I’ve said for a couple of years now that my move from Apple to Google is inevitable. The question that invariably comes up in these discussions is, “What’s stopping you from doing it now?”
So here’s my answer:
I am very much into the look and feel of the things I use every day. To move to Google (Android in this case) I am going to need a piece of mobile device hardware that rivals or bests the iPhone 4. I simply cannot carry around a cheap-feeling piece of plastic–almost regardless of what it does for me.
Synchronized OS Software
I get the idea of choice, but right now there is too much of it in the Android world. I don’t want to wonder if I’m missing something really great just because I haven’t tried all 37 flavors of the OS. I do think this is a growing pain rather than something they just don’t get, however, so I hope to see this tightening up in the coming months.
Consistent Look and Feel
Again with the look and feel. I want my device to be an appliance, not a Linux box that I’m playing with the UI for. I’ve had too many bad experiences with that that always end up with reinstalling. I want something that works consistently every time, and looks good while doing so. If you can give me choice while giving me that, then all the better.
Yes, look and feel again. Having crap clogging up the app store takes away from the experience for me. It’s like going to a nice dinner where you need a jacket to get in the place and having someone show up wearing a baseball cap and shorts. Standards matter. Feel free to be a silly or playful app, but look good doing it.
Primary Focus of App Developers
I don’t want to be on Android and have to wait weeks or months to get the apps that the iPhone already has. When Android is so good that it’s the primary OS that all the big guys are programming for, that’ll be another indication that it’s time to move.
Media Player / Home Entertainment
I’m in the middle of building a home entertainment system based on AppleTV, a Mac Mini, etc. The database is iTunes (obviously), and one question I have about moving to Google is simply, “What would the replacement be?” I’m a Linux guy, so I’m familiar with the “Lots of different little tools” answer. I’m looking for a single, clean replacement though. I don’t want to spend time messing with my tools anymore.
Google Account Merging
I am downright horny for the idea of full Google Voice on my mobile device, but the idea of deciding which of my 67 Google accounts to sync with is a bit daunting. Let’s see, I have a couple Gmail accounts, my Google Apps account, a couple YouTube, AdSense, Analytics, etc. How all these work together is a serious stick in the eye of my sense of simplicity and order.
The Google Contacts Mess
The killer feature I camped for with the first iPhone was having a cleanly synchronized Address Book. It’s essential for me. I’m silly about clean contact info. Having it get mangled, or having random crap get added outside of my knowledge is the wrong answer. Google Contacts is something that would have to move significantly in the direction of Address Book before I could happily make the big step.
Did I mention hardware?
The move is inevitable. The question is when, and the list above now serves as my permanent list of obstacles that must be overcome. Google should be listening, as I’m sure there are other Apple enthusiasts who love what Google’s doing and have very similar lists. ::