Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Party's Over

The clean up crew has moved in and started putting away the decoration, the chairs, and get it ready for the Boggle club tomorrow.

So, what a day for Google, THC, and T-Mobile, eh?

Now that the party's over, it's time to look a closer look at G1.  The design.  The software and interface.  The partners.  And finally, the reception.

Right now, there are few who are taking a way-and-see position.  Not surprised.  Google really played up our expectation since last year.  So, either G1 met expectations or fell short.  As far as falling short, I'm not talking about the phone itself but the entire pack.

Either way, Android's influence has rippled across the mobile market.  And make no mistakes, they are mere ripples as far as I can tell at the moment.

I'll be honest.  I'm an iPhone user and I love most things about Apple products (not so cool with their cult status, secrecy, and draconian practices).  After spending over an hour trying to back through the throng of early adopters, I finally was able to log into my T-Mobile account and get G1 product page and was all set to check out when certain started showing up on the blogs covering the G1 launch.

And I had already promised my iPhone to my brother.  So, what are some of these things that bug me?
  • 3G access.  1GB limit per month and then they throttle you down to 50kbps after that for the rest of the month.  T-Mobile and Google has said that won't happen.  Fine, then take it off the contract.  Why hide it in fine print?  
  • No regular headjack.  Let's see.  $180 for G1 plus $25 for the adapter.  No longer cheaper than the iPhone.  Oh, let's not forget, I'll have to get a 8GB memory card to do anything with the phone.
  • No multi-touch.  Not an issue since the iPhone is the only device available with multi-touch as far as I can tell.  What's the big deal then, right?  Well, when you're used to navigating on the iPhone's screen with multiple fingers it's hard to adjust to not having that feature.
And this is the problem I have with Android.  It's "open".  It's what they kept bring up over and over again during the conference this morning.  And something about that bugged me a bit.  

In recent day, Apple has been chastised by developers regarding its NDA regarding iPhone development and app rejections.  In fact, just today, Apple extended its NDA reach to cover the rejection letters.

So, Apple horrible,  Google good, right?  Not so fast.  Wired confirmed some of my misgivings at this point.
  • No VOIP.  Even Apple didn't make that restriction.  T-Mobile "had 'worked with Google' to make sure Android couldn't run VOIP".  No VOIP.  Are you kidding me?  VOIP potential is why Apple added a small speakers and "voice recording" function to the iPod Touch.  
  • Reliance on Google and all things Google.  If you want an Android, you will have to submit to the fact that you'll need a Google account (of which I have four) in order to appreciate all G1's functions.  Well, you don't have a choice.  You have to have one when you get G1.  Apple does not require a MobileMe account before using the iPhone.  
  • Rough finishes.  Gizmodo pointed it out.  Look I love Google services for the most part.  I think I will eventually get an Android device if G1 is not what I get later this month.  But I also get the feeling that somehow, I'm being pressed into a beta program, you know, like other Google beta programs.  
  • It's not open, guys.  We're going to learn over the days and weeks what we can or cannot do.  We shouldn't have to do that if it's a truly open system.  Wired:  "We want to be open in a way that consumers can rely on," T-Mobile CTO Cole Brodman told Wired's Daniel Roth. Translation: We don't really want to be open.
You may be thinking, "hey, your post seems pretty negative".  Well, that's not the point of this post.  Rather, if I'm going to get locked in for two years, I want to make sure I am using a truly mobile device that has the ability hold me over for the duration of my contract.  

I am still holding onto dear hope that some of my concerns such as 3G usage will be changed before G1 is available for purchase.  

Note:  I'll be posting a summary of opinions and links of the days event and hope to update my initial analysis of G1 and associated services.  Google has been known to stop on a dime and go in a different direction.  I don't know how they can do that with a wireless provider as a liability.  If anyone can do it, it's Google.

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