Monday, September 22, 2008

Yes, of course I'm waiting for the Google Android Dream

As regular readers of this blog may remember, I've long been looking for a cell phone that meets my requirements, a combination PDA, phone, and internet device. The latest candidate is due to be unveiled tomorrow.

Good things about the Dream, aka G1

Qwerty Keyboard

Screen probably about 3.1", which is smaller than I want but bigger than most of the competition (except the iPhone).

3G and GPS

Open source and anyone can produce applications, so it will almost certainly soon have what I want, including a decent word processor to read books and make notes on manuscripts and the ability to function as a wireless modem connecting WiFi equipped laptops to the 3G cell network via the phone.

Not so Good Things About the G1

The screen is still smaller than I like and its resolution is only 480x320, which is the same as the iPhone and less than some of the high end smartphones.

Initially available only on T-Mobile, which is not currently my carrier and does not have a very extensive 3G network, although they claim to be expanding rapidly.

About another sixteen hours to wait.

Also, for anyone in the Bay Area, I'm giving a talk tomorrow evening at San Jose State University: "Should We Abolish the Criminal Law?"


Unknown said...


I really think that what you want is an iPhone and a MacBook Air (weren't you talking about getting a tiny computer?)

Personally I'm a software developer- I'm what the media would call a "computer expert" and for me, I simply don't have time to struggle with poor software, or poor hardware. The iPhone continues to amaze me on a regular basis with its power (for instance we've taken to watching movies on the TV using the video out cables that Apple sells - and they play back at quality I can't tell from DVD-- from a cellphone!) I got my macbook pro before the Air came out, but the second or third generation AIR is going to probably be my next computer.

So, you're not poor, you seem to value quality, and it seems to me that Apple is the perfect company for you.

Is it that you enjoy tinkering with software and getting things working? Are you a linux hacker at heart? Or is it a cultural thing? Are you so used to windows that its hard for you to consider Apple?

Apple does make choices that other companies leave up to the customer. They've never made one that hurt me, or that wasn't mostly in the set of compromises I'd prefer... so it doesn't bother me. Some people get upset at that, though.

I think you'll find that the iPhone keyboard is easier to use than the Android or any physical keyboard. I think it may take a bit of time to see why, that may not be obvious in the store, but since keys can change you can type pretty darn fast on the iphone. (Much faster than I am able to on blackberries.)

At any rate, I went back in your blog and couldn't find the reason you're not considering the iphone.

Ryan Lackey said...

I'm not sure how carrier-centric this will end up being -- probably less so than the iPhone. I'm hoping to be able to use it on att so I can swap SIMs with my bb8820 before eventually moving to android completely.

I'm much more excited about doing software development for Android -- Gears makes low-end, "visual basic" coder level stuff quite feasible, so there may be enterprise and end-user developed apps. Plus, it's easy to migrate existing web 2.0 apps. The native java development environment is not ideal but better than objective C/iphone (which is quite difficult). The key is google will not be as over-controlling as Apple on the store.

(I have a really fun social real-world game which I hope to have ready for launch, maybe to demo at google)

Daveon said...

Really, you don't want a first generation Android device. Especially one built by HTC. Their quality is dreadful and their testing poor. Best to wait until they've worked on it.

David Friedman said...

Jay asks various things:

1. I now have an Acer Aspire One.

2. I've been using Macs about as long as they have existed to be used; I'm currently writing this on one. But I think the Aspire is more convenient than the Air as well as cheaper, because it's smaller in the two big dimensions, not just the one little one.

3. I do enjoy a chance to play with Linux, which I haven't done much of.

4. The iPhone is designed as phone+ internet device+ipod. I have no use for an ipod and like to carry a pda. The iPhone, last I checked, has no good word processing software, cannot connect to a bluetooth keyboard, cannot be used as a WiFi router--Apple having eliminated the software to do it.

It's a lovely piece of technology, but it isn't designed to do several of the things I want a phone to do.

Anonymous said...

About another sixteen hours to wait.

That reminds me of the "South Park" episode where anxiously waiting for the Wii to come out.

Jonathan said...

Will the content of your talk on abolishing the criminal law become available sometime for those of us far from San Jose?

David Friedman said...

Jonathan wants to know if the content of my talk will be available. For the ideas, in a different form, see:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the thought-provoking speech at SJSU yesterday. For once, it seemed that the lecture series is aptly titled - "David S. Saurman Provocative Lecture Series".

Your case was compelling, although I felt it could do with some refinement in certain areas. For instance, with a purely tort system, the rich could get away with murder and some clever financial management. Also, obvious conflict of interest would arise from making tort claims marketable and pre-sellable. (Unlike an insurance company that benefits from your well being, a company that buys the right to your future tort claims has its best interest in seeing you injured. Instigating someone to hurt someone else and then covering the tracks is not so hard afterall. The company will make money and everyone else will get a raw deal.)

Having said that, it is easier to find superficial faults with a genius of an argument, than to come up with the argument itself. And you get full credit for bringing up an idea that has the potential to transform the judicial system and the lives of people for the better.

Yesterday was the first time I had the opportunity to hear you speak, and now I wish you were a professor at SJSU. Are there any chances of your being a visiting professor here?

David Friedman said...

Bushan K. comments on my talk yesterday.

I taught one course at SJSU as a visitor last year. It was fun, and I will probably do it again, but not this year.

Jonathan said...

Thanks for the link, and for the reminder that there's interesting stuff at your Web site, which I've been neglecting recently.

Anonymous said...

Do you plan on giving any more talks in the bay area in the next few months?

David Friedman said...

In response to Shaun ... . I don't have plans for more talks in the area any time soon. If you happen to be in DC in early November I'm speaking at Cato then. Or London or Oxford or Madrid or Barcelona or Warsaw during the last week of October (busy trip).