Motorola DROID first (right) hands-on

yeah, this is great news for everyone. the competition between google and apple is just warming up, android 2.0 is out with the world’s thinest slider full qwerty, gps turn by turn navigation, slick facebook integration and more. check out the link to egadget for videos and photos.

here is the thing that popped up very quickly. this phone is designed for right handed people almost exclusively. bummer. no big surprise, but a bummer. as you will see, the keyboard has a navigation pad at the right side of it, for you to use with your right thumb.

this is a normal situation for all left handed people out there (yours truly included). from the door handle and direction it opens to cameras, scissors, pens and cell phones.

while this phone is very impressive and it definitely seems that it is worth checking out and maybe it will be able to bite into the iphone’s market share, i cannot help but think about the 10% of us who are left handed. not only our life expectancy is ~8 years less than right handed poeple, we are also singled out when it comes to consumer electronics. we are just not an important enough a market, sorry, let me rephrase that: we are not a profitable enough a market to create a whole new manufacturing chain for.

so what we have done for years is learn how to use equipment as right handed people do. is it a big deal? i think it is. as an amateur photographer i need to hold and snap with my right hand. only some guitars are made for lefties, and internal designers rarely ask their client if they are left handed, and then go about adjusting all the nitty gritty details to accommodate that.

how can this problem be solved?

i understand the manufacturing cost, and the fact that the left handed market is not big enough to produce phones for. one option is to create a neutral phone, one that caters to neither camps. another, is to make the differences software adjustable. for example: the iphone. i can re-arrange the apps as i see fit, so they are within the comfortable reach of my left hand thumb.

so far i have not seen a worthy left handed smart device besides the ihpone, which still does not really cater for us lefties. the address book scroling, the maps button layout etc.

here is a crazy idea: why not create two separate layout for each application (developers pay attention pls), where i define the left/right setting from the preferences menu. each application checks for the value there (0 for right and 1 for left) and uses a different layout to match my preference.

can that work?

in any event, enjoy the new phone’s preview in the link below and expect greater things from this market in the very near future.

Motorola DROID first hands-on! update: video, impressions, more pics.

is it time for google to start manufacturing hardware?

google-book-goldgoogle is on my top fav list of companies. it’s inception, vision, execution and overall position and leadership of the 21st century demands respect and admiration. since the marriage of search with advertisement google has been growing itself into a web power house, organizing data almost in every location possible, from our books, history to the solar system. recent development include the chrome operating system and android, google’s smart phone operating system.

the comparison with microsoft is important and relevant in my eyes. microsoft established itself as the king of licensed software, growing to be the top company on the planet who gave the personal computer revolution exactly what it needed: a usable, eye-candy operating system than manages a computer properly. how is microsoft doing these days? fine thank you. there is a lot of cash under the mattress and microsoft can, and is, competing with almost every player out there.

and where is apple in all this you probably ask by now? well, apple took a different course. since his early days when steve jobs was selling hand assembled computers from the back of his pickup, many solar panels have been installed in silicon valley. job’s vision was clear throughout: vertically integrate his operations to create a high end brand. this means developing software and hardware. the rest again is history. though it took jobs many decades to become the empire apple is today, with luck and pitfalls that could have buried apple to the ground, his vision is key:  have some style for crying out loud.

apple is successful for a handful of reasons. for me, their success is the fact they write their own software and develop their own hardware. they have quality control of what bares their name, not like microsoft who pimped windows to anyone who was willing to pay their licensing fees.

where does that leave us the consumer? when it comes to microsoft based products we are left with a lot of garbage computers, from cheap to expensive, from ugly to cute, from large to small – the choice is yours. choice is wonderful. choice represents north america for me. in microsoft’s case what it boiled down to is a lot of offers, little quality and very little branding.

so why do i care? well, i would be sad to see google walking the same path as microsoft. i already see it’s struggle with android and the different devices developed throughout, and it seems as if they are going the same way.

let’s think about this together for a moment. why isn’t google developing their own phones? strategically they develop software. why not develop and sell their own hardware and have the quality control needed to establish their brand. why settle for licensing and ads integrated into their applications when u have the potential, the momentum, and the brand name (to date) to leverage sales, operations and overall customer satisfaction.

here is one scenario for you. google keeps up with software only. in 10 years they are as out of date and hated as microsoft. why? because other cool product are out there. because apple is now on top of it all (recent posts show apple bought a company that is the equivalent of google maps).

google has the momentum and brand name to match apple at the moment. they are cool and hip and are leading the industry. why not create the right hardware to match their brand? have the same level of quality we are used to, AND have the consumers pay a premium for it, just as the consumer pays for apple products.

what will that mean for google? more expenses, more revenue, vertical integration for their product, hence quality control. happy customers and a serious competition from apple. face it, apple is making the coolest computers on earth, the coolest and most advanced smart phone (the iphone), they re-invented the walkman with the ipod and are currently continuing hard to branch out to every aspect of usage of their product. from software to hardware. from cables, chargers, flat screens, to music and video editing tools for novices and pros.

so… is it time for google to start manufacturing their own hardware?