I have been a long time user of “smartphones”, in fact I was using a “smartphone” back when they weren’t phones and rather were PDAs, PPCs and handheld computing devices. One of my first devices was a simple PPC, back in 2002, the Casio BE-300, which used windows ce 3.0 OS backend with a simple menu overlay. I even released what would be considered a “custom rom” for this device, hacking a full windows ce interface into the device. Time passed, The PPC and PDA products merged together into the smartphone devices we have today.
From 2004 to 2009 I used a windows mobile device that had touchscreen inputs with a sylus. I used the PPC 6700, the PPC6800, and always was fairly happy with the functionality that these devices provided me with. Althogh recently mobile hotspots have become popular, I was doing this way back in 2007 on my windows mobile device. I was very happy with the windows mobile platform, however it seemed to be in a stanstill even from the original release, there were many minor updates, but the core interface stayed roughly the same for many years, I didn’t have any problem with this, then something dramatic happened… my wife purchased me an iPod touch for my birthday, I had seen the release of the iphone happen, even the 3gs was about to launch at this point; but I had not ever used the iphone or ipod touch devices until this point.
I was absolutely blown away… the smoothness of the UI, the responsiveness, the ease of use and the menu standardization were unlike anything I had seen before on a mobile device. It was simple yet elegant. Some advanced functionality seemed to be missing, but there were plenty of apps in the app store to make up for this. I actually found myself furious at microsoft, how could they be this far outclassed on a mobile device, when they had had SOO long to make improvements and so much of a head start? Needless to say, I obviously became an enthusiastic iPhone user (unlocked 3gs 32GB on T-mobile)
Fast forward to today, I just purchased a Google Nexus One, what prompted me to make this move? Why have I decided to ditch my beloved iphone for an android device? Here are my reasons:
1) Jailbreaking and unlocking woes.
In order to use my iPhone on T-mobile’s network, I had to jailbreak and unlock this phone, however doing this voids your warranty, and at any time could be wiped out by a firmware update from apple. Living on an unlocked iPhone is like being a squirrel in an unsprung trap, all the goodies are in the upside down box, but you constantly wonder when someone is going to pull the string and lock you away, rendering your phone investment a 600 paperweight.
2) Why not just use AT&T?
I am very unenthusiastic about apple’s decision to lock all iphone users into AT&T expensive plans, the unfairness is especially apparent as they have started to cap user’s data plans to unreasonable amounts of data.
3) Flash Fiasco leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
It has been one thing for apple to not support flash for this long, but with the capacities of the 3GS, the ipad and iphone4’s processors, there is no reason that flash could not be made to work on i devices. So what if it might slow things down a little when rendering web pages? that is to be expected, the trade off is you can view flash! If they made it so you could turn it off and on at will it would not be an issue. The real reason that apple does not support flash is to protect the status of their apps in the app store. And I guess that is their own decision as well, but for them to blame the lack of support and send their i-minions after adobe calling it buggy and a major security risk is a little unfair (all applications and platforms have security issues) flash has been around for way too long, and now for apple to start attacking like this for doing what they have been doing for decades is a facade for their true intentions of maximizing profits in their app store.
I normally wouldn’t mind so much, but I have utilized flash for so long (newgrounds? homestarrunner anyone?) and have even created my own flash movies that cannot be viewed by anyone with an iphone. Flash does have value.
With 2.5 times the pixels of the iphone 3gs, a 1ghz+ processor, and amoled screen with awesome viewing angles, the nexus one very solidly outclasses the i-devices in terms of hardware, with the exception of the new iphone4.
5) 3G Internet
Unfortunately, it is impossible to get anything faster than Edge connectivity on an unlocked iPhone on T-Mobile’s network, with the Nexus One I can get full 3G speeds. Yet another reason why I wish Apple wouldn’t lock their devices down to one carrier.
So those are my reasons for checking out google’s flagship phone the Nexus One…. be prepared for a followup article on whether I believe that the Nexus One will live up to my expectations, continue as my primary phone, or if I will be seeing an iPhone4 in my future, despite my qualms with apple and at&t.