Multiple Cellphones: How I Balance my Usage Across Both

Credit: Wikipedia

I have carried multiple cellphones for about 2 years now. I think as a mobile developer, it’s important to be familiar with both the major platforms (iPhone and Android) and I find the context helpful regardless of which platform I am working on.

Currently, I carry an iPhone 5 and a Nexus 5. My Nexus 5 is my “primary” phone – it has my UK sim card in it, and as such is the one that I use when I am not on a wifi connection (not that often, since there is wifi at home, at work, and in the gym). My iPhone has a US sim card in it, as it is now my designated travel phone. I use this to listen to music, and (almost) all the pictures I take, I take on my iPhone.

A couple of things:

  • The apps I use most (chat, Twitter, 4Square, Feedly) are on both.
  • Email and calendars are synced on both – not that I use email on my phone much. Now that I’ve eliminated most junk mail I get notifications for personal email on one phone, only.
  • Necessary apps that aren’t instant are only on my secondary phone – this includes banking apps and personal activity tracking apps. This forces me to switch over periodically.
  • Also, music and pictures.
  • I make an effort to switch to my secondary phone when I get home and ignore my primary. Same in the gym, where there is free wifi – I leave my primary phone in my locker, and take my secondary with me to the x-trainer (with my iPad – I now tweet and watch TV whilst I get my cardio).
  • In fact basically anywhere with wifi, I use my secondary phone.

My usage is the best it has ever been, a big factor in which is that I actually love my Nexus 5 enough to want to use it (a level of affection I never managed for my old Galaxy Nexus – I think this is mostly the beautiful screen), but after the first thrill of getting it, and a brief period of neglect for the iPhone I’ve found a balance.

I think, on the whole I slightly prefer my iPhone – the great camera, and all my music being on iTunes is great – I can play music on my Apple TV, and then when I head out the door I plug in my headphones and it continues right where it left off. Also, some apps are better on the iPhone, Twitter being a big one – the Android app is much more likely to lose my place in the stream, which annoys me, and the clicking out to launch chrome rather than the embedded web view is slower. Also on Android, you don’t see the page snippet in the expanded tweet view (sometimes enough that I don’t need to click out). Although I use Buffer on both, and it’s so much easier on Android, because of the share intent. In fact sometimes my workflow is that I go through my favourites (which I use as a mechanism for things to read later) using both devices (web page loading being the bottleneck) but do all my sharing from the Android.

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