iPad, the good and the bad

I consider the iPad a very negative force. Apple is taking the close system of iPhone and moving it up to tablets. What’s the next move? Desktops? That’s very scary! Imagine a world where Steve Jobs is the final word on which programs people can and can’t run. If that happens, the dark ages of computers will have started, and who knows how long they’ll last.

Now there’s a very good side effect to the iPad. People is starting to spend a lot of time on non-Windows computers. No, this is not a rant against Microsoft.

There was a time when we had many operating systems and people use to choose. Different machines came with different operating systems. Then Microsoft dominated the market and there was one and only one operating system. For a time there was even only one browser. That hinders innovation.

Microsoft Windows obviously failed on phones and tablets. Apple, first with the iPhone and now with the iPad, opened those markets. Now people is talking about how great WebOS (Palm’s operating system) would be on a tablet (made by HP). Nobody would have though of a non-Windows tablet if Apple haven’t done it before. Also Android tablets are coming. Microsoft is rebooting its phone efforts, without Windows this time; and maybe they’ll reboot their tablet efforts too. At any rate Microsoft won’t dominate that market and certainly not Windows.

The only company capable of dominating phones and tablets is Apple; and they are not set to dominate it. Apple makes one and only one product, with no variations. If you want something different (a USB port, a memory card reader, a camera, porn, a cheaper product, whatever) you go to a competitor. Apple makes a lot of money by making the luxury products, not by selling it to everybody.

I think it’s going to be a lot of fun to watch a very competitive market where four players are so will be constantly innovating trying to win users over.

Some comments on This Week in Android #1

I’m catching up with my podcasts and right now listening (and watching) to This Week in Android #1. I have some comments to add.

First of all, I think it’s great they are making a show about it. I’ve been extremely excited about Android since day 1 (when I couldn’t tell anyone because it was confidential information at Google) and I’m getting more excited all the time. I honestly believe the Nexus One is the best phone ever made. The show still has some rough edges, but that’s a huge compliment for episode #1 and looking forward to #2.

So, my comments…

Android was not a response to iPhone. Android was released latter but it was being developed before iPhone was publicly known, probably even before it was even a rumor. If you look at the early Android emulators, you can see it was targeted as a Blackberry competitor and I actually believe Android was delayed because they’ve had to get rid of the keyboard to compete with iPhone.

Android is not good old Java. It’s for sure not J2ME, it’s something totally different. The virtual machine doesn’t follow Sun’s specification so you need a separate VM, compiler and so on (provided in the SDK, of course). The language, in a sense, it’s not really Java. It’s so identical than developers won’t notice the difference.

Android is more open than they’ve mentioned on the show. In the show the mention the usual complaints about the draconian attitude for approving iPhone Apps while the Android Market is much more free and open. But then, pushing the argument forward, the Android Market doesn’t allow adult content. What they’ve failed to mention is that in Android you are not stuck with the Android Market (like you are with the App Store in an iPhone).

In Android you can install web apps directly from the web, without any kind of market. And some of those apps are actually markets themselves. There are alternative markets including some that will allow adult content. Another reason for these markets to exists is that they offered paid apps in countries before the Android Market did or you can envision they offering a bigger share to the developers or other benefits.

Google decided not to serve the porn industry with their Android Market but at no time they are forbidding you from getting adult content in your small wonderful portable tablet.

At some point in that episode they’ve show a graph where iPhone had only 1% of the market. Well, iPhone really doesn’t have the bast majority of the market. It’s really a small player in amount of phones. It’s the biggest player in apps and money moved in those apps and totally dominates some communities; but not the whole market.

Android is going to be the dominant player because it’s going to be in all those other phones. Android will be huge without ever causing one lose sales for the iPhone. It’s a huge market with space for both players. What Android is really grabbing is the market of Symbian and other operating systems like that.

My last comment for the show: stop talking about the iPhone. I think it would be good to have one person be the outside voice, defending iPhone, and I think Lon is that voice. He plays the part well. The rest should never mention iPhone and should never do a pros and cons with Android in a balanced way. It’s not interesting, it doesn’t make a show and I’m not watching This Week in Android to know what are the advantages of iPhone. Just say and keep repeating how Android is crushing it, get me excited about it.