Vachutangaya appsu!

Now that the country’s courts have started to straighten out the mess in the telecom sector, they will also do well to go the whole hog and pass a clear-cut verdict on the core telecom issue that is actually a bigger concern than the 2G scandal for the average phone-user: Which is better, Android phones or the iphone?

As of now most informed discussions on the two phones are mostly like the typical ones on Ilayaraja vs. A R Rahman where:

1)      Ilayaraja fans unequivocally establish the spontaneity in his works by creatively hating Rahman

2)      Rahman followers, on the other hand, firmly prove that his modern, eclectic music is far better because Ilayaraja is a lesser human being.

In general, if you listen to the two sets of fans, you will have good reason to make up your mind in favour of Sirpi, to like whom you are at least sure that you do not have to badmouth S A Rajkumar.

Coming back to the phones, the telecommunication sector is the one that has seen the most research and the maximum amount of investments in the last 20 years, the result of which can be seen in breakthrough gizmos like Samsung Note, bulky and unwieldy, exactly like the ones that we had before the enormous research and investments started to kick in, but convenient and trendy, endowed as it is with a stylus, a handy technological tool to clean your waxed ears with while you wait for the ‘apps’ to download (The previous era mobile-users accomplished this task with a decidedly non-technological pen or pencil).

Hahaha, as ever I am just joshing. The fact of the matter is that the evolution of mobiles is fascinating, especially considering that most of it has been at our expense.

When the first mobile phones arrived, you could just about make calls and send smses, and they lacked the crucial thing that any thinking individual would actually look for in a phone in the first place: Radio and music player.

After spending millions and millions of dollars and making people buy phones with the ability to play music, the phone-manufacturing industry suddenly realised that phones now have to have that feature that people cannot do without in an emergency situation. And that happened to be, well, a camera.

But what is the point of a camera if it remained just a camera? It, of course, needed to be a video camera. So more millions and millions, and more and more models later, the mobile phone industry was almost ready with a complete gizmo, when the most logical question arose in its collective brain: How good can a phone be if it featured just one camera?

And so while we the people were busy putting to brilliant use the compelling benefits of two cameras in one phone, the manufacturers themselves were probably wondering why it had not occurred to them to put a washing machine or a humble backhoe into a phone, which does not seem so stupid when you consider the fact that today we live in an era where refrigerators are being sold under the USP that they come with, ahem, a radio.

But seriously, after years of playing around with all those various features, the phone industry has now entered the technologically evolved phase of toying with the ‘apps’.

For the sake of the uninitiated among you, we will see with a simple example as to what exactly is an ‘app’ and how specifically it is useful to you: Previously mobile phones came pre-loaded at the factory itself with a set of features like games, to play which you did not expend a single rupee. Of course, this was patently uncool. Now, thanks to fast-growing technology, your modern phones don’t come with any games. Instead, you can download them easily by paying: firstly) to the service provider for the internet, and secondly) to the apps market where all the previously free games are now conveniently available at a cost. I am a big fan of such development and naturally I have paid top money to acquire a phone that allows me to spend more money on it on a daily basis.

Today, I am proud to have a phone that has more speed and space than my first laptop, and is such a delight to use, provided I limit it to five minutes, which is roughly the time for which its battery lasts.

(Modern-day living has come to a stage where people choose trains to travel, not based on time or berth convenience but whether the compartment comes with a plug-point to recharge the mobile. As I said, we are civilizationally evolving to new heights).

Anyway, when you are talking of ‘apps’, you’re by and large focussing on Apple iPhones and Android (operating system) phones. A sentence or two about them:

The plus for Android is that it is an open-source operating system, by which we mean you will not know whom to approach in times of a problem.  Modern behemoths like Samsung, LG, Motorola have opted for Android, because it gives them the space to focus on their area of core competence, which is to blame the software for all the technical hardware issues.

On the other hand, Apple apps, needless to say, work only on Apple products, and as a consumer, this is a distinct advantage for you. For, be it a simple error or a major software issue, the solution is the same: Instrument change. Further, Apple’s customers know that when they are buying an Apple product they are also buying the sterling Apple guarantee for high-prices.

So are smartphones, with all those applications, here to stay? Is the computer, as we know it, on the way out? We will perhaps know by Saturday or during the course of the coming week from Justice O P Saini, the judge of the Trial Court looking into the 2G case.

For, it is his brief to decide whether there is room anymore for PC or not.