EffectiveUI Does Android change the game for Apple?

With Tmobile announcing the G1 yesterday, and Android SDK 1 hitting the streets as well. I’m wondering what Android means to Apple.

I’ll admit I wasn’t onboard with Android, and am still not sold, but I have to admit, watching the video, and reading some of the live blogs from the event yesterday, the G1 is compelling.

The UI might be a bit too unstructured, it looks like you can drop an icon any old place you choose, but I’m guessing you can auto arrange too. But the overall experience seems solid. Compass street view, push Gmail? Hotness!

There’s an app store too.

Based on the pics of the app market on Giz, I have to say, Blech.

I’m the first to jump on the apple-bash-wagon for their app store process. I think their choke hold is hurting the market. I think their ambiguous rules, and Refusal to allow any competition with existing Apple apps, will stifle innovation in the short and long run. There’s only so many flash light apps we need. Hopefully 11 is it.

I think the solution lies in the middle. Google has said, there’s NO restrictions, which means the number of CRapps, will be in the thousands. While I’m sure that those apps will be voted down over time, etc. The odds of fining an app that you want go down just as rapidly as CRapps are added.

While Apple shouldn’t be so black box, and draconian, google might want to implement even just a few basic controls, before the market is swamped.

From Giz:

There’s a good side to the open no-limits, no-approval nature of the system: developers can publish anything they want. No prohibitions and controls means that developers will be able to access any part of the hardware, allowing software that is not allowed in the iPhone App Store, like tethering. On the other side, this may also bring bad things to the user end, since it opens the door to potential problems and conflicts that may affect the stability of the Android cellphone.

Unfortunately that’s Apple’s stated reason for their draconian practices, Steve doesn’t think we should have the ability to crash or brick our phones with 3rd party apps. Supposedly Apple vets apps for this. Still, it also allows Apple to block the apps they simply don’t like. Booo

4 thoughts on “EffectiveUI Does Android change the game for Apple?

  1. Tom Mollerus Post author

    Android should mean something to Apple. It’s the same kind of threat that the PC posed to the Macintosh back in the 80’s, where Apple had a closed, controlled, and more expensive computer system that lost major market share to a less-elegant but more open and affordable PC architecture (I’m a Mac user, btw). I think that Android represents a major shift in the portable communications business model, and I think users will embrace it. It represents a completely open application platform, where users can choose their own hardware and software, and where communications, whether data or voice, will be a commodity service that you can change at will. Sounds like a personal computer with an Internet connection. It will be a portable personal computer with an Internet connection; just one that happens to be optimized to fit next to your head so that you can hear it and speak through it. It’s the logical next step, and Apple will have to react and adapt to stay in that market.

  2. John Wilker Post author

    @ Tom,

    I agree, though what’s funny, is that while Apple got their asses kicked by the PC. they certainly have come back, and not much has changed. They’re still pretty closed up, though their hardware is at least industry standard now.

    My worry with Android is that it’ll be a cluttery wasteland of too many apps, that suck, obscuring the ones that don’t.

    Plus it’s not so open, since TMO locked out Skype/VOIP. so if each carrier is demanding their own version of Android, I see that potentially making it useless since you can only program to the baseline, or exclude certain customers.

    I also agree that Apple needs to wake up. They’re as "Too closed" as I think google might be "Too open".

  3. Tom Mollerus

    Android should mean something to Apple. It's the same kind of threat that the PC posed to the Macintosh back in the 80's, where Apple had a closed, controlled, and more expensive computer system that lost major market share to a less-elegant but more open and affordable PC architecture (I'm a Mac user, btw). I think that Android represents a major shift in the portable communications business model, and I think users will embrace it. It represents a completely open application platform, where users can choose their own hardware and software, and where communications, whether data or voice, will be a commodity service that you can change at will. Sounds like a personal computer with an Internet connection. It will be a portable personal computer with an Internet connection; just one that happens to be optimized to fit next to your head so that you can hear it and speak through it. It's the logical next step, and Apple will have to react and adapt to stay in that market.

  4. John Wilker

    @ Tom,

    I agree, though what's funny, is that while Apple got their asses kicked by the PC. they certainly have come back, and not much has changed. They're still pretty closed up, though their hardware is at least industry standard now.

    My worry with Android is that it'll be a cluttery wasteland of too many apps, that suck, obscuring the ones that don't.

    Plus it's not so open, since TMO locked out Skype/VOIP. so if each carrier is demanding their own version of Android, I see that potentially making it useless since you can only program to the baseline, or exclude certain customers.

    I also agree that Apple needs to wake up. They're as "Too closed" as I think google might be "Too open".

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