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Did I get bored of technology or did my iPhone 4 just make me completely apathetic to new releases of phones? I have to wonder about the tech news that announces endless phones and tablets, that possibly Apple isn’t actually for the device snobs, but for the people without the attention span to figure out which of the competition is actually good!
The reason I switched from hating Macs and their stupid one button mice, to owning and using one every day of my life.. sadly no exaggeration, is that apart from deciding how much to spend and when to spend it, the rest is pretty much taken care of for you. I don’t have to worry so much about graphics cards and processors, which I used to obsess over, from building my own PC’s in the 3.1 and 98 days, to running Windows 7 virtualised on my new iMac.. just for testing cross platform you understand.
Anyway, back to droid, and it’s going to be a very brief back to. I can’t say that I’ve had a whole lot of interest in them, although listening to podcasts from the TWiT network and other tech shows does put a lot of Android information into my stream. I guess I just don’t care..
In the VMs I’ve got I have a couple of Linux distros so I’m not against open source by any means, for operating systems or anything for that matter, but mild horror stories surrounding the politics of Android are surfacing all the time.
One of the more recent ones that springs to mind is that a certain company was withholding the latest release of the Android OS to push it’s higher end devices, while leaving people who’ve got the perfectly upgradeable older version stuck. The open-ness of the platform doesn’t mean that the people implementing it are going to stick to the same open ethics. I’m not expert in this but I have a feeling that the licence on Android allows proprietary forks to the code, or some such other stupid thing that basically renders Android less than open depending on the implementation. Sure you can go to the trouble to hack your phone and possibly that’s exactly what Linux users have come to expect, but for the vast majority it brings up the same arguments that said Linux wasn’t ready for the desktop. Sure it works out the box, but the second you have to make any adjustments to something, you need a big heavy book or a bit of time on “The Google” to figure it out.. that doesn’t make for a user-friendly-for-all product. You’re not going to be telling uncle Herbert over the phone how to root his phone and yadda yadda..
You also have to wonder about the environmental impacts here. There have been murmurs of shortages of some raw materials, which will in future cause issues for the manufacture of touch screen devices. If no other solution is found this could prove a problem unless a paradigm comes along and shifts us away from them. With all these devices, there’s got to be a fare few that fail and end up scrap. Not that this is new, but it seems we’re in a 4th generation gold rush for mobile. We’re approaching bubble territory with phones being released what seems like daily, and people still locked into 24 month contracts with carriers..
So .. Android market share is currently huge, is that because it’s everywhere, is that evenly spread worldwide? Is that in countries like China where there’s no shortage of highly skilled manufacturers finding legal ways to release their own devices? Is it because the iPhone restricts users, or even that the iPhone itself is restricted to certain networks and technology (read “Verison iPhone” from that), or do people genuinely buy into the open-ness of Android? I can see the developer’s angle, but otherwise I think I’m missing the excitement.
Maybe I just need to go out and get one and figure out what all the kerfuffle is for myself..