A Wishin' and a Hopin'
I have an iphone 3G which I used for about a year. Then I got a (work provided) iphone 4 to test viablity as a business phone. Backroom antics from Jobs and Co aside, the iphones are without a doubt, and by a wide margin, the best phones I've ever had.
However, I do prefer free software and have been a Linux user for a decade. I hardly ever touch Windows (itunes and the occasional game) and I can't stand OS/X. I am not an apple fanboi by any stretch
Recenty, I was given the chance to test a Samsung Galaxy Android phone. After reading the Android/iOS fanboi wars on el reg I was interested to use 'droid myself so I leapt at the chance. I would love that my next phone not be an apple one due to the increasing amounts of silliness coming from Cupertino and the feeling of increasing lockin' I'm getting. I left MS for that reason and I don't like the prospect of doing it again with apple.
Unfortunately, the Android implementation by Samsung is less than impressive. Navigation is unintuitive. When I first got my iphone I knew nothing about it but was able to easily navigate around and figure it out without effort.
On (Samsungs version of) Android, things that seemed obvious on iOS are much more arcane and I just feel like I have to work harder to do everything the first couple of times I try.
For example, simply answering a call. On both phones, when you receive a call you get red and green "buttons" on the screen. On iphone, you touch the green button to answer. It is obvious. On Android, I missed two calls while attempting to press the green button. It turns out you need to *swipe* the button across the screen to a small green dot that is next to the red button. WTF? I accept that this is an "improvement" made by Samsung and is not normal Android behaviour but if I were Joe Sixpack I wouldnt understand that distinction and would probably ascribe it to being the general crapness of android.
I couldn't get wireless to work at home at all. I can connect to the AP but can't browse the 'net. I downloaded an app from the android market to query the TCP/IP lease (over 3G) and can see that I have successfully obtained a DHCP lease, the gateway and DNS settings are correct yet I cannot access the internet. I downloaded a ping app and discover that I can ping hosts on my LAN, but nothing out on the 'net. Even by raw IP address. My iphone works on the same wireless network perfectly. I cannot explain this. It could be an routing issue due to my work telco provider giving me a 10.n.n.n address on 3G as I also use 10.n.n.n. at home. The fact that the phone has two 10.n.n.n addresses may be confusing it. Further investigation is required
I like the idea that I can tether to the android phone and set it up as a wifi access point. I really want it to be better (or even as good) as iOS so I can get off the iphone for good. Hopefully other Android phones haven't been ballsed up quite as badly as this Samsung effort. Have to see if I can find a HTC to play with.
I have resisted the idea of buying a tablet because I don't want to buy an ipad. I really want to get an android one. Unfortunately, every time an article comes along about the latest new ipad killer from some idiotic pc manufacturer I find that the so called ipad killer is let down by being over priced and generally a bit crap. I continue to wait but don't have a lot of faith in the PC brigade. I don't know why they can't get their acts together, I really don't.
Finally, there is the subject of accessories. Despite the proprietary nature of the iProducts, it seems that I can go into any high street retailer and select from an almost dizzying array of iProduct accessories. Docks of all shapes and sizes, slip on covers, car mounts, stick on screen protectors, for christ sakes even cars come these days with ipod docks built in. The problem is, due to the proprietary apple connector these items only work with iProducts. Buying a few of these gadgets then serves to lock the user in to apple products so when it comes time to buy a new phone you think "Well I already have a speaker dock for an iphone I'll have to get another iphone or else it'll need to be chucked in the bin"
This is a bad thing.
The problem is that products in the fragmented Android market don't have anywhere near the traction of the iProducts so there are few if any accessories available and if there were, then they would be specific to the particular product (eg Samsung Galaxy i9000). Knowing Samsung, the odds are that when the new Galaxy phone comes along it will be different and wouldn't work with the old accessories anyway. I realise that this happens a bit with apple too, older ipods don't work with newer accessories and older iPod accessories don't work with iphones etc but by and large there is a reasonable amount of cross product compatibility going on that companies like Samsung and LG can only dream of.
If these PC and old school phone manufacturers want to play in this market they simply have to get together and create an "open", apple style dock connector (plain USB is simply not enough) that they all use. They need to pay proper attention to interoperability. They will also initially need to start producing some accessories themselves to seed the market until they get enough traction for all the accessories manufacturers to take note and start making stuff too. Then they need to stick with it, and not force people to repurchase things like speaker docks every time they change phones. Until this happens then apple will continue to dominate them.
I really wish they would get their act together but I see no signs of it happening yet. I want a decent tablet and android phone but for now I can't see myself getting rid of the iphone.