Sporadic contributor Patrick emailed me a challenge, to pitch Android to him for his impending phone acquisition, and in order to make it even more challenging for me I figured I’d open this up to input from any of you who want to steer him away from my advice. Chime in one way or the other please, give this man some closure of being well-informed:
On 11/9/2010 4:43 PM, Patrick wrote:
I’m considering Android. Want to tell me a little about your experience and ‘sell me on it’? Additionally, any recommendations on the current (and/or upcoming) AT&T devices?
I’ve been waiting for WP7 forever, but with so many key elements missing, I’m not sure if it’s worth waiting for this gen of their phones.
On 11/9/2010 5:48 PM, Doug Simmons wrote:
Android’s been doing a good job selling itself without my help. I’m about to run a quick article on this but it just topped the Consumer Reports charts again in devices overall by carrier:
- 1) Motorola DROID X
- 2) Motorola DROID 2
- 3) HTC DROID Incredible
- 1) HTC EVO 4G
- 2) Samsung Intercept
- 3) HTC Hero
- 1) Samsung Vibrant
- 2) HTC myTouch 3G Slide
- Samsung Captivate
- iPhone 3G
- HTC Aria
That tells me that the smart OEM money is on Android because the consumers’ demand’s on Android and Android would not have earned that demand if it didn’t satisfy the market of taste overall, and super well in order to break into the market late in the game. In the US there are more Android phones being sold every day than any other platform and in spite of that growth into dominance and popularity it’s just as open as it’s ever been in terms of being able, with a Motorola exception or two, to modify most things about the phone’s software a la WinMo if you’re inclined (except the rom chefs don’t rely on Win CE builds to summarily fluff up, they have access to the whole Android source code).
Google for the most part does not incorporate morality posturing or carrier ass kissing into their decisions regarding both their own software and what goes on their market, Google feels like they’re on the consumer’s side and not so much the carrier’s which is nice (good luck tethering with WP7, for example or getting SIP Google Voice VoIP in any form which is strongly rumored to happen in the next release of Android, cellular or just wifi unknown. Why would you want Microsoft over that? Big downside.
Google provides a bunch of excellent services like Gmail, Google Maps, Google Voice, Talk, News, Reader, mobile search, Picasa, Latitude, Youtube and on and on not to mention excellent products like Chrome. You probably use at least one more of these routinely in addition to your email. Wouldn’t it make sense that the platform which blends these services into it the best be Google’s? Yes, and that’s the result I’m seeing on my phone. Google has made strong efforts, even legal ones, to get Apple to accept some of their software (like Voice) but Apple (or AT&T) didn’t want it so they said no thanks. In contrast there are a bunch of high-rated Bing apps on Google’s Android app store as well as a total Bing substitute with some Verizon/Samsung phones. And you get to pick whichever you want.
I’ve never had a phone that’s made me not look forward to its successor arriving like my Google phone has mde me, though I guess that’s a Nexus-specific remark. The Captivate is a hell of a phone though, and now it has at least one cousin in a WP7 form. I can easily picture you going home with either Samsung device and being more or less equally blown away had you gone with the other, but once that excitement wears down, a chief complaint of way too few apps out there will emerge and it may leave you a bit winded.
I can find anything on the Android market. Wardriving apps, augmented reality wardriving thing, wifi cracker, 4chan frontend, a plethora of great SIP clients, all sorts of GPS tools, a remote control for my Google TV setup (love that, though it’s also on iphone in the spirit of openness), great Google Reader client, Samba server, FTP server including proxy to get through the carrier’s blockade of incoming connections, a torrent client client which I can use on wifi or cellular to tell my fast server to search thepiratebay for whatever and start downloading it, and then download it directly from my server over FTP — or use a full-fledged bittorrent client, an app that tells me to which cell tower I’m connected over Google maps. Little shit like that, not just Google Earth — it’s all there.
Great Google Analytics client, a program that lets me tell my phone to do whatever I want based on whatever conditions I choose, like to turn off push syncing and toggle down to Edge, mute the speakers etc around bedtime and so on. The largest chunk of collective developer interest is aimed squarely at Android and that matters if you turn your phone from a device, a utility, into a hobby, which you have and will continue to do.
In addition to that, it also gets the job done quite well for someone who just wants a phone and maybe some email. In the event of your getting obsessed enough with Android that you want to get in on the action and program, if you learn Java and then you decide phone stuff isn’t for you, go write Java programs for any other platform. Nice and universal like that as it was intended to be in every form they could come up with, and they just keep on coming up with more forms to please their customers all the time while improving the existing channels. Google’s relatively full-throttle on Android and because it’s open they’re not the only ones full throttle on Android which is largely why I am so full throttle on Android.
But hey, most of the WP7 reviews I’ve seen are positive, so I suppose you can’t go wrong with either. That said, get an Android phone.
Anyone feel differently? Patrick’s anxiously waiting, money’s in the line…