I Totally Love Hate Android


I complain about Android a lot. You really only have to find the nearest social network and check the first page on my profile to see some new issue I have with the mobile OS. I’ve pretty much lamented everything from fragmentation to the lack of screencapping (without root) as well as everything in between. Lest this outspokenness be construed as simple dislike or at worst Apple Fanboyism, I’d like to offer you a nice and tidy list of the things I love and hate about Android. It’s not a comprehensive list by any means, but I feel like it should give you some perspective the next time you see me flailing my arms and ranting about the next big thing that “super sucks” about Android.


The Notification Tray

I like that there’s a notification tray at the top of my phone and that everything I need to know that’s urgent goes there. I’ve seen the popup notifcations in iOS and I can’t say that’s something that appeals to me. Granted, I have an SMS popup app, but that’s because I like being able to quickly respond to texts from friends. I also like that I can quickly see the progress of my apps that are updating while I browse the web or do something else. What’s even cooler is that I can expand the notification tray and remove all the notifications from the tray if I so choose.

The Third-Party Apps That Get It Right

iOS apps are known for how elegant and glossy they look while retaining functionality. There are some Android apps out there that have taken this to heart recently and have made their Android counterparts comparable in design and functionality. It’s apps like these that make excited for what the OS can do. Foursquare and GoWalla are two shining examples on that front as well as Evernote, Angry Birds, Facebook and Twitter. And then there are the apps that don’t have iOS equivalents that manage to stand out or add functionality to Android. Stuff like Launcher Pro or Folder Organizer Lite or even Widgetsoid.

Access To The File System

I love being able see all the files on my phone and being able to do whatever I want with them. I love that I can throw a resume/script/story/song onto my phone to have with me at a whim. If it’s there I can access it like I would on my PC or Mac. It’s one of the big things I would miss if I were to pack up and move over to iOS tomorrow.


The “Results May Vary By Phone” Factor

Android has come a long way and this gripe of mine has become less and less of a problem. But still, I read story after story of one phone having a set of problems while another phone has a completely different set of problems. I’ve been told on numerous occasions that if I want the most consistent Android experience I should go with the Nexus line of phones from Google itself. Why does it take an inquisition into the tech pool to find out what I’m getting when I go into a multi-year contract for an Android phone? Shouldn’t “it just work?”

The Ugly Third-Party Apps

While there are some great Android counterparts to some iOS apps, by and large a lot of the apps are underdeveloped and lacking in many modern/key features. Stuff like GetGlue or Miso are fairly easy examples of this as they have significant lag between the Android and iOS versions. It’s tough to want to use my version of the app when a much better version is being used next to me. I fully understand and respect that it takes time and resources to develop for two different OS’s, but I’d rather have no app than a crippled one.

The Rooting/Jailbreak Disease

Rooting/Jailbreaking your phone has become insanely easy these days. All you need to do is plug in the USB cord to your computer and run some software. It’s also become much easier to undo said Rooting/Jailbreaking in case you need to return your phone to the store or [insert random reason here]. Frankly, I think Rooting/Jailbreaking is bullshit and the time spent doing this could be spent making better apps or fighting to get Android/iOS to improve. I’d rather that both Android and iOS “just work” and I’d rather these platforms compete on aesthetic and not functionality.

What I’ve Been Up To

Just so you don’t think I was yanking your chain the other day about being really really really (did I mention really?) busy, I thought I’d give you a little bit of an update about what I’ve been up to and do some general self-promotion. You’ve been hereby warned.

Things with Geek Troika Productions are going swimmingly! I still edit the podcast on a weekly basis and write little articles when I can. We just recorded our 20th episode last week, which is pretty exciting. Twenty freakin’ episodes, people! I never thought that we would last that long, or that we’d develop such an amazing rapport with each other. Now, my Mondays are spent waiting for the evening’s recording session, quite impatiently I might add. Mattie and Mike are awesome and recording just wouldn’t be the same without them.

Anyways, enough gushing…

To celebrate or 20th episode, we opened a merch store. It’s only got one item at the moment, but I’m drawing up new artwork and preparing logos to post later this week. I’m sure I’ll be pestering the lot of you about this later on in the week. So, if you have a little extra money to spare and want some pretty schweet schwag, go the Geek Troika Merch Store NOWZ and click “buy!” If not, well…..don’t. I just won’t like you anymore. Hrmphh.

As if that wasn’t enough, I went ahead and created a new podcast under the Geek Troika banner. Technicolor Commentary isĀ  podcast of young film school alumni making commentary tracks to replace the boring ones you find on your DVDs. We bitch about what’s on screen as well as provide insight based on our film school background. With me on this project is Tom and Graham, my co-hosts. When we’re not recording the commentary tracks, we’re busy writing up posts about films, television and media in general. Be sure and bookmark the site and add it to your RSS reader. TCC will be here for years to come!

Later on this year there will be some web series that Geek Troika Productions will be dishing out for your viewing pleasure. The first is Matsie Reads Her Spam, a web series about a girl named MatsieĀ  and her relationship with the spam that she collects in her inbox. I’ll update you more as it develops but just know that you’re in for a treat. Next will be an animated web series that my friend Tom thought up awhile back. I can’t really dish out too many details yet, but I will fill you in more as time goes on.

That about wraps it up for what I’ve been up to lately. When I’m not working on all of this, I’ve been working my butt off with contract gigs and making ends meet. It’s some kind of crazy, I tells ya.

Time To Update You

If you haven’t heard yet through the social network grape-vine(s), I’m co-hosting a new podcast with three friends I met on the internet called Generation Tech. The team is comprised of yours truly, Matsie, Matt, and Mike. We gather on skype each week to record our thoughts and feelings about the tech world today and it’s implications on our lives, all the while talking trash. It’s truly a remarkable endeavor and it’s been nothing but a blast these past few episodes. Granted, we’re only coming up on our fourth episode, but don’t let that deter you. Get in on the ground floor and check us out. We also write articles throughout the week and spend copious amounts of time on twitter, friendfeed and facebook. (Add us, please….or else)

I’m also working on various writing projects and generally keeping as busy as I possibly can. Don’t really want to spoil anything or give away too much too early, but I think there is some promising content coming your way. Anyway, that’s really all I have for you this evening. Before I go, here’s a song that’s been running through my head all night. Ciao.

Weighing In On Rev3 Changes

Big news today in the world of New Media. Revision3 decided today to cut back some of it’s shows as well as a few of it’s employees to persevere through this economic downturn. While I’m saddened that such talented people are out of work, I’m not too terribly disappointed that some of these shows are no longer a part of the Rev3 lineup. Of course, I’m referring to Internet Superstar, Pixel Perfect, and Pop Siren.

Internet Superstar. A lot of problems exist with this show, in my opinion, and they all seem to stem from Martin Sargeant’s very first show with Rev3, Infected. I gave that show a chance when it first aired, and just didn’t get it. I understood what was supposed to be funny about it, but I lost interest about ten minutes into the first episode. I also couldn’t get through episode two, or episode three, and stopped completely ten seconds into the fourth episode. It was the kind of humor that I don’t subscribe to, and the lack of focus for the show only served to piss me off.

When Web Drifter came into the fray, things changed for me. The show had Martin Sargeant in his element: out and about with all the “weird” internet people he could find. It was a promising concept, and as the series progressed, it started to take a form that I really enjoyed.

And then it was dropped for Internet Superstar (or Infected 2.0: Where’s Joey?). Despite being more focused in scope than infected, it just couldn’t make up it’s mind about where it wanted to go. This was quite evident when the full length version of the show got cut down to just it’s daily “bytes” only. Really, how much longer could this show have gone on anyway? Personally, I think cutting this show down was a wise choice, and should have happened even before this economy crunch occurred.

Pixel Perfect. I really liked this show, but as it continued, I noticed that it just didn’t really fit into the Rev3 lineup. Maybe I’m the only one who thinks that, but there was a definite vibe that this show was kind of outside the core content that Rev3 was producing.

Pop Siren. Now here’s a show with promise and a lack of vision at the same time. I remember watching it a few times between the older (longer) version and the updated version. It lost a lot in the translation, and it only showed me that like Internet Superstar, it just wasn’t finding it’s place in the core lineup. A shame, because I was definitely into it for awhile there.

All in all, it’s a shame to see these shows go. Wine Library TV and EPIC FU will of course find their footing again, considering they were established before Rev3. I can only hope that the talented people from these dropped shows will find their next big thing and give it their all. Best of luck to everyone!

Instant (hard) On

Was poking around on Valleywag and noticed a small piece about Microsoft probing it’s users in regards to an “instant on” feature for their computers. The question asked if they would be willing to part with a majority of features of the Windows OS for an 8 second boot time. I don’t know about you all, but I’m wondering why this has to be so “gosh darn” complicated.

It’s this simple: All the current instant-on solutions involve packing the computer with a flash memory chip, one that contains a downsized operating system.

Why can’t they just figure out a better way to manage resources and not load all of them on startup? Granted, I’m asking these questions as someone who doesn’t know a lot about “OS startups,” but as a simple consumer I have to wonder if things aren’t just arbitrarily complicated. Any light shed on this for me would be super.

Chrome Dome

Didn’t really notice that Google was making their own foray into the browser market until I read this over at Dvorak’s blog. Shame on me for living under a rock, and double shame on me for not noticing that one of my favorite comic artists had drawn it. Oh well, I can’t be everywhere at once. My thoughts on this new browser can pretty much be summed up in a noise: “meh.” Also, was it THAT much more expensive to get ahold of a design team to make the browser look, you know…nifty? Don’t get me wrong. It seems cool. But considering I’m using 5 very competent browsers at the moment with no significant problems, I’m just not all that impressed.

You Can Never Have Just One

This article from Valleywag goes commando on Scoble and makes an interesting point that internet buzz is too random to make bloggers useful in advertising a brand. Or at least, any one blogger. I guess a question I have is why does this makes bloggers a “waste of money?” Not much of a post on my part, but it’s something that’s got me really curious now.