The Smartphone Ceasefire


Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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12 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    Yes, there’s no reason for the iOS and Android folks to bicker. Buy whichever attracts your eye and runs the software you need to run. However, we should give Mr. Jobs credit for iTunes and the App Store. It’s my own opinion that iTunes saved the music industry from itself, and the discovery that people would buy software (or accept it for free from someone with a business model) in little chunks changed the world.Report

  2. Avatar Will Truman says:

    As much as I hate to admit it, that’s exactly right. I always gave credit where credit was due to the iTunes store, since I didn’t have a particular interest (I went the Rhapsody route). I was slow to acknowledge the Appstore simply because there is so much about where Jobs took the smartphone industry that I don’t like, so I didn’t pay much attention to how he genuinely made things better (for everybody).Report

  3. Avatar Patrick says:

    I am free to have device preferences that Apple doesn’t want to deliver on. Which, ultimately, is the primary problem I ever had with them. It wasn’t that their devices weren’t good. It was simply that they weren’t what I wanted.

    Don’T yOU uNdERsTanD hOw tHe INTerNET WorKs?!?!

    If It ISN’t thE WaY I LikE iT, It SUXXORZReport

    • Avatar scott the mediocre in reply to Patrick says:

      Some screed indeed. Hmm, I’ve never actually met an Android booster in person; I’ve met several people who were/are emotionally identified with Apple, but only one who was/is obnoxious about it. Unfortunately, he is my boss – when I apostasized from iOS to Android last fall, he gave me this epic rant about how I would regret it, that within six months my Galaxy S4 would be slow and virus infested and I would come crawling back (none of those things have happened, of course, and I’m quite happy with my move). Strangely, he saves his active hatred for Google alone – while he expresses contempt for Samsung and Microsoft and anybody foolish enough to buy their products when there is an Apple offering, he doesn’t seem to have venom for them. I assume that’s the party line he gets with his koolaid shipments.

      Agreed that for some/many people Apple’s products are better, although I suspect perhaps fewer than some Apple owners think. Case in point: my wife uses her phone (4S) for: phone, texting, photos, FB (rarely), facebook games, and the occasional web browsing (usually IMDB). She also has fairly severe presbyopia, and as result she has the phone zoomed it to the point that the screen is perhaps twelve characters wide in portrait (and frequently still has to hold it up close to read it). I’ve never seen her try to use the phone one-handed, where a much bigger screen might cause her problems (small handed friend of mine recently migrated from iPhone 5 to S4 and is generally very happy with the change, but he does use it one handed and has some trouble reaching his thumb all the way across), and there isn’t anything obvious in her use cases which would be especially harder in Android than in iOS. Perhaps the camera. But she is convinced that Android is bad bad bad – I have no idea from whom. I don’t particularly care, not being a booster, but I do find it odd.

      Like you (Will), I only have animosity toward Apple when I am forced to use it *and* where there is a better alternative (almost always the case, except for a couple of years between the death of Windoze Mobile and the development of a rich enough Android ecology). But the fragmentation of the non-Apple market, which freeing up a tremendous amount of creativity, also gives Apple a substantial incumbent advantage via network effects – two examples:

      It seems that most upper midrange cars now offer various sorts of iOS integration in their electronics sets. Other than Bluetooth connectivity for phone and audio, I haven’t heard about any offerings of Android integration. Makes business sense for the car makers – people with rather more money than sense tech savvy are obviously going to buy Apple products 🙂

      I’ve come across a fair number of hospitals (dunno if Clancy’s fits in this category) where the IT department will only support iOS (plus Win7/8 and OS X) for connectivity to the enterprise WLAN; if I were a doctor with privileges I would effectively be required to use iOS for my phone.

      • Avatar Patrick in reply to scott the mediocre says:

        Android is a way, way better developer interface.

        My $0.02Report

      • @scott-the-mediocre I was something close to an Android booster for a while. I’ve mostly relaxed, mostly due to the stuff in the OP. I’ve also come to appreciate that the iPhone is recommendable to a lot of people. When I see someone whose (non-low-end) Android phone still has the exact same default that it came with give or take the background image (which is often disjointed because the default clock was made for the default background image), I think that person would be better off getting an iPhone. And a little piece of me dies inside.

        If there weren’t the issue of free tech support and the physical keyboard issue, I might even recommend an iPhone for Clancy. It seems unlikely that the physical keyboard issue is going to be an issue for much longer, though, as Android goes off in a different direction. The Stratosphere is dead. Will they ever release a Droid 5?

        That period in between WinMo and Android getting up to speed was a dark time indeed. I clutched my WinMo for as long as I could. I never considered getting an iPhone. It just couldn’t do what WinMo could do dating back to 2005. The Android can’t do some of those things either (which there is just no excuse for), but at least gave me alternate ways of doing them. These days, there is all of one app that is iPhone only that I want. Meanwhile, there are tons of apps where it’s available on the Android but not the iPhone.

        It would have been a whole lot simpler if my preferences simply had lined up with Apple’s.Report

    • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Patrick says:

      As I always told my children, “Life is full of little disappoints.” One of mine is that I’ve been waiting 30 years for a hunk of 9x12x1/4-inch plastic and a stylus that can do a good imitation of a pad of paper and pen. I’ve got cramped little handwriting and my notes often enough include math, sketches of graphs, and line-and-box drawings to represent entities and communications. I’ve about given up hope that anyone will ever market it, and I’m not rich enough to undertake my own development.Report

  4. Avatar dhex says:

    the sports bar is terrible when it comes to politics, which can get people killed.

    when it comes to phones it’s just the saddest song in the world.Report

    • Avatar Will Truman in reply to dhex says:

      You’re only saying that because you’re aching with regret that your phone isn’t as cool as mine.

      (Actually, one of the funniest things that came out of the smartphone wars was when someone was talking about how we were “jealous” of his iPhone… as though they had a product we just can’t get and they had something just outright special. Note, this was not immediately after a release. I don’t know why this struck me as it did, but it outlined the absurdity of the whole thing. I could get an iPhone if I wanted one. They could get an Android. This isn’t a George Brett rookie card we’re talking about here.)Report

  5. Avatar Damon says:

    I have no experience with Apple phone products. My only expereince was with a computer many years ago. I liked the fact that the apple comp was fully compatibable and i could insert a mic and it’d work seamless vs the ibm version that had to have drivers and crap installed. However, the cost of the apple vs the ibm clone was what got me. For 500 to 1k more i get an apple and compatability. For less I have to install a driver, etc. I choose the cheaper price.

    However, I do like very much my new ipod.

    The phones, meh. it’s a phone. Apple’s are nice but expensive. There’s no value propsition for apples for me…Report