Pensacola Beach

Important life lesson: Take a little time away every now and then, even from the things you love to do. Do something else. Or do nothing. Just be sure to do something different. For me the past few weeks, taking a little break from this column meant a few things after three consecutive weeks traveling. It meant less time worrying about phones, and worrying about work. It meant spending Sunday morning wrestling with the kids instead of spending an hour or so in front of the computer. It meant going to Pensacola Beach, something we're making more of an effort to do this year. ("Why bother living here if we don't go?" my nearly (she's make me say) 8-year-old Mia asked as we waded through ridiculously clear water.)

And it meant seeing Jerry take the initiative to write up his own thoughts on Google I/O. If there's one thing I love as an editor, its seeing a fire lit under writers. For Jerry, that's developer conferences, among other things.

But we're back, and we're as busy as ever. We've got the Android L Developer Preview to play with. (More on that in a minute.) We've got Android Wear to, erm, wear. We've got the LG G3 finally on sale here in the U.S. (And I've got some thoughts on that, too.)

So let's play catch-up with some random thoughts this fine summer morning.

  • I buy more phones than a rational person should. So you think'd I'd be used to the usually pitiful out-of-box experience you get when you purchase a phone from a carrier store in the U.S. That's not a reflection on the people who work there — I've found most of them to be pleasant and helpful. It's the process that's broken.
  • Imagine going into a store with absolutely no knowledge of this stuff. No idea which phone to buy — or why you might want one phone instead of another.
  • Here in my town, I think Verizon has things laid out the best. You get a sense of what phones you need to look at first. It's still a little industrial, and really overwhelming with the push for more non-phone accessories, but a better experience, overall.
  • I really shouldn't be surprised at this point, but I'd forgotten how bad the out-of-box experience can be for some phones. Thinking back to the past year of devices I've used, I've been spoiled by an unlocked HTC One M8, Verizon Galaxy S5 (which while still full of bloat didn't give me the same "ick" feeling as this AT&T LG G3 I just picked up), Nexus 5 and Moto X.
  • So if the carriers won't shut up and get out of the way, I'm going to continue to go out of my way to avoid them, I think.
  • Motorola and HTC have made this pretty easy for us here in the states. Google, too, with Nexus and Google Play edition phones.
  • We've made a pretty conscious decision to treat the Android L Developer Preview as what it is — a developer preview. There will be plenty of time for exploring the features once they've reached a final(ish) state. No sense in confusing folks in the meantime if and when things change.
  • Repeat: Things will change.
  • That's why it's especially dangerous to read too much into the LDP "Issues" tracker, which has been (predictably) clunked up by folks who have no business being in there. ("Someone from Google 'Accepted' the issue. Blog blog blog!")
  • Patience is hard, I know. Fortunately we have more than enough actual devices and features to explore in the meantime.
  • Alex did a great job with this Android Wear Software Walkthough, I thought. Can't wait to see where this space goes. It won't happen next week, or next month. But the next couple years should be a lot of (expensive) fun.
  • Can the Moto 360 possibly live up to the hype? On one hand, it'll be Android Wear on a slightly different (but way cooler) watch. But I have a feeling Moto will have a trick or two up its sleeve.
  • (And it's pretty incredible that the secretive charging functionality — and whatever else lurks back there — hasn't really leaked out or anything.)
  • Listen to more Van Halen. (Van Hagar is also acceptable.) + Drink more water.
  • Read more books. (I've been enjoying Chris Hadfield's "An Astronaut's Guide to Living on Earth")
  • Are books on tablets still "books"?
  • I'm strategizing how to lose the next 10 pounds. I'm lying to myself, though, when I keep saying it's hard to find an extra hour during the day to exercise. (Funny, though, is that those three weeks on the road made it easy, especially with gyms in hotels.)

That's it for this week. Time to wrestle some kids. Or maybe go to the beach. Anything but work.

Be back Monday.


Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: Priorities ...


You live on the Gulf! Whenever we get the chance to go to Naples, I try my hardest to only use my phone as a tool for travel. Reminds me of the movie Click, dont let life pass you by.

Thanks Phil, and everyone at Android Central! I always appreciate the insight and information you guys provide us with. Please, keep it coming.

Also, I got a chuckle with the Van Halen comment. There will always be the "who's the better frontman/singer? Dave or Sammy argument..."

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I guess I'm the heretic - Van Hagar for me. I love the DLR days but the actual music was just better with another musician in the band.

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The music was better but the feeling, the raw emotion, was not. Something was just lacking. I much prefer Sammy as Sammy and Van Halen with DLR. I will also vote to listen to more of both.

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My son (He's almost 11 and VERY well rounded musically) asked me the other day riding around, "Dad, do we have any Van Halen? I think we have ALL of it..."

Keep up the fine work which is really appreciated by many of us. Enjoy your time off as most successful people do!

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Phil, I suggest drinking 2-5 glasses of water every hour. It'll help you eat less and it may help detoxing if you believe on that sorcery.
You do that till you lose the ten pounds, then you can just never drink alcohol or sodas to not gain it right back.
You can also force yourself to run little by little more every day. But you'll have to never stop abruptly cause you'll gain the weight back fast.

A gallon a day is what I do. Fill up my water jug in the morning and make sure its done by night. It actually makes me less hungry.

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Great words of wisdom, Phil. Just wrapping up a "do nothing" staycation. Has been nice to get away from the rat race. Loading up the Van Halen play list and gonna go jam out!

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And that's why we keep coming back. You guys are real people, dads, husbands, working men.... You all bring different perspectives to the table, and that's refreshing. Stay grounded and keep up the great work. Just be sure you're rockin' an S5 Active at the beach!

"I found the simple life ain't so simple.
When I jumped out on that road"....

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Imagine going into a store with absolutely no knowledge of this stuff. No idea which phone to buy — or why you might want one phone instead of another.

They will get sold whatever device the place is pushing that week. Which may or may not suit their needs. When I got a Blackberry at work, my retired mother kept saying she needed one. I kept asking what she would do with it. She didn't know. Her last phone before she died was a Jitterbug.

On a separate note, I have to go to the western Panhandle in a few weeks, but for work, so I doubt I will see the beach. We did the family trip in late May.

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That's one reason it seems everyone has a Galaxy or iPhone. Not slamming either one, just how I see it.

Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 via Android Central App

Phil: books on tablets are still books, yes.

Ebooks are real books. The non-digital kind of book is properly called a hard copy book.

I'll get down off my hobbyhorse now. ;-) Enjoy Sunday with your family.

Two things I'm trying on the health front. C2K5 and Soylent. I know there's plenty of controversy of the later, but I figure it's worth a shot. Plus, it seems that many people that are looking down on Soylent are basing their arguments on a healthy diet, rather what most of us live off of... We'll see how it goes. Good luck with your health / exercise journey.

Keep up the good work, Phil.

As for losing more of that weight, cut out the sugar and carbs (or at least greatly limit them), and don't worry so much about the rest of the things you eat - this will take care of itself once you limit the sugar/carb intake (all that sugar doesn't keep the body full, and leads to snacking and eating more and more). I speak from experience.

Agreed. When I went from feature phone to smartphone a few years ago, I chose Android primarily (1) because I was on Verizon and (2) I wanted LTE and the Thunderbolt had just hit the market.

I have used 3 of the smartphone platforms, Blackberry, Android and iOS. They all have things I like (Blackberry sound profiles, Android variety, iOS available accessories). I've previously used Windows CE and Palm.

It is true that Apple has a certain "status" and perceptions of that status differ.

Had I been an AT&T customer, I might well have chosen iOS.

And, Phil: I thought you said you were taking the day off.

Posted from my XT1080M

1984 & 5150. Name two other back-to-back albums that are better start to finish. AND they changed lead singers!!!!

I see lots of dieting advice here but here's the best tip of all. Instead of dieting and doing things you know will be temporary do things you know you can stick with. First of all, it sounds like you have a slow metabolism. A fairly easy way to speed it up is by eating the same amount of food as you normally do, but eat smaller meals more often. Instead of three meals a day, eat six. When your body isn't being fueled it thinks it needs to store fuel and slow your metabolism. When you constantly have food in your system your body has no need to store food and speeds up your metabolism. Also, if you're going to change your diet take baby steps so you can confidently stay on track. Start by simply ingesting less sugar and go from there. Not too difficult but a great start in the right direction. Lastly, and I know this is the hardest, build muscle. Building muscle helps burn fat faster than any amount of cardio you can do, it helps speed your metabolism, and your body will produce higher levels of testosterone which will help in all areas physically. You'll be amazed at how much better you'll feel if you start lifting.

About your first point: It's not about nutrient timing it's about nutrient content. Google Alan Aragon and delve into a world without bro science.

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Since I'm on a T-Mobile family plan, it's nice to be able to use their WiFi calling, which limits you to crappy or overpriced phones. IOS 8 will support UMA and T-Mobile will be supporting it, I wonder if it will also be available on most Android phones. T-Mo supposedly moved off UMA to a proprietary protocol a few years ago, and now WiFi calling is only available on a few devices.

Phil, other than the obvious carrier bloat what other reservations do you have concerning the AT&T G3? I have been looking into purchasing this device and this is my carrier. Any help or insight will be appreciated. Thanks.

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One of the advantages of mobile tech is the ability to sit on a beach but stay in contact. Nice office, nicer view. You still need mental "boundaries", but you have the option.
I looked for Chris Hadfield's book and found "Not available in your country" bugger!

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I read a handful of tech blogs (like I'm sure we all do) and I have to say AC is the most entertaining and informative of them all. Keep up the great work, personality and insight you all put into it.

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"If there's one thing I love as an editor, its seeing a fire lit under writers."

You ought not have typos in sentences announcing your profession to be an editor. Otherwise enjoy the beach,

How about:

- Hire better writers
- Proofread ALL articles before posting
- Use basic spell check
- Hire a grammar specialist
- Be less sarcastic in the forums towards your audience

You're better off avoiding the forums. The quality of the posts has dropped quite a lot over the last few years.

Plus some of the new writers aren't bad but they do seem to hire a swarm of them.
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Phil, glad you are getting time to hang out and wrestle with the kids. Enjoy it while they are still somewhat young. On the "diet" front, check out this site for "The fast diet": I have been doing this for the last 10 weeks and have lost over 30 pounds. People may be somewhat skeptical, but it is worth the read. Have a good week and see you at the same bat time, same bat channel on Friday!