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Why carry more than one Device?

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Thomas Zucker-Scharff
Veteran in computer systems, malware removal and ransomware topics.  I have been working in the field since 1985.
phones-cropped.jpgLet me explain this picture a little bit.  First, in case you haven't already guessed, you are looking at my 2 phones, an Android Samsung Galaxy S5 on the left and an iPhone 5 on the right.  They are on their respective cradles on my desk.  But, you may ask, why in the world do you have 2 phones - for 2 heads?  No, but not far off.  

Because of my work, where I am the IT goto guy for my department, I decided it was a necessity to have at least some experience with iPhones, iPads and Android devices.  This is mainly because our workplace does not have any policy restricting what devices can or cannot be on our network other than they have to have security software installed.   And I am then tasked with the job of having to troubleshoot ANY device, carried by someone in my department, that connects to the network (and they all use wifi at least).  There are some of my colleagues here that look like they are wearing a batman utility belt.  I know of at least one person who carries an iPhone, Android, Blackberry, WiFi AP, and a pager.  We all write, or try to write help documents for all these devices in regards to our network.  Such things as how to connect your device to our exchange server and how to configure your device to connect to our WiFi.  In order for these to documents to be at all helpful, we include screenshots of actually doing whatever we are describing (or sometimes I just make a movie).  To make those screenshots and to know what you are doing, you need to have one of the devices in question.

Android was no problem, as that is the type of phone I have had since I first had a smartphone (currently a Samsung Galaxy S5 running Lollipop).  iPad was not too much of a problem in that I received one as a birthday gift several years back (iPad 2nd Generation, Wifi only, 32gb).  But many of the people I deal with on a daily basis used iPhones.  So when the opportunity arose  to get a phone for work (because they wouldn't pay for part of my current phone), I chose an iPhone - at the time it was the newest iPhone on the block, the iPhone 5.  

It often strikes people as odd that I have more than one phone.  I would prefer a MAM (Mobile Application Management) solution instead.  Alas, our institution does not wish to invest in MAM, or even in MDM (Mobile Device Management).  See this article comparing MDM and MAM.  MDM is implemented on a very basic level in that we can remotely wipe a users' mobile device through our exchange server.  So I ended up getting a second phone to use for work.  

I was surprised when I found I liked using the iPad and even the iPhone.  Several people, including my daughter who only uses Apple devices,  commented to me that I was becoming an Apple person (god forbid!).  My comment to remarks like these is usually the same, I might be enticed to go to the dark side (Apple) if iOS had anything resembling a file system.  The biggest problem I have found is that it is relatively easy to put files onto an iOS device and equally as difficult to get them off.  I should clarify this a little.  If you use a cloud service like dropbox, you can save files to it easily.  I use dropbox, onedrive, flickr and insync to transfer files, as well as an FTP app I bought from the app store.  But you CAN'T plug in a USB drive, as I can with my android, and just use the files or transfer them.

The best comparison I have seen of the iPhone and an Android phone is that the iPhone is for people who mostly want a smartphone for calling, texting and taking pictures and want it to just work - out of the box, while the android phones are for people who like to customize/fiddle with their phones and plan on doing more than just the basics.

I like the Android better, so it came as no surprise to me that I ended up using the personal phone, an Android phone, for virtually everything.  At least I am able to trouble shoot my iPhone users' problems without too much difficulty.  There are several users who refuse to upgrade their iOS, so I have more trouble trying to correct a problem with devices running versions of iOS prior to 7.x.   The ability to be able to have a first hand knowledge of the OS has been invaluable in my daily interactions with both of my bosses, who insist on having iPhones.
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by:John Hurst
I work for myself., can do what I want in terms of my own business, and I do not have all your issues.

So I use one phone (iPhone) and one computer (tiny lightweight Lenovo X that runs 7 operating systems). I take the computer everywhere and have a USB rocket stick for it so I can do anything from almost anywhere.

Yes, I use Dropbox, and yes, the promise of all my documents on my 64Gb iPhone never paid off, but my attempt at Office on an iPhone never paid off either because the screen is to small (not because an app is not available).

I have thought about a tablet, looked and walked away. My X is hardly bigger than a decent tablet and it includes the famous IBM keyboard design.

So I am a one phone, one computer person. Works.

Thank you for a very good article.
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
:-)  I was seriously considering updgrading to an Android Samsung S6 edge.  The only thing that has put me off is the inability to open it.  It is like having an iPhone!  I wouldn't be able to put an SD card into it nor would I be able to swap out the battery (both of which I currently do).
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Expert Comment

by:Ronald Hine
I currently use 2 smart phones. I do this to separate my work from my private life. However, they are both Windows phones. Our work phones are Windows but most of our workers have iPhones for private use. I do get requests from users to setup their work email on them, in a lot of cases, they ask me for help with them.

The one BIG reason we do not have iPhones as standard equipment, the cost. They are 3 time more expensive than the Nokia 636 we use plus, I am more comfortable with Windows phone and prefer it to iOS.
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by:John Hurst
My private life tends to be also my work life (fun being on your own) and I no longer give out the home phone number.

I am still using my iPhone 4s (3.5 years so far and off contract).  I am considering a Windows 10 phone, but I have not yet decided.

I HAVE decided to move to Windows 10 Pro for both computers (Desktop Windows 7 Pro and ThinkPad Windows 8.1 Pro). I will donate out the desktop and use the ThinkPad X as a spare.
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
I also decided to move to windows 10 for my computers.
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Expert Comment

by:Ronald Hine
Yes, we will get there ourselves to. I hope they do a Thin Client version like they did for Windows 7.
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LVL 28

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by:MAS
I am using Android and Iphone. few reasons behind.
1.understand both mobiles as mentioned above as an IT person we should be aware of what are the new phones and how to fix issues of the same.
2.Use personal number and company number in each phones.
3. Iphone has good batter backup. Android will not last like Iphone.
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
My take on iPhone versus android is

Use iPhone if you do basic things like email, text and browsing and you just want it to work  out of the box. Use android if you want to be able to use an SD card, extra battery and like to customize your device.  Side by side,  the iPhone battery may last longer,  but it doesn't lady longer than 2 batteries in an android.
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by:Maidine Fouad
It really Depends on how much app's you have installed/Or running on your Android

Having Heavy draining Apps Running all day long(on both of the phones ) will shorten your batterys Life , and the power will not last as it was, Especially on Android

Being an android user , Some Apps Keep Auto Run on startup altough you didnt use them yet , Its quicker to run them since they are already executed on the background but it drains power : /, it is better to disable Auto start on the most Power-hungry ones

Benchmarks Are usually using Stock phones with no Apps on thems , and with no apps Android battery lasts longer:

http://cdn.bgr.com/2013/11/iphone-5s-5c-battery-life-test.jpg
Iphone has a more powerfull processor :

10563-2854-iPhone-6-Review003-l-1-.png
And in the underground Ios's are jail braked In order to Enable Customizations , that doesn't not equalize the equation ...So yeah Perhaps Carrying both is a must For It professionals

I wonder what kind of Applications Iphone User's have/Use especially in work ? are they the same as Android ?
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by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
I wondered the same.  My boss has an iPhone and needs to be able to get files of of our one they are on.  The only real option is the cloud.  He uses an FTP app as well, and with enough configuration you can use what amounts to a files app.

As an IT professional,  I have found one of the best apps for iOS is on the iPad only, called CI (computer inventory) from imobile3,  it does almost everything I need from an inventory app. There are others which do a better job of either querying the computers or storing the info (see my article on it here : http://www.experts-exchange.com/articles/18542/Finding-a-Computer-Inventory-Application-for-Use-with-Mobile-Devices.html).
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