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Droid Life Q&A Session: Volume 4

It’s been far too long since our last Q&A session, so here we are. Since our last entry, we’ve seen pigs fly (Motorola starting to unlock bootloaders), Verizon’s Galaxy S3 had its bootloader unlocked, and tons of other Android awesomeness.

If you arenโ€™t familiar with our Q&A sessions, think of them as your opportunity to ask the Droid Life staff anything. How we’ve been keeping cool in this summer heat, what we’re hoping to see at CES 2013, or even ask us to kindly show off more pictures/video of our beloved pets. As always, please feel free to shoot your Android questions in too. We love helping out our readers.

Check back on Friday to see if your question gets answered.

  • MichaelFranz

    When do you see some of the unique features of Android finally making a big splash. For example, NFC and mobile payments. Only available on Android, or unless you have that card reader for iOS. Same thing with Android Beam.

    Are we just doomed by the advancement that technology is so far ahead that normal everyday people will never catch up?, Or is the general populous so brainwashed by an iPhone that we have to wait until they have it before it is something that gets used consistently?

  • What have you done with your Nexus Q’s?

  • A.Walker

    I have a Droid X and a legacy unlimited data plan. Can I tether without being charged any fees from VZW?

  • sofarsogoodsowhat

    I rooted my Verizon Galaxy Nexus for the first time last week, and flashed an AOSP JB rom. What apps do you like that are root only?

  • skrusrnmz

    I pre-ordered my VZW GS3 knowing it had a “locked” bootloader. The
    morning it was to be delivered, July 11th, I read here on Droid-Life
    that Samsung was going to sell a developer edition that was unlocked.
    That afternoon I listed my untouched GS3 on ebay.

    I’ve been sitting on that money for a month and a half now with no word.
    Samsung’s page continues to mock me with “Coming Soon!” I have searched
    the bowels of google and there has been nothing new about it since that
    page went live July 15th.

    Is there going to be a developer edition of the GS3? Will it be soon? Or
    should I cave and buy the Verizon locked phone and pray they don’t do
    anything to block the exploit in the future? I love ROMing my G-Nex, but
    every now and then I go stock just to see the new updates vanilla. I
    don’t want to be stuck with ROMs for the rest of its life.

  • Fattie McDoogles

    Is Android missing anything for you guys? Are there features that still aren’t there yet, or is there something you’d like to see from the hardware side?

  • burpootus

    Do you think Verizon will respond to the SGIII bootloader being unlocked by doing something to affect the phones that have been unlocked, or by over time seeing that it isn’t so bad after all and relaxing their stance on locked bootloaders?

  • Devator22

    This is a dorky question, but then again, this is a tech blog ๐Ÿ˜› anyway, I am an avid player of a trading card game called Magic: the Gathering. It’s a good 20+ years old. Do any of you happen to play it? If so, what is your favorite block and what format/deck do you play?

  • Whatever happened to the white vzw galaxy nexus?

    • and you guys should have avatars so you dont have to reveal your identities.


    Do you even in the slightest miss, “BRO” comments? I do!


      I have a FREE McTYPEINGTON shirt on now,lol

      OK I’m done


    This is for KEL…will the blazers get a lottery pick in 2013? GO HEAT! *heat fan since year 1.

  • Nicholas Odenthal

    Weird question. What’s a bootloader? I’m new to android

  • Travis Gary

    give us a run down on nexus 7 accessories. where to find them, which ones are worth buying and which ones we must have

  • motorola droid nexus… your thoughts?

  • br_hermon

    What’s you guys’ guilty pleasure reality tv show?

  • Knlegend1

    Is WP8 a threat?

  • I was wondering you yall could do a small story about the differences between chip architecture and clock speed. I’ve noticed a lot of readers don’t notice that even tho a phone has a lower clock speed, it can still outperform higher clocked devices running a lower level chip architecture.

  • SCP087

    Can you record a video of you guys playing Slender or Containment Breach? ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Trevor

    Do you honestly think Verizon will every release another Nexus?

  • bloodxxsyndicate

    If motorola bought the rights to release a nexus device would any of you.guys purchase it?

  • How do you see Google Fiber (if it rolls out more broadly) affecting the smart phone and tablet space? Seems like there are a lot of interesting possibilities.

  • AranelAlasse

    Since “kexec” comes from two words (kernel execution), how should it be pronounced? Is it three syllables like “KAY-eck-zec” (k-exec)? or is it two syllables like “keks-eck” (or similar)? or…? (anyone is welcome to answer…)

    • CapnShiner

      I don’t know about anyone else, but I would pronounce it as 3 syllables.

  • CapnShiner

    When you say “beloved pets” are you referring to animals or electronics?

    For someone in a position like myself who is planning to buy a new phone for the full, un-subsidized price, what would you recommend? Would you recommend buying a pre-owned device from eBay? Would you suggest something in the current lineup, like a RAZR Maxx, GS3, or G-Nex? Would you suggest the RAZR HD? What about waiting for the GS3 Dev Edition? Would it be best to wait even longer and hope for a new Nexus phone that puts all other phones to shame?

    For the record, I currently own a DX, use a borrowed DX2, and plan to stick with Verizon and Android for the foreseeable future. I am on an individual plan with a invitation-only discounted plan that I don’t want to give up and a contract that expires in December. I still have a NE2 credit I could use, but it still would not be worth losing unlimited data and my promotional discount to get a subsidized phone. As long as I can keep my discounted plan, I’m staying off-contract.

    • We meant animals ๐Ÿ™‚ We all have adorable pets that love being showcased on the site lol

  • MRising

    Are there any websites to learn how to become a developer or to learn about rooting, and flashing?

    • CapnShiner

      XDA is one of the best. I would start there. For developing, you need to learn programming languages. You might want to consider formal classroom learning for that.

  • Capt. Crunch

    With all the news about Android viruses do you think we need to put some antivirus software on our phones?

  • Lucky Armpit

    No matter how much reading or searching I do, I still can’t wrap my head around AOKP, or “kanging”. Maybe they are two different things, but I thought I read once that “kanging” something was bad? But I hear so many good things about AOKP, which further lends to my confusion. Perhaps the DL Staff can clarify? To quote Denzel Washington, “Now, explain it to me like I’m a 4-year old.”

  • AhsanS

    Is the RAZR HD still worth getting if it comes in Ocotber and/or ships with ICS? Or are we better off waiting for the next Nexuses(Nexi?) or Motorola’s 2013 line-up?

  • Hi guys and gals. Thanks for being a big part of our Droid-Lives! My question is what happened to the rumors of Jelly Bean being rolled out to the Galaxy Nexus? I love my Nexus and would love it even more if it had JB! (I think) ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thx, Fremdroid

  • currentsupply

    Can we get some custom ROM Fridays on the Nexus 7?

    Do a feature on best/cheapest unlocked phones?

  • Mallahet

    What is your current favorite beer, whiskey, scotch, or other alcoholic beverage?

    I’ll start: whisky and ginger beer. Ginger beer > ginger ale, because it’s less sweet and has more ginger flavor. Like root beer, it is also non-alcoholic; I don’t think mixing beer and whisky is a good thing.

    • droyd4life

      They already answered that one in a previous Q&A ๐Ÿ™‚

  • CoCoCalypso

    Whats the deal with Android_Life?

    • Danny TwoTones

      ^ this

    • We’ve answered this a few times, but we’re continuing to merge the sites together in a very slow way.

  • Firemedic

    Wheres the OTA ICS for Bionic users? Any word? Early Q3 has come and passed..

    • You buy a locked bootloader from Moto, you get a locked bootloader from Moto…

      • Stew

        Locked bootloader has nothing to do with OTA updates.

        • That is true, but it has everything to do with being able to update your phone yourself with the latest version of Android, while your OEM and carrier drag their feet or (like in the case of the DROID3) abandon you completely! I went from OG to DROID3 to Gnex. I will never buy a locked bootloader again. Never.

  • Answer2K1

    What are your thoughts on the future of the Nexus/Verizon partnership?
    Concerning the evolution of Android, what do you see for “K” (Key Lime Pie?) and “L” (Lemon Meringue Pie/Licorice/Lollipop?) and will Android reach a point that “skins” become more of a hinderance than an “enhancement”?
    The war between iOS and Android will never end, that’s a given, but will it continue to push both to push the boundaries of innovation or will a third party (Windows/RIM/Bada/etc) arrive and close the gap quickly?
    Droid, RAZR, One, Galaxy, or other; which branding would you choose if you could only have one?

    • a good question would be what “skins” actually provide enhancements that should be in stock android because not everyone uses/needs S-pen etc.

  • schmaltzy

    What do you look like? Been a Droid Life follower since November 5th, 2009 when I got my Original Droid! Since then I’ve seen so many DL videos I could pick out your voice in a room full of hundreds. However, if I saw you walking down the street, I wouldn’t even give you a second thought. So, what do you guys look like?

    • Fattie McDoogles

      lol thats probably the point. But I have been curious about the same thing. I would love to know more about the guys.

  • Are you guys intimidated by The Verge? ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Can we get a phone spec comparison tool on the website? Display type, resolution, cpu/gpu speed, battery (options), camera, dimensions, weight, etc.

  • kixofmyg0t

    What happened to the Atrix HD review? Is it really THAT bad of a phone?

  • I’d like to hear more personal commentary about the Apple vs Samsung trial and potential involvement of Motorola/Google… I’m worried Android and our manufacturors are begining to look like the bad guys… what do we do? How can we educate the non “us”? Thanks again for all your work!!

  • Jason Crompton

    Is the high-end QWERTY slider dead i.e. was the photon Q the last gasp for slider with a great keyboard and specs or will there be a Droid 5 for those of us on Big Red?

  • AlexKCMO

    What are your predictions for the future of Android if Apple wins the case against Samsung? What will this mean for us as consumers? If Samsung wins against Apple? What happens to the industry as a whole?

    • if Apple wins Samsung changes their icons and pays some money. stock android icons don’t look like apples square crap so that was never an issue, the issue is Samsung ugly square crap. the consumers of Samsung products wont get square background behind their apps so they would benefit from it(in my opinion). if samsung wins they get money from apple but there’s no way apple is leaving the game

  • TheWenger

    Has the novelty of the Nexus 7 worn off yet? Are you still enjoying the device a month or two after getting it?

    • michael arazan

      And are there Nexus 7 dock keyboards out there by asus or a third party?

    • A.Walker

      What have you found the Nexus 7 will not do? What are you using your Nexus 7 for day to day. I’m considering purchasing one, but I’m a little nervous I’ll never use it for more than web browsing and some light gaming while on the throne.

  • What happened to On-Screen Nav Buttons?

    One of the most promising features of ICS and it seems like hardware design is lagging. I can barely stand using my wife’s SGS3 simply because I can’t seem to remember that the menu/back buttons are on the body (and I accidentally click them every time).

  • Is Brand Loyalty (hardware) helping or hurting Android development?

  • Why do you prefer box over drive? Why don’t you have a chromebook?

    • Box gives you 50 gigs. That’s more. I use both.

  • Morris

    Do you think we will have an NHL season this year and will it start on time?

  • harsh

    Should I worry about firefox OS?

  • Android1997

    If you cant have stock ICS, which ICS skin would you want. Blur/Sense/Touchwiz

  • Drew

    What are your thoughts on CES 2012?

    • paul_cus

      Kinda late, no?

      • Drew


        • paul_cus

          My bad. Should have figured. I need to get more sleep.

          • Drew

            No problem, we all have those days.

  • Liderc

    Do you feel like the Galaxy Nexus’ failure to get a general public following will result in less stock devices in the future despite being favored by the development community?

    Does the Nexus 7 serve a true purpose other than leisure, despite being a properly priced smaller tablet?

    • JoshGroff

      I thought the Nexus 7 was priced low also to get it into the hands of developers and to increase android tablet market share so developers would create more tablet friendly apps. (or something along those lines)

      • 4n1m4L

        Its intended to be used for media consumption. Buy music. Buy movies. Have a cheap tablet to do it with

        • JoshGroff

          Well, that too of course.

    • Stew

      The Galaxy Nexus is the third best selling device on Verizon, behind the number 1 iPhone 4S and number 2 RAZR Maxx

  • dr.droid

    what do you guys do on the weekends? why dont you post any news?

    • You guys certainly deserve time off, but a little insight into your lives and the workings of bringing information to us would be really interesting!

    • paul_cus

      They probably have lives.

    • Danny TwoTones

      Do you work seven days a week?

      • CapnShiner

        There is more than one person on staff. Nobody would have to work 7 days a week.

    • CapnShiner

      Excellent question. I was going to ask it myself before I saw your comment.

    • michael arazan

      They post news, this past weekend they had 3 articles, but usually they have one on average.

    • Fattie McDoogles

      From what I can tell from most of the blogs I follow “Technology” Monday-Friday business like everything else, outside of any conferences (which happen on weekends). So most sites don’t have much to post on the weekend as far as “news” is concerned. Droid-Life guys please correct me if I’m wrong.

  • Hear anything else about a possible Nexus 10?


    How does it feel to know that you have so many readers, especially when you see everyone come out of their rocks when you hold a contest?

    • i think only people who post on the site should be able to win not people who post for the first time just to win a device

      • WAldenIV

        I would like to know how contest winners are selected.

  • Mark Meisner

    Why, from a technical standpoint, does it seem so difficult for manufactures to make phones with small or almost no bezels? I understand with tablets, we need a bezel to hold the device. It would be ideal if we could get a 5″ screen in the current 4.5″ish form factor size.

  • Andrew Elliott

    Haven’t really heard any rumors or speculation about the next Nexus phone (or phones) for a while, its making me worried. Any insight on when the next Nexus phone will come out and any more details that might be floating around?

  • Knlegend1

    If there was a new customer choosing Verizon what phone would you suggest? SGS3, Galaxy Nexus, Razr Maxx or something new entirely?

    • Mark Meisner

      The galaxy nexus while great (my current phone), is already 9 months old. I’d wait one more month until the Razr HD is out. Hopefully they unlock the bootlaoder.

    • CapnShiner

      If you’re going to get it tomorrow, I would say either the GS3 or the RAZR Maxx. Otherwise, I would recommend waiting for the RAZR HD, the next Nexus, or something we haven’t heard of yet that could still be out for the holiday season.

      • Knlegend1

        Appreciate the feedback but I’m actually not in the market. I was interested in them responding.

  • mike mcginnis

    What is the office you mentioned in your my life scoop article, is that your droid-life office or a job office? and if so what is your job?

  • mike mcginnis

    Do you think the Droid Razr HD will be a good phone to get if it comes out september/october or do you think motorola has a better phone to launch as one of the 5 nexi(i think thats plural) coming out a few months later. I have a DX2 and am ready to chuck it at someone.

    • Stew

      RAZR HD will be a great phone. 5 Nexi isn’t confirmed. If it is, Moto will put out a great phone, because according to Google, Nexus means “best of Google”. But it’s not for sure that any of the 5 Nexi, much less the Moto one, will be offered on Verizon. Also, if the 5 Nexi rumor turns out to be false, the chances of Moto getting the one and only Nexus for the year is slim to none, because of the Google acquisition.

  • Jroc869, Cool story bro

    Do you think Android would be better if they released The latest os earlier to devs so they could get apps ready for launch. I love running jelly bean, but the issues I am coming across with apps that I would really like to use are maddening.

  • Is there any chance Motorola could be the choice for the next Nexus phone?

    • Stew

      Small chance. If they do 5 Nexi, better chance.

  • If I buy a used 4g phone with no sim card, will verizon force me into a share everything plan? And can I get a sim card from them.
    I am currently on an unlimited plan, using a 3g phone.

    • john monsalve

      verizon will provide the sim for free and will upgrade you to unlimited 4G at no cost because thats exactly what youre paying for. i did it when i went from my incredible to the thunderbolt and then to the Galaxy Nexus

      • CapnShiner

        Wasn’t that before they stopped offering unlimited data?

        • john monsalve

          they still honer it though

    • Ben Baird

      So long as you have a data plan on a smartphone… My mother went from a dumb phone to my old Rezound and was forced onto share everything.

  • Alex Instefjord

    When do you think we’ll see the next round of Nexus devices, and more importantly, do you think Verizon get any of them?

    • michael arazan

      I’ve been googling “new nexus” and haven’t found anything by anyone. If Google said they would have 5 nexus devices for 5 different companies do they have to be Google approved or prerequisites to follow? And is it optional to build if they choose too, maybe they wouldn’t if they feel they have a strong enough device already out, or does Google contract it out like in the past. Have any companies confirmed if they are building nexus devices?
      Last year we were hearing of leaked new nexus device in July of 2011, and nothing has leaked yet.

  • paul_cus

    Do you think we’ll eventually see other Android OEMs like Panasonic or Sharp try to break into the American smartphone market?

  • Jamie Miller

    As a Verizon GS3 owner – what’s the difference between rooting your phone and modifying it in various ways, and unlocking the bootloader? Thanks!

    • JoshGroff

      Rooting gives you administrator privileges and allows you to give apps administrator privileges. Unlocking the boot-loader allows for the installation of custom ROMs not built off of the stock ROM (I.E. AOKP/Cyanogenmod.)

    • CapnShiner

      Rooting actually refers to gaining access to the “Superuser” which allows commands to be run as root without exposing the actual root user. It is a Unix/Linux term. To my knowledge, unlocking the bootloader cannot be done without rooting the device first, unless it’s using an official tool from the OEM. Unlocking the bootloader allows the device to run an unsigned kernel, which essentially means you can install custom ROMs. The difference is that you can root a device without unlocking the bootloader. Rooting allows the use of root-only apps and gives them unrestricted access to the OS and the device. For example, a non-rooted device cannot uninstall bloatware because the standard user does not have permission. A rooted device can uninstall anything, even the bloatware designated as a system app. Anyone can install a new launcher and customize how their phone looks and behaves. Only a root user can do things the carriers and OEMs don’t want us to do.

      • andrew galvin

        you can unlock without rooting

        • CapnShiner

          Can it be done from the device with an apk or only from a computer? I never bothered with ROMs, except for stock ROMs. I don’t think I would benefit from it, especially since there aren’t many for my DX2.

  • Spencer

    Weird question… What does the office look like?

    • Fantastic idea, we should take pics of our set ups. Good thinking.

      • zUFC

        Yes, and pictures of you guys. It’s like your our friends (that we never get to see)…haha So we can out a face with the voice or writter.

      • zUFC

        Sorry, i meant “put a face with the voice…”
        Wasn’t logged in the edit. sorry (below)

        • LionStone

          At the very beginning of the Google I/O Conference, I believe there’s a K sighting… briefly.

  • I currently use DoggCatcher as my Podcast client and it is the best one I’ve found so far. Now that I’m getting more android devices, I’d like to be able to sync my podcast position across multiple devices. For example, if I’m listening to a podcast at work through a browser or application, I’d like to pause that podcast and resume listening to it on my Galaxy Nexus on the car ride home. Once I get home, I’d pause the podcast then continue listening and/or watching on my google tv. Does an application like this exist? I’ve tried using the my plex app but that’s built more for movies and tv shows.


    • Yes this is an excellent question. Please answer this.

    • Knlegend1

      Great question I have serious doubts but I hope I’m wrong.

  • zmberven

    Favorite place to eat out?

    • TheZilch

      The Y.

    • S2556

      in the back of my car

  • What do you think is the next big step for Android to take? Given all the details that have been discovered about user profiles, what are the next big features or improvements that you see for Android consumers?