Also if you press volume up/down from anywhere in the phone it brings up the same options.

3. Yes, you click a video and it launches a player with volume, play, the standard stuff.

4. N/A

I love my WP, but if you use a lot of apps many of them aren't available on WP7. There's no X with Friends (unless they've added them in the past few weeks), Steam app, most banks don't have an app. Most of the bigger apps have equivalents, but if you play games with other people on your iPhone you're probably screwed. Besides that issue (which is probably a deal breaker for a lot of people) I love it, the UI is great, Marketplace is easy to search through and find new/good apps, it's nice and zippy, and since I use a lot of Microsoft stuff (Office, Outlook, Skydrive) having all that integrate in is great. Assuming they don't make any major screw-ups in the next year I'll probably upgrade to the Lumia 920 myself.

Also worth noting that this is my first smartphone. I've messed around with friends' iPhones and Androids phones but never for more than 10 minutes so I don't really have a great sense of how it stacks up against other phones. I like my phone more than the ones I messed around with (if you couldn't tell) but could just be because I'm more used to it/used it longer.

#14 Edited by rynbeed (143 posts) -

@hwy_61 said:

This November I will be eligible for an upgrade, and having used nothing but iPhone these years has me curious to see what other options are out there. I have a few questions about how WP & Android handle certain activities I mainly use my iPhone for. Not sure how this is gonna look as I'm typing this up on an iPhone, if the formatting is all fucked up, I'll fix it when I get home. Here goes: 1. How does Android/WP handle podcasts? Is there a way to download them directly to your phone? 2. Is there a way to access music player options(pause, skip, volume) from the lock screen? 3. Is there a way to view videos on the Internet within a video player? Like, clicking on a video would launch the internal video player. 4. How is the experience on android without rooting/installing custom firmware? I kinda don't want to deal with that sorta thing and would rather have over the air updates from the manufacturer. I have yet to walk into an AT&T; store and try these phones out myself. I'm leaning toward the Nokia Lumia 920, because of how goddamn sexy it is, but I'm keeping my options open. Thanks for the help guys!

I love my Google phone. If that's what you end up getting, don't be afraid of "the cloud." It's your friend, trust me! And anything that your going to want to do is www.google.com/"thing" like: music, map, voice etc.

Most of these seem to have been answered, but I am going to loss my thoughts in because.. the internet.

1) www.google.com/music is awesome. Store all your music up there, and as long as you have the storage on your phone you can DL all of it back down to your phone and have it offline. Or just stream it online. How I handle podcasts: I set up the Music Manager program to look in my iTunes podcast folder, every time something new shows up the MM program uploads it to my google.com/music libaray. From there, my phone downloads it and boom, I have it on my phone.

2) Yes, the default music player will have forward/back/pause/play on the lock screen.

3) Yup - it channels youtube videos to that app, anything else in converts to it's player. I am streaming TNT on my phone right now this way.

4) Even being a power user I have never felt the need to root my Android. Even less with 4.04 (running on a Samsung Galaxy Nexus through Verizon).

I don't know anything about a WM phone, so can't help you there.

But, being around people who have iPhones and owning an iPod touch, the things that happen on both platforms seem to work better (in my experience) on my Android phone. Maps, Music, Browsing the nets, and so on. Plus it is super cool to be totally integrated with Voice/Docs/Chrome/Maps/Calendar/Etc and have the same experience on my phone, laptop and desktop since everything is all sync instantly to "the cloud".

Edit:

Oh another thing I wanted to note as well - via google.com/play (the app store for Android) you can install, uninstall, buy etc applications and manage all of it on the website. Kinda cool, it's still easy to do on the phone itself but it's neat to have the option to manage all your phone/tablet applications via a web browser.