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Today's iPad announcement spurred my switch to a Google Nexus One phone

google-nexus-one.jpgTo be fair, I've been planning on switching to Android since Android 2.0 came out -- first it was going to be the Droid, but seeing the issues with the camera on that, plus the subsequent announcement of the Nexus One, gave pause to that earlier switch.

So what did today's iPad announcement have to do with it?

I was mainly waiting to see if:

  1. The iPad was a device I was interested in
  2. If it was, did the 3G options with it impact my decision to switch to Nexus One? e.g. should I wait until Nexus One is on Verizon?

I was expecting #1 to be true, especially given how poorly Apple managed the secrecy around this one. I was surprised to find myself completely disappointed.

I want my phone to be more like a computer, not my computer to be more like my phone. I'm switching to the Nexus One because it is a better computer than the iPhone. The iPad takes everything cool about a computer -- general-purpose freedom, multitasking -- and replaces it with a bill from the iTunes store. I love some of the new UI flair and experience of the iPad, but not at that cost.

Psychologically I could convince myself that this was okay on the iPhone. When it first came out, there really was no possibility of freedom on that platform, and Apple really did change that landscape. Their motivation, however, was just to supplant the cellphone company as mediator and tollbooth. It was really Android that really set things free. Unfortunately, the first release of Android was an inferior product, and I couldn't bring myself to switch. Android 2.0 is worth switching to, so at last I can say goodbye to my first-generation iPhone.

Who knows. The iPod was initially booed, but it eventually succeeded. I didn't buy one until the third generation, and I'd say it wasn't until the fourth that they really had a great product. I'm sure Apple will improve on this initial iPad offering and make it more compelling. What I don't see happening is Apple reversing their trend towards increasingly closed systems that make them tons of money. There are many wonderful ideas that you can bring from the iPhone experience to the computer, but forcing me to buy all my media and applications through Apple is not one of them.

Comments (1)

I think that's how Apple is going to become the new Microsoft. They may well start to take over business computing, they're moving to being the home computer people have, and they're already the mobile everyone has.

On a Mac, you can still use whatever software you want, and you can choose open formats. (Thunderbird uses mbox, for example, if you're concerned with Mail's proprietary format.) But with the iPhone and the iPad, you're stuck with Apple's offerings in many ways.

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