Android Awesomeness

I’ve been waiting for an Android-based phone to be ‘officially’ launched in India for a while now. My wait seems to be near its end; there are (again) some rumours flying around that HTC is going to launch one of its phones in India in the near future. Sooner or later, there’s bound to be an Android-based phone available in India—if it’s not HTC, then it’ll probably be Samsung.

Why Android? If I wanted an ordinary smartphone, I could have bought an iPhone already. The iPhone’s problem is that I can’t really develop apps for it myself—the development environment is Mac-only. And I can’t install applications that aren’t on the official app store—unless I mod the phone, which I’m unwilling to do.

Android doesn’t have have iPhone’s polished UI. None of the Android-based phones out so far look as sexy as an iPhone. These issues don’t matter.

Android has a pretty decent (Eclipse-based) development environment. I was reasonably sure that I would be able to develop applications for my small needs myself; and that was before the awesome Android Scripting Environment (ASE) was announced.

ASE allows one to write tiny scripts (in Python, Lua or BeanShell) that can do awesome things. Like allowing me to scan a book’s barcodes and looking-up its details, sending messages, finding my location, using text-to-speech, and creating notifications.

Of course, all this is possible via a normal application. But providing a decent scripting environment really lowers the bar. The possiblity of creating a script in a couple of minutes that’s useful right away allows one to experiment with all sorts of crazy ideas.

The only thing I’m worried about is that when I do end up with an Android phone, I could end up wasting all my time customizing and scripting it. Technology is supposed to be unobtrusive, not all-consuming.

Comments (5)

  1. Ankur wrote::

    "Why Android? If I wanted an ordinary smartphone, I could have bought an iPhone already."

    Thursday, June 11, 2009 at 16:10 #
  2. Amit wrote::

    Keeping the Application Development aspect aside, I must say that iPhone has a lot to keep you engaged….even the free apps rock!

    Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 12:09 #
  3. Ankit Solanki wrote::

    That's true. There aren't as many apps on the Android Marketplace, but it's only a matter of time.

    Thursday, June 18, 2009 at 23:09 #
  4. Look out for HTC Hero!

    Saturday, June 27, 2009 at 16:16 #
  5. Ankit Solanki wrote::

    Yup, the Hero looks like the best HTC device out there.

    HTC Magic is selling for 30k (30k!) in India. I'm going to wait for a few months, and let the prices go down.

    Sunday, June 28, 2009 at 10:05 #