Gasp! Android is slowly winning me back. Here’s why:

androidjellybean4point2A few years back I invested in my first smartphone: an HTC Magic. At first I loved it, but one event in particular pissed me off beyond all belief, namely when not 3 months after I bought it, Android upgraded to a new iteration and I couldn’t install it on my handset. Nonetheless I did persevere and upgraded a year or so later to an HTC Desire. As a handset that was much better than the Magic – but once again the fragmentation issue raised its head and this time it was the last straw for me: I switched to an iPhone 3S and since then I’ve remained an Apple phone person. Over time I also bought into the Apple ecosystem that bit more: I have an iPad, a jailbroken Apple TV2, and I use a MacBook Air laptop.

When the Nexus 7 tablet arrived though, I figured it was time to revisit Android purely to see what had changed in the years since I’d last used it. I didn’t need this tablet; frankly price was the main factor as it wasn’t a bank-breaking amount to pay for one.

And here’s the thing: over time, I’ve found myself using the N7 more and more. Slowly, little things about it have started really winning me over – to the point where I’m even now sat here contemplating an investment in an Android phone again.

So what’s changed?

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The near-miss of New MySpace

Screen Shot 2012-12-19 at 21.58.46New MySpace. Twelve months ago I would have snorted in derision at the mere mention of the idea; it seemed a little too ridiculous given the way Old MySpace had gone.

Over time though, with Facebook increasingly battling negative press around Pages, reach, privacy and a host of other problems, MySpace’s purchase and promised rejuvenation courtesy of Justin Timberlake and Specific Media actually started looking viable. Through the same period, a few friends of mine had been asking the same question: “Are we due a dedicated music social network?”. After all, Facebook has never been that well equipped for musicians (ever tried listening to music on an artists page of late?) and coupled with the aforementioned frustrations, it felt like a gap was opening that was ripe for the taking.

Enter MySpace. (Again.)

I was invited to preview the service in the summer. I have to say, based on the demo video I saw (the same one that has since been made public in the first round of PR), I was really impressed. New MySpace looked fantastic. There was a clear focus on design there, and conceptually it felt very much like it could indeed be the dedicated music social network that people had been pining for. Believe me, I was a naysayer previous to this meeting, but based on the video and my conversations with the team there, I was sold.

Having played around with the service for a while now, sadly now I’m not so sure.

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Latest Digital Music Trends podcast now up

I’ve guested on a few episodes of Andrea Leonelli‘s excellent Digital Music Trends podcast this year, and each time I find myself having great fun but also coming away with food for thought, based on things my fellow guests have said. This latest installment though was fantastic in that respect: Andrea, Eliot from and Steve Knopper (fanboy note: I’m a HUGE fan of his book “Appetite For Self-Destruction” and recommend you all read it!) all posited some really interesting ideas and between us it felt like some great conversation was happening.

The podcast is available both on Soundcloud and YouTube, so if you can, park an hour of your time and take a listen/watch. Honestly, I came away buzzing with thoughts and ideas and I hope you will too.

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