Thursday Poll: Rooted or Non-Rooted?

Throughout the day, thanks to topics like the Nexus 6 having encryption that can’t be turned off without taking matters into your own hands, we have seen the emergence of a healthy discussion around the topic of tinkering. When we say “tinkering,” we are talking about understanding adb commands, flashing recoveries or images or ROMs, and generally deciding that you can make your phone better than it is out of the box. As the conversation has grown, a number of readers have taken it back to what we used to consider to be the initial step in becoming a tinkerer, and that’s through rooting a phone. And that thought has revived this poll question, which we try to run at least once a year, but haven’t seen December of 2013. In other words, it’s time.

So, let’s do this. In the poll below, all you have to do is answer by choosing if you are “rooted” or “non-rooted.” From there, to continue this conversation, feel free to jump into the comments section and talk about the phone you own, if you are rooted or non-rooted, why you fall into either of those categories, etc.

Rooted or Non-Rooted?

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Friday Poll: What’s Your Favorite Material Design Google App Update So Far?

As you may have noticed, a whole lot of app updates have hit Google Play this past month, bringing Material Design aesthetics to all Android users, not just those lucky enough to already have Lollipop.

To list a couple of the more major updates, Gmail, Play Store, Play Music, and Maps got very updated looks, but then you have apps like Drive, Docs, Slides, and Wallet that not only received new looks, but new features as well. Each update was very important for that exact app.

Our question today is quite simple – which one has been your favorite so far?

If you still don’t have a few of these updated apks, follow the links to our previous write ups above where we provide the apk files when available.

What's your favorite Material Design Google app update so far?

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Friday Poll: What is Your Typical Screen on Time in a Day?

How many hours per day do you spend looking at your phone? That’s essentially what we are looking for when we ask, “What is your typical screen on time in a day?” Actually, it’s deeper than that, because it’s a metric (if you can call it that) that we look at while doing reviews to give you a sense of the battery life we are getting with a particular device.

I can tell you that I average around two hours of screen on time per day, but that can jump up to three or four hours during a review period. I would consider myself to be a pretty average user, since I sit at a computer doing most of my work during the day, with the phone acting as a sidekick until it becomes my main computing device at night. But I know that many of you are using your phones for everything, from the minute you wake up until the minute you lay your head on a pillow. With that type of use, I can imagine that five hours could be average.

So, let’s find out what the official Droid Life average is for screen on time.

For those new, you can find screen on time by jumping into Settings>Power/Battery and then tapping on “Screen” in the list of items gobbling up battery power.

What is Your Typical Screen on Time in a Day?

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Tuesday Poll: Nexus 6 on Which Carrier?

Google has done something with the Nexus 6 that we weren’t sure we would ever see – compatibility and availability with every major wireless carrier in the US. In case you missed the wildness of last week’s Nexus 6 announcement, just know that you should be able to buy the new Nexus phone and use it on AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, and Verizon. Yes, that says “Verizon.” We don’t have pricing or launch dates from many of the carriers (T-Mobile says November 12), but all have confirmed in some way or another that they plan to carry the phone. Verizon confirmed directly to us, even though they didn’t issue a press release.

So now that you got your wish – carrier choice with a Nexus phone – it’s time to tell us which carrier you plan to use the Nexus 6 on.

Nexus 6 on Which Carrier?

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Friday Poll: What do You Primarily Keep on Your MicroSD Card?

Thanks to numerous polls we have conducted in the past, we know where on the list of importance your phone having a microSD card is; extremely high. In fact, we have many readers who will apparently skip a device entirely if it does not feature expandable storage, but for others, it is much less of a deal breaker.

With Google and Motorola releasing the Nexus 6 with only two models, a 32GB and 64GB storage option, the lack of a microSD card slot may be a big deal. For the larger 64GB storage option, the price goes up another $50 to $699, which could be a deterrent to a few potential buyers. Keep in mind, 32GB of onboard storage will likely leave you with 22-27GB depending on the size of the system.

To make this short, we want to know what you need all of that additional microSD storage for. Do you need to have your music library with you at all times, unwilling to use precious data to stream it? Do you need countless photo galleries on your person at all times? Do you enjoy downloading large file games to your device?

The question is, what has you folks absolutely needing a microSD card on your phone? In the comments, please feel free to elaborate on your particular situation.

What do you primarily keep on your microSD card?

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Wednesday Poll: Are You Buying a Nexus 9?

Google revealed three new Nexus devices today, one of which we have already asked if you plan to buy. That would be the Nexus 6, Google’s new flagship phone. But what about today’s newly unveiled tablet, the HTC-made Nexus 9? Are you planning to buy one when they go up for pre-order on October 17?

As a recap, the Nexus 9 runs a 2.3GHz dual-core 64-bit Tegra K1 processor and sports an 8.9-inch (2048×1536) display, 2GB RAM, 8MP camera, 16GB or 32GB of storage, and 6,700mAh battery. It also comes in three colors (black, tan, and white), is wrapped in a soft grip coating and has brushed metal sides. This a premium tablet.

But a “premium” tablet typically carries a premium price tag, a fact that the Nexus 9 sticks to. For a 16GB model, you are looking at a price of $399. If you want 32GB of storage, you are looking at $479 for the WiFi-only model or $599 for the LTE-ready version.

So, are you buying a Nexus 9? If you are, which color?

Are You Buying a Nexus 9?

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Wednesday Poll: Are You Buying a Nexus 6?

New Nexus days are always exciting in the Android universe, as users get a peek as to what Google’s vision for Android truly is at that select point in time. It has evolved quite significantly over the past few years, and we think the Nexus 6 is a fine addition to the family of Nexus devices.

The Nexus 6 features monster specs, packing a 5.96″ QHD display (2560 x 1440), Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB of RAM, 13MP rear-facing camera with OIS, 2MP front-facing camera, 3220mAh battery, and runs the latest version of Android, Android 5.0 Lollipop.

For the 32GB model, full retail price is listed at $649, while the 64GB model is priced at $699. While these full retail prices might seem high when compared to past Nexus devices such as the Nexus 4 and Nexus 5, Google looks to have done their absolute best when working with Motorola to deliver a truly premium Android experience. And of course, the device will be available on all four major US carriers at a subsidized price. With that said, it’s not like you absolutely have to shell out $649+ for a new phone.

One question remains, are you buying one?

Are you buying a Nexus 6?

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Tuesday Poll: How Often do You Use Voice Search?

Google published a survey this week which it commissioned through Northstar Research. The goal was to find out not only how often users in different age categories used voice search, but how they used the service itself. The study also asked users what they would like to see search do more of in the future. Funnily enough, wishing they could order pizza ranked highest among young users of voice search.

In the study, it was found that 55% of teens and 41% of adults use voice search more than once a day. But, how do the two categories differ in use of the service? Teens, on one side, focus on using their voice to call friends, ask for directions, help with homework, and play songs. Adults on the other hand, use voice search primarily for voice dictation, asking directions, checking the time (however odd that sounds), and to make calls.

A whole ton of neat things were discovered in the research, so we recommend you check out Google’s official blog for more information. In the meantime, we want to run a poll of our own.

How often do you use voice search on your Android device? Once you answer, feel free to throw in the comments what things you use voice search the most for.

How often do you use voice search?

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