When your fair city finds itself getting more than a foot of rain in less than a day, there's no escaping that sense of helplessness. There's not a damn thing you can do, and that's not exactly the sort of thing you can prepare for. Even the hurricanes I've been through haven't dumped that much rain. (Or if they did, the wind kept it moving enough so that the standing water didn't overtake things.)
And unlike during a hurricane, my phone wasn't much of a help. See, in a hurricane, the power and cable often are the first to go, meaning you'll be relying on mobile communications for as long as they'll last. (And since the awful hurricane seasons of 2004 and 2005, the carriers have been quick to tell us all about the improvements they've made to their backup systems.) But during Saturday's rain, I had power. I had Internet. And so I sat here, at my desk, keeping up on where the worst flooding was, what the radar was like, and what the next 24 hours was going to bring. (Hint: More rain.) That's not to say it's not important to have a phone around for emergencies, it's just that in this case, when we weren't exactly in imminent danger, there just wasn't much use for it. It was an odd feeling.
We'll talk some more about this later this week, but I'd urge everyone to think about their phones and tablets and how they can help get you through those days when Mother Nature decides to be a real bitch.
Oh, look. It's starting to pour again.
The Droid RAZR HD leak
I'm pretty non-plussed by those supposed pics of the Motorola Droid RAZR HD. Let's be fair, though, all we really know is that it'll have a gianormous Kevlar-looking back, (presumably) massive non-removable battery, and the HDMI, microUSB and SIM card and (presumably) microSD card slots on the side. Assume the display is bumped to 720p wide. But after that ... what?
Motorola devices are at a bit of a disadvantage at this point in the year. We're intimately with the HTC One series. We're knee-deep in the Samsung Galaxy S III. Whatever Motorola finally brings to the table this year will be compared to those excellent platforms. And the bar has been set pretty damn high.
One way or another, though, I'm ready for Motorola to move past that post-apocalyptic industrial design. At the very least, changing things up would go a long way to making us feel like we've got something new and special, and not just another iteration of a phone we can trace back to the OG Droid.
I know, I know. I'm getting ahead of things here. We're going to give whatever Motorola releases a fair shot. On the other hand, are we really six months into the year without a major U.S. release? Figure the Google acquisition is to blame, but still. That's just nuts.
How much online storage are you entitled to?
The answer, of course, is none. Yes, it's disappointing to learn that Verizon and AT&T won't be pitching in for a free 48 gigabytes of Dropbox storage on their Galaxy S IIIs. But neither is it the end of the world. And how many of us actually use that much Dropbox space now? I know, some of you will. And, actually, now that I'm automatically uploading all of my phone's pictures to Dropbox, I'll been keeping a closer eye on things. But as it stands, I'm using 11 gigabytes of space.
The point, though, is that promotions like this are a bonus, not an entitlement. AT&T and Verizon must have looked at the numbers and said "Know what? Most folks don't use anywhere near that much online storage, so it's just not worth the cost of us paying for the promotion." That's business, folks.
AT&T HTC One X update
I finally gave up waiting on AT&T to let me update our review unit One X to the 1.85 software and used the leaked RUU instead. (It's the same version after all.) I'd forgotten how frustrating AT&T's update protocol can be, where you can only check for the update once a day. I get it, it saves strain on servers. But that's really no way to run a railroad. Make the update available, let me pull it down, and let me get back to business.
I'm still going through my list of gripes to see if they're fixed in 1.85, but I have a feeling this won't be the last update we see.
What's Apple doing this week?
If you need me, I'll be glued to iMore all this week as Apple's WWDC developer conference takes place in San Francisco. (At the same venue where you can find myself, Jerry and Alex in a couple weeks for Google IO.) Scoff all you want, but I'm curious as hell to see what the Evil Empire brings, especially if a larger-screened iPhone is in the works.
We've got just about the best display we've ever seen in an Android smartphone in the HTC One X. I daresay it's even better than the iPhone's display. Will Apple be able to one-up ol' HTC? Find out on Monday, I guess.
T-Mobile offering a free year of Quibi streaming service on April 6
Need something else to keep your mind busy during these trying times? Starting April 6, you'll be able to get a free Quibi subscription if you're a T-Mobile customer.
Do you think smartphones can compete with professional cameras?
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Global phone sales set to hit a 10-year low, recovery likely next year
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These weather apps will help you decide if you should pack your umbrella
There are so many weather apps on the Google Play Store that it can be extremely tough finding the best one. But that's also the best part about having so many options as there is likely a weather app that is perfect for you and we have found the best to choose from.