Okay, so the Apple iPhone has exceeded sales last year. However, Google’s Nexus One did not. Google touted the Nexus One as the big iPhone killer. It was going to be the greatest Android phone ever. One problem, it didn’t. The Nexus One fell a bit short in its promises. What it offered was very little over the Motorola Droid (my favorite phone) in features, and came no where close in battery life for either the Droid or the iPhone. So, how can Google beat the iPhone craze? Here are my thoughts.
The advantage that Apple has over Google, and the rest of the competition, minus RIM, is that they designed and built the iPhone OS around a single device. You don’t see the iPhone OS on anything but an iPhone (or the iPad now, but that doesn’t count). Google’s Android OS is on multiple phones from multiple developers. Google did make one thing clear, though. They do seem to prefer HTC. Not sure why, but okay.
What Google needs to do is get with HTC, again, and co-develop a Google Android phone that stands out above and beyond the rest. It needs to create a single phone that establishes a benchmark. Right now, the Moto Droid seems to have taken that mantle, even over the Nexus One. It is the single phone that you see more people love. Why is that?
The Moto Droid incorporates some GREAT features. It has a gorgeous touch screen that is just huge. It has all of the standard features we expect from a smartphone, and that includes WiFi, GPS, 3G, 5mp camera and great voice clarity. It also has a qwerty keyboard that a lot of people do like to use. The design is sturdy, and does not feel like it was made from cheap materials.
What Google needs to do is take what Motorola did and build upon that. They need to design a phone based on the 2.1 release of the OS. They need to incorporate the features that are standard. They also need to make sure they listen to the people that actually use the phone. Make sure that it meets the standards that the users want the most.
Another thing that Google needs to push is that ALL Android phones that are on the market use the latest version of the OS. Granted, there are older phones that won’t be able to handle Android 2.1, but those that can, time to upgrade. Apple’s iPhone’s all are using basically the same version. Granted, older iPhones may not handle some of the features in the latest release, but at least they use the same release version. Keep in mind though, the original iPhone will not be compatible with iPhone OS 4 when it hits. That is the nature of the beast as Apple wants to push new handsets. Besides, why won’t those users finally upgrade anyway?!
Google needs to get the developers on the same page. Maybe what Google should consider is developing a series of UI’s that developers can choose from, this way OTA Update time frames aren’t so spread out. That is one thing that can also hurt Google’s reach. HTC and Motorola both use a proprietary UI on many of their handsets. Some people like them, but personally, I like the default Android UI. It is clean and runs very smoothly. Everything is where I want it. I also don’t have to worry about any compatibility issues with apps on the market.
That brings me to my last notation. The Apps in the Market Place aren’t always compatible with every device. This boils down to issues with OS version, to the phone itself. Apps designed with the Droid in mind don’t always function properly on handsets with smaller screens. Sometimes, the reverse is the case. Also, apps that rely on the roller ball don’t function correctly on devices without it, like the Droid. Another issue with the App Market is a lack of organization. It gets better and better as time goes on, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
Basically, what it boils down to is that Google needs to first create a benchmark phone that has great features and excellent battery life. Second, Google needs to get developers on the same page and make some form of relative similarity between handsets going. Lastly, design a better organized App Market.