Up for discussion: Let your fanboy flag fly!

Lego Iwo Jima

Since there won’t be any new articles from me on weekends, my plan for Friday posts is to open things up for a broader discussion, one that could potentially even last through the weekend.

Anyway, for this inaugural go I’ve got what is possibly the most ill-advised idea ever: invite everybody here to chime in on their favourite mobile OS and why — and do it leaving behind as little scorched earth as possible.

I’ll start.

I choose Android. I’m not necessarily a Google fan, but definitely an Android one. I was sad to hear that Andy Rubin was no longer in charge of the operating system he brought to Google, and find those rumours about Android being rolled into Chrome OS a bit disconcerting.

For me, an Android phone is a blank slate. In the exact same way that I can install a Linux distribution on my computer or laptop a new custom ROM for my phone is always just a backup and flash away. I’m currently running CyanogenMod on my Nexus 4 and AOKP on my Nexus 7 tablet. I’ve also used MIUI in the past and might try it again, now that Hugo Barra has joined the team.

Custom ROMs also give me the freedom to shut Google out of the picture if I so desire. Google itself made this possible, and alternative app stores like F-Droid make it doable. Now to be clear, I do use Gmail, Maps and the Play Store just like the vast majority of other Android users out there. But I also think it’s important to have the option of not having Google on your Android device if you so choose.

Not too long ago Daniel Bader at Mobile Syrup proclaimed that he was done with rooting smartphones, which sparked a broader conversation about the general progress of Android, and if such things were still necessary. Me? I feel very strongly that choice is better than no choice.

Speaking of choice, I was a backer of the unsuccessful Ubuntu Edge campaign on Indiegogo this past month, and with similar luck I failed to score one of ZTE’s Firefox phones on eBay before the first batch sold out. With Google in 2013 starting to look like Microsoft in 1998, I can certainly be persuaded to jump ship if and when something better comes along.

So that’s me. I’m sure we all understand that a mobile phone is an incredibly personal thing, and what works great for one person may not work at all for another. With this in mind, what’s your mobile platform of choice and why?