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Ode To Mobile: An Android Love Story

I remember when I saw an Android phone for the first time. A friend of mine got a new phone, the HTC G1, emblazoned upon the back was the coolest thing I had ever seen, “Powered by Google.” Even in 2008 I knew that was a big deal. It wouldn’t be until two years later that I got my first Android phone, however, which was the Motorola Droid 2 Global. I hated that thing, and because I did I went online to try to find ways to make it better. Looking back, that was the last time I bought a phone on contract.

When Motorola went out of their way to lock the bootloader on that device, I decided that I had outgrown it and purchased the Droid Incredible by HTC on eBay. That’s when things got interesting for me. The phone was a little older, but a very capable brother of the Nexus One and the developers on XDA had really taken it under their wing. Quickly after getting the device, I realized how different two forks of Android could be. I had no problem with Sense, but the people online had such cool features when they used custom ROMS, whatever those are. Soon thereafter, I had gotten s-off, flashed my first custom recovery (Clockworkmod) and then flashed my first custom ROM, CyanogenMod.

There’s a lot of heat surrounding CyanogenMod these days, mostly for reasons that I can’t comprehend. People are angry that the developers wanted to make money from the hard work that they’ve put in. Have you ever heard of a little open-source project called WordPress.org? Those greedy scoundrels! 

That was the heyday of CyanogenMod, though. By all measurable standards, having a custom ROM had the most value-added back then. By using Android 2.3.7 (CyanogenMod 7.2), the experience was so much smoother than what HTC had to offer. Not too much later, Android 4.0 was announced and CyanogenMod 9 was born. The little Droid Incredible had no problem keeping up, either. When Android 4.1 Jellybean came out the following summer, the time had come for the little dinc.

That was when I tried my hand at “developing” a custom ROM. I’d hardly call it developing, but using some scripting tools that were available that the time, I was able to optimize the speed and add some extra features to the still 2.3.4 version of Android that was running on the Incredible.  It had a little following, too, and I called it SparkPlug.

sparkplug screenshots

Eventually I decided it was time for an upgrade and got the Galaxy Nexus for Verizon, another eBay purchase. That was a rather unspectacular phone, all things considered. Later that same year, the Nexus 4 came out and I decided it was time that I graduate from Big Red, entirely. From February 2013 to sometime this past summer I was running on StraightTalk wireless with a Nexus 4, a Nexus 5, a Moto X 2013, and then what is now my daily driver, the OnePlus One. I guess I’m attracted to things that people hate. It’s a wonder I’m not a Kanye fan.

These days I am on Cricket with my OnePlus One and have significantly cut back on my phone hopping (unless you count the ones that I have for review). Nothing that has come out over the last 10 months (from when I got the OnePlus) has offered anything worth upgrading to. I also own an iPhone 5c, which is nice to play with out occasion, but I always come back to the One. I could certainly ramble about this for a lot longer, but this is the abbreviated version so people still have hair by the time they finish.

Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for my upcoming reviews on TechDissected: OnePlus 2, Samsung Galaxy Note 5, and an Acer R11 netbook are currently what I’m toting around (please don’t rob me). If you have any questions about any of them (before or after the reviews publish) please feel free to give me a shout on social media! I love being able to do this and even more enjoy being able to help people decide which phone to buy next (as long as they don’t blame me if something goes wrong.)

Until next time; stay thirsty, my friends.