Android has become more than just an operating system for some. There are communities that were formed around the common bond of learning a device. Many nights of sleep sacrificed for the latest ROM. It was a special time that may never happen again.
For me, my start with the Motorola Droid came by way of an issue I had with my iPhone 3Gs. The phone kept losing a signal for no reason. I went to AT&T for an exchange, as it was an obvious hardware issue, only to be told that I would have to go through Apple.
Went to Apple and they wanted to put a $600 hold on my card or have me mail in my phone (versus being able to exchange the phone through AT&T like any other malfunctioning phone) . I wasn’t feeling either. And it was a matter of me being so frustrated that I left AT&T and switched to Verizon.
I picked up the Droid and wanted the NFL Sunday Ticket. I remember almost exchanging my Droid for a Blackberry Storm 2 all because it didn’t have the Sunday Ticket app. Thankfully a wise Verizon rep talked me off the ledge, and I decided to hold on to my Droid.
I spent the first weeks complaining about all the things the Droid didn’t do, that my iPhone did. But then I started finding forums dedicated to the Droid. And the first forum I joined was Droid Dog. There I learned about talk of a rumored phone by Google, something called a Nexus One. But while there, I kept asking the same question, “when will my Droid get NFL Sunday Ticket?”
I did not quite get my answer yet, but I still kept searching the forums and learning more about the Droid.
The next forum I stumbled upon was android forums where I continued searching for answers involving NFL Sunday Ticket. Only to finally stumble on DroidForums.net. See I stumbled on to that forum after someone linked a discussion about NFL Sunday Ticket on Android Forums.
Around the time I got to DroidForums, Directv launched their NFL Sunday Ticket app to the Android Market. And I had, by that time, started to embrace android. Now I still had my hangups, such as getting use to not having an iTunes to move music and get updates. But nevertheless I was sold on my Droid. And then something happened that really changed android for me. I rooted.
It was announced that the Droid got “roots”, and there was this mad dash to root and try ROMS. I found new communities and places to get information. Places like Droid-Life, XDA, and other communities formed around the Droid (and other android devices).
For me, my first ROM was Sholesmod. Thanks to an awesome tutorial put together by Droid-Life, my first taste at a ROM came by way of a method that made rooting and modding easy. I remember learning and then spending time helping others on DroidForums. And because of the volume of people needing help with their phones, especially those who were rooting, DF eventually formed the Rescue Squad.
The Rescue Squad was a team started by several Droid Forums members. At first we were not considered staff, just members that helped members. Led by JimMariner, the team tried to provide round the clock help to people needing help with their phones.
Over the years as more phones were released, the community changed. For one, more people were using android. And as a result we saw android phones become more widespread. The software, hardware, and overall user interfaces were getting better. And as they were getting better, the need for ROMS were diminishing.
Where we were needing to overclock our DROIDs in the past, we started seeing phones that was fast out of the box. And software from manufactures had their own custom interfaces to distinguish their phone from the competition.
The result was where we are at now. Less people are rooting and modding because they don’t have to. Phones now are just amazing. In fact, you no longer need a flagship phone to have an awesome phone experience.
I have enjoyed the journey along the way. It has been fun, and I hope to continue being apart of this ever changing community. But I want to close out this post by giving a shoutout to all the communities out there. You guys have helped me along the way with my phone one way or another.
A shoutout to sites, forums, and content creators that have inspired me over the years.
To all the members who were part of the Rescue Squad
Droid World (no longer active)