Android vs iPhone – behind the scenes

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From the front, the user space, this argument is tired. Both smartphones do whatever you can imagine at this point. Both are amazingly thin and packed full of sensors and features.

Behind the scenes though…. things are very different. Why does each OS exist? Who are the companies behind them, and what are their goals?

With Apple, you have a traditional computer retailer. They are a public company but very private and generally keep quiet about where the platform is headed. One thing is clear though, you can spend a lot of money with Apple. They have most of their own ecosystem – you can get the iCloud, buy stuff from their real stores or their virtual ones, get additional storage, service plans, accessories, classes, etc..  You know how Apple makes their money because you have to give it to them to get involved.

With Google, the people behind Android (since 2005), you don’t ever seem to give them any money. How can google be everywhere, doing everything, and no one is giving them any money?  It’s all targeted advertising.

Really? Ad banners make that much money?  Well yes and no.  It’s alot more than ad banners. Every bit of your movement online and on the phone is being tracked, packaged, and sold to the highest bidder. Then it’s repackaged and sold again and again. Google make untold amounts of money doing this with none of it going back to the user.

Facebook uses a similar model, without the phone hardware that google has.

It’s been claimed that Android represents choice. I take issue with that phrase.


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Your choice is to have your profile and all your habits, purchases, locations, and interactions tracked by Google.

Your choice to have your profile sliced, diced, grouped, normalized, and sold to every Google revenue source (advertiser) possible for the rest of time with no revenue sharing going to you.

Your choice to have your history continually sliced, diced, labeled, invaded, and shared with every advertiser possible for the rest of time with no revenue going to you.

I prefer to make the advertisers work a little harder to find and profit from me. Google is ‘cool’ and hate on Apple if you want, but I trust Apple with my private digital life far more than millions of google advertisers.

Android was an awesome idea and I’d probably have one by now if Google never bought it. iPhone is an expensive rig and I barely use it anymore.

The charade here about freedom while using Android is ridiculous.

Bad guys will occasionally get into Android and iOS. Patch and business as usual. But the “good guys” are who you really have to worry about with the Android ecosystem.

Anyone can advertise with google, so nearly anyone can pay enough to access you whether you care or not.

Your future is being determined in private meetings between Google sales and 3rd parties from around the globe. None of this has anything to do with user space.

Android user space is the biggest private data collection scheme ever shipped. Which is why google paid g i i i i i i i i i llions for it when they saw it available.

Google is the biggest pay-no-attention-to-the-advertising-advertisering agency in the world, with Facebook being the 2nd. Call them search engines or social media if you want, but the scale and pace that those two data mine our personal business FOR PROFIT is alarming to me.

I either want a piece of that cut (make it non-profit so the tech is maintained but the users are paid) or give me old-fashioned private companies like apple and microsoft that I can own stock in without selling user’s souls to the wolves.


Google isn’t going to show you how/where/when they sell your data and they won’t share how much it’s worth to them.

Call it what you want…. profile, habits, demographics, searches…. it’s your online life, it’s who you are and what you do, and they have it for their own exploitation until the end of time.

“Targeted advertising” will become much more than what we think of it as now. They are just collecting all the data for free now, while they still can, and over the next couple of years will start to roll out the ‘customized content’ to sell us even more crap.

I’d rather have one point of concern/failure with my personal data, and do business with a company that derives revenue from everything else besides my private likes, dislikes and habits.

You can read google’s policies, apple, MS, whoever, and choose to opt in or opt out. You should also know that google doesn’t exist without targeted ad revenue. Apple exists just fine (fully profitable) as long as they keep you buying and subscribing to their stuff.

It’s simple to me — companies have a purpose which is to make money. They usually only have a couple of ways to make good money. Some promise free and find a way to profit beyond your control. Others just expect you to pay as you go, and with that they don’t have to hide the fact that they profit from your data, not your purchase.


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Big Dumb Droids

Those giant Android tab-phone things with the super bright low-res screens are pretty annoying. Everyone thinks they are the UPS guy walking around with those plastic monsters.

Choice is good, so I don’t want everyone with the same kind of phone. But I laugh when I see those monstrous boxes full of half-working software and average hardware. They aren’t quite as ridiculous as the ‘convertible’ laptops that want to be tablets, but they are close.

In the states people get these droid phones for almost nothing, and spend most of their time trying to figure out how android works (or what android is) and where their data just went. They break often and get a new one of a different brand and start over. Droids are the new wannabe phone, with Droid users often seeking approval or even adoration from iPhone folks. It’s 24/7 tech support and staring at that giant thing, no slipping it in a pocket.

Usage style/case is my sticking point. A “phone” is a portable communication device, usually pocketable or in a purse. It is designed specifically to be used while in motion – standing, driving, etc.. You can pack a lot of features in there these days, but holding one to your ear and comfortably talking should be the primary one.

A tablet is a portable screen that can do most/all of what a smart phone can, plus a screen that’s just big enough to make it a usable from 5-15 feet away. Those of us with good tablets (iPads) know that they get used in every room of the house to bring internet, gaming, newspapers, ebooks, email, etc. to wherever you happen to be resting in the house. Mine does probably 100 things a day, some pretty important.

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Apple went down this route and has been very successful – a phone is for your pocket/purse and your viewing only, a tablet is book-sized, displays, and travels. A laptop/desktop is for production or power-user work. These are 3 usage cases.

I think Apple might stick with 3 modes, but I think the iWatch could take the slot from the iPhone if they can get enough battery life out of it. The days of a private viewing slab that lives in your pocket might be ending. If the watch device holds the cell radio, using wifi or bluetooth it could go back to being the personal communicator device, and the iPad mini or biggie becomes your screen for general purpose use. Hopefully Apple people won’t put iPad minis to their ear and look nearly as stupid as giant droids.

More on these ideas later.

Fanboi? You Are An Idiot

If you find yourself using the term fanboi or fanboy to attack people who buy Apple products, you are an idiot.

How does the name calling feel? Idiot.

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I have used Apple products for over 25 years. Most bought with my own money, some bought by employers. Almost every one was excellently built and provided me with many years of hassle-free computing.

Year after year I watch coworkers fight with their non-Apple hardware, fight with their windows software, fight with their horrible tech support, and generally lose the individual platform argument with me. Many now use macs, pure switchers as they were called when they were rare.
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Mobile Crystal Ball

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OK, quick hit, how I see the next 2 years playing out in the critical mobile OS area:

Microsoft buys or otherwise takes over Research In Motion and quickly picks up corporate market share by building a direct bridge from Blackberry to Windows Phone 8. Consumer use of Win8 still lags overall by usual Microsoft standards but they turn around this backslide of the last few years with solidly designed products. First Surface tablet is deeply flawed but gets some things right, and gets their toe in the tablet space.

Apple holds their ground. iOS is up to version 7 and unless your politically against Apple, is the standard-bearer in both design, app development, and the ever important PROFIT per app and per phone. The AppleTV grows to be a new voice/arrow controlled interface into iOS and your personal apps, running on every big screen in your possession if you are an Apple person. Apple people will continue to buy any and all Apple products and being in someone’s presence, and especially residence, will make it clear if they are ‘Apple people’ or not, sort of like religious or being into a particular cause or lifestyle.


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Google continues to stumble with Android except in the area of total units shipped. Basically every free phone in existence runs some variation of Android, and there are thousands of variations by then. Google doesn’t care much because it profits off the chaos. Remember all those Android users and developers needing to google how to upgrade their phone or how to troubleshoot. Android is the new Windows95 – no one likes it but it’s everywhere. The real winner here is Linux, as the nerds continually take (back) over the Android world.

Don’t see any newbies making major moves. There’s always the game systems but game systems are game systems. If you run your life through a game system I don’t think you have lots of recurring income.

If we agree that market share in the US today is 40-30-15-5 Apple-Android-Blackberry-Windows, I can see a market in the US as 45-20-35 Apple-Android-Windows

Why iRight on iPad

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I said “Wow those things are gonna be everywhere”, and just a year later I think about half of my extended family has one. And these are people who are not necessarily mac people, some not even technology people in general. I’m amazed. Sadly, still not a shareholder.

The Android verse iOS battle is good theater and good for the industry, so I keep tabs on it and occasionally argue with my geek friends. But the debate that gets me annoyed enough to post up here is the one about tablets in general.

You may have noticed that some people on the nets still see tablets as a fad, nothing more than the latest toy. Statistics and their own eyes tell them otherwise, but I’m old enough to remember when GUI’s were for toys, when color was for toys, and when plug-and-play was for toys.

So to these latest skeptics I present my “Why the iPad* is better than your non-tablet computing device” test:

1. Stand up. Stretch.

2. That’s it. If you are still reading this you are uncomfortably leaning over your non-tablet, or comfortably holding your tablet after a nice stretch. Or perhaps you are on your phone, holding it near your face with sore triceps and squinting eyes, wishing you had a bigger screen (and a more concise author).

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Still not convinced? Pull up some recipes on your non-tablet and set it on the counter while cooking. On the counter or in most places not your hand, the phone disappears and a laptop is foolish. Don’t get too excited and try to hold a laptop like a tablet, you get cracked frameitus. eBooks aren’t just for fiction — any PDF you own or want on your slate at all times. Print? have on you at all times. Hey! your toddler is screaming for speed, show him speed.. and Mater… and that pimp car one. Good boy, now go play with your Transformers and let daddy play with a real transformer.

[By the way, I do think they hatched the plan for the iPad around 1999 when they were shipping a version 0.01 of the iPad known as the iPod, and then set about building all the infrastructure for it over the years. The patience to wait until everything was ready (including the supply chain) to then turn it all on is impressive.

Once they turn on full iOS capabilities in AppleTV and license Airplay to other manafucturers — If you go all-in with Apple and get your PC’s, mobiles, TVs, and stereos talking the iTunes talk, welcome to the afterfuture, people. ]

*oh that, just saying this test would work with a xoon tablet too, but iPad 2 is the top of the class right now. it’s about the tablet form and the touch interface, not the branding.