Up until now, we’ve resisted the temptation to wade into the iPhone vs. Nexus One battle. And there have been many thought-provoking contributions on both sides of the discussion. Our take on it is that, for many folks, it’s now come down to the Ford vs. Chevy debate. We know lots of Ford enthusiasts that would never set foot in a GM vehicle. And vice versa.
In the cellphone world, there are some differences between Apple and Google philosophically that you really don’t see in choosing between Ford and Chevy. If you’re looking for a cellphone that just works, that requires little involvement on your part, and that basically functions as a phone, a music player, and a handheld game device, then you’ll love the iPhone. Apple controls the entire user experience end-to-end, and they’ve gotten it just about right after three years of evolutionary development. If you’re looking for a cellphone that functions more as a mobile office, then the choice comes down to Blackberry vs. Nexus One at least in our book. The Blackberry still is the hands-down winner if your business runs on Microsoft Exchange although the Nexus One performs admirably. For everyone else, the Nexus One is your baby. That’s where we are today. But what about next year, and…
It’s Integration, Stupid! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Cloud Computing should not be a new concept. The whole corporate world is moving there. Why? Because it’s too damn expensive to manage the complexities of modern data processing technology in house. And when it comes to Cloud Computing, there’s no one better at it than Google. The tight integration of email, messaging, voice communications, directories, calendaring/scheduling, and maps in the Google universe is legendary. And Google is damn close to Microsoft on the document preparation and spreadsheet front. Google’s search technology is simply the icing on the cake. But what icing! It ties all of these components together in a way that others only Bing about.
What the Nexus One brings to the table is a mobile computing platform that is fully capable of taking advantage of all of Google’s integration strengths. Email is always synchronized with your Gmail account. Your Address Book is always synchronized with your Google Address book. Your calendar is always synchronized with your Google Calendar and those of your coworkers. Your phone rings on your Nexus One at the same time it rings in your office or home. And your outbound calls, including your CallerID, can be processed just as if you were placing the same calls from your office or home. Simple, isn’t it? Can Apple do the same thing? To some extent, certainly. But the Apple MobileMe sync technology is archaic compared to the Google model. With Apple you’re synchronizing Address Books and Calendars from Apple-only desktop machines to a central server (for a fee) on a scheduled basis. That leaves 90% of corporate America out of the loop. With Google, there is only one Address Book and Calendar, and they’re both already stored in the Cloud. So you don’t have the endless problems associated with keeping a dozen or a hundred or thousands of users’ information in sync.
Long Live the Soup Nazi. For Seinfeld fans, no one can touch the Draconian deeds of the Soup Nazi. But Apple comes close: pushing out updates that reportedly bricked the iPhones of users that sought a bit more freedom in their software choices, telling the FCC that unlocked iPhones threaten the security of the national cellphone network, ruling the Apple Store with an iron fist. This is not acceptable corporate behavior in our book. For the average cellphone user, this conduct may not matter, but it should. The choice really comes down to spending your dollars with a company that fosters and encourages open source development versus a company that treats you as if you’re too dumb to know what’s good for you.
Our Pick: The Nexus One. We’ll leave you with our Baker’s Dozen reasons for choosing the Nexus One over the iPhone. YMMV! For the best and most balanced technical review to date, visit Ars Technica.
1. Google Apps Integration (see above)
2. Navigation integrated with Voice & Google Maps (video)
3. Phone-wide Speech-to-Text Voice Integration
4. Multitasking and Recent App Switcher Button
5. Back Button to non-destructively back out of anything
6. One-Touch App Directory plus 5 Custom Screens
7. Goggles & Dolphin Multi-Touch Browser
8. SIP and Google Voice integration with WiFi and Cell Nets
9. Intuitive store without corporate content control
10. Unlocked phone, easily rooted, Cyanogen
11. Replaceable battery
12. Expandable storage
In the immortal words of Bernie Mac, “Whatcha gonna do, America?”
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