I hate mobile phones. I have had a Sidekick2 forever because it lets me jot down notes and do e-mail and IM and check things on the web. But I fricking hate talking on mobile phones! I have been tempted to ditch the expense and hassle of carrying a device around all the time and move back to index cards and save myself $50-$60 per month. Alas, a mobile phone is basically required of any SysAdmin. In the past year I have had the good fortune of working at a larger company, where I’m only on-call for two weeks every other month. So, I have begun to leave the mobile device not-on-my-person when I’d like to relax. It is kind of a bummer for people who want to call me, but the tranquility does me good.
Anyway, the HTC Android “Google Phone” was announced yesterday. I bit the bullet and pre-ordered an upgrade for my trusty old Sidekick2. After all, a lot of the same team who designed the Sidekick went to work on Android, and the large company I work for is sending out the bonus checks this week. I’m starting to get a little excited at the idea of having a GPS device, because mapping is so hot. But the other win for me is to annoy the iPhone people.
Because I am a cantankerous old mobile-phone hater, I’m also naturally annoyed at the whole iDong Mac fanboy spectacle. The iPhone is that first fancy phone, but my soul reviles at the thought of paying a premium to get locked into the whole iTunes racket and . . . ugh. It is a toy! The open development platform is going to be a nice improvement on the Apple-mediated iPlatform. Anyway, the other reason I’m looking forward to getting the new Android is to steal the self-satisfaction from my iPhone comrades. “My phone does all that janky stuff too, but it costs me somewhat less and I have greater freedom.”
What is neat about mobile phones and other “micro-computers” is that there is no dominant operating environment yet. Apple and Google are trying to get in early, and doing a better job at it than Microsoft, and it is refreshing that Google’s device emphasizes open source and platform portability. We’re going to get to replay the “OS Wars” of the 1980s and 1990s all over again and I honestly think the Android platform has a lot of potential to dominate. I personally believe that in the next few years it will have surpassed Apple a great deal, because much as MS-DOS was licensed to a growing horde of PC makers, Android seeks to live on many devices, and Apple, just as in the old days, will become that special province with 10% market share of loyal Apple weenies. I liked Apple weenies a lot more when they were persecuted oddballs. These days they’re just irritating.
Anyway, blah blah blah blah, The Joy of Tech has the best analysis of why Android will whoop Apple’s ass.