Phandroid » Site News Android Phone News, Rumors, Reviews, Apps, Forums & More! Tue, 30 Sep 2014 20:57:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Remove ads from Phandroid News for Android with new in-app subscriptions Thu, 11 Sep 2014 19:15:37 +0000 We’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on the Phandroid News app for Android, but the biggest complaint/request we get? People want the ability to remove ads. Done.

Here’s the thing: most people don’t mind paying a few bucks to deliver an ad-free experience, other loyal readers actively want to pay a few bucks to pledge their support, the vast majority don’t mind ads, and yet others actually like the ads (you’ll find some good app/game suggestions and deals every now and then). Our latest app update delivers the same experience to all of these user types through in-app subscriptions.

I’m sure we’ll have to field some complaints on pricing, but when it comes down to it…

An annual subscription costs less than this:


And a monthly subscription costs less than this:


And if you don’t mind (or want) to see ads it will cost you approximately this:

If we added a Starbucks coffee we could quadruple prices!

We think that’s pretty fair and we hope you do, too. We’d also ask that you keep the above pricing comparisons in mind when looking at apps and games from other developers on the Google Play Store. And, if you don’t agree with the pricing, don’t use it as an opportunity to disparage or downvote the developer’s app, do what you’d do when buying things from any store: decide not to buy the item and move along.

If you’re interested in purchasing one of the subscriptions, you can find “Remove Ads” in the app’s main menu where you’ll follow some very simple steps with secure payment and authorization through Google Play.

We’ve currently priced monthly subscriptions as low as Google will allow ($0.99) and annual subscriptions are a 75% discount on the monthly price ($3.79). The decision to use in-app subscriptions rather than a fee/paid model was to prevent confusion amongst our readers by offering one app with one similar yet customizable experience for everyone.


In addition to the in-app subscriptions, we’ve also worked on some bugs and improvements that found their way into the app on various devices when we introduced new features in our last update. As we move forward, we’ll be looking for opportunities to provide more benefits to those with active subscriptions… more on that later.

Some of the more interesting requests we’re getting now include material design and better Android Wear support but we’re curious to hear what else you’d like to see in Phandroid News for Android- let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget, we could use your support in our pressing issue with Android Forums for Android!

Go ahead: download the app!

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Will Google really ban Android Forums from the Google Play Store? Wed, 10 Sep 2014 18:49:33 +0000 Google has been cracking down on Android spam lately, but they’ve been doing a miserable job, and the latest debacle puts yours truly – more specifically Android Forums - directly under Google’s shoe as they stomp recklessly through the Google Play Store like robotic bounty hunters.

The automated email, titled “14-day Notification: Violation of the Android branding guidelines”, explains that if we do not comply in 2 weeks, our app will be removed from the Google Play Store. The violation? Using the word Android. The demand? Rename our app. Copied directly from the E-Mail:

Edit the title of your app by removing “Android” as the prominent brand name. Instead, use “(title of app) for Android” as an alternative. Here’s an example:

  • Incorrect: “Android MediaPlayer”
  • Correct: “MediaPlayer for Android”

So tell us, Google, who are we?

  • Forums for Android?
  • Android Forums for Android?

We have been called Android Forums since November 5th, 2007 and although many people have imitated our name, imitated our website, and even call themselves “Android Forums”- it’s hard to argue with a 7 year history as the original Android Forums at

Android Forums on the Google Play Store

Search the Google Play Store for “Android Forums” and you’ll find a lot of sites calling themselves Android this or Android that- but none of them are actually THE with a 7 year track record of being named “Android Forums”, years before the Google Play Store even existed.

Will all of our fellow Android blogs suffer the same fate?

  • Android Authority becomes Authority for Android
  • Android Central becomes Central for Android
  • Android Community becomes Community for Android
  • Android Police becomes Police for Android
  • Android And Me becomes And Me for Android
  • And the list goes on….

The situation becomes even more bleak when you search the Google Play Store for “Android News”: you find a plethora of spam apps named “Android News” yet we’re the ones being singled out. And we’ve been singled out before.

Phandroid gets banned from the Play Store

You may recall that the Phandroid News for Android app was once called Android News by Phandroid. We gave it that name because we were NOWHERE to be found in relevant searches for android news, android blogs, or android anything on the Google Play Store. Some could say we were trying to “game the system” or “over-SEO” our app – and I’d have a hard time disagreeing with much more than the tone of that categorization. Apparently Google felt the same: issuing Phandroid a removal notice of its own.

However, Android News by Phandroid wasn’t given a warning, it was simply pulled from the store:

REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of section 6.3 of the Developer Distribution Agreement.

The details within the email were alarming, frustrating, and stressful:

  • Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account
  • Possible termination of related Google accounts
  • Google may recover the proceeds of any past sales

At this time, we were given no specific reason for our removal and no suggested actions to bring our app in compliance. We were 100% happy to comply and wanted to make sure we played by Google’s rules, we just needed to know how! So I responded to Google asking for exactly that: some help understanding how I can best comply.

Here is the response I got back:

Thank you for your note.

We have reviewed your appeal and will not be reinstating your app. This decision is final and we will not be responding to any additional emails regarding this removal.

If your account is still in good standing and the nature of your app allows for republishing you may consider releasing a new, policy compliant version of your app to Google Play under a new package name. We are unable to comment further on the specific policy basis for this removal or provide guidance on bringing future versions of your app into policy compliance.

You’re kidding me, right Google? All I want to do is comply, but instead I’m banned for asking and you refused to answer any more questions. My only recourse is to update my app with guesses regarding the violation, re-upload the app, and pray it’s approved. But if it’s not, I won’t know why, and if I try too many times, my app, developer account, and entire existence with all Google products may be terminated immediately.

Luckily we were able to leverage some existing relationships, find someone who could help identify the problem, and our app was unlocked and provided another opportunity for revision. Not wanting to risk a lifetime ban, we simply updated our app name to Phandroid News for Android and that ended up being the proper solution. It seems obvious now, but at the time, we considered that among many other possibilities.

But that shouldn’t be the solution in this case. Android Forums is properly named. The website is called Android Forums. The domain is This has been true for 7 years and this is the first we’re hearing about any “violation”. While changing the app name to would seem to bypass their complaints, it also seems like an incredibly moronic solution.

I have to think our app was flagged automatically, suspension approved by a human who made it in error (not understanding the details of our app, our site, or the Android community).

So why am I sharing this with you? 

Why not leverage my same contacts to reach out, find a solution, and absolve Android Forums from its Google denounced wrongdoing?

Because people need to know. Google decision makers, especially, need to know. In many ways, Android was built on the backs of developers, and this haphazard system of flagging, suspending, and banning apps, developers, and accounts needs to have more substance. There needs to be better communication. There are developers whose livelihood depends on well crafted Android apps, whose good-willed intentions are only to comply with Android’s guidelines, yet get automated e-mails that effectively terminate their source of income with no way to seek information or answers.

There are far more developers who ARE in violation of Google’s terms, who ARE spamming the Play Store, whose intentions ARE misguided; unfortunately, hoards of these apps still sit on the Play Store, outranking us and confusing consumers while the legitimate apps and developers continue to be punished with little to no recourse.

In Google’s defense

With millions of apps and developers, monitoring the Google Play Store is no easy task, but the current practices are abhorrent and desperately (and immediately) need to be improved.

Google should get some credit for having improved this process between June (when Phandroid was suspended) and September (when Android Forums was suspended) in two key ways:

  • 14-day warning rather than immediate ban
  • More specific explanation of the violation

Has Google’s communication improved? I’m not sure… I’m afraid to respond to the e-mail, wondering if it will lead to another instant ban for the app and perhaps worse. Hopefully this “open article” of sorts will be seen by Google brass who can address this issue in the following ways:

  • Agree the suspension was made in error
  • Identify how in the heck we would otherwise, given our site name, make this change
  • Explain why thousands of our competitors – both legitimate and spam-ridden – aren’t being targeted
  • Find ways to improve this necessary process and then implement them

We’re on the clock: 12 days left. Thanks to all the Phandroid readers and Android Forums members for your continued support. Since 2007!

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CONTEST: $1000 Google Play Giveaway from, your new store for Android deals Fri, 01 Aug 2014 17:53:25 +0000 androidarea-header1

As part of our continued effort to keep our readers abreast of all the best deals on Android apps, accessories, and hardware, Phandroid is happy to announce today the launch of AndroidArea, your one-stop shop for the best sales, freebies, and giveaways. You can access AndroidArea now or at any time by clicking the “Deals” tab located in the Phandroid navigation bar at the top of the page (or simply point your browser to

We not only want to help save you money, we want to give it to you. To kick things off we will be hosting the $1000 Google Play Store Giveaway. Signing up is free and you can increase your chances of taking home the prize by sharing AndroidArea with your friends. Entries will be accepted now through September 30th, when the winners will be selected.


Through AndroidArea, Phandroid’s readers will be privy to exclusive deals and offers on trending Android gear, gadgets, apps, and e-learning resources. These are savings any Android fan will surely not want to miss. We will be highlighting the best from time to time here on the site, including some great things lined up for the next couple of weeks. Some deals you can catch right now?

Be on the lookout for new deal announcements, or simply click the above “Deals” tab at any time to peruse AndroidArea at your leisure.

We don’t want to give too much away, but some of these deals are too good to keep to ourselves. Let’s just say Galaxy S5 users will want to keep their eyes glued right here come Monday for an announcement involving one of Phandroid’s favorite brands.

As always, we welcome your feedback. You can leave a comment below or on any of the deal pages at AndroidArea letting us know what you think, what products you would like to see featured, and the kinds of offers that appeal to you most. At the very least, be sure to head over to AndroidArea, check out the savings on tap, and enter for your chance to win one of those Google Play prizes.

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PSA: talk about all the latest Android Wear smartwatches at Thu, 26 Jun 2014 17:17:17 +0000 Android Forums

If you’re looking for a place to talk about Google’s first batch of Android Wear smartwatches — including the LG G Watch, the Motorola Moto 360 and the newly-announced Samsung Gear Live — look no further. We have sections for the LG G Watch and Moto 360 already chock full of healthy discussion at, and the shiny new Samsung Gear Live section is live for those of you interested in that piece of wrist-bound tech.

Here are just a few choice threads you might want to dig into once you make your way over there:

Looking for even more coverage? Don’t forget we’ve gone hands-on with the Moto 360 and Samsung Gear Live at Google I/O yesterday, and you can expect more coverage from the LG G Watch later on today. Get buzzing!

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30-Day Android Fitness Challenge (post your favorite apps!) Wed, 26 Mar 2014 17:17:16 +0000 I’m terribly out of shape. The weather is about to get warm. New Year Resolutions have crumbled into dust. But it’s time to change all that with the 30-Day Android Fitness Challenge, where Hershey’s KitKat and Android’s KitKat face off in an epic angel meets devil battle for our conscience.


This challenge initially started (and failed) about a month ago, when I couldn’t decide between getting a Jawbone UP or Fitbit Force. Since then a lot has happened in wearable tech including the announcement of Android Wear, Moto 360, and the LG G Watch. Along with Google Glass, Samsung Gear 2, Samsung Gear Neo, and other breaking-the-mold devices, developers continue creating rich experiences in the health and fitness space.

It seemed like the perfect time to turn my quickly declining nimbleness into an exploration of Android as it relates to the possibilities and opportunities in fitness and health. I hope you’ll join me.

This is your time!

Participating takes absolutely nothing except a willingness to try some cool stuff and see how it goes. Membership to this exclusive club is free and so anonymous that you’re the only person that will know you’re in it. It’s hard to get the ball rolling, but once you find that reason to start, you can’t be stopped!

What you can do:

  • Leave a comment on this article suggesting and requesting apps, games, devices, comparisons, etc… related to health and fitness that you’d like to see discussed and reviewed in this series.
  • Follow along in our Android Fitness & Health Forum – we’ve just created this community to help people share their challenges, goals, and progress while staying motivated and informed. Help us shape the community while shaping up yourself!

What I plan on doing:

  • Wearing both a Jawbone UP and Fitbit Force for 30-straight days (different wrists), using them to their full ability, and reporting back the results with full reviews.
  • Using various apps and devices (suggested by readers in the comments) to plan and track my daily activity and reporting back in organized/themed posts
  • Using both our Android Fitness & Health Forum and my Google+ profile to share daily challenge results and random insights
  • Making a concerted effort to increase my activity, exercise daily, eat more healthfully, and do (or don’t do) the small things that add up over the course of the month and year.

Don’t forget to join in on the challenge in our Android Fitness & Health Forum, follow me on Google+, and leave a comment with suggestions and requests for this series!

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[Nifty] Phandroid News Chrome extension now available Thu, 20 Mar 2014 03:32:35 +0000 phandroid-featured-LARGE

Seeing as Chrome is the most popular web browser in the world, there’s a good chance that many Phandroid readers spend a good part of their day inside a Chrome tab or two. Just in case you didn’t have enough ways to get your Android news fix from us over here at Phandroid throughout the day, we’ve come up with a nifty Chrome Extension to let you know when we’ve got words that need to be read, making your life that much easier.


It’s quick and easy to install. Just head on over to the Chrome Web Store and add our Chrome extension to your Chrome Web Browser or Chromebook. When there’s Android news to be read, you’ll know thanks to Chrome’s pop-up or toast notification system and you’ll also see a nifty red number on the Phandroid logo beside your address bar. Just click the Phandroid logo to view the latest news headlines in a drop down cards UI format. You can mark all news as read if you’ve already read them say via the Phandroid News app or click on a link to get your news fix in another tab. You can also configure the time interval for checking for new articles as well as the amount of desktop notifications to appear at once.

Phandroid Chrome Extension Options

A special thanks to Steve for all of his hard work. Don’t forget to rate and review this extension on the Chrome Web Store. Your feedback helps. Thanks!

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Get your Android news from the latest version of the Phandroid app on the Google Play Store Wed, 26 Feb 2014 04:19:43 +0000 phandroid-featured-LARGE

We know that you Phandroids love apps and app updates, so we’ve been working hard to bring you just that. After many months of blood, sweat, and tears we’re proud to announce a major update to our Phandroid News app. With our app you can stay up to date with Android news, search our site for your favorite topics, find out what’s going on with the Mobile Roar Podcast, and leave insightful comments.


Version 2.0 of Android News by Phandroid brought a lot of graphical changes as well as plenty of under the hood code additions. We know that Android fans have become accustomed to a thing or two regarding Android design guidelines, so our latest update adds some much needed #HOLOYOLO over our previous iteration.

  • We added a slideout navigation menu that displays all of our site categories to help you find the Android news you’re looking for.
  • We’ve also implemented a nifty Cards UI, mimicking what you’ll find in Google’s arsenal of apps.
  • Like a dark theme? You can now swap between light and dark themes from settings.
  • You can now swipe down from the top to refresh the displayed articles or comments.
  • Speaking of comments, you can easily log into our Disqus comment system with your Disqus credentials, Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.
  • You can customize your notifications to stay up to date with Phandroid, choose vibration settings, toggle notification light, or sound alerts.
  • Don’t have the greatest eyesight for reading on a mobile device? Why not increase your font size under our visual options?
  • Find an article you like or want to comment on later? Just star it for easy access.
  • Widgets. Android news on your homescreen. Need I say more?

Screenshot_2014-02-25-20-53-26 Screenshot_2014-02-25-20-54-20 Screenshot_2014-02-25-20-54-30 Screenshot_2014-02-25-20-57-12 Screenshot_2014-02-25-20-57-44 Screenshot_2014-02-25-20-58-28
Head on over to the Google Play Store and download the Phandroid News app. It works great on both phones and tablets.

Don’t forget to drop by the comments below and let the man, the myth, the legend (our app developer) Steve Albright know what you think. We appreciate your support and hope you love the updates: we’re trying our best to earn your 5-Star Review! Your feedback helps us continue to improve so we look forward to your comments!

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Write for Phandroid: we’re seeking contributors! Thu, 12 Dec 2013 18:42:11 +0000 The wild ride on the mobile tech market continues and despite having a very competent team of authors and editors, we’re always looking to bring new talent and perspectives to our team and ultimately, to our readers. As we approach a new year – one that we’re highly anticipating to be our best yet – we’re hoping some of you can help make that happen.

That’s right… we want YOU to be on our team. The tech community is filled with passionate, educated enthusiasts with loads of insight and knowledge to share. Think you got what it takes? Consider this your invitation to apply as a Contributing Author on the Phandroid team.

What positions are we seeking?

News Reporters
Android news is unrelenting; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re looking for folks who live and breathe mobile tech news. If scanning RSS feeds, swimming through sub reddits, monitoring social media, and digging around the deepest depths of the interwebz is on your daily agenda, than you know what we mean. If taking this news, analyzing it, explaining it, and providing your opinion sounds like fun… you might just be the right fit.

App & Game Reviewers
Are you constantly in search for the latest apps and games to land on the Google Play Store? Do you download and test so many new .apks that your app drawer is deeper than the Library of Congress? Continually giving unsolicited app and game suggestions and opinions to family and friends? Bring your insight to the masses as an Android App and/or Game Reviewer for Phandroid! Video capabilities and experience are a plus (but not required)!

International, European & Weekend Tech Bloggers
All of our current staff reside in the United States. Our audience is global. That presents a considerable problem when, you know, we’ve got to sleep. And we might be geeks, but we’ve got computer games to play things to do on the weekend, too. We’re looking for general tech bloggers who are eager to contribute on a wide variety of topics, who also happen to have availability that fills our gaps. We could really use your help!

What is a Contributing Author?

The contributor position is an unpaid position, but does have some perks. It provides a great opportunity to be published on a reputable news source. It’s a resume builder, opportunity to “get your name out there”, and allows you to engage in an open dialogue with a vibrant tech-loving community. At times we’ll have advanced access to apps and games, accessories to test, new phones/tablets/hardware to review, to which contributors may have access (among other things).

What are the expectations of a Contributing Author?

Contributing Authors will be expected to publish a minimum of 1-3 articles each week. They’ll communicate closely with the editorial team via E-Mail, Skype, and other means, passing back and forth story ideas that could be either time sensitive or open ended.

Maybe you already spend your time digging through tech sites and social media and would love to bring the information to our readers with your own spin. Maybe you’ve always wanted to create videos, write tutorial articles, or compose full blown reviews of the newest apps and games. We’re looking for a diverse set of contributors who can help take Phandroid to the next level.

How can you apply?

  • Send an E-Mail to rob[at]phandroid[dot]com
  • Copy and paste “Phandroid Contributing Author” in the subject line… without the quotes
  • Tell us your name, age, location and a little bit about yourself
  • Tell us which of the 3 positions most interests you
  • Tell us why you would make a great Contributing Author
  • Tell us how much time each week you hope to dedicate to Phandroid (be realistic!) and what type of content you would most like to contribute
  • Copy/Paste/Link us (no attachments) to related writing samples in the Phandroid style (optional)
  • Give us an idea of what you’ll bring to the table by sharing a few unique article ideas you would enjoy writing
  • Convince us that you’re the “go-getter” we’re seeking!

We’re looking for quality applicants, not how quickly you can show your interest/urgency. We’re expecting a large number of inquiries and will be unable to respond to every person. If we’re interested, expect to hear back from us in about a week, at which point we’ll narrow down the field of candidates with some follow up questions.

So… whaddaya say?


Good luck!

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The Last Glass Invite: Android Forums Staff Appreciation Sat, 09 Nov 2013 00:24:48 +0000 jhawkkAnd then there was one. The last Google Glass invite we have to give away is going to a somewhat randomly selected Android Forums member.

If you haven’t joined Android Forumsyou should. It’s an amazing resource and an amazing community. It allows people with similar devices, issues, problems, ideas, and interests to share tips & tricks, offer support, and help everyone get the most out of their Android device. But Android Forums wouldn’t be possible without staff and an amazing cast of loyal members.

(Check out our Nexus 5 Forums)

We reserved this last Google Glass invite to one member who expressed immediate interest in buying the device and using their experience to help other Google Glass Explorers on Android Forums. The last Google Glass invite goes to jhawkk who has racked up an astounding 7,900+ posts and has been “thanked” an outrageous 2,400+ times.

Jhawkk is a prime example of the type of people that make Android Forums so awesome. We don’t have unlimited invites to share, but wanted to take the opportunity to symbolically thank all of Android Forums staff and premium members and loyal members for contributing to the site. There’s a good chance a few more invites will be thrown that direction depending on a few winners we’re still waiting to hear back from.

Here was the recap of our 9 day Google Glass Invite contest…

The Great American Glass Contest

We’re giving away 9 Glass invites in 9 days and you don’t want to miss an opportunity to score big… so check out our schedule below to see which contests are still open!

  • Day 1: Nexus 5 Forum Frenzy
  • Day 2: Rafflecopter #1
  • Day 3: Photoshop contest
  • Day 4: #GlassPhan contest
  • Day 5: Rafflecopter #2
  • Day 6: Developer Appreciation Contests
  • Day 7: On your mark. Get set…
  • Day 8: Mystery Word Hunt
  • Day 9: AF Staff Appreciation

Announcing the winners…

We’ve already announced winners for Day 2, Day 7, Day 8, and Day 9… but that leaves 5 more winners to announce. Stay tuned. In the next hour I’ll be announcing those winners along with some hilarious photoshops of Glass on celebrities.

Thanks again to jhawkk and all of the Android Forums Staff, Premium Members, and loyal members!

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Nexus 5 Forums: open for business Thu, 31 Oct 2013 19:13:15 +0000 Finally: you can now buy the Nexus 5 with Android 4.4 Kit Kat. I’m sure many of you have already ordered your “precious” and while you’re waiting for it to arrive, you’ll be scouring the interwebz for every morsel of juicy goodness you can find. Don’t scour alone!

Did you already order the Nexus 5? Let us know in the Official “I JUST ORDERED THE NEXUS 5!!!” Thread!

Our Nexus 5 forums are open and ready for your delight. If you haven’t already, create an account and get to chatting. One your device arrives you’ll find the forums especially useful for support, tips, tricks, suggested accessories, and so forth. But for now, we ask that you continue to do what everyone else is doing and DROOL.


Added Bonus: If you make at least 5 posts and start 1 thread you’ll be automatically entered to win a Google Glass invite!

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Get your Android Circle ready, Android Forums is now on Google+ Thu, 24 Oct 2013 01:37:58 +0000 Android Forums

Calling all Google+ers. Android Forums, the original and one of the largest Android forums on the web, is now on Google+. If you aren’t aware, Google+ is pretty much an Android haven, filled with Android news, developers, and enthusiasts alike. I mean, why shouldn’t it be? Both come from our beloved El Goog. It only makes sense for Android Forums to be there, tackling that space, the same way we rock the forums.

So go ahead, toss a Circle around +Android Forums and be sure to hit that +1 button to let us know you care.

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Bring your weekend to a close by following Phandroid across the Internet Sun, 20 Oct 2013 20:21:28 +0000 Phandroid Banner

It’s Sunday afternoon and you find yourself needing a little more Android in your life. Why not follow Phandroid across as many social media channels as possible? When Android 4.4 drops or the Nexus 5 launches in the very near future, you’re going to want to be sure you’re following us. Whether you’re on Twitter, tweeting about the cool stuff “u r” doing, checking out family and friends on Facebook, having intelligent discussions on Google+, or catching a sweet device review on YouTube, Phandroid has you covered. Don’t use social media? No problem! You can catch up with Phandroid with our Android app too.

Follow Phandroid:

Circle us on Google+ for the latest Android news.
Join our Android Forums Google+ community.
Like our page on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.
Subscribe on YouTube and check our our device reviews.
Android News by Phandroid app on Google Play (You should install this now.)
MySpace…. just kidding.

And for absolutely no reason at all, here’s a picture of the Nexus 5. Isn’t she gorgeous?

Nexus 5 Google Play Store live


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Good news everyone: Derek Ross joins Phandroid Tue, 10 Sep 2013 12:31:55 +0000 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.

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CONTEST: Win a Limited Edition PhanBot by guessing Google IO’s biggest surprise Wed, 15 May 2013 12:12:17 +0000 Many would call Google IO the biggest Android event of the year (watch the keynote here) and I would undoubtedly agree. I’m here in San Francisco to bring you all the Google IO news, reviews, and insight your little heart can handle. And I didn’t come alone…

At Phandroid, we’ve been diehard Android fans since the platform was announced, and our blue android buddy has graced our pages from the start. Thanks to our friends at Accessory Power and GOgroove, we’ve now got a real live PhanBot to call our own, in the form of a portable speaker that absolutely rocks.

For a limited time, you can purchase the blue PhanBot and/or the traditional green PalBot for only $21.99 (including shipping) by entering the promotional code “PHANDEAL” when you check out. I think you’ll be really impressed with the GOgroove PhanBot on a number of levels. The deal will run until Sunday at 11:59PM Pacific, assuming they last that long.

First of all, the audio is LOUD and clear! If you think this tiny speaker is more of a desktop decoration, think again. Its highest volume could ignite a miniature dance party and the quality of the audio is crisp, with plenty of base.

Second of all, PhanBot is easy to use: plug the neatly retractable cord into any 3.5mm headset jack and the PhanBot will begin delicately serenading you or blasting out tunes, depending on the volume you’ve set. Or perhaps it could blastingly serenade you, but we haven’t tried that yet.


Thirdly, the PhanBot seems to have wonderful battery life. It comes with a MicroUSB to USB cord which you can conveniently connect to your computer for consistent power and/or charging.

Lastly, the PhanBot or Pal Bot will look gorgeous on the desk of any Android fan. It’s got a rock solid feel and substantial enough weight to seem like it has great build quality, yet light enough to make it an awesome option for portable music, regardless of where you’re going.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our coverage of everything Android related over the past few years. That will continue for years to come, with the intent of constantly improving along the way. Special thanks to those of you who have made Phandroid and our beloved PhanBot a regular chunk of your life, whether through leaving comments, lurking on the forums, sending in news tips, telling Chris you love his perfectly spiked hair, or anything else. The PhanBot is somewhat representative of this exciting journey we’ve taken together.

Buy a PhanBot

Go ahead and snag a PhanBot now for $21.99 while supplies (and the special price) last or be an OG and go with the original green flavor Pal Bot. Remember, all you’ve got to do is enter the promotional code “PHANDEAL” to get the special price!

Win a PhanBot

Oh, wait, did I hear that you wanted to WIN one? Sounds like fun, let’s do it:

  • Leave a comment guessing what the biggest surprise announcement of Google IO 2013 will be
  • Comment must be received by the time the Google IO 2013 keynote live stream starts (estimated at 9AM Pacific on May 15th, 2013)
  • After the Keynote, Phandroid staff will pick from a randomly assorted collection of our favorite guesses to identify the winner.
  • Winners will be selected at the sole discretion of and Neverstill Media, LLC
  • We’ll simply select a bunch of comments we enjoy and randomly select one of them. Main selection criteria are entertainment level, knowledge/realism, and accuracy.
  • There will be TWO winners: one will win a PhanBot and the other will win a Pal Bot. Winners will have 24 hours to respond once contacted or a replacement winner will be selected.

We’ll update this post once winners have been selected… that way, if you don’t win one, you’ll still be able to buy one for dirt cheap!

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Hello, Phandroid…goodbye, iPhone! Fri, 26 Apr 2013 23:18:31 +0000 Rob has loyally covered iOS topics for several years at, but with the HTC One in hand and a smile on his face, he is welcomed to Phandroid as a brand new Android enthusiast.

iphone-line-appleHey, Phandroid nation, allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Rob Renk, and I have been writing over at iSource for almost three years now.  I have been a loyal Apple consumer for 20 years.  My first Apple computer was the LC ii, and I have never looked back.  I always appreciated Apple’s attention to detail.  I still have my Apple G3 tower from 1994, and the thing still works–so I don’t mind paying a premium for products that stand the test of time.

My interest in Apple products peaked, though, when the iPhone was first introduced at Macworld in 2007.  It was like no other phone I had ever seen or used.  I managed to talk my wife into using our tax returns for the ridiculously expensive phone that wasn’t even subsidized by AT&T at the time.

Since then, I have owned every version of the iPhone.  Our household has several phone lines, so there was always one available for a fully subsidized upgrade.  I eagerly anticipated the next release, more each year then the previous year.  I was that guy who got up at 3 am for the chance to pre-order my iPhone and have it delivered the day it went on sale.

But I grew tired of the incremental iPhone hardware releases.  For the previous two hardware upgrades,  Apple maintained the exact same physical appearance of the iPhone, and only made internal and OS changes.  For the average iPhone owner this isn’t a big deal.  Most consumers don’t buy a new phone every year, and the carriers have most of us locked into two-year upgrade eligibility cycles anyway.

For me, it hasn’t been enough. Is the grass really greener on the other side?

  • I wanted a bigger display, one that was not only taller, but wider as well.
  • I wanted to be able to personalize my interaction with my phone a little more.
  • I have always been a fan of jailbreaking my iPhone, and have recently written several articles on iSource to that end.  Although jailbreaking has filled part of the void I have felt, it wasn’t the complete package–not yet.


So when the HTC One was announced, and I saw the attention to detail that went into creating this phone, and the larger, beautiful screen, I decided this was my chance to give Android a try.  Apple hasn’t announced the next version of the iPhone yet, but it is expected by many to be the iPhone 5S. In other words, same exterior, upgraded iOS and whatever else they happen to include in the upgrade.

Still not enough.

So I sold my 7 month old 16 GB iPhone 5 for $300 and bought a shiny new 32 GB Glacier Silver HTC One.  Over the next several months, I’ll be blogging frequently for Phandroid, sharing my experiences with Android in general and more specifically, the HTC One. Stay tuned for a variety of coverage as I learn the ropes of my favorite new operating system

Thanks in advance  for the warm welcome (please?) and I look forward to your comments!

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