After all, both the iPhone and Android offer many of the same apps. Some of the apps available are even exclusively designed for Android. Yet sadly, nothing has proven compelling enough for me to simply drop a working iPhone 4 and gamble that my experience with some random Android phone is going to be a positive one.
Even with the annoying locked-up nature of the iPhone firmly in my grasp, it's providing me with the expected experience I want from it.
See, the beauty of open source software is that I'm not limited to products taking this approach to licensing. When a product works for me, I openly embrace it. Much like I do with the Linux desktop and utilizing Linux servers.
But this doesn't mean that I'm going to use everything out there with a Linux kernel just because it's got a Linux kernel. In my case, means relying on the Apple iPhone line of smartphones because it fits my needs. As stated previously, I don't know what tomorrow holds. Android is likely to be in my future. That is, it can become something I use if some additional things are added.
Getting me to switch to Android Today
This is bound to come up, so I'll address the question now. What would make me switch to Android, right this very minute?
One of the missing pieces for me personally is already being addressed. We now have Amazon Kindle for Android. But where Android is still falling short is the lack of a music and/or movie store. I personally don't listen to music on my iPhone. I do however, watch video content on my iPhone.
The iPhones video choices are rich: Hulu Plus, iTunes movies, Netflix, you name it and the iPhone has an app for it. And despite the clear need for it, Android has no real "movie store" where I can seamlessly purchase great mainstream movies. This is a real let down for a casual user like me.
Hulu Plus or Netflix on Android then? Nope, although it's been reported that Netflix is going to be pre-bundled with select new Android phones. As for Hulu Plus, it's still in perpetual "pending" status it seems. So unless you want to install Play-On, run a separate PC (using MS Windows) back on the home front to "stream" content to your Android phone, you're just out of luck.
Before the spiteful comments start seeping in about how Im nuts for allowing something stupid like VOD content availability to dictate which mobile platform I use, please re-read this article. Why? To reiterate, I use my iPhone because it provides me with the experience I want, not one that works for the "masses."
Most of my family is perfectly fine with Android. It's meeting their needs, so the beat goes on. The key take away here is meeting my needs, not theirs or yours.
Technology need not be a one way street
I genuinely hope that this article will help others see that the technology in your world doesn't have to be bound to a single brand. There is life outside of blind brand/platform loyalty.
For me, this translates into being a full time desktop Linux enthusiast who is content using an iPhone 4. Not because it's better than the open source alternatives, rather because the phone is fulfilling its duties just fine, based on my own expectations.
I encourage you to check out the latest Android phones from your current mobile provider, in addition to the iPhone. Make an informed choice not based on blurred loyalty, but rather because it's offering you the functionality that makes the most sense for you.
Clearly, should my role move into that of an application developer or someone who had to deal with Apple in another capacity, my focus would likely shift sooner to something running Android. Unfortunately though, I merely need to handle my email, calendar and entertainment needs. And this has led me to the device I use to this very day, my Apple iPhone 4.
Tomorrow, who knows, this may very well change.
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