Friday, September 10, 2010

iRobot = gateway to cell phone?

Last month when I was in Shenzhen, China, I picked up an iRobot (aPad), an internet tablet that uses WiFi to go online. Basically it is a cheaper ($130 US) 7" version of the Apple iPad. The touchscreen is not as good as the iPad (resistive single touch vs. capacitor multi touch) but it does offer a lot of features that the iPad does not: camera, microphone, USB connection, micro SD card slot, it can multitask (play music in the background while at the same time you can chat on MSN, SKYPE, check your email, surf the internet, play games, etc). It also has all of the Google apps like Google Maps, Google Translate, Google Skymap and access to the Android Market to download hundreds of free applications. It is basically a 7" iPhone without the GPS and phone capabilities.

The iRobot (aPad) runs the Android OS v1.5. The Android interface is pretty much used on all "non-iPhone" smart phones. It is also easy to upgrade new and custom versions of the firmware so you can constantly and easily upgrade how the device works. The Android interface is very nice and easy to use, which leads me to the next topic...

Most "non-iPhone" smart phones run a version of the Android software. Even though I own some Apple stock, I still can't bring myself to buy an iPhone...I just can't drink the Apple Kool Aid. So for the first time in my life, tonight I'm going to a cell phone store to check out the different types of phones, carrier options, international calling, etc.

I'm not sure if I'll get one, but I'll at least check them out. Somehow not owning a cell phone has been a pretty strong statement in my life, so actually owning and using a cell phone is a pretty big change. I only know 4 other people that don't own and use a cell phone, we're almost like an endangered species that needs to be protected (or sent to a hospital for a mental evaluation).

So has hell frozen over? Not yet, but it's pretty damn close.

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