Google I/O app

We're headed to Google I/O this week in San Francisco. It'll be my fifth, which is a little hard to believe, and it's more than a little humbling. I still feel a little out of place around all the engineers and developers — the insanely smart people who make this dream job of mine possible. A lot of it's over my head, but at the same time I continue to learn a great deal about how the pieces of Android all come together. There are times I wish I did that sort of thing for a living, or even as a hobby. (I get the same feeling when I listen in on our internal tech team.) Code's just not my thing, though.

I say that as a reminder to myself of why we're at Google I/O this week. It's all about the building blocks for what's to come. It's easy to look at the announcements and pronouncements and then sneer and snicker when the more lofty of ideas doesn't come to fruition right away. (Android at Home, anyone?) But that doesn't mean they're not being worked on. And that doesn't mean we won't see something rise from a pile of ashes in the future. (Android TV, folks?) And above all, Google I/O is less about (or should be less, IMHO) about the shiny end products and more about making the sausage.

But you don't have to be much of a seer to be able to say this: There's going to be a lot of cool stuff this week. Google's official I/O page lives here, and you'll be able to watch a lot of the sessions live. You can stay up to date with all of our coverage here, and of course we'll be liveblogging the keynote on Wednesday.

Stay with us, folks. This is going to be fun. Thanks, Google, for doing it.

A few more thoughts on the week that was ...

  • I'm writing this before Sunday's World Cup game between the U.S. and Portugal, and I'm very much looking forward to this one. A lot of high spots in the tournament so far. But I still can't come to grips with all the diving. It's bad for the sport, and extremely bad for all the kids watching the games.
  • Back when I played, I'd give someone a reason to stay down if they pulled that shit.
  • I'm a mellow old man now, though.
  • So good to have a new "Through Glass" column, especially one from Myriam. But I agree — we've got to get that template working better on more than just desktops. (But I disagree in that it's unreadable on mobile. It's just not ideal.)
  • I can neither confirm nor deny this one. But those who are regular listeners of our podcast may recognize a few hints.
  • A week ago I mentioned on Google+ that I thought we could have done that OnePlus One at OppoMart story a little better. (And I still think we could have.) But as a follow-up to those who were screaming "scam!", I'll mention this: They honored the request to cancel my order without hesitation. Can't ask for anything more than that.
  • Not exactly a shining moment for our newsroom initiative. That post never should have happened, and the mistakes that led to its publication were readily apparent to me as an editor, and for that you have my apologies. We'll do better.
  • But you know what? That's also part of growing as a publication. Hiccups and mistakes will happen. Even bad ones. You work in this business long enough at a high enough level and you'll suffer more than a few.
  • That doesn't make it sting any less, though.
  • A mid-shower revelation on Friday, a couple thousand words later, and we've finally got our picks for the best Android smartphones as of the mid-point of 2014. I don't think any of the choices will surprise you, though the order we've put them in might. Some folks will agree. Some will disagree. But I think we got it right. Look for this on Monday.

That's it for this week. Time to enjoy some soccer. See ya'll on Monday.

 

Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: Let's go to Google I/O!

28 Comments

Solid, humble post that I can relate to on a number of points.

When I go to developer conferences, I know I am 100% out of my element. But like you, I go to cover the event and enjoy seeing the thrills that those that know what is really going on are experiencing.

As an editor of our own site, I know that exact same feeling when something you feel is newsworthy turns out to be smoke and mirrors.

I've eaten enough crow over the years to know how to prepare it so it goes down pretty smooth these days. Maybe someday I'll share the recipe ;-).

On the through glass story: it certainly was unreadable in the app initially and then it was fixed within a couple of hours to be fair. The text did not fit in within the screen and you couldn't zoom out.

n5

I often use the phrase "I can't wait for _______" and don't actually mean it. But this time is true, I cannot wait for Android Wear.

Posted via Android Central App

IMHO, you also need to get your overall site (blog and forums) working better on mobile devices. Since the new re-design a week and half ago, everything still doesn't work right in the stock browser on my Note 2 and 10.1 (in full site mode, not mobile. Not interested in using your app, so please don't suggest it). The header is all over the place yet dropping some of its items down into the page. It's not as bad as it was upon initial launch of the re-design. At least it now disappears off the page when you scroll. But overall, it just makes the site much more difficult to use on mobile, which is very ironic considering what this site is all about. :(

Even on my laptop right now in Firefox, things are not working very well either. The font is smaller than it's ever been and looks fuzzy (forums and blog). In this comment text box, the font is very tiny and difficult to read. And whether mobile or laptop or on a super fast Internet connection, the site takes almost 10 seconds to completely finish loading (forget trying to use IE, that just hangs completely). It's better once things have been cached locally, but the site just feels very heavy. I understand it's all a work in progress yet and I hold out hope you guys will get things in order by summers end. But until I see some drastic improvements, I find myself not visiting here as much anymore and am actually looking at other Android websites as a replacement. That's a shame as you guys have great content, but currently your deliver of it is painful to try to use. :(

What's up with your refusal to use any of the apps? There is the Mobile Nations app, AC forums app, and the official Android Central app, either 3 are good.

Posted via Android Central App

Some people just don't care to have an individual app for the 5-10 tech / news / whatever sites they visit on a daily basis, myself included. It'd just become very unwieldy to tap around between half a dozen apps or more just for my news/reviews fix.

I usually visit HardOCP, Anandtech, The Verge, CameraLabs, Inner Fidelity, DPreview, Android Central, and several message boards once or twice a day. I have two separate widgets to loosely keep tabs on them (one groups the less frequently updated and the other the more rapid moving), but it's just easier to get all my reading done in a single browser.

Some articles or news items I'll bookmark or send to Pocket for later reading/research, often I'll just leave dozens of tabs open in device and access them from another thanks to tab sync... Reading content in individual apps would once again complicate that workflow needlessly.

I actually keep up with my 13 different favorite tech sites through feedly, but Android Central has a wonderful app that has access to the forums and I can comment on articles. So it makes more sense to have the app instead of navigating to the website. I comment on the Verge through the website but that's because their app sucks.

So having an app for very site is not my point, if you visit AC all the time, it would be more convenient to use the official App and still have your own personal feed for whatever sites you just read, like I do. It's easier that way, I only have 3 news apps. Feedly , AC, and Yahoo News Digest. All my news at a glance.

Posted via Android Central App

That's great for you, others choose not to have any site specific apps and it behooves AC to cater to them. If they were putting out really long multi page articles that made an app worthwhile I might consider, but that isn't the case so the app is simply not something I'm interested in.

Played all sports through my life including soccer, even in college. I refuse to watch pro soccer because of all the PUSSIES that play. Soccer is a tough sport with lots of physical clashes but those pros flopping all over the place is sickening. I love soccer but not the field fairies that are supposed to be pros.

In my eyes, its cheating. You're cheating the system to go in your favor. The other thing that bothers me, is if your heart is in the game, and you get knocked down, you wouldn't roll around pretending to be hurt, you'd get your ass back up and support your teammates. Even if you are in a bit of pain.
I appreciate how physically demanding the sport is and how skilled the players are, but professional players getting paid to flop? No thanks.

For the record, I've played organized soccer, basketball, hockey, football and lacrosse. I love hockey and lacrosse. If flopping ever started to come about in those sports, the players would take care of it on the ice/field. I've seen it happen when I was playing.

Posted via Android Central App

It's FOOTBALL not soccer now say it after me 1,2,3 go FOOTBALL, FOOTBALL!

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I only follow basketball very closely, but they've started to crack down on flopping by fining players (some would say announcer and ex coach Jeff Van Gundy played a big hand in that, and he's been calling for a harsher penalty)... Have any of the futbol leagues around the world ever tried addressing the problem at all? Just curious...

In the premier league we had a bit of a crackdown on diving, handing out yellow cards the season before last. Gareth bale was booked 4 times I think. It's been a little better since then. I noticed it starting to happen in the nba as well on the odd occasion I watch it. Shame.

n5

It's been happening for years in the NBA (actual flopping that is, not the punishment for it)... Probably since the late 90s after they started cleaning the game up from the highly physical era it went thru in the 80s. Flopping started to go down after they started issuing fines but during important moments a well paid player (specially one prone to it) will still resort to it regardless, which is why some think the repercussion should be more immediate than a fine. Wade's flop from a phantom elbow during the finals was particularly egregious but it wasn't the only instance.

Soccer is fun to play, but it's not a spectator sport, like golf too. People here are so A.D.D. or A.D.H.D. if there isn't constant excitement every minute they get bored and quit focusing.

So anyone have any idea when we'll see a new android version statue? If i recall correctly usually we seem a new statue around a week before Google IO and we're three days away

I'll see you at google io this week! Can we get those pins for our name tags somewhere at io?

Posted via Android Central App

On the podcast "hints," I really wish you'd describe things for us audio-only listeners. I listen to podcasts while I'm driving, so watching the video feed is simply out of the question.

Posted via Android Central App

I had to give up watching podcasts due to people positioning their camera in the 'you can see right up my nose' set up.

n5

Scotch tape works well for cleaning out those speaker holes, or failing that I've had good luck with silly putty.