Inbox invites

People throwing their Gmail address around, Android 5.0 and remembering how bad the cable providers are

Usually on a Monday morning (or afternoon, depending how late Sunday night was) I get time to write about some of the things I've been thinking about in the past 7 days. Last week I skipped it (and it's not as if there hasn't been plenty of other things going on, right?) but this week I'm finding myself spoiled for choice. So I'm going to talk about three things that got me thinking this week, starting with Inbox invites.

Google sure knows how to get the kids excited. Launch a new, exciting product, then keep everyone out of it at first. It's the Google way, and the scrambling for invites that occurred more recently with the launch of Google+ is happening all over again. It's good to be excited. For one, it means Google is doing its job and doing it well. We want Google to give us awesome new stuff. But with the excitement comes some down right craziness.

Don't buy Inbox invites on eBay. Just, don't. Any amount of money is silly. Over $200 is beyond ridiculous. Everyone will get in at some point. Yes it's new and it's fun to be in early, but it's not worth handing over actual cash money for. Spend that money on something/someone else. Likewise, don't go throwing your Gmail address all over the internet begging for invites. For one, you're probably not going to get the invite you crave. What you're more likely opening yourself up to is an inbox full of crap, or worse.

Being patient is hard. But it's better than the alternatives.


This week I also started playing around with the latest Android 5.0 Lollipop preview. Believe it or not until this past week I didn't have anything Nexus on my desk (in part due to working more elsewhere in the Mobile Nations family last year). I'd reached a point where I was personally more interested in the cool stuff OEMs were starting to do with Android, and while I couldn't say I'd become bored by the Nexus line and plain old KitKat, it didn't really excite me.

All that has changed with Lollipop, and I'm now excited for it to get in more hands, soon. We'll be talking a ton more about Android 5.0 in the coming weeks, but I've been playing around with it on the Nexus 7 (2013) and it's so slick it's hard to believe it's still not final. The design and the features all come together to create an overall package that feels fresh, modern, and perhaps more so, tablet ready. I'll happily admit I've never really been a fan of Android tablets, but already Lollipop feels like a big step forwards.

We're going to cover the pants off Lollipop in the coming weeks, so stick around for that.

I was also reminded this week as to why (at least here in my little part of the UK) I couldn't even contemplate cutting the cord and getting rid of my cable TV service. My TV went down for about 15 hours over the weekend, so the first thought is to turn to Netflix, or BBC iPlayer, or any number of other online video services. Only my broadband also went down in a combined outage with the TV. That's because I get both from Virgin Media, primarily based on price and the fact that no-one else provides faster data speeds where I live.

Sure, total outages of all services are rare, but broadband issues and outages aren't quite so it seems. It just reaffirms that while we may dream of living totally with on-demand TV delivered via the web, we still largely rely on the same companies to give us our web delivered content. And I don't think they're up to the task. Not yet, at least.

Of course that's just how I feel here in the UK. Wherever you are in the world things might be different. If you managed to cut the cord successfully, be sure to share it in the comments below!