Forget the iPhone, the Google Fun Fone (Pixel 8 Pro) is where it’s at

OR: Tired of Scams: Why I Switched from iPhone 15 Pro Max to Pixel 8 Pro

The onslaught of phishing and scam calls and texts lately has been overwhelming. While the iPhone 15 Pro Max excels in many areas – display, photography, audio, gaming – it simply falls short as a reliable phone.

In search of better call management, I decided to change both my phone number and my phone (again!). I loved my Pixel 7 Pro, but concerns about cracked camera glass and limited UK-based call screening features (due to local laws) ultimately pushed me away. Apple’s on-device processing is great, but it offers no real spam call solutions, and third-party apps are costly and ineffective.

However, the Pixel 8 Pro is a game-changer. I’ve opted for EE’s full insurance to protect against any physical issues and ensure the option to replace or swap models if needed. Even better, the Pixel 8 Pro’s enhanced on-device AI processing for call screening is a major win. I tested it by calling my own number, and the phone flawlessly processed the call and transcribed everything, saving the data locally.

Another reason for the switch? While Apple’s Face ID is convenient, authenticating with low-placed NFC/Bluetooth readers while they’re active is cumbersome. Having a fingerprint scanner is now a necessity for me. The Pixel 8 Pro offers both AI-based facial recognition (which works surprisingly well for 2D) and a fingerprint scanner for those challenging scenarios.

The Pixel’s customization features are incredible! AI-generated wallpapers are way more fun than I anticipated, and Android’s flexibility for app icon arrangement makes it easier to group apps based on my preferences. Plus, I can fit more apps per screen compared to the iPhone.

Data transfer from iPhone 15 Pro Max to Pixel 8 Pro was surprisingly simple – just connect a USB-C cable, unlock the iPhone, and let the Pixel handle the rest. The most time-consuming part is re-authenticating all the banking and financial apps.

So far, my experience with the 256GB Pixel 8 Pro (sadly, no 512GB model in sight except directly from Google) has been fantastic. I’m excited to put it to the test this week. Google’s commitment to seven years of updates signals a serious investment – and while I wouldn’t call them a traditional consumer company, they’re are seemingly taking the right steps. The integration with Google One, now that I’m off Google Workspace, provides genuine value. I hope Google maintains this positive trajectory in the consumer space.


Old McGoogle had a server farm.. A.I,A.I, Oh?

Decided to give Google One Premium a go – free for two months. It comes with 2Tb of storage, plus the Google’s newly rebranded A.I. service called Gemini Advanced (was called Bard). When I tried Bard with Google Workspace (and even Duet A.I.), I didn’t feel it was up to much. But I asked Gemini advanced to rewrite my CV.

The first problem is that Gemini Advanced can’t look at files in your Google Drive account (yet), nor can you upload document files to it for processing. You can upload images, but I’ve yet to find anything useful for that.

Here is the text of the (current) CV I sent it. Comes to about 8 A4 pages in total.

Martyn Drake

Personal Statement

I have 26 years of professional systems administration experience divided between web hosting, e-commerce, film/TV post-production and computer game industries. During this time, I have built up skills in diagnosing and fixing a wide variety of problems across multiple hardware platforms and operating systems.  

This is in addition to providing first, second, and third-line support for clients ranging from individuals through to large multinational corporations, and supporting internal company systems such as workstations, servers and laptops.

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