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On Being Android Curious.

I have to admit last year I got a bit bi-mobile OS-curious. I was drawn in by the siren call of Android. The quintessential moment came when Apple rejected the Google Voice app . I loved using Google Voice as a key part of my mobile experience. When it became clear that Apple’s rejection of the Google Voice app was going to stick, I felt my first true pain of a closed Apple app approval system.

I felt burned by Apple.  I started acting like a jilted lover and thinking about every shortcoming of the iPhone and how evil a closed system is. I started thinking how constrained I was by Steve Jobs and that is when I became Andriod curious. I was also pulled by the siren call of WiMax, so I took the plunge and got the HTC Evo. And at first it was fun–the amazing integration of Google services was great–but within weeks I started to regret my decision. That regret was only exacerbated by the sting of a two year contract with Sprint.

Here are the issues I faced:

  • Horrible battery life
  • WiMax was rarely available
  • I was constantly managing my phone
  • UI inconsistencies were rampant
  • It was an OS by easter egg
  • GPS never really worked for me (took too long to resolve)
  • Removing notifications was a full-time job
  • Call quality was subpar
  • I had to install a task manager
  • HTC-customized UI was atrocious
  • I found myself scouring forums trying to figure out how to do certain things
  • My iPod-ready car stereo did not work with my phone
  • I could go on and on…

So a year into my Android experience, Apple finally approved a Google Voice app, and I had to switch back to the iPhone. A week into using an iPhone I loved using my smart phone again. In fact I loved my iPhone even more because what made it so great was even more glaringly obvious just off of my Android experience. I will admit there are a few things that I miss about my Android.

Here is what I miss about Android:

  • The calendar widget on my home screen
  • Turn-by-turn navigation
  • Having Flash
  • Swype Key

What I will say is that it was fun, kinda like a trip to Las Vegas where you feel like you can do anything you want, but you get to go back home and all is forgotten. Oddly the siren song of Android has recently started calling me again with the release of the Android Open Accessory Kit . The potential from this type of hardware development unleashes intriguing possibilities for Android. But I now know not to fall for the siren call. I just wish there was a way to visit the Las Vegas that Andriod is without a two year contract and to be able to return to my safe, clean, and well designed home after a few days of debauchery and excess.