The myTouch 3G can't escape comparisons to the iPhone, but to be fair, it's not a bad evolution. For those who can't afford an iPhone, or those who are still seeking the "iPhone for Business" myTouch has some interesting characteristics.
- Android is starting to become real. Applications are not restricted like they are with Apple apps; this means offerings such as Google Voice are available on the myTouch. Using Google Voice instead of paying $20 for text messaging a month could recoup the $200 cost of the phone in 10 months.
- Customization is everywhere on the myTouch - designer cases, personal background images, home screen themes. This might be refreshing for users who feel limited by the iPhone's "two colors and a custom photo" approach to "make it mine."
- myTouch restricts users to three iPhone-like application pages, however, it does go one step further by allowing users to pin open widgets to the desktop. Widgets like a search bar, music player, or calendar can be used directly from the desktop without having to first open the application. They can also run in the background.
- Sherpa, an application commissioned by T-Mobile and designed by Geodelic, has a learning engine that understands what you like, making future suggestions as it learns about your preferences. If you like Indian food, when you travel to a new city Sherpa should be able to show you where the best chicken tikka masala is.
- The myTouch uses the HTC Magic hardware, but there's quite a few out there hoping that Android gets ported to the HTC Hero. It seems that in a head-to-head comparison of Windows Mobile and Android, Android wins. Our take: Android was designed for touch, not stylus. And visually it's no contest.
There is still room in the cell phone industry for offerings like the myTouch, so the phone should do well. As more users become accustomed to touch screens and applications at their fingertips, it will be time to start aiming further. For now, we have to make do with seeing the future of phones like in this Will Ferrell skit.
-- Nick Hausman