After putting up with my iPhone 3G for awhile now, I’ve decided to upgrade to the Nexus One. For those that don’t know, the Nexus One comes with the Android OS that is open source and is based on Linux.
I could only put up with the closed structure of the iPhone for so long. I hated having to Jailbreak it in order to bring out a lot of the iPhones true capabilities. Multi-task? Nope. Easy way to turn on/off wireless or blue tooth? Nope. Installing iTunes on Linux? Nope.
The iPhone doesn’t allow you to run more then one thing at a time. If you wanted to check email while your surfing the web you would need to close the web browser, open your email client, check your email, close your email client then reopen your web browser. In order to save money I don’t have a data plan so I use WIFI exclusively. Having a quick way to turn on/off WIFI is essential on a phone that sucks batter power as much as the iPhone. If you are planning on using the iPhone in the car with a Blue Tooth device, plan on going through multiple menus to turn on/off Blue Tooth.
All of those things are a non-issue with a Jail Broken iPhone, but the big thing that keeps annoying a Linux user like myself, is having to have Windows installed strictly for iTunes. Some people have had limited success running iTunes under WINE, but I have not been able to do it. I currently only boot into my Windows partition once a week or so, just to sync the iPhone with iTunes. If I could do it all from inside of Linux I could free up space and resources on my computer.
Oh did I mention the DRM? Another iPhone user at work tried to strike up a conversation about how awesome the iPhone is, but I had to break his heart. As a Linux user you get used to the choices and freedom that you have with a open source OS. Don’t like something? Make your own! The open source community is really great so I haven’t had to do anything that drastic yet, but its nice knowing that there are no fences keeping you in. At the drop of a hat you can install Gnome or KDE. I explained that Mac is all about DRM and on a iPhone it is even worse. They control what you can and cannot install. Then if they want to they can ban you from their App Store. A story about this type of strong arming can be found on one of my favourite sites here: Apple Bans Game, Days After Developer Publicly Trashes App Store. So basically you have to appease the Apple Overlord’s every whim and desire.
I’m not a Linux power user, but every time I had to reboot the iPhone I was reminded about my lack of choices. The problem is that most people buy into the hype of how awesome the iPhone is, and join the Cult of Mac, but they don’t notice that the fences that keeps them in has razor wire at the top and guard dogs just outside to make sure that you don’t leave.
I should be getting my Nexus next week so I’ll be posting some pictures of the un-boxing then, but I am super excited about it.
Here are some of the specifications of the Nexus One:
3.7 inch (diagonal) widescreen WVGA AMOLED touchscreen
800 x 480 pixels
100,000:1 typical contrast ratio
1ms typical response rate
Camera & Flash:
Autofocus from 6 cm to infinity
2X digital zoom
User can include location of photos from phone’s AGPS receiver
Video captured at 720×480 pixels at 20 frames per second or higher, depending on lighting conditions
Android Mobile Technology Platform 2.1 (Eclair)
512 MB Flash
512 MB RAM
4 GB Micro SD Card (Expandable to 32 GB)
Removable 1400 mAh battery
While looking up specifications on the iPhone 3G I found this on Wikipedia:
Most iPhones are sold with a SIM lock, which restricts the use of the phone to one particular carrier, a common practice with subsidized GSM phones. Unlike most GSM phones however, the phone cannot be officially unlocked by entering a code. The locked/unlocked state is maintained on Apple’s servers per IMEI and is set when the iPhone is activated.
AT&T has stated that the “iPhone cannot be unlocked, even if you are out of contract”.
The part that mentions that the iPhone cannot be unlocked worries me. Once your contact is over you should be allowed to take your phone where ever you want… It is your phone after all. The icing on the cake for me, was the fact that the Nexus One is sold unlocked. That means that at any time I can leave my carrier and not have to worry about the phone being useless.
Phones are expensive these days, and having something locked to one specific carrier forever isn’t a nice way to throw your money away. I guess once my contract is up, I’ll need to talk to my carrier to see what my options are to free my poor poor iPhone.