Is it just me, or were my expectations for any product that came with the “android” moniker just a bit too high? When I think “android”, I’m thinking super cool, almost human-like robot with crazy math skills. Apparently the threshold for such optimism has been lowered a little bit. That said, the first Google Android-powered phone was sold today.
Instead, I get an phone with an unfinished OS. I’m sure the phone technology is okay… at least better than the phone capabilities of the iPhone. All reports, however, indicate like most things Google, the Android OS is beta at best. If Google history is any indication, the OS will be in beta for at least two years. The optimism arises in the fact that they’re making it as open source as possible and allowing for quality control to be thrown to the wind. That said, by relaxing the control on Android they are opening the potential up for the OS to become the most functional, cross-branded piece of mobile software around.
Let me outline a couple of things about the future of Android phones v. the iPhone:
1) Breaking Android apps will cause very risky elements for new downloads and the iPhone, despite their growing pains with the app store, seem to have mellowed out the brick factor.
2) Android will never have the elite status the iPhone has, but will be easily customizable and tweak-friendly.
3) The non-exclusivity with a single service provider and plan will vault phones with Android installed over iPhones within a year. As much as the iPhone gets a lot of hype, many manufacturers will increase the odds of a cooler looking form factor, on an ongoing basis, quicker than the Mac love-ins.
But to coin a phrase, unless you’re one of those “nutty” early adopters: “These aren’t the Androids you’re looking for.”