I am a big fan of the Android platform for mobile.
There are so many reasons to root for their success. And in many ways they deserve tremendous credit. The sheer number of android powered handsets, the openness in the app store ans code, google voice, speech reco, kick ass browser, best mobile gmail experience, out of box + add your gmail credentials and magic happens and plenty of other things too.
But right now I feel like the bookends of mobile are blackberry on one end and iphone on the other. Both do their own thing extremely well and their users love them for it.
Android is in the middle and the middle aint a great place to be.
I believe the Android folks need to do a few things to nail this opportunity.
-Ease of use. I consider myself a power user but Android is still too complicated. Even with htc sense ui it’s still confusing to me.
-speed. Navigating around the os and apps aren’t silky smooth. Flip thru photos on the htc incredible and compare to iPhone gs and you’ll know what I mean. It’s not the hardware.
-precision. I couldn’t figure out why the htc incredible needs that optical joystick thing. It’s there because you need it for precise ui gestures like moving the curser over one letter for example. Instead of adding a joystick, nail the precision
-media player. Android is starving for a local, beautiful media player. I’m picturing something that someone like David Karp or Zach Klein could design. It’s missing on Android and it would make a huge difference.
I’m betting that google solves these things with help from the developer community. Andy Rubin is brilliant and I know his team is superb.
They are so damn close. It’s exciting and frustrating at the same time.
(please excuse typos and lack of links. Wrote this post on my phone).