Wednesday, 6 October 2010

A kind word on the iPhone

I have been known to use this blog in order to express my opinion on how superior the Google Android platform is to the Apple iOS one. Or, in other words, how much better Android mobile phones are to iPhones. This notion was based on the much more open architecture of the Android as opposed to the grappling attachments Apple enforces on its users; it was only supported by Apple’s own malpractice of releasing a badly designed phone, the iPhone 4, just because it looks cool to have an antenna that can be easily short-circuited by its user.
This time, though, I want to say the good word about the iPhone. Or rather than saying good things about the iPhone itself I want to say why I don’t think buying an iPhone in today’s market is a capital offence.
At least in Australia, the iPhone dominates the smartphone market. The immediate implication of this dominance is that parties who want to release mobile phone apps do so for the iPhone, and almost exclusively for the iPhone alone. Examples include:
  1. Vicroads, an application that will tell you how long it should take you to drive from where you are to Point B in Victoria’s main roads and also allow you to see what the roads look like the way by accessing their cameras (as per the above shot).
  2. ANZ has a banking app that lets you access your account in a matter of seconds to perform complicated operations easily.
  3. AroundMe compares your location with map information and Yellow Pages information to tell you about businesses around you. It proved itself very useful when I needed to quickly find a pharmacy while visiting Sydney, to name but one example.
  4. TramTracker is an app that tells you the live story of Melbourne trams and tram stops around you.
Easily noticeable is the attribute that makes all these apps irreplaceable when compared to your average website: they work best if they know exactly where you are. There is nothing preventing the Android platform from offering similar applications; it’s just that the iPhone’s popularity dictates it gets things first. I suspect the situation is different in the USA, where Androids have been available much earlier, but there can be no denying the appeal the iPhone platform has to this Melbournian user.

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