This afternoon, after a great church council planning retreat, I made my way to the local AT&T store to move into the world of smartphone ownership. This was an interesting exercise, for I was pretty locked into a contract, am pretty much okay with AT&T in my area, and so was evaluating solely on phone and operating system. I thought long and hard about making the jump to Android, and honestly if I hadn’t already invested a bit in the IOS infrastructure, I might have made the jump. In the end I finally went with the IPhone 3GS based on familiarity with existing apps, and ultimately the ability of the phone to handle music and media.
Here is the reality with Android — they really have not worked out solutions for dealing with music that are as smooth as the IPod/Iphone music system. Trust me that I know all the limitation of the ITunes software, especially on Windows, and hate the Windows software at a deep level. And yet although there ARE programs like Doubletwist for Android, they still aren’t as easy to use and require more geek tweaking to get to work right. If Microsoft were smart they would forget Windows Phone and write an app version of their Zune software for Android, which would immediately rule the marketplace. I had lots of folks argue for Android, but almost all of them said that the music/media experience is not as smooth or functional.
Strangely enough it was the lack of an application that took me over the edge, and that is the Netflix app. I’ve come to greatly appreciate accessing Netflix on my IPod Touch, letting my hide in my room and relax when the kids are ruling the TV and I don’t feel like battling over what to watch. Android doesn’t have it, and my reading between the lines of Netflix’s reasons for this suggests to me that a Netflix app won’t be coming soon, and only then on specific phones with specific carriers willing to implement DRM at a deeper level. Certainly Netflix isn’t a necessity, but it’s become something I enjoy and it was enough to edge me back to the IPhone.
In the end, it’s a good choice for me. The phone works, has the functionality I need, and allows me to stay connected with the world. That is, after all, ultimately what we want in a phone, isn’t it?