Setting the scene

I sit here at the kitchen table typing on my iPad, iPhone 3GS on it’s charger in the bedroom, new HTC Mozart charging on my desk  in the front room while syncing wirelessly with my ageing Windows XP desktop which boasts a single core AMD CPU from 5 years ago and a gig of RAM spread across three sticks that are even older. Two weeks ago my ageing Dell laptop from 2007, running Windows 7 very nicely, and Vista before that, quietly died without fuss or ceremony when I turned the surge protector on at the wall while the laptop charger was still plugged into it. As such, I’m looking to replace my desktop with a shiny new iMac (to match the one we bought for my wife a little over a year ago). It goes without saying that that new iMac will run Windows in Boot Camp and/or a virtual machine. I don’t see the point of tying myself down if I don’t have to.

In the next room my wife is working on her iMac with her HTC Desire running Android 2.2.

Why am I telling you this? Im reeling off my life story because it helps set some context to why I applied to be part of this social review process, and perhaps is part of the reason why Telstra decided to choose me as one of the 25 social reviewers. I love to see how things work outside my own little bubble.

I have been a relatively happy iPhone user since September 2009. Before that I owned a Motorola Razr V3x for three years. Needless to say, going from the POS Moto to an iPhones 3GS was a revelation and opened my eyes to what was possible with a computer in your pocket that was plugged in to the network at all times (although I am with 3 so total connectivity is more a goal than anything else).

Since acquiring an iPad in June, I have adopted the  iOS as my mobile lifestyle system.

  • my point and shoot camera is my phone
  • I do freelance writing work on my commute on the train with the iPad perched on my knee
  • train timetables, calendars, reminders, multiple email accounts, casual gaming, alarm clock, weather, file transfers via Dropbox, reading technical text books, taking notes via Evernote … the list goes on. It’s all primarily conducted on one or both iOS devices.

To make a short story long, I’m not a fan boy but I do have my biases. I’ve adapted my workflows to suit the idiosyncracities of a particular type of device.

Why become a social reviewer?

The iOS, through the iPhone and the iPad, has become very dominant. While Android is competitive, it appears to me to be pitching itself to telcos and consumers alike as being just like the iPhone, only less controlled, more open. The market needs competitors and new ways of approaching old problems. Android is an alternative to the iPhone, but it’s not “new”.

Blackberry? My work doesn’t require 24 hour access to email (shoot me if it ever does) so I know very little about it. I’ve yet to see anything from RIM that demonstrates it is anything more than a one trick pony, albeit one that executes that one trick with devastating effectiveness.

The Palm OS? Ha! Until it’s released in markets outside North America with any level of marketing support it is doomed to be an bit player in a crowded space. Maybe HP will take it to dizzying new heights, but I feel safe in ignoring it for now.

Which brings me to Windows Phone 7 (forever to be known as WP7 since there’s no freaking way I’m writing that out every single god damn time). Microsoft appears to be shaping up to grab that large part of the market that has never owned a smart phone before and isn’t enamoured with the idea of being addicted to their phone like all those people they see bathed in an LCD or AMOLED glow.

Who would have predicted Microsoft would be the ones to “think different”?

Different means trying things another way. Learning from what has gone before and what is going on now. Approaching problems in new ways.

And that is why I applied to be part of this process. I want to see what is different.

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