Solving Advertising Revenue on Android [Opinion]

Google has come a long way from their humble Stanford beginnings, but the search giant is still an advertising company at heart. Google is not making their billions by selling Nexus devices; they are making the vast majority of their money on advertisements. It is because of those advertisement sales that Google is able to be as ambitious as they are with projects like Android, Loon, and Glass, but that success is a double edged sword.

Google, like many other advertising companies, has been working through the how to make money from advertisements on mobile devices. While Apple may have ushered in the modern smartphone era with the iPhone, it was Google who commoditized it with Android. Taking Microsoft and Palm’s licensing model and twisting it, Google offered Android to device manufacturers for free. This plan solved the first major problem Google faced when entering the smartphone market, gaining market share, but it did nothing to determine how to make money from advertising on mobile. (more…)

Why the Nike Fuelband SE Experience Sucks Without an Android App

Last month, Nike introduced the world to its new fitness band, the FuelBand SE, as a follow-up to its original wearable activity tracker. I was excited at the time even though the story of the original FuelBand in relation to Android users is not a pretty one, to say the least. With the introduction of the newest version and its brand new feature-packed iOS app, I had high hopes of Nike seeing the light or at least recognizing that Android is the most popular and widespread mobile operating system on the planet. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to care because Android manufacturers aren’t Apple. I didn’t make that up, their VP of  Digital Sport actually said that. So once again, there is no Android experience for the Nike FuelBand SE, only a web portal that fails to provide access to any of the new useful features that are included in the iOS app.

But you know what, I still bought the damn thing.  (more…)

Waking From the Nexus Dream [Opinion]

nexus logo

Last week on the Droid Life Show I mentioned that I don’t think Nexus devices really matter anymore. With the Nexus 5′s release just around the corner, a lot of readers became very defensive of the Nexus program. Call me self-absorbed or too worried about what people think about me (I’m working on it), but I read through every comment on our site and YouTube regarding my statements. After reading through the comments and listening to our discussion on the show again I’ve decided to try to go into more detail about why I feel this way about the Nexus program. It’s not that I hate Android or Nexus phones, but rather that I believe they could mean so much more than they do today. (more…)

Why I Use an iPhone [Opinion]

iOS and Android

Last week in my opinion piece about why I think Android users should consider the Moto X I opened up the article with an admission: I currently use an iPhone 4S and I plan on getting the next iPhone. This wasn’t supposed to be a secret (if you follow me on Twitter then you would have noticed that I use iOS most of the time). On the Droid Life Show I have shown my iPhone and discussed using my iPad. That said, I know that a lot of readers did not know, and more importantly, were surprised or upset to read that I use an iPhone. Below you’ll read my responses to questions I have received about why I use iOS, when I made the transition, and why it matters. If you have follow up questions or comments then feel free to leave a comment or reach out to me on Twitter.

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Why the Moto X is My New Phone…Until the Next Nexus Arrives [Opinion]

When the Moto X finally goes on sale at the end of this month, I’ve pretty much made up my mind that it’s going to be my next phone. After spending the last week or so with a review unit (be sure to read our review), I like everything about it, even with its higher-than-expected price tag and mid-range-type specs (though they are still painful at times in the back of my mind). The overall package, which includes 99.1% stock Android, solid camera, good display, set of new features I actually use, and a body that feels better in hand than almost any other phone on the market, is something I can get down with. So yeah, I’m ready for my MotoMaker-made Moto X to take me through a couple of months of use before the next Nexus arrives. That’s right, as much as I’m a fan of Motorola’s new flagship, the next Nexus is also on the horizon. What a world we live in.

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Initial Thoughts on the New DROID Family of Phones, and the Moto X

DROID ULTRA MAXX MINI

Outside of Apple reporting quarterly earnings numbers moments ago, the day belonged to Motorola and Verizon. With three newly introduced DROID devices at varying price points, and with a set of new demo-friendly features to show off, we had a lot to cover this morning. But as the day is winding down, I’ve got to admit that I have dozens of thoughts running through my head, all of which involve these new phones along with their soon-to-be-introduced brother, the Moto X. Let’s talk about it all.  (more…)

Good Artists Copy; Great Artists Steal [Opinion]

iOS 7 Lock Screen

On Monday, Apple revealed the latest version of iOS to the press and developers at its annual World Wide Developers Conference. Apple showed off a lot of new features on iOS, many of which are iterations on ideas from other companies. Unsurprisingly, I saw a lot of people complaining on Twitter that Apple was claiming to reinvent everything and that they stole everything from Android. The truth is that they took ideas from Android, webOS, Windows Phone, and a handful of jailbreak tweaks and, most importantly, iterated on them. Apple didn’t claim to be reinventing anything (they’ve avoided that claim for years now); instead, Apple claimed to be iterating. iOS 7 really is the biggest change to iOS since the iPhone was released in 2007.

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Thoughts on the New Gmail for Android

new gmail

Well, now that it’s rolling out to everyone are you fans of the new Gmail for Android? The app itself is a mix of new and old, in terms of functionality and looks. Gone is the bottom action bar, in is a new top action bar. The pulldown menu for switching accounts or accessing different labels or inboxes is gone, in is a new slideout side navigation drawer. There are massive colored icons for contacts that default to big letters if you don’t have the sender as a contact, account switching has changed slightly, and you may need to tell Gmail to show either Archive or Delete buttons depending on your preference. It’s a pretty big change, while not being that big of a change – if that makes sense.  (more…)