Android Central

Has anyone come up with a way — short of moving to Sweden — that does something about that awful coating of sweat you get when you talk on the phone in the summer? I'm asking for a friend. OK, Bluetooth would be an answer, I guess, but who wants to be that guy?

Somehow, we're nearly through with June, and into July. (Yes, again.) Is it possible this has been one of the busiest years since I started doing this job full-time? Might well be, and we're not even covering things like the Xbox One (which I've preordered and will figure out why later) and the PlayStation 4. Insanity. Awesome insanity.

So, fresh off taking a break from this column for a week, some things I think I think. (With apologies to Peter King.)

Billboard won't count albums given away in Jay-Z/Samsung promotion

A couple interesting reads from Billboard regarding the Samsung/Jay-Z deal. Starting Monday, if you've got a Galaxy S3, Galaxy Note 2 or Galaxy S4, you'll be able to download an app that (among other things) at 12:01 a.m. on July 4 will get 1 million lucky fans early access to "Magna Carta Holy Grail,"  some three days before its retail release. Samsung purchased those 1 million copies up front, and Billboard says the entire deal (including the media buy-in) could be worth as much as $30 million, with some $7.5 million going to Jaz-Z himself.

That's before anyone walks into a record store. 

(OK, I'm showing my age here. But it's such a better metaphor than "downloads from iTunes. Trust me.)

Where it gets interesting is that Billboard has decided that the 1 million albums Samsung purchased to give away won't count toward its Billboard 200 chart. Wrote editorial director Bill Were:

But our role as the chart of record is to set the rules, and hopefully even raise the level of play. It is in this spirit that I say it wasn't as simple as you might think to turn down Jay-Z when he requested that we count the million albums that Samsung "bought" as part of a much larger brand partnership, to give away to Samsung customers. True, nothing was actually for sale -- Samsung users will download a Jay-branded app for free and get the album for free a few days later after engaging with some Jay-Z content. The passionate and articulate argument by Jay's team that something was for sale and Samsung bought it also doesn't mesh with precedent.

Were also notes that once the album officially goes on sale July 7, it's still expected to debut at No. 1.

Were's letter — and Billboard's preceding story on the deal itself — are insightful reads as both the music and mobile industries continue to reinvent themselves.

A little clarification on Twitter and Falcon Pro ...

I might not have articulated myself as well as I'd liked last week in writing about Twitter and Falcon Pro, getting a couple of the details confused in the process. (Or maybe it was the headline that was a bit much. I'll think about that some more.)

Point is, Falcon Pro is a great Twitter app from a great developer that's one of the first to run up against Twitter's Draconian API rules, locking new apps into no more than 100,000 user tokens. What's really "broken," I think, is what's happened as an app hits that token wall. Resetting tokens isn't good for users. Having to download and install another app — even if you've already purchased Falcon Pro — also isn't good for users. If I try to use an app and can't log in, for whatever reason, that's not good.

Twitter has put developers in a shitty situation here. Hit the token limit, and there's no reason to have the app on sale anymore. Folks will inadvertently buy something they might not be able to use. That's what happened last week to Falcon Pro. It's not the developer's fault. It's not Google Play's fault. And it sucks.

I also don't see Twitter changing its mind on its API rules anytime soon.

By the way, Falcon Pro is just one of the Twitter apps I use, in addition to Carbon and (gasp) the official Twitter app. At least one feature in Carbon has broken since the API v1.1 went into effect. So yeah. Twitter (as a service) remains a pretty dicey sandbox to play in, I think. It's a sad saga for what's been a great playground for developers and users alike.

That said: I'm seeing folks leave negative reviews on the official Twitter app, and that probably isn't the best way to go about things. On the other hand, I'm not sure there's a good answer for any of this, and that's a shame, too.

Talk Mobile: Two weeks down, many more to go ...

We're one-fifth of the way through Talk Mobile 2013 — we're taking this week off — and I've gotta say I'm pleasantly surprised by all the interaction. It's risen above the usual fanboy bullshit, and that's refreshing, especially given the amount of work being put into it. (And a lot of that work is being done behind the scenes.)

To those who have been commenting and sharing and asking questions and telling your own stories, you have my thanks. You're making this little project worth it.

Now we've just gotta figure out how to do more meet-ups.

A few other thoughts ...

  • I'm sorely missing being able to play music through the Nexus Q. I've decided to hold out hope that Google will still come out with a living-room solution. Irrational hope on my part? Maybe. Here's to hoping that whatever black magic is in Google's streaming deal with the record labels doesn't preclude being able to stream to living-room device.
  • That said, I'm absolutely in love with Google Play Music All Access. 
  • Battery life on the new MacBook Airs with Haswell — so, so good. I dunno about that 12-hour battery life claim, but then again I never only browse the web for 12 hours at a time with nothing else running. Who does that? I'm able to get up to 6 to 7 hours after a reboot and a fresh charge, depending on what I'm doing. For me, in this job, that's a game-changer.
  • Mr. Jingles — I don't know why I smile at something so silly. Maybe I'm just due for some silliness.
  • Note to self: If you live in a beach town, go to the beach more often.

So much more fun stuff coming up this week, folks. Let's get to work.


Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: Welcome to summer


Thanks Phil for this article is informative on many things I missed and things I still may never understand. Don't work too hard. ;-)

This was my first time reading about billboard's rejection to jay z. I think it's completely fair. I felt some type of way when the deal was first announced. The child in me felt that he cheated, haha. He beat the system by giving away the album to Samsung. Sure, we can argue that they paid for it, but they purchased that and a lot more. Even if it doesn't count, it'll be good publicity anyway since Samsung is like the holy grail of android phones (a la iOS-- they sell the most, so ppl think they are the best. IMHO.) and this will get people talking about him and curious about that album. His album sales will probably be good. And billboard already said they expect him to debut at number 1 anyway, so he still wins. I'm convinced Olivia Pope heads Samsung's marketing team.

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Even FREE, I doubt Samsung gets a million takers for Jay Z's album.

You need to download yet another app that apparently has no other functionality but to push this album. So that's what it comes down to now? Apps for every album?

Undomesticated equines couldn't drag me to a Jay Z album.

I remember a long time ago hearing how record companies would buy up their own artist albums or singles just to bump them up into the top twenty back in the eighties when I was a kid. I'm sure it would be easier now to do it online and just buy the same song over and over again to boost popularity of a song, the same way there are companies now that if you pay them they will follow your twitter boosting your numbers, boost you YT videos, and leave great comments and reviews for other stuff like amazon and yelp. I think its getting harder and harder to find honest user submitted reviews for stuff if you know how to read in-between the lines you can usually spot them.

I'm curious to know how billboard finds their numbers and how inflated they are. Now a days awards are given out for numbers sold than real talent.

It's Twitter's sandbox, they make the rules. It's clear they don't want third party apps, and all the whining and gnashing of geek teeth in the world isn't going to change that. I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually find a way to force out the larger more mature apps.

Time for us to move on; find an app you like or stop using Twitter altogether. Google plus is far richer and more useful anyways.

I completely agree that it's Twitter's sandbox and they make the rules, but Twitter wouldn't be what it is today if it hadn't been for the 3rd party devs.

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And more to the point, how does enforcing their own app help Twitter in any way?

Probably you will not be able to avoid Promoted tweets and trends, because that is really the only way twitter makes money.

You must not live somewhere with high humidity. In Michigan it is 90 degrees but the humidity is so high when you set foot outside you sweat. I assume it's pretty similar in Florida, if not worse.

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Says the Bostonian who would never have to worry about the kind of heat and humidity that you have in California.

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You've clearly never been to Boston in the summer (hint, I don't live in Boston though). I also did grad school in Cincinnati, which is damp year round. And I visit Florida pretty often, my best friend has a place down there.
But I don't break a sweat talking on the phone in any of those places.

I believe they are referring to the sweat that builds up when the phone is pressed against the ear for a while in hot weather. Happens to me even if I'm not sweating a lot outdoors (since the phone is generating heat while a call is in progress).

I understand where twitter is coming from I mean, I wouldn't want to make a service then there's 1000s of people mooching off of it, and I'm not getting nothing directly. I would feel cheated and twitter isn't going away anytime soon just like Facebook. They are going to be here for a while. Everyone saw how twitter made their app holo designed it can only get better from there right?

Posted via Droid RAZR M on the Android Central App

There are other ways to go about doing it other than shutting down other, better, apps. Charge devs a fee per app to use the API. Push advertising tweets to all apps.

Pushing advertising is the only way twitter makes any money.

There is no real reason to limit third party apps other than something related to the advertising angle. If Twitter doesn't get demographics they have no way of proving to advertisers that the money is worth it, and no way to assure that the ads were actually delivered to eyeballs, as the third party app could just download them but filter them.

Twitter is going to become an advertising delivery platform more and more because sooner or later they have to start making money for the investors.

More third party Twitter apps encourage more users to step in, and adds to more outlets in which the platform can be accessed. In turn, Twitter would gain more users who would also go on their official apps ( both on mobile and on desktop) . Twitter gains a greater audience for the advertising. What's not to like on both sides?

Great read. Always is. I second the idea of going to the beach more! I too live in FL, on the east coast (Melb), 15 min from the ocean, and never seem to go as often as I should. It soothes the soul...clears the mind.

Also guilty of the same infraction and just to the south of you. Great Oceanside beaches east of the Indian River and I've yet to go this year.

Sweaty ear syndrome... Be that guy and use Bluetooth . I think I'm the only person in The County that owns a headset of any kind but I use it anyhow. (There are No" hands free" laws in Florida).

I always enjoy reading Phil's articles! (Thanks Phil!) And yes, it's hot here, also, in sunny South Florida! (I'm thankful for air conditioning, pools, & the beach to help provide some relief. Summer's here!)

I agree with Phil...This sounds strange coming from someone without a Nexus Q, but GOOGLE (& developers!) please bring life into the NEXUS Q! I was thinking of buying one, in the past. I still like the idea of it. Don't give up on your creations! (Or maybe I'm just wishful thinking...)

I think what phil was getting at is thst the official twitter app has n i thing to do with the API rule. If youre upset with the Twitter administration there are other better ways to let them know.

Short of killing your twitter account, no, there is no better way.

True, its probably ineffective to down rate the app. You can b1tch all you want, but as long as you continue to use their product, they couldn't possibly care less how you rate the app.

You need to walk away from the group-think-addiction that is twitter, and it seems few are willing to do that.

Google+ circles are better than either.

You know precisely who you are talking to rather than broadcasting it to world at large.

There:, I've said something nice about Google+. Still not signing up.

When I use twitter as a news delivery platform, I'm not broadcasting anything to anyone. I'm just clicking on links to news stories from various news sources. Twitter is superior to Google+ for this purpose because the layout of twitter makes it much easier to see links and headlines for multiple stories than the layout of Google+ does.

Summer, and we are close to have the new Google Maps for Android and something else that is giving me some anxiety: BlackBerry Messenger for Android, LOL

The whole point of having an API in the firso place is to allow other apps and services to access yours.

A social network is nothing if people dont use it and they should do whatever it takes to get people to use it more. That we can assume is the main reason they created the API to begin with.

Yes they have every right to do what they did but its gonna hurt them in the long run as usees deseet them for Google + and other services.

There are better ways to get the add revenue they want

Phil, they removed the DRM restrictions on the xbone so its not that bad any more. I feel you on the sweat. Humidity stays at least 90% here in Alabama so a phone all nice and warm against your face with no real way to breath will do it every time

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thas specifically why i wanted to comment on this thread. i want a Lloyd cup to show off!!! haha WHERE CAN I GET ONE? =]