(Do I correctly hear Polish heritage/origin? )
Google maps, indeed the titan in the room. I reckon that if you can have a custom map (a version of openstreetmaps for example) that incorporates live public transport information and ideally also maybe live traffic information then I would have totes zero probs with switching. I too prefer to not contribute to googles empire and would prefer to switch but at the same time, those functionalities tho!
To some extent it also depends on what your intended user profile is. Someone with or without a car?
I live in Berlin where getting around by public is something that everyone does as its super convenient, affordable and environmentally friendlier (than owning a car). When we do need a car we use a car-sharing thingy. In both cases when traversing the city I almost always check for connections or quickest routes and googlemaps doesn’t disappoint. However, from what I understand in the US (I presume your main initial target market?) it seems to be quite the contrary. Using public is deemed (obvs generalising here) a sign of not having gotten ahead in life and looked down upon and not convenient. Perhaps you just can’t have it both ways, or perhaps there is indeed a golden bullet…
Then onto browsers. Well this is a very complex question. If we consider or perhaps even accept that social media platforms are addictive then we should also take the logical next step of accepting that leaving a browser in will enable people to log in and use them. This in consequence stops them from being less connected which seems to be the main aim of the phone. But okay, so then lets say we have a browser but no apps at all. So if you need to look something up or if you really need to access a social network (to retrieve contact details for example) you can, but the phone won’t be prompting you all the time to do so. Also, if you have a browser you can use whatever map service you so desire to. Hmm, I’m suddenly feeling that you’ve directed to conversation towards a browser as that seems to be a viable option you’re considering as it offers all the good at a fairly easy development trajectory!
Well then yea, why not? Just a browser and a music player et viola! Although that negates the need for all the messaging apps or utilities, hmm. Tricky tricky. Perhaps it just boils down to: Can you dictate to your users what they will be able to and what they will not be able to do on their phone, even though considering that obviously the equipment itself is capable of doing it. The whole closed ecosystem schtick that angers so many users about apple for example.
But, I went on a tangent. To answer more directly: yes. Looking things up is actually also super important and useful in everyday life (even more so on holidays/when travelling). From figuring out the address to that one nice restaurant you went to a year ago to fact checking something on wikipedia your mate has just said that just sounds so very very wrong.
Do you guys have a preliminary ETA on the device release that can be shared here or is it still secret?