Garrick van Buren
Trusted Advisor; Business Strategy, Product Strategy, Priority Management.
No. It’s pretty trivial to skip past the “enter your google account” on most of the android phones out there – some times it’s just hitting home but many times there’s a “skip” button right on the screen where it says to put your account in while you’re setting up the phone.
You do need a gmail account however, to download anything from the Android Market, or to use any other google services on the devices. GMail is the obvious one, but calendar, reader, and docs are also tied in.
The Nook Color is also Android (kindof) and doesn’t require a Google account. I suspect that many of the new tablets will also let you use them without a google account.
Can you use an iPhone, iTouch, or iPad without an Apple account?
Michael – thanks for the explanation. I asked because it seemed odd – given the diversity of devices and vendors in the Android ecosystem and it’s open-source nature – that a Google account would be a pre-requisite. Apple’s been very clear about iOS being a monopoly. And one of the selling points of Android has been that its not a monopoly – though that really depends on how much of a prerequisite a Google account is.
It’s pretty much the same on iOS devices. You can use it with the built in apps without an iTunes account, but if you want to download apps you’ll need one.
For email/calendar/contacts/etc you can use any account you want, whether it’s Gmail, Yahoo, MobileMe, MS Exchange, etc.
Actually, you can easily side-load apps on Android by downloading them from any source – just put the .apk on your device, and enable applications from unknown sources, and click on the file from any browser and you’re installing the app.
Amazon recently opened an App store as well, and I am guessing that you don’t need a Google account to use it – if you wanted to, you could just add that store and use your Amazon account to buy and install all of your apps.
Email is pretty much covered for alternative providers, but I think there might be an opening in the market for some type of good calendar service.
Seems like there’s an opportunity for an Android vendor to offer competitive non-Google services.
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