Happy Droid Day (and Recommended Reading)
Nov. 6 has been highly anticipated within gadget geek circles over the past few weeks, as the date of the public release of Motorola’s Droid.
It is made by Motorola, runs on Verizon’s network, and is the first to be powered by the newest release (2.0) of Google’s Android operating system. And by the way, it looks pretty sleek. I haven’t touched one yet but plan to get my hands on it soon. Meanwhile, I’d recommend TechCrunch’s review, which calibrates itself to a familiar point of reference: the iPhone.
Speaking of which, there has been the requisite load of “iPhone killer” speculation over the past week, which is the wrong way to look at it. Android is an open platform that can be used and modified by any device manufacturer — and recently, in Verizon’s case, carriers as well.
The iPhone conversely is a single device that runs a single operating system, notwithstanding iPod touch and other rumored portable devices on the way. This comes with the disadvantage of reach and addressable market, but an interface that is better equipped to meld hardware and software in very elegant ways.
So instead of iPhone killer claims, the comparison should be between Android and Windows Mobile. Winmo is the correct apples-to-apples comparison in being available for device manufactures to build into their phones. This comparison is nothing new but maybe a reminder for reporters and bloggers who love to throw around the old “______ killer” designation.
That said, for those of us always looking for the local angle, the Droid certainly has one thing on the iPhone: built in GPS navigation. This will become a more standard feature of Android-based phones once v. 2.0 rolls out to other devices (read: holiday season). It looks to be a very slick navigation interface but it signals a death knell to standalone GPS devices — not the iPhone.
“Deeper dive” to come.