Mobile Nations at #tm13

I'd say this behind-the-scenes picture just about sums up our week in New York City. Take a bunch of characters from Mobile Nations, toss them into a room with John P and Cali Lewis of GeekBeat.TV, and good things will happen. OK, a lot of craziness will happen, too. But also good things. 

While we haven't explicitly said what we were up to at #tm13 -- and don't worry, we'll take care of that fairly soon -- it also shouldn't be all that hard to figure out. It's been a few years since the last Smartphone Experts Round Robin (in fact, that was my first week on the job here in late 2009 after fleeing the newspaper business), and a follow-up was long overdue.

But a lot has changed since I first met the likes of Dieter Bohn, Kevin Michaluk, Rene Ritchie, Casey Chan, Matt Miller and Mickey Papillon and others for a week of smartphone nerdery in Orlando. (Lord, we looked so young.) Some of us have moved on to do other things. (I'm still proud to call each one of them a friend, though.) There's more parity among the platforms. Palm and webOS are no more. Nokia has ceded and switched (nearly exclusively) to Windows Phone. Microsoft's mobile OS has grown from awkward and clunky to attractive and graceful, if still underappreciated. Same could be same for Android, maybe. And BlackBerry is just beginning its second life. 

I can't spill the beans on everything we did in New York just yet. But it's safe to say that just as the mobile space has evolved a great deal in the past several years, so has our outlook of it as a whole. It's as much about getting the platforms to work together as it is any one of them "winning." I think that's what we all took into #tm13. And that's certainly what we got out of it.

We'll have an official announcement in the coming weeks, and you'll (hopefully) enjoy the fruits of our labor for a number of months the rest of the year. Those of us in this picture are just the front end. So many people have worked countless hours behind the scenes, and there's still a lot of work to be done. David Lundblad and Marcus Adolfsson and Rob Kao and the film crew and production folks. Our tech folks, whose work you see every day with little fanfare. And our husbands and wives and girlfriends and anyone else who support this ridiculously crazy and fun business and help us do what we do.

And to you folks reading this, too, for putting up with all the teasing. We really are excited about this. You'll be as much a part of it -- more, really -- than anyone else.

So thanks, everybody. Stay tuned. This is going to be fun.

No rest for the wicked ...

May is going to be a ridiculously busy month, too. We've got the Google I/O developer conference May 15-17 in San Francisco, and the spring CTIA event (the last one in this part of the year, actually) is the week after that. 

One more round of applause ...

By the way, hats off to Alex Dobie for spearheading our Galaxy S4 review coverage. When we realized we'd have to review, write and edit all that the same week I'd be in New York for #tm13, there was only one real option -- have our man in the UK hang out for a week in NYC. (And a nice assist from Anndrew Vacca on seeing which phone a few New Yorkers preferred.)

I think I even caught Alex enjoying himself once or twice. 

And same goes for the guys back home, keeping up with the news while the rest of us were away. 

Other odds and ends

  • We've always been pretty lax in our moderating of comments on the blog. Probably too lax. Not that it was ever acceptable before, but we're not going to allow comments like this to stand anymore. If we see them, they're gone. And the commenter likely will be, too. We're working on a new commenting system, and once that's up and rolling we'll have some more formal policies in place. But I'll make it easy: If your comment disappears and your account is suddenly inactive, ask yourself this simple question: "Was I a dick?"
  • I've been back on LTE full-time for the first time in what feels like forever. Battery life has come so far from when we first used LTE in early 2010.
  • Super LCD outdoors pretty much trumps everything. 
  • There's so much awesome interaction going on in our forums right now. If every there's been a time to join in the discussion, it's now.
  • We're in the process of revamping our YouTube channel. If you've yet to subscribe, I'd recommend doing so.

That's it for this week. Let's get back to work.