Windows also had an advantage of a write-once, run-anywhere software ecosystem. Other than different screen sizes, or perhaps graphic cards for games, you could expect a consistent mouse-keyboard-screen interface. Android has to account for lots of little differences in hardware form factors and feature sets, and the onus is on Android devs to manage these, which was seldom an issue for Windows devs.
Mac vs. Windows was last generation's technology battle, and it's long over. We're now in uncharted territory.
This is an enormous responsibility that Apple has never had to deal with -- there's a difference of at least 3 if not 4-5 orders of magnitude in the number of different types of hardware platforms that each company had to deal with.
Android has a few dozen phones to support. And yes, the "metaphor" is slightly different across phones, but it's nothing like having to deal with every random piece of hardware that every company puts out.
Apple is supporting two gens of hardware. The iPhone OS will support the iPhone 3GS, the latest iPod Touch, the next-gen iPhone (as of now, unreleased) and the iPad.
Android has 19+ phone configurations (not counting carrier specific nuances in the firmwares) to support.
I think its interesting that Mr. Lyons is "blown away" by Android features that will be coming to his iPhone in 30-60 days, with the exception of teathering (which isn't Apple's fault, but AT&T's).
Also, people hate to hear this, but a jailbroken iPhone provides a much better experience and much more competitive than Androids.
And according to Jobs, the jailbroken iPhone even includes free room and board for a few years.
Apple's copyright infringement claim starts with the observation that jailbroken iPhones depend on modified versions of Apple's bootloader and operating system software. True enough -- we said as much in our technical white paper describing the jailbreak process. But the courts have long recognized that copying software while reverse engineering is a fair use when done for purposes of fostering interoperability with independently created software, a body of law that Apple conveniently fails to mention.
So, Steve Jobs can say what he wants. The courts are the final arbiter. Jailbreaking, like "rooting" an Android phone, perfectly legal. Warranty voiding, maybe, but legal.
It's three generations. The iPhone 3G is a supported platform for iPhone OS 4.0. You do miss out on multitasking though.
>I think its interesting that Mr. Lyons is "blown away" by Android features that will be coming to his iPhone in 30-60 days, with the exception of teathering (which isn't Apple's fault, but AT&T's).
Lack of tethering is both Apple's and AT&T's fault. It's AT&T's fault for not activating it in the carrier profile but its also Apple's for making sure that the iPhone only allowed signed carrier profiles with iPhone OS 3.1 so that you could no longer download an alternate carrier profile with tethering enabled.
This sounds like it was added at the request of the carriers. Free tethering for everyone costs Apple nothing, and improves the user experience.
That's your opinion, not a fact. There's no reason to hate you for your opinions, unless you somehow imply that your opinion is somehow more relevant than my opinion (hint: it's not).
Look at the features Android offers that Apple doesn't...widgets? Jailbreak. Multi-tasking? Jailbreak. Themes? Jailbreak? Customizable lock screen? Jailbreak? Multiple ways of loading apps? Jailbreak.
Do you have to pay for some of those features? Yes. Does the marginal utility of any of those features lead to a truly "must-have" experience for the average consumer? Not in the slightest.
The iPhone doesn't have that.
Sorry, I beg to differ.
PS: Orders of magnitude 3 = 1,000, 4 = 10,000, 5 = 100,000. Now if you ment 3-5x the number of platforms but 1000x is way to high.
Sure there are standards to describe hardware interactions, but any reasonably experience sysadmin will tell you horror stories of when they found a weird issue with chipset X not following the standard just right, and needing a special case driver that no longer worked with the OS of choice. This means there are combinatorial multipliers on a per device basis (or some percentage thereof...)
PS: Consider when you need to install a RAID driver before installing the OS.
I would say that's the difference: Microsoft abstracted most of the differences through their APIs. Android obviously handles some of these issues, but devs have to pay far more attention to degrading gracefully on different screen sizes, lack of multitouch, lack of hardware keyboard, etc.
Of course, web devs have had to play a similar game with the various browsers for a decade and a half, so it isn't necessarily a show-stopper for the ecosystem.
Not everyone wants to switch to AT&T. Hell, if there's been a 3G iPhone available for Tmobile I would have bought one long before I'd ever heard of Android.
Android is like a side project. They aren't going to fight for it like Apple will.
So again, a huge leap forward? Hardly.
You can have it anywhere.
Also, just because Google said Android can do it, doesn't mean carriers are going to let manufacturers enable that feature on the phone. Odds are, to enable WiFi tethering in production model phones, you will either have to a) Pay more or b) root your phone, sideload an app/firmware.
Android, Docs, Chrome or any of the other not directly search or advertising Google activities may be important at some stage. Right now they aren't and it isn't clear that they will be. I don't think Google is treating them as such.
What I was saying is that there will be a big difference in drive between Android 2012 & Windows 1995.
Look, I'm not saying these are not good strategies for Google. This thread was comparing MS Windows/Dos in the early 90s to Google Chrome Android 15-20 years later. Google is (probably) not building the next biggest business via Android/Chrome. At best, they are strengthening their current (best) business and taking a punt at some new ones that have a remote chance of being businesses in the same class as Search/Adwords, Windows or iphone/ipad.
Apple is building the next great computer business via iphone/ipad, or at least making a very directed effort with all their weight behind it. They are making money on it, directly, now. They stand to make a lot of money on it for an quite a long time.
All I was saying is that there is a difference between these two positions.
1990: DOS on your choice of hardware or lock into Apple hardware & software at a higher price.
2000: Windows on your choice of hardware or lock into Apple hardware & software at a higher price.
2010: Android on your choice of hardware or lock into Apple hardware & software at a higher price.
I suppose there may be a bunch of crappy Android phones, floating around under my personal radar, available for even less than $100. That sounds like false economy to me. If you're gonna get soaked for $2400 in cellular bills over two years you might as well spend the extra 1-4% and do so in style.
Of course, this is a USA perspective. Things are probably very different outside the USA.
The experience is STUNNING with excellent performance and more features than I've yet had a chance to grok fully. It's definitely the most exciting computer I've used for a long time.
Yes, here in Italy it's pretty common to find phones that are unlocked, and full price. I saw a 3gs at the store for 600 Euro the other day. Android phones are also pretty expensive, but not quite to those levels.
Overall, I like seeing the full price as it helps you to compare phones, not phones + whatever wonky plan they're trying to sell.
It sure does make you wonder why Verizon is charging as much as AT&T for their Android plans when the device is almost half the cost. I guess the answer is because they can, because they have a better network. I also wonder if Android handset vendors will try to get a cheaper plan out of Verizon when the Verizon iPhone supposedly lands this summer/fall...
Gross margin on Apple products has consistently been around 33%, at least for as long as I've been listening to their quarterly conference calls.
The unsubsidized N1 costs $1700 over two years compared to ~$2500. If you factor in the cost of the contract, the difference is huge.
Where does this assertion come from. Apple has produced a processor that does a great job at conserving battery life. Nothing that I have seen leads me to believe that Apple has the tech/experience to 'get raw graphics performance while simultaneously preserving battery life.'
It's better to think of it as a rule for constructing theories than for evaluating theories.
Nothing against Daniel, but his reasons are far less entertaining than FSJ's would have been.
Now the dropped calls thing, I can't comment on. AT&T in my area is actually great. 3G rolled out EARLY where I'm at. And I've been tethering since December of 2009.
If you mean an implementation that's still more hamstrung than Android's, sure.
Apple will lose if they don't respond - and it would seem likely that they will be forced to add some of these features - streaming from my media library being one I would particularly like.
Keep landing those killer blows guys and making your products better and better!
(mind you I have horrible suspicion that I will end up with devices from both camps - if the production android pad is cool will almost certainly buy one as well as an ipad)
Did they really think they wouldn't get media coverage pointing out the obvious comparisons if they just demo'd and explained rather than explicitly mocking?
I plug it into iTunes and it automatically syncs everything and backs up the device automatically. All my accessories work with the dock connector including my car. I can still get software updates for my 3 year old iPhone 2G. Music & media players are superior to Android in my opinion along with it simply being easier to sync content. I can play my Audible books on my iPhone. Couldn't live without those. It's easier to buy an iPhone. There's basically just one model or the hold-over model from last year. With Android phones I feel like there's always something better right around the corner. I feel compelled to research CPU speed, RAM/ROM size, and evaluate the differences in software. I don't care for the physical buttons on Android phones. I think it's jarring to switch between the touch-screen and menu/home/search/back buttons which incidentally seem to be arranged differently on most Android handsets. I think the iPhone still has a pretty big app advantage especially for games and multimedia.
Can't believe that lack of choice can ever be a good thing.
It's like saying "It's easier to pick a job if the government is the only company to work for. If there are private companies/startups, I feel like I can work for another company that is better."
You rely on a myriad of choices other people make for you every day and I would guess you are quite happy that you don’t have to make all those choices by yourself. There is the architect who decided how the buildings you use every day should work and look. There is the designer who decided which line height the articles you are reading in your favorite magazine should have.
Too much choice can be a very bad thing. It can be suffocating.
Google Tech Talk on the Paradox of Choice:
And as developers, why should we be excited at a knockoff? Do we need to punish Apple for being successful? Unlike Microsoft, Apple has not tried to force people to run its OS. And if Apple stops innovating the phone market, I don't see Google stepping up as a replacement. Much as Microsoft did, I expect large market share to result in years of the same old crap.
I understand that some people don't like the situation they are in, and I'm okay with that. But can we stop pretending that Apple is the evil empire? They make a great product, and you bought it. That's what companies are supposed to do.
And lets not give Apple too much credit. While the iPhone was best of breed it wasn't nearly the innovation that the GUI was or even WSIWYG word processing. It really felt like an evolution of the smart phone. A very well engineered product, but not the revolution that a lot of people seem think it was.
There's always something new... how does that make the discussion of "features" versus "execution" debate change?
A very well engineered product, but not the revolution that a lot of people seem think it was.
Precisely. The iPhone has been successful because they only included the good features. Competitors always talk about new features, or fewer dollars. To the average consumer, neither of those are as important as execution. Google will only make a better phone when they make a better phone.
People who say that other people are bitter are usually just bitter. The guy is a technology columnist and he talks about technology. What a huge surprise.
>And as developers, why should we be excited at a knockoff?
Humorously just yesterday Daring Fireball and other Apple apologists were pointing out that Google bought Android long before Steve Jobs had his iPhone epiphany. But yes, the iPhone is a knockoff of Windows Mobile, and numerous other phones that came before.
> Unlike Microsoft, Apple has not tried to force people to run its OS.
What. A. Load. Of. Shit.
Apple saw that they had a hit with the iPod and they hung onto "Mac only" for as long as they could, and remarkably it was fairly successful. It isn't accidental that iPhone development is Mac only. Apple does cross promotions with large brands to make iPhone applications, trying to build a world where not having an iPhone means a second tier world. Adobe's cross compiler was a huge threat to that.
Apple is worse than Microsoft ever dreamed of being. They got by with it because they were cute and tiny, but that time has passed. They don't get the free pass any more.
>I understand that some people don't like the situation they are in
Sounds like you're the one that doesn't like the situation he's in. But I'm sure you'll come into all of these discussions to set people straight.
Do statements sound better to you when internally punctuated?
Sounds like you're the one that doesn't like the situation he's in.
Yes! My news feed which used to be full of people doing interesting things is full of people whining about Apple's success.
Rather than poke fun at the method in which ergo98 highlighted the obvious BS that ynniv was passing off, maybe come back with a point?
What I said was not BS, and calling it such doesn't make it so. Microsoft engaged in anti-competitive pricing to destroy competition in the market. They made purposely complicated document formats to make switching platforms more difficult (to great affect in corporate environments). They destroyed competition in the browser space so that their operating system was required for the best web experience. They also stole features from Mac OS (if you think they were not "stolen", you certainly can't argue that they were invented by MS), and undercut Apple a little on total package cost, but those are more run of the mill business strategies. They have strategically used bug fixes as a means to force paid software upgrades.
In short, Gates decided that if you wanted a Personal Computer, it had to run Microsoft software, and executed relentlessly against that to the detriment of the consumer.
Apple has (quite simply) done none of these. They have never competed on price (obviating the possibility of undercutting). They released their browser experience for use on all operating systems (I don't care if the KHTML core required this - if that were actually an issue they would simply rewrite it). They have maintained document compatibility with Office for most documents, have good PDF support, and generally haven't used document lock-in as a business strategy. Every release of Mac OSX has added features and often increased performance, sometimes for very little cost to the consumer. The lack of OS copy protection has lead to most upgrades being "optionally paid".
In short, Jobs has decided that he will make premium computers for a small, more well off customer base. At each step, Apple has increased the value of the product, and lowered the cost (when prices have simply not increased, they are effectively decreasing due to inflation). Mac OS X is arguably the best desktop OS that currently exists. Often times, he has increased the value of computing for non-customers by supporting standards or releasing code. Apple's contribution to WebKit and push for web standards has strengthened the overall web, if only though competition with Mozilla and Google.
So, tomlin, my point is that I get a little irritated when people call Apple the new Microsoft. I am also annoyed when people say that some system which looks exactly like something Apple just made, is actually better than Apple's version because of X. Or, that the maker of this product is justified in releasing something exactly like the Apple product "because someone else already did it".
Windows did not look like PARC's Alto. Every finger (not stylus or keyboard) driven full-device-touch-screen phone with multi-touch and sliding gestures does not look like previous smartphones. Zune music store, and whatever Google is pushing do not look like the PlaysForSure MSN Music Store, and eMusic, and Rhapsody with their associated hardware devices. All of these, while not exclusively, are derivative of Apple's take on these products. I know this because they all sucked before Apple fixed them.
I once heard it said that a leader is not someone who pushes their own ideas, but one who reflects the ideas of others. I am not an Apple fanboy because I like Steve Jobs... I'm an Apple fanboy because I like myself. And if something better than Apple comes around, I'd be all over it. But so far, Apple has been an oasis in a desert of crap.
So if you don't care for Apple that's okay with me. But instead of whining about how this oasis isn't what you wanted, how about you get out there and start digging a new one.
When yours looks better than his, I'll join you.
Windows PCs would work better if Dell (or whoever) made sure every update worked 100% and you couldn't install new components after purchase. As things stand now it is impossible to test Windows updates on even a fraction of the hardware configurations out there.
I realize there is no incentive for a phone manufacturer to fix bugs and add features to a device that's a year old. But Apple has done a decent job with the iPhone firmware updates.
But considering I consider jailbreaking an iPhone a "feature", doing something similar with an Android phone is also a good thing. (At least it is an option.)
Kudos, Google. Kudos.
He noted that most iPod owners were already locked-in by their libraries. His closing line: "Microsoft, you've got your work cut out for you."
Anyways, it's true that Zune is getting trounced, but if Apple continues to piss people off and there are alternatives that are actually a pleasure to use, that may change.
I say this as somebody that's owned both iPods and Zunes. The actual hardware experience was better with the Zune, in my book, but the iPod blows it away on the software side.
I'm pretty confident in the future of Android, but a positive prediction from Lyons is one of the few things that could cause me to reconsider my opinion!
( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_Lyons )
I suspect too many years of abysmal products in the space just burned too many people to make Microsoft credible for at least 5 years.
Fake Steve is wrong when he implies that Jobs is insincere about creating beautiful products and is just trying to lock people in. Even if the edicts and decrees often go haywire, if nothing else, Jobs and Apple believe their own bullshit.
We figured out that they did this deliberately to make people think they were saving money, knowing full well that most people don't look at their bills in detail. We agreed that it was fundamentally dishonest, and that left a bad enough taste in our mouth that we switched away from them. They switched us back, we registered an official complaint, got switched back, then (because of their stupid billing policy) had to pay bills for another couple of billing cycles.
That was 15 years ago. I've never even considered using Sprint since. If people around me start talking about their great customer service, then after a year or two I'll reconsider. Maybe.
I suspect that your story was likely similar to mine, and the silently accrued balance was the result of phone calls that they didn't bill you for until a couple of payment cycles later.
(I went with Sprint 4G over Clear 4G because Sprint 4G is free with a 3G data plan. 4G coverage can be spotty, but 3G coverage is exceptional. So I am never without data. Now if only I left my house more often...)
The main reason I went with Sprint is because the cost is almost the same as Clear, but I also get 3G access. I don't use that much in Chicago, but it's great when traveling; Sprint's 3G network is pretty comprehensive. It's really relaxing to have Internet access anywhere. For me, anyway :)
There's really only one nightmare billing system!
How recently did this happen? Sprint has historically had poor customer satisfaction but they seem to be turning things around.
To have internet access on your laptop when no other source is available... 3G isn't the fastest, but it's secure and available pretty much wherever you are. As for the battery just plug it into the laptop or because you're using an Android phone, pop in your spare battery after you've gotten your work done.
If I wasn't an iPhone app developer, I would mostly likely switch to an Android phone in a blink of an eye. And I have an Android G1 dev phone.
But seriously, this is a killer feature, I can't understand how anyone wouldn't want this, even if it's just for very occasional use (quickly get vital email on your laptop, etc.)
Nice, now if only Android could make a decent music player...
I'm currently fond of MixZing (http://www.appbrain.com/app/com.mixzing.basic), but Cubed (http://www.appbrain.com/app/org.abrantix.rockon.rockonnggl) seems to be rising rapidly in popularity. There's even btunes (http://www.appbrain.com/app/com.bmayers.bTunesRelease) for all the ex-iphone users out there. :-)
Not to mention of course all the streaming apps like Pandora, LastFM, GrooveShark etc.
Apropos of nothing at all, this reminds me of the argument for there being so many incompatible flavours (ahem) of Lisp.
As a longtime iTunes/iPod user :-) I've been using doubletwist to sync some of my existing iTunes playlists to my Nexus One. If you're not an existing iTunes user, something like SongBird (http://www.getsongbird.com/) might be a good choice. I think Windows Media Player will copy playlists to a USB drive (not certain about that).
Another alternative for iTunes users might be iSyncr (http://www.appbrain.com/app/com.jrtstudio.iSyncr), which looks pretty interesting. I haven't tried it yet, but supposedly it tricks iTunes into thinking your Android phone is an iPod. :-)
Oh, so we're being honest about it now?
I'm amazed more people aren't drawing that parallel.
Any day now I expect Jobs to announce the construction of an unusually large and magical aircraft, made from the finest Chinese spruce.
That's because you like choice; the freedom to run Flash when you want, something you don't have in the iDevices.
I want Android to get to this level of maturity to keep Apple on its toes, but I've yet to see any evidence Google is there yet.
Froyo just increases the advantage.