Emergency Android!

I was out on a hike this week and had hours of torrential downpour. Unfortunately, as a result, my iPhone XR is in a bag of rice drying and is only partially functional.

This meant that I needed another phone for the next days’ hike, so the local supermarket had a Moto E14 for £80. Some observations:

  • it’s not the slickest phone by any stretch, but works.well enough to not be completely frustrating.
  • the battery life is impressive for such an inexpensive device…
  • camera is slow, but the picture quality (software enhanced) is good for my purposes.
  • I was able to find and install all the common apps I need.
  • Android is better than I remember!

Main weakness on this device is lack of Google Pay support.

I wouldn’t be desperately upset if my old phone is out of commission for a while. Indeed, having an inexpensive but sufficiently capable device for such conditions isn’t a bad idea anyway.

Something that really came home was where I have locked myself into Apple’s ecosystem. I have been using Obsidian, but because I sync files with iCloud I couldn’t get to them. On the other hand my OneDrive files were fine, as it’s cross platform. Similarly many of my passwords were locked away in Keyring… Fortunately most were also in Bitwarden. Contacts were also locked away on the Apple device.

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Thanks. I’d always thought I would just stick within Apple’s walked garden so it didn’t matter… Until circumstances meant that I just couldn’t.

Losing a dependency on temperamental iCloud wouldn’t be a bad thing anyway!

But it is such a nice prison! :slightly_smiling_face:


I’m considered buying an android phone as a backup. Long story short, I’ve occasionally traveled to places where iMessage almost never works, even when set to SMS only, and Android users have much greater success.

Because I prefer cloud based solutions, the only apps that I use on a regular basis that I would lose are Due, iCloud Drive, PCalc, and Photos. I use iCloud mainly for manual backups when I’m traveling with my iPad & iPhone. And I automatically sync my Photos to iCloud and Google Photos. All my other apps are available on android so I could switch in the time it takes to download a dozen apps and log into my Google Workspace account.

But none of this would be necessary if Apple allowed me to change my default messaging app. So instead of just switching to another app when necessary I will be purchasing something like a Pixel 6a for $250 or a Garmin inReach Mini 2 for $400.

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You can choose to store your photos in original resolution but they count against your 15 GB of free storage. So at some point you would need to purchase additional storage, compress your photos, or remove some, etc.

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I have a Business Standard Google Workspace account for my domain. Gmail, Docs, Cloud Search, etc. with 2 TB of storage. $12/month per user.