"iPhone with a keyboard" will certainly be flung around, and indeed much of the layout is nearly identical to that "other phone." (N.B. There seems to be a kabosh on T-MObile employees referring to the iPhone by name: At one point in the press conference someone asked a question involving the iPhone and in his response, CTO Cole Brodeman would call it only "that phone previously mentioned.") The menu is a neat series of icons; finger flicks move you up and down pages and through options. But that seems more a reflection upon Apple's first-class understanding of usability. If the G1 copies the iPhone, it's not lack of imagination at work as much as acknowledgment that little can best the iPhone's design.
But it is the unflinching openness of the system that Android brings to the table, and here is where things get tricky. Google may want to spread the gospel of openness, but the telcos sticking this platform in their phones want cash money.
Listening to the executives talk is like an exercise in intergenerational mediation. They may have been trained to espouse upon the wonders of an open system—indeed, they may be using that as their main selling point—but ultimately, they're not really getting it.
The G1, for instance, is very much locked headset-to-system, And while it's lovely that any developer can use Android to make any application, we can access them only by buying the T-Mobile cell (admittedly at a reasonable price); shelling out for the monthly T-Mobile bill (also reasonable); and filling up those corporate coffers.
Truthfully, I would not expect otherwise, they are in a business and businesses make money. But maybe it's time to call a spade a spade. In other words, don't piss on my shoes and tell me it's the sky opening up with possibilities.
Interesting nail polish, Rabbit.
I totally agree with the Iphone w/keyboard analysis. But hell, I wish my Touch had a keyboard.
android; dead before it getts started at this rate, it's locked to t-moble which is GSM so you cant even unlock it to work on verizon/sprint/altel which are all CDMA same as the iphone and i dont want to sign a 2 year contract just for a new phone
but then again this is just me bitching, and i'm just a technomaniac\paranoid
The primary difference between the iPhone and Android?
Two words: Open source.
And there's always a way to hack past the provider's "software."
What this article misses, is that this isn't "THE google phone" "that you have to pay t-mobile for" just like the iPhone. This is just the first phone hardware released that uses the android software. It won't be too long before several other phones from all providers exist with the android software. It's nowhere near the same problem as iPhone's being locked with at&t for a year and a half.
keastes you said "it's locked to t-moble which is GSM so you cant even unlock it to work on verizon/sprint/altel which are all CDMA same as the iphone" which is wrong. The iPhone is exclusive to At&t officially which is GSM not CDMA. So you couldn't use an iPhone anyways without At&t or Tmobile, please check your facts before you throw out knee jerk reactions.
I hope the G-phone comes for a little better price, even though it's probably doubtful. I like the new G-Phone's Keyboard for texting, but isn't it just a knock on the voyager and the iphone? I know the I-phone has more apps, along with the G-Phone, but I have the Voyager and I can do some of the same stuff as the I-Phone.
Let's simplify things a bit.
HTC Dream (AKA G1)
Another solid hardware platform by the folks who brought us the Touch and Touch Diamond. HTC has been bringing us a wide variety of Smart and PDA phones, including some of the best "pop-out keyboard" style phones on the market.
Operating System(s) (OS):
Android - an interface on top of a Linux "kernel" (The "guts" of the OS)
Linux - In this case, a "distribution" (To really over-simplify, think "brand" or "style") of the 2.6 kernel.
Drivers - Likely "closed source" to protect the hardware manufacturers from giving information to their rivals. HTC is notorious for keeping their hardware proprietary.
For an overview of licensing issues, Google refers readers to this article - http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20071106-why-google-chose-the-apache-software-license-over-gplv2.html
Commercial Applications - Most will likely begin their lives under the ASLv2 (Apache Software License), allowing for innovation without forcing the companies to share their source code.
Non-commercial Applications - Here's where the fun begins. Open-Source advocates will now have an equal footing with their "for hire" brethren. These are hobbyists, and people who say "I just want to be able to..." and then when no one else does it, they do it themselves.
Where are we going with this?
Well, how about modular hardware that can be added to to increase function. Want a GPS? just add this module. a different processor? more ROM? plug this in. A different display? here's a larger screen and a new video card to make it work. Does your chosen phone only have a 1.2 mega-pixel camera? pop in this 5 mega-pixel one instead....
The sky's the limit. Anything you can dream up, you can do. Set up an app store to rival anything Apple has accomplished? Heck yeah! In fact, many sites are already selling Android based apps.
Carrier issues such as network compatibility and application blocking are key sticking points. CDMA and GSM systems are significantly different, as are their related data systems. And what carrier wants to lose revenue to applications such as VoIP and ring-tones not having to be downloaded from the carrier's own store? SMS vs. MMS?
Want an app for finding a restaurant near you? It may eventually be more difficult than deciding between Italian or Mexican food, due to too many software choices. Oh, the problems of excess....
Things I'd like to see:
Completely open standardized hardware drivers, with any proprietary drivers provided by the hardware manufacturers themselves.
Available integration of Open Source alternatives into the OS, like the ability to play Ogg Vorbis (.ogg) or flac files as ring-tones and system sounds, rather than just .mp3's and .wav files.
(OT) A working Linux only OS.
All these things and more, without having to crack a single program, or skirt a single law. There is a bright future ahead for this platform!
That web address got cut off. It is:
(Please cut and paste, then remove the space)