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How I proposed to my girlfriend using Android

This Christmas was probably the most memorable one of my life so far. I got to spend time with lots of family members, eat some bomb food, and just take it easy for a couple of days. Oh, and I also proposed to my girlfriend.

My name's Joe Maring, and I've been the News Editor here at Android Central since September 25, 2017. It's an incredibly busy job, and while I wear a lot of different hats when I'm not working, my most important one is being Kennedy Weston's boyfriend (er, now fiancé).

Kennedy and I have known each other since we were two, and we even grew up across the street from one another. We've been friends since then, and we stopped being knuckleheads and finally started dating in May of 2015. I won't bore you with all of the details, but it's been a fantastic couple of years and some of the best of my entire life.

Kennedy and I 😊

Kennedy and I 😊

Throughout our relationship, Kennedy's made it incredibly obviously that she wanted to get married. From secretly (but not really) writing her name as "Kennedy Maring" in our ECO 202 class on a piece of paper to straight up asking "WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO MARRY ME," she's ever so subtly been throwing hints my way for a good few months.

I've been waiting for the perfect time to finally pop the question, and seeing as how our favorite holiday is Christmas, I decided that it would be the ideal day to ask. I initially toyed with the idea of getting her a kitten and tying a ring to its collar, and while cute, I thought it was a bit too cheesy. After a bit more brainstorming, I ultimately decided that I wanted to incorporate technology into the proposal somehow, seeing as how it's been such a big part of my life. After talking with my friend Patrick Campanale, we came up with the perfect idea.

The kitten idea was cute, but I had something better in mind.

I'd been planning on getting Kennedy a Pixel 2 for Christmas, and I mentioned to Pat that I was thinking about making a custom wallpaper that had "Will you marry me?" on it, so she'd see the question as soon as she turned on the phone. Doing this would involve setting the phone up, choosing the wallpaper, and then having Kennedy turn on a phone that had already been set up. It would work, but it wouldn't be all that graceful.

However, Pat then reminded me that he was the leader of the team behind CarbonROM. As such, he could whip together a special version of the ROM that would allow Kennedy to go through the setup process herself and then see the custom wallpaper after entering all her information. This was a much better idea, but then I asked if we could take things a step further.

The custom setup screen, the response when tapping "no", and the wallpaper at the end.

Not sure if it would even be possible, I asked Pat if there was any way he could create a custom screen after the initial setup process that would ask the question. Kennedy would enter her Google account, add her fingerprint, etc., and after all that, she'd see another screen asking her if she'd like to marry me. Pat asked his lead developer, Christian Oder, if this is something that we'd be able to pull off, and Chris came back with good news.

After a week or so of putting everything together, Chris had completed the ROM. We spent a few hours one day installing it on Kennedy's Pixel 2 because I (of course) screwed something up during the whole process, but eventually, we got everything working.

The finished product looked like this.

On Christmas morning, Kennedy and I drove to my parents' house to open presents with each other. I made sure Kennedy's Pixel 2 was the last gift that she opened, and after taking off the wrapping paper, she wasn't all that surprised.

She'd become suspicious of me buying her the phone earlier in the month after I tried making up reasons she shouldn't buy the phone herself when the Google Store was running one of its many sales on it, but this worked out in my favor. Her guard was down, she wasn't expecting anything else aside from the phone, and then this happened.

I honestly couldn't have asked for the whole thing to go any better, and while it did take quite a bit of time and effort, it was beyond worth it. I've got a comfy apartment, job of my dreams, good friends, and thanks to Android, a beautiful fiance. ❤️

Special thanks to Patrick Campanale, Christian Oder, the entire CarbonROM team, and my many family members for making this possible. For more information on the technical side of how this all worked, check out CarbonROM's Gerrit commit here.

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

45 Comments
  • Aww wow, this is so sweet! Congrats to the two of you!
    I wish you two the best.
  • Thank you very much :)
  • Marriage isn't a good deal for us guys. When she divorces you, she'll take at least half of what you own and you'll have to pay some of her living expenses for the foreseeable future. Also its not 50/50 in the relationship, that's a fantasy, its mostly about her. Kiss your own disposable income goodbye because she will be spending it for house/apartment/kids. Also get ready for a honey-to-do-list. You will have chores to do on the weekend. Say good bye to your friends and free time.
  • You're a mean one...mr Grinch
  • I hate to be the Grinch, but its true.
  • may all your future presents be socks and underwear.
  • But it's true. hard fact.
  • He's correct though lol
  • Seeing that I been with my wife for 22 years in January I'm lead to believe you're not laying the pipe right. Speak for yourself.
  • Truer words have never been spoken!
  • You win this thread lol.
  • It's not true. Dude, I work at Whole Foods. My expendable income is my own. And I don't make much. She's the bread winner. She pays the the larger percentage of the bills. We break it down by who makes the most and contribute to a joint account for bills. The rest goes into our personal accounts. And all of this was my wife's idea. I'm sorry about your experience, but perhaps others experienced better.
  • Lol one of those, who thinks nothing should change after you are in relationship and having a family. Self centered mindset. It's a team work. Some days it's 60/40 and some 30/70 , in the end it all evens out this way or another. Unless you are suggesting that the guys should start carrying babies and giving births. Everything is based on individual basis. Not all women or men are the same neither their relationships. The dynamic in marriage is complex.depends on individual upbringing and expectations to ability to change according to new environment.
    And no, she won't take everything you have because "law" favors women. If you make less than her you and she is the one in the wrong she will pay for you and kids you have custody over. The reason why the numbers are showing higher number of women being paid for after divorce, is simply because of the Strong Patriarchy in US where women told to stay home, less educated, paid less at work and given less opportunity to grow. They were told to be obedient and serve the master. My mother in law wasn't allowed to take PE in school... So, yes , until we see women with more equal footing we'll have more man paying alimony and what not , because they are simply better off. For God's sake , policies determining the rights of women in this country are decided by men. In all houses they have around 20% of the vote.
  • This why you do all your crazy BEFORE your get married. Well, that's for you, You obviously have commitment issues. Some guys are born ready for the chain and collar. Some guys come out the womb saying "Yes dear!" "Whatever you say dear!" "Of course I was wrong and you were right dear! Please smack me and put me in my place dear!" Of course picking the right woman has A LOT to do with how your marriage will be..
  • Get a room you two! LOL Congrats!!!!
  • Sorry – got caught up in the moment 😂 Thank you!
  • This is so great. Congratulations!!! :)
  • This is an awesome way to pop the question! My wife and I are coming up on 9 years this year. I converted her to Android with the HTC Eris, way back when. She's been faithful to Android, and me, ever since. Best of luck to you both. My advice is to remember that a relationship is hard work, but if the person is worth the effort, you both will learn to love one another in so many different ways. Don't ever go to bed upset, it'll pay off in the long run. +1 for Android +2 for Joe & Kennedy and let's be honest here..... +10 for CarbonROM Team
  • Thank you! And seriously, the guys at CarbonROM did an amazing job with this. Couldn't have asked for it to turn out any better :)
  • Congratulations Joe and Kennedy!
  • A girl not using an iPhone is a keeper.
  • Well done sir. Well done.
  • Though my experience with married life was a fiasco there were good things about it not just bad. The best thing was a group of kids now grown that I love beyond belief. And i even still love my ex. We are actually friends now. Get started on the kids thing right away:)
  • Sounds like we had completely different Christmas' this year. I spent the day drunk and alone. 🍺 But anyway congrats!
  • Congrats to you both on what has already begun as an amazing journey!
  • My gosh how the times they are a changin... I guess if you can't break up with someone via text message you can surely ask for ones hand in marriage... You kids and your new fangled contraptions. .
  • Congratulations Joe!! Wishing you guys the absolute best!
  • Congrats!!!
  • Congratulations, Android Romeo and Kennedy! Now, we're all expecting wedding invites (AKA a link to the YouTube Live wedding stream).
  • Congratulations !! That was cute :) Note: you don’t have a beautiful fiancée thznks to Android but thanks to you! :) you made a cute proposal thznks to Android
  • This is so cool, congrats!
  • A Nice way of proposal for marriage. By the ways congrats.
  • That's awesome congrats!
  • Congrats!
  • Congrats to you two kids. I hope it lasts forever.
  • Congrats to the 2 love birds. Well done. Nice choice of woman who didn't balk at the pixel 2 for an iPhone
  • Sincere congratulations! What a fantastic way to propose. Good job!
  • Congrats man! I wish you to the best. You look like an awesome couple.
  • Awesome man, congratulations!
  • Congratulations and very original way of asking a girl to marry you. Don't forget to restore the original rom when you sell that phone eventually ;)
  • Congrats to you both!
  • Extremely Creative and Congrats!
  • Thank you, everyone, for all the kind words! 😁
  • What an ingenious way to propose! Congratulations! Wish you both lots of happiness always.
  • Attaboy! Proud of you!
    Congratulations!