Photo Credit: Directors Bureau / Wunderman Agency

Put Down the Smartphone and Back Away From the Table

To anyone not invested in the outcome, it would appear as if the ruckus over which smartphone operating system is superior, is a matter of national security. So thick is the fighting that family members, loved ones and coworkers are forced to pick sides. If we could harness the effort exerted in defending our choices — we might yet have a solution to the world’s energy problems.

To be fair, anyone who evangelizes or professes a preference for one platform or the other is often rejoicing in the pure wonder of technology. To quote Arthur C. Clark, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” It is the discovery of just how much you can do with a palm sized hunk of metal, glass and plastic that invariably pushes us to preach to nonbelievers or the uninitiated. 

However, it is the discovery of the limitations of our own chosen platforms and the advantages of the other that makes us question our faith. We are propelled by the fear that perhaps we backed a horse that won’t come in first place, or worse a horse that won’t even be a factor in the race. 

In deference to this, we often rebuke the opposing operating system. We continue professing our faith in the form of stickers, tattoos, and blog posts. Nay we say! Android trounces the iOS platform and vice versa. Why be a slave when you can chart your own destiny! Yelling so loudly we can’t hear the opposition as they respond with retorts of a better end-to-end user experience. So simple your grandmother could use it the Android warriors retort! That's the whole effin’ point the iOS spartans chant. The battle rages on with both sides flinging flaming fireballs designed to extinguish the opposition.

“We sell more phones,” the Android army exclaims.

“We make more money off our phones,” defends the iOS knights.

“Your mapping app sucks,” cry the Android legions.

“Your apps are mostly trash,” charge the iOS minions.

Meanwhile, in the trenches there’s a creeping suspicion among some of us, that we’ve made the wrong decision. We’ve invested too heavily in the ecosystem, and are trapped by our choices. Each successive purchase compounds the number of manacles already on our wrists. (Unless we’ve rooted or jail-broken our devices.) All the while our compatriots intimating that if we defect, we’ll lose mountains of content and be branded a traitor. Like those early adopters before us who made similar choices; between Betamax instead of VHS, Sony MiniDisc instead of iPods and HDDVD instead of BluRay — we fight on. We fight on so that others might validate our choices and relieve us of our buyers remorse.

Offshore is the once mighty RIM armada flying a Blackberry flag. Coming over the horizon are the upstart Windows Wildings - ensuring that the war will be waged on many fronts, over many continents for years to come — with the only victor being choice.

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Full Disclosure: The author owns an iPhone 3 and 4 as well as an HTC EVO - but has since migrated to the iPhone 5 and the HTC One X+. Currently he’s grooving on Google Now, though he does so on the competitors OS.