When I was nine years old, I was sitting on the sill in my kitchen talking to my mother, and as I looked out on to the driveway a man sprinted through the front gates towards me, holding a gun that looked, to my young eyes, the size of a bazooka. He motioned for us to be quiet as he hid behind my father's truck, and as I sat there, paralyzed, my mom picked me up and sprinted to the other side of the house.

If Google's CEO issues a memo to his employees citing the "personal cost of [President Trump's] executive order on [his] colleagues," we are going to mention it.

What I learned later is that the man was trying to break into the heavily-fortified compound of a neighbor a few houses down, and as he fled to seek shelter behind my father's truck, more than a dozen police officers were setting up a perimeter. Once established, a group of six stormed the driveway from each side, cutting off the would-be burglar and arresting him. I learned of this, and many similar incidents, in the months and years since emigrating from Johannesburg to Toronto, where I have now lived for over 20 years.

I've long taken for granted that Canada is my home, and that I am relatively safe from persecution just by being a citizen of this particular nation. Back in the early 90s, during Apartheid South Africa, I was a bit too young and sheltered to realize what my country's government was doing, and had done for 40 years, to systemically reduce the rights of a majority of its population — but my parents weren't. They were keenly aware of the system of imbalance that kept people poor and desperate, and that enormous change was necessary — and imminent — in that beautiful country. Change came, and kept coming, and for many reasons we left for a nation that proudly codified its constitution around inclusiveness and stability. And though I miss South Africa intensely, I understand and empathize with my parents' decision to leave a precarious situation.

We at AC are often told, when reporting on topics outside the immediate tech sphere, to pare back, to focus on "what we're good at," to resist the temptation to politicize our rhetoric or inflame the readership. As much as I like the idea that Android Central is a soothing balm, a respite from the divisive nature of political discourse in early 2017, the reality is that we are just as inextricably linked to the decisions of elected officials as the rest, and to avoid it entirely would be a disservice to our readership.

Respect and listen to one another this week, folks.

If Google's CEO issues a memo to his employees citing the "personal cost of [President Trump's] executive order on [his] colleagues," we are going to mention it, even as we continue to recommend great products and report on rumors of this year's flagships.

I also feel a personal obligation to stand up for the rights of immigrants, for the millions of good people whose decisions to move between nations often comes at enormous personal and financial risk. That I am an editor at an Android-related website is a privilege that I may not have been able to achieve without the personal and financial risk taken by my parents 22 years ago.

A few notes from the week:

  • The Note 7 saga is over, and while I wasn't thrilled with the results, I appreciate Samsung's thoroughness, and I expect that outcome to be positive for the entire industry.
  • The Galaxy S8 is shaping up to be one hell of a follow-up.
  • So is the LG G6, but will it have enough to really differentiate itself from the high-end competition?
  • I received Nougat on my OnePlus 3 and HTC 10, and now I can't decide which implementation I like better.
  • Both, however — all phones upgraded to Nougat, in fact, are enormously improved. This is the most significant "minor" Android update I've ever used.
  • I was quite amazed as how far-reaching Alex's investigation on which Android phone Trump uses went. It was picked up by Vanity Fair, Fox News, Vice, The Telegraph, Quartz, Yahoo Finance, Politico, Daring Fireball, The Guardian, Der Standard, El Mundo and many more news outlets.
  • Had a blast playing and writing about Myst, which came to Android this week.
  • Also having a blast reading through the first week of Ask Jerry. Join us in the forums if you haven't already!

Respect and listen to one another this week, folks.