In the beginning, it was all about the smartness, of how much more I could do with it than my Sony Ericsson W810i, of how much like an operating system it felt, instead of a firmware. It was a wild journey trying to fish out apps that could justify the smartness of the phone. Then came rooting, which gave more control over it, giving the power of administering the phone to my hands so that I could decide not only what I wanted, but what I did not want as well. That was rooting to me. To remove anything that I did not want. Then came framework mods to alter how a few elements baked into the OS would look and feel.
Somewhere about this time, I changed from a South Korean Galaxy S with paltry support to a Galaxy Nexus; the world of pure Android. It felt more open and submissive than Samsung’s version of Android and I was rather spoilt with choices about what I can make of it. Plain rooting seemed just that, too plain. Enter the world of custom ROMs. Although I had tried a couple of ROMs on my earlier phone, it never really felt that it was different. But with the support available to the Nexus, I could only imagine where the horizon was.
The Samsung Galaxy Nexus stayed with me for just the right amount of time before giving way to Nexus 4, a marvel of a phone. It looked deviously simple, devilishly calm but performed with the enthusiasm of a race horse. Tie this with the firm control that I want to exert on what is running on the phone, you get a device which is quick to respond, acts unlike other Androids and becomes an extension of myself. But the problem now is, I don’t know what I can do with it anymore.
I have automated quite a few tasks that I have a false sense of them not working. Dismissing an alarm tracks my sleep and enables the phone to interrupt me now that I’m not sleeping. Shaking it will un/silence it for those moments where you don’t have to fumble with the buttons or worse, icons. Apps and contacts get backed up automatically with BT Sync. It knows that I’m home and disables lock screen, conserves battery by connecting to Wi-Fi/3G only when I want to.
The bottom line is that despite the bland looking interface that I’ve crafted for it, it is a sophisticated automatic setup under the hood. So, now that quite a few things are taken care of, l have to use it like others do: to talk, text, email, play games and listen to music, everything that I could do without a super-smartphone. I want to find a way where I can use it to prove to myself that neither I nor it have reached the horizons of smartphone capability. That clearing the blocks opens the road, and you just have to drive.
But drive to reach where?
That, is the right question without a convincing answer.