choosing a phone
Mood: conflicted
Posted on 2011-08-25 14:53:00
Tags: essay palmpre
Words: 598

(an aside: my apologies to people reading this who couldn't care less about webOS, etc. The last week has been somewhat traumatic, but my obsession is waning and I'm about ready to move on...)

Well, I've got at least a flavor of my three choices for my next phone's OS. So, let's break this down list-style!

Availability: bad Were I in a perfect world and I could get my hands on a US Pre3, I would do that. However, that doesn't seem to be an option unless HP has a developer program for them (hmm, this hadn't occurred to me...need to check into). One option is to buy a Pre3 from Europe and use it on AT&T, but according to Engadget I will get very little 3G coverage due to frequency differences. Another option is to use the developer Pre 2 I have with AT&T (or get one on Verizon), but the phone isn't that exciting and I'm not sure the status on OS updates, etc.

Phone quality: very good if I can get a Pre3, OK with a Pre 2.

Development environment: very good At least, once the phones get Enyo. Which I still think is going to happen but is kinda risky to plan around.

App catalog opportunities: good Obviously I'm established here, and I have ideas for more apps.

Availability: very good Everyone and their dog has Android phones, including Sprint.

Phone quality: OK The UI is acceptable, but not very exciting to me. Plus there's the fact that phones seem to get OS updates in the "late to never" timeframe.

Development environment: OK Eclipse is fine enough, but I got pretty frustrated doing simple things. I'm borrowing a book which I hope will help, or at least make it clear if things really are that hard...

App catalog opportunities: OK Android is probably the second-biggest app catalog, but there doesn't seem to be a FlightCaster app, which is surprising to say the least. Anecdotally, I've heard that Android users are less likely to pay for apps, but I don't know if that's true.

Windows Phone
Availability: good There's a good selection of phones, although I'd likely wait until the Mango OS update is out (next weekish?) and see if Sprint has any new good phones.

Phone quality: good I really like the Metro interface (it was inspired by airport/subway could I not like it? :-) ), and the live tiles stuff is kinda neat. I am kinda surprised that copy-paste isn't available yet (coming in Mango) and background tasks (coming in Mango) have pretty draconian limitations on memory usage, etc.

Development environment: good Visual Studio, as always, is a nice environment to work in, and I'm already familiar with the basics of C# and Silverlight. Not only did I get set up and get a list working in one night, I also finished a port of PasswordHash. (not pretty, but it works) It is annoying that I'd have to use my Windows laptop to do it, though.

App Catalog opportunities: OK Irritatingly, there's already a FlightCaster client for Windows Phone, although I think the additions I've made plus updating in the background would make my app better. But that is a bit of a downer.


So I haven't made my decision yet, but I'm currently leaning towards Windows Phone. As I've stated before, I still plan to work on webOS apps as I wait and see what lies ahead for it. (it doesn't hurt that I'm still making good money off of webOS, although the firesale/HP promo halo is starting to fade away)

1 comment

Comment from yerfdogyrag:

Quick note: I really like having the Nexus One because it tends to get really fast updates from the Google team (at least compared to other phones). Up until Gingerbread, it was getting the first release of all upgrades and GB was (as I recall) about 8 weeks from the original Nexus S release.

So, you might consider the Nexus S even though it's slightly behind the times from a hardware standpoint now.

Good luck!

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