I'm throwing in the towel. I'm crying "uncle." In fact, I'll go so far as to say I'm flat-out giving up the fight. I'm changing my tune. If you need me, I'll be over there with everybody else.
All aboard the OnePlus Hype Train!
That's not to say that I'm not annoyed by a long, drawn-out announcement process in which we get a predictable spec a day. (It has a screen? RAM? Genius!) And that's not to say I think having to wait for an invitation to spend money on something is a particularly good thing. And that's not to say I in any way agree with some of the ham-handed contests and marketing messages we've seen come from OnePlus. (And as the occasional victim of my own ham-handedness, I do understand how it happens.)
But there's no denying this simple fact: It's worked.
Ask anyone who publishes in this space and they'll tell you of the (often annoying) popularity of OnePlus. It's more than a cult following at this point. And to be clear, the OnePlus One was a more-than capable — though definitely imperfect — Android smartphone, especially at that price.
But in the scheme of things, at least as far as the unscientific Google Trends is concerned, there's a big difference between making a little ripple in a big pond and doing something that changes the body of water.
OK, so maybe I'm not totally on board the OnePlus hype train. But this year I'm not just going to watch it go by, either.
A couple other thoughts on things ...
- It's worth taking a few minutes to go through the Ars review of Android Auto. It gets a bit bogged down in the technical stuff and only focuses on the experience of a single vehicle — aftermarket units, for instance, might not have their own GPS to pull data from, and I think the aftermarket is hugely important in this space. (And it's not as if it's overly difficult to find one of the Pioneer or Kenwood units and have them installed.) But it nails the fact that the UI still needs some work.
- I'm more concerned about latency — the connection process and switching of apps often takes way longer than it should with the LG G4. But that could well be the fault of overall software jank on the phone. And I have seen it vary from device to device.
- Wouldn't surprise me to see a bit of an AA overhaul later this year with the M release.
- For more real-world experience with Android Auto, I highly recommend hitting up our Android Auto forums. Lots of helpful people in there. And me.
- I'm having fun reading about the launchers we all use. But folks in the comments tend to keep thinking that just because one of us prefers one launcher over another it means we're saying you shouldn't use any other. And that's absolutely not the case. (And it's more indicative of the ridiculous us vs. them fallacy of the Internet.)
- Fascinating podcast this week with Russell and Jerry and Dr. Joe Cohen on kids using virtual reality. Mine love Cardboard.
- Some incredible insider stuff coming from Erica Joy lately. (Whom I briefly had the pleasure of meeting a couple years ago at Google I/O.) I can't speak for anything other than being a well-off white dude. But I did spend the first half of my adult professional career working for a huge corporation, and the past five years working for people. And there's a huge difference between the two.
- A reminder that we've got OnePlus 2 on Monday, and Motorola on Tuesday. (I'll be in New York for the latter.) So keep it tuned here.
That's it for this week. Yard work, swimming pools and minor-league baseball await.