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Droid Life Q&A Session: Volume 3

We took a few weeks off from our bi-weekly Q&A sessions, but are back to finish out the month of July. Since our last special I/O edition, we have seen the Nexus 7 arrive to many customers, Jelly Bean rollout to every Nexus device other than the Verizon LTE Galaxy Nexus, dealt with locked bootloaders on the Galaxy S3, and more. It’s been busy, to say the least, so let’s talk about it all.

If you aren’t familiar with our Q&A sessions, think of them as your opportunity to ask the Droid Life staff anything. Ask us about the importance of unlockable bootloaders, how we feel about the Nexus 7 a couple of weeks in, or why nothing will be better than multiple Nexus phones this winter. You can even go semi-personal if you want. We are human beings after all and like food, swanky cocktails, music and traveling. Anything in particular you were curious about?

  • when do these questions get answered? or do they only pick and choose which ones they want to answer?

  • Mightyfacundo

    I’m sorry if this has been asked before, but I was hoping you could address the trend away from being able to move apps to sd. This feature was removed on ICS and JB, and I’ve never heard a reason for why Google has taken this path. I know that apps respond quicker from internal memory than sd, but this move hurts any phone with less than 16 GB of internal memory. Personally, as a result of this, I’ll never buy another phone with less than 32 GB. In any case, I’m just wondering if Google ever gave a reason for this strategy. Thanks.

  • Billzilla2005

    Boxers or Briefs?

  • Knlegend1

    Hope I’m not too late. What would you do if iOS was the only platform available? In your current state of mind.

  • Tom D.

    Any new news on the Droid HD release?

  • Jason

    For a Tablet, should i wait until Tegra 3+ or Tegra 4, or change completely to Snapdragon S4 Quad core. Im leaning toward NVIDIA because of the Tegrazone enhanced games.

    • Jason

      or just get Tegra 3 Asus transformer infinity?

  • soulsaga1106

    How much wind could a windbreaker break if a windbreaker could break wind?

  • that guy

    Which phone has changed the phone landscape more the og Droid or the nexus. Whatever happened the custom rom/theme friday

  • Greg Smith

    Whats the best way to get Flash onto a rooted Nexus 7? I’ve seen several methods, but apparently many alternative browsers that supported sideloaded Flash apks no longer do (eg the Firefox beta) or do it poorly. I’ve also seen someone try to extract the Android default browser from a phone based JB ROM. Is there a way to get it working as well as it does on my Gnex with Vicious JB ROM and the stock browser? Just want to get it right the first time, without disabling the Chrome browser, which I like for many other features.

  • BigLa

    I’m sure it’s been covered but…if you need to grab a phone tomorrow on Verizon, do you go with the SIII, or opt for the much more developer friendly Nexus. I personally chose the SIII, but part of me is envious of all the Roms for the Nexus.

    • Greg Smith

      Depends on who you are. Are you going to flash ROMs, sideload apks from other sources, make your phone do things it was never really meant to do? Or will you panic if you have to spend a few hours getting your WiFi to work after loading that new JB nightly? I have the Gnex and love it, but I got my wife a Razr Maxx. We’re both happy. Must say though, that the Gnex is a great smartphone, but not the best “telephone”.

      • BigLa

        I was certainly a chronic flasher with my Incredible, and I’ve no hesitation to do some troubleshooting. Ultimately, I decided to go for the better hardware, and hope the dev community came through for the SIII. Early signs are encouraging.

  • kixofmyg0t

    When is the review for the Atrix HD gonna post? 😀

  • tdpietrini

    I am constantly getting group sms texts from my friends with iphones. Their responses come in separately, and with the galaxy nexus I don’t have the option to reply all. I have heard handscent is the way to go, but even after setting it as my default messaging app for SMS/MMS, it doesn’t seem to be working. Any other suggestions?

  • Do you need to have a cable/ satellite subscription in order to watch live tv on the vizio co-star?

  • LaRocKa1158

    Why doesn’t the stock android messenger app support group messaging? This is the most frustrating thing about android for me right now being that I hate third party messanger apps.

  • Can you put a persistent link to your chatroom (tlk.io/droid_life) up somewhere in your site header? It’ll get some more people aware of it. It’s been a good impromptu real-time support forum lately.

  • I’d like to hear a more in depth editorial / opinion of the whole Apple Patent lawsuit issue… your news and coverage on the topics is spot on and super helpful, but I’d like to hear more about your personal view on the subject.

    I know many of us are infuriated with Apple and their patent wars…. maybe we need calming down, or maybe we need backup! Either way, your take on this would be interesting a good read.

  • RBI411

    1. Is MHL something enabled solely through hardware, solely through software, or some combination of both? Is it possible to add MHL to something that ships without supporting it? 2. Do you see Google adding some support to the Google TV which is functionally equivalent to what the Nexus Q does? It seems pretty week now.

  • trixnkix637

    Curious.. what is the safest method of getting root for the VZW S3 without great risk of bricking?

  • Joshua Colon

    Now that Google has taken over camp Motorola, how do you think it will change Motorola and Verizon’s relationship?

  • Michael

    My grandma just got a new smartphone and was wondering if you could give me your number so she can ask you questions. HAHA JK I look forward to seeing the selected questions/answers

  • unexpected62

    When will Google fix its MESSAGING fragmentation???
    HUGE ISSUE. Google Talk links with Gmail Chat, but also Google+ chat (on the desktop) but Google+ chat on the phone (messenger) is different. Then you have google voice, and regular SMS. So there’s literally 4 different messaging services/protocols and on top of that, the ones that are the same platform (Google+) are different on the phone and desktop!!!!!

    Ah, first world problems.

    • Michael

      I have a feeling they won’t beable to answer this

  • Gfunk81

    What is your upgrade plan for the Droid-Life Android App. It currently force closes a LOT (I’m on Samsung GS3/Verizon). Also unable to see comments/post comments from the app and watching video is a chore. Are you guys planning on any upgrades to your app…something similar to Engadget?

    • JoshGroff

      They have an app? I just use the site and zoom usually.

      • Ya they do. I uninstalled it b/c it kept refreshing stories in the middle of the night waking my girlfriend & I. I thought it was b/c I’m on east coast time.

    • ArrowCool

      I use Google Currents to view DL on my G-Nex and my N7. Probably one of the most used apps that I have.

      • Greg Smith

        Agreed. I recently discovered Currents and find it a great way to keep up with several sites, though DL is the first one on my list.

        • Gfunk81

          I must say that for the past three years I’ve relied on the main app, but I just spent some time using currents and I’m going to make the switch until they improve their own. I see that in currents, the comments section loads (although kind of slow because it directs you to the website) and the videos load quickly. Thanks for the suggestion!

          • michael arazan

            for me as well, i tried the app out and uninstalled because it didn’t work well

    • Brien Gerber

      I use pulse and it works well.

  • unexpected62

    Can you open an actually good forum where people can talk Android stuff? The old one sucked, and was dead of activity, and right now I get an SQL error. A site with a community this good should have a good forum.

  • paul_cus

    I know Huawei is trying to break into the high end American phone market. Do you think anyone else is going to try to do this? Any OEM you’d like to see?

  • Alex Mosqueda

    Do you think Samsung will use Google now instead of Svoice when they upgrade the gsIII to jelly bean or will they stick to SVoice or some how combine the two?

  • br_hermon

    One last one: What tech do you recommend outside of Android? What type or brand of car stereo, TV, digital camera, Computer, PC OS, phone or computer accessories, bluray players, etc.

  • Brendan

    >neither kellex or tim-o-tato is answering questions

    • Bsody

      Lol, glad I wasnt the only one to notice.

      • will bartlett

        post questions, they post answers in a new article in a few days. they have done this 2 other times.

    • will bartlett

      apparently you dont know how these work…

  • br_hermon

    This might be blasphemous but I’ll throw it out there… Who or what other sites do you guys follow? Android Police? All About Android (Twit)? AndroidForums? Rootzwiki? following people on twitter or G+?

    Related: Posting to the DL website, twitter and Google+. Comments being spread out all over the place… Is that a pain more than anything or do you enjoy the different outlets?

    • Valid question, I’m kindof curious to hear more on this.

  • IntlGrizzly

    Would you consider expanding the site to cover more than Android news?

  • Android Connoisseur

    What Jelly Bean Rom do you recommend for the Galaxy Nexus? There are many Roms that are currently out there and I’m not sure what the best one is. Something that is stable with a moderate amount of customizations.

    • Brien Gerber

      I’m using Bugless Beast and its great!

    • Bigwavedave25

      2nd that. Bugless Beast is a great stable rom with minimal mods. Highly recommend. My current rom of choice. Follow @peteralfonso on twitter, it’s where he posts updates. AlphonsAlphonsAlphonsAlphonsAlphonsAlphonsAlphonsAlphonsAlphonsAlpho on twitter, it’s where he posts updates.

  • LionStone

    Will you still do a full review on the DROID Inc4? It really seems odd that everyone else has already, yet the one site dedicated to DROIDS , has not?

  • Southrncomfortjm

    IMO, stock or a rom that is very close to stock is the only way to go with Android. Skins be damned.
    My question is, why don’t manufacturers offer a non-skinned OS on their phones for a small fee, say $10?
    Doing so would preserve whatever profits they presumably get from adding bloatware and also allow a greater audience to experience stock Android greatness.

  • JustTrollin69

    After starting Droid-Life, what were your intentions? Did you ever think it would be where it is today?

  • Howard

    Is Motorola going to update the Razrs to Jelly Bean

  • logan_jinx

    is their a way to save apps & app data when switching between ROMs? I would like to be able to flash a new ROM and not start from scratch every time. Or is it possible to have my apps load from the play store and not load all the crappy one I download when I got my Droid Eris back in December of ’09?

    • ArrowCool

      Titanium Backup

    • Bsody

      Rom Toolbox is another one.

  • erikd887

    what do you guys think about jeremy lin going to houston?

  • RedPandaAlex

    In your opinion, what is the single biggest thing missing from Android right now, be it an OS feature, an app, or hardware, that would affect how people use their Android device(s)?

  • dan

    What is your favorite ROM of jellybean out there?

    • And Why?

      • michael arazan

        And is there a stock Jelly Bean os to flash, for those of us that just like stock android and don’t want to wait till christmas for Verizon to push the jellybean update?

        I read that 4.1 for cdma and gsm is identical from what Jean Baptiste said.

  • br_hermon

    Where do you see DL in 3 years? 5 years? News, forums, podcasts, professional grade video coverage, magazine publications, development, partnering with carriers or OEMs for special releases or promotions? Basically expanding in size to something like, say, Cnet and beyond. Seems like everybody and their brother is dipping their feet into other pools outside their core business model, what about DL?

  • I’m new to the Android community and I was curious if you had any tips for casual phone users trying to learn the basics of the phones and all the tech terms? Like a guide?

  • When you guys credit an article to “___!” is it because the person submitting it asked to not be mention or left it blank, or is it something else entirely?

    • WCDave

      It’s because someone asked to remain anonymous…. not that I’d know anything about that….

    • Yes, the person would like to remain anonymous. 🙂

      • I am assuming that you must be choosing the question you are going to answer right now?

  • John

    Are you ever going to redo the forum section?

  • DanWazz

    Pre-season football is starting soon. Are any of you excited? If so, what teams will you be rooting for?

  • Trav

    Do you think there will be a new nexus phone out for this year? I have a vzw galaxy nexus and love it. However my wife have the GS3 that I been eyeing.


    What’s the difference between DROID-LIFE and AN.DROID-LIFE? Seems like Droid-Life would cover DROID (Verizon marketing) branded devices exclusively, whereas An.droid-life would cover everything else that runs Android. Yet, here are articles for the Samsung Galaxy SIII, HTC One X, and Samsung Galaxy Nexus, all which are NOT “Droid” phones. The only one you have is the Motorola Droid Razr MaXX.

    • an.droid-life sort of died recently, it was when they were created droid-life was verizon phones and an.droid-life was everyone elses. The issue was where do android OS related things go which they went to droid-life and so an.droid-life had minimal content.

  • cakewipe

    Why are your servers so slow? It takes about 30+ seconds to load each page. Also the person monitoring (or not monitoring) your email needs to be fired. I have a Verizon S3 with unlimited data and found a simple way to turn on Wifi hotspot without having to root. I sent 2 emails on it and got no reply. Don’t get me wrong, I love the site but would much rather not have to wait so long for pages to load

    • matt

      Whats the trick? I’d love to hear it!

      • cakewipe

        Just download widgetsoid and create a widget to turn it on, it uses Verizons hotspot software but bypasses the security check. I am sure Verizon has overlooked this glitch and I am hoping they don’t fix it in their next update.

        • matt

          Awesome, thanks. I hate that Verizon wants me to pay to use a feature that my phone already has. I am already paying for the data. Ugh!

          • cakewipe

            Exactly, this is my way of sticking it to the man!

  • Conner G

    What are your expectations for jelly bean on the s3? I feel like if you take the best of both touchwiz nature and jelly bean and put it together it would be something really amazing. Thanks.

  • Christian

    I have a question for you guys about what we all love most – the Android OS! Anyways, what do you think about Google’s efforts as far as messaging/text communication goes? I mean Apple has iMessage now, but Google has yet to do a serious rework of messaging in Android. For example, it would be nice if GTalk and “Messaging” were integrated somehow – maybe even interlacing GTalk profile info with your phone number, that way you could essentially “text” in the way we’re all used to, but not have the limitations of low-tech SMS. I know it would be similar to iMessage, and I know we don’t want to be like Apple, but it would be a very welcomed advancement in the OS.

    P.S. Maybe Google Voice does something like this already? Not sure but the integration/features just don’t seem as rich as they could be.

    • Jared

      10000000000% AGREE. HUGE ISSUE. Google Talk links with Gmail Chat, but also Google+ chat (on the desktop) but Google+ chat on the phone (messenger) is different. Then you have google voice, and regular SMS. So there’s literally 4 different messaging services/protocols and on top of that, the ones that are the same platform (Google+) are different on the phone and desktop!!!!!

    • arthuruscg

      Hummm, add in there thoughts on Google adding Voip support to Google Voice for use on Wifi tables.

    • Seth Crain

      About the not wanting to be like Apple bit, we do in their good parts, but not in any of their business practices or the stuff they do bad.

  • Carlos

    Any idea on Droid 4 updates? ICS or JB.

  • adb.freedom

    Is it ok to flash a new CWM Recovery over the top of a permanent CWM Recovery? I Flashed touch permanently and thinking of going back to old school after hearing of recent bugs with JB ROM’s and touch. BTW I used factory.recovery.stopper.signed.zip to flash permanent. Thanks

    • moelsen8



    Also, what happened to Android Life???

  • Phil

    Why do we park on driveways and drive on parkways?


    Give us your thoughts on the HTC Rezound. It is a great device, yet it isn’t advertised much and much overlooked. Why is that? It had a short market life for some reason, and not many even know about it. I personally think it’s better than the RAZR and even the G Nexus. Thoughts from you all??? Thanks!

    • JoshGroff

      The Rezound had probably one of the best screens on a phone last year. Also, it was advertized at least through Christmas of last year (I distinctly remember the Christmas commercial.)

  • JustTrollin69

    Hopefully not too personal, but was curious. What does Droid-Life mean to the team? Would you guys consider this blog a job to make a living or perhaps just a hobby? If it’s more like a hobby, what to you guys do for a living?

    • John

      +1. I’ve always wondered this too.

    • guitarshredder87

      +9000 what heck do you guys do for a living?

    • feztheforeigner

      I’ve been wondering the same thing. I used to never sees ads and even when I do they are very minimal.

      I didn’t know if there were so many users donating you could make a living or if you had another job (that you have somehow managed to continue posting articles at any time during the job).

      Not quite relevant, but Kellen you are awesome!!! Just wanted to throw that out there!

  • YourFriend

    When are you guys going to post your review of the Atrix HD?

  • ArrowCool

    Can you recommend a good place to start learning how to code apps? I did a bit of Basic, Pascal, and C++ years ago. (Yes, many years ago) I’ve searched and haven’t had any luck finding a “beginner” tutorial/text.

  • collegepunk

    Is it possible to unlock the Verizon G S 3 to work with different SIM cards abroad? Or is that something that the boot loader has to be unlocked for?

    • JoshGroff

      If you mean globally, it is already unlocked, if you mean within the US, than that would be something to ask Verizon about (I think you have to get the ESN white-listed through them, but I’m not sure how one goes about doing so.) Also, SIM unlocking is completely separate from an unlocked boot-loader.

      • collegepunk

        Really? I could hop on a plane to London and pop in any sim card and it will work? That’s almost too good to be true!

        • JoshGroff

          As long as it’s compatible, it should work. I don’t travel much, so I haven’t read that much into it.

  • interstellarmind

    Which do you think the dev community will support more? Verizon’s locked down galaxy s3 or the unlockable version that Samsung will sell?

  • Bigwavedave25

    Nexus7 and the lack of expandable memory… You have mentioned before that the [low] internal memory was not really an issue because of cloud storage.

    1) Do you still feel this way?
    2) Is there anything you previously used an sd card for regularly on a tablet that you wish you had it for on the Nexus7? Like running Apps, ROM’s, Linux, etc?

    Thanks for you feedback. I am thinking about pulling the trigger on 2 of these tablets, but I am just not sure about the internal memory size. I have a 32Gb Galaxy Nexus and it has not been an issue for me, but I do have all that memory to play with.

  • EvanTheGamer

    Do you think ASUS will announce a 10″ Nexus 7 with more space(32GB?) in the future?

  • Is there any way to get content from my Nexus 7 to my tv without using a Nexus Q? I was specifically looking at the Co-Star

  • Trevor

    What phone are you currently using and why?

  • Dude

    Do you think someone who already has a Galaxy S3 would enjoy the screen size of a Nexus 7 tablet, or would you recommend something larger?

    • EvanTheGamer

      If you plan to do a lot of gaming on a tablet, then the screen size(7″) of the Nexus 7 is perfectly fine, seriously, it’s an incredible tablet to game on at that size. But if not, and you plan to watch a lot of movies, along with doing other things(not gaming) then something larger would probably be best. Although watching movies on the Nexus 7 is quite nice, to say the least.

    • Seth Crain

      I know my opinion isn’t as high as theirs, but as a G-nex owner I personally recommend a N7. The size is quite nice and enough larger than at east my phone to are a sizable difference (pun intended)

      • matt


    • Bsody

      The 7″ form factor was actually something I wanted. I had an HP Touchpad with CM9 previously, it was alright but just seemed too big and unwieldy while walking around the house. Its definitely nice being able to palm the N7 easily while doing other things, such as grabbing a beer.

      • JoshGroff

        That was my problem with the Touchpad and Xoom, as much as I love a 9-10″ screen, it’s just too bulky to carry around. 7″ is a pretty solid form factor, and the ability to hold it firmly in one hand is definitely a benefit.

    • Greg Smith

      Depends on how you use it. I have the GNex and just got the Nexus 7. My kids have (shudder) iPads. There is a significant difference in the experience between the phone and the 7″ screen size. For me the N7 is perfect for watching movies & YouTube, because I actually prefer to hold it in my hands like a book and I am the only person using it. If you want to put it on the coffee table and sit back on the couch like my kids do, it’s probably too small. On the other hand, I would never lug around a 10″ screen. The N7 fits comfortably in the front cargo pocket of my shorts, For me the size really hit the sweet spot, and I’m happy to have both the Gnex and the N7

  • Dylan Neu

    I saw that Google added Emoji support with 4.1, but the implementation is cumbersome and incomplete. Any idea on when full Emoji support will come native to Android?

  • EvanTheGamer

    When do you guys think the next update for the Nexus 7 will be available?

  • How often do you add staff to DL, and how do you go about doing it?

  • kaufkin

    Kellex, what clock you using these days? 🙂

  • With more and more “cloud oriented” devices being released (i.e. ones without an SD card slot,) old school local-storage types are talking about using USB OTG adapters with flash drives or card readers with their devices. I haven’t seen a whole lot of talk about another option…building your own personal cloud to stream or sync your content to these “cloud oriented” devices. What are the best content streaming / syncing / caching options available for users who are looking to build their own personal cloud & privately stream or sync? (Is Plex worth $5? Is Emit Free good enough? What do you guys use?)

  • mike

    what do you guys do for jobs when your aren’t writing articles for droid life?

    • Drink good Portland Beer and watch sports. This is their full time job.

  • moelsen8

    have a favorite prepaid gsm carrier in the US?

    • kaufkin

      go to FL, drop into a Tmobile store and say HI to Pete of Bugless Fame. per a few articles I’ve read, if you have the local access, it’s a good deal. just a big IF on the access / network. 🙂

  • nwd1911

    Will the Razr HD have a 3300 mAH battery?

    • JoshGroff

      I am pretty sure it’s been confirmed, I could be wrong.

      • nwd1911

        I hope so. Initial talk was 3300, then we saw variants with sub 2000. All I’ve seen lately is screen, proc, etc. I could have missed it. Someone point me in the right direction please.

        • JoshGroff

          Nothing I’m seeing is confirming battery either. :/

  • Does anyone at DL have any developing know-how (apps, themes, roms, random mods etc) or are you all mainly serial flashers?

    • I can answer that for you. No, as far as I know, none of us have any developer skillz of any kind. We’re just crack flashers 🙂

  • David Dudovitz

    Do you think any of Verizon’s HTC phones will get the ICS update anytime soon, especially after the whole Desire HD fiasco?

  • AryanRich

    Whats more important, Unlimited Data or a Subsidized Phone?

    • trumpet444

      data data data data

    • Seth Crain

      As a serial flasher I can say that I prefer unlimited data, redownloading apps is super fast on 4G speeds and I’d be spending the extra amount either way on jacked up data prices

    • Greg Smith

      Data, IMHO. Because there are more and more streaming and cloud based services that are being offered. You will be using more data in the future, not less. However, hardware costs tend to decrease over time, especially if you buy “behind the curve”. Bet there will be a lot of used Gnexes and Razrs for sale soon to pay for all those new S3s.

  • Why is Android so much fun? Do you have the answer?

  • Pancake345

    How do I get Droid LIfe to review one of my apps? (Submitting them hasn’t seemed to work;)

    • Get to know the people who write here

  • Daniel Miller

    Cake or pie?

    • trumpet444

      Cake or death?

      • Tough choice….

      • JoshGroff

        Hmm, probably Cake, but just by a slim margin.

    • JoshGroff

      The cake is a lie, so it’s obviously gonna be pie.

  • Alix8821

    Best “book” apps for college students…. and wen will VZW get JB? mo jokes … haha

  • tehshift

    How was droid-life’s color scheme chosen?

    • Trevor

      just about to ask why pink

      • trumpet444

        I would guess that it just sets them apart, and/or it may just be kellex’s favorite color

        • Nope if you go way back on the old site you can find out why.

          • feztheforeigner

            What is the old site? Just old posts or a different website he used to run (like droidlife.com or something)?

    • KOBALT

      Google it. It was asked on the forums.

      • tehshift

        You should Google it. Links fail.

      • John

        forums. lol.

      • Michael

        I Now’ed it and nothing came up

      • adtst3

        I thought this was Q&A, not ‘Have a question? Google it.’

  • John-Mark Clawson

    I purchased a car charger from your store which recently stopped working. I have contacted customer support twice now (with the first time being 3 weeks ago) and have yet to receive a response. Wanted to give you a heads up that whoever is supposed to be monitoring your CS contact form is not responding to customers.

  • skyns

    Any word on htc rezound ICS update???

    • KOBALT

      7 more days. Then ask.

  • Kyle

    I’m going off to college soon. What are some good apps for a college student?

    • Greg Smith

      Wolfram Alpha. Ask it just about anything and you’ll get more information than you could imagine.

  • Does anyone actually like CM’s Cid?

    • moelsen8

      he’s grown on me. especially because the CM boot animation is just so god damn badass

    • Cameron_Watt

      no. much preferred the skating andy. he was bad ass