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 Stuff:

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.

Simple Equation

Let’s examine that last bit quickly.  I believe that the Android Market is simply design elements from WM7 and WP7 thrown together.  

Android Market:

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.

Apple Stuff

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…

Microsoft Stuff

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. 

  Android Windows Phone
Year introduced 2008 2010
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. 

 

– Fight

10 COMMENTS

  1. Ok so I never once thought after picking up an android device that it remotely resembled my touch pro 1. I still don’t get why ms users are ok with ms doing exactly what apple does, have a locked down OS and one app store. Honestly android seems to be exactly wm 6.5 was back in the day except with better backup\restore options and a more solid market . I sick of apples closed system and after playing with ginger bread on the touchpad and after the announcement of icecream sandwich I am ready to give android a shot as my next phone. I will not try WP 7 soley on the fact that it is no better than apple when it comes to customizations and yes I did get tired of new ROMs on WM but android at least has a good way/ easy way to restore after updates something that I could never get to work properly on WM. Also before I am called out on it I am totally ignorant to anything about WP7 so if there is an easy way to customize and tweak let me know.

  2. Amthony, I used to be like you. I was a Tweaker. I wanted total control. I wanted my skin, and my ringtone, and my stuff right where I wanted it. I even hacked my wife’s Motorola RAZR to put the Battlestar Galactica theme on it.

    I loved WinMo.

    Then, I decided to add up all those hours of flashing, and heartache, and the time I spent keeping up with the very latest. It occurred to me that I was spending more time serving my phone than it was serving me.

    I had better hobbies than tricking out a phone that I would ditch in a couple of years.

    Windows Phone does what I need, and it gets out of the way. It’s elegant. And I don’t need a bunch of apps to do everything. Oh, I still have a lot of apps, because you never know when you might need something. But when push comes to shove, my phone is now serving me.
    =======
    the fight…

    Remember… When it comes to mobile tech punditry, it’s not about who is *right*, it’s about how Microsoft is *wrong*.

  3. Normally I would agree but I have been stuck with a phone that I couldn’t do that to (iPhone 4 since July) and yes it was great for about a year then the annoyances started getting to me. It has been really annoying not having different notifications tones for my phone vs the other 8 iPhone carrying people in my office. The new iOS update to include custom tones has been great. But still apple will never let me have a dedicated slide down window to toggle bluetooth/wifi/3G/Data without jailbreaking. I don’t think I will play the ROM game like I did for WM6. The little bit I have played around with CM7.1 I know I will stick with those guys. They provide over the air updates to their roms and have a very solid and optimized piece of android software.

  4. @Anthoney Pennington:

    I hear you. Customization can be important to people and jailbreaking scares most people (albeit, not as much rooting and loading a custom rom on Android, but still). The homebrew community is pretty small but not shunned by Microsoft like Apple is with jailbreakers. The funny thing is, most of the NoDo homebrew functionality apps became obsolete Mango came around (im talking about radio toggles and 3rd party multitasking).

    For the record, I love CM 7.1. I’ve been sold on those devs since I threw Eclair on the Touch Pro. And many thanks to them for integrating screenshots into the power menu.

  5. @Chris Leiter: Thanks for commenting Chris, it seems like you’re the only contributor that something to say about all this *HINT, HINT*

    I actually played around with Siri today using my coworkers 4S. Ambient noise and elevator music didn’t seem to bother her provided I was really close to the mic. Put the mic by the middle of the my chest and things got a little hairy. Using the stock earpiece, you have to hold it a little closer to you (not that most people mind, hell, I didn’t) but still the same results. However, in a car with the radio on (were listening to ESPN Radio) and 3 other people conversing, there were more problems. That’s kinda knit-picky but then again the example I worried about was pretty specific.

    Either that or Siri finds Michael Kay’s voice just as annoying as I do.

  6. @thefight

    Funny, as soon as you said ESPN Radio I thought of the Kay show.

    Once on my Arrive when replying to a text from my wife, (via TellMe) I was listening to Kay and paused for a second between words.

    TellMe actually added “animal” to my text message.

Comments are closed.