Some of you may think it’s pretty easy to write for a site like MobilityDigest.com. Yeah, you’re probably right.
I make a simple little checklist to make sure that I get the most out of everything I write. Generally, this ends up looking like an outline. I share this with you guys because I thought it might be fun to let you guys in on my creative process. Honestly, what better opportunity to do so than in a rant? So, my notes and tangents are italicized for you guys. Enjoy it.
Android borrowing from competitors
Let’s address the 800 pound, green robot in the room. Despite what most lovers of the Android platform will tell you, the Operating System and some first party applications borrows heavily from “outside sources.” Now, I won’t go out like Pradeep did and say that they “lifted” features from Windows Phone…well, maybe I will. Large thumbnails for contacts that are about the size of a WP tile and the groups do sound similar, but anyone could have come up with that. Suffice it to say that the groups section of it all is too generic to call it a copy.
Then, I come to the part that I can’t shake. The first time I laid eyes to an Android device, I thought it looked like Windows Mobile. I’ve always equated the current look and feel of Android like an advanced version of Windows Mobile. As if, this is what Windows Mobile 7 (aka Photon) would have looked like. Every time I flashed a ROM on Android, I’m reminded of the Touch Pro (1&2) days. It was always just a curious thought to me, nothing more. Well at least it was until July of this year. When Google released the new version of the Market, all the curious thoughts became confirmations. In this man’s opinion, the market is not only Metro at it’s heart, it’s Photon too. Photon is a curious name for a Motorola Phone, more on that later.
Let’s examine that last bit quickly. I believe that the Android Market is simply design elements from WM7 and WP7 thrown together.
Windows Phone 7 & Windows Mobile 7:
You guys and gals be the judge on that one. Then again, Microsoft and Android OEMs (and ODMs) are constantly in the courts over this kind stuff all the time. Which brings me to the suit with Motorola. Fighting over patents on devices that run Android OS’s like the Droid and the Droid X then turn around and name one of your phones, the Photon seems like a backhanded slap to me.
Microsoft v Motorola Mobility :
Asserted patents (in order of appearance in documents filed with the ITC) asserted by Microsoft in original (as well as first amended) complaint:
- 5,579,517 ("517")Common name space for long and short file names
- 5,758,352 ("352")Common name space for long and short file names
- 6,621,746 ("746")Monitoring entropic conditions of a flash memory device as an indicator for invoking erasure operations
- 6,826,762 ("762")Radio interface layer in a cell phone with a set of APIs having a hardware-independent proxy layer and a hardware-specific driver layer
- 6,909,910 ("910")Method and system for managing changes to a contact database
- 7,644,376 ("376")Flexible architecture for notifying applications of state changes
- 5,664,133 ("133")Context sensitive menu system/menu behavior
- 6,578,054 ("054")Method and system for supporting off-line mode of operation and synchronization using resource state information
- 6,370,566 ("566")Generating meeting requests and group scheduling from a mobile device
Maybe I’m being a bit reactionary when I say that I don’t think that there wont be a Motorola 7Q coming soon. Moving on.
Pay your respects
Since I didn’t really get a chance to say it, R.I.P. Steve Jobs. No one at Apple will ever have the balls to converse with your consumers like you. To all those who opposed Apple, you proved to be a worthy adversary. Somewhere on his way to Nokia World, Ballmer isn’t flop sweating as much as he normally would.
I’ve always wanted to use this pic for something
Siri’s actually cool, sometimes
Let me be honest here, I really like the concept of Siri. I do. For that matter, I like any form of input that doesn’t involve touching the screen with your fingers or styli. With that in mind, I also like what MS is doing with TellMe and Bing Voice, Bing Vision and Kinect. As the platforms mature, it’s going to be interesting to see the fight between Siri and TellMe (and whatever’s on the Android phone that you are currently using versus the voice control on the version of Android that just got announced that you can’t upgrade to, even though you just bought the the Atrix 2. Of course, I’m talking about Jelly Bean. Ice Cream Sandwich is so 19 hours ago).
The only problem is how practical is it to use voice commands in daily life? Commute via subway, no Siri for you. In a loud place? Maybe some Siri for you if you have noise cancelling, BlueTooth earpiece. If you’ve ever tried to use an voice command powered, customer service line, you know that if you’re not in ideal conditions, you wont be understood. Kind of ironic ain’t it? We’ve made a habit of using our PHONES to do everything but talk, and now, Apple made it interesting to talk into a phone to access data.
I’m well aware that there have been voice command programs and apps on many different operating systems for years (if not a decade or two). I’m just not going to be ignorant of what people do once Apple is behind it. I mean, people literally still bought the AT&T version of the iPhone 4 knowing that the phone would drop calls if held a certain way. Didn’t matter. They bought the original iPhone with no 3G even though 3G was pretty well established, they bought the 3G and 3Gs with no multitasking, no custom ring tones, no ability to change the wallpaper or MMS (hey Windows Phone 7 fanboys, sound familiar?). Sure those features came out later, but still, mainstream didn’t care. The point is, if it has glass and an Apple logo, people are going to buy it. The sad thing is, in some cases people have no idea why they are buying it other than “it just got released.” With that said, enjoy iOS5 and the iPhone 4s for those of you who upgraded or purchased one. I’m sure you guys had no problem activating your new phones or downloading that update. Oh wait…
Take the good with the bad.
A little less than two years ago, I read an article from JKOnTheRun/ Gigaom comparing Windows Mobile to Android, with the author being pretty favorable to WinMo. At the time, this just confirmed what I already believed (I was a huge WinMo fanboy) but the comments were scathing to say the least, especially as time went on. The people that were sympathetic to Android sited that it was only a year old and that it’s not particularly fair to compare an OS that is a year old to something that was so seasoned *light chuckle.* They went on to say that it’s still impressive to have a centralized app store that had a little more than 10,000 apps in it, only one year in.
My, how the seasons have changed.
I brought out that little anecdote for a couple of reasons. One of the reasons, the fact that Windows Phone 7 is about to turn 1 in the US. It’s fun to to look back on all those pundits who questioned if LG and Samsung might be late too late to the Android party. Of course, they turned right around and jumped on Android’s bandwagon. Now they go out and question if Microsoft is too late to the party.
*I can’t stand that damn statement. This is technology. If the tech is compelling, it’s never late.
All this is still just my text my one perspective on things. Where are the facts?! I guess it would only be right if I did a quick comparison between those two OS’s. In the interest of fairness, I’ll do the US version only.
|Number of phones on launch||1 (G1)||5 (Focus, Venue Pro, Optimus 7Q, HD7, Surround)|
|Number of phones introduced within first 12 months||2 (launch device, MyTouch)||13* (launch devices, Arrive, Trophy, HD7s, Titan, Radar, Focus Flash, Focus S)|
|Number of apps in first 12 months||10,000+||35,000+|
|Estimated number of units sold in first 12 months||~2 Million**||~1.7 Million ***|
|Number of updates in 12 months||3 (1.1, 1.5, 1.6) ****||5 (7008, 7390, 7392, 7403, 7720)|
|Number of Carriers on launch||1||2|
* the number of announced devices may jump around 4 AM Eastern tomorrow (October 26)
** there was much debate back then and there still is now. In April 2009, HTC confirmed that they sold 1 Million G1’s. This number is just the aggregate from most of the sources researched
*** Number estimated by IDC thru July 2011
**** Date the SDK was released, not the date the updates were released by the carrier
It’s funny how perspective, when coupled with history, can be a great teacher.