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Introducing The INQUIRER Android experiment

One man's New Year's resolution to throw out Windows
Tue Dec 31 2013, 11:34
padlock laptop

IT IS A TIME of great change in the IT industry.

The days when Microsoft PCs reigned supreme are long gone. Now, because there are such a variety of devices fighting for our attention, and our wallets, the concept of the “format war” has become more relevant than it has ever been.

All this got me thinking. I’ve always been a bit of an old-fashioned stick-in-the-mud Windows user with a laptop, keyboard and mouse. Of course all these lovely gadgets come into the office for us to test, but once I get home, it’s back to the laptop for me.

But with the new year on the horizon, perhaps it’s time to shake things up a bit. Which is how I got the idea for The INQUIRER Android Experiment.

I’ve been using smartphones since 2003, when I got the HTC Canary, which ran Windows Mobile 5. In 2008 I switched to Android – which I love because I can bend it to my will and pretty much get it to do what I like. But if that’s the case – why do I need Windows at all?

So many things now are Android powered, and yet they all still seem to rely on Windows for something or other – upgrading, syncing, or just some functionality that is only available on the desktop.

Surely by now, though, I could be ready to break free from the Windows PC as I did on my phone?

From the time I wake up, late and probably hungover on New Year's Day 2014, until I go to bed on 31 January 2014, I am going to use nothing but Android devices. No Windows, no Mac, no Linux, no PS3.

There are going to be some exceptions of course, there have to be. For example, most cash machines run on Windows, or maybe OS/2. I’m still going to use cash machines. But otherwise, it’s going to be Android all the way.

I’m going to keep a “defenestration diary” through the month and share it with you.

And you can get involved too. If there’s something you’d like me to try to do with Android, leave a comment below or tweet @INQ using the hashtag #INQAndroid.

Don’t get too silly about it. I’m not going to compile C# programs for you. But everyday stuff. Organise some photos, watch TV, that sort of thing. Or if there’s a piece of Android gadgetry you think I should try, tell me about it.

Here are the rules:

1. Devices must run Android OS. Chrome OS doesn’t count.

2. No delegation of tasks to other people or playing non-Android games consoles.

3. All hardware and apps, successes and failures must be chronicled in the diary.

4. The Chrome browser is fine, providing it is running on an Android machine.

5. Use of peripherals such as a NAS or a printer is fine, providing it is done via Android.

So in between unwrapping presents and eating mince pies, have a think about ways that we can test Android to its limit. Is it capable of being a primary operating system? µ


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