Cracked Already: Chaos Computer Club Crack’s Apple’s New TouchID

TouchID, Apple, iPhone, iOSGermany’s Chaos Computer Club has reportedly cracked Apple’s newest feature, TouchID. As you probably know, people lucky enough to pick up an iPhone 5S this weekend are able to open their iPhone and charge their iTunes account with a simple thumb print.

Using some pretty comprehensive technology, the fingerprint scanner, built into the iPhone 5s’ home button, scans the users fingerprint. Rather than comparing it to a stored fingerprint locally or on a server,the technology compares the data in the fingerprint to verify the identity of the user. It also requires that the user be alive, breathing and attached to the person it belongs to.

For their customer’s protection, Apple has blocked the TouchID feature from developers. Apple insists that no one actually has a saved version of the fingerprint, but for now the technology is protected from anyone not working at One Infinite Loop.

Well despite being protected from developers, hackers have been able to crack the TouchID feature.

The biometrics team at Germany’s Chaos Computer Club were able to use a hacking technique that dates back to 1994 in order to breach the TouchID security.

The blog nakedsecurity has simplified the procedure for cloning fingerprints and then unlocking an iPhone 5s to these 7 steps:

  • Take a hi-res (2400dpi) photograph of the fingerprint.
  • Digitally invert the image so that the valleys of the print are black.
  • Laser print (1200dpi) the image with a very thick toner setting.
  • Smear white woodglue (or latex) over the printout and allow to set.
  • Carefully peel off the glue or latex sheet.
  • Breathe on the surface so it’s slightly moist and conductive.
  • Unlock phone.

What’s more in this story is that the hackers at Chaos Computer Club didn’t use a picture of the iPhone owners fingerprint to clone, rather they lifted the print off of a glass surface and were able to make a working duplicate.

Now obviously this is a lot of steps to take to just get access into someone else’s iPhone, but it sure beats cutting a finger off  (which won’t work anyway).


Is iTunes Radio The Pandora Killer?

iTunes Radio, Pandora, Apple, WWDC, iOS

Almost a month ago, Google held their annual developer’s conference known as Google IO. At the conference over 5000 Google developers across all of their platforms gathered at the Moscone Center in San Francisco for three and a half days of pure Google.

In that same venue, more than 5000 Apple developers, across all of their platforms, are gathered this week for the World Wide Developer’s Conference (WWDC).

Last month Google unveiled a new product called “Google Play All Access”. During the ceremonious unveiling, Google touted all kinds of features that positioned the part-radio, part-streaming music, part-cloud library, customizable music platform as a Spotify killer. Unfortunately, since the unveiling we haven’t heard much else about it. For all intents and purposes Google’s new music service has gone the way of Google Music, which is far from Apple’s stranglehold on library functionality and Spotify’s streaming offerings.

Today, during the WWDC Apple announced iTunes Radio. This was one of the longest rumored announcements for this year’s conference, which is being held more 200 days since Apple’s last announcement..

iTunes Radio will give users a variety of ways to get “radio like” streaming services via iTunes. Without any customization an iTunes user will be able to use iTunes Radio to hear radio stations generated by algorithms based on what’s already in the users iTunes library. Apple has also curated several stations based on genre, very similar to Pandora.



The service will be ad-supported and free to any iTunes user. Those users who pay for iTunes backup service iTunes Match will get to use iTunes Radio without ads.

Apple plans to make money by selling the streaming tracks at regular iTunes store prices. When you’re listening to an iTunes radio track, a purchase button will come up that will enable a friction-less download of the song that you are listening to.

Apple has some advantages over Pandora, Slacker, and even Spotify because they already have 600 million devices on the market, which means 600 million iTunes users. They’ve also already negotiated their own licenses with most of the major labels. Billboard Magazine reports that Apple will pay $.16 cents per stream in addition to a portion of the advertising revenue. However, payments won’t begin until Apple reaches a pre-established threshold of users on the iTunes Radio service.

Will iTunes Radio bring the music streaming crowd back to Apple? U.S. residents will be the first to test it out.

Images: VB 

Apple is throwing a curve ball to would be iPhone thieves.


Apple Solves The Stolen iPhone Problem

Apple, iOS, WWDC, Activation lock

A stolen iPhone or iPad can be an incredibly big problem for a lot of people. The problem can get even worse for a startup founder. Often times startup founders have test flight, alpha versions of their product on their iPhone. They may also have proprietary user data and other really important information. Sure using a number code to unlock your iOS device can hinder some would be thieves, but plenty of them know the work-arounds.

Well today at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC), Apple software VP Craig Federighi put a damper on future iOS device thefts.

Apple has baked a new feature called “Activation Lock” into the new iOS 7 operating system. The feature works side by side with “Find My Phone.” When the user loses their iPhone, they can use their iTunes account to disable that particular device from getting re-activated for any reason. In effect the stolen iPhone has just become a total brick.

Now of course, like “Find My Phone,” the user is going to be responsible for actually turning the service on. Once it’s on though, you’ll have the comfort of knowing that no one else can access anything on your device or get it reset and start using it as their own. As for actually getting your phone back, well, for now you’re on your own.

iOS 7 will be available to developers today and the public beginning later this fall.

Source and image: VB

Top Android Developer Cyanogen gets the startup bug.


Swedish Startup Foap Raises $500M From Asian Investors

You know we love startups with silly names. Obviously Foap is one of those startups.  The Swedish startup is creating a stock photography market place where the photographers can be anyone in the world with a smartphone or a connected camera.

The premise is simple. The user registers with the Foap platform. They upload pictures of whatever they want to and Foap sells the pictures for $10 a piece to news outlets, bloggers, and other users. You sell the rights to the photo away but heck most smartphone pics happen by accident and even if they aren’t by accident, they don’t take but a second to shoot.

Foap splits the $10 right down the middle and the photographer gets paid. Funny name, easy startup right?

To date Foap has nearly 1 million images for sale on their platform. They’ve seen over $150,000 downloads of their app and 1.4 million photos uploaded since launch.

That was enough to land $500,000 from Asian investment firm Jade Global Investments.

“We always knew we had something pretty special to offer iPhone users but the success we’ve experienced so far is unbelievable and the interest in investors from Asia has been overwhelming”, said co-founder, David Los. “We’re fully focused on growing our market of iPhone images and establishing ourselves as one of the major players in the stock imagery industry.”

“We are delighted to announcement our investment in Foap, a company that we’ve been monitoring closely over the past six months,” said Jacky Lu, CEO of Jade Global Investments based in Asia. “We believe Foap can be extremely successful and as one of the first in this space to go to market, it stands a great chance of success. The company is perfectly positioned to make a big impact on the stock photography industry and that’s something we want to be a part of.”

“We are very excited to have such an experienced investor on board.  It’s not just the funding that will benefit the company, but the knowledge and expertise Jacky and the team will be able to offer”, commented Los. “The success we’ve experienced so far has been unbelievable and this round of funding means we can continue to drive forward towards reaching the ambitious goals we have set for the company


Check out Foap here

More startup news from “everywhere else” here

and “everywhere else” is here!

Connecticut Startup Deets: Create And Interact Groups From The Best Place Possible

Everyone likes groups. Whether you’re old enough to remember the days of MMC groups on AOL or you came along at Yahoo Groups or even Google Groups, groups make it easy to keep like minded people together to share important information, and nowadays photos, events and content.

I love what you can do with the groups that are automatically built around Facebook events. You can communicate with those people going to an event, plan the event, interact with people at the event and then after the event. You can share videos and photos with these people and share your important contact information with the entire group or individually.

A startup in Connecticut with a great entrepreneurial/startup pedigree has set out to build a mobile platform that lets you take those same qualities that make Facebook groups and events so great and productive, and applied it to the most important list of people that you have, your contacts.

Deets was founded by Linda Miller who was the first in at Priceline and Hotwire where she was instrumental in building the foundation that we all use today to book hotels. The other co-founder is Luke Scott who has a creative background with top clients like Kraft, Bob Greene and HobNob Wines.

When you put the two together you get a very robust, but aesthetically appealing app and web based platform that is intuitive, and easy to use.

Deets breathes the same life and functionality you get from Facebook groups and other popular social sites right into your list of contacts. It basically gives your contact list/address book a new life, a new purpose and a new meaning.

Now you can set up groups of family members, friends, colleagues or event attendees. If you’re getting married and want to set up a group for the bridal party, go for it. If you’re releasing a record and want to set up a list of fans and promoters, done. Not only are these groups set up for sharing the same way you can socially, but it’s done from the privacy of your computer or smartphone and from there you can set up your degrees of privacy. It’s one of the most robust platforms for sharing we’ve ever seen.

Forget about the 850 friends you have on Facebook, we’re going to go out on a limb and say that you actually know the contacts in your contact list and now you know your deets.

We got a chance to talk with Scott about deets. Check out the interview below.

Read More…

Boston Startup: BRIGHTdriver Has Mobile Games Even The Driver Can Play

BRIGHTdriver,Boston startup,startup,startup interview, Dog Patch Labs,app,iosDo you get bored in the car? Sure you do,everybody does. Now in a lot of states, it’s illegal to do anything on your smartphone that requires you to actually hold the phone. Playing Angry Birds at a stop light is a little too risky, you don’t want to get a ticket, or cause an accident.

Well there’s got to be a way to play games in the car without actually holding the phone. A Boston startup incubating at Dog Patch Labs, called BRIGHTdriver has the answer, audio games.

BRIGHTdrivers unique and fun games are audio based and don’t require you to actually hold the phone to play. BRIGHTdrivers audio games are as safe as talking hands free on your mobile phone or yelling out the answers to the dj’s trivia question on the radio.

Currently BRIGHTdriver offers three titles. Volley, is their pub style trivia game. Careoke is BRIGHTdriver’s sing-a-long Karaoke game and Best Mile is a game that challenges you to drive your best (and safest) mile. They have plans to introduce more games as the platform gets off the ground.

BRIGHTdriver’s platform is set up to allow you to play by yourself or against others on the BRIGHTdriver network.

The BRIGHTdriver team has taken to Kickstarter to help fund their official launch. You can donate to their Kickstarter campaign here and get cool perks like early access to this exciting new platform

We got a chance to talk with BRIGHTdriver founder Matt Albrecht about his unique new spin on mobile gaming. Check out the interview below.

Read More…

You’re Holding It Wrong… Again

It seems like just last week Apple CEO Tim Cook was apologizing for Mappsgate. As we all know, and have ridiculed constantly, Apple’s new maps app for the iOS 6.0 fell short of their typical “magic”.  In a bold move Cook acknowledged that Apple Maps didn’t deliver the quality that iOS users are accustomed to. They even went as far as to suggest that users download other apps like Waze or use the Google Maps website.

Well late last week another problem started making it’s way onto the interwebs. Users of the new iPhone 5 (released just two weeks ago), have discovered a purplish haze in photos and videos shot with their iPhone 5’s when shooting against something bright, like the sun.

The problem has been officially described as:

Apple,iPhone 5, iOS, Camera, Holding it wrong

image: MacRumors

“a purplish or other colored flare, haze, or spot is imaged from out-of-scene bright light sources during still image or video capture.”

While it’s nothing that’s going to affect the overall performance of the iPhone 5, nonetheless it can be annoying especially when the iPhone camera is touted as one of the best in the way of smartphone cameras. Many users have ditched their traditional point and shoot cameras in favor of the 8 megapixel iPhone camera.

Apple has now released a support document entitled “iPhone: Camera image effects”

In the document Apple doesn’t take responsibility for the problem the way they have in the past with Maps and Antennagate, instead they say:

“Most small cameras, including those in every generation of iPhone, may exhibit some form of flare at the edge of the frame when capturing an image with out-of-scene light sources. This can happen when a light source is positioned at an angle (usually just outside the field of view) so that it causes a reflection off the surfaces inside the camera module and onto the camera sensor. Moving the camera slightly to change the position at which the bright light is entering the lens, or shielding the lens with your hand, should minimize or eliminate the effect.”

So there’s no running back to the Apple store or Best Buy on this one. If you’re having this issue with your iPhone 5 you’re evidently, holding it wrong.


Apple’s support document

Source: SAI

Hey you, be here!


Keep An SOS In Your Pocket With Seattle Startup React Mobile INTERVIEW

In this day and age personal safety is a very important issue to many people. There are a million different factors that play into a persons personal safety. Did you just get attacked by someone? Are you feeling unsafe because someone is following you? Are you diabetic and feeling light headed? Are you allergic to bees and just got stung?

Any of these situations, and countless others, could result in the need to make a distress call to someone, and time is almost always of the essence. Well Robb Monkman and Grant Wallace, two Seattle based entrepreneurs with backgrounds in safety and communication have created a startup called React Mobile. React Mobile functions as a distress or SOS signal right in your pocket.

With React Mobile both Monkman and Wallace figured out that the best safety device, and distress signal device was already in most people’s pockets. Of course that device is their smartphone. React Mobile is an iOS and Android app with three distinct safety abilities; alerting via email, text and social networks; GPS location sharing; and emergency reporting.

We got a chance to talk with Monkman. Check out our interview below:

Read More…

NQ Mobile Vault For iPhone Is The Ultimate For Privacy And Security


NQ Mobile, the leader in mobile security, announced today via their US headquarters in Dallas Texas that they’ve launched the NQ Mobile Vault for iPhone. This privacy locker app for iOS devices is also available for Android smartphones and provides the ultimate amount of security and protection for files that you want to keep away from prying eyes.

The addition of the iPhone version of NQ Mobile’s Mobile Vault, comes on the heels of 3 million downloads for Android and a rating in the Google play store of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

While some might jump to the conclusion that this app is for people who have things they shouldn’t have stored on their phone, on the contrary there are hundreds of legitimate reasons to keep your photos secure and private. First of all, if you’re a startup or working on something involving intellectual property you wouldn’t want those photos to leak into the wrong hands.

You may also be hesitant about having your personal family photos resting on your phone to see, whether you let a friend borrow your phone to make a phone call or you leave your phone on your desk all day. NQ Mobile’s Mobile Vault will give you an extra piece of mind.

Heck if you’re married or in a relationship and travel a lot you may want to protect some photos that some may think are inappropriate out of your general gallery.

Mobile Vault is the most robust app of its kind and includes:

  • Private Album: Easily transfer photos and videos from the iPhone album to Vault’s secure and password protected album.
  • Vault Camera: Helps to eliminate any possibility of leaving private content out in the open with its built-in camera, which will automatically secure any photo and video it takes behind Vault’s password protected album.
  • Break-In Attempts Monitor (premium feature): Catch intruders in the act! Automatically photographs anyone who enters the wrong password into Vault (requires a front facing camera).
  • SecureCam Login (premium feature): SecureCam login is an innovative security tool that uses the main camera of the iPhone to unlock and access NQ Mobile Vault content. To anyone attempting to snoop, when NQ Mobile Vault is first opened, it will simply open up to what appears to be a simple camera app. But when the camera is pointed at a solid background (like a hand or desk surface), a numeric keypad will appear, allowing users to login.

“Our smartphones have become portable picture frames that we put into the hands of our friends, family members and colleagues every day,” says Gavin Kim, Chief Product Officer, NQ Mobile. “To date, it’s been an all or nothing proposition — either you choose to share your phone and expose all your content or you keep it to yourself. NQ Mobile Vault offers the best of both worlds, allowing consumers the ability to create two distinct albums on their iPhones — one for openly sharing and another, more private album, that is kept safely behind a password.

NQ Mobile is known for their widely used security products and Mobile Vault was developed with the same attention to details and features that the NQ Mobile team has been known for, even before they were at NQ Mobile. Kim, along with co-CEO Omar Khan and PR Executive Kim Titus were all part of the Samsung Mobile team when Samsung was burning up the charts with Android devices.


iPhone users can get Mobile Vault here

Android users can get it here

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” here are some startup stories from “everywhere else”

Apple Drops Their Preloaded YouTube App Leaving Google To Finally Bring Their Own YouTube Experience To iOS

As many of you know already, Apple has just announced that they would not include their 1st-party YouTube app in the next iteration of iOS. Plenty of sites have taken this opportunity to show the fact that Apple and Google are opposing forces, and with that comes a dissociation of products and services. However, this can actually be a very good thing for Apple, Google, and all iOS users.

Up until the release of Google’s new version of Google+ for iOS, almost every single app Google put into the App Store sucked. For instance, Gmail. But after we got a glimpse of Google’s beautiful work on the new Google+ app, many became believers. If Apple had announced their dropping of the YouTube app before we saw Google+ for iOS’s makeover this reaction would have been a completely different story, but because of Google’s latest efforts, I am a believer.

Apple’s move to drop their 1st-party YouTube app leaves Google in a position with two possible outcomes: develop a YouTube app for iOS or let iOS users deal with the mobile site. Now that Google has decided they would like to make quality apps for iOS, it doesn’t worry me that they will have to develop their own app, and leads me to believe that they will. And this will be a good thing for iOS users, because the YouTube app Apple was supplying was pretty bare. You could watch videos and leave comments, and that’s about as far as it went. Sure, there were a few other features, but it was nowhere near as robust and Google’s YouTube app for Android. This means that if Google follows their recent iOS app development patterns (and I mean very recent), the iOS community should be anxiously awaiting a beautifully developed YouTube app.

Google hasn’t actually said they will develop an iOS app yet though, and if they don’t many iOS users will be hurting for a native app. But Google knows how big YouTube is, and even if they were so blind as to say a native app isn’t necessary, the community will make sure El Goog knows its mistake. This also will relieve the duty of developing a third-party app for a service they don’t actually own, much like they’ve done with Google Maps. Now all we can do is wait to see if Google can bring us the YouTube app that we want to see, and if they do, the world of iOS will be ready to finally get a proper YouTube experience.

Baltimore Startup: BeerGivr Lets You Send A Beer To Friends Through Your Phone


Back in March we reported that Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley was holding a new breed of startup pitch contest. O’Malley held his contest on Pinterest.. BeerGivr, a Baltimore based startup, was the first place winner in the bootstrapped category.

UMBC graduate, Sean Kennedy, is the founder of this innovative, social gift giving startup. As you can probably see from the name, BeerGivr is all about spreading the love via phone in the form of a beer.

BeerGivr isn’t a about virtual beers, drinking emoticons or meme’s featuring that guy from Dolseces, no its about giving your friends or family members ice cole beer, or other libations if they so choose.

So how does it work?

Well if you can’t make it t the afterwork social or your college buddy’s 30th birthday party you can go to BeerGivr’s website, enter your friend phone number, and pay via PayPal for an actual beer. If your friend is drinking at a participating bar or restart ant that establishment then receives the payment. If they’re not drinking at a participating restaurant your friend can redeem that value via PayPal themselves.

Our good friend Molly at reports that Kennedy is the sole founder and the company’s only full time employee. He has enlisted the help of two friends but right now the brunt of the work falls on Kennedy.

The idea for BeerGivr came after Kennedy graduated from UMBC. He immediately took a job that required him to travel a lot and network with business people he may not likely see again, at least for a while. The traveling was two fold, Kennedy would miss social gatherings back home, and he met some cool people he wanted to stay friends with.

He decided that buying someone a beer from afar was a good idea and got to working on a prototype. Now he’s recruiting participating bars and restaurants and watching his Maryland based users accumulate. Of course after Maryland adopts to the new technology BeerGivr will expand.

Baltimore is turning into a tech hub especially in the mobile space with cool ideas like BeerGivr and ParkingPanda. ParkingPanda allows you to book parking spaces in Baltimore and Washington DC in advance in a similar way to


For more on BeerGivr click here

Check out this cool video on BeerGivr at the source link

We are on a sneaker strapped, nationwide, startup road trip and need your helpq

Kick Ass Boulder Startup: “Startup The Game” Yes An Actual Mobile Game For Startups

There’s not a lot of downtime in the startup life, in fact there’s virtually none at all. But we all know that at some point there needs to be some release. You need to free your mind from coding, pitching and business developing so your brain doesn’t just totally fry. Some turn to Angry Birds, others turn to SongPop but now, thanks to a Boulder Startup there’s “Startup The Game”.

Startup The Game is a classic video game. You have to capture as many good characters as you can before something bad happens. Good characters in Startup The Game include research,good press,users and venture capital. Bad characters include bugs,bad press, and competition.

The soundtrack for the game is fittingly, “dub step” music which is perfect for startups.

The scrolling game has you jump and crouch to get the things you need and avoid the things that you don’t.

Now the game is about as fun and mind relaxing as that helicopter game or even Temple Run, but that’s just the beginning.  Robert Reichs, the founder of “Startup The Game”, has actually added a way for startups to create traction in a fun and competitive way through “Startup The Game”.

When you finish the game you can donate your points to one of the popular startups that’s trending within the game. If your favorite startup isn’t available you can add it, and hopefully your startup will shoot up the ladder and other players will start donating their points to you.  Reichs tells us there are already 500 startups signed up within the game.

We wanted to find out just how does someone  come up with a game like this.  Reichs told us:

“I teach a couse at the university of colorado (CU) Called Startup ( as part of the class i wanted to make sure the basic curriculum being taught allowed the students to create awesome products quickly. So i took the class I was teaching. Startup the game was the outcome.”
Reichs is no stranger to the startup scene. In addition to teaching a class on startups his other credits include; being an entrepreneurial executive with over 15 years experience directing product life cycles from concept, development and launch, to feedback and refinement. Unique blend of creativity, design, strategy and senior executive management skills.He is also the Founder / CEO Openspace Store – social discovery of apps, Founder / moderator boulder denver new tech, Founder / VP Product OneRiot – real time search (sold to Walmart labs),Founder / CEO of Ecosystems – content management software (sold to Me.dium). Reichs is also the Adjunct Professor on Media and Business Design at University of Colorado (CU), named inventor and contributor on 6 patents, advisory board member of Silicon Flatirons, board member Boulder Digital Works at CU, Openspace Store and OneRiot.
While for the most part this is a fun project for Reichs he does plan on adding a store for users to actually buy things with those points.
We’ve been playing “Startup The Game” for a little while and it is a nice break from the big startup game we’re all playing everyday.  Check it out at the links below.
Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” here are more stories from “everywhere else”
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Was It Too Soon Ann Droid (Android)

***Editors note, the edit staff here at nibletz have pointed out that there are 8 drafts of a story like this so now its time to finish it***

Do you remember the first bad break up in high school. You know the one where you broke it off with your first, (what you thought at the time was a long term relationship), maybe it was a couple of months, maybe a year or two but inevitably most of you had that moment. The awkward stares, and whispering in class; the passing in the hallway; maybe that moment when the other person was really sick, injured or had a traumatic moment, and it was just awkward?

I had that moment on Friday. You see, when you create your own content vs regurgitate others, you can go on just about a full vacation and no one realizes you’re gone. That’s what I’ve been doing the last week (and technically there are two more days to go but I needed some closure). Friday I took a meeting with a college student that wanted to start an Android blog. I thought I was ready to sit and talk shop for an hour or two over a burger at my favorite burger spot. For the most part the meeting went well. The guy was nice enough, I agreed that I’d help him out a little bit with advice and best practices, and he would help me out with a couple little coding issues here that need to be fixed.

We talked about Android for a while but of course the first thing this new Android blogger noticed was my white iPhone 4S. It was resting on the table next to my drink when he walked in. It was totally unintentional. “Oh so you’ve gone to iOS”, was the first thing he said. And yes, yes I have thank you.

(photo: Google)

My relationship with Apple started many many years ago. In fact, thedroidguy was always written on a mac, an iMac, several MacBooks, a couple MacBook Pro’s and towards the end a MacBook Air. The photo above was actually captured and ran on some very popular Apple blogs from Google IO 2011.

I often told people that my use of Macs went back to my school newspaper days, as it does for many journalists. But in talking with this new blogger I realized, I was wrong. My relationship with Apple computers goes back to the third grade. My Maryland public school had an awesome, all Apple II computer lab. Yup we could play educational games, learn to type, do a few basic programs, play Zork and print out 8 foot banners with our four letter names on a dot matrix printer, that if you’re lucky would finish before the bell rang (often not).

Since Apple computers were what’s hot in the schools my great suburbanite parents quickly got us an Apple II which set them back a few thousand dollars with that dual floppy drive and same dot matrix printer. I remember hearing that the Howard County library had gotten a new Apple II GS, I had to see this thing it had all the great features of an Apple II and it was in COLOR, wow.

We had just about every iteration of the original Macintosh line at home and school. Every newspaper I ever laid out was done on a mac. I owned every iteration of a powerbook, than a macbook, we had the all in one colorful computer in a greenish blue and I had the colorful macbook in an orange I believe. Yes, my entire experience on computers going back 20+ years has always been Apple.

Before thedroidguy I had the original iPhone and then a GS. I also had several models of Blackberry if it makes you feel better. Then, I wanted a change and had really liked Google and Gmail. I got exposed to the G1 pre-launch from some contacts in the wireless industry  and thedroidguy was born.

It became incredibly popular. We did a great job of offering some original content but we had to regurgitate news as well, that was the nature of the beast. Through an email log, and an internal document we tallied it just a week or two ago, thedroidguy tested over 200 different Android devices. I was changing phones and devices more often than even some people change underwear.

I was always careful to distinguish the iOS fan boys from the Apple fanboys it would be hypocritical to down the Apple fanboys, but you see that’s the problem.

I was a longterm (and stil am) Apple user. Not a fan boy. Why? Because it was what I was exposed to as a kid and I never ever had the problems that many of my PC using friends had. In fact, before I went on vacation I took my macbook air in to Best Buy under Black Tie because I was having major trackpad issues.  That was the first time in 25 years of using and owning Apple computer products that I had EVER had an issue of any kind. Let me say that again, July 2012 was the first time in 25 years of using and owning Apple computer products that I had EVER had an issue of any kind.

I’ve never thrown an Apple product away because it was broken. I never upgraded because I really needed to. It was always because I saved money to upgrade when I wanted to. That retina display Macbook Pro is looking sexy as hell but alas the battery is not removable nor EPEAT compliant and I love my Mac computers but not $2500 worth.

So back to Android.

I would shout things my love of Android from the rooftop. I wore an Android beanie to every public facing event since October 2010 where I was representing thedroidguy. The beanie made it easy for folks like Ralph DeLaVega and Dan Hesse to say “Hey Droidguy” when they saw me at a convention.

I was the one sitting there listening to every word Steve Jobs or Tim Cook said in regards to new iOS features, saying “Yup we have that already” In fact when the 4S came out, with it’s Siri (Talk to text, Vlingo Nuance), Notifications, and still lack of turn by turn navigation, was released I was posting as fast as I could type.

But then as Nibletz started to grow, things started to change. It was like that pre-breakup period. Where you know something isn’t right and you don’t want to answer the phone or the door, or “talk” because you know the inevitable is coming.

As Thedroidguy I always, always, always carried three phones and a tablet (or two). I never thought anything of it. In fact it was cool to have three of the latest Android phones to show off and evangelize about. Sometimes, no wait most of the time, I had an Android phone in “pre-release”. On more than one occasion I would walk into a carrier store and ask for an accessory for a phone I had on my belt, in my hand or in my pocket that wasn’t even out yet.

Playing with the newest Android toys was a great benefit to being thedroidguy. I loved unboxings and I loved doing reviews.

In January, that “pre-break” period hit. I did CES with two phones and multiple batteries. I had the phones to use back at the office if I wanted to but I no longer felt the need to carry three devices. Half because of nibletz and half because of this “pre-break” period with me and Android, at CES 2012 Brent and I spent more time in Eureka Park and checking out the Phillips booth than any Android manufacturers booth. The love was fading… fast.

Why, for the most part (and we’ll cover this later), Android was awesome, many people were using it, it was adopting fast, but to get the overall experience of the top tier and newest features in both software and hardware that I wanted I needed to carry three phones, not one phone. Not only that but emphatically I would need to do a battery pull, a factory data reset or some other jury rigged trick to get the phone back to normal. Android as a whole was great, Android as one device, at least to me, was a prosumer nightmare.  I didn’t root, I didn’t have time for that. I’ve got things to do and a business to run I don’t have hours on hours to tinker in my parents basement.

At South By Southwest I noticed there was a little problem. I couldn’t check out all of these cool new apps on one device because I didn’t have an iPhone. The Android versions of some of the apps were superior on one Android device and not the next. I still wore the Android beanie with pride and wrote every day on a Galaxy Note (which was probably the last cool Android device I used daily). Except I needed to charge it more than use it, luckily I had a power bag with enough batteries to light up a runway.

My cofounders had been begging me to ditch the other site and work full-time on this and at SXSW that’s what I started doing. I switched completely. See  I only need (or should I say take) 4-5 hours of sleep. So I would spend the bulk of my workday on the android site and two hours or so on nibletz. Starting at SXSW it was all nibletz all the time and I could regurgitate news fifteen minutes before bed.

Something had to be done and I didn’t want to see the brand die. So I sold it to a content syndicate in New York. They actually seem to be doing very well with it. They don’t source at all though which drives me nuts.

When we got back from south by I bought the iPhone 4S. I also bought a “the new iPad”.

So here’s why. It’s not a big F-U to Android they have a lot of great technology in Android that is still earlier than iOS. With that technology comes flaws and caveats though that only the loyalist of Android users can tolerate.

I went back to iOS because it just WORKS.

Period. That’s it. Sure my iPhone is only 3G but my iPad is 4G so that makes things just peachy, and battery life on both devices is spectacular. I mean phenomenal compared to what I’m used to.

Case in point, my cofounder Cameron drove back from Memphis to Philly a few weeks ago and reported using 16,000mah worth of battery over three devices. Do you know how insane that sounds to an average user. I’m not knocking Cameron at all because a year before that I would have done the same thing and thought it was quite normal.

I customize my lock screen with pictures of my kid and my wallpaper with cool pictures I’ve taken. My apps are organized the way I want them and they always open when I want them to and close when I want them to.They never freeze up, I’ve never had to reboot, I can’t battery pull because the battery is locked in the phone, but I’ve never had to, ever.

So back to that blogger, he had a great theory as to why Steve Jobs hated Android so much. The theory also speaks to why Android gets features before iOS. You see Apple makes 5 and 10 year plans, not just the next device. Many of these things that are coming out for Android are probably ideas for future iPhones. Perhaps Eric Schmidt sold Steve down the river and said why wait, we will do it now.

So I’m not exactly saying that iOS features are better when they come out then Google features. Sometimes they’re not. In fact this new siri like feature in Jelly Bean is a heck of a lot better than original Siri. Of course Siri is going to be upgraded and the Android fan boys are going to say that Apple copied. And perhaps they did. There’s a lot of that going on these days.

My final thoughts…

There are a lot of people who have smartphones now. Smartphones make up 2/3 of the new phones being purchased in the US alone in 2012. There are three types of smartphone users

– People who WANT access to their email, web and apps on their mobile device
– People who having access to their email, web and apps on their mobile device makes life easier
– People who MUST have access to their email, web and apps on their mobile device.

Whether you want to argue with me or not, I am in category three. I live and die by this website. We’re totally sneaker strapped right now and eating depend on this site (and before this site the other site). I need to be able to access the site, my content flow, my other writers, and everything else having to do with the site, startups and content everywhere and all the time.

Being committed to staying on the road through September 2013 means that during a travel week 90% of the content is created and uploaded on a mobile device.

For that I need durability, reliability and battery life. 4G/LTE, turn by turn navigation and widgets on my home screen are more than a fair trade off.

So was it too early, I guess not because a lot of my old readers who’ve come to the new site deserved this post.

Please help us with our mission and our road trip, info here


Indianapolis Startup: Trensy Makes Doing Good Deeds Fun INTERVIEW

A hot new startup in the vibrant startup community of Indianapolis Indiana is gamifying good deeds. The startup, called Trensy, makes it easy to earn points for just about any kind of good deed.

Good deeds ranging from volunteering, to much easier tasks like taking the bus or using a reusable grocery bag at the grocery store can help you earn points on Trensy’s good deed platform.

The platform ties into your Facebook account for 0-auth verification and then a way to share your good deeds socially and invite others to participate as well. One of the cool parts about Trensy is when you sign up and look at the available good deeds, you’ll probably find that you’re doing some to these things already. (if not most of them).

The two founders that met at IU (Alma Mater of Mark Cuban and Nick Tippmann) didn’t set out to do a startup together. They first became roommates and friends, and then went off into the real world. When they realized they wanted to start something, and something good for the community, they naturally turned to each other as co-founders.

Trensy co-founder Kyle Robbins told us:

“After graduating, we both moved to Indianapolis to begin careers and worked independently for several year before connecting on trensy. Bryan worked on the service side of an educational software company and I worked as a developer.  The decision to venture together on this journey all came down to the trust and confidence they had in each other. Fate got us together to work on changing the world”

Trensy is available for both iOS and Android. The good deed app platform can be a lot of fun especially when you challenge yourself or friends to get more points.

Here’s our full interview with Kyle Robbins below.

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