|By Bob Gourley||
|January 23, 2013 03:54 PM EST||
In yesterday’s Mobile review, I went on a little (or not so little) rant about Gizmodo and TechCrunch articles decrying Android for cheapness. The articles can be found here: Android is Popular Because it’s Cheap, Not Because it’s Good by Sam Biddle (Gizmodo) and The Truth Is That Android Is Cheap, Not Good by John Biggs (TechCrunch). Both of these writers are die-hard Apple fanatics, you can read their trolling yourself, but even worse, when they “review” Android devices, it’s as a secondary device, they do not force themselves to actually use them exclusively. I am sick of the FUD that many mainstream bloggers see fit to spew forth, and wish to rectify it.
When I undertook the iPad Mini experiment, I forced myself to use the device exclusively. I still used my Android smartphone, but I only picked up the Nexus 7 to keep it updated, not to browse or anything more. I read books on the iPad Mini, I surfed the web, I used it for Evernote (and cooking) as well as watching YouTube videos. And I did not like it. My reasons are myriad, but I do not have the arrogance to claim my reasons are right (or the “truth”). Sam’s article regarding the rise of the Android platform includes gems like this one: “People without money happened.” The original pricing scheme for the iPhone was 4GB/8GB $499/599 with two-year contract. That makes the cost of the first iPhone over $700, for 4GB of storage. Buying that doesn’t make you smart or cool or discerning, it makes you a sucker. The first iPhone was a HUGE jump from non-touch optimized interfaces, but the rest of the applications, etc, were nothing great. Capability-wise it was not far in front of other devices, it was just touch-optimized. Anything else is pure revisionist history.
I have often decried when people will buy $1 phones on contract (devices such as the iPhone 4 or Samsung Galaxy S3 from Amazon Wireless) that they are doing themselves a disservice, I don’t like it when people will even buy $99 phones on contract (devices such as the iPhone 4S or the Motorola Droid RAZR HD MAXX). Because if you are buying on contract, you should get the most out of your commitment to the network, because they will take you for everything that they can. Sam denigrates that Samsung is marketing to African Americans by using LeBron James and the Galaxy Note 2 (if there’s a person for whom a phone as large as the Note makes sense, it’s the best basketball player in the world, but I digress). He references that the “Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project shows that Android is the chosen smartphone of people without money.” Not only is this a remarkably entitled and pompous statement, but it ignores other stats from that study, such as 50% of Americans use the mobile web for the majority of their browsing. In Sam’s words, Apple is both “too stubborn” and “too smart” to go after poorer Americans (I’ve noted in the past that Apple will struggle in the developing world until they create a pricing strategy that makes sense in those nations). Poor people need smartphones too, and they need other technology as well. Apple does not have to charge $329 for the 16GB/WiFi iPad Mini, or $500 for the 16GB/WiFi iPad, they choose to do so, to create a (false) sense of prestige and quality. Apple makes barriers to entry so high, that in my mind the best valued device is the 16 GB iPhone 5 ($199 on contract – the same as top quality Android devices). For every other mobile device, there is an equivalent Android device for less.
Here are some undeniable ways that Android is better than iPhone:
- Google Now – the Search and Personal Assistant capability scrapes your e-mail and web searches to return you information that you desire. This can be the traffic on your daily commute, the status of packages you’ve ordered, and the scores of your favorite teams. It can offer information on your flight status, and Google keeps adding more. Popular Science called Google Now the Innovation of the Year, no small feat. It is innovative, and nothing Apple has touches it.
- True Multitasking – the multitasking in iOS is bunk, and garbage. It barely works and only for a handful of programs. People throw around that “Android is open…thus better,” without realizing what the “openness” means. It means that any program can be running in the background, present in your notifications, enabling interaction with many tasks at once.
- Sharing – the Android operating system allows programs to talk to each other. It allows them to share data to any source. I can take something and instantly add it to any other installed app. I can share data to my Pocket application, enabling offline reading and consumption. This is simply not possible with iOS. iOS only allows you to share data with the applications of Apple’s choice, and then not as cleanly.
- Customization – Android allows you to download the browser, mapping, texting, email, launcher, keyboard and anything else you desire and make it the default app of choice. iOS does not. Plain and simple, you can create the Android experience that suits you, how it suits you. This includes things like widgets (available on both your homescreen and your lockscreen) and which apps even show up on your homescreen. I could go on for days, but the device that you use the most (smartphone) should be customized to fit your style, Android allows this, iOS does not.
- Google Integration – Google’s integration into Android is (no way!) extraordinary. You can access any of their top notch services from your Android phone, including Google Voice, Drive, Maps and Mail. My Google TV app is amazing, and annoying for others who want to control my TV. Google’s app development is so good, their apps are also recognized as top iOS apps as well. Google integration is a deal maker for me, and really hamstrung iOS’s compatibility with my life.
- App Scaling - I wrote about this extensively in my review of my time with the iPad Mini, but it is important. Yes iOS has more “iPad” apps, but only because it has to. If the app is non-optimized, it is a miserable experience. Pixelation, not even fitting the edges of the screen and more.
- Android lets you choose - There is no one-size fits all Android solution. If you like a skin, you can buy that OEM’s devices. If you want water resistant, there are the Droid RAZR series of phones, if you want removeable batteries, there are the Samsung Galaxy lines of phones. If you want a bigger phone (Galaxy Note) or smaller (Motorola RAZR M). Android gives you choices, in device, options, and capabilities. Everything about the Android ecosystem is designed to give the consumer options instead of having one company making all the choices for you.
To further this argument (and derail the “cheapness” argument), when I purchased my HTC Evo 4G it was the exact same price as an iPhone, except Sprint did not carry the iPhone. The same was true for smartphones on T-Mobile and Verizon. The iPhone is not as popular because it is not as universal, not because it is cheap. Cheap iPhones are always available off contract. The iPhone was not even available for any carrier besides AT&T until 2011 – which drove Android marketshare more than any other factor. Users wanted a similar experience to iOS, and it could only be found via Android. iPhones may be a symbol of the rich and success, but they are not only for the rich. Many users rely on MVNOs (pre-paid carriers) for their service, only Straight Talk is offering an unlocked iPhone on their network. Not making the iPhone available may have been a marketing ploy (and a result of Steve Jobs’ insane controlling tendencies) but it crippled iOS more than anything else.
Lastly, if Apple allowed Samsung or HTC or even Motorola to design an iOS product, they’d jump at the chance, but Apple won’t. The more you look at it, the reason that Android is trouncing iOS in adoption and use is Apple. In every way, they have made their devices harder to get and less universal. They are not bad devices, not in the slightest, but they are meant for a target consumer, and it shows. This consumer is invested in the iOS world, has a personal computer (Mac or Windows), and purchases content online. For those of us who do not fit that bill, iOS is not for us. I think despite Apple’s inroad into emerging markets, their target consumers mostly reside in the US, Canada and Northern Europe. The steep barriers to entry designed at countries with heavy middle classes do not translate to poorer nations. Apple is the reason Android is winning, not the other way around.
Despite my list, I do not think that Android is for everyone. I think for many users (especially those already invested in the iOS ecosystem) the opportunity cost is too high to switch. But, for others, Android is the perfect place for them to reside. When you start with a blank slate, both mobile operating systems are equally easy to learn and master. Making technology choices is an intensely personal decision, one that should be chosen on each individual’s needs and not because some tech blogger says so. If you are not informed when making technology choices, you are doomed to regret them. I often pull out my Nexus 4 and amaze iPhone users with what I can do, but I’m extra dorky that way. My problem is not that iOS is bad or anything, it’s that too many bloggers fill the net with FUD, in cheap attempts to garner pageviews and attention. Instead of providing true analysis, they spit rhetoric and opinion, and pass them as “truths.” Please keep your minds open when reading, and take anything guys like Biddle and Biggs write with a grain of salt.
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
Sep. 24, 2016 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,583
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
Sep. 24, 2016 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,316
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
Sep. 24, 2016 09:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,186
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Sep. 24, 2016 08:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,430
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
Sep. 24, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,641
SYS-CON Events announced today the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp, being held November 1-2, 2016, in conjunction with 19th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the Enterprise IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but with hands-on demos and detailed walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of real world use cases prototyped using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, BeagleBone, Spark, and Intel Edison. Y...
Sep. 24, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,769
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Sep. 24, 2016 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,463
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
Sep. 24, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,498
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Sep. 24, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,019
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
Sep. 24, 2016 01:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,671
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
Sep. 24, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,478
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
Sep. 24, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 742
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Sep. 24, 2016 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 753
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
Sep. 24, 2016 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,023
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
Sep. 24, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,718
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
Sep. 24, 2016 10:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,470
Big Data has been changing the world. IoT fuels the further transformation recently. How are Big Data and IoT related? In his session at @BigDataExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will explore the interplay of Big Data and IoT. He will anatomize Big Data and IoT separately in terms of what, which, why, where, when, who, how and how much. He will then analyze the relationship between IoT and Big Data, specifically the drilldown of how the 4Vs of Big Data (Volume, Variety,...
Sep. 24, 2016 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 904
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
Sep. 24, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,520
Video experiences should be unique and exciting! But that doesn’t mean you need to patch all the pieces yourself. Users demand rich and engaging experiences and new ways to connect with you. But creating robust video applications at scale can be complicated, time-consuming and expensive. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Zohar Babin, Vice President of Platform, Ecosystem and Community at Kaltura, will discuss how VPaaS enables you to move fast, creating scalable video experiences that reach your...
Sep. 24, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 758
WebRTC adoption has generated a wave of creative uses of communications and collaboration through websites, sales apps, customer care and business applications. As WebRTC has become more mainstream it has evolved to use cases beyond the original peer-to-peer case, which has led to a repeating requirement for interoperability with existing infrastructures. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Graham Holt, Executive Vice President of Daitan Group, will cover implementation examples that have enabled ea...
Sep. 24, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,470