Good news everyone: Derek Ross joins Phandroid

Good News Everyone

Good news everyone, Phandroid is getting a new part-time writer. Who? Me. I like long walks on the beach, an unlocked bootloader, a nightly ROM to flash, and just about anything Android or Google related served up on a platter to consume. I’m Derek Ross.

I might be new to Phandroid, but that doesn’t mean I’m new to Android. I’ve been obsessing over all things Android since early 2010 when I first saw the Nexus One. Want to know all about Derek Ross and his Android obsession? Let’s get started.

My Android Experience

My first Android phone was the HTC Droid Incredible. I wanted so badly for the Nexus One to come to Verizon Wireless, my carrier at the time, and still my carrier. I decided to go for the next best thing and go for the HTC Incredible as it had similar internals and that was good enough for me.

From there, I heard about this thing called a custom ROM. I found out that I could hack and slack my phone until my heart was content. Man, I was in love. My first custom ROM was CyanogenMod 6 and then version 7 before finally landing on MIUI.

Being a man possessed, I learned everything there was to know about MIUI and joined up with the local team. I then learned how to port MIUI from the Nexus One ‘s official ROM and make themes. It was glorious.

From there, I upgraded to the Verizon Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 7 2012, Nexus 7 2013 and I’m currently rockin’ the Moto X. I love flashing ROMS and tweaking everything that I can. I also used an HTC DROID DNA for about 9 months, but we won’t talk about that disaster.

GTV, Chromecast, Glass, and More

Besides Android phones and tablets, I’m also a Google TV Ambassador. Don’t ask me what that means now that Chromecast is the way of the future. Myself and other Ambassadors really don’t know ourselves. But hey, it sounds cool! In recent months, I wrote about how Chromecast was going to completely disrupt the living room, and that’s a good thing. I’m excited for Google’s future with Chromecast and to watch Google TV evolve into something more than it is now.

Derek Ross Google Glass

Besides handheld Android devices and Android devices taking over the living room, I’m also a fan of wearable technology. On July 5th, 2013, I officially became a Google Glass Explorer. Wearing Glass and using Glass has really changed my life. Besides being a pseudo celebrity everywhere I go, it’s an awesome feeling to be part of the wearable technology revolution. I enjoy being part of the big picture, helping use technology that one day will become a norm.

Beyond Android…

Besides Android devices, I have another obsession: Social media. Well… Google+.

I’m a huge supporter of Google+ as it’s the social glue that is tying in all aspects of Google, a unifying social project that is changing the way we use Google services. Thanks to Google+, I was able to setup the first Google+ Android Hangout Show, which ran for 74 weeks in a row but more importantly, allowed me to interact and engage with readers just like you.

If you use Google+, please stop by and say hi. If you’re going to the Big Android BBQ this year, I’ll be there and I might just be wearing a pink gorilla suit again (it was a dare).

Non-Android related, loves me some dark, dank beer. If I can’t see through it or never heard of it, chances are I’m going to love it. Right now I have a case of Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale in the fridge. That is my favorite season beer. It’s delicious.

What To Expect

While writing here at Phandroid, I plan on bringing you featured and opinionated articles, stuff that I’m really passionate about. I’ll try to snag a few news articles from time to time as well. Who knows? Maybe even a weekly column about Google Glass or something else?

I’m very happy to be here at Phandroid. Being part of the very first Android news website is exciting. I remember reading Phandroid back when I was still using a BlackBerry phone. My have I come a long way. I’d love to hear from all of you. Stop by the comments below and let me know what your very first Android experience was.

Continue reading:

TAGS: Google , Google Chromecast , Google Glass Explorer Edition , MIUI

  • ATBvsBFZ

    Does Derek use an iPhone but write about Android like Kellex and Kevin and…

    • Steve Albright

      Ha. Derek is Android everything. Check him out on G+

    • Sarpedon1069

      No, that was not Kellex who wrote that article on Droid LIfe, that was Ron.

      Truth be told, I was never a big fan of the “I use an iPhone and my next phone will be a new iPhone, but you [meaning the readers] should buy a MotoX” article.


        Why anyone would suggest buying a MotoX is beyond me. When compared to a ONE or a GS4 it pales in comparison.

    • Derek Ross

      LOL! No way! I won’t even allow friends with them in my house. Wait a second, Kellen uses an iPhone? My mind is blown. I think it was Ron that did.

      • Mark Wheeler

        C’mon now… You’re really that much of a rabid fanboy? Ugh…

        Anyways nice to meet you Derek I’m one of the resident apple / android users ( I own a nexus 7 as well as iOS devices ) and I look forward to seeing your articles.

        Funny that you’re welcoming post is on the day of apples keynote though… Are you the fall guy who has to write about the awesomeness coming from Cupertino today? :)

        • Derek Ross

          You hit the nail on the head. I’l be writing about Apple’s wizardry later tonight or tomorrow.


          Seriously though, as for Apple, they make quality products and in the past, they pushed the industry to where it’s at today. It seems I get more and more disappointed in their announcements every year. I think they’re falling behind. I hope today they wow me once again. That said, I have never owned an Apple device, but I still like to see innovation happen in technology.

          • BELIEVEinMYTH

            Now you say Apple makes “quality products” Now youre really losing me dude. They havent made a quality product since 2007, then in 2008 Android made it look obsolete. Ive owned several IOS devices, compared to Android they were always disappointing. The only plus was i got a TON of money for them when i sold those POS’s.

          • Dan

            You can’t deny the quality of the product, stale OS yes, but the phone/tablets itself are well made.

          • BELIEVEinMYTH

            Yes great outside quality (except for the crazy idea of putting glass on the back) but YES the OS is stale as 5 year old bread.

          • Dan

            indeed, reason why I switched to android last year :)

          • Derek Ross

            Exactly. iPhones are quality products. The OS just hasn’t been updated and continues to fall behind year after year. I still hate iPhones. Don’t worry :) I just can recognize good quality when I see it.

          • setspeed

            You’re high if you don’t think Apple makes quality products. Their industrial design is praised almost universally, and is the standard that most other electronics-makers aim to live up to. I’m no Apple-lover at all, I hate their business practices, but everything they manufacture exudes quality.

      • Chris

        Kellen does NOT use an iPhone lol. That guy has no clue what he’s talking about!

  • Steve Albright

    Exciting times for Phandroid… welcome aboard Derek!

    • Derek Ross

      Glad to be here.

      • Apple Rocks

        you both should buy an iPhone :) /s

        • Derek Ross

          I’m already standing in line!

  • hldc1

    There’s nothing wrong with the HTC Droid DNA. Well, except for Verizon’s super slow updates. Other than that, it’s a great phone.

    Almost forgot, my first Android phone was the Nexus One. I still think that was one of the best phones ever created. That trackball and its multi-color LED were all kinds of sexy. I miss having a quality versatile notification light.

    • Derek Ross

      The DNA has a gorgeous screen. I’m a guy that needs developer support and software keys. I really hate hardware keys. The DNA finally after 10 months just got official CM support. Until then, the last 5 or 6 months have been pretty bad with unofficial support. Not all of the hardware has been working. I’m a guy that needs AOSP. If you love Sense, then the DNA rocks.

      • Big_EZ

        What really sucks is I bought the Note 2 once it had an unlocked bootloader, but almost a year later and AOSP still isn’t 100%. My RAZR MAXX with a locked bootloader ran just as good as it does on my Note 2.

      • Unorthodox

        Switching from RAZR to RAZR HD, I finally got a first phone with software keys. And I hate it. I’d trade back if not for other specs I really appreciate. Capacitive buttons are the best choice, in my opinion. I think it boils down to my vision problems and the fact that you really have to SEE software buttons. Capacitive ones are always there. Just like I tend to use a lot of keyboard shortcuts on PC – pointing with a mouse cursor, or looking for software buttons is just not optimal or fast enough.
        Anyways, welcome on board, Derek!

      • hldc1

        I can agree with all of that. I’m personally waiting for my warranty to end so I can tinker with the device. It’s one thing I definitely miss when I had my Nexus One, and later with the myTouch 4G on T-Mobile and Galaxy Nexus on Verizon. CM is pretty awesome.

        I definitely miss the software keys from the Galaxy Nexus from time-to-time. From day one though, I always thought that the screen was awful on that Galaxy Nexus so moving to the amazing screen of the DNA sans software keys was a decent trade-off.

    • bobfrea

      i’ve enjoyed CM’s option to set custom colors for the Galaxy Nexus notification light. i don’t really miss the N1 roller-ball, but onscreen cursor positioning could still be improved for sure.

      • hldc1

        I don’t necessarily miss the track ball, but I do miss the cursor positioning functionality of the track ball. Arrow keys on an on-screen keyboard irritate me and take up too much space. Plus, having all four directional keys on one row doesn’t work well with my brain.

  • King_James_The_Wicked

    The picture makes me want to know if your trying to catch flies. But welcome to the fold, look forward to reading your wares.

    • Derek Ross

      I was using the Google Glass fishing app, so yes, yes I was. ;)

  • moises1204

    Welcome Derek.

  • Gsizzle

    Welcome aboard! Looking forward to you articles. :D

  • steveb944

    Welcome! I’ll be looking forward to what you write as you love Android, Glass, and possibilities of Google TV options. In terms of my experience with Samsung Vibrant….let’s leave it in the past and stick with my current Nexus 4 experience.

    • Derek Ross

      Some phones just want to watch the world burn. Glad you’re enjoyin’ the Nexus 4. I used it for two weeks when it launched, but GSM service in my area is pretty much horrible. I had to go back to big red.

  • Quentyn Kennemer

    Welcome aboard, buddy! Can’t even express how excited I am that you’re here! :)

    • Derek Ross

      Thanks buddy! Great to be here. I remember the G1, I never used it though. I live in Verizon territory.

      • robjackson81

        I had the G1 too. Actually rocked TMO & Verizon just cause I wanted the G1 so bad…

        And I was running Phandroid and my life would have been difficult without it! But got back on the Verizon bandwagon with the OG Droid.

  • Big_EZ

    The Droid X was my first Android phone, and still one of my favorites (always the Droid X and my latest phone). I originally rooted for themes, but quickly found titanium backup, and autokiller. Autokiller was an app that allowed me to adjust the memory settings so it never got sluggish, and the reason why I think people that hated the X are crazy. That phone had amazing sound quality with the 3 mics for noise canceling, and it felt like a tank even though it wasn’t very heavy. The soft touch rubber on the metal body was the best build I’ve ever seen on a phone.

    • Derek Ross

      I had a friend with that phone. I remember having to SBF it back to stock for him daily as he would break it with custom ROMs. Second.init was rough at the time.

    • Schaweet

      I loved my Droid X. Sure blur slowed it down, but once i was able to get AOKP on that thing, it flew. I now have an S3 and it really flies, but it is no match for my DROID X in user experience. The call quality, radio reception, GPS reception on the DROID X stomp the GS3. Sure i have GLONASS on the GS3, but I have to put it on the dash of my FJ for it to even pick up…….Sammy radio fail!!!!

      Can’t wait to get back to Moto phones……now if I could just get passed the locked bootloaders…..grrrr

      I wonder if Verizon will let me get a Dev Edition Moto X using the Edge program? I wonder if it will even get Dev support.


    I liked you till you said you were “rockin a Moto X” LOL

    • puppeteer23

      people who say they don’t like the X haven’t used it. I came from a GNex running Mmuzzy and made a seamless transition. This is the first phone I really don’t need to change. The out-of-box experience is really awesome. Two weeks now with it and I’m impressed all around.


        Im rocking a ONE, dont see myself ever putting it down till i get my next HTC. Ive only had HTC phones, the G1, G2, the ONE S, and now the ONE.

        • Quentyn Kennemer

          I think it’s important to try out other OEMs. As good as the phones you’re listing are/were, that doesn’t mean other phones are crap. Motorola’s new phones really are worth trying out.

          • BELIEVEinMYTH

            Im sure its important, i just never had a reason to stray. I just dont see Google’s purchase of Motorolla as suddenly making their phones better. The worst article i ever read, and im not sure if it was here or on Android and Me, said that thanks to the X ,specs dont matter anymore, and i humbly disagree.

          • Derek Ross

            Look at it this way. Specs only matter to tech geeks. The average person, which accounts for the vast majority of people that buy phones, could care less about specs. They just want it to work. I can safely report that he Moto X does work.

            You also have to remember that while it does have a dual core CPU, the cores aren’t last years cores. They are this years cores. The GPU is also this years GPU. It’s more like a Snapdragon 600 than anything. Benchmarks won’t report as good because it has less cores. It won’t score as well. But, it’s not meant to.

            With all of that said, I still like to see big numbers myself.

          • Big_EZ

            The specs do matter, it’s just that the X doesn’t have typical specs that we can easily compare. It isn’t outdated like most say (who haven’t even touched it) it’s just a new way to approach different aspects of a phones performance.

          • ari_free

            But it’s not just numbers. We can compare Moto X’s camera performance to other phones by looking at actual photos and not just by comparing megapixels.
            I’m still wondering what Moto X brings to the table. OK great you can start up google Now without unlocking the screen but there has got to be more to it than that, right?

          • mcl630

            The Moto X’s specs may be sufficient for now, but will they be enough for future versions of Android? Will it still be performing well in the last months of a two year contract?

    • Derek Ross

      The Moto X is the best phone I have used to date! It’s not just a tech guys phone either. My wife loves her Moto X too.

  • Sean Royce

    I think my very first Android experience was with an HTC Wildfire. What a horrible experience it was.

  • Jared Hundrup

    Congrats Derek Ross
    First Android Experience – HTC Eris

    • puppeteer23

      I feel for ya buddy. Same here. On the plus side though, that little bugger lasted about 2 years longer than it should have with all the dev support it had.

    • No_Nickname90

      Our wii saying what our 1st phone was? Mines was the Nexus One. It was already rooted. I remember when I updated the ROM to FroYo. LoL!!

      I also remember my Message app no longer vibrating when I got messages and I didn’t know how to change it for about a month. That’s when I learned that different apps and areas in the Settings app had their own menu. Oh that learning experience brings back them memories.

  • Guest

    this is a test message


      If this was a real message you would have been alerted to my awesomeness by how great my real message would have been…we now return you to your regularly scheduled messages.

    • Derek Ross

      Mr. Cook? Is that you?

  • CerealFTW

    futurama reference? ….I like this more than Kevin Krause already haha it looked like a Chris article at first

    • cammykool

      me too… a photo of the professor sounds like a Chris thing

      • Derek Ross

        So you’re saying I’ll fit i nicely. Excellent.

        • cammykool

          Que Mr. Burns

  • Lou_Sasshole

    Lol someone wrote on the G+ page “congrats on the acquisition of Derek Ross”.

  • TheHowiie

    Welcome Ross, I started off with an HTC Aria and man did I love that phone.

  • Jeff72

    “Welcome to the party, pal!” ;-)

  • anonymously_redacted

    Welcome Derek! I’m definitely looking forward to seeing some more op/ed articles on here. I’m also glad to see someone who (hopefully) won’t be jumping in the Verizon hate train. I look forward to reading your articles!

  • Rebuke78

    There goes the neighborhood! :-)

  • Jason Farrell

    Welcome aboard…

    …and I agree with you about the cheap Chromecast “changing everything” :) Got mine on release day, and we use it all the time, but I can’t wait for an updated 5GHz version on 802.11n or ac. 2.4GHz g is a little congested in many places.

    • Derek Ross

      I use my two Chromecast devices all the time. I love’em and so do my kids. I live in a pretty rural area. 2.4GHZ isn’t that crowded so having it connect at that frequency is fine for me. Although, I would like to see Chromecast (and Glass) support WPA2 Enterprise.

  • Dan Fryling


  • hemipw54

    My opinion ; Seriously — NO, NOT GOOGLE GLASS, all it is a limited usability bluetooth device, what more can you say than that? Hype can’t even save a lame device, why waste the internet space?

    • Derek Ross

      I wear and use Glass on a daily basis. Sure, it’s limited but that gap closes every month while this BETA PRODUCT gets updated with more functionality.


    Welcome aboard! My 1st Android phone was the Motorola Cliq.. Lol.. Since then, I never looked back.. Android all the way!! (and I came from BlackBerry + I hate Apple.. REALLY hate crAPPLE!!!)

  • Champloo

    You wouldn’t happen to have played WoW in your day, would you? You look fairly similar, and have the exact same name as one of my old guildie’s… who also had a droid incredible, loved custom roms, and had(has?) a job at a university that I will not name.

    • Larizard

      oh sh-

    • Derek Ross

      Champ! Duuude! Unholyraven checking in! Long time no talk. Been a few years. Haha. Small Internet. Wow, no pun intended.

      • Steve Albright

        This just got nerdy.

      • Champloo

        I only clicked on this article because I was like, hmmm, this name sounds familiar. It was funny how, as I read through it, it made more and more sense lol. Glad to see you’re doing well!

  • Andy Long

    Hi Derek… Funny, I just circled you on G+ a week ago. Came across one of your posts somehow. Anyway, good to see you here.

    • Derek Ross


  • NightAngel79

    Welcome to the team Derek! What happened with your Dna? That thing has been a rock for me.

  • Joshua Simpson

    Welcome to the best website on the interwebs! : D