Android Central

Two or three times a year we get to kick our feet up and essentially take off the better part of a day and watch the Apple Circus. And I don't mean that in a pejorative manner — for me an Apple keynote is always a fun event. There's new software and new features to figure out. New tech — be it mobile or desktop — to salivate over. I like to think that most of us are able to separate the fact from fiction, that there's always going to be cheerleading.

IOS 8 (and to a different, lesser extent, OSX 10.10) is gaining a number of features that Android has had for years? So what? That's great for iOS. They'll be implemented in their own way, for better or for worse. In what world does it make sense to take the improvements in iOS 8 as a personal attack, or a full-out frontal assault on Android? This happens every year. It's the bestest, fastest version of iOS yet. As, too, will be the next version of Android. And then we'll do this all over again.

Folks switched from Android to iOS? Of course they did. Because they'd already switched from BlackBerry or Windows Phone to Android. And folks are switching from iOS to Android all the time as well. Some use both.

And thus the world keeps turning.

A few thoughts from last week's WWDC keynote (of which you can find complete coverage at iMore):

  • Yeah, the shots Apple CEO Tim Cook took at Android were pretty disingenuous at best, and all but untrue at worst. It felt out of character for him. (Me having a close, personal understanding of the guy and all, right? Or maybe it's my being disappointed as a fellow Southerner.) Apple makes great software. It makes great hardware. That used to be enough.
  • I'm really interested to see the changes in iMessage. As a Google Voice user, I've long loved being able to make and receive phone calls from my computer — especially when I'm out of the country. It's easy and free.
  • But iMessage has become sort of a Hotel California of late. (You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave.) The problems with receiving text messages upon leaving iMessage should be inexcusable. I'm not sure I'd trust it with my phone calls, too.
  • On the other hand, where do we stand with Google Voice? We'll find out in a couple weeks, I guess.
  • I'm happy to see iOS developers get some better tools for beta testing, and a slightly better system for iTunes Connect, which is how apps are distributed. But it still sounds like Google's got Apple beat on that front. The Google Play Developer Console is so easy to use, with so many useful features. (And I'd expect some more announced at Google I/O shortly.)
  • Third-party keyboards on iOS? About time. It's also funny to look back at old Android keyboards (both stock and third-party) and see just how good they've become. More on that later this week.
  • Dunno what to think about notification widgets. I'll have to wait till I actually try them.
  • And, no, I'm not mucking about with betas just yet. June is too crazy a month — I'm on the road the next three weeks — to be mucking up my production machines.

The short, short version? Like Jerry said last year (and the excellent Everything is a Remix loves to remind us), platforms borrow from each other all the time. Losing sleep over it is silly. I, for one, can't wait to see what's next.

Some non-Apple thoughts:

  • I finally got an LG G3. Holy crap, this thing is good. It's really big, of course — and I still love the size of the Moto X — but wow.
  • Does it need that many pixels? Probably not. In fact, sometimes fonts get a little wonky because of it.
  • I'd forgotten how natural it is to have the buttons on the back, and how clean that make the lines on the rest of the phone.
  • The metalesque plastic is pretty cool.
  • The phone's easier for me to hold than the HTC One M8. For as much as I like that phone, that (and the camera resolution) are its biggest weaknesses.
  • A fitness month update: I think I'm down a couple pounds, probably from the lack of beer as much as the half-hour spurts on the exercise bike.
  • I mentioned this on a podcast last week, but I care less about the fitness tracking and more about the doing — something, anything.
  • I decided to not completely give up the booze — had a nice dinner alone with my wife last night and had a couple glasses of wine. But otherwise, that's been it in the alcohol department for nearly two weeks now. Do I feel better because of it? I think so. Shannon says she can tell. And maybe that's all that matters.
  • (At times I wonder if I'm getting too personal in these columns. Whatever. I like the idea of writing something a little different once a week. And if it's something I don't want to share, I don't share it.)
  • My favorite part of this job — and stop me if I've said this before — isn't the travel. It's not the toys. It's getting to read excellent reviews like the OnePlus One from Andrew last week, and the LG G3 from Alex. Helping others do great work. That's why I love being an editor.
  • And giving away 15 invite codes to Google I/O last week? Icing on the cake. It was so great to read so many stories from the folks who do the real work. (And we got more entries from the podcast than I expected, which also is way cool.)

So that's why I don't get all worked up over Apple keynotes. That's why I have so much fun with Android. Anything else is a waste of energy. If you're getting upset over and of this, and you're not having fun, it's time to find something else to do. Me? I'm stoked. We've got some exciting weeks ahead.

Let's get to work.

 

Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: Getting all worked up ...

72 Comments

With you mentioning Google voice, I really hope they consider updating the Android app in the near future. I hate how it takes like 5 clicks to listen to a voice mail.

Posted via Android Central App

I think the Google Voice app is going to be discontinued. What I'm hoping is that ALL of its functionality will be fully-integrated into the Hangouts app... and I'm hoping it is done/released at Google I/O this month. We'll see.

Set google voice to show voicemail in the call log. You will get a native android voicemail notification just like with your carrier's regular voicemail this way.

No Phil, you're not getting too personal. The little crumbs we get of your private lives and thoughts, add to my appreciation of what you guys do. Like Jerry gave us on his birthday. That got him onto my prayer list.
Imho, you have the best podcast and write some of the best articles. Now that I'm writing tech regularly, I appreciate what you do that much more. So, keep it up and keep being you. Thanks.

Posted via Android Central App

I think the personal touches add a lot to the blog and why I read it. You get know a little of the bloggers' personalities and feel a connection. I look forward to reading editor's desk column every week.

All these tech.... All company's copy, steal.. Whatever, it's been that way forever and always will be. I think folks who use android shouldn't take the copying as an attack. If anything the Android community should be flattered.
John Hancock

Very true. It's just frustrating from a tech enthusiasts standpoint to see some companies borrowing prolifically, then call in the lawyers when they are borrowed from.

I do agree with the "frustration" sentiment. I'm all for different OS's borrowing each other's ideas. That promotes healthy competition and pushes all the developers to constantly come up with new ideas. But it does get annoying when they do these key notes, and who get the deluge of Apple fans going "See? Apple is kicking Android a$$ with feature X!" and I'm just sitting there like, you do realize Android has had that feature for a couple of years, right?

And I get even more frustrated when I see tech blogs like Gizmodo talking about how Apple's new notification system is going to "change the way user's interact with mobile devices" because I know they're just throwing fuel on the fire that is the inane comments. Guys who write about this stuff for a living should know better, and I'm sure they do, but they also want the "click bait" headlines that these kinds of stories generate.

I just wish there was more "honest" discussion about the benefits of each OS, because then we could really start to push the design and features of these things into new places.

Exactly. Every mobile OS has lifted features and inspiration from all of the other ones. That's fine. A strong iOS is good for Android, and vice versa.

I think people would care less if Apple didn't make a federal case out of it (literally) whenever an Android OEM did the same thing. Apple brings the hate on themselves.

Posted via Android Central App on my daily driver, the Droid MAX

Very much agreed.

And I've said repeatedly that when you marketing speech goes from bragging how good your product is to bashing your competitor's product, you've got a problem with your product.

You can usually tell a lot about a company or product by it's leader.

Android Central is the best damn Android site. Period. Bar None. Which I think speaks volumes about you Phil.

So what if your editorials get a bit personal once in a while. You know what? I prefer it. If they just become "this is what's coming, this is why we're better, here's why everyone else is crap" repeated week in, week out - I'd pretty soon find another Android site to check daily.

But you don't. Sure you don't air all your dirty laundry, but you do let us have glimpses of who Phil is away from Editor of Android Central. You let us readers see bits of YOU. Family, opinions, thoughts, etc. And you know what? You're allowed to! It's YOUR COLUMN to say what you want. Don't change it. And oh yeah, I (for one) am very thankful you share bits of your life with us. For me it takes you off the pedestal of

*insert trumpet fanfare*
Phil Nickinson, Editor of Android Central, the best damn Android site on the planet!!!
*insert trumpet flourish*

and puts you down closer to the "everyman" level. I appreciate that, it makes you more approachable, and human - which isn't always easy to pull of when there's a few thousand miles and a couple computer screens between us. And I'm pretty sure you'd take "approachable" over "pedestal" any day.

Keep it up, don't change a thing.

Oh yeah., it's Sunday. Relax and kick back for the rest of the day. The "Let's get to work" can wait until tomorrow.

Phil you forgot "bezels" as a Big weakness for HTC One.

But I guess that goes hand in hand to holding it out.

I've used every OS over the years and always stick to Android.
Reason why! I like the freedom to do almost what ever I want to my phone and not be a slave and be hearded like mindless sheeple having everything generic and the same as every other sheep apple and the like think they own .

Posted via Android Central App

This is what Phil was talking about dude. Dont lose sleep over this. Lol
Funny thing is, while you're bashing the "isheep", they simply enjoy their phones without saying anything. I've only seen about 90% of the bashing coming from android fans.

Until Windows Phone steps up, I am Android all the way, if not because this Android Site is the best damn Android site on the web.

Posted via Droid Razr M on The Android Central App

It would be really nice to read something about Windows Phone. I do like the UI.

**Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!**

I've said the same thing about Windows Phone. It's nice as a UI but it lacks features that make it a viable option for most people who have tried Android and know what a smartphone should have in 2014. That being said what features would make it "step up" in your mind?

Universal Copy Paste, Download and Upload photos in the browser, app sharing, intents, and support for Google Services.
Posted via Droid Razr M on The Android Central App

I'm one of those that use both iOS and Android. My company has standardized on Apple for mobile devices. I have a 5S and iPad. Personally I made the switch from Apple back to Android last November with my Moto X. Also just bought a Tab Pro 10.1 which I really like. No regrets with either purchase. I'm comfortable with both systems. What drove me away from my first Android phone was the frustrating os issues. I gave it up about the time ICS was rolling out, but my device wasn't getting it. I liked my Blackberry before that, so the iOS switch was nice and pretty painless. Now, however, Android is sooo much better, I just don't see going back. My wife and daughter are still Apple users, both phones and iPads. Its nice to have choices.
Posted via Android Central App on my Moto X

The stupidest part is when all the Apple fans act like these are things that have never been done before...

Posted via Android Central App

Ive been hearing it at work. I feel you. I just give them a blank look. It eats at their soul. Poor Applefangirls

Posted via Android Central App

I have seen not only people (Apple users) making those claims, but even some tech blogs are acting like these are game-changing new features, which is pretty obnoxious IMO.

I really wish more of the tech community shared your viewpoint here, Phil. It is rare to encounter any review that doesn't tip its hand as being biased toward one OS, brand, etc. or another. That makes it very hard to make a genuinly educated decision to some degree. Obviously we can gather info, try things out in a bricks and mortar store, etc., but tech enthusiasists who are able to take a big picture view when they review things would be so much more helpful.

I like when you bring a personal touch. Reading only and entirely about little metal bricks can be draining.

Posted via Android Central App

Hey Phil, I have to say that I love the personal touch that this blog has compared to others. It is the only one where I actually look at the top to see who wrote a particular article. I love seeing you guys on the podcast and I'm glad that you are getting more writers and guests on their as well like Richard D. Keep up the good work.

Posted via Android Central App

I look at the names on here a lot too. The personalities often come out in the writing style and emphasis. Other sites I don't know the individual writers.

Adding a personal touch brings personality to the site other than just the normal opinions on different devices. It makes a large site seem small and that is a distinct advantage. It also provides the reviews with the proper context for why any one device or feature is judged harshly or positively. Again, that is a strength. So many of the devices and services we use are so equal in ability now that all we have to go on is what any one of the abilities translate to in every day usage. That is where context comes in and that is where Android Central really leaps ahead of other Android/tech news sites.

I don't see Apple's copying as an attack on Android. I see it as MASSIVE hypocrisy! If anyone copies Apple, it's suddenly "stealing." Apple has been "stealing" all of its existence. Jobs was even proud of it back in the day. They continue to "steal." But God forbid if someone does anything even slightly similar to them, even when that something was originally someone else's.

THAT is what pisses me off about Apple.

I think we ought to make a distinction between Apple when it started the lawsuits and Apple now.

That rash of lawsuits started under Jobs, who was very sensitive about patent issues and attempts to piggyback on his products. Part of why Apple started patenting so many things was because Creative won a sketchy patent lawsuit over the iPod; Jobs was determined to never let that happen again. It didn't help that Samsung really was determined to copy Apple as much as possible with the original Galaxy S; if you're already jittery about rivals copying your work, like Jobs was, seeing someone shamelessly imitate your products is going to push you over the edge.

Cook seems to be winding all that legal action down. Remember, he reached apparently fair settlements with HTC and Motorola. The Samsung actions have continued, but Apple may not have much choice on that front. Samsung has explicitly said that it's not going to settle, and Apple has more than just patents at stake (the trade dress issues from the first Samsung suit are obvious). Modern Apple is more content to let its products determine its success, and I think we're being unreasonable if we lean on outdated stereotypes of the company.

Am I reading this correctly, are you saying Samsung's decision to fight the lawsuits has taken away Apple's ability to stop suing Samsung? Are you also implying that Apple has stopped suing competitors under Cook?

If Cook is different than Jobs I'm curious why he spent so much time spewing half facts and twisted logic in his anti-Android diatribe. I believe he actively foments that nonsensical Apple invented everything attitude many Apple fans spew. There are literal legions of them out there believing everything Cook and the Apple minions tell them and they are vocal and hostile in their beliefs.

I'll be the first to tell you Apple makes an excellent product but I find their business practices and their propensity for denigrating the competition sickening. They have done what the powers that be in both political parties in the US have done. They've created an us versus them attitude where everyone else is inferior and the enemy.

No, but it does limit Apple's options -- especially when Samsung has filed counter suits. And yes, if you've noticed, the company hasn't started any new lawsuits in a long while.

Not saying that Cook's jabs were a wise tactic, but he's also engaging in marketing (specifically, to the developers in the stage); you don't have to take it as a personal affront. Besides, if we did, that would raise serious questions about Google's tactics. Remember the company's attempt to paint Apple as an Orwellian nightmare at Google I/O 2010? (Not wanting a future where "one man, one phone" dictated things) That was hyperbolic and unrealistic, to put it mildly, but it was mostly meant to stir up developers and the Android faithful, not convince Apple fans to switch.

My attitude: they're all companies out to make money. I'm more concerned about ethical issues that actually matter, like contractor working conditions or privacy invasions, than whether or not they say kind things about competitors.

Well said.

And what I say often, at the end of the day, Schmidt and Cook are drinking coffee together somewhere in the valley laughing about all the fanboys doing half their marketing for them...

No it's not a fact, just the two companies (well more apple and Microsoft than apple and Google these days) are a lot closer than their marketing makes it appear.

Posted via Android Central App

Have you forgotten about the consortium Apple is part of whose sole purpose is to sue, perhaps a textbook definition of a patent troll.

As to your last comment then you are horribly concerned with the Foxconn issue Apple was a main character in. I'm glad you are holding Apple's feet to the fire for their part in those horrible worker conditions.

BTW, my biggest concern with Apple CEOs spewing half facts and distortions about their competitors is their idea of turning users into soldiers in the battle of mobile platforms.

I have no problem with iOS 8 incorporating features Android has had for years, competition is good for all of us. My only issue is the good soldiers that are out in force lying about those features.

I'd prefer Windows Mobile and BB were much stronger platforms. All 4 major mobile operating systems battling it out would be a win win for all of us users.

Posted via Android Central App

I visit AC frequently, but i really come for this post specifically. I think you're a bright character, Phil. Talk about your personal life if you must.

Very much enjoy these editor's desk posts! It's clear that you enjoy your job and in turn makes me enjoy reading all your stuff. The reviews from the past week we're incredible! Kudos to you and team for killing it...

I've been rocking it low carb for a few months and been losing lots of weight successfully. Never thought I'd give up bread, sugar, and carbs. Heck I didn't even know what a carb was a year ago. Very surprised I don't miss any of it nearly as much as I thought. I recommend trying it for a few weeks...

Need to get my mitts on lg g3. This phone looks so my jam.

Posted via Android Central App

Don't change anything! Love the personal touches you & the rest of the team add to your work. Makes reading the articles and listening to the podcasts worthwhile and keep me coming back for more.

As a user of all 3 platforms Android, Apple and Windows, I really love how they compliment each other. Android is my daily driver M8, G2, Tab Pro 12.2 for computer the main one it's a Mac and I have a Windows 7 laptop. They each do different things for me. I hate the bashing and name calling from the fanboys but that just goes with tech. Everybody wants to be king of the hill. Yes Cook was out of line but otherwise it was a great keynote. I can't wait to get my hand on the OSX 10.10 beta and I can't wait to see what iOS 8 does for my Air and Mini. I also have high hopes for Windows 9. I also can't wait for IO, that should be the best. I'm hoping the next major update to Android will be announced along with some great new toys to play with. I'm disabled so tech is a big part of my life. It keeps the brain simulated and damn it's just fun. What my adult kids and now grands kids will see in their lifetimes will amaze even more. This is truly a wonderful time to be alive

Phil, just keep on doing exactly what you're doing. I love your columns ,it makes all of you more human to us and fun. Life is good, why not share a piece here and there. It not only makes this site the best Android one, it makes it the best one period. Everybody be happy and stop the bashing. Let's just all get along. So much for the speech., have a great Sunday.

I too use all the platforms, including BB, and was nice to read and hear on an Android centric podcast that iOS could be appreciated.

Well Done.

1 point though. on the podcast you it was said that google voice was like the new features coming to iOS. Well sorry to say that the rest of the world does not have this. One of the best things about Apple is that they tend to roll all features out across the globe.

Agreed. I like having VM running windows on my mac now that I have maxed out the ram. My note 12.2 is my leisure machine to bridge the gap. Work gave me the iPhone an ipad, so I have the some of the best of tech, which is very fun.

Reading Phil's Sunday post with a couple cocktails with the game on is great leisure time for me. Keep it up Phil, Jerry, Alex, Andrew, (man, I forgot how many people there actually was!) the whole AC crew (mobile nations actually, Derek is a favorite from the webOS days) and keeps us all coming back for more!

Posted via Android Central App

Great post but tbh... dont really care what your personal thoughs are.... I like reading post on this app and too think it's the best app/website regarding android info... just wished there was more variety....I know these are the latest phones out (s5, lg g3, htc, one +) but there are times where I have to look else where for info.... but nonetheless this app is great and keep up the good work.

Posted via Android Central App

ATENTION : PHIL NICKINSON Editor in Chief - This has nothing to do with the article above which by the way is Excellent as always BUT : I Really want that cup I've been trying to get the large android mug for a while but its always out of stock :-( So how do I get this were do I order it / I even tried Amazon but no luck
" NEED, WANT, MUST HAVE ! " \,,/(òÓ,)\,,/
P.S. I want the box too LOL

Phil,
Keep doing what you are doing! Everything about Android Central is great and personal touches brings such great insite of your humanity. The personal touch your teams brings is why I continually return to AC.

Posted via Android Central App

AC is my one source for Android news, and its because the whole team really cares. That makes all the difference.

You got heart, Phil, and you got a great team.

Posted from the (4.2 updated) redheaded stepchild of the Nexii

"In what world does it make sense to take the improvements in iOS 8 as a personal attack, or a full-out frontal assault on Android?"

The one where Apple sues every manufacturer to oblivion for doing the exact same thing. I think the rage you see is not so much 'they stole our feature!!' as it is "those hypocrite assholes...they are all 'do as I say, not as I do!!!'"

I used to get all het up about the things apple does but It doesn't really matter so much.

The one thing these keynotes highlight is that when they do add a feature beyond labelling it as magical they will continue to refine it year after year.
They came very late to having good notifications but now they can respond to them without opening the associated app. Maybe I don't have apps that do that but Facebook could have done with this forever.

Androids strength are many but its not a guarantee they will be made the best they can be every year.

Great work Phil. I love these things. When you mix in the personal stuff I really find it more interesting.

People can give me specs and reviews all day, and that's fine. But when someone gives me personal views on events/phones with an opinion I honestly value it makes it all the better. Thanks for all the hard work Phil and AC crew!

Posted via Android Central App