My Shiny Green Robot

September 1, 2010 | In: General

Android robot logo.
Image via Wikipedia

My story with cell phones started with a Motorola-V phone back in college in the year 2000. It was a wonderful phone (at least back then), it was sleek, tiny and looked just like the BMW of phones. After a few years with my Moto (yes, phones used to survive for years back then), I decided to give it a notch and jump to smartphones. I bought a Windows Mobile device that was manufactured by a company named i-mate. I had a lot of fun with Windows Mobile; I even built a small business around it. I started a website named WMFreeThemes.com which was a hit. From its name, it was the go-to website for high quality themes. Well, I realized later then how stupid this business model was depending on AdSense as the only source of revenue on a website that is not based on volume traffic.

Anyway, I had my Windows Mobile device for quite a while; it had a gun metal body which seriously handled a lot of abuse gracefully. After graduating and getting my PhD and starting a full-time job, I decided to enter the new era of smartphones. At that point we got our new, shiny green robots. Based on my friend, Ahmed Amer’s recommendation, we got a family plan from AT&T with two HTC Aria phones which are Android devices. Here my exploration of the new world of Android started.

Simply stated, O M G , a revolution did happen in mobile devices. The phone is really sleek, the screen is wonderful, response is superfast, touch is capacitive (no need to hardly poke the phone with your nails) and 3G connectivity coupled with great applications makes a whole new experience.

I just don’t want to forget to sure give credit to Apple for this revolution. The release of the iPhone, literally changed everything on the landscape of mobile computing. Apple, with the Steve Job effect, decided to drop the stylus, upscale the screens and go for top notch icons, graphics and a whole new interface experience. Is Android better or iPhone? well, before answering this I just want to state that I am a hardcore Mac head. I had several MacBooks, and at work I’ve been working on iMacs and MacPros. Given this stand, I will still go for the Android side. iPhone, despite of all the compelling features, Apple have been sticking to the App-tiles for a pretty long time. It just feels like you are accessing your phone through a peephole. Android offers much more freedom, much more customization and thus a way to express your personality and make “your” phone “yours”. If you have 10 iPhones laying down on a table with their screens on, no one can tell which one of the phones is his.

Aside from the freedom of multiple desktops, widgets and a bunch of other stuff you can side load applications to your device, you can even play with the SDK and make a weekend app of your own over the weekend (without paying $100 like Apple and you can take your App to the market for only $25). Well, I know that this is not a typical weekend for everyone but still some do have this kind of weekends. In addition to all of this, your Android is extending your Google experience. How many of us out there are living on Google servers. With Google you have your searches, bookmarks, email, calendars, docs, talk, voice, Picasa and the list goes on and on. Apple, with MobileMe is just far, far away from Google. I rooted my phone and tried a couple of different ROMs and with every new ROM, once I login with my Google account the device restores every single thing that matters through Google.

By the way, I would like to give huge credit to HTC. I flashed a Froyo (Android 2.2) ROM that doesn’t include HTC Sense replacing Éclair (Android 2.1) that came on the device with HTC Sense. Despite that I’ve upgraded the machine’s OS with significant features and enhancements added, without HTC Sense I felt that I’ve actually “downgraded” the phone instead. Everything looks prettier and compelling with HTC Sense. You don’t want to lose that part of your Android experience.

Concluding my post, thanks to Google for such a neat, responsive, fast, free, open source platform that we can build a whole new generation of devices and applications on. To Apple, you should really try to catch up quickly and acquire more and more web businesses if you would like to try and catch up with the Google Empire. However, despite as it sounds that Apple is falling apart with Android’s market share rocketing high every day, conditionally, with Steve Jobs around, I’m sure that we should be getting something new out of Apple’s kitchens that may turn everything upside down “again”. I was really so sad that Apple engineers embarrassed that great man, Steve jobs, with a phone that just lacks the phone functionality.

I’ll keep you updated with my experience with my new green robot. It has been amazing so far and my advice would be that you should do yourself a favor, throw whatever phone you have now (including iPhone 4) and go for an HTC Android.

Green robots rock!!!

- Hussein

  • http://none Mohamed

    Great article Hussein.

  • M.U.

    I think that is an interesting point, it made me think a bit. Thanks for sparking my thinking cap. Sometimes I get so much in a rut that I just feel like a record.