March 19, 2013

Why Apple Should Never Die: An Android Fan's Perspective

Kane and Able, Scorpion and Sub-zero, Yankees and Dodgers, Yin and Yang. Some rivalries are storied throughout myth and history, with just a mention, can bring out burning passions of anyone who knows of there existence. In less then a decade, there has spawned a new rivalry, one that is so well established in our modern culture, so popular to the masses, that mostly anyone can reach into their pocket and have more then few choice words on the subject. That of course is the rivalry between Android and Apple.

Some may say "death to Apple" for trying to stifle innovation with littigation. For being so affraid of the emergent technology that Google has created, and all but swept the rug from under a market that Apple controversially created. But what if apple did indeed get run (back) into the ground, or better yet, didn't exist at all? I think, we would live in a very different world then we do today. I'll say this now: if this isn't apparent by now, I love Android. Not only for its technology but what it stands for as a whole. On the opposite side of the fence, that doesn't mean I don't love other technologies, Apple included. I am thankful for Apple and the iPhone to have came out and shook the world. Here's a few points I like to bring up as to why.

With the recent rumors surrounding the iPhone 5S, I think it's a good time for us to look back and see just how one company helped shape the ever growing technology industry as we know and love it today.

2012: Still possibly a tactile world: Can you imagine if BlackBerry was still the industry leader it was in 2008? Google knows how to follow the industry standard. Before the G1 that we all know and love today came on the market, there was the "Gphone", circulated internally through Google and to developers, as the prototype for what was going to be Google's initial outing in the smart phone arena. It was very "inspired", by BlackBerry's design frame. If Apple did not announce the iPhone when it did, Google would of come out initially with a phone that was already behind the curve, and not a stellar start to what is known now as one of the most popular brands in the world today.

Imitation is the best form of flattery: Lets face it, Apple and Google both take some liberties when it comes to their "revolutionary" new feature sets. Early Samsung being the bigest offender (and target) to strait copy and paste design. Their bright colorful "chiclet" icons screamed "me too" design 101 for a long time until they started, recently, to get their own footing, and S-Voice... please. Even stock Android finally getting a native screen capture was 3 operating systems updates late before people sighed in relief for something that should have become standard awhile ago. Apple too with its "magical" notification bar can't hide the fact that they still have the worst notification system in the business. Recently (like the past year and a half), they have been stuck playing catch-up, and I'm sure iOS 7 will have some eerily similar features that will have Android fanboy's crying foul.

The Playstation/X-Box effect: As I like to call any competing company that constantly gets better as their rivals also progress. If you would have asked me 10 years ago if gameplay video-game graphics would look like CG of that era one day, I would laugh. If you asked me 4 years ago that those same games we talked about before would become available for my phone some day too, it would probably illicit the same exact response. I'm positive that technology would not be available as fast as it was without the competitive nature of two mortal enemies.

Forward thinking: Pop quiz: name one of coolest features on the Android platform that can't seem to go mainstream but would instantly the second Apple adds it to the next version of iOS? You guessed it: NFC! Let's face the sad truth: sometimes Android is too ahead of its time. NFC technology isn't new, and it will literally change how use phones as a society. It is, without a shadow of a doubt, a gamechanger; but until it gets that apple stamp of approval that it so desperately needs, it's going to be as useful as, well... Passbook (OK, a little more useful then that).

We can talk totalitarian ideologies vs. a free, open operating system (and its pitfalls) all day, and trust me, I have. Regardless of which side you choose, the only benefit I can see in the end, is the consumer. As stated before, I love all technologies, from my mac book pro (where I'm currently typing this longer-than-expected article), to my 5 Android phones sitting on the table next to me. If we appreciate the need for both our loved and loathed tech companies to co-exist, then maybe we could finally achieve world peace, at least in the tech world.