Android Anticipation, or Anxiety?
In the movies, you can't always tell if a new robot will be on your side. Will it be a loyal sidekick like R2-D2, a soulless killer like HAL 9000 or something in between--say, Futurama's cranky, alcoholic Bender?
Google's Android, a new phone operating system, might pose the same question. Google hopes to reinvent both cell phones and the entire cell phone industry with this software, but Google's titanic role in the Web-advertising business causes some people to view a venture as sweeping as Android with suspicion.
As I wrote in today's column, I'm on the optimistic side. I think Android could be what I initially thought Apple's iPhone might be--a product that slaps some sense into the cell-phone market by catering to the wishes of phone users, not wireless carriers.
That would be a welcome break from the broken market we have today, in which phone manufacturers must design for their real customers--not you or I, but the wireless carriers who will then turn around and sell devices to their subscribers. (The same problem prevails in the cable business, where companies like Cisco's Scientific-Atlanta subsidiary design cable tuners and digital video recorders to match the wish lists of cable operators such as Comcast, Cox and Time Warner.)
But I realize that not everybody shares this optimism. Listen, for instance, to the questions I received from listeners and host Tom Ashbrook on NPR's On Point show yesterday. We talk about these issues a little more on today's podcast (MP3).
What's your reaction to Google's project? What do you hope this Android software will do? What are you afraid it will?
Posted by: JC | November 8, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JohnJ | November 8, 2007 10:36 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: JM | November 9, 2007 8:37 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: neil holbrook | November 9, 2007 12:18 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Parker | November 10, 2007 7:11 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: inyt | November 11, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.