Hello, Android

After the news of the Nexus One broke, I started reading all I could. I think that Google is really planning to shake up the entire wireless business with this phone, and change the way that consumers are locked into contracts. I currently have a Nokia E71, but I plan to ditch it when the Nexus One becomes available.

My E71 has been a good phone, but it has a lot of shortcomings:

– Nokia’s firmware updates are only released for European models. Sure, I could force the update and void my warranty, but I’ve held off doing that.
– Web browsing on the small screen pales in comparison to surfing on my wife’s iPhone. I’m no Apple fan, but if the Google browser is half as good, it will be a much better browsing experience than my Nokia.
– I’m a big fan that once you buy a piece of hardware, you have the right to develop content for it. With the iPhone, I’d have to buy a Mac, plus buy the iPhone SDK, plus certificates and fees. Not gonna happen. With Nokia, there’s this signing process that apps have to go through and from what I’ve read, is not easy for the average hobbiest to do. Android has a much lower bar for development.

I really think that Android is positioning itself to be the best mobile platform in the future. They seem to have the most-free (free as in freedom) development strategy. You can write and test your code on Windows, OSX, and Linux. It’s only $25 to register as an Android developer which allows you to publish your apps. There’s no app-czar that needs to approve your app. In-time, the app ecosystem around Android will surpass the other platforms. And since phones today are all about the apps, it will push Android into the #1 position someday.

I recently purchased Hello, Android a few weeks ago, and ended up reading it in a few hours. Very well-written book, as it walks through the development of a Sudoku application. It has already inspired me to start playing around with the API’s and try to create an app based on an idea my wife had. I’m amazed at how after a few hours, I was able to make a lot of progress. Of course, it helps that I have years of experience with embedded development, and a few months of Java experience.

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