We (T-Mobile and Google) had been working for months and months with a small team in Building 44 in Mountain View, CA. We had seen about 9 different versions of the new "Homescreen" for Android and I still wasn't completely certain we had seen the last one. I remember Fridays being "Donut Day" at the cafe there, and the arcade where I would spend my lunch with a bunch of Android coders playing old school video games - the team was bursting with excitement over what they were building and bringing to the world.
I remember one morning a few weeks before the announcement I visiting Google, chillin' in cafe Moma in full Google attire (t-shirt, jeans and vans) when Andy Rubin and my big boss Cole Brodman came walking in - I thought I was busted for sure, T-Mobile guys were always wearing dockers and button down shirts...but they both smiled, said hello and asked me how the project was coming - were we going to make it? How was the Android team to work with (awesome people like & , , , , , - just to name a few). Was I excited to finally "launch"? and more.
Well Cole didn't kill me for becoming part of the Mountain View/Android culture and a few weeks later we were in NYC. We were there the night before setting up and I had in my possession 50 G1 prototypes that would get gobbled up by the press and tech reviewers the next day. Cole almost died on a plane that night trying to get there, my VP was so excited she couldn't sit still and I was worried that 50 "3G" phones might tear down our new T-Mobile 3G network! We switched half of them to WiFi tested them all out and packed up for the night.
I was so excited I couldn't sleep - the combined teams were about to change the world.
I got up the next morning, took the longest shower ever and headed to the event site. We set up our demos got everything ready and waited. Press started lining up early, they were excited - not sure exactly what they were going to see. We had all of our demos behind a curtain and the press was to go upstairs and sit before a stage. They began to let the press in and the energy was amazing! So many bloggers and Tech reporters! I scooted around and took tons of photos (I'll have to dig those up to post later) - no one knew who I was, so they just left me alone.
As the event started they showed off an overview video that featured my hands (lol hand model) and some of the footage of places we had traveled with the G1 a few weeks back in NYC - they made us take out a Street View shot of McSorely's Ale House and replaced it with the NYC Public Library - but we know what you all use Street View for! While , Peter Chou & were speaking and revealing Android to the word, I was nervously running up and downstairs checking on my demos, making sure they had power, connectivity, etc. two gents came int he back door - and had just Rollerbladed from to make the event and put in a surprise appearance! Sergey greeted me with a smile and a "Hello" and headed upstairs - friggin hilarious!
As the press announcement came to a close, the curtains were removed and a sea of bloggers and reporters came back downstairs - literally running at us! For the next 4 hours the media got to use the G1 for the first time and ask questions. Tom Harlin and the rest of the T-Mobile PR team along with myself, and the Product Team fielded questions, video interviews (Look for me talking to back in his early days) and more.
I've included a link to TechCrunch's liveblog of the event - but you should Google the G1 announcement - there are so many fun videos out there from that day.
I think the day was a huge success - just look at Android now - five years later. That afternoon my wife called me from home...in tears, she could not believe that everyone, everywhere that day was talking about Google's new Android phone.. she was so proud, as was I... and still am today.
Today Android is everywhere - it's in the device in my hand, on my wrist in #galaxygear , I can wear it as , I can play games, produce amazing works of art, photograph life, get my work done and even write this post on my #galaxynote3 ... and this is just the beginning. I hope you have liked this little trip down memory lane...
Happy 5th Anniversary Android!
And it turns out that of the various tech toys I have, the Nexus 7 held up well too - a year later, it's still my favorite form-factor for tablets. Because despite the absolutely gorgeous screen on the Nexus 10, I find myself using the smaller tablet simply because the ten inch form factor is too large to carry around or hold in one hand for any extensive time.
So hey, I have the new higher-resolution Nexus 7 on order, and am repeating the "refresh the UPS tracker" from one year ago. I will never learn.
The demo is best experienced on your new Nexus 7 (and Nexus 10 after the Android 4.3 update) in Google Play Movies, over Speakers or Headphones. Enjoy it again in the Settings menu, under 'Play Demo'!
Also really excited that Kitkat will work on 512 MB devices, so that all entry level smartphones can get access to the latest version as well. This will really help us get Android to the next billion users...
Been a busy week for me and I have some catching up to do outside work -- ‘Ok, Google, ideas for last minute Halloween costumes...’
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