I’ve written quite often about how I don’t like where I live and that I should get out and go to a big city where people are more diverse and there are more opportunities. I have an apartment in Atlanta now and while I really hate admitting this, I was wrong.
There is an overwhelming number of assholes here. I hadn’t thought about that. I’m an asshole, but usually only in my head. Too many of the people here are assholes out loud. I am a social person and I can’t help that. But I prefer to be a recluse when everyone around me can’t stop yapping about themselves. The competition here is so fierce that nothing gets done and people get hung out to dry instead of properly informed and trained.
Today I’m reading my Eclipse IDE: Pocket Guide in preparation for beginning Android application development. My plan is to have such a grasp on that platform that I could work for anyone, from anywhere – including my house in the country. I am also working through Hello, Android and then off to two other books on the platform. The last time I started working on Android I began coding on the first day of study and got locked into an all-night hacking session trying to work out my project while researching the SDK. Not anymore. I’m giving myself the fundamental education so I don’t have to do so much hacking and have so many problems at once. If you’re interested in this progress, keep a watch out at blog.twoleg.com. I expect to release a simple app for free just to get the hang of it. It probably won’t be anything groundbreaking – probably an enhanced flashlight application or something. Not a whole lot of design considerations in that realm. I will try to post progress at least weekly.
There may be a few “iPhone Killers” coming out, but I believe that the only one with a shot at triggering the demise of Apple’s cute little two-hundred-dollar-bill is the “Google Phone.” I don’t call it a Google Phone, but I’m trying to use it in a general sense. By “Google Phone” I mean any phone running the Android operating system. There are many touch-screen phones coming out, and they all look great, don’t they? None will kill Apple’s iPhone or the Android platform.
The Nokia 5800 is a fantastic device from what I have read. It has all the features the iPhone does, and Nokia is even launching an audio store. The Blackberry Storm is the world’s first touchscreen from RIM, and it seems to be getting rave reviews for its functionality. You can watch videos, listen to music, check e-mail, update Facebook, and all those cool things you always wanted to do with what the mobile phone has become.
I have one reason that the iPhone and the Android platform will survive: the SDK. That Nokia 5800 is great, but what if there’s just one more thing you want to do with it, and Nokia never provided that function? What if you decided your Blackberry Storm couldn’t do enough?
As a (budding) developer, I feel that the openness of the platforms (the ability to create your own software for any purpose to make a device even more useful) is the driving force behind the iPhone, and what will eventually be Android’s success (even moreso now that it’s free to develop for Android and fantastically cheap to submit to the Android market).
Tell me: Could you do this with your 5800 or Storm? I didn’t think so.
I saw an ad on Gmail from Amazon, pushing the iPod Touch at a discount. 9% off the 32GB, bringing it down to $460 or so. I wanted to look at it again, so I went to the Apple store and watched the videos. Some of the features are great, but they’re just not worth $460. For instance, any PDA these days can play music and videos, and most of them in that price range are equipped with Bluetooth. The iPhone with a contract has Internet access everywhere. Not so with the iPod.
No Bluetooth, WiFi only, no GPS (seriously, how hard would that be?), no replaceable battery, and it’s $500. It just doesn’t make sense. I’m going to wait for a multi-touch enabled Open Handset sporting Android. From the emulator that comes with the SDK, I expect to have everything that could possibly be crammed into a handheld device at my disposal. Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G, GPS, accelerometer, multi-touch, and possibly a keyboard. All on an open platform for which the API is very open. Sure, I won’t have 32GB of storage, but I will be able to use any wireless carrier, use Bluetooth headphones, and write an application that does whatever I want it to, without anyone stopping me.