Google I/O

We'll keep things short this week as it's Mother's Day (call your mom already, will ya?!?!) and it's a travel weekend. We've got not one but two developer events to both cover and keep an eye on. The most important, obviously, is Google I/O in San Francisco. The event kicks off with the lone (extended) keynote address Wednesday morning, but expect to see news start to roll out Tuesday afternoon or so.

I'll be in San Francisco along with Jerry Hildenbrand. There's nothing like actually being there, but Google should be commended for its "I/O Extended" events and for streaming so many of the sessions live.

The news will be flowing into the home page, of course, and you can get it all directly from our dedicated Google I/O page here. (And don't forget you can get it all on the go better than ever before with our new app.)

Also this week is BlackBerry Live in Orlando. CrackBerry.com has about 274 people (more or less) covering it by last count. Why do we care? It'll be important to see if and when BB10 supports the Android framework 4+ framework. That would mean more Android applications can run on it. (Including ours.)

So, yeah. Kind of a busy week. A few more thoughts, after the break.

A retail learning experience

I had my first retail warranty swap this week. That's sort of surprising, given how many phones come through here, I suppose, so I guess I was due. It was a pretty eye-opening experience. 

We bought an AT&T HTC One to keep around, which quickly went on the road with me to New York City for all that #TM13 stuff. Calling home to my wife and kids, they consistently said it sounded like I was underwater. I figured that was the NYC effect, or because we were 45 stories up. But the problem persisted when I got home, too. Sure enough, a European HTC One we have here sounds way better -- and better than the GS4 I tested as part of the troubleshooting process, for what that's worth. So, yeah. Borked phone. Here's what it sounded like if you're curious.

Figured I'd take it back to the store and they'd swap it out, right? Not so much. Perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised. I don't know all that much about the retail business in general, and the cellular retail business in particular probably is a bigger mess than I can imagine. So, I get on the phone with the warranty folks, who'll gladly ship me a new one, at my expense.

OK, so maybe it's not the worst experience in the world. And I'm pretty sure I've been spoiled by a recent swap of a broken iPad Mini at an Apple Store. In and out in 20 minutes. 

Lesson learned. No quick swaps at most carrier stores. Filed for future reference.

#TM13 e-mail signups

Speaking of #TM13, we've got a signup page for those of you who want to be alerted the moment we actually do something with it. Which should be any week now. 

I'm usually not one for e-mail sign-ups like this, but, damn, it's purty.

Other stuff ...

  • Looks like we're getting a handle on the HTC One/Galaxy S4 nonsense going on in the forums. Kudos to the mods and advisors. Folks need to relax. A lot. These are all great phones. But they're also just phones.
  • Nothing overly surprising in this Google Play Games thing in an updated Google Services app. (Nice piece by AP though.) Pretty much the pieces you'd expect in any mobile game center in 2013. The real news should come this week. It'll be interesting to see which games are on board at launch.
  • Not entirely sure what I think about Congress trying to legislate privacy policies on apps, except to say that I'm pretty much not crazy about it. At all. U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) introduced a bill last week that "would require app developers maintain privacy policies, obtain consent from consumers before collecting data, and securely maintain the data they collect." Those are all things successful apps should and must do. And something app stores should work to ensure. And I appreciate the sentiment. But I'm not sure, however, that it's the government's job to regulate it.
 

Reader comments

From the editor's desk: Let's go to Google I/O!

15 Comments

G Pro crushes it, the screen alone is nothing short of amazing and even for the size of the screen it feels great in the hand, almost no bezel. The S4 is no slouch in itself I just wish Touchwiz was a bit less bloated but I have not noticed much lag if any. No lag on the G pro either both are great phones.

They all seem great but I decided with the g pro, bigger screen and battery and wireless charging just hoping to see roms start to show up soon.

Retail warranty issues are a terrible experience. Just really bad. Unless you pay for the insurance, they just send you to the manufacturer. It's really lame.

Go through the carrier not Samsung. I have gotten more than one phone replaced that way. Quicker and no wait at all.

One good thing is Asurion insurance does next day shipping free, sort of, after you pay the $100 deductible if you broke it, and verizon takes a day or two. From my experience. Just got my Replacement GNex and I think I'm going to ask for a different one, the replacement is refurbished and glitchy, I have never had a problem with refurbs until now.

If you truly knew how Asurion operated you wouldn't be singing their praises.
The Asurion phone division here (which now only consists of iPhone repairs) is employed mainly by 20 somethings, most of which have less than 3-6 months experience "on the job", because the majority work for a few months then quit. It's so bad the every few weeks the staffing company sends a dozen or so "new hires" it to fill in the gaps.
Also-
Little to no training (why invest training on someone who will quit in a few months).
Replacement parts aren't always "OEM".
One individual doesn't work on your device, it goes through many hands before it's returned to you, and you won't believe how many phones get "lost". Daily.

If the government is going to insist that application writers announce their privacy policies are they also going to make magazine subscription people announce their privacy policies too? They also collect information and sell it to other people.

"Not entirely sure what I think about Congress trying to legislate privacy policies on apps, except to say that I'm pretty much not crazy about it. At all. U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) introduced a bill last week that "would require app developers maintain privacy policies, obtain consent from consumers before collecting data, and securely maintain the data they collect." Those are all things successful apps should and must do. And something app stores should work to ensure. And I appreciate the sentiment. But I'm not sure, however, that it's the government's job to regulate it."

Bang on. There's no reason to regulate something like this any more than anything else anywhere (lots of any's). Now, I have nothing against requiring descriptions of how an app uses the asked-for permissions, but that's not the government's job. What makes mobile apps so different than anything else?

Phil- I think you got ripped off, I have warranty swapped something along the lines of 30 phones over the passed 5 years and I have NEVER paid a single cent. I call Verizon say that something is wrong, and they send me a replacement phone....after about 3 issues usually they will upgrade me to a more current phone. I started with a BB Storm and I am on a GS3 now.