Why Android is better than iOS for some users

In today's open source roundup: A Datamation writer explains why he prefers Android over iOS. Plus: A review of Dell's Chromebook 13. And a helpful beginner's guide to Linux

Why Android is better than iOS for some users

The Android versus iOS wars have been raging for years. But what makes Android a better option for some users? A writer at Datamation shares the reasons why he prefers Android to iOS.

Matt Hartley reports for Datamation:

With Android you have more options, period. Removable SD card storage is one of those benefits you don't think about until you need it. You're able to even go so far as to move applications onto your SD card if you wish. I also prefer Android phones with removable batteries. This is nice because instead of replacing my phone if a battery goes south, I can replace the battery itself.

Diving even deeper into my pro-Android stance – I like the ability to customize just about everything. Even though I haven't rooted my Android phone, I'm able to choose a custom dialer, a custom launcher layout, custom SMS, interactive wallpapers, plus much more.

This means if there is an update to my phone that changes stuff in a way I dislike, I can use custom launchers and so forth to get the phone back to something I enjoy using. To me, this is a huge feature. Being able to completely face-lift my mobile device for the cost of a mobile app is an amazing option in my book. Additional items that contribute to my reasons for using Android are: the ability to use any mico-USB cable, power saving mode(s), and being able to install apps onto my phone from my computer using Google Play.

Using Android is like having a smartphone without the training wheels.

More at Datamation

Computerworld reviews the Dell Chromebook 13

Chromebooks have been doing great on Amazon for a long time, with many models getting very positive reviews and high star ratings from Amazon's customers. But what about Dell's new Chromebook 13? Is it worth buying? Computerworld has a full review of the Chromebook 13 that will help your purchasing decision.

John Brandon reports for Computerworld:

I liked it, and I’m already a big fan of the Chromebook Pixel. You just have to realize you won't be running any "real" apps. The model I tested for $429 does not use a touchscreen, and I’d have a hard time upgrading to the version that does, which costs $629. I’d prefer to see the model for $429 as a secondary machine for road trips. Because my primary purpose in using this laptop was about productivity, I tested Google Docs, checked email, and did quite a bit of social networking and never had any slowdowns.

Essentially, you buy the Dell Chromebook 13 for the keyboard, the reasonable weight (it’s 3.23 pounds for the non-touchscreen model), the fast OS with a quick boot-up (just seconds for me), and to buckle down and get work done. It’s worth noting that the model I tested as an HDMI port, so if I wanted to connect up to my HDTV at home and watch a movie, that’s possible. There’s also a MicroSD slot of loading photos.

I recommend the Dell Chromebook 13 because of the price and the simplicity. If you need a second laptop that you use mostly for work on the Web, this one is a good bet. It’s not quite as well-made as the Pixel, but definitely a step up from other Chromebooks.

More at Computerworld

A beginner's guide to Linux

Linux is an incredibly powerful operating system, but it can be somewhat intimidating and even confusing to newcomers from Windows or OS X. A writer at SitePoint has a helpful beginner's guide to Linux that any newbie can appreciate.

Lesley Lutomski reports for SitePoint:

There seems to be a common misapprehension that Linux is “for geeks”. Certainly, this was once the case: dedicated users compiled their own kernels, and it wasn't for the faint-hearted.

But Linux has come a long way since those days. So, if you've never tried it, or tried it many years ago and gave up, I'd encourage you to think again.

Linux comes in many “flavors”, or “distributions”—normally referred to as distros. Some of these are aimed firmly at a mainstream audience, and I'd suggest using one of these to get your feet wet. The best known of these is possibly Ubuntu, which is the one I use and the one I'll concentrate on here. Linux Mint is also popular, but there are many more.

So is it difficult to use? Not in my experience. The first thing I noticed when we switched to Ubuntu was the sudden reduction in the number of distress calls I received from my husband. He seemed to experience fewer problems using the system than he had on Windows XP, and also seemed to feel more confident about trying things for himself, rather than panicking that he might “break something”.

More at SitePoint

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