3 Things That Help Me Be a Smart Phone Drifter

 

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UPDATE: There’s been issues with Outlook.com since 27th March, which stopped my contacts from syncing using the native phonebook. I’m still able to sync my contacts via the outlook android app though adding contacts isn’t supported with the current version. Breaks my system temporarily.. hopefully they fix it, or enable support for contacts sync on the outlook.com app.

 

Over the years, I’ve been switching around different phones from iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Lately I’ve also had simultaneous devices from different ecosystems (e.g. Windows phone + android tablet, android phone + iOS tablet, etc). Personally, I don’t want to be 100% dependent on 1 ecosystem, and invested so much that it would be too taxing to even think of switching OS.

After going through a few rounds of switching between windows phone and iOS and android, I’ve found a setup that works for me. I used to be averse to the idea of going into the Android space simply because i thought it was too much to have to learn. And the thought of migrating data around was also quite daunting. Having a system that helps me be fluid with the most important things made the decision to make a switch a lot easier.

I Use Outlook.com to maintain My Contact List

The problem with iOS and android is that by default they make you use their service to back up your contact list but you’ll find that should you ever decide to switch platforms, you’ll have a hard time migrating your contacts with some other platforms.

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Of course you could always port your contacts across but that means you have to do this every single time you want to switch OS. I’ve found that it’s so much easier to just go with a service that allows you to add and maintain contacts regardless of the OS you are using.

 

You can set up a new account at http://outlook.com and find out how to set your phone up at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-sg/windows/outlook/to-go TIP: don’t use the outlook.com app as advised in the article, instead go with the native email client as it seems the new app they have no longer syncs contacts with the web service (at least, not at the time of this writing)  Make sure you set it up as your default address book as well.

 

I Use Google+ AND OneDrive to Back up your Photos and Videos

When talking about Photos and Videos, 2 things are important: storage and accessibility.

OneDrive is a cross platform photo and video back up service but I find that for video play back on the mobile device, it’s just really bad. When I’m on a windows phone, i can’t delete a video if i know i want to share this with people in the future because streaming the video from onedrive on the phone is horrible. With Google+, it’s pretty much like streaming a video from youtube, even on a slow connection, you can buffer up the video so that it’s at least continuously playable. Unfortunately this is only available on iOS and Android, so for viewing, i’m out of luck till OneDrive betters its video streaming on phones.

Because I always back up all my photos and videos, I haven’t had trouble with phones that only have 16gb of storage even though I take TONNES of pictures of my kids (I have 107 gb of photos backed up on OneDrive). If you don’t take too much video, then OneDrive is more than enough. Dropbox is a comparable service, depends on which one you prefer I guess. If you take a lot of videos though, i would recommend using the google+ app in for that additionally (only on android and ios).

The other bonus thing you get with Google+ is the year in review and auto awesome videos that they create for you. Although a lot of phones have this feature to create a highlight reel for you, it’s a nice touch when you have just so much content and you don’t have the energy to pick which ones you want to share.

Obviously desktop accessibility is another bonus that you get for storing all your media in the cloud.

 

The Extra Mile: Keep an online note of a list of your must have apps

I use a service like OneNote or Evernote that have apps across devices and maintain the store links of my most frequently used apps, the ones i want to install straight away when i first get my phone. It’s tedious but it saves a lot of time having to think about what apps i should install on my phone when i first get them. I just have to remember to install OneNote first and go from there.

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What other tips do you have that enable you to switch devices with ease?