Sunday, 31 October 2010

Android rules OK!

There’s nothing I hate more than being cornered at a party (or conference or anything else) by an iPhone user who wants to explain to me in excruciating detail how clever his phone is. I tend to liken these iPhone worshipers to members of the Young Communist League in the 1950s, who would not just happily forgive anything said or done in Moscow but describe it as a good thing. There’s just no reasoning with them, and they’re very very boring! But now, I have a secret weapon. I have an android phone. And I can bore them back by showing them my apps – until they go away like Mormons on a Sunday afternoon and knock on the door of the next house down.

I’ve recently acquired a Samsung Galaxy Apollo, which is a slightly cut-down version of their top-of-the-range Galaxy S. It seems to do everything I want and, of course, being an android phone, it has access to the thousands of free apps.

Now, it’s confession time, I think the iPhone is better at photography than my phone. I don’t have a flash with the camera, I can’t move the focus point round on the screen, and it doesn’t create composite photos to allow for lighting, so what would have been a shaded area becomes clearly visible. I’m also waiting for Android 2.2 (FroYo), which will offer more facilities.

But, and for me this was a deal breaker, it doesn’t need iTunes. Oh how restrictive iTunes is to its users! Now, again, I have listened to hours (or perhaps it just seemed that way) of explanation of why iTunes is a good thing – and my mind pictures dutiful Young Communists... With my android, I have downloaded apps to my phone, and downloaded them to my computer and copied them across to my SD card and installed them that way. Yes, iPhone fanatics, android phones (like almost every other type) allow you to add memory to your phone. I used the 4GB SD card I bought for my previous phone.

I installed XandPlayer so I can watch AVI files. I have video of my younger daughter getting her degree last year on my old SD card that I can watch. I’m sure I will put other AVI files onto the card soon to watch at a later time. It’s got loads of music already. Up until last week, I couldn’t watch an AVI on an iPhone. Obviously, I could have converted all my AVIs using their precious iTunes, but why should I? VLC player has just become available on an iPhone without needing to Jailbreak it. So iPhones can now play AVI files – welcome to the 21st century.

I installed Skyfire, which is a browser that allows you watch Flash files on Web sites. Apple takes the position that Flash will disappear when HTML5 becomes widely adopted and so iPhones don’t need the facility. I’m sure that Apple is correct. However, until that day in some distant future, and to ensure backward compatibility with all those Flash files out there, users need a flash player.

I could tell you about all the fun apps I have installed – Google Sky Map, Kindle, AroundMe, and many others, but I’m sure something similar is probably available for the iPhone.

Now, I know we’ve got the new Nokia phones with Symbian, the new Windows 7 phones, and Blackberry as the other big players in the market. But it strikes me that Apple set the bar very high with its iPhone and has shot itself in the foot with the restrictions placed on it. If iPhone Version 5 doesn’t offer something that no other company has thought of, or some degree of openness, then I believe that, like the Apple computer, the iPhone will be the phone-of-choice for die-hard Apple supporters only, while the rest of the phone-producing community steal all their best ideas, add more of their own, and sell more phones to very willing customers.

Now don’t go away with the idea that I am now some kind of android worshipper, I’m just someone who’s happy with his new phone. End of.

PS: don't forget it's Guide Share Europe at Whittlebury Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. More details at

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arshad said...

Hi its really very nice blog,very useful information..Mobiles

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

years later and Android is still king for controllability and power which is what i need in a smartphone. Launchers even allow the option to imitate apple and Microsoft in Android