The hype over the iPhone5 is inescapable. I'm told Apple hasn't gone overboard with ads. They haven't had to. But people have simply been lining up to be the first to get a hold of it wherever in the world it is launched. It is like the Harrods sales of old where they used to sell fur coats (when it was still okay to wear fur) for £ 1 and people used to sleep overnight outside the store to grab it and other bargains. This time people are obviously not bargain hunting. It is more a status symbol. They would willingly part with the $1000 plus it costs in New Zealand.
While there are the fervent pro iPhoners and the pro Androiders with each enamoured of the merits of their particular choice, I was taken with just one point from the latter. It deserves a mention.
To start with, they concede that the current mobile phones, whether iPhone or Androids, are all state of the art. Both offer an amazing array of applications. BUT, say this group, the major difference lies in the operating systems. Just like Microsoft's Windows operating system, Apple uses a closed source operating system - the iOS. On the other hand the Android operating system is open source, based on Linux. (To know more about open source, here are two links http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open-source_software and http://computer.howstuffworks.com/question435.htm)
This, according to the pro Androiders, is undeniably good for computing on the whole. Locked operating systems which no one but a handful of developers (and the code-breakers and virus injectors) have access to, hold back what is in their system code from everyone else. This is one reason, the pro Androiders claim, why computing hasn't progressed even more than it already has. Its benefits haven't been exploited and bettered by a great many good brains on earth. Even if the handful of brains who work for Apple have thought of everything you possibly would want in the iPhones and it all works infinitely faster and better, the source code remains in the hands of a few. If something doesn't work they are the only ones who have access to the code to change it, at a price to you.
Open source code is available to everyone all over the world. Useful, even currently unthought of applications and innovations (as needs are different in every corner of the earth) can be added by anyone and these are vetted, verified and improved upon by an army of others the world over. Can you imagine the capacity of such a system to advance technology? I'm sure the pro iPhoners would have their own take on this argument and if civilly put, I'd be glad to hear it.
As for me, I enjoy the GPS on my partner's Android phone. I don't have to look at maps with tiny print in poor light. What joy. And when the American or English auto-digital voice (he has both) tries to pronounce the names of roads in NZ like Ngaphui or Naenae (American voice - Knee-knee, English - Nay nay. Local NZ - Naai Naai), my day is made.
Of course, being from the outdated desktop computers era, and with failing eyesight and clumsy fingers, the extent to which I use my mobile phone is hopelessly outdated. I use it as a phone. Occasionally, I've been known to text simple messages too. Tch tch, mental block eh, Androiders and iPhoners?.