My Journey to Creating a Mobile Business.

November 20, 2009

Palm Pre vs. iPhone vs. Android

Chris from MX123.comChoosing the Best Smartphone

By Chris Janota from  11/20/09  

In my quest to design a mobile application my first step has been to thoroughly research the best Smartphones.   Here’s a review of the best.    Since i was locked into a contract with Sprint my natural first choice was to explore the options available with them.  Presenting the Palm Pre.   At the time the importance of applications “apps” on my smart phone had not sunk in – probably no differently than most people’s thought of having a computer in their home back in 1980. But then I experienced a rush of creativity and enthusiasm playing around with the few applications Sprint offers.  Access to iTunes was important to me since i want to double my phone as an MP3 player to listen to my music and my Podcast library.   The sales clerk at Sprint explained to me i could access iTunes.  But after happily using my Pre for a couple weeks my access to iTunes mysteriously ceased after downloading an iTune update.   I learned Sprints stock drop from $17 to $11 per share during this week and I was off to Sprint to return my phone and my contract with Sprint.


Key Features Andoid  iPhone  Palm Pre
QWERTY Keyboard Y N Y
Runs multiple applications Y N Y
# Apps 10,000 100,000 100
Google Navigation Y N N
Google voice recognition Y N N
iTunes connection N Y N
Design Ugly- but rugged Sexy okay

For another chart that compares phone manufacturers, operating systems, carriers and more click here.  

Since the iPhone boasted having 100,000 apps (heck, 100 would be all I ever needed) I went to AT+T to pick up an iPhone.   What a great design!  I had a blast listening to my iTunes again and using Facebook, Pandora,  email,  many apps specific to my industry.  Why would anyone think of leaving such a perfect piece of technology…or art?  But as i was now exploring developing my own navigational app for my company,  along came the revelation of   Google’s Android operating system and where this new market is headed.   Because Apple manages the manufacturing, operating system and the application market it now finds itself competing with Google.  Google has designed Android an OS  that any phone maker can use on their phone at no cost.  It’s a deja vu experience going back to 1984 at the outset of the PC -Apple Computer war.   (See my article on the Coming War Between the Android Army and iPhone.) 

 I returned the iPhone and picked myself up a Motorola Droid which runs the Android 2.0 OS.  Unlike the iPhone it has a real QWERTY keyboard and runs multiple applications.   But the new Google Navigation is the real gem.   It has turn-by-turn navigational system like TomTom or Garmin except that Android offers net connectivity that could give you updated traffic reports and nearby business destinations.   Now combine that functionality with Google search and Google’s new voice recognition into your navigation.   Much the same way the original internet was made for shopping… or porn,  it seems to me its seems all mobile, GPS, voice recognition technologies are coming together at the same time to make a killer navigational app.   :-0   To see this in action checkout this Google video.  In real life it really does work about as well as you see in the video. 

Chris Janota is the CEO of a stubbornly successful independent DVD retailer in Woodbury, Minnesota that buys used DVDs, CDs, videogames and books from the public.



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