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Android, your thoughts?

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    It seems that in just under a year or so, this is becoming the ultimate platform for mobile development. I don't know how many more devices will be sold by the time Mango comes out, but I keep getting asked if I know anyone that can do Android development.

    I know a few niners have tuned their nose up at Android, but it seems to be offering everything that Mango can do,and will do, point for point and blow for blow. More importantly, people that use Android LOVE Android, just like iOS users.

    In some ways, the success of Android shows the success of Java, and the rich ecosystem that exists. Yes there is no Visual Studio experience in developing these apps, but there are tools that allow people to make it work. I think Windows Phone 7 will certainly gain further market share - with Blackberry going the way of the Dodo - but this will never be at a rate that will surpise. I think Android is here to stay, and will become a major player in the devices market.

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    I really need to sit down with an Android phone and give it a fair shake, because every time I see a stock Android home screen I get the feeling I'm looking at some second rate Linux WM shoehorned onto a phone screen and that's probably not a fair appraisal of the UI.

    Maybe its just the rounded background fill on the icon captions.

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    WP7 will see a large growth with Mango and devices from Nokia, but you're right that Android is on top right now. Luckily, .NET devs can transfer their skills to Java fairly easily and Eclipse and NetBeans are two pretty good IDEs.

    I'm also a bit hesitant to put a lot of effort into developing for the WP7 platform, since MS seems very determined to put desktop Windows on all devices with Windows 8. Will Windows Phone 7.5/Mango receive any further updates? Or will it be combined with Windows 8, with apps having different HTML5 interfaces depending on screen size? Maybe that's better in another thread.

    I have no interest in an Android device. Not because I don't like it or see the value, but because I have a fear of Google harvesting my information and usage patterns in order to sell them to the highest bidder. MS and Apple have never made advertising their primary source of income.

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    ,vesuvius wrote


    More importantly, people that use Android LOVE Android, just like iOS users.

    Are you implying that people that use WP7 don't LOVE WP7 with that statement? Cause, my experience is the opposite. Those folks I know that have used WP7 love it. Many of them were either iOS users or Android users in the past. The reality is that we have 3 very good choices, so people tend to use the one that makes them happy. Personally, Android doesn't have anything that would convince me to switch from WP7, though I'd prefer it over iOS any day of the week. But, that's just me.

    It's early days yet. I don't think you can make any predictions about who the dominant mobile OS will be, or even if there will be such a thing. Personally, I doubt it. Mobile devices/OSes are more likely to be like game systems where various ones wax and wane as the most popular, but there's plenty of room for all of them.

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    My son has the Motrola Droid X and is always having to reset it. My daughter has the Samsung Continuum and would trade for a HTC trophy if given a chance. Maybe the people that love android don't have anything to compare it to.

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    @devSpeed: I had a very similar experience with Android.  I had to reset it at least once a day to keep it running.  It was the worst mobile phone experience I have had.  Yes it can do a lot of very cool things but it doesn't do any of them very well.  That is the only phone that I have ever used that I just wanted to throw on the floor and stomp on.  My guess is that people that love Android just have nothing to compare it to or it is their first smartphone. 

    I have a feeling that WP7 sales are going to pick up pretty quick after Mango and a lot of Nokia phones hit the market.  I also think that with all of the Android manufacturer lawsuits going on that more companies will start building better WP7 phones for some added legal protection.

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    ,devSpeed wrote

    Maybe the people that love android don't have anything to compare it to.

    The majority of people I know who use iOS or Android don't even pay attention to WP7. I've shown it to a few of them and they all praise the UI and the OS overall simplicity. One friend went so far as to say he was jealous.

    So, I wouldn't be surprised if some lovers of Android "don't have anything to compare it to" since I don't see a lot of people even seeing the existence of WP7 as an alternative.

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    I think Android is destined to be the Windows of smartphones.

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    ,Bass wrote

    I think Android is destined to be the Windows of smartphones.

    Yep. Look at the latest marketshare charts. Google is commanding a solid 34% and Apple is in decline to 25% (but I don't believe iOS share will fall below 20%, maybe even 25% thanks to Apple's high-profit strategy which means they have the resources for extreme action should their marketshare ever fall). WP7 and WebOS both share the "also ran" 10% region, leaving RIM with a surprisingly large 27%, however RIM will fall.

    I see RIM as a sign of where Microsoft as a company is headed: they're too reactionary, and when they do react whatever they deliver is never up to scratch with the competition (and even if it is, it's made obsolete a few months later). RIM's products are awful right now, and their leadership is in a mess (the "it's not fair!" debacle would be enough for me to sell my shares if I had any) and there's no sign they'll be improving. People use Blackberry "because it's good for email" or because "they deliver what Enterprises want", of course the reality is that their customers are too afraid to try anything else. It's the same reason Apple survived in the mid-1990s because of their reputation of being better for "art stuff" (even though Photoshop and Illustrator were well supported on Windows).

    Microsoft is positioning WP7 as "iOS-like experience, but on any handset", countering the "anything goes" attitude on Android, however if people want the quality experience they'll just go to Apple and get a quality handset to go with quality software. I'm finding it hard to see any compelling reason to use WP7 besides "it's not Apple". I'll remind people that I use iOS because "it's not Microsoft".

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    It took Android more than a year to pick up the pace, so shall WP7.

    My thought on it, it is capable of running background process without much of user knowledge. And it seems the hardware is inconsistant. When I mean inconsistant is the hardware ranged from free crap to expensive awsome. Just like WinMo, there are tons of ways to change OS on Android.

    What do I really mean? MS switch to iPhone restrictive model and I firmly support their action. As for the people who doesn't like that model, there is Android for them.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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    A friend asked me if they should buy a Windows Phone7 and I had to say 'no'. I'm not convinced that MS has the clout or inclination to take it anywhere. Most of the apps I try lack the polish or stability of iOS applications, and I imagine at some point MS will abandon it as a 'worthwhile experiment from which they learned a lot' and then try to cram Windows8 into a phone.


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    There is still a massive issue with retail outlets in the UK just not really seeming to take WP7 seriously - there is never much on display and the recent excellent App mag has yet to be spotted in my area (Everytime I go out to local towns - Gloucester, Cheltenham, Malvern,Worcester,Hereford etc I have checked both Orange and O2 outlests and not seen a one! (The guys in the shop either look at me blankly or spend 5 minutes 'checking out back'!)

    Maybe MS UK should put a 'rep team' together to really market wp7 to the shops - for some reason every  town in the UK has around a dozen mobile phone shops, always full and seemingy busy with people buying iPhone and Androids! (and increasingly tablet PCs as well)

    If we are not careful wp7 will become the betamax of phones - a superior product destined for extinction.

    I wonder if MS have also considered doing a little marketing through some of the specialist game shops in the UK (Game, Gamestation etc.) ?

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    @Ian2:That is quite observant and how things are going demographically at the moment. I went to try and get an HTC sensation and they have been sold out for a month. Spivonous did mention that Microsoft have been sending very mixed messages, and this is what Stephen Sifnosky has failed to realise. He is prepared to make every other department fail at Microsoft, as long as his product suceeds. A Silverlight version running something like Midori would have been better, and reached the market far much quicker. As it is the tablet OS will now be tied to the release of Windows, which maked Android more flexible already.

    My message to the windows team is "No matter how far you have gone on the wrong road, turn back"
    - Turkish Proverb

    The desktop version of Windows is not going anywhere soon. Most of the population goes to work and interacts with a computer a sigmificant proportion of their time. Why bring tablets and HTML5 into this environment? Nobody wants it or asked for it! As it is, JeremyJ is wrong, because people are seeing Android as something they can take a bet on because Win Phone 7 might soon take the backseat like WPF or Silverlight appears to be. When I say this has been the most damaging episode in Microsoft's history, I mean it, and I am correct. You can keep your heads in the sand in Seattle, because the mobile market is not going to go the way Windows has, because at the moment you have tried to be everything and been nothing at the same time.

    For the people that complain about Android, on cheaper models, the experience is not good. People seem to be saying that a £15 a month Android phone they get for their kids should work as good as a £40 a month iPhone. If you get a £40 a month Galazy S II, HTC Sensation or one of the latest Sony Xperia's (all three are sold out in a lot of shops) you will find that Android is a fantastic phone OS.

    I have tried to find Win Phone 7 devices here in Edinburgh, but the people in the Shop look at me as if I am talking Greek, my next phone upgrade will be an Android one. In think that Apple still offer the superior experience, but not by much anymore, not by much!

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    My only wish for Android is that they get the keyboard as silky as the iPhone. That's the only area it fails consistently on. I'm a total keyboard w***e and have been my whole life. I get jealous when I mash an iPhone users keyboard.

    I like how easy it is to transfer information from handset to handset with it all sync'd back to Google. I have no qualms about it, ultimately it makes my life easier. It's quite inspiring what it does as a whole out of the box and bang for buck you get more functionality out of an Android device. I think Google have it sown up. They seem freaky clever at times.

    Sure iOS is "to be seen with" and its stunning. But is it really worth paying all that extra for then have to pay so much extra again just to get what you get as standard with Android? And to be told your holding it wrong if your a lefty? like me. Personally, I don't think so. 

    We can only see a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.
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    @AndyC: There is no excuse for malware, but this is a consequence of Androids success. I don't think any software product that has been so successful in such a short space of time has ever been secure from the offset. Look at PlayStation as the most recent example for even the most stable software.

    Apple has had its own share of  malware (I have seen countless stories like this on the news - even ones of them gathering Geo-location data) and I am certain as time progresses, these types of applications will be secured.

    As it is it is only a certain type of "application" that I and a lot of people don't use expose these vulnerabilities, if we are going to look at this subject matter fairly and objectively.

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    I'm not sure where I am going at the moment carreer wise.  I suspect I will end up either working locally or branching out into deving for other phones (bummer as I really love developing just for WP7 but an average income of something like 10GBP a day just doesn't cut it!!). 

    So I just got a (too good to be true?) deal on an LG Optimus 3D  - anyone who knows me knows that stereoscopy is my hobby - so a 3D phone is a logical move in some ways.  If it pans out (it is due to be delivered today) then I will fire up Pluralsight which I recall has an 'Android for Silverlight devs' course (or something similar) and see if that looks like a viable option (obviously I will continue WP7 dev as well (unless they really just don't want don't pay me at all - !!)

    Agree that Android is looking very strong at the moment - my Samsung Galaxy Tab is a great tablet device in use by the family every day (it sits in its keyboard cradle in our lounge).  But all of us here know that Windows Phone is the better platform,  I really hope it wins out (either in its soon to be Mango incarnation or as Win8) 

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    @Ian2: You're right. Our local vodafone shops aren't carrying any WP7 models now.

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