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Remember How Bad Android Was?

By on Sep 30, 2018 in Mobile Design | 0 comments

Photo: Mario Aguilar (Gizmodo)

Over the last week or so, bloggers have been posting warm and fuzzy reflections about Android because we’ve just passed the 10th anniversary of the reveal of the T-Mobile G1, (AKA the HTC Dream, or colloquially the “G phone”), the platform’s first commercial device. Many folks—including this here blogger—had basically the same idea: Get your hands on the device (I took mine to T-Mobile for activation and they were all “nah”) take some photos or video, and wax about “back in the day.” Let me tell you something about back in the day: Android sucked.

Even at the time, I don’t think anyone was confused about what was going on with Android or the T-Mobile G1. The notion of an open source alternative to the iPhone was appealing, but both the hardware and software were very nearly unusable. The phone was a vehicle for an idea that was barely conceived, let alone fully realized. Though its fun Sidekick-like slideout keyboard was very satisfying, the hardware design amounts to a weird stopover gadget between the BlackBerry and the modern smartphone: Why would you need a trackball if you have a touchscreen? Why no headphone jack? How am supposed to use my right hand to type on the QWERTY keyboard with the phone’s “chin” in the way? 


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