Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Why I love Android?

To be written when I have some free time :)... 
Been long long since i wanted to write about this topic....
This post has been overdue for long time now. Finally!!!

My Android-love has... kind of... subsided and so has my Apple-hatred. Not that these things are no longer interest me, but have kind of realized that there are many more things to life, than just technology. Yes, of course - in Steve's own words - I still want to make my dent in universe. But, I'm equally convinced, that malaria won't go away by looking into the sky and hoping that balloon enabled internet/wi-fi would get its medication.

While technology can be an great enabler of solutions, it requires a human genius to put it to proper, good use. And a marketing genius to earn humongous profits out of it. To think of beyond profits and enable masses to use and play around with it, goes beyond technical/marketing genius. And after being there and having done that, if someone turns towards philanthropy, we're talking of a different level all together! That's a story for another day...

I love Steve Jobs. He certainly questioned the status-quo and bettered things around us. Making a Dent in Universe! But, you can't satisfy all of them, and I happen to be one such dis-grunted person. Why I hate him at the same time?

Reason 1: With his 'usual suspects' 'speech', he killed a much evolved form factor i.e. physical qwerty!

And he did not have a fully functional and better option in place before going for the kill. To get some more screen-space, physical keyboard was removed. But, no matter how good and predictive and intelligent, typing on a 'screen keyboard' is still pain in all wrong places - no, I'm not talking of my fingers and thumbs! My last phone was a qwerty-android from Moto, worked very well, till its lock-unlock key went bonkers. I loved it very very much and am still looking for a good replacement!

But there aren't any good physical qwerties in market! Coz, everyone is going after huge screen phones. And why do you need big screen phones, even if they drain more batteries? In good ol' days, size of your ego or your equipment was determined by the size of your car's engine. Sadly, these days it is done by the size of screen! That ain't the only reason for bigger screen size, bigger screen incidentally also gives better typing experience! (and oh yes, bigger screen also means better porn!! Consider the fact the porn-industry is one of the earliest adopters of technology. Don't trust me?? Read this!!! And, strangely Governments want to stay away from it - here - or want it to stay away from them??)

So you removed the efficient physical qwerty keypad to get some more screen space. Added virtual-keyboard, coz, you still wanted to type the text. But it was not very good or accurate, so to solve 'that problem' you increased the screen size more!! If you wanted more screen size in first place, you could have thought of having it without removing the physical-keys? And do all your innovation in the screen space??

What people consider design genius, for me is a badly designed piece of shit-hardware/software-combo!

Which brings me to Reason number 2: apparently Mr. Jobs thought that people don't know what they want, so he worked on and proposed an idea of closely, tightly integrated hardware and software! Well, his assumption was based on the premise that generally speaking, an average Joe won't be tech savvy  I don't know about the demographics, but seems that he could be right, iPhone happens to be one of the popular devices. However, I think that people do know what they want to buy. They know precisely what they want. Many won't just buy what you sell! They buy what they want! So, the closedness of iOS may be appreciated by some, others prefer the openness, I happen to be in the later demographic group!

What the Apple-fan boys don't realize is the kind of technology enabler Android is! It throws open tonnes of opportunities! The kind you can never ever expect from a closed system like iOS or BB! In last Apple launch, someone showed a graphical distribution of variety of Android flavors being used in market and how writing apps for such a varied group is 'difficult'.. well, I, for one, am not sure if that argument holds good - being a user of 2.3.6 I have shared apps with higher Androids and they work perfectly fine. It may not work other way round, but then downward compatibility never was a 'standard' feature in software industry! So, this myth/fact is rather weak line of argument!

Writing apps is a smaller part of Android experience. The biggest advantage of Android is, that, I don't have to buy a hardware I'm not convinced of, just for sake of an OS! That means, I have option to pick from a wide variety of hardware ranging from dearth cheap to super expensive. I may go for better camera if i want, or a physical qwerty or a different screen size or any other parameter that I feel!
For manufacturers, this helps in penetrating to the depth of markets, instead of making an appeal to just one segment!

We are just concentrating on one device called phone. There could be so many other iterations - game consoles, GPS devices, etc. etc. I know it is all available in one device. But, I want to see different 'specialized' devices - designed and build for a specific function - than a generic 'all in one'!

Isn't that wonderful? Well I think it is... what do you feel????

Updates 1 (10th Apr 2014)
Some interesting devices:
1. Phonebloks - http://mashable.com/2013/10/29/motorola-project-ara/
2. Yota - http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/19/yota-phone-uk-launch/
Updates 2 (2nd Sept 2014)
3. Yourbot - http://www.fastcolabs.com/3035062/are-3-d-video-capsules-the-new-family-photo-albums 

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