Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Let loose the geeks of tech war: Google on Android vs. Google on iPhone

I use my iPhone with Google Apps - not MobileMe.

I'd love to use MobileMe -- I'm not deterred by the cost. The problem is that MobileMe sucks. No public APIs. No calendar sharing. Exactly the same Notes and Tasks functionality as Google Apps (none).

Google Apps are simply vastly better than the MobileMe alternatives.

So my iPhone Mail.app syncs with Gmail. iPhone Calendar.app syncs, via my iCal/Spanning Sync desktop, with Google Calendar. My Notes and Tasks (Appigo Notebook and Tasks.app sync with Toodledo). Of course Maps.app works with Google Maps, Google Reader Mobile works with Google Reader, and Google.app search works with ...

You get the picture, as my son Ben would say.

Apple either doesn't get the picture, or they can't execute on the server.

Problem is, the picture's not complete. I can't, say, sync iPhone Calendar.app directly with Google Calendar. My wife's Blackberry Pearl can do that, thanks to Google software, but my iPhone can't. This is a big problem, and it's a problem owned by ... Apple.

Not good.

On the other hand, that won't be a problem for the Android ... (emphases mine):
Official Google Mobile Blog: Google on Android

At Google, we develop products that we love to use ourselves. For example, we're avid users of Search, Gmail, Maps, and many others. But for those of us in mobile, it's tough. Not all products work the same on all devices, and although we try and optimize for each device, we often run into challenges specific to certain mobile phone platforms. I, for one, used to carry three devices with me all day. I love my iPhone for its powerful browser and music player. I use my BlackBerry for Gmail and Calendar (and occasionally Brick Breaker), and I carry a Nokia N-series phone because of its camera and YouTube application.

The first Android-powered phone, announced today by T-Mobile, comes 'with Google'. The following Google applications are preloaded on the device: Search, Maps, Gmail with Contacts, Calendar, Google Talk, and YouTube. There are a few things I'm particularly excited about:

  • Easy to use. It's never been easier to use Google on your phone. With single sign-in, you can log in to your Google account and have instant access to all your favorite Google products. No messing around with settings, your login never expires, and everything just works. If you don't have a Google account yet, you can set one up on your phone and be up and running in seconds.
  • Fully synchronized. Your emails, contacts, calendar entries, Google Talk chats are fully synchronized with Gmail and Calendar on the web. New events are pushed in real-time to your phone and any changes you make on-the-go are immediately available on the web. If you ever lose or break your phone, all your data is safe and secure in the cloud.
  • Designed to work together. Search is now available as a feature in many applications, including non-Google ones, such as the music player. While you're listening to a song -- like something from Depeche Mode -- just 'long-press' the artist's name. You'll see a menu pop up that let's you search Google for the Depeche Mode Wikipedia entry, or search YouTube for the music video. The contact application lets you see your friend's IM status, view his address on a map, and communicate with him using Gmail or Google Talk. And, of course, you can call or text him as well.
Depeche Mode? Shades of my ancient Quebecer (eng) past.

Emily's Blackberry isn't the greatest. I'd like to get something better. It has to work well with our family Google Apps. Could be she'll be getting an Android.

Apple needs to get their *** in sync. They need to either match Google on the server side (impossible) or fully support Google Apps as competitors to Mobile Me.

Or my next phone, won't be an iPhone. I may not be the only one ...

Thanks Google. I love these bloodless tech wars.

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