4407979507_82e0e427de_b

I’m Pro Choice. I’m Android.

We in the tech world are a fickle bunch. On one side of our brain, we scream about openness and freedoms. We verbally disparage anyone who would dare mess with our precious Internet freedoms. Many of us, especially in my WordPress community, swear allegiance to licensing that ensures data and code exchanges on open standards.

Yet one thing stands out to me as an anomaly on this, the opening day of pre-orders for the iPhone 4.


Photo by laihiu on Flickr

Ah yes. The iPhone. The gadget that makes grown men quake in their shoes. The thing that causes adults to behave as if they left their brains at the door. At one point in time, I called this behavior “an applegasm” and identified the Apple store as the place where intelligent people go to die.

And it’s not only the iPhone. It’s the iPad too (I bought one 3 weeks after release and only because I needed it for some client work). In fact, it’s any Apple device. Apple has a way of turning people into automatons controlled by the Borg in Cupertino.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Apple and I love Apple products. However, there is a degree of hypocrisy (or shall we call it “situational morality”) that comes into play here. There is nothing “open” about Apple products. Sure, Steve Jobs famously points out that Apple encourages the use of open web standards like HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript, but the devices are nowhere near open.

In fact, the devices are so closed and guarded that strange things like lost stolen iPhone prototypes make huge news. There is only one device. There is only one operating system. There is only one permitted way of designing apps. There is only one carrier (in the United States).

And the open standards, web-free, maniacal tech world that is ready to take off the heads of closed entities like Microsoft, Facebook and Palm, whistle silently and look the other way when it comes to Apple.

In another few weeks, I am going to be eligible for an upgrade with Verizon Wireless. As a longtime BlackBerry user (I refuse to give money to AT&T ever), I will be investing in a new Android-based phone. I won’t be doing this with any kind of religious conviction about open source. There is a legitimate place for closed source in this world. I’m doing this because the culture of openness (which supersedes the execution of openness, in my mind), allows for more innovation and creativity.

In the Android world (which is quickly catching up to the iPhone world), apps are being created without the artificial restrictions placed by a single gatekeeper. There are more choices in phones. Don’t like this one? Try that one. There is a greater anticipation around what can be done.

Apple had to have its arm twisted to enable multitasking in it’s latest operating system. It had to have its arm twisted to allow cut and paste. It still hasn’t provided a decent camera, despite consumers begging for one. In the Android world, if Motorola doesn’t provide it, maybe HTC does. You have choice. Choice is good.

I’m pro choice.

Aaron Brazell

Aaron Brazell is a Baltimore, MD-based WordPress developer, a co-founder at WP Engine, WordPress core contributor and author. He wrote the book WordPress Bible and has been publishing on the web since 2000. You can follow him on Twitter, on his personal blog and view his photography at The Aperture Filter.

5 thoughts on “I’m Pro Choice. I’m Android.

  1. Aaron,

    I, too, refuse to give money to AT&T–ever. I used to work for Cingular (corporate) here in Atlanta and know firsthand how screwed up the network is, not to mention the terrible customer service.

    Anyway, I’m on T-Mobile and there are rumors that the iPhone may be coming to T-Mo in the fall. I’m also a long-time Blackberry user so whatever I choose will be a big adjustment for me. (I’ve had a Blackberry since before they were called “Blackberries.” I had a RIM 950 running on Mobitex.) The short story is that I think the Android is the right choice for me as well. I like what you said about the “culture of openness” allowing for more “innovation and creativity.” I think that’s true and the reason why Android phones will ultimately catch up and probably surpass iPhones. Apple is being way too controlling on the mobile front. And, while they certainly have their share of fans who will buy just about anything they make, I think more and more people will begin to realize that having a choice is ultimately better.

    Great post! Thanks!

  2. I have both an Android and an iPhone. Can’t wait for my iPhone contract to end so I can get rid of it. I cannot tell you how annoying it is to run into a Flash driven site and have your phone not operate. Thanks, Jobs. That’s why Android will dominate the smart phone market, they will be much more accessible. On better networks.

  3. Ayyy men…I’m due for an upgrade on VZW in another 2 months. You bet I’m looking at one of the Android phones. Maybe the Droid 2 since I still like typing on a keypad.

Comments are closed.