Android Central

Two or three times a year we get to kick our feet up and essentially take off the better part of a day and watch the Apple Circus. And I don't mean that in a pejorative manner — for me an Apple keynote is always a fun event. There's new software and new features to figure out. New tech — be it mobile or desktop — to salivate over. I like to think that most of us are able to separate the fact from fiction, that there's always going to be cheerleading.

IOS 8 (and to a different, lesser extent, OSX 10.10) is gaining a number of features that Android has had for years? So what? That's great for iOS. They'll be implemented in their own way, for better or for worse. In what world does it make sense to take the improvements in iOS 8 as a personal attack, or a full-out frontal assault on Android? This happens every year. It's the bestest, fastest version of iOS yet. As, too, will be the next version of Android. And then we'll do this all over again.

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Folks switched from Android to iOS? Of course they did. Because they'd already switched from BlackBerry or Windows Phone to Android. And folks are switching from iOS to Android all the time as well. Some use both.

And thus the world keeps turning.

A few thoughts from last week's WWDC keynote (of which you can find complete coverage at iMore):

  • Yeah, the shots Apple CEO Tim Cook took at Android were pretty disingenuous at best, and all but untrue at worst. It felt out of character for him. (Me having a close, personal understanding of the guy and all, right? Or maybe it's my being disappointed as a fellow Southerner.) Apple makes great software. It makes great hardware. That used to be enough.
  • I'm really interested to see the changes in iMessage. As a Google Voice user, I've long loved being able to make and receive phone calls from my computer — especially when I'm out of the country. It's easy and free.
  • But iMessage has become sort of a Hotel California of late. (You can check out any time you want, but you can never leave.) The problems with receiving text messages upon leaving iMessage should be inexcusable. I'm not sure I'd trust it with my phone calls, too.
  • On the other hand, where do we stand with Google Voice? We'll find out in a couple weeks, I guess.
  • I'm happy to see iOS developers get some better tools for beta testing, and a slightly better system for iTunes Connect, which is how apps are distributed. But it still sounds like Google's got Apple beat on that front. The Google Play Developer Console is so easy to use, with so many useful features. (And I'd expect some more announced at Google I/O shortly.)
  • Third-party keyboards on iOS? About time. It's also funny to look back at old Android keyboards (both stock and third-party) and see just how good they've become. More on that later this week.
  • Dunno what to think about notification widgets. I'll have to wait till I actually try them.
  • And, no, I'm not mucking about with betas just yet. June is too crazy a month — I'm on the road the next three weeks — to be mucking up my production machines.

The short, short version? Like Jerry said last year (and the excellent Everything is a Remix loves to remind us), platforms borrow from each other all the time. Losing sleep over it is silly. I, for one, can't wait to see what's next.

Some non-Apple thoughts:

  • I finally got an LG G3. Holy crap, this thing is good. It's really big, of course — and I still love the size of the Moto X — but wow.
  • Does it need that many pixels? Probably not. In fact, sometimes fonts get a little wonky because of it.
  • I'd forgotten how natural it is to have the buttons on the back, and how clean that make the lines on the rest of the phone.
  • The metalesque plastic is pretty cool.
  • The phone's easier for me to hold than the HTC One M8. For as much as I like that phone, that (and the camera resolution) are its biggest weaknesses.
  • A fitness month update: I think I'm down a couple pounds, probably from the lack of beer as much as the half-hour spurts on the exercise bike.
  • I mentioned this on a podcast last week, but I care less about the fitness tracking and more about the doing — something, anything.
  • I decided to not completely give up the booze — had a nice dinner alone with my wife last night and had a couple glasses of wine. But otherwise, that's been it in the alcohol department for nearly two weeks now. Do I feel better because of it? I think so. Shannon says she can tell. And maybe that's all that matters.
  • (At times I wonder if I'm getting too personal in these columns. Whatever. I like the idea of writing something a little different once a week. And if it's something I don't want to share, I don't share it.)
  • My favorite part of this job — and stop me if I've said this before — isn't the travel. It's not the toys. It's getting to read excellent reviews like the OnePlus One from Andrew last week, and the LG G3 from Alex. Helping others do great work. That's why I love being an editor.
  • And giving away 15 invite codes to Google I/O last week? Icing on the cake. It was so great to read so many stories from the folks who do the real work. (And we got more entries from the podcast than I expected, which also is way cool.)

So that's why I don't get all worked up over Apple keynotes. That's why I have so much fun with Android. Anything else is a waste of energy. If you're getting upset over and of this, and you're not having fun, it's time to find something else to do. Me? I'm stoked. We've got some exciting weeks ahead.

Let's get to work.