Google own me and my phone

So I’m writing this post on my new mobile phone – a Sony Xperia S. It’s got a lovely screen, which, at 342 pixels per inch I think is the highest pixel density of any handset currently available in the UK. It’s also got a great 12Mpixel camera, which supports 3d and sweep panoramas etc, so perhaps expect to see some more photos appearing on this blog soon.
It supports NFC, but I was a bit disappointed to find out that, unlike some reviews I’d read, it does not come supplied with any NFC tags. I don’t know if this is just the UK/Europe being given a substandard bundle compared to our US cousins (probably) or whether I was just unlucky… it’s a shame, because I was looking forward to playing around with possible uses for NFC – haven’t decided whether it’s going to just be another QRcode thing, which never really achieved its potential. Looks like I might have to pay a visit to and have a play.

I was already an Android user previously, so I’m fairly familiar with the Google pwnage you expect from running the Android OS, but the number of times I had to consent to Google collecting data about me when configuring the handset for the first time still surprised me. I mean:

  • Expect to have a Google acount in order to use the calendar features or mail features (sure, you can set up other providers, but it’s made a lot easier to use Google).
  • You want to download apps from the Google Play store (the new name for the “Android Market”)? Expect to link that to your Google account too.
  • Select to activate Wi-Fi, and you have to consent for Google to collect usage information.
  • Use GPS satellites for navigation? You have to consent for that data to be collected too.

Seriously, what the heck are Google doing with all this data? They’re sure as hell not using it to make a very good personal profile of me, because the two most recommended apps for me were a “Live Football Scores” app and something about Facebook. Being both a football and Facebook-hater, I don’t think I’ll be making much use of either of them!

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