The big loser this week, though, was Microsoft. They’re simply not even part of the game. RIM looms large, as BlackBerrys continue to reign as the best-selling smartphones in the U.S. But Microsoft? They’ve got nothing. No interesting devices, weak sales, and a shrinking user base. Microsoft’s irrelevance is taken for granted.
As usual, John Gruber nails it. Microsoft really has no chance at catching up with either Apple or Google at this point, and it’s pretty stunning. They entered the game way too late, and, as far as I know, it’s still going to be a while before the first Windows Phone 7 handsets come out. They’ve already lost the mobile war.
However, as Gruber mentions, things between Apple and Google are getting very interesting. While I admittedly have not been all that satisfied with my Droid experience so far, it’s a promising platform, and I really love how much Google is pushing cloud technology. A cell phone should operate completely separate from a computer, and that’s something Apple just hasn’t done right yet.
Apple’s feeling threatened by Android, as they should be. So they’re systematically targeting and eliminating major reasons why someone would choose Android over iPhone.
But they haven’t yet hit the biggest one: availability on different U.S. carriers, specifically a CDMA edition for Verizon.
Bingo. If the iPhone came to Verizon tomorrow, I would seriously consider ditching my Droid and paying full price for it.
I got a sneak peek of Flash running on a Motorola handset here at the show. It crashed.
I really hope I’ll be able to disable Flash once it comes to the Droid. Performance is going to be terrible.
He nails it. While an iPad wouldn’t be my computer of choice (at least in its current form), I could certainly see it being the perfect device for the less tech-savvy audience. This could be the perfect product for my grandparents, for instance.
Also of note was one of Steven’s proposed improvements for the iPhone/iPad platform:
A way of sharing data between applications. Something like the clipboard, but bigger. This is not a filesystem, but a way of saying “bring this data object from this app to this app”. I’ve made this painting in my painting app, and now I want to bring it over here to crop it and apply filters.
I really like how Android has approached this problem. If, as a developer, you want to create image editing software, you don’t have to know how to access images from other applications, but rather, you just ask the OS for a list of all files that match a certain type (an image, a video, etc.). Then, the OS knows which programs store files of that type and it returns a nice, condensed list of all of them. The user never has to worry about exactly which app stored the image, because it’s all taken care of for him.
Matt Haughey goes through his thoughts on the Motorola Droid, the Nexus One, and Android in general. Lots of good stuff here, and his thoughts echo a lot of mine. Android as a platform has a whole lot of promise, and I’m really excited to see where out it goes from here.
Someone managed to get their hands on a preview of the Swype keyboard for Android, which allows you to type simply by swiping your finger across the letters, rather than tapping them out one-by-one. I installed it on my Droid, and so far I’m loving it. In time, I can definitely see myself being faster with Swype than with the normal keyboard.
Unfortunately, it appears as if the preview only works on high resolution Android devices such as the Droid, but hopefully the final version works on older phones as well.
(For what it’s worth, I typed this entire entry using Swype with barely any mistakes, and I’ve only been using it for about fifteen minutes.)
I’ll definitely be checking some of these out when I get my Droid on Friday.
Rob Jackson provides the most in-depth review of the Motorola Droid I’ve seen yet. Rob runs through a bunch of the major features, with videos for just about everything. If you’re looking for Droid information, this is the place to find it.
Assuming the Verizon store has enough, I’ll be picking one of these up on Friday, and I’ll try and have a quick post on my thoughts as well.