I woke up this morning and my Nexus One told me "I am ready for an upgrade". One click, a reboot, and I had a new phone.
Google (or T-Mobile, who knows and who cares) pushed down an OS upgrade. All of a sudden, the phone is capable of pinch and zoom, the feature that made the iPhone famous. It is a new phone.
I know we are used to this market moving fast, but let me stop for a second and reflect on what is happening. Three years ago, I was used to phones that would live with a bug for their entire life. No bug fixing. Never. You had a problem, too bad. Buy another phone.
Then came the iPhone. Apple introduced a new concept for mobile. OS upgrades via the Internet (and a cable). It started with bug fixing and then they began pushing features.
Desktop OS had bug fixing for years, and they still do. However, you do not get features. In mobile, you do (for free).
Palm improved the process with over-the-air OS upgrades, similar to Android. No cable. It is like magic. Your phone transform itself. No need to click, download, plug. A few seconds later, the phone is new.
It will spread to desktop, simply because the OS are converging and the speed of the mobile market will take desktop with it. The iPad is the new desktop and it will have OS upgrades. So will Chrome.
Tomorrow, if Google and Apple get together, my Nexus One could really transform in an iPhone. A question will pop up, a click, and boom.
For now, the Nexus One is still far from the iPhone. Amazing technology, too many buttons. A geek phone built by geeks for geeks. Fantastic integration with Google stuff, in particular Google Voice, great camera, spectacular navigation. Still, too complicated to use, not intuitive, very hard to type on.
Pinch and zoom made it closer to the iPhone. One more software upgrade and it could pass it. It is not a dream, it is a possibility.
The mobile and desktop devices are becoming plain tablets, looking the same. What matters is the inside. And the inside changes while you are sleeping.
Get ready for a world of interchangeable devices.