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Kevin Buskirk

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Friends and family - this Saturday I'm biking in the "Waves to Wine" fundraiser for the National MS Society, which will take me 104 miles from Daly City to Sonoma county.  (...a mere 8 miles biking, 26 miles running, and 2.4 miles swimming short of an ironman! :-)

If you have any money left in your charity budget after all those ALS videos, please consider making a donation to the National MS Society--it goes to a great cause and is fully tax deductible.  Thanks!
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Bed jumping, mini bars, and dinosaurs, as explained by the Apparently kid.  Outstanding.
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Long one, buckle up.

About a month ago I switched from an iPhone 5 to a Moto X.  Overall I've been extremely happy with the X, which (spoiler alert!) is in my opinion the most innovative mobile device since the original iPhone.  For those interested, detailed thoughts and impressions are below.

(Standard disclaimer, yes, I work at YouTube, which is owned by Google, which also owns Motorola.  The opinions here are my own, I paid for both these phones out of pocket, I was not compensated for this review, yada yada yada...  Ok, ready to go?)

Where the Moto X wins:

- Wood.  I opted for the bamboo back on the X, and it's gorgeous.  I love it.  
- Active Display.  A low-power display mode that shows time and notifications when I pick up the phone, or when it's resting face up.  Picture a pulse light that actually tells you useful things.  Brilliant.  Hugely useful when, say, getting ready in the morning and it's on the counter, or when it's on your desk at work.
- Touchless control.  The ability to do stuff without physically interacting with the phone is awesome.  Say the key phrase, then "wake me up in 20 minutes," or "find my phone" (followed by a loud alarm).  Fantastic.
- Driving awareness.  Sensors detect when you're driving, and it goes into a driving-friendly mode--announcing callers, reading text messages, allowing you to reply to messages verbally, etc.  And, of course, you can disable it with the touch of a button if you're the passenger.  Extremely useful.  (Similarly, you can enable silent mode for meetings or sleeping hours, based on the time / your calendar, and you can define whose calls get through.)
- Trusted devices.  I keep my phone password-locked.  The Moto X allows you to set up Bluetooth devices, such as your car's hands-free kit, as trusted devices.  Any time the phone then pairs with this device, you unlock it once and it remains unlocked the rest of the time the devices are connected.  Super convenient when going somewhere in your car (as a passenger, of course).
- Twist for camera.  Twist the Moto X twice, and the camera opens.  I've always disliked motion-triggered events, like shaking to rearrange the letters in a game, etc.  But this is great--I can pull my phone from my pocket and open the camera without touching the screen or any buttons, or even looking away from who / what I want to photograph.
- Screen.  Motorola did some impressive engineering with the screen--the Moto X is ~0.5 x 0.5 cm larger than the iPhone 5, but the screen is ~1.0 x 1.5 cm larger.  The bezel is basically non-existent.  Makes a big difference, especially in ease of typing.
- Clean screen.  Both the Moto X and the iPhone 5 use Gorilla Glass, so not sure why this is the case--but the Moto X remains remarkably free from fingerprints / smudges.  Apparently it has a water-repellent coating on it, so maybe that's it.
- Contrast ratio.  The screen boasts impressively deep blacks--using the phone at night, I can't tell where the black notification bar ends and the phone's frame begins.  Contrast that with the visibly gray "black screen" around the Apple logo when the iPhone 5 boots up.
- Simultaneous voice and LTE data.  I'm on Verizon, and I can finally talk and use data at the same time.  (Which for the record I was also able to do 16 months ago, before switching to the iPhone 5, but who's counting?  ...come on, Apple.)
- Customizable snooze!  Yeah, this may seem nit-picky, but it's a big one for me.  Android lets you customize the length of the snooze button on the built-in alarm.  So I no longer need to set multiple alarms two minutes apart--I can just set one, then actually hit the snooze button.  Love it.  (And yes, I know there are a million alarms in the App Store that would have let me do this, but I just trust stock alarm apps more.  Shoot me.)

Where the iPhone wins:

- Fingerprint sensor.  This is unique to the iPhone 5S, of course--but being able to unlock your phone and buy iTunes content with a fingerprint is pretty cool.  Will be even cooler once the security aspects are nailed down and they open this up for authentication to other apps.
- Camera.  The Moto X camera is really good--but from my limited testing, it's still a step behind the 5 / 5S in terms of color accuracy and clarity in low light.  (Though I've yet to experiment much with the HDR mode on the Moto X, which I've heard good things about.)  
- Battery.  The Moto X has the best battery life of any Android phone I've ever used, routinely around 50% at the end of the day.  But, I don't think my iPhone 5 dropped below 80% on a single day's use for the first several weeks I owned it (routinely still 100% at lunch time), and for the first several months I only charged it every other day.  So edge, iPhone.
- Autocorrect.  The Moto X's wider screen makes typing much easier... but the auto-correct software on the iPhone is significantly better.  I find myself having to go back and correct words much more often on the X.
- Volume buttons on headphones.  I'm not aware of any Android phones that have volume controls on the headphones, which is a real pity.  I used these all the time on my iPhone, and I miss them.
- UI elements.  The Android UI has become much more polished in recent years--but some of the under-the-hood stuff (menus, lists, volume slider, etc.), to me, just looks better on the iPhone.

All in all, I'm extremely happy with the Moto X, and see myself using it for a long time.  For me, the benefits and innovations brought by the X far outweigh any real or perceived shortcomings.  Looking forward to many more exciting developments out of camp Motorola.
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More on Project Glass...
We think technology should work for you—to be there when you need it and get out of your way when you don’t.

A group of us from Google[x] started Project Glass to build this kind of technology, one that helps you explore and share your world, putting you back in the moment. We’re sharing this information now because we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input. So we took a few design photos to show what this technology could look like and created a video to demonstrate what it might enable you to do.

Please follow along as we share some of our ideas and stories. We’d love to hear yours, too. What would you like to see from Project Glass?

+Babak Parviz +Steve Lee +Sebastian Thrun
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Google Project Glass. Pretty dang cool.

Project Glass: One day...
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Great stuff.
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Viamedia has been a terrific partner to work with, and I'm very excited by the launch!
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