Now look, I’m all for innovation and genuinely useful features in a smartphone.
I recall using my first smartphone and let’s be honest it’s a peripheral lovers wet dream. Featuring Motion detection, GPS, mic, speakers, BT, Wifi, decent enough screen any smartphone has the potential to be the most useful device you’ll ever own.
With every platform there is the pioneering phase, and there are exciting times. New hardware features get added such as better screens or battery life, and the OS starts taking shape to support all the existing hardware so we end up with services like Google Now or fully fledged GPS applications.
All of this is very encouraging for the early adapter. They get to see their device evolve with time and they too get to replace their devices often.
Once what was a simple phone has become a portable assistant, and during the early days things just keep getting better.
But sooner or later around the time of Android 4.0, the pool of new ideas starts drying up, and what we’re left with is a now established mobile ecosystem.
Unlike Blackberry which died a slow death taking their inspiration from business level PDA’s. Android changed direction just after the release of version 3 HoneyComb. Indeed Android was going to be fun. Applications got nicknamed “Apps” and the App store soon underwent an iteration coming out the other side as “The play store”.
This was in many ways a kick in the teeth to the more serious business users and to this day the store focuses on an adolescent target audience. To prove this point, filter the top selling “apps” and notice how many games come up?
You’ll be hard pressed to find any mature content on the Play store. Having to sift through the plethora of countless versions of Jewels and fake glass crack screen apps, and then there are the fart button apps.
If you thought this was a fad, you’ve been proven wrong. Sure you will too find useful applications designed for us who are over the age of 15, yet for the most part your 13 year old daughter will be much more impressed with the “Play store”.
So where does that leave those of us who want to see Android progress as a serious business tool or communication device, where is the innovation?
Android the OS has run out of fresh ideas and are now working on “invisible features” such as performance and security. This happens to every stable platform, when was the last time you saw any real innovation in desktop computing?
The phones that are coming out are a little bit more sleek, and a tad bit more powerful, but for the most part all do mostly the same thing.
At the time of writing every single game, and I mean EVERY single Android game is casual. So while some might think it’s a great idea to be buying a phone that will be outdated in a year that costs the same as a small 2nd hand used car, I have my doubts.
Phones too are no longer a status symbol, most smartphones look the same, and mostly people don’t give a shit about what phone you have either.
You won’t impress your date with your smartphone, having a flat stomach and working out at the gym will! Owning a nice car will! Not your phone!
Voice recognition isn’t anywhere near Star trek level, and we’re a long way off too, too long to even raise an eyebrow. As for the Google now stuff, it could at best be categorised as a gimmick.
I’ve tried really hard to remain enthusiastic about Android and in the past I have been, but I that innovation has been flat this entire year and I doubt it will pick up again. Truly Android is stagnant.
Maybe I am missing something huge, and if I am please tell me in the comments.