Being a Microsoft Windows user most of my computer life I reveled in the lower price, more applications and better support from friends, business colleagues and local businesses who had skills to help me. The iPhone however was such a compelling story because of it’s beautiful touch interface and the innovative concept of a ridiculous number of applications for it. I was using an HP iPaq at the time (which ran Windows mobile) and searching for a device that was easier to use and at the same time had all the features I was looking for (phone, watch, calendar, text messages and camera). I hadn’t joined the bandwagon with the iPod and was listening to CD’s but I saw them everywhere and thought, “I should get one of those”. The iPhone seemed to have everything I wanted, plus the iPod functionality and if I needed more (like email and web browsing) those features were available so I made the purchase on a plan with Optus.
After using my iPhone for a couple of month and getting used to its slinky navigation I was compelled to share what I had learnt with those around me and found that I had become an Apple Adopter. They managed to combine all the features I was looking for in a device with a sexy design and effortless, natural navigation. I started to see why millions of people before me loved their Macs and wouldn’t change them for the world. I then heard through the Apple-vine of this great new device called an iPad, a sleek modern computer with most of the features that I wanted in a computer but that I could take with me and show everyone just like I would a hand of cards. But then I started reading the reviews, watching the product launches and reading the financial press about how successful Apple had become and about the new products other companies came up with to try and catch up to the lead of Apple’s I’s and I noticed Google.
Google of course wasn’t hard to notice, but they started to do things for free for me and other people (who were slightly nerdish) who were willing to do some exploring and trying something new. They came out with Google Chrome Internet Browser and after using Internet Explorer from Microsoft it was and still is a dream. From launching the program to navigating to multiple websites I found a web browser that was much faster, offered handy features (like a great find feature when you are looking at a long webpage) and solidified an image that I was starting to form about the search giant. Best of all for Google is that I feel like I am ready to try something new again and it might start with the Google Android mobile phone. Why? Because the old iPhone is getting a little old in the tooth and I have spent hours just trying to update it to the latest version of it’s operating system, version 4.0.
Now, I’m not a laggard when it comes to using computers, and although I am not a programmer, I find the whole experience of waiting for hours for my iPhone to be backed up and it never succeeding, cancelling the backup and iTunes telling me it’s cancelling the Sync and the desire to simply upgrade the operating system not worth the time it is taking. You might not think it’s a big issue, leave it running and do something else, but I remember that if I wanted to do something on Windows I could simply copy files across from one computer to another, get everything in the right place and I could use everything on the new computer. Did I mention that I am trying to do these things on a 3 year old laptop running Windows Vista? When I think of how open files are on Windows and how easy it was to get around it, I understood why a completely proprietary system like Apple is unattractive. I can now also understand why some software programmers are starting to shy away from Apple and their iDevices. Here are some comments from other people who are experiencing the same problems with Apples latest operating system OS 4.0.
Then I read about the Google Adroid operating system for mobile phones with a similar interface to the iPhone yet open source. This means that any hardware manufacturer can use it to create a better phone and focus on improving the hardware and it reminded me about BETA movies and the original computer wars involving Apple and Microsoft. Microsoft won the original war because they teamed up with hundreds of companies who made devices that used their operating system and it became a game of economics, a game where more people could participate, learn, share and earn and in the end it made computing cheaper and more accessible for the masses. I believe that Google is the new Microsoft and that their open source mentality when it comes to Android will give them something that will be hard for Apple to compete with, hardware manufacturers support.
On a final note, I’ve also noticed that accessing data on my iPhone has become painfully slow at times. It can take ages to access a website or use Google Maps and the only company I can blame for that is Optus. Their plans have traditionally been cheap but if it’s data that you want and you want it to be reliable I believe that Telstra is the only real choice at this stage. I hope that the new demand for SmartPhones will not only bring prices down but also increase the availability.Read More