Well, there is just no denying it at this point. As much of a fan boy I am of Microsoft's development platform, and as much as I like .NET and C#, all my base are belong to Google. After years of using Window Mobile smart phones, starting with the first HP iPAQ Pocket PC h6315 and finally retiring my HTC Fuze, I have finally switch to Android OS, on the Motorola DROID.
It was pretty much inevitable. I already use Google services for my email, my central phone number, my calendar, my contacts, my search engine, my feed reader, my online document storage and my browser. There is a huge benefit to a unified platform, and google did it with web-based services. Think about Microsoft's development stack. SQL Server, Visual Studio, IIS, Team System with built-in source control, test and defect databases. Everything integrated with the click of a button. Only problem is Microsoft could never seem to do that with the web, and especially not with their mobile phone.
For now at least, google has won the mobile space as far as I am concerned. The Droid running Android OS is truly incredible. I usually buy a new PDA phone and end up just using it as a basic phone, because it's so frustrating to do anything, but Google really got this right.
- If I want to search for something on the web, I hit one button and say what I want to find.
- I have google voice integration right into my phone, which lets me use my google voice number and see all my google voice mail.
- It is incredibly easy to navigate to exactly what you want. You can pull down a window to see your notifications and go to the corresponding program in a click.
- There is no navigating menu trees, instead everything is basically an app.
- FINALLY, GPS navigation that you can actually use, and not have to wait 5 minutes to start-up; voice activated as well.
- Not to mention the ability to use your phone's camera to take pictures of bar codes and products to find the product on the web.
- Even the unlock feature is great. Instead of typing in a password, you perform a connect the dot sequence on the phone.
I may just have to fire up eclipse and check out the development API. I'll know more once I have used this phone for a while, but so far it has exceeded my expectations.
It is interesting how Google uses their massive data stores of information to provide services to the phones to do all kinds of cool things with the integrated applications. As my wife, Heather, put it last night, “It's like Google has been building a phone for years.”