Choosing a mobile - iphone vs android
Being in the market for a new mobile phone I was on a mission to buy an Apple iphone plan until someone told me to go with Android because iphone updates are a PAIN and use up your data!
Whether this is a fair comment or not, I'm not sure but I immediately got taken back to the time I bought an ipod and the whole Apple itunes rigmarole I went through and although I love buying songs on an itunes account, the experience left a lot to be desired.
MAYBE I'M NAIVE but has anyone else noticed a DIVIDE on the internet?
I'd seen this before - again and again - companies who try to put you on a treadmill - you purchase something ( printers, scanners,cameras, phones etc ) - besides the driver, you are subsequently expected to register yourself, download the latest update (which took longer than the original! in one case I had ), wait...and wait, synchronize and, one of the worst things,:get warnings or lose privileges if you don't update or buy the thing new or if you lose your driver cd or if you don't renew a subscription etc..etc..
What kind of company regime are you putting yourself under has become an important question for me whenever I buy hardware or software now.
For example, I had a friend who, when he left his mobile phone plan, lost the only email address he had ever set up and all the emails sent to it. Not that that has anything to do with buying a phone but this kind of "stay with us or you will suffer" philosophy is pretty appalling and in fact BAD business.
There seems to be a DIVIDE on the internet between companies who try to CAPTURE their market and those who ATTRACT their market without conditions attached. The first type seem based on the premise: "if you don't stay on our treadmill,pay your dues etc...we will make life harder". The other type, non-controlling, has an "unconditional company culture of come and go as you please without pain attached."
The old saying is if you love something SET IT FREE. IF IT COMES BACK IT IS YOURS.
I don't even care if a company makes me do all this extra stuff to track my needs and preferences - the business intelligence thing - that doesn't worry me at all but it needs to be more in the background to make the experience a little better and I'll leave it to government legislatures to work out whether their is a privacy issue or not - if the truth be known, we should be all open anyway...what have you got to hide anyway - dark secrets?
That's really old thinking - very outdated and I'm not talking about personal stuff like banking which is inaccessible anyway when banks use encrypted requests.
So ever since hearing about iphones and the updates I've been shy. As the saying goes, once bitten twice shy. Justified or Not?
I hope someone with an iphone leaves a comment here because there is nothing wrong with the iphone itself. I love it and the technology blew me away so please PROVE ME WRONG. Tell me if I've got this TOTALLY wrong but I can't help seeing a pattern here between those who keep the internet open and those who try and keep it a closed shop and try to make a profit out of a captured audience and specialized programming- i.e. not open source but only for the initiated few.
All I wanted was an iphone but I had opened a can of worms and was on a journey leading into some areas of the internet I had not fully comprehended in the past. A journey on where the internet's value system of the future was going to be. In fact, where it should be heading.
Were we going to be at the mercy of companies or corporations or sites for that matter who restrict us - make it hard for us to unsubscribe,leave,criticize,program new apps etc...or were we going to go with risk-takers who gave us choice, freedom of speech and opportunity for all?
For example, I don't dislike FACEBOOK - I have it on one of my main sites - but how easy is it to CLOSE AN ACCOUNT on FACEBOOK? This might have changed. I hope so!
It's the same with email subscription and spam. How easy is it to unsubscribe from a list?
Does anyone else know what I'm getting at here?
So who was I going to go with? APPLE which had an awesome product but which put it's consumers through more hoops (?) or Android who had tapped itself into an open source community of developers using Google's Android platform?
My experience told me Google was a company that seems to have a sound value system based on high principles so as the developers of Android - I was leaning that way.
I had started on what I thought was a simple purchase - buying an Apple iphone - my sister had one, I was very impressed, and so I wanted one -SIMPLE.
When I heard of the update pain (and megabyte drain?) of iphone and itunes and given that plans come with a data cap, not to mention my Ipod experience, this made the paint run on the lovely picture I had of affectionately owning an iphone.
Darn! Would I be running this lovely thing or would it be running me?
I suspect, software developers have put auto updates in the background of late because knowing these updates are eating up your allocated data wouldn't exactly be thrilling news for the majority of users now would it?
Nor is it exactly enjoyable waiting ages for updates to take effect in Australia where broadband is slower than international standards.
I had heard it from more than one source - the update pain with iphones so why, I asked, was I so enthralled with having an iphone in the first place?
Answer: The sheer brilliance of this phone.
When my sister showed me her iphone it was love at first site - iphone certainly seems to have a fantastically bright and attractive screen. And with the color scheme - which I might add Apple do exceptionally well, it is hard NOT to be impressed. But what really clinched the deal (so I thought at the time) was this novel ability to zoom in and out with two "pinching" fingers and the iphone's clarity and ease of use in general.
What I didn't know at the time was that HTC and many other phones can do the same thing but there profile was a lot lower.
Apple have got it down pat when it comes to design - you cant take that away. Just take a look at their website.It is good to look at and the iphone screen resolution is higher than that of an HTC Desire HD.
But after being told about downloads I wondered if Apple had got it down pat when it comes to customer satisfaction? The Hardware yes, without doubt. The software?
My line of questioning turned to the OPERATING SYSTEMS and what it takes to RUN a smart phone.
Do not ask which phone you want. Ask which operating system you would prefer to have running on your phone!
Although you hear it said that Google is far too dominant on the web, you have to appreciate why. Google's marketing model seems to be based on an ironic principle:
Put the consumer first and business second is good business! Let them come AND go as they please.
Of course many will take advantage of you for providing this environment - but the key word here is MANY!!! You WILL dominate the numbers and ADVERTISERS will want to pay you to reach the MANY who have taken advantage of YOU!
Isn't it ironic?
Youtube (another Google product) is an example of this as is FACEBOOK and TWITTER which both seem to use this model which relies on advertisers to "pay" for everyone's FREE party!
Of course everything is paid for in the long run - either an advertiser or a consumer will pay but shifting payment to the advertiser seems to be a less painful model for consumers and seems to create a much larger share of the market for obvious reasons;
Of course it could be asked: is this market as good as a paying market; consumers who expect to pay for things?
But not everyone has the same capacity to pay so it's not as egalitarian to make everyone pay or else miss out.
As far as choosing a mobile - (that's what this hub was about after all!), it had come down to two phones for me. Apple's iphone4 and HTC's Desire HD which uses the Android operating system.
One is a fashion statement: "I've got an iphone - look at me", the other has become more of a phone that will do the job for a greater number of people including the developers who have the open source platform of Andoid developed by the philanthropic Google.
Greater good for the greatest number?
There is of course a third player in all this: Windows 7 has made it's appearance as a smart phone operating system but has not really made it's presence felt...YET. Who knows what will happen in the future and what business culture will this microsoft product develop - it is certainly a great operating system but is it as philanthropic as Google's?
Hardware - the other side of the what the equation had become
Although the operating system (software) that ran the phone had become the most important consideration for me, the hardware obviously still played a big part.
Who knows what hardware INNOVATIONS we will see in the future - hopefully companies with a sound culture of service to consumers will prevail?
When I started to look at the HTC Desire HD, I found it was better if you take pictures - an 8 megapixels as opposed to 5megapixel camera on the iphone.
As far as I'm concerned talk time, standby times are pretty minor details but one thing I do care about is the processor and a good camera is a great bonus for what I do.
Both phones have 1Ghz processors so are basically on par though I have seen evidence and heard the HTC is faster thanks to the Android operating system.
This makes sense given Google has developed awesome download speeds for search and the well known fact download speed on the internet is a factor in page rank - that is, Google apparently penalizes pages that are slow and heavy so would not, logically, condone a slow operating system on a mobile smart phone.
In my experience, Google,Speed and Service have always been synonymous so I would expect an Android smart phone to be.
So has the HTC HD Desire HD overtaken the iphone in everyone's estimation? Not because it is a better or worse phone but because it runs on Google's Android?
The iphone4 comes with 16G or 32G memory which seems very impressive until you realize the HTC has a microSD which can extends it's memory to 32G anyway. Flexibility for the consumer again - why pay for something you don't necessarily need to get started?
As I've tried to point out, one of the most important consideration for me when buying a smart phone is what company regime will I be under if I buy the product a controlling or philanthropic one?
What will be required to RUN the smart phone and what implications will it have for developers and consumers alike now and in the future?
And that's why I have decided to go with an HTC Desire HD running on Google's Android system.
I'll leave the rest to your comments!