A gadget junkie unmoved by Android

I've had my iPhone 3Gs for a month or so now, and of course I'm loving it. Running the battery down to the dregs, playing with the voice-recognition of the Google app, tossing enemies around in Knights Onrush, and of course posting to Twitter. Sometimes I even call people with it.

But before getting my Apple fix, I'd given serious attention--if not consideration--to Android phones. I like Google. I like competition. And there's a lot of geek chatter in praise of the Android operating system.

I gotta say, I just don't get the hype.

Android, to me, suffers from the same back-patting niche marketing as Linux. I know my way around technology reasonably well, but I don't know a kernel from a piece of popcorn. An open-source operating system isn't that much of an attraction to me, and I have yet to really hear a cogent argument for what else Android can do that iPhone 3.0 can't.

I'm gonna break it to you, Google developers. Most people don't really know how to modify computer settings. Of those people, I'd venture to guess that most don't want to learn how to modify settings in a complex or elegant way. Sure--I do sometimes, but not to the point that I want to void my warranty and jailbreak my iPhone.

I'm not a consumer who's looking for a project. Don't tell me what I could do with an open-source OS if only I knew what the hell I was doing in a computer's (or smartphone's) guts. Tell me what it will look like and what it'll do for me right out of the box. Say what you will about Apple, but they package their product slickly and show you what it'll do as soon as you charge it up. If I can't install third-party apps, boo hoo. There are already more apps than I'd ever need.

Ultimately, Android just doesn't speak to me except that the name sounds cool. If I want the Android name, I'll buy a watch. All I have to do then is set the time and I'm ready to roll.