About a week or so ago, Russell, Ara and I attended the Big Android BBQ way down yonder in Hurst, Texas. You might have noticed two things that unfortunately go together — I don't attend many events, and that I'm in a wheelchair.
The folks at ideaa, who put this shindig (and others) together every year, have me thinking about changing one of those things.
Being in a wheelchair can make for a difficult time at all the various tech summits and events we go to every year — both for the person in the wheelchair as well as for the people hosting the event. The venue may say that things are accessible, but planners also need to lay out everything just right if they want someone to be able to wheel around inside. I'm sure it's not easy. Arron and Cory and everyone else behind the show at the Big Android BBQ made it look easy, and more importantly, made me feel like I belong. And not just me. The ideaa code of conduct for the event laid out the rules, in plain English, about how we should all expect to be treated as well as how we should treat each other.
I don't make being in a wheelchair a big deal, and appreciate it when the folks who try to accommodate me also don't make it a big deal. It seemed like there was someone in a purple event uniform there every time I need a little assistance, but nobody was buzzing around when I didn't, and everyone allowed me to do my thing at my own pace. If you have mobility issues, you know exactly what I mean, and you would have felt just as comfortable as I did at the BBQ.
I want to personally thank everyone involved here. You guys and gals made it easy to be included, and made me feel good about being included. You also have me itching to get out more and will see me next year. And the next.
Other quick hits:
The BlackBerry Priv is coming. This is a pretty big deal for both Google and BlackBerry, two companies who are after the same goals in the same arena. BlackBerry has built a name based on mobile security, and it appears that they think they can keep those security standards in play while using Android as their operating system. At the same time, they need to build a phone that's a little more modern and more fun (read: ALL THE APPS) to gain back a few users.
Google has tried more than once to get a real foothold in the enterprise market, a spot where BlackBerry has always held their own. We think this might just be a perfect storm scenario where both companies benefit in a big way. In fact, all of us here at AC are looking forward to getting some time with the Priv and seeing what it does and how it does it. Expect to hear a lot about it.
I'm sad that the Nexus 5X seems to have it's fair share of software issues. Not any more or more severe issues than previous Nexus launches (remember the Nexus 9?) but they look worse this year because the 6P is so solid at launch. We hope Google quickly gets it together here, because the 5X is a really nice phone 90 percent of the time.
Nothing in life is shatterproof. Expect to see stupid videos of people breaking the screen on their new Droid Turbo 2 on YouTube hours after it launches. Watch them for the entertainment, but don't expect to learn anything.
The HTC One A9 is a really good phone that nobody is going to buy for $500.
OnePlus has me interested in the OnePlus X. It's a phone that people will buy for $250, and it appears that they really want to sell it this time around.
Phil will be back soon (he's out doing things for a week or so) but I wanted to take a few minutes of your time to talk about what's been happening and what's coming up.