On the way from the airport into the Melbourne CBD I read the ZDNet Review of the Motorola Devour and I think it confirms my view that Android, whilst perhaps a great operating system for OEMs to build on, lacks anything at all that would draw me to the platform. The Devour seems an overly unimpressive device both in terms of the hardware spec and the software.
From looking at the hardware I can’t get away from the feeling that Android devices, pretty much across the board, have been designed with your average “google-loving-geek-boy” in mind. The ZDNet review comments that the design of the Devour could be considered “retro” (from Wired’s Priya Ganapati) and that it’s the “next chapter of Motorola’s signature industrial design” but I think the hardware appears chunky and uncomfortable, and lacks any sense of true style.
From the software perspective it of course features the standard Android home screen featuring icons (urgh, so last year – get with the program, it’s all about square updating tiles now…. we’ll probably come back to that to determine whether Microsoft’s gamble pays off there). What’s interesting is that like other Android devices it supports the latest version of Google Maps. With Google increasingly leaning towards providing the latest features (such as navigation) only on the version of Google Maps for Android, it will be interesting to see what other players like Microsoft bring to the table.
[As an aside – the recently released Windows Mobile 6.5.3 DTK includes a mapping framework sample. The sample is written in native code but has a managed wrapper so can be used in either a native or .NET Compact Framework application. This sample is a great starting point for anyone wanting to build an application making use of mapping on the Windows Mobile platform. No information yet as to whether there will be a similar control/framework for Windows Phone 7 series development. More to come on this topic…]