Hello, Sexy
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 | Author: Mad Typist

So, details are starting to emerge about the new "Google" phone. To be clear, for those of you who aren't familiar with this concept, the Google phone is not like the iPhone, in that Google isn't not getting into the hardware manufacturing game (like Apple has). The important contribution Google brings to the table is the software platform known as Android, which enables many of the iPhone-esque functions of the G1 phone made by T-Mobile.

I have long coveted the iPhones being rocked by my friends and co-workers, but have been putting off purchasing one. I liked a lot of the functionality (as well as the sexy look), but was put off by the following:
  • Tight integration with iTunes. Frankly, Apple's insistence on selling DRM'd music really pisses me off, and I resent having to use their music distribution system to manage my phone.
  • Speaking of DRM and all things proprietary, Apple's bizarre level of secrecy had many devs complaining about how difficult it was to develop for the iPhone.
  • Only service available is via AT&T, which has ridiculous pricing and questionable availability of their "3G" network (originally, the iPhone could only use the really slow EDGE network, if there was no wi-fi available).
  • Expensive as hell. The price has come down finally, but still requires a 2 year commitment to AT&T, and a data plan STARTING at $70/month.
  • Battery that you can't replace without paying $99 for the Apple people to do it for you.
  • Weird on-screen keyboard. My clumsy thumbs continually mess up when trying to type on my boyfriend's iPod Touch.
  • Yucky camera - only 2 MP and no flash or zoom? Lame.
Things I like about the G1:
  • Integration with Amazon mp3 store. Millions of sweet, sweet non-DRM mp3s available at your fingertips. And the best part is, if I buy a track via my phone, later I can download it to my computer and upload it to my Sansa mp3 player, as well as sharing it with my boyfriend on his iPod. You simply could NOT do that if you purchased a track through iTunes.
  • Google is one of the kings of open source development, so I feel good about devs working with the Android SDK to continue to provide awesome apps moving forward.
  • Association with Google means getting all my beloved Google apps on my phone.
  • Slide out keyboard. My clumsy thumbs thank you.
  • T-Mobile is a more appealing vendor for me.
  • Since Android is a development platform, it will be easy for other vendors/carriers to implement similar smart phones, and easily port any existing apps to their new phones. That means more competition between cell phone manufacturers, which should lead to better variety of choice for the consumer.
Things I don't like:
  • Still too pricey.
  • First gen things make me nervous.
  • 3 MP camera is better, but still lacks flash.
  • Not quite sexy enough, from a purely superficial standpoint. I'd love to see HTC's Touch rocking the Android platform.
  • No support for Microsoft Exchange yet (probably next generation, but don't throw out your corporate Blackberry just yet)
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack? For shame, T-mobile!
Engadget has tons of coverage on the G1, with continual updates throughout the day. Wired also has an article up at their site.

UPDATE: some housekeeping notes:

1) I meant to say the HTC Touch, not Dream, as the Dream IS the G1 phone, as my buddy Mark so helpfully pointed out.

2) Yahoo has a nice in-depth article about the G1 features, for those of you tempted to buy it.

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On 5:47 PM , Beers said...

Hon, you're in luck. The G1 is actually the HTC Dream.

On 6:18 PM , Mad Typist said...

I realized that about an hour after I posted it. I meant to say the HTC Touch.