Well, the claws are out.
I saw a very interesting review today from Eric Zehman of the new Google Android OS running on its first handset, the HTC G1. He also rather kindly offers some video footage of the interface and hardware to provide context.
I highlighted this article because it tallies most with my own views. It also cuts right to the heart of the Apple-vs.-everyone-else debate.
Eric mentions the G1 in the same breath as Nokia’s N-series, Palm, Blackberry and the Apple iPhone. But let’s not beat about the bush. For personal use at least there’s only one competitor; the iPhone. And as far as I’m concerned, the iPhone wins.
There’s little to seperate these two phones in price. But Apple, once again, has pipped everyone to the post in the usability stakes, at the cost of making a completely closed system. The G1 totally lacks Multitouch. Also, without significant multimedia capabilities, the G1 is little more than the first phone that Google could get onto the market. Good browsing is nice, but shouldn’t we expect this by now?
I reckon Eric is right to say that open source OS’s are where the future lies. It’ll probably be a matter of weeks before we see a more highly-specced phone come out. And thank god someone else is using decent, capacitance-based screens! That has felt like a long-time-coming.
I anticipate that the price of these devices is going to crash over the next year. And then Apple is going to have to do something *amazing* to its iPhone to encourage buyers to continue subsidising Apple’s development costs. Gaming perhaps? It’s already moved in that direction.
Until then, I, at least, would still opt for the iPhone as the better option. But I suspect that, were I to fork out my own money for it, I’d regret it when a slew of cheaper, better Android-based phones come out in six months.