My wife and I are late adopters to the Android scene. However I did dabble in it briefly when I hacked my HTC Touch Pro 2 to dual boot WinMo 6.5 and Android 2.1. Well, after years of issues with defective HTC products and Windows Mobile’s migration towards a more closed platform, my wife and I have now become proud owners of a white and blue Motorola Droid 2 Global.
I have always respected Motorola products, my wife included with her nearly indestructible Razr. The Motorola Q was my gateway to the Smartphone arena. I loved the openness of Windows Mobile 5.0. I had emulators, DIVX players, internet streaming radio, tethered highspeed cellular modem, etc, installed on that puppy. The development community on the web for this platform was also a blessing. Tons of experimentation without the fear of voided warranties.
Enter Google’s Android. When I first read about Android I was like, “Oh cool Chrome for phones, but I think I will stick with WinMo.” Then, after reading about the direction Microsoft was taking Phone 7, (attacking Apple’s Iphone demographic head on by lowering the bar of entry and removing built in features such as tethering, copy and paste, etc); I decided it was time to try Android. (prerequisite: physical QWERTY keypad)
Being new to Android but familiar with its features, I immediately proceeded to the marketplace and downloaded all the Angry Birds games :-D. While exploring the market to see what else there was to be had, I came across an icon that was all to familiar. It was the AVG logo of Grissoft’s popular antivirus software. I immediately thought to myself, “Now why would a phone need a malicious software removal tool?” Then it dawned on me, “Android may actually be a little too open and a little too widely received.” Dirty coders always target the most vulnerable and the most circulated platform. Recent statistics indicate that Android devices are outselling IPhones and most other cellular phones on a daily basis. So why is it only now that we are seeing virus scan apps for phones?
Cellular telephones have always been the most popular of portable gadgets. Every cell phone was unique. They each had their own personal interface, and proprietary OS/firmware designed in house by the manufacturer specifically for said device. No two phones were exactly alike, unless you were part of the small smartphone crowd at that time(WinMo, Palm, Blackberry, Symbian, etc). The rise of the IPhone ushered in the inevitable next generation where all cell phones will be smart phones. Every few months the line between cell phone and personal computer continues to blur, with Android being the front runner on cell phones and the exploding tablet market. Of course with a single unified platform, development becomes easier and cheaper but the consumers will be the ones shouldering all the risk. There is actually more personal information tied to someone’s cell phone than on someone’s personal computer. Especially in relation to the recent privacy “bug” on the Iphone where it logged breadcrumbs of all your travels. This personal information and open system makes Android a humongous target for those looking to make an easy buck. That includes hackers and companies that make a living off ads and data mining.
What I am saying is a unified open platform may not be a suitable place for an individual to commit their most private of affairs. Japan already has cell phones that can be swiped as credit cards using NFC (Near Field Communication) for day to day transactions and America is closely following suit. I do enjoy “The Jack of All Trades” devices but I also prefer “The Tailored Task” devices. Though I am now a proud owner of Droid Global, I still carry with me my 3DS for Gaming, my Zune for Media, and my Dell for Productivity.
A saying I’m not sure I can claim credit for and possibly am about to mis-quote states: “When you are good at Everything, you are the best at Nothing!” ”Don’t put all your eggs in one basket” Hope you enjoyed my thoughts.