I'm getting really tired of reading hacky comparisons of iPhone vs Android to Mac vs Windows. For one thing, there is not a huge price discrepancy in the smartphone space the way there was on the desktop in the 80s and 90s, when Macs tended to carry a 2-3x markup. There isn't the problem of too few games on the platform; Apple currently has the advantage here, though obviously not forever. And despite Apple's willingness to piss off devs, I would say Apple is still providing more tools and support to developers than they ever did when the Mac was fighting for survival.
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.
I think you're wrong about the write-once run-anywhere software ecosystem that Windows had to deal with. There was an incredible proliferation of different hardware -- including drivers etc. -- and it was mostly up to Microsoft to make sure that the OS continued to work flawlessly (or at least at whatever level of semi-stability it managed to attain) across all of these different configurations.
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.
>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.
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.
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.
>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.
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.
That depends on how platform gets defined. At the OS layer, a reasonable argument could be made for (cpu, northbridge, southbridge). Of course the whole northbridge thing can actually not include usb support, or disk io support, which can then throw more multipliers in there based on chip...
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...)
> it was mostly up to Microsoft to make sure that the OS continued to work flawlessly
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.
You are correct that there isn't a big price difference this time around between Apple and the alternative. But, standing in for the price difference this time (at least in the US) is carrier availability. To you and iPhone you've gotta switch to AT&T who doesn't seem to be going out of there way to care for those iPhone customers (at least, that's how it appears to me as an outsider hearing constant stories of dropped calls and poor call quality). Android is available on any of the major carriers in the US (although admittedly, with less support from AT&T then from the other 3 major carriers).
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.
Good point on your first sentence, but I disagree with the second. From the keynote they put on yesterday, Google has made it clear that they'll put a ton of effort and innovation in. They basically called out Apple the entire time. Apple has dominance now because of their huge head start and loyal fan base, but it's looking like Google is quickly overtaking them in innovation and features. Apple will always retain a loyal fan base, but I think they're going to need to step up in adding new features to avoid losing more customers to Android, and that's without considering the factor of people getting annoyed at Apple's paternalist (or "draconian") philosophy.
"but it's looking like Google is quickly overtaking them in innovation and features"
Such as? The announcements yesterday looked as though they'd finally caught up to iPhone 3.0, including the huge cheer for "Update All".
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.
I think you're only partly correct. Android itself isn't the important piece for Google, it's an open ecosystem for their advertising. In the keynote yesterday they said something about the importance of a future not "dictated by one product and one man". I'm willing to bet Google sees the avoidance of that future to be of vital importance to the survival of their company.
Maybe Google will make money some way, down the road, directly or indirectly from Android. Maybe not. Windows was knowingly building a huge business.
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.
You are absolutely wrong. Google makes money on every web search performed on any device. The point of Android is to get users to do search through Google and make the platform ubiquitous, and right now they're making money hand over fist with that.
Same thing with Chrome. Chrome OS device will default to Google Search, GMail, and many services where they make money directly. It's brilliant, and it's working.
Mobile search advertising isn't making much money yet. I doubt Chrome (browser) has made a noticeable difference in Google Search market share. Google don't make much on Gmail or docs.
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.
Apple is fighting - no doubt about it - but it may be fighting using the wrong strategy. If jobs is really serious about saving the world from viruses, third party apps and porn, he's going to lose a lot of customers.
When I bought my first Macbook Pro a few years ago, I purchased it for the hardware and intended to use it to run Windows in Bootcamp. After spending a little time with OS X I came to appreciate it and I now use it exclusively. But my favorite thing about it is the UNIX like underpinning. Which in a sense makes it less locked down than Windows.
For values of "everything just works" that don't include standard developer tools. Getting a new macbook into configuration for (for example) web development is a PITA compared to any distro I've used that came with a decent package installer (apt, yum) out of the box. You have to hack up the damned keyboard settings just to get home and end keys to work.
That is because you are trying to use your Mac like it's a Linux box. Use the OS X keyboard shortcuts (which happen to be the same as Emacs, Ctrl-A and Ctrl-E respectively) and grab MAMP and you are good to go.
I don't see the difficulty with compiling. Just get out your install disk, open up the optional installs, install XCode. You now have all the standard Unix developer tools (in addition to the XCode app, which you don't have to use).
I agree, I don't see it either. The whole point of my previous comment was to show that OS X ships with so many things that you don't have to install anything to start programming in PHP, Python or Ruby. "Until you have to compile something" refers to the fact that this claim doesn't hold anymore when you have to compile, for example, a native extension to those languages.
Honestly, do yourself a favor and check out MAMP. It works great and won't gack the next time apple updates php, mysql, etc. I even kicked in and bought MAMP Pro and its arguably the biggest time saver on my laptop.
Might I suggest running a VMWare image with the same flavor of linux that your production server uses? I've been using this set up happily for years. As a bonus you can copy the dev image to other developers or use it to set up larger dev server.
What higher price? IPhones cost $100 to $300 new with contracts. The Android phones I've seen cost $100 to $300 with contracts. Most of the cost is in the service plans, which are very similarly priced.
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.
I have an HTC Hero on T-Mobile at UKP20 per month, which compares very well to the iPhone offering which is UKP35 per month, slightly less if you accept a lower offering in terms of calls and texts. So for a little more than the price of an iPhone, I can get two Android devices, one for me and one for my wife.
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.
> Of course, this is a USA perspective. Things are probably very different outside the USA.
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.
Correct, the price of the phone is about the same and I'd say my Droid Incredible is quite comparable to the iPhone in terms of quality and experience (I had a G1 before, which I loved, but could not quite say was on par with an iPhone). But there's another price- being locked in to AT&T, being locked in to phones made by Apple, being locked out of web sites that use Flash or apps that Lord Jobs has not blessed. The original point still stands, IMHO.
Sure, but that's not how 99% of people get their phones, especially here in the US. From the perspective of a typical US phone buyer, who purchases a phone along with a 2-year contract, the prices are about the same.
How else was Apple going to maintain their 55%+ profit margins on the things?
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...
I think it is more of a case of the software locking you to the hardware for apples case which is rather interesting now that the hardware, at least for Macs, is now pretty much standard hardware with regards to processors and such.
Uh, battey tech? Trackpad? Everywhere you look on Apple products (if you are discerning) you'll see them utilizing the crap out of their hardware control. If I'm not mistaken we're about to see Apple turn up the heat on further hardware differentiation on notebooks to take advantage of their multi-touch gesture patent portfolio, perhaps by elongating the glass trackpad. On the iPhone front I'm guessing that Apple's custom silicon will allow them to get raw graphics performance while simultaneously preserving battery life. Logically this is kind of technology that Google, without control over hardware, is powerless to compete against.
> On the iPhone front I'm guessing that Apple's custom silicon will allow them to get raw graphics performance while simultaneously preserving battery life.
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 comes from the iPad. It seems to have an incredible combination of power management, hardware-accelerated video decoding, fast OpenGL (for a handheld) that yields a long-lasting video device. (Despite it being a first generation iPad)
Does apple not support their older notebooks with new OS upgrades like tiger to leopard? If they do support them then I see no real reason why hardware cannot innovate with respect to android in a similar way and still provide support to older hardware styles just as new OS versions do.
To be perfectly honest, while there's nothing wrong with the article, after reading the title I was looking forward with a certain amount of evil glee to find out exactly what FSJ was going to say about switching to Android.
Nothing against Daniel, but his reasons are far less entertaining than FSJ's would have been.
I actually wonder how Apple will respond. Part of the reason for Steve Jobs' genius is that he single mindedly believes in his own vision of what users want and what the world should be like. And the problem with that is that although he's mostly right he's always at last partly wrong. So he'll try to respond by moving his platform closer to his own preconceived idea of perfection which is actually partly wrong. In other words, I wonder if one of Apple's fatal flaws is that they aren't capable of responding in a competitive firefight the way a company with less idealism would.
I love the competition but if I can present an alternative view: Why I'm sticking with the iPhone:
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.
I’m actually quite happy that I don’t have to decide how to assemble my pants.
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.
Why is Lyons so bitter? His arguments revolve around Android having more "features" and otherwise being an iPhone knockoff. The features debate is old and boring - maybe he cares, but I don't and I suspect that most iPhone buyers don't either.
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.
How can the features debate be old and boring when Froyo was just officially unveiled yesterday? It's a very relevant debate.
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.
How can the features debate be old and boring when Froyo was just officially unveiled yesterday? It's a very relevant debate.
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.
Some day I'll learn to just leave well enough alone, but this day I'll feed the trolls.
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.
Handset makers such as HTC and Motorola check that Android works as it should, and fix anything broken before releasing updates to users. Carriers may also be involved in this process. Also there are much fewer hardware combos to support.
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.
And the phone manufacturers are also a year behind on updating older devices. The article talks about the new Android 2.2 being great, but there are still phones shipping with 1.5 and no firmware upgrades in sight.
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.
Counterpoint: The open source community has rolled their own firmwares with the latest and greatest, so you can update your phone without your carrier. Is it unsupported? Probably. Does it void your warranty? Again, probably.
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.)
I think a better comparison, is to linux - since it really is a linux kernel underneath, and it is open source. Linux has plenty of flaws, especially with hardware, but anyone can take the code and try and improve it, then contribute back to the main code base. The cyanogenmod is an example of this.
I think it will be okay as long as updates are continually released and those updates are supported by the carriers because phones have a rather fast rate of adoption considering many people do the two year contract and phone upgrade cycle.
That's true. Windows is burdened by the fleets of corporate computers running all kinds of proprietary business software, and it must maintain backwards compatibility. Phones get replaced every two years or so, so there won't be much legacy support issues.
Agh I knew I'd get downvoted but it's true! I don't want to be the trouble shooter for my friends who use windows. It's typically like "try rebooting, uninstall and reinstall drivers, do a malware scan, ......" And I've been using a mac for so long now, I wouldn't know where to start when trying to fix vista.
I just want to take this opportunity to say that I love my Nexus One. I don't care if Google "failed" as a marketer/distributor of the device. When I put it side by side with an iPhone I can't even fathom wanting an iPhone. In fact, you couldn't pay me to switch.
I guess am in the minority here of people who have actually used a Zune (HD, completely by accident, woke up on the floor of a Zune product manager's sweet apt in downtown Seattle while visiting a friend, long story.) I've got to say, I was impressed. Screen looked amazing, device is smaller and more responsive than an iPhone. The browser was sort of lame but you could just put Opera on it, no?
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.
Interesting to bring the Zune into the discussion. In the past it was always Apple vs. Microsoft. Recently it's been Apple vs. Microsoft vs. Google. In the mobile space though it's very clearly becoming Apple vs. Google even though Microsoft has rather credible products in the space.
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.
He's kidding himself if he thinks Google with Android has better intentions than Apple. The guys who started Android did so with the sole intention of selling the company to Google. They did and cleaned up. As soon as he could, the CEO of Android removed himself from the project and now runs Google's venture arm. The founder of the original android company doesn't really give a shit about the product, and Google only cares about it because they want all the mobile ad money. It is a project with no soul.
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.
The article picture, sadly, pushes me towards iPhone (not that I would ever buy one). The iPhone screen seems crisper, the colors are brighter, and the interface looks spiffier. Obviously there are other factors at play, but first impressions count for a lot.
I will never, ever do business with Sprint again, after I cancelled my phone service (twice!), threw out my phone, and they mysteriously re-activated the account a few months later, silently accrued an account balance with late fees, and then reported me to collections.
Back in the 90s my wife and I switched to Sprint, then got a much smaller phone bill than we expected. The following month it was higher than we would have expected, we looked, and it turns out that they included calls that should have been on the first bill. (There were phone calls on the second bill sandwiched between calls on the first bill.)
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.
Are you sure about that? I thought Sprint was only a partial investor and lessee. Clear 4G is a lot more expensive than Sprint 4G, so it would be strange if they had a subsidary that offered worse service for more money.
(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...)
Clear bugs me because of their pricing; they charge less for "home" than for "mobile"? WTF?
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 :)
You know what I kind of like about this post? - before such a post on YC would have been bashed by Apple fan boys... but now after Apple's policy pigeon holed and alienated developers - I'm starting to see a real conversation about some of Apple's issues...
I agree with you - I didn't add much to the quality of discourse. I just feel like I need to walk on pins and needles here (YC) when I want to voice my opinion about Steve Jobs and Apple. It's almost like I'm drawing a picture of Muhammad...
> Why do you want to use your phone as a wifi hotspot? It'll drain the battery.
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.
I'd love to tether my phone, which I have a data plan for to my iPad (wifi-only). I don't bring my iPad out that much, that long, but when I do, occasionally, it will be great to have internet access when I want to.
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.
I've had wifi tether on my rooted G1 for quite some time now. It's not something I use all the time, but it's a huge convenience when you're out of the office or house. Where in the past I might go looking for an open AP to hop online real quick to take care of something, now I just tether my laptop to my phone without worrying about it.
I know two iPhone owners who carry two phones for just that reason. An iPhone for for all the app and internet goodness and an old phone, which can easily go at least a week without needing to be recharged, for when they actually have to make calls.
Pretty much whatever you want (other than iTunes of course). Basically anything that can sync files to a USB drive.
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. :-)
It would be interesting to see how he will write about coming back to iPhone when he realizes there are things more important than Flash.
Comments how Apple is chasing Google because of something Android will do is also amusing.
All he talks about in the article is features. Is the day-to-day user experience in Froyo good enough to actually compete with the iPhone yet? Is it no longer necessary to run third-party utilities to keep the system in order?
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.