Flappy Phil

Flappy Bird haters aren't wrong — but we're also in the minority.​

Maybe I just don't get it. I'm all for mindless, time-wasting games. I think being able to shut down most of your brain for a few minutes and push some pixels around — then stop and pick right back up where you left off — is a good thing. I just didn't think Flappy Bird was a particularly good game. To each his own, I suppose. (I veg out with Jetpack Joyride and Plants vs. Zombies 2 all the time.)

And I wasn't alone. In every Flappy Bird story we ran, commenters were on my side. (At least that's how I saw it. This was personal.) Flappy Bird — insofar as mindless, free games go — was not good.

But here's the thing, and it's something we recognized fairly early (even if I took my sweet-ass time giving in to it): Flappy Bird was (and still is) a treasure trove of traffic. Make no mistake about it — folks were searching the web for ways to beat Flappy Bird. How to "win" at Flappy Bird. And, yes, how to cheat at Flappy Bird. It was downloaded tens of millions of times on iOS and Android. We'd be stupid to not write about it. (But that doesn't mean I had to like it.)

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So it's not like nobody was playing Flappy Bird. Make no mistake, we haters are in the minority. We pass on bullshit stories all the time. Flappy Bird, for better or worse, became too big to ignore. But I won't be sorry to see it go.

Expect some site down time tonight

By the way, we're taking some time out from our non-stop Flappy Bird coverage to do some pretty major site maintenance this evening. Android Central has been humming along quite nicely for some time, and we didn't want to break anything. But now we're the only Mobile Nations property on a legacy version of our content management system, and it's time to update. 

The update shouldn't change the way anything looks to you fine folks, but it sets up the back end for a host of new features, both on the web, and with APIs for the Android Central app. (For those of you begging for search in the app, this CMS update is one of the things that had to happen first.)

And it's just the start of things to come. We never get to do things as quickly as I might like, but that doesn't mean I'm not excited for what lies ahead. Thanks for your patience as we spend our Sunday evening (and Monday morning, no doubt) sprucing up the joint. And cross your fingers for us, will ya?

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

  • We're starting into the silly season of leaks. But as we mentioned on our most recent podcast, it's important to remember that there are various stages of prototypes, fake IDs, and out and out Canary Traps. Leaks are fun, but I'm more interested in the finished product.
  • So keep that in mind as we continue to see HTC fare trickle out in the weeks ahead.
  • Speaking of HTC, they can't not have something new for Mobile World Congress, right? That'd be like showing up to prom wearing the same dress as last year.
  • That said, it wouldn't surprise me if we didn't see the mythical "M8" — the expected successor to the HTC One — until after Barcelona.
  • Speaking of MWC, keep this in the back of your head — Nokia and Android for emerging markets. Not mainstream, but not unimportant either.
  • Why is a U.S. senator wasting time on a single piece of Glassware that's not even in open beta, for a $1,500 semi-prototype wearable — for an app that's really no different than if it were on a smartphone, or in a web browser on a computer.
  • That's not to say I'm not glad folks are talking about privacy issues — I just hope we (and, especially, our legislators) remember the difference between the trees and the forest.
  • Great looks back at the HTC One and Moto G from Alex and Richard, respectively. I'll be writing up a six-month look at the Moto X this week.

And with that, it's nice outside. Time for some sun, family and food. Catch y'all on the flip side.