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.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.