Monday, December 23, 2013

One use case that validated my decision to switch to Android

Like many, I became an iPhone user many moons ago because I didn't want to miss out on a device revolution. After being an iPhone user for 5+ years, I had a sneaking suspicion that I was missing out on a similar revolution - one that was blurring the lines between the device & the internet. So I switched to an Android phone (the device doesn't matter, so it shall stay anonymous)

Sure, Android does some things that I can best describe as ranging from creepy (automatically processing images through Goggles) to nifty (Google Now gives me timely information on weather, local events, etc). However, one use case validated my decision to switch to Android.

I use Open Table for dinner reservations. Back in the iPhone days, I would make dinner reservations, and then set up a calendar invite with the reservation. I relied on my habit of looking at the calendar every few hours to remember that I had a dinner reservation. I would check how far the restaurant was, plan the route & figure out how far ahead i needed to leave to get to dinner on time. Of course, as I was pulling into the restaurant, I would get a completely worthless reminder from my calendar.

This is what the same use case looks like with Android. I make a dinner reservation on Open Table. Since Google scans my email, it knows that I have a reservation at a restaurant on a given date & time, so instead of adding it to the calendar, it simply shows up on Google Now on the day of reservation. Further, it knows where the reservation is, so it reminds me to leave for dinner based on the commute time to the restaurant including a route plan. Finally, I don't get an annoying reminder 10 minutes before I pull into the restaurant.

This blurring of lines between the device & the internet is why I think Android will eat iOS. I tell people that Android taps into a greater ecosystem, and I get quizzical looks as people point me to the iOS app store which I construe as a very narrow definition of ecosystem. Yes, iOS has an amazing app store and Android is staying close. However, when it comes to tapping into the internet is concerned, iOS isn't even close.