Aug 25 AT 6:01 PM Jess Blanchard 21 Comments

Zen and the art of Android: What our OS does for us

Stupid Android tricks

When you’re close to something, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. In our pursuit of the latest device, the most bleeding edge specs and the hottest leak, it’s easy to forget how dramatically mobile technology has touched our lives. In this series, we hope to take a step back and appreciate the ways in which Android improves our everyday lives. The staff will be sharing our stories, and we encourage you to share yours, as well. This is mine.

Last week, my other half went to Chicago with some friends to catch a baseball game and eat himself silly. I spent my evenings catching up and cooking with friends. (If left to my own devices, I will eat pizza rolls and macaroni for dinner every night. When you eat alone, there is no one to see your shameful habits).

We used Hangouts throughout the week to stay in touch. I got to see some of the baseball game he was watching. He gave me a tour of his hotel room. I showed him the meals I was cooking. And we even “kissed” through the phone (like that terrible Soulja Boy song).

One night he video called me through Hangouts while I was hanging out with a group of friends. I kind of went blind to the other people around me and just did my Hangout thing per usual. My friend commented on the whole exchange, saying something about how, soon, no one will even make regular phone calls anymore. At that moment it really struck me how amazing this ability is and how lucky we are to live in a time where we can be connected to the people we love, proximity be damned. And I was sure that other people out there have felt the same way.

How does the computer in your pocket make your everyday life better? We want your stories! Stories from our readers, with permission, will be published right here on the blog. So if you’ve got a little moment of Android zen you’d like to share with the community, email me at [email protected]

Words are hard. I word good.

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  • the leading edge

    invented by Steve Jobs!
    iPhone had it all before meandroid and its terrible fragmentation wasnt even considered!!!!
    Thank you messiahs, god bless you and btw – iOS is at version 7 already, thats 2.7 versions ahead of the green garbage bin!!!!!!!

    Yours, an iPhone owner (superior)

    • Brooks Barnard

      Because OS version is equal to how awesome it is? I feel like it’s taken Android only 4.3 tries to nail it vs iOS’s 7…

      Good post Jess! I’m in Hawaii right now and I’m loving me some Google maps and photospheres!


        the leading edge

        invented by Steve Jobs!
        iPhone had it all before meandroid and its terrible fragmentation wasnt even considered!!!!
        Thank you messiahs, god bless you and btw — iOS is at version 7 already, thats 2.7 versions ahead of the green garbage bin!!!!!!!

        Yours, an iPhone owner (superior)

    • Sean

      You’re an idiot. Video calling and front facing cameras were happening over seas before the iPhone.,2817,2364801,00.asp

      • donger


    • mm14

      -a mythical, cave-dwelling being depicted in folklore as either a giant or a dwarf, typically having a very ugly appearance.

      I’m sorry that you’re ugly. I dedicate this just to you:

    • pjamies

      You do know what the ‘i’ in iPhone stands for right? idiot .. as in ‘idiot Phone Owner’, which is you ..
      Jesus guy, get a life, and maybe a brain would be something to ask Santa for this year!!

    • RogueC99

      Oh dear…. Please do stop talking out of your bum

    • Dan13

      Okay then. That’s what I’ll do. I’ll leave a comment.

      Can you hear them? All these people who lived in terror of you and your “judgment”. All these people who devoted themselves-sacrificed themselves-to you. Can you hear them posting?

      Oh, you like to think you’re a Troll. Well, you’re not a Troll. You’re just a parasite, eaten out with jealousy, envy, and longing for the posts of others. You feed on them. On the comments on love, and loss, and birth, and death, and joy, and sorrow…so…so…come on then: Take mine. Take. My. Comments.

      But I hope you’ve got a big appetite. Because I have owned a long profile, and I have seen a few videos. I walked away from the last Great Post War. I marked the passing of the Post Lords. I saw the birth of the website and I watched as videos ran out, moment by moment, until nothing remained-No text. No audio. Just me!

      I browsed in websites where the programming was devised by the mind of a madman! I’ve watched websites freeze, and towers burn! I have seen comments you wouldn’t believe! I have lost posts you will never understand!

      And I know things: things that must never be posted, comments that must never be written! Comments that will make parasite Trolls BLAZE! SO COME ON, THEN! TAKE IT! TAKE IT ALL, BABY! HAVE IT! YOU HAVE IT ALL!

      • Walkop

        This is the best clean, hilarious, clever and witty comeback post I’ve seen all year.

        And it has a story too.
        BRAVO, SIR! *clapclapclap*

        • Dan13

          I wish I could, but unfortunately I can’t take credit. It came from a fellow Whovian friend of mine who told me to put it to good use. I’ll pass on the complement though. X)

    • ari-free

      iPhone is old news, like Palm Pilots and Blackberries. It’s 2013: about time you moved up from that granma phone.

  • SGB101

    I had an nec phone in the 2004 that did video calling, it didn’t catch on, and to this day I don’t know anyone that actually video calls, except for that first time the realise they can.

    The issue is, no body likes to see them selves in video.

    This was the phone(link below), it was big dam big. Got a samsumg camshell soon after.

  • Jess Blanchard

    Guys. Chill. The point is that smartphones are awesome. Sometimes it’s nice to STOP squabbling and realize that we live in the future. I mean, our realities were our parents’ science fiction. We are living out some Star Trek shit EVERY. DAY. Let’s remember not to take it for granted.

    • aholland1

      Love this skit; saw it on Conan a while back :D “Everything is amazing…and nobody is happy” Classic! +1 Jess

      Totally agree btw that we are in fact living in the future. Sadly greed has kept us from amazing things like flying cars a la Jetsons, but we’re definitely getting there!

    • Wowie

      Just imagine 10-20 years from now.. Stuff of today will seem like days of no remotes, going to CVS to develop photos,etc. Hey, people lived fine before even flip phones, heck no TV or even A/C.. Think of how 75 year Olds have seen change in their lifetime

  • Nick Gray

    For me, it’s the ability to capture a moment wherever I am. No need to lug a huge camera (though my wife doesn’t leave the house without her DSLR). Here’s a video highlight from MN State Fair, all captured and generated and shared directly from my Android phone.

  • Anonymous

    Why do people get so angry when someone uses a different phone or operating system. Then you act like 5 year Olds and call some anonymous person ugly? Its so silly. It just makes you look immature and foolish. Its worse than reading political blogs with Dems/Reps doing the same thing

    • you’re the same guy as the OP, arent you?


  • Jeremy Sheehan

    My wife went to throw her sister a baby shower over the weekend. I stayed home with the boys and we talked with mommy a few times over Hangouts. Love the fact that we can do that. The boys chat with grandma, grandpa and uncle over Skype often, too. I love being able to communicate face-to-face with folks even if we’re miles apart. Keep it coming and let’s all hope that the carriers realized how important LARGER CAPS on mobile data really is.

  • callum Davenport-Lambton

    I have a friend that likes to get a bunch of people to go to a restaurant that is kinda far from everybody’s house. It has been an annual event for a few years.

    The last time we were all standing around being nostalgic. Someone pointed out that we all used to print out google maps to get here just a few years ago. Now everybody gets directions while they are in route.