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The Spoils of the Android Wars

I have poor impulse control. Though I manage to avoid most major vices, including all the illegal ones, I do have a gigantic closet full of formerly cutting-edge tech gadgets that I bought. My collection of video games for every console on the market draws players from all over the ‘hood here in Boulder, Colorado. But my living room and closet are nothing compared to my geek museum—actually a storage unit full of dusty old obsolentia, some of which still works. So perhaps it should have come as no surprise that I would end up involved in the Android wars.

Mobile phones are undergoing such rapid innovation that that each new model is superseded sooner and sooner. Nowhere is this more true than in the market for Android devices, because any manufacturer can use the Android software from Google to try to outdo Apple’s iPhone—or any other Android phone. All this is a problem for someone who craves every new step forward in gadgetry.

For me, it all began in December 2009, when Google announced it would be selling the Nexus One online. I shelled out $595 and ordered it directly, with no network carrier attached. I tossed in a SIM card from another phone I had lying around and used it for a few days. Predictably, I got bored, went back to my iPhone, and handed off the Nexus to my assistant, Kelly, who proceeded to use it—and love it—as a replacement for her T-Mobile Dash.

Several iPhones later (one lost, one broken, one upgraded), I found myself pining for a Droid. Continue reading …

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