Monday, April 30, 2012

From the Editor's Desk: London calling, inside man and Nexus done right

From the Editor's Desk

It's another working weekend. Time for some quick hits:

  • If I wasn't over the Samsung Galaxy S3 fakes, leaks and fake leaks, I certainly am now. Alex and I will be at the event on Thursday. I can wait till then.
  • Speaking of heading overseas, I used MaxRoam in Barcelona this year and am using it again this week in the UK. 500MB for $13? (Which is more than even I can use in two days.) Sold.
  • And that's just the start of the travel. Coming up next week we've got the CTIA conference in New Orleans.
  • If you haven't seen Jean-Baptist Queru's latest Q&A on updates to Ice Cream Sandwich and how Sony's gotten updates out the door in about 5 months. That's due in no small part, JBQ says, to the amount of code that Sony's contributed back to the Android Open Source Project. Remember the early days of Sony Ericsson and the Xperia X10, which launched in the age of Eclair with Android 1.6 Donut, and finally got updated a year later. Things certainly have changed.
  • Something that hasn't changed? Carrier approval times. JBQ rightly points out that carriers often are the bottleneck in getting updates released, which does seem a little insane in the Nexus world. But neither is it new. If the carrier's selling the phone, it's going to go through (I'd assume) the same rigorous (read: slow) testing process as any other phone. Verizon's been, shall we say, fastidious, long before Android even existed. It's funny to see blogs set their hair on fire over this one.
  • I hesitate to even write about these sorts of Q&As. They're a rare glimpse into the inside workings of things and are best read in their entirety, straight from the source. It pains me to see blogs pick and choose the juicy parts for publication. ("OMG Verizon is sooooooo slow." Thanks for that insight.) It's pretty rare that we get a relatively unfiltered and unfettered look at how things work, with actual opinion from the folks who make the donuts instead of PR-speak and lawyered releases, and even more incredible that folks like JBQ stick around to answer questions. Let's not spoil it and waste the opportunity.
  • I'm pretty excited about Google once again selling devices. I'm still curious as to how it's going to handle the problems it ran into the first time — namely customer service, though it does have a dedicated page for orders and returns questions. But this is the way Nexus devices were meant to be sold and maintained (meaning updated). Forget the carrier. (And, yes. That means CDMA gets shut out again. Them's the breaks.) And if you didn't notice, note how Google's calling it a "Devices" store and not a "Phone" store. If that's not a flashing neon sign that tablets are coming, I don't know what is. (And I'm willing to bet it's going to go beyond tablets, as well.) The important part is that I should once again be able to say "You want updates the day they're pushed? Get a Nexus." — and do so without looking like an idiot.
  • The site redesign is coming along well. (Major props to our designers and coders, whose work you enjoy every day but whose names you never get to see.) We're still tweaking things, and as I've said before, this is only the beginning. If you've got feedback, leave it here.

TTFN. We'll see you from London this week, and NOLA the next.


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