Phil Nickinson

We're in the tall grass now, boys and girls. We're at that point in the year when Google's got a new Nexus coming down the pike, and the smartphone nerds are getting that annual tingling sensation not felt since puberty, or the release of the previous Nexus. All sanity and logic goes out the window, and drama ensues.

That, of course, brings us to the object of last week's infection, that painfully obvious fake "Sony Nexus X." Make no mistake, folks -- it was pretty clear from the start that it wasn't real. I said as much on Twitter before we published. Others were a bit stronger. Internally, we knew what we were looking at. I was done. But Alex likes to walk through this stuff, and he's got a good eye for debunking, so I gave him the green light. Could our post have been stronger? Perhaps. But I love that British sense of understatement. When our headline called the pictures "dubious," that's code for "utter shite." Make no mistake -- somebody was being polite.

I've never understood why folks throw out reason when it comes to new phones. Some call it "hypebeasting." I call it a pain in our collective asses. Fakes are nothing new, and they all have one thing in common: Frauds like these are perpetrated by feckless children, starved for attention. That's it. And in this case, it's twice as bad as you think. There's the attention the initial fraud receives, and then the added attention of when someone "comes clean," which is to say they own up to having lied, and we should all love them now for no longer lying. Someone should be rewarded for that? That's not what I teach my 6-year-old daughter, who's able to understand why that's wrong. I hate that I'm still talking about this, that I've given it the weight of this column.

But, frankly, I'm glad the kid who wasted his time with all this didn't even realize that we'd called bullshit, and that explained why. And I'm especially glad he didn't list us as his favorite Android site. An endorsement from a pathological liar is not an endorsement I want. I'm funny like that, I guess.

Good news, everyone! I've got happier thoughts ahead.

Speaking of endorsements ...

Generally when you see a quote from a review used in an advertisement for a device or app or whatever, we've gotten a heads up in advance, and the company asks permission. So when a quote from our Droid RAZR M review showed up in a Motorola e-mail advert, I'd vaguely remembered approving it early one morning when I was in South Korea. Still, it's cool to see, and it's great for the writer who gets featured. 

And then there's this one: Gadgetman007 pointed it out on Twitter late Friday night, in an in-app advertisement for an app review we did earlier this year. (Warning: Either of those links may be ever so slightly NSFW.) I could hear Jerry's laughter from a thousand miles away.

Election Day cometh

We're a little more than two weeks away from election not just a president, but deciding any number of state and local issues. I miss election night at the newspaper. I was in New York City in August during our primary election, sitting in my hotel room checking results online before cooler heads prevailed and I was summoned to a bar in Hell's Kitchen. (By the way, they've got an app so you can track the beers you've had.. How great is that? Now only if the website linked directly to Google Play, and I'd love to see the live-on-tap list added in.)

Oh, right. Election Day. I can't help but wonder how our phones may one day play a role in the process. Candidate apps are fine and all, but they're really nothing more than marketing tools. Smartphone arguably (or not) are one of the most important products of the last decade. There's got to be a way they can play a better part in one of the most important things we can do as adults.

And I'm curious if that's different in other countries.

120,000 feet straight down

It's been a week now since Felix Baumgartner took his two-hour-plus trip to the edge of space, and his 4-minute return home. Other than the fact that it was just cool, I'm trying to put my finger on why I felt the way I did watching it. I've saw dozens of space shuttle launches on TV. (Sadly, never any in person.) I've watched landings live online, from start to finish. I try to sneak outside and watch the International Space Station fly overhead whenever possible. (There's an app for that, too, by the way.) Last Sunday, I grabbed the kids (the one who would hold still anyway) and we watched, mostly silent. It was one of those moments.

Kudos to the Discovery Channel for showing the whole thing live. The Youtube stream was good -- and it worked fine from my Android devices. 

Putting numbers into perspective

One of the best parts about being an editor is that you get to learn a little bit about a lot of stuff. And Chris Umiastowski's analysis of Google's third-quarter earnings was one of those times where I learned something. I seem to be writing about the reactions of children this week, and the financial sector feels like that at times -- fickle children who fawn over you one minute and kick and scream the next.

1 million members, 2.5 million downloads

And to end on a celebratory note, last week we hit a couple milestones. The first (and most important) is that we now have more than 1 million registered members at Android Central. That's a number shared by the blog and the forum, so it's important to anyone and everyone where at the site, from me, to the writers, to the forum admins and moderators. And so much credit for our success over the past four years belongs to them. The blog may be the sexy side of this business, but the forums are the foundation. Kudos to Cory and all the mods. Couldn't have done it without you.

And our podcast passed 2.5 million all-time downloads last week. It never ceases to amaze me how many people listen every week, and that's what keeps the show going. We don't make money off it. It's time-consuming. But it's also a hell of a lot of fun, and a chance for us to get to know you better, and for you to hang out with us. 

If you've yet to do so, be sure to subscribe to our RSS feeds so you don't miss a show.

Despite all the crap going on, I'm still excited for the next couple of weeks. I'm sure Google is, too. This is gonna be fun. See y'all next week.


Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: The acts of children ...


Some of the best stuff on my sunday mornings are reading the paper (yes I still get the physical paper), browsing the Ac forums (Mad props to Cory as I know how obsessive he is about getting them perfect) and reading Phils weekly brain dump on the craziness of all things android and not android related this week. Its about to get really really interesting in the world of android and I am glad users have you guys to help highlight the real and poke fun at the "dubious" news thats out there...

and yes the ISS is amazing to watch.. airlines getting Galaxy notes.. maybe its time to get a Nexus on the ISS..

Androidcentral and droid-life are The Only sites i read everyday and visit, for accurate android news and technology. But I only go to androidcentral for forums and this is the only android forum I belong too. Everyone here writers and patrons are great and have given me the best info and help with my Gnex and other stuff. I don't know where I'd be without this site, so thank you all.

Another beautiful start to a beatiful Sunday morning readin' Phil's "From the Editor's Desk." Lookin' forward to the next. =)

I found another typo but who gives a ****. AC is a great website and I really appreciate all the hard work from everyone.

@HAAS599 Dude, seriously. No one cares at how proficient you are at pointing out typographical errors. Phil, great read as always. I was just telling my girlfriend yesterday how hard it was to have to wait through the weekend to get more Android news. Friday the wires trickle and I wait patiently for your thoughts on Sunday, then I know were back up and running for the work week! Thanks again for a great website with proper journalism integrity. I don't care about a typo :)

This not tweetter, uses the reply button.

I'm not some grammar douche, I'm just having a little bit of fun with Phil. As I said, I really don't give a ****.

Hah, the only case of "reason being thrown out the window when it comes to new phones" is Phil going off on some 'holier-than-thou' rant because of, what, a photoshopped image?


I actually thought the whole Sony nexus things was a good laugh, props to the guy for putting that much effort into it. Some folks need to pull the stick out of their asses and laugh a little. Life's too short to get so worked up over something like a fake phone.

+1. However, I would have preferred it if the person responsible had publicized his photo as a fan-made concept, a fantasy that had little basis in reality. We've seen many fake renditions of things like the iPad mini, and they admit that they're fake. They're saying, "Hey, this is what it could look like" or "Hey, this is what I hope it looks like" instead of saying, "Hey, I found a real one, and this is what it actually looks like." It's perfectly fine to make a fantasy rendition, but please just call it that.

And thanks, AC, for keeping it real. When Alex posted the Sony Nexus stuff with the adjective "dubious" in front of it, I knew not to put much stock in it. I'm excited for Monday the 29th, and I look forward to all the great coverage you'll undoubtedly give us.

What I find amusing now about the Nexus X hoax is how many sites/blogs are posting "I told you guys it was fake. See my post here telling you so. Am smart." Would be better to just sweep it under the rug methinks and move on. But then again that's what I love about Android Central. The attention to anything newsworthy and a full treatment of potential relevance. Nothing goes unnoticed here without opinion one way or another, good or bad.

Porn endorsements never hurt either. ;)

I so look forward to this article every Sunday. Thank you so much for taking the time every Sunday to publish it.

As far as the podcast, it is time to start selling ads on it like other podcasts do. I have one that even has Ford ads in it! Please make money on the podcast it is OK.

Wait till it actually comes out and people start using it. If it has the same screen as the Optimus G, it will have one of the best smartphone screens out there. If it runs off of the quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, it will scream along with the latest vision off Android. The writers here at AC have said that they like the way the Optimus G feels in the hands, which is another good sign. I would have preferred an HTC Nexus, but if Google decided LG should make the Nexus 4, they probably had some good reasons to do so. I honestly don't see how this LG Nexus 4 will be the worst Nexus yet.

Speaking of phones and elections, Romney campaign has a nice informative mobile site.
I won't spam with a link though, I respect and appreciate this great site

Phil, I understand what you're saying and I agree with you for the most part, but you broke the first rule of the Internet, don't feed the trolls! And that's what this guy is, a troll. You guys were right in your assessment, and you're right in what you're saying now, but you're giving the trolls ammunition and letting them get you all worked up.


"Frauds like these are perpetrated by feckless children, starved for attention."

So don't publish it!

On hoaxes: This is the unfortunate side-effect of the Internet and the availability of information on phones way prior to their release. I always skim pre-release "information" as a theoretical exercise and wait for the hands-on reviews to make any sort of real evaluation.
On following the election via smartphone: On the one hand, I've already seen some apps linked to specific candidates or parties, there are news-feed apps that allow you to follow political sources, and there's even a fact check app to assure that you'll be woefully disappointed in all of them. I'd like to see even more use of smartphones and alternate sources to get around the limitations of our current sources of information. We'd otherwise be relegated to relying on the mainstream 'news' (shudder).
On the other hand, the elections in the States are already too much like a horse race (where the media pretends there are only two horses and too politely vote that way). Anything that adds to the "pick the winner" atmosphere is probably adding to already too much.

It's really funny to watch the hate directed towards the guy who created the concept renders of a Sony Nexus. He created the images, created a new Picasa account, and then uploaded the images. That's all he did. He didn't put out a press release, he didn't contact the media, he didn't do a damned thing other than finish a cool render he'd been working on and then store the image on Picasa.

If you want to get your panties in a twist about something, how does anyone claim to be a journalist without even attempting to contact the owner of the Picasa album? Give me a break. We're not talking about hiking through the Andes looking for a freakin' artist so you can get a quote. All you had to do was click on the Picasa feedback link and say "dude, email me" or throw into your email client and hit the SEND button.

NOBODY even TRIED to contact him. The real story here is the fact that what we saw from hundreds of "journalists" was absolutely identical to what we saw from thousands of random people on various forums. AndroidCentral and everyone else offered comments and opinions without making any attempt to actually investigate anything. All we got was regurgitation of what other sites and blogs were saying and a bunch of opinions.

Opinions are just like something else that everybody has. If that's all a writer has to offer, then put them in the forums along with everybody else. If it's going to be posted in the "Stories" section of AC rather than the "Discussion" section, how about taking 30 seconds to at least try to get some facts?

Android Central has some great people. A weekly editorial or an op-ed piece are one thing, don't let the dumbing down of what passes for journalism these days effect Android Central too. Go find us some facts. That's why we come here.