Entries in Chromebook (2)


Switching from Apple to Google

What do I mean by Switching from Apple to Google? Both companies provide hardware, operating systems, applications and services. For the most part I have changed over everything to Google with only a few exceptions.

I don’t recommending this for everyone as I still strongly feel that Apple is a great solution for many people. I still use a Mac desktop computer for my heavy lifting and my family all still has iPhones which was something I needed to consider when I switched over to Google.


Why Did I do it?

It all started with the Chromebook, I purchased a Chromebook to replace my MacBook Pro since I already had an iMac desktop computer as my main workhorse and I figured a Chromebook would do everything I needed when I wanted to be portable. As it turned out my Chromebook exceeded my expectations and now my entire family uses them as their main portable computers.

Just recently I purchased my first Google Home and fell in love with the concept. I love the way I can access my smart home devices and automate my life. I even went out and bought a bunch more of the Google Home systems so I could access Google Home in more areas of my house and office. My kids are getting their own units for Christmas along with a family music plan…

The one thing I realized was that Google Home works best if you’re using Google services, like their calendar and contacts. If you want to access this info on your Google Home, then you need to make sure your calendar and contact info is in the Google cloud. At first I achieved this from my Apple iPhone using third party apps that synced my Apple Calendar and Contacts with Google Calendar and Contacts. At this point I started to wonder why I was using Apple hardware if I was becoming so Google oriented?

The last straw that lead me to decide to switch from Apple to Google was when I bought a Samsung Gear Sport Smart Fitness Watch and tried to use it paired with my Apple iPhone only to find out it was crippled in so many ways when paired with an iPhone rather than an Android Phone. I could only really do basic stuff and when it came to adding more Applications to the Samsung Gear Sport Smart Fitness Watch, none of the fitness Apps I really wanted where available. And the thing was I really loved the Samsung Gear Sport Smart Fitness Watch since it had a great design, was superior to my older first gen Apple watch in many ways and its optical heart rate monitor was the first one that actually worked for me. That was it. I decided to switch from Apple to Google!

What did I get?

Well you know I got the Samsung Gear Sport Smart Fitness Watch and so that replaced my Apple Watch. For my iPhone replacement I did some research and ended up getting the Samsung Galaxy S8 plus Android Phone, I was also considering the Google Pixel 2 but really liked the design of the Samsung Galaxy S8 and the screen on the Galaxy S8 is simply amazing!

Things to Consider when Switching from Google to Apple.

Calendars and Contacts we kind of covered already but you will need to get your Apple Calendars and Contacts over to Google Calendars and Contacts. There are a few ways to do this, there was even software on my new phone to help with transferring my iPhone data over to my Android phone. I could have even brought over my photos and movies this way but I chose to use Google Photos instead.

I recommend Google Photos to everyone no matter if you use an Apple or Android phone, why wouldn't you. Google Photos is free, space is unlimited and the quality is very good, (1080p video and 16MP Photos). Just download the App on your device and Google Photos starts uploading your photos and movies to the cloud where you can view them and share them on any device. That was a no brainer and not having to buy extra Apple iCloud storage and constantly getting “Your iCloud is Full” warnings is a bonus. My entire family now has Google Photos on their iPhones.

Was I going to lose Find my Phone Locations Services?

Nope, there is an App for that :) I use an App on my Samsung Galaxy S8 called xFi Locator which allows me to tap into Apple location sharing services. All I need to do is log my Apple credentials in and since I use this setup with my Apple family location services, I then have access to my entire families phone locations. I can also use this same App to locate my Android devices so I have it on my Chromebook and my Samsung Galaxy S8 to find either one if I need to.

What about Facetime?

My family doesn’t use facetime a lot, we see enough of each other most days but it is nice when I travel so I wanted a solution for this. I went with Google Duo as it seemed like the logical choice and again you can download Google Duo to the iPhone and it sets up super quickly by simply entering in your phone number as your username.

Online Storage and Documents.

I was already using Google Drive and Dropbox as my online storage choices so there was really no change there as these options work on pretty much every device. Same with my documents like Word and Excel. I was primarily using Google Docs for this so no change was required here either.

Apple Mail on Non-Apple Devices.

Apple has their 2-Factor Authentication which does make setting up your Apple mail on an Android device a little more complicated than on an iPhone but it can be done by creating a device specific password. You may have to do this online using your Apple ID through Apples Apple ID Webpage.

Other Miscellaneous Apps.

When it comes to most Apps, you can generally find all the same popular Apps for Android as you would find on your iOS iPhone and for the most part they look and work about the same but be prepared for a little bit of weirdness since some features may work differently on each platform.

Getting use to the Android Interface.

I have been using an Apple iPhone since the very first version came out so I’m not going to lie, there was some getting use to the new interface and is one System OS better than the other? Not really, Apple offers a bit more simplicity with pretty much the same user experience from phone to phone. Android Phones are more customizable which means one phone can look and navigate completely different than another Android phone. Companies also like to throw their own custom interfaces on their devices to perhaps differentiate themselves. At the end of the day I can get around on my Samsung Galaxy S8 just as easily and quickly as I did on my Apple iPhone.

Do I regret Switching from Apple to Google?

When I first made the jump I was a little bit worried. I knew I had some work ahead of me doing some research to figure to some workarounds between the devices. I’m happy to say I am very pleased with my decision at the end of the day. Not only am I more educated about the different phone options out there but I feel that at least for me at this point in my life Switching from Apple to Google was the right decision. I feel I have more options available to me now when it comes to hardware choices for Phones and Fitness Tech devices. Apple does like to keep their hardware and software a bit more closed in which can be limiting at times.

Google is more open when it comes to cross compatibility, offering most of their Apps and Applications to be run on pretty much any device. Yes some Google based hardware will not work so well with Apple devices but this is more of an Apple control issue meaning Apple does not always play well with others. To sum it up I would say Apple acts more like the introvert, whereas Google is more of the extrovert. I kinda feel like hanging out with the more outgoing and fun kids and so far I am not missing my iPhone at all.



ASUS Flip C302 12.5 Inch Android Chromebook Review

I've done a few Chromebook videos in the past and talked a little bit about how this Apple fan boy went to the dark side and switched from a Macbook Laptop to a Chromebook. In a nutshell I do most of my "work" on my desktop (which is still an iMac) and use a laptop mainly for keeping on top of things without having to go into my office, I can open up my Chromebook wherevere I am and quickly catch up and deal with any fires I need to put out...

So I don't really need that full Mac experience on my Laptop but I do have specific needs and I have found a Chromebook fills those needs just fine for me at a fraction of the price of a Macbook.

The Chromebook experience if you're not familiar with it is what you would expect if all you could do was use a web browser on your computer and for most of what we do, it all happens in a browser, email, calendars, social media, online storage, online word processing, music, movies and even some gaming.

What I did find with my initial Chromebook experience is that most of the hardware was pretty basic, lots of plastic and not that impressive screen resolutions and displays. This for sure keeps the Chromebook price down which is a big draw for buying a Chromebook but sometimes I want a little more of a deluxe computer. Something I can pull out at my local coffee shop and feel proud of... I also felt a little bit restricted with only being able to use a web browser as my main productivity tool.

So here we are a couple of years later after being for the most part happy with using a Chromebook as my main portable and in that time a lot has changed in the Chromebook world. First of all there are several higher end offerings that now give Chromebook users much higher quality and higher resolutions glass screens, faster processing, designer looks and build quality that rivals that of the Apple Macbook. The other super huge Chromebook enouncement is that the Android Play store is now available on Chromebooks so this means if you have a compatible Chromebook than you can run almost all of the Android Play Store Apps, the same ones that run on Android Phones and Tablets! This opens up the Chromebook interface to a whole world of possibilities. What use to be a very restricted user experience is now virtually unlimited!

All that and I have not even talked about the ASUS Flip C302 12.5 Inch Android Chromebook. The ASUS Flip C302 12.5 Inch Android Chromebook is one of these new deluxe Chromebooks with a premium design. It has a touch screen with true HD 1920x1080 12.5 inch gorilla glass display, an aluminum body, back lit keyboard and only weighs in at about 2.5 pounds. As the "Flip" in the name indicates, the ASUS Flip C302 12.5 Inch Android Chromebook can be used in multiple modes: Standard laptop mode, tablet mode, tent mode and stand mode.

I am sure you want to know all the specs, keep in mind that a Chromebook does not require nearly as much power as a Windows or even Apple system since the operating system and Apps run compact and efficiently.

  • Operating System: Chrome OS
  • Chipset: Intel Core Dual-core M3-6Y30 0.9 GHz (Turbo Frequency Up to 2.2 GHz)
  • Memory: 4 GB Onboard Memory
  • Display: Touch 12.5" (16:9 1920x1080) LED backlit FHD Corning Gorilla Glass
  • Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515
  • Storage: eMMC 64GB LPDDR3
  • Keyboard: Illuminated Chiclet Keyboard
  • Card Reader: Multi-format card reader (SD/SDHC/SDXC)
  • WebCam: HD Web Camera
  • Networking: Wi-Fi Integrated 802.11 AC - Built-in Bluetooth V4.0
  • Interface; 2 x Type A USB3.0 (USB3.1 GEN1) support display & support power delivery 
    1 x micro SD card
    1 x audio jack COMBO
  • Battery: 2 Cells 39 Whrs Battery
  • Power Adapter: Plug Type :USB TYPE C
    Output : 20 V DC, 2.25 A, 45 W
    Input : 100 -240 V AC, 50/60 Hz universal
  • Dimensions: 13.00" x 9.10" x 0.80"- 0.90" (WxDxH)
  • Weight: 2.65 lbs. with Battery
  • Security: TPM (Trusted Platform Module)

What I personally like about the ASUS Flip C302 12.5 Inch Android Chromebook: 

  • I love the design, it looks great with it's thin aluminum body and quality glass screen.
  • The backlight keyboard is awesome, one of the best I have used, very responsive!
  • I enjoy the versatility of being able to use the ASUS Flip C302 12.5 Inch Android Chromebook as a laptop or tablet.
  • Having 10 hours of true battery life means I can use it all day and not need to drag around my charger.
  • The side mounted stereo speakers are small but have a big sound.
  • Having two new USB-C type connections means I can power, connect to drives and add an external HDMI monitor all using the one interface. Sure a USB-C break out adaptor is required but when I get home I only need to plug one cable into my ASUS Flip C302 12.5 Inch Android Chromebook and I'm ready to go.
  • Having the new Android Play Store means I can now truly photo and video edit, word process, play games and run virtually any Android App I want to on my Chromebook. This is actually an advantage over Windows and Apple based laptops.
  • Since I have multiple Social Media accounts and websites connected to multiple emails, the Chromebook allows me to setup multiple users for each one. Switching between them is instantaneous! There is no faster way to switch back and forth between my social media accounts.

Now for about one third the price of an entry level Macbook that has surprisingly similar specifications, I can pickup a Chromebook like the ASUS Flip C302 12.5 Inch Android Chromebook without having to compromise anything! I get a classy quality looking piece of kit that is fast and can fill all my needs, even some I didn't know I had.