Android Kicks Apple in the Cherries?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by groove-agent, Nov 24, 2007.

  1. groove-agent macrumors 6502a

    groove-agent

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2006
    #1
    So I'm on the verge of getting an iphone and unlocking it. Just starting a new business, I am interested in a PDA phone that syncs well with my macs and allows me to access my business documents on the go. On the entertainment side, I'd love to have a decent camera phone to capture those "special moments" that crop up unexpectedly.

    I haven't purchased an iPhone already because IMHO, the iPhone is currently an incomplete product. It's missing a lot of essential features common to many phones, particularly PDA phones: video recording, to do lists, syncing of notes, the ability to open and edit spreadsheets. I'm certain that in time, Apple will release updates to address the iPhone's missing functionality. Unfortunately, these updates put an iPhone unlock at risk thus losing any extra applications you might have.

    I finally found a video of a prototype Andriod phone*. The first thing I noticed is the Apple-like interface: translucent grey dock, aqua menu highlights, and coverflow. Very nice and Mac-like indeed. The second thing I noticed is how well they are exploiting the one huge weakness of the iPhone: the ability for people to develop their own applications and hardware as they see fit. While Apple has a lot of development resources with respect to the iPhone, it will be difficult to compete with the rest of the market if everyone else is open to, and fully encouraged to develop this platform in terms of software** AND hardware. I didn't think it could be done, but Google just kicked Apple in the cherries and threatened their potential domination of the iPhone in the mobile technology market.

    A saving grace is that Android isn't due out until late 2008. Apple will have to work hard to get a head start on Android phones. Even still, with the cumulative effort of every other software and hardware developer, it wont take long for them to meet (copy) and exceed anything Apple has done with the iPhone up to that point. Secondly, Apple will have no choice but to open up their platform for development. Although they have announced an SDK for early 2008, we have no idea to what extent they're opening it. Logically, it would make sense to speculate that they will allow you to develop web page apps that are saved to the iphone that can be opened locally. While this is an improvement, there is no doubt that users will continue to be dissatisfied and hack the phone until applications are 100% native. Personally, I'd love to be able to develop and customize my own flash applications, as well as design some slick front-end for company databases that do not rely on a shabby internet connection.

    When the dust settles, it seems that the only advantage Apple and iPhone will have is advanced integration with OSX and iTunes. In the end, it is reasonable to assume that the iPhone demographic will be a significant amount of Mac users who are loyal to the platform and want to perpetuate a genuine Mac experience. In all fairness, Apple has shown that they can beat the combined effort of the competition with the iPod and computer hardware. However, the large cellular phone market may be a little more challenging. From here on, Apple will have to make their choices wisely.

    As inviting as it is, I think i'm going to try and wait to see how the story unfolds before jumping on the iPhone bandwagon. However, I'm getting that pre-christmas "gadget" itch so who knows. I always believe that in a world of "inevitable uncertainty", anything is possible.

    *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_avwGFsv60U
    **http://news.yahoo.com/s/cmp/20071113/tc_cmp/202805233
     
  2. dangleheart macrumors 6502

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    #2
    1) A bird in hand is worth two in the bush..

    2) I agree Android is a bold step forward but it is not an iPhone killer. To realize that, you need to look at the history of Android. The only thing going for Android is the Open Handset alliance. Let us see how that materializes.

    3) Platform is onething, Ideas and integration are completely a different matter.

    4) The real interesting thing about Android is really not as a competitor for iPhone in the cell phone market. Many companies are currently dreaming of different form factor handheld computers. With Wifi and an wireless data device is an interesting combination. If it can make a mark in enterprises for the daily workflow of their millions of workers, the real loser will be the desktop. If that happens, this would be considered the biggest sneak-attack on Microsoft by Google.
     
  3. kamiboy macrumors 6502

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    May 18, 2007
    #3
    Fake Steve Jobs had some pretty humourous comments regarding the Android "platform" which in his usual very insightful way mirror my own opinion on the thing. My favourit was "open handjob", he he, genious as always fake Steve.
     
  4. emotion macrumors 68040

    emotion

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    #4
    Anything that is genuine competition for Apple's iPhone is a good thing imo.

    However, just-another-phone-linux distribution from Google doesn't really mean that the game is over.

    Time will tell whether any of the implementations of the Android platform (it won't be just one phone) cut it.
     
  5. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #5
    The best thing that the iPhone did, was to raise general awareness of smartphones. (Obviously plenty of people knew about and bought them beforehand, but now they're front page news.)

    This awareness benefits every maker.

    I think there will be room for many types of phones and phone OS', just as we have now.
     
  6. cube macrumors G5

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    May 10, 2004
    #6
    I couldn't care less if Android affets iPhone sales.

    What bothers me is that it is creating a nonstandard Java platform.
     
  7. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #7
    Isn't anything better than MIDP and lcdui? (Serious question... don't know enough yet.)
     
  8. Stella macrumors 604

    Stella

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    Apr 21, 2003
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    Canada
    #8
    microsoft tried polluting Java, Google don't need to go down the same road.

    Google: pay the licensing fees to Sun and get over it.

    MIDP Java is a bit weak - too security focused which locks out a lot of functionality.
     
  9. emotion macrumors 68040

    emotion

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    #9
    Are they polluting Java? All it is is a non-Sun provided JVM isn't it?

    Sound familiar? (MacOSX *cough*)
     
  10. cube macrumors G5

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    #10
    I don't think it's JVM thing, but about the libraries, that wouldn't be one of the official Edition standards.
     
  11. plumbingandtech macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #11
    Buy both.

    If you have a business, call it an expense.

    I would but so far what I have seen of ANdroid is that it looks like a linux machine compared to an OS X machine. Something that tries but just falls flat for those that desire elegance.

    I'll prob just buy a new iPhone every year. I think Android is going to be another one of those devices (ipod, osx interface) that people keep saying, wait till the next model, then it will be as good as Apple's stuff.
     
  12. Avatar74 macrumors 65816

    Avatar74

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    Feb 5, 2007
    #12
    You do realize that Google's CEO is on Apple's Board of Directors, right?

    Android, like ARM processor designs, is not a product but a licensable platform...

    Google's had Android in the works for some time. They're also more or less the first third party supplier of content delivery for the iPhone...via the YouTube and Google Maps apps.

    What makes you think Google and Apple are going to go head to head and not actually marry android UI features with iPhone?

    You're going to wait either way... but the thing to keep in mind is that whether you buy an iPhone now or later, the third party apps following either the February SDK release and/or Android later in 2008 are only a software upgrade away from iPhone. There need be no changes to the physical design of the iPhone to accomodate any new interface keys, buttons or functions.

    Think about it.
     
  13. emotion macrumors 68040

    emotion

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    #13
  14. emotion macrumors 68040

    emotion

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    #14
    Funnily enough I have and I agree. I can see there being some strategy between the two companies. Even if it's subtle.

    Google-Java support on iPhone? :)


    Edit: In fact, "SDK" for iPhone in February? Dalvic support?
     
  15. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

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    #15
    The Android stuff looks OK in the demos, but as with so many other demos, there's a large potential they're going to screw it up it some manner and it won't end up being the sweet song you were led to believe.

    With the iPhone, it was kind of the opposite for me. When I watched the early demos, my reaction was mostly "Kinda nice but...meh." But, after owning one and actually using it on a daily basis, I feel it's in fact much better than what I was expecting it to be (with the usual caveats that it's still not quite perfect). The iPhone whole is better than the sum of its parts, you might say. The total experience transcends what you get by checking off a feature list.

    Can Andriod do the same? We'll have to wait and see, but I know my iPhone has become something I'm never without, (I probably use it more than my MacBook Pro). And I'm using it now.

    I also think you (the OP) are underestimating the value of integration (iTunes, etc.).
     
  16. aerospace macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2007
    #16
    First release in late 2008 means there wont be many good apps until early 2009. By then we may have iphone V3 so I wont hold my breath.
     
  17. sjo macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    the android sdk is out already, so the apps will start appearing early next year.
     
  18. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #18
    Especially with $10 million total in prizes being given out.

    Heck, I'll probably enter something just in case.

    Never look a couple hundred thousand gift horse in the mouth :)
     
  19. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    Colorado Springs, CO
    #19
    I completely agree. I've been keeping an eye out for a new phone as mine is 2 years old and is starting to get buggy. Too bad, phones are just as bad as they used to be 2 years ago. Why is it that Apple seems to be the only company that can make a good UI?

    Does it matter? The Java interfaces now suck and the apps aren't much better. It can't get much worse.
     
  20. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #20
    But Java doesn't do what google wants. The alternative to what they're doing is not to license Java but to create their entirely own language based on nothing. I'm not sure that's better. The way it is now at least there are a lot of programers who have a head-start on learning the android language since it's similar to what they already know.
     
  21. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

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    #21
    Well, they made a simple one, not necessarily a good one.

    For example, it's not always intuitive (just look at the questions on forums), and it's missing basic UI functionality (cut&paste), and missing basic smartphone functionality (mass delete, SMS forward/multiples, etc, ad nauseum).

    What helped them enormously is the lack of having to also support keyboard-only phones, and early models with very small screens.

    I'm really curious how they're going to handle more apps. Just plop them on multiple home pages? What about when you have several dozen apps or more? Will we be able to categorize them to our own needs?

    Things get more complicated ...
     
  22. asphalt-proof macrumors 6502a

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    Magrathea
    #22
    I'll echo the statement above about Fake Steve Jobs comments. Alliances have a tendency to fall apart. Rapidly and sometimes quite spectacularly.
    Android is a pretty interesting idea but then so was OpenMoko. Here's the thing: The features you want on a phone are readily available on any smartphone out there. The only difference between the the iPhone and the other smartphones (and Android when/if it come out... it still is technically vaporware, just like Duke Nuken Forever) are these: 1. iPhone has the Apple Logo on it. 2. Its easy to use.

    I have own several smartphones/a myriad of PDAs and the UI on every single one of them is junk. Nokia was a nightmare of trying to find ANYTHING and their icons were cryptic; palm's OS looked like it was from 1993 and randomly crashed whenever i loaded up a new program and syncing required that i make a sacrifice to an obscure deity in order to ensure that it get done properly if at all; and Windows 5... well its windows. Lots of clicks to get to a contact, syncing is iffy at best, and trying to enter data into a spreadsheet was laughable and less than useless. It became a bar game at one point. I have not owned a Blackberry however but my father and brother-in-law use them and are pretty happy with them. Not a ringing endorsement but I have heard they do what they do well. I have no idea of their UI so ask someone who does.

    Sure you have access to the file system and can load up all kinds of cool software that doesn't play nice with the other cool software that you downloaded and after hours of frustration, you end up deleting the offending progs (and those are the programs you buy, wait till you decide to download a 'free' program or trial version, oh the fun you'll have trying to erase every bit of crap the program left behind).

    There is a very tiny subset of the cell phone market that actively go out and look for programs to add to their cellphones. In the smartphone market, which is a small subset of the cell phone market but getting bigger rapidly, there is a subset of their market that fiddle with their smartphones. Mostly, people download games. Some play music, a few are downloading AgendaFusion, Launcher, Battery Bar, slingplayer, etc.

    There is a reason that the iPhone is doing so well. Its because its easy to use. No one wants to have to read a manual in order to make a phone call, listen to some music, or create an email. Is is perfect? Of course not! Its just version 1.0. Give them some time. I think that Apple has the right idea of trying to control what gets put on the phone. If some one rights a program that causes the phone problems, people tend to blame the phone not the software.
     
  23. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

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    #23
    This is exactly what I was talking about. All current phone UI just plain suck because they are too complicated or don't work all that well. Who cares if the phone has a million features if they're a total pain to access or use? Is it really that hard to research how people want to use phones? Apple seems to be able to do it.
     
  24. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #24
    Interesting that the iPhone has only been out for a few months and sold maybe a couple of million units, and already it's the phone to beat, and maybe it's already been beaten by a product that won't even ship for a year or more. Funny how that works.
     
  25. erandall38 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 24, 2007
    #25
    You are right in many ways.
    I have been thinking/day dreaming about this for a while now.
     

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