Why I’m thinking of ditching my precious iPhone for an Android | gigaom.com


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After several years as a devoted Apple iPhone user, I have been tempted by the dark side — I am considering giving up my beloved iPhone for an Android device, and the main attraction is the openness of the ecosystem that Android takes advantage of.
If you don’t like personal stories about infidelity, please read no further. After being in love with my iPhone for several years now, my attentions are increasingly being pulled elsewhere — and I’m not fighting it. I’ve been an iPhone fan ever since I first got my hands on one: it instantly made my BlackBerry feel like an ugly brick that was designed by orangutans. All I wanted to do was hold it forever, and that’s almost exactly what I’ve done since I first got one — until, that is, I switched to using an Android phone over the holidays.

I didn’t decide to try an Android phone because I was dissatisfied with Apple or the iPhone — in fact, I still think the iPhone is one of the best-designed and most appealing products of any kind that I’ve ever used. I have a MacBook Air and an iPad that I also love using, and I recommend them whenever I get the chance. But I will confess that I have been looking enviously at Android phones for a little while, after seeing friends like my GigaOM colleague Kevin Tofel using them and then borrowing one last fall for a trip to Amsterdam for our Structure: Europe conference.

Part of what I was interested by was the larger screens on the Nexus and other phones — I like to read webpages and other documents and look at photos on my phone, so more screen real estate was appealing. But I was also interested in the openness of the Android ecosystem, and whether that would be a benefit compared to the walled garden that Apple runs for iOS.

Apple’s garden is beautiful — but the walls aren’t

There’s no question that Apple’s garden is beautiful, as walled gardens go, and it is extremely well-maintained; nasty or disturbing apps are kept out, and everything is checked to make sure it works properly, and that is definitely a big benefit. In other words, the bars are hard to see behind all those beautiful flowers. But in some cases, useful things are kept out as well, whether it’s content or applications — or ways of integrating with other networks and services that maybe don’t meet Apple’s standards (or aren’t willing to pay Apple for the privilege).

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Here’s one anecdote that sums up the differences between the two platforms for me: when I took a photo with the Android phone (a Motorola Razr HD), it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I could beam it to my TV somehow — I have a media hub from Western Digital that has all my photos on it, and usually I have to copy the pictures from the iPhone to a computer with iTunes and then share them with the WD hub. But I figured maybe I could beam them from the Android because the hub is a DLNA device (DLNA is kind of the open version of Apple’s AirPlay standard for wireless networking). Within five minutes, I had downloaded an app that beamed my photo to the WD hub, and we were looking at it on the TV. I did the same thing with a YouTube video. Leer más “Why I’m thinking of ditching my precious iPhone for an Android | gigaom.com”

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Plug In, Turn On and Tune Out Wi-Fi

By ASHLEE VANCE

As a Texan, I find it deeply offensive when the Internet blocks me from watching “Friday Night Lights.”
The Sofa Wars

Media, cable and technology companies are fighting for consumers’ screen time, and their money, as viewing habits grow more unpredictable.

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More specifically, my rage goes toward Wi-Fi, that oh so finicky creature that will buffer, buffer, spurt, gurgle and then just break down. For some reason, my router, walls, laptop and H.D.M.I. hookup to the TV appear determined to wage war with one another, making streaming television shows an all too brief and painful experience.

For people suffering from similar Wi-Fi maladies, there is hope, and it runs through your electrical outlets.

I picked up some adapters from the start-up Plaster Networks that plug into a wall socket and then carry a Web connection via Ethernet cable to your devices.

For this type of set-up, you need to plug one adapter ($90) into the wall and connect it directly to a router. Then, you can plug more adapters in the house anywhere that a fast Web connection is desired.


By ASHLEE VANCE

As a Texan, I find it deeply offensive when the Internet blocks me from watching “Friday Night Lights.”

The Sofa Wars

Media, cable and technology companies are fighting for consumers’ screen time, and their money, as viewing habits grow more unpredictable.

More specifically, my rage goes toward Wi-Fi, that oh so finicky creature that will buffer, buffer, spurt, gurgle and then just break down. For some reason, my router, walls, laptop and H.D.M.I. hookup to the TV appear determined to wage war with one another, making streaming television shows an all too brief and painful experience.

For people suffering from similar Wi-Fi maladies, there is hope, and it runs through your electrical outlets.

I picked up some adapters from the start-up Plaster Networks that plug into a wall socket and then carry a Web connection via Ethernet cable to your devices.

For this type of set-up, you need to plug one adapter ($90) into the wall and connect it directly to a router. Then, you can plug more adapters in the house anywhere that a fast Web connection is desired. Leer más “Plug In, Turn On and Tune Out Wi-Fi”