Mobile Nations Editors

That's what's left of Manitoba's finest city. OK, not really, but I did spend much of last week in Winnipeg, in a series of well-caffeinated meetings with three other Mobile Nations editors. (From left, that's Rene Ritchie of iMore, myself, Dan Rubino of WPCentral, and ol' CrackBerry Kevin himself.)

Basically, we spent the week plotting our continued takeover of the world. We're in this for the long haul, and we've got some grand plans for the rest of this year, 2013, and beyond. 

But we've also got some fun short-term stuff we're working on. You've already seen a bit of that put into action, with our increased focus on accessories. And you're going to see some more this week with new features.

And now, a few other musings ...

Olympics on the small screen ...

Call me crazy (among other things), but I have absolutely zero desire to watch the Olympics on a phone. A tablet, perhaps. But large TVs were meant for sports. (Or vice-versa.)

Oh, and NBC, you're killing me.

You've got to be kidding me ...

If you thought Forbes' blog post opining that Apple without Steve Jobs "has all the appeal of Dell,"  than Apple was on the far side of ridiculous, here's another one you're going to love.

Forbes blogger Adrian Kingsley-Hughes cites British Telecom in an EETimes piece about how one-third of 1,000 Android app that BT took a look at supposedly have malware. The Forbes headline escalates matters to an alarming "BT: Almost Every Android Device Compromised With "Some Kind Of Malware," not worrying that the second half of that quote in the EETimes reads "although often it’s not clear if that code is active or what it is doing."

Headlines are tricky. Lord knows I've blown more than my share, having been writing them for a dozen years now, but that's just bad. Kingsley-Hughes correctly suspects that the vague definition of "malware" leaves some pretty big holes in that story, but the damage has already been done. 

That a technology journalist/analyst (really?) in that EETimes piece says he found "malware" in a Google app on the Galaxy S III -- the app wasn't named, nor the nature of the "malware" -- should be a pretty big red flag, too. I'm not overly worried about Android here. I can't say the same for the state of the news coverage of it. And it looks like a lot of you agreed.

Quiet patience, or an open dialog?

It's been interesting to see the development process of several Android Twitter apps. The highly anticipated Carbon for Android should see release any day now. It's been a couple weeks since we got an official update on the release schedule, and the developer gave word this weekend that things have fallen a little behind. Carbon has been in closed alpha testing for some time now.

Meanwhile, apps like Boid and TweetLanes -- two very respectable Android Twitter clients in their own rights -- have been available to the public but are very much works in progress. And check either the Boid or TweetLanes Twitter feeds, and you'll get updates on the progress, seemingly hour by hour. 

It's an interesting dichotomy in developer PR strategies -- an open dialog highlighting upcoming fixes and features versus a more subdued (I'd go far as to say less-spammy) interaction, with a full-featured release soon to drop. Of course, Carbon isn't publicly available yet, so we're not quite talking Apples to Apples here.

There's no one way to do things here. And there shouldn't be. It's just been interesting to watch.

Patents not the purpose ...

A lot of details have came out in recent days in advance of this week's trial between Apple and Samsung over something looking like something else, or something ...

Answer me this: Which do you suppose is more important to Samsung -- changing an odd feature here and there, or having phones blocked by injunction? 

There's certainly a point to be made by fighting all this patent nonsense. But at the end of the day, Samsung (and HTC, and Motorola, and LG, and ZTE, and everyone else) sells phones. Period. Proactively removing on-device search sucks. But it sucks less than headlines announcing that the hottest phone in the world has been banned, and way less than it being kept off store shelves.

You guys keep selling 'em. We'll keep writing about them. And let the lawyers figure out all their crap.

Speaking of patents ...

And I really do hate speaking of patents -- I'd much prefer to speak about phones -- but give this Groklaw piece a read.

TTFN. Lots of good stuff coming up this week.


Reader comments

From the Editor's Desk: Winnipeg is still standing, mostly


Would have loved a mobile nations podcast while ya'll were together! But I'm sure you were busy! Love your guys work! Thanks

I think the best to have come out of TweetLanes was when the developer stated that he was a bit against adding a dark theme, upon user request, but once he had done it it was now his own default theme! "Listen to your users" I believe his hash-tag was =)

Canada is beautiful, if you lived here you'd feel blessed, but you don't so your jealous. Enjoy your cramped quarters, ill enjoy my space.

I was wondering why phil is showing up in my google plus nearby feed now it makes sense he is in winnipeg crazy !!!

There is a lot of symbolism in this picture.

Each man represents a major player in the cellphone game. You have Android out front but never satisfied and always looking ahead with Apple being the old dog who laughs at the competition not realizing he is falling behind. You got a young Windows phone trying to hang with the cool guys by copying a little bit from all of them and having a handsome smile. Then there is Mr. Blackberry off in his own little world thinking everything is going to be just fine once he pulls Blackberry 10 out of his pocket.

Left in their path is the destruction of features phone, unlimited data, and your wallet.

Haha your analysis is spot on.

"You got a young Windows phone trying to hang with the cool guys by copying a little bit from all of them..."

He's even holding his Starbucks drink in a different hand from the rest; although some would argue that Renee should be the one "holding it wrong." You could also mention Renee representing the typical Apple zombie as he's the only one wearing his smartphone shirt. And on top of all that, Android and iOS are looking slightly in each other's direction, hinting at the obvious feud between them.

You left out one important piece of symbolism. Derek of WebOS Nation is completely missing. Sorry WebOS fans but it seems appropriate. :-)

Too true , I used to be one of those fans back when it had sooo much potential but no hardware to back it up.

I noticed that right away as well. I might still be using my Pre+ if it hadn't fallen apart in true Pre form. Mobile Nations keeps the site active and I didn't see a representative of that site in the picture, either.

Along with the Malware unsubstantiated allegations the press is also being orchestrated to push in the press to designate Android as a "piracy platform".

When several stories appear in rapid succession in widely disperse news papers and web sites all quoting different sources and all crying piracy at the top of their lungs you know that it didn't happen by accident. The Apple Army has issued marching orders.

You guys look like rock stars. Great picture.

So, you're in Canada, drinking coffee, and not drinking Tim Hortons coffee?!?

I gotta be honest Phil. The new increased focus on accessories doesn't seem like "fun". It seems like you guys are trying to sell accessories. Although I must say I don't mind because the reviews are really good, fair, and useful.

I'm definitely looking forward to the new stuff.

Also, why wasn't Kessler invited?

That's a side-effect, sure. But we're also trying to review more cool stuff that we don't carry in our stores. (And then I scream from the hills "We should have this stuff in our stores!"

Those ads being interspersed with the content are getting on my nerves. Along with the large ads at the top of the page, it's getting ridiculous. What's next, those annoying pop-over ads like yahoo uses a lot?

Did anyone else notice how similar Rene's outfit is to Kevin's, and how similar Phil's is to Dan's? And yet Dan and Kevin are drinking cold drinks, but Rene and Phil are drinking hot drinks? My analysis: Android and Windows Phone are new and fresh*, while iOS and Blackberry currently feel old and dated. On the other hand, iOS and Android are popular with the masses, and Blackberry and WP are somewhat restricted to niches.