Yesterday’s news, aka Dell, have got a little something something up their sleeves: a 5 inch slate device which packs a neat little camera a the most flattering of shiny screens. While its nomenclature reminds one of a car, and not to mention the fact that DELL is a four letter word around certain parts, the device is cute. Techie bits and tits aside, the Mini 5 has one very good thing going for it. No, it isn’t the jump-on-the-bandwagon-copying-Apple’s-shiny-advert-shots. No – it is Android under the bonnet. That this squeaky clean machine been tied to Windows Mobile, this post would lost in the fray. Android is going places where OSX and Windows aren’t welcome: the kitchen, a place where computerised appliances such as microwaves are queueing up for robotic love.
Indeed, Apple’s most competent competitor is an open source operating system – something the Californian giant hasn’t struggled against before. The prior baddies: IBM and Microsoft have no product which can spread like a germ. Freely licensed software is a killer marketing strategy which has pundits for and against it, but likely will emerge as the new force to be reckoned with. Android is blossoming on a flowering field of phones, small computers and kitchen appliances – the very place where Apple are likely to trip.
They have never had to fend off anything but computers before. Embedded devices which can to a certain extent, run Android represent a new scene which in the long run, may force Apple to loosen its belt and let its OS hang out. While I would never buy a non-Apple computer for various reasons, I would buy a GE refrigerator with OSX.
Hardware manufacturers don’t have much to offer. The Dell Mini 5 isn’t exactly wieldy: you can’t really compute seriously on 5 inches, and at the same time, it is pretty big to stuff in a pocket (how bout a cute lappy case for that 5-incher, Mr. Johnson?)
Apple are on top now with a great mobile OS and a great hardware base. But Google’s OS will creep into more and more devices which look crap, and speak IWIWA (I wish I was Apple) better than Palm.
I welcome our new robotic overlords.
[pics via CNET]