The Great Debate UK

from The Great Debate:

The Android opportunity

gruber.jpg-- John Gruber writes and publishes Daring Fireball, a web site for Mac, web and design enthusiasts. He lives in Philadelphia with his wife and five-year-old son. This article first appeared on Daring Fireball. The views expressed are his own. --

In just the past few weeks Steven Frank, Alex Payne, and Andre Torrez all tried switching from the iPhone to Android. All three are smart, open-minded, and eloquent regarding their reasons for trying Android. All three are developers who care about the quality and design of software and hardware.

All three found Android significantly lacking.

android.jpg

The new G1 phone running Google's Android software. REUTERS/Jacob Silberberg

No doubt some iPhone owners look upon this with glee, much like sports fans watching a rival team flail. I look upon it with glum disappointment. I’ve said it before and will say it again, the best thing that could happen for Apple and iPhone owners would be for at least one strong rival to appear. Two would be even better. A monoculture benefits no one in the long run, because it’s competition that drives innovation.

I know there are new Android phones on the horizon. I know there have been some nice Android OS updates. But from my vantage point, the Android state-of-the-art is today further behind the iPhone state-of-the-art than it was when the G1 debuted last October.

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