Monday, October 19, 2009

Droid - The Reality behind the 'iDon't" Commerials

If you watched any sports over the weekend, you saw the commercial below played ad nauseum. This is a teaser cooked by Verizon to build buzz over their intended iPhone-killer, called DROID.

It appears that this phone is real, not just another Verizon vaporware phone, and is running Google Android 2.0. Allegedly, the Droid was co-designed by Google, Verizon, and Motorola and is intended to replace the Blackberry Storm as Verizon's flagship smartphone for the 2009 holiday season. And Boy Genius Report has pictures.

The real question is whether Apple has any reason to be worried. The phrase "iPhone Killer" has been thrown about so much - and to so little effect - that it is nearly meaningless at this point. The Palm Pre is the only phone to come close in terms of original thought and usability, and its relationship with Sprint the anemic Palm have held it back from really taking off. And Verizon has a long history of hyping phones, and then killing them off with horrible execution and upgrade policies. Still, a thriving competition in the smartphone space would keep Apple honest, and be good for consumers overall. I hope Droid is better than history would predict.


Aaron Klein said...

they certainly nailed many of the problems with the iPhone, although they missed a big one: enterprise-grade e-mail.

the iPhone is a great phone for many uses, but it really sucks at e-mail.

Nomad said...

Can you give examples of e-mail problems? I find it meets my needs very effectively. But I use it just for a supplement to my laptop. I'd like to hear the shortcomings for someone looking for the phone to be your #1 e-mail tool.

BH said...

I have an example of iphone short comings... picture messages!

Ward said...

I'm not really seeing most of those as a problem, I suppose. But that's just me.

A real keyboard? Really...They're gonna go there? The iPhone's key interface is the best I've ever found and is nearly flawless.

Simultaneous apps? No, but there is this little round button down at the bottom that you press and the apps shut down. Then you go to your next app and you press that little round button again to put that app away and when you go back to your previous app, guess what happens? It's exactly where you left it in exactly the same state! Wow...That's soooooo much more work than tabbing through different apps...

5-megapixel pics/pics in the dark...Because I do professional photography with my iPhone, right? And um...What exactly are you wanting to take pictures of in the dark? >_>

Why customize what is already beautiful? I mean if you're that much of a "I have to be a unique little snowflake just like everyone else" type then you've probably jail-broken your phone anyway, in which case you can customize it on very deep levels.

Ward said...

Widgets are soooo last year. Please, they are crafted for attention deficit types that can't handle more than a moment of concentration on one task or topic.

The battery argument...Again, you seriously going to go there? Because I'm too lazy/stupid to plug my phone in twice a week, right? That's just such an unreasonable expectation to put on a phone user. And that iPhone plug is SUCH a huge and unwieldy piece of equipment to pack for trips. And despite the fact that the battery should have plenty of life for pretty much any trip in the car, they still make car chargers that are very affordable. So even if you are so anti-social that you would rather spend all your time on a trip playing on your phone rather than with your family, you're still covered.

Yes, there are SO MANY things that the iPhone just can't do. The question is, are most of them really worth trying to do anyway? Is there room for improvement on the iPhone? Sure. But these arguments are mostly worthless. BH's argument was at least 10x better than any of these stupid "challenges"

Nomad said...

Actually, BH, picture messaging (MMS) is working now. :-) Started around the end of September.

I think the two arguments that make sense are battery and keyboard.

Battery: For a "normal" user, the iPhone battery lasts for several days, yes. But there are many (like me) who are not NORMAL users. I get tons of e-mail on the device, Twitter, and surf the web all day long. (My employer blocks blogger, twitter, flickr, etc. on work computers, so that is not an option.) Thus, my battery is almost always dead by 5 PM... and keep in mind that is with me charging EVERY NIGHT and having charger in the car. The ability to hot-swap a battery would be useful to me.

Keyboard: I agree for everything *I* do, the iPhone keyboard is more than sufficient. But some business professionals I know ONLY EVER e-mail on the phones. They never come back to a laptop or desktop for complex or long missives. Thus, they need something with as close to zero errors as possible. I don't know about you, but my iPhone makes at least 3 errors per (short) e-mail. They are easy to correct and the convenience is "worth it" to me, but that issue is why many Blackberry users will never switch or convert to a keyboardless Blackberry.

The others are lame, but VZW is trying to break into a crowded market, and are looking for every advantage they can. Will DROID do well? Unlikely, based on VZW's past performance with phones. But I hope it does, as Apple *NEEDS* someone out there keeping them honest.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of reasons to go with the droid, but they didn't mention a lot of them.

1. Verizon has a much better service area than AT&T, and in my experience, Motorola has the best signal on verizon.

2. The physical keyboard is nice in applications were you need the full screen for the application but need more than just a touch interface.

3. Removable battery is nice.

4. The multiple advantages of Android over apple OS. Faster upgrades to things due to less red tape and more development. Freedom to do what you want instead of being held down by the dictatorship that is Apple. This is the reason I used windows mobile for so long, because before android it was the most open OS for a mobile device, but it just didn't keep up with the times, and is limping quite behind now.

5. Amazing screen comparatively, sure it's not an Omnia II with an AM-OLED display, but it's pretty nice.

Essentially I want a phone with a lot of the qualities of the iphone, but not be tied to Apple or ATT, and to have more freedom and capability. the droid suits my needs.