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I’ve never been happier with a device than I have been my my iPhone. However, there is one huge problem. You can’t write your own software for it (this doesn’t count) , or even hack some existing software that someone else wrote. OK, at least you can’t do those things without using a process called jailbreak, and then you can’t even update your iPhone without worrying that you’ll lose everything you’ve installed on your it. Recently Android was announced by Google as a device platform, not a device implementation. They got other people on board. But the killer piece is that you can go out right now and download a full SDK for OSX, Linux or Windows. It includes a full emulator to test your code and even a plugin for eclipse. And you can code in Java. Why did Apple skimp on the SDK for the iPhone? February is a long way away. There is probably a legion of people out coding for Android tonight that would have been working on iPhone apps had Apple released a SDK. Some are already wondering if the iPhone can be put to better use….
Can it crush the iPhone? Maybe. In 2008, when there are HTC devices running Android for $99 (or even free) at Sprint, who is going to pay $400 for an iPhone? When they build a dozen different form-factors of Android devices how can the iPhone compete? I suppose there will always be a market for iPhone as long as they function as video iPods, and as long as Apple keeps us locked into iTunes. But Android is using webkit! That’s half the reason I bought the iPhone. Here is a deeper look at the Android stack. Plus you can win some of the $10 million they are giving away for cool applications written from now till March 2008.
After getting my iPhone, I thought I finally wouldn’t need or want another device for long time. Too bad it only took two months for that sentiment to disappear.
A screen grab of the SDK running on my Mac….