Why Android is ahead of iOS contextually

I'm sitting with +Binil Antony who is showing me his app, Friday, http://www.fridayed.com/ which collects all sorts of stuff. 

Why can't he do this on iOS? Because Apple doesn't let him code stuff that touches the dialer or the SMS functionality.

So, why is that important? 

Well, what if you want to build a new kind of photo search? One that lets you do a query like this "show me all photos that I shot within an hour of getting a call from +Rocky Barbanica." Now, that might not seem all that interesting, but that kind of thing is important to figure out context. But certainly searching for "all photos taken at Rackspace San Francisco" will be.

Add that to location, device state, and maybe even how close you are to a wifi radio (another thing Android lets developers study, but Apple doesn't) and you add up into a new kind of system.

As +Project Glass comes along at the end of the year, think of all the use cases. This will be a lot more important, too, because we're going to shoot about 100x more photos than we are today. I might even set mine to automatically shoot photos every minute or so.

Already Binil's app is a better context gatherer than, say, Moves, on the iPhone. He showed me another app, Dialer+, which lets him build a custom phone dialer based on the frequency someone calls. This is impossible to do in iOS.

Here's a few screen shots of Friday running on Binil's phone. Notice that this feed on his phone notes when he shut down his phone, or when he went into airplane mode, or did other things. Also, when calls came in. Or SMS's. Or emails. 

I haven't seen an app like it on iPhone and I want one. So, I am being forced by Apple's lack of openness to switch to Android.

Which device am I getting? Well, Samsung is announcing a new device on March 14th. I'm trying to rearrange my schedule to be at the launch in New York.

Apple, if you aren't scared yet about this contextual trend you should be. I've been a die-hard iPhone customer ever since 2007. But you are forcing me to go elsewhere because of how you treat developers and how closed your systems are. 
February 25, 2013
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