Mobile technology is like language. You learn it best through total immersion.
[ InfoWorld's Galen Gruman explains how to fit Android into an Apple ecosystem. | Reviewed: The Nexus 4 and Nexus 10. | Understand how to both manage and benefit from the consumerization of IT with InfoWorld's "Consumerization Digital Spotlight" PDF special report. | Subscribe to InfoWorld's Consumerization of IT newsletter today. ]
Sure, I've used Android devices and even a Chromebook casually before. But I never tried to rely on them full time.
Boy, did I learn a lot about Google (and Apple). And my opinions on many things have changed. I'm going to tell you the 10 shocking things I learned and how my mobile computing buying and usage have been transformed.
I initially intended to do the full diet for a month, but I dropped and broke the Nexus 4 a few days ago. So it turned into a three-week experiment.
I switched from Evernote to Keep for notes, from Apple's Pages to Google Docs for writing, from Dropbox to Google Drive for cloud storage, from Mailbox to the Gmail app for email, from a variety of Mac photo-editing applications to Google+ for photo editing, and from a wide range of apps on the iPhone and iPad to versions made by Google.
I was already a primary user but became an exclusive user of Gmail, Search, Google+, Calendar, YouTube, Latitude, Alerts, Chrome, Voice, Now, Hangouts, and (with sadness) Reader, Google's RSS reader that will be discontinued July 1.
Within my experiment, I also embarked on a Google Now diet -- everything you can do with Now I forced myself to do with Now instead of alternatives -- actions like launching apps on the smartphone, getting navigation, getting the weather, searching the Web, and so on.
Lesson 1: The Chromebook Pixel is a joy to use
The Pixel both boots and shuts down in a couple of seconds. Everything is in the cloud, so there's nothing to manage or configure or hunt down.
The screen, keyboard, touchpad, sound system, and clamshell builds are all very good. Still, the Pixel is generally slower and less polished than using a MacBook Pro. Performance is determined to a much larger extent by bandwidth speed.