Wednesday, May 26, 2010

    Wherever the Wind Blows

    Just recently I spent a couple of days watching the Google I/O 2010 keynotes live.  The first half of the second keynote was dedicated solely to Android 2.2 (codename Froyo, which is short for Frozen Yogurt) and man, I'm incredibly pumped about it.  Despite the fact that I don't have an Android phone, nor am I likely to get one anytime soon.

    It did get me thinking, though, about whether or not I will upgrade my iPhone come June 7 when the new iPhone is released.  It certainly has put a lot of hesitation in my mind.  Some of that hesitation is due to my frustration with the iPhone.  I recently decided that I would finally take the plunge and spring for the iPhone dev kit.  I amped myself up to start writing nifty apps on the iPhone and was completely gung-ho about the whole process.

    Only to find out that the only way to write apps on for the iPhone is on a Mac...  This caused me much angst.

    Enter Google I/O (and some Engadget reviews about the EVO and Incredible) and the wind started to shift.  By the end of the second keynote, I was committed to being an Android convert (with the added bonus that I could leave AT&T far behind).  However, there was a question niggling in the back of my mind:  Would my lust for a new iPhone reassert itself as I avidly watch the WWDC, where Apple will launch its new iPhone?

    As any good fanboy will do, I decided to seek out as much information as I could about Froyo and the current batch of devices everyone is talking about.  I turned to Mashable, Engadget and Ars, reading the same stories hashed and rehashed.  I downloaded all of the pertinent Engadget podcasts.  I devoured this info.

    And, hidden in there, I found an interesting tidbit of info:  A lot of these guys which are touting Froyo as the next coming of the mobile Jesus are reluctant to release their firm grasps on their iPhones.  In fact, during the Engadget show, an audience member asked a panel of Engadget editors if they would be willing to leave behind their iPhones for an Android device.  The answer, across the board?  "No."

    Here is an interesting perspective.  Has Apple done such a good job that even those that don't want to be indoctrinated are truly indoctrinated?  It's quite clear that the iPhone is the phone to beat.  This shows up whenever the latest, greatest phone is reviewed.  The question is always, is it an iPhone killer?  The answer every time so far is, "No."  In short, even though the pundits are crying out for a changing of the guard, they are unlikely to get one anytime soon.

    Even though the wind is blowing towards Android right now, will it be blowing that direction in two weeks?  I actually doubt it.  Don't get me wrong, Android is a worthy platform.  I want to develop for it.  It has some many things that make it ideal for our projects (more on that in another post).  It has strengths which are only now being developed and which, when they come to fruition, will be amazing.  But, for now, in the words of Paul Miller from Engadget, "Now is the best time to wait."

    So, I leave an eye to WWDC.  Will I be able to stomach another two years of AT&T and Apple (I highly doubt that Verizon will get an iPhone this time around)?  Will I find some way to secure the development environment which I so crave for iPhone OS devices?  An answer of yes to either of these two questions will indeed commit me to another tour of duty with an iPhone.