Random thoughts on most things from A. M. Craig.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Android Invasion

I've been looking forward to the release of the Android phone for a long time. My Sidekick is hanging on by a thread, and I'm ready for it's successor. So far, it looks like Andy Rubin won't disappoint. He founded Danger, maker of the Sidekick series, and now he's heading the next big thing.

Engadget keeps getting info leak in about the first device to host the platform, the G1, the Dream Phone, it's gotten a few monikers amongst the handset following crowd. It's made by HTC, whom I've mentioned before. I've wanted to invest in them before, and just found out that you can buy shares on the London Stock Exchange (four at a time). If I ever save any money, maybe I'll try.

Anyway, the phone looks sweet. It's an open platform, which is something I really value. It doesn't look now like it'll have bleeding edge hardware specs, but oh well, I've been using a three year old phone.

The features I've decided I value in a phone are:
Form factor - It makes a difference to me whether it's a flip-phone, a candybar, a slider, a swivel, or any other permutation on phone form. I tend to really gravitate toward the "quickdraw" phones, like the Samsung P735 I used to have, or the current Sidekick.
Camera - I love taking pictures (and video) from my phone. Love it. I like being able to record whatever is happening around me. Maybe it's the broadcast journalist in me, but I'd chose to have a camera on me at all times, and the advent of cell-phone-cams make that perfectly feasable. The better the camera, the happier I'll be.
Data Connectivity - I use my phone for mostly non-telephone things. I use text, email, chat, the Web, note taking, scheduling, you name it. Connection to the one machine is important.
User Interface - This is part of where Android will make a big difference. Because it's open, the skin and controls can be customized, and because it's Google, it probably won't need much customization anyway.
Expandable Memory - As the cost of memory declines (about %40 per year), I should be able to load in a new card and carry %40 more a year from now for the same price. Most smartphones today have some form of expandable memory, theres just no reason not to.
Openness - An open platform is A) SO much more flexible than a closed platform B) Cheaper for the consumer (I don't have to go into the Apple store to get new software), and C) Inclined toward innovation, expanding the abilities of the end user.

So far, it's looking like this HTC phone will meet ALL of my requests. I really don't think you know how excited I am.

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