‘What version of Android does it run?’ That was the most common question at this year’s Mobile World Congress. It’s not only indicative of Android’s prevalence; it shows the limitations of our smartphone options.
Just about every single phone we saw (and the vast majority of the tablets) was running Android. It struck me how little choice you had if you didn’t want to hold hands with the little green robot.
Android and iPhones… ZZzzzz
Google’s open operating system was meant to give us choice, but it seems increasingly like we’re just getting a tidal wave of identikit touchscreen phones with irrelevant additions added by manufacturers in a vain effort to differentiate themselves.
Android has been great for making smartphones affordable, and I think that’s fantastic, but when I next go in search of a phone I’d frankly rather have more options than the dull choice of Android or iOS.
From where I’m sitting, on the flight back from the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, I can see three people fiddling with Android phones and two prodding iPhones.
Where the hell is Windows Phone 7?
For me the most disappointing part of MWC was the lack of Windows Phone 7 devices. Yes, Nokia talked of its upcoming partnership with Microsoft, and even released a mock-up of the first joint effort. But that was little more than a hastily thrown together design that could easily have been among the endless ranks of Android handsets.
I don’t understand manufacturers’ reluctance to throw their weight behind Windows Phone 7 – it’s a beautiful operating system, well designed and easy to use. More importantly it will give us an option on shop shelves that isn’t the ubiquitous, unimaginative and now quite boring choice between Android and iOS.
Come on guys, give us some variety out there!