When I've been doing stuff with Morten, we've always had a basic dividing line in how we are interested in things, which has been very useful in dividing the work and making sure we covered the idea properly. Morten is intensely interested in use, and I'm intensely interested in capabilities and potentials.
Any good idea needs both kinds of attention, so it's good to work with someone else who can really challenge your own perspective. If only we had a third friend who was intensely interested in making money we could have really made something of it. It's never too late, I suppose.
Anyway, my part of the bargain is capabilities. Yesterday evening, and this morning, I added another year worth of lifetime to my aging* Android phone, one of the original Google G1 development phones.
It's a slow, old device compared to the current android phones. Yesterday, however, by installing Cyanogenmod on the phone, I upgraded to Android 2.2 - Froyo - and boy, that's a lot of capability I just added to the phone**.
First, about the lifetime: Froyo has a JIT, an accelerator if you're not a technical person, which makes it possible for my aging phone to keep up with more demanding applications, expecting better hardware.
Secondly, Froyo is supported by the Processing environment, for experimental programming, so now I can build experimental touch interfaces in minutes, using the convenience of Processing. This makes both Processing and the phone infinitely more useful.
Thirdly, Froyo has a really nice "use your phone as an Access Point"-app for sharing your 3G connection over WiFi***. I had a hacked one for Android 1.6 as well and occasionally this is just a really nice appliance to have in a roomfull of people bereft of internet.
Fourth, considering that Chrome To Phone is just an easy demo of the cloud services behind Froyo it sure feels revolutionary. Can't wait to see people maxing out this particular capability.
Fifth, and it feels silly to have to mention this, but Froyo is the first smartphone HW/SW combo you can add storage in a reasonable way, i.e. moving apps + everything to basically unlimited replaceable storage.
On top of all the conveniences of not being locked down, easy access to the file system, easy backup of text messages and call logs; this feels like a nice edition of Android to plateau on for a while. If the next year or so is more about hardware, new hardware formats, like tablets, and just polishing the experience using all of these new capabilities, I think that'll work out great.
* (1.5 yrs old; yes it sucks that this is 'old'. We need to do better with equipment lifetimes)
** I'm going to but a couple of detailed howto posts on the hacks blog over the next couple of days, so you can do the same thing.
*** For Cyanogenmod, you need this.