Mobile Nations Death Star

There's not much time to look back on the past five years — the next five are going to be crazy good

This past week marked my fifth year running Android Central. I've now been out of the newspaper business half as long as I spent inside it. And quite a lot has changed in the industry this latest half-decade. And quite a lot has changed here as well, and continues to change.

We've continued our shift from chasing the daily news and working our asses off for stories with a short shelf life and instead thinking more long-term — all while still covering the news, with a new dedicated team shouldering that load instead.

I'm particularly proud of our reviews these days, both in design as well as what we're writing. (Derek Kessler has been a big part of the layouts.) I love how we now include an "About this review" section, in which we explain exactly how — and for how long — we've used the device in question. Why would anyone try to hide that?

And I'm ridiculously excited for 2015. We're taking some new faces with us to CES. (Some will be very familiar to you regular readers.) We'll be trying more new things in the new year. Some will work. Some won't. But I love that we're not afraid to try.

And of course we still have things to work on. Performance of the website is still being looked at every day. We know it's an issue for many of you. We're working on a reboot of our Android app. And we're doing any number of back-end changes and improvements to make things easier on ourselves, as well as better for readers.

It's an incredible team both in front and behind the CMS, and an incredible group of core readers. And after five years, so many days on the road and miles spent in the air, it's only getting better. So thanks.

A few other thoughts rattling around the ol' mellon:

  • Uber arrives in my neck of the woods. Excellent. I think. I worry a little because I know how bad folks tend to drive around here.
  • On the other hand, we probably all say that everywhere, right?
  • But it'll still be interesting to see how it works in a rural area like Pensacola versus the metros of New York and San Francisco.
  • Probably is a moot point, though, as I hear our city government (and the state Legislature) are getting ready to do something about it. So much for progress.
  • That anyone wrote about the obviously-a-scam Xodiom phone (no, I'm not linking to it) like it was a real product and not just a black hole seeking money is a sad, sad thing.
  • If you're a fan of Action Launcher like I am, be sure to check out Chris Lacy's update of what's to come.
  • I'm not crazy about the idea of treating what really is an all-new app as an update to the existing listing in Google Play (with an in-app purchase unlocking the new premium features), but I do understand the argument.
  • You'd be surprised how many people don't regularly update their apps, actually. And it still kills me how many folks think you shouldn't have to pay for them in the first place.
  • Anyway. I think you'll like this update.
  • So Florida State barely beat a team that lost to Duke. Duke. Think about that for a bit when the playoff rankings are announced today.
  • I've typed a good bit of this using the Nexus 9 Keyboard Folio. In the dark. It's not a great experience. But it's still OK in a pinch.
  • I'll entertain suggestions of Foo Fatigue, but, dammit, Dave Grohl's Sonic Highways project was damned good. I could have sat through two hours of musician interviews each week.

OK. That's it. Time to get back to work on the next five years. Again, thanks, everyone.