Motorola Updates Upgrade Promise

A Promising Response

You and I both know that smartphones don’t last forever. But shouldn’t they last more than a year? I wrote about this recently in relation to a Computer World article that singled out Motorola for not playing nice with phone updates on its new $1,000 phone. Then another article appeared, this time on Android Central, calling out Motorola again on this issue. And you know what? The next day, Motorola responded in the positive!

Moto On The Move

Motorola has announced that their new Edge+ phone will get not one but two OS upgrades in addition to years of security updates. This is a nice change from the company that has shown it truly cares about clean Android software, as Joe Maring pointed out in his related opinion piece.

Moto has been on a roll lately, releasing bold and budget phones. With the premium Razr, the flagship Edge+, and the mid-range Moto G Power and Stylus, Motorola has shown it cares about hardware. And now with the promise of an extra OS upgrade for the Edge+, they’re reaffirming that software is just as important to them.

These are positive signs coming from one of the stalwarts in the mobile phone industry. Despite Apple and Samsung dominating much of the smartphone market, Lenovo owned Motorola isn’t anywhere near giving up the fight. If nothing else, their G line of affordable phones has offered incredible value for years, making them the go-to Android phones for buyers on a budget.

Like author Joe Maring, I too am fond of Moto’s brand. As mentioned, the company’s respect for stock Android software is a standout feature, not to mention the nice user-friendly touches they add, like opening the camera by twisting the phone as you pull it out of your pocket. About the time you lift it to eye-level, you’re ready to snap the photo.

Moto Memories

If you’ll allow me to reminisce a bit, I recall Motorola first grabbing mindshare in the late 90’s when their StarTAC flip phone made waves. I was on my college campus where a classmate showed us how cool it was! Years later when the original Razr was everywhere, I didn’t own one myself but I helped my brother buy one – because it was the Razr!

My first phone from the company was the Moto Q – I still like that thing! That was a “feature” phone sporting Windows Mobile, a physical keyboard, and buttons! Tactile feedback is very underrated. Much later, I got the first Moto X with custom wood back and orange accents.

Next, I bought an unlocked Moto G4, the Amazon variant. Guess what, although it no longer gets updates, it is still in use today by my Dad! And now, I’ve been enjoying the new Moto G Power for a month.

Besides being nostalgic, I say all that to underscore how good it is to hear that Motorola is serious about making great phones and pleasing their customers. Saying their new flagship phone only gets one OS upgrade but then improving on that later, albeit just meeting the standard, does quality service for their phone buyers, especially the loyal nerds like myself.

Meeting The Standard

Having said that, I want to call on Motorola to continue their winning streak by extending their OS upgrade promise to not just the fancy phones at the top, but to the huge installed base of fantastic mid-range phones – the G series!

As of now, Joe Maring points out,

“The new Moto G Stylus and G Power are excellent mid-range handsets, but you aren’t promised any big software updates beyond Android 11.”

One of the big selling points of Apple’s iPhones is their several years’ worth of reliable OS upgrades. The bar is set, and I believe Motorola is able to rise to the high standard. The Android market would benefit greatly from a company with a reputation of phone support for a great length of time. And that company would, in turn, reap the rewards. Nokia and Google are frontrunners in this regard, but Motorola has the mojo to standout as a leader.

What do you think? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

The Sparring Fundraiser

Fight For Others

This post is a little outside my usual topics, but I felt like sharing it anyways. I just participated in a very special event and am happy with how it turned out. It was a mixed-style martial arts sparring session for a good cause – raising support for a fellow martial artist’s family.

Mixed Sparring

I’ve practiced a few different martial art styles over the years, so I’ve been to different kinds of tournaments or expos. In my current style – Kyokushin Karate – we spar only within our school. So the fundraiser was unique because we met up at a new place with another school and all jumped in the ring.

The other school’s style is Tae Kwon Do. Not only do some of their techniques differ, the way they spar is different too. Kyokushin does full-contact, no protective gear. But at the fundraiser we had to wear some gear. Even something that seems simple, standing sideways more than using a front-facing stance, was kind of challenging.

The session was focused on cardio endurance rather than hard fighting or point scoring. The cool thing was this let us be more loose, have more fun, and try different techniques without the concern of getting our faces kicked in!

Several folks from my school showed up to spar along with a whole lot of students from the other school. I think there were about 30 people all sparring at the same time in a round-robin style set-up.

Each round of sparring was 2 minutes long. Once over, half the group would rotate to the next fighter for another round. We did 10 rounds like this, then had a 5 minute water break. After that, we did two more 10-round sessions. So altogether we sparred for about an hour.

It was hot. I think I sweated all my fluids out. My face matched the red gloves and foot pads I was wearing. And I opened up three blisters on my tender feet. But I had a great time!

It was both fun and challenging to fight so many different martial artists with a different style. Some of the students I had never met before. Everyone was kind and cordial and respectful. I would attend this kind of special sparring session again.

Not Just For Kicks

The cherry on top of this whole event was that it raised funds for a former karate student from the Tae Kwon Do school. She recently passed away and her family is in need of support. So that’s what all the proceeds went to.

But the support was more than monetary. It was also about people showing up and saying, “We’re here for you.” It’s a small way to help, but I’m sure it means a lot.

Something as simple as presence can have a profound impact.

What’s on your mind? Comment below, or write to me here! Thanks for reading!

A Better Kind Of Instagram Called Bokeh

Recently, I deleted Instagram and lamented it’s downturn from photo sharing app to social mania app. But this week I discovered a new Instagram-like photo-social app that’s got key core values. It’s in Kickstarter, and I am a backer!

The key core values are:

  1. It’s private by default
  2. It’s ad-free forever
  3. It’s user-funded

Another key feature: it will have a chronological timeline instead of one fed by an algorithm.

And here’s a summary description:

An Instagram alternative to share photos with friends and family privately, see them in chronological order, and without creepy ads.

Some other good things Bokeh has going for it: public accounts will have an RSS feed, so it’s more indy-web based. And it will have custom domains!

So far, the user interface of the app looks nice. There’s a lot more to like about the potential of Bokeh. And while I am inclined to support anything to help unseat Facebook or Instagram, I am genuinely interested in Bokeh.

With so much to like, it’s hard to believe that an individual account will cost only $3 a month! I’ve been open to the idea of paying for a social network service before, simply to avoid the pitfalls of an ad-revenue based network. And now I’ve got a chance to help make such a model of social media a reality. So I’m glad to be a backer!

I encourage you to go check out Bokeh on Kickstarter! If you decide to pledge support like I did, you could get early access to the site, a discount to join, and a profile flair that shows your support!

If you believe social networks can be better than Instagram or Facebook, now’s your chance to do your part in making things better!

Did you check out the Kickstarter page for Bokeh? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment, or email me. Thanks for reading! Take care.