Category Archives: Gadgets

Open Is Good, Usable Is Better…

… even in the Mobile space.

Unless you’re living in a Faraday cage, you’ve seen the Internet hype around Android, Google’s mobile platform. The iPhone-alternative seekers and FOSS evangelists are engaging in a collective circle-jerk around it, because it has the potential to “beat the iPhone” and bring open-source to mobile. I think it will definitely have a profound impact on mobile devices, and there’s no disputing that an open mobile platform is exciting, especially one backed by Google. But guys, I’m not ready to circle up just yet. My apologies.

Yes, Open Source is definitely awesome, but its potential for “beating the iPhone” is limited. If there’s one way that Apple humiliates everyone else, it’s with their ability to make something universally usable. Personally, I love all that Android’s open nature has to offer the hardcore power users and developers. Open-source is great, offering infinite freedom for niche geeks like you and I, but that doesn’t translate to something that’s going to make it in the mainstream market.

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She’s Out of Your League, Helio.

Wow, I can’t believe I still hear people referring to the Helio Ocean as a serious iPhone competitor. These people clearly have yet to experience the iPhone. I, too, mourn the lack of 3G and GPS functionality on the iPhone, but I don’t miss having a hardware keyboard. The iPhone keyboard works amazingly well after a little practice, and this is coming from a former SideKick 3 owner. That device had the best hardware keyboard, for its size, I’ve ever used.

As a former T-Mo customer, I was hesitant to move away from the simple, straightforward plans offered by the company. Turns out I was really worrying about nothing… AT&T’s plans for new subscribers are perfectly clear. I do miss having an AIM client on my phone every day, but I’ll have one soon… that’s only a matter of time now, whether Apple likes it or not.

What I’ve gained by switching, on the other hand, I can barely begin to discuss here… Continue reading

iPhone Missing Needed Applications

No, iHockey is not one of them. Cool, though, huh?

When the iPhone was unveiled, I had never wanted to own a new gadget as badly. For ten years, all I’ve ever wanted was a Newton with a phone. Suddenly, here was the Apple device to meet that specification. I was overjoyed.

Now, some time has passed, and I’m able to look at things through a more analytical lens. Bathed in the light of reality, it is clearly apparent that, despite everyone’s expectation otherwise, the iPhone is not for me… not yet, anyway.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the device, and I think Apple’s hit a home run here… we’re just waiting to see how far the wind actually carries it. I think it has the potential to change a lot of thinking where smartphone design is concerned, and it makes Windows Mobile look like a joke. The overall concept, design, implementation of the device: I am in love with it. My reticence stems from very specific needs, which are twofold: Continue reading