Last year about this time, I was using my iPhone and peering over at the screen of my Android-owning colleagues, envying the flexibility and customizability that they experienced. I had grown tired of looking at a screen with a black background and five rows of four icons. And while jailbreaking was an option that might give me a bit more control over my device, I guess what I was after was a clean break. I had been an iPhone user since it launched in the summer of 2007 and… well… it was time for a change. Or so I thought.
I’ve been using the Droid X for just over four months now and my experience has been mixed. There are many reasons why I like my Droid X running Android 2.2 (which I’ll go into here in detail) but the long and short of it is that I will be making my way back to the Apple Store, hat in hand, asking them to hand me one of those boxes with the "iPhone 4" stamped across the side.
Let me get this out of the way right now: anyone who knows me personally knows that I’m a huge Apple aficionado. I own three Macs, an iPhone 3GS, an Apple TV and an iPad. But what’s more important to understand about me is that I’m a technologist. I use and have experimented with just about any consumer electronics device and category that you could imagine. I truly wanted my Android experience to work out. Honestly I did. I wanted to carry an Android if for no other reason than to act as a counter to all of this Apple stuff that surrounds me. It’s like calling a guy a racist and then finding out that his wife is of the race you accuse him of showing bias towards. It doesn’t exactly relieve you of the accusation, but it does call it into heavy questioning.
First, I’ll detail the good stuff about my Android experience thus far:
1. Notification Light – At the top of my Droid X on the left, there’s a tiny indicator light that flashes. A green flash will tell me that I have received and missed an e-mail. A blue light indicates that I’ve missed an SMS message and a red flashing light usually means that I missed a call. And as you would expect with Android, each of these settings are configurable. It’s just been a pleasure to know without having to turn on the device whether I’ve received any communication.
2. Call Quality – Much like I expected with Verizon, I never had any issues with calls. I’ve done a few 45 minute to one hour calls and unlike many times with my iPhone in the same location, I never had the person I was speaking to say, “hey….are you there? I can’t …I can’t hear you….” Granted, I’ve made less than 50 calls in four months, but that rarely did I experience any signal issues – at least not on the voice end of things. (I’ll get to data rates in a bit.)
3. Notifications Bar – The notification bar in Android is a bit of a mixed bag. At a flick of your finger from the top of the display downwards, you can see all of the available notifications including application updates that happened, new voicemail messages, text messages, chat messages, etc. I’d still have to give special recognition to Palm here. They did a better job with notifications than anyone else and since the Pre was released, I haven’t seen a better implementation. The problem with the Android notifications at the top of the screen is that it’s inconsistent at times. For instance, if I’ve been in a particularly long meeting or just away from my phone for a few hours, I’ll miss a few calls, many e-mails and maybe even a few SMS messages. However, because I have my phone set to do some other automated actions (like update applications when they are available in the Android Market) those icons will show and although there’s plenty of space at the top of the notification bar, I’ll miss updates. I need to pull down the notification bar to see the detail. With the Pre, you just looked at the bottom and knew exactly what was happening. And with the iPhone, well… forget about it. Overall, it’s better than what I was used to with the iPhone, but not quite as good as with the Pre.
4. Google Chat – What a pleasure it was to get instant chats from my Google IM account on the road. I mean, if everyone I know who is already on chat would just use this, we could kinda do away with SMS for the most part. It’s not quite as connected as using a BlackBerry and using BlackBerry Messenger, but maybe with a few tweaks, it will be there. The only downside is self-induced: I leave myself logged into several places at a time on different machines at home and at work, so I’ll miss some chats on occasion. But that’s not the applications fault – it’s on me.
5. Location-Aware Apps – I use an app called “Locale” and it’s kinda awesome. I set it to look at my location and based on where I am, turn on or off certain features. For example, when I’m near my home, I set it to turn on my ringer and to turn on Wi-Fi. Conversely, when I’m near the office, I set it to turn off Wi-Fi and set my ringer to vibrate. This has kept me from having my phone ring during many potentially awkward situations. I probably haven’t even considered all of the use cases. I’m sure that there are many more features that can be enabled/disabled.
6. Google Listen – For many reasons I’ll get into, one of Android’s biggest weaknesses is the poor quality of it’s application catalog. However, there was one developer that I could usually count on for first-class Android experiences – Google. And Google Listen is probably the best application on my phone. Listen is simply a podcast program. It grabs podcasts when they are available and if I haven’t yet downloaded a podcast, it streams it. It’s exactly what I had been wanting prior to using Android and something I’ll miss as I’m leaving it.
7. Device-Specific Features – There are a few other “mentionables” that fall under device-specific highlights. Obviously the big size of the Droid X makes it great for viewing movies and gives you more information on screen. The slim form factor made it very easy to slide into my pocket without much worry about damage. One thing I will note is that the length means that there was constant worry that sitting down would bend the phone. This was mostly a non-issue.
The Droid X uses a special kind of glass that is resistant to scratches like many other phones and without a case, neither the casing nor the screen looks like it has endured much punishment.
Going So Soon?
So given all that cool stuff that was mentioned, why would you consider another device? I’m sure that I’ll get a lot of criticism for my decision to drop my Android in a few months (depending on what gets announced in Q1 2011.) And this is fine. People are entitled to their opinions. I’ve been looking for the perfect analogy that summarizes my reasons for going back to my old phone and a perfect one doesn’t really come to mind. But allow me to use two.
Let’s suppose that you are buying a new car and you’ve decided upon an SUV. You want the space and elevated driving experience that an SUV provides, but you also want the added power necessary when driving in the winter elements. You can go to a website and create a big spreadsheet of pros and cons on paper, but the only way that you’ll ultimately know which car is right for you is to actually get behind the wheel and drive it. More importantly, the experience of a car’s value isn’t the sum of its features. Just because a Mercedes has a feature list that is more than double that of a comparable Lexus model doesn’t mean that the Mercedes is that much better to drive. The real value to the driver comes in the form of those key features being accessible to them when they need them most.
Android on paper sounds like it has everything that the iPhone has in iOS and significantly more. It’s more customizable. It comes in more form factors and it’s available on more carriers. Like the SUV analogy, most people might conclude that the sum of the feature set makes it a better experience. However, it was only after having experienced both operating systems that for my needs, the iPhone was a significantly better experience in almost every way.
Steve Jobs has talked repeatedly about how good experiences in technology happen when hardware and software are jointly designed. It’s this belief that has probably led to the company not being in the ‘Microsoft position’ that it could be today. (Apple could have sold the Mac OS and had it run on PCs like Microsoft did with Windows but instead chose to only run it on their own hardware.) It’s only after using the iPhone and comparing it to other similar experiences that you realize that Steve was right. Don’t believe me (us)? Take a look at the Android Market (you need to use an Android phone to do this) and read the reviews for some of the most popular applications. You will see one repeated theme: with all of the variety that Android offers in form factor and customization, this comes at a cost of performance. And when I say ‘performance’, I mean performance both in speed and responsiveness as well as the phone just not ‘performing’ and crashing because the combination of the hardware plus whatever other customizations you made to it caused it to behave abnormally. You’ll see people saying: “Updated to version 1.8 of <fill in name of application> and now it crashes. Droid 2” or “Ever since version 8.3 released, my <fill in some other feature of the phone> doesn’t work properly.” Does this same thing happen on iPhones running iOS? Certainly it does. But the difference is that the level of attention that bad releases get is so much greater that the problem either gets fixed immediately or the application gets rated poorly so quickly that any potential downloads immediately call the quality into question.
Please don’t mistake what I’m saying – I’m not at all suggesting that there’s something magical about iOS that makes it more stable. Poorly written apps are poorly written apps regardless of what device they run on. But it’s only logical that a phone that has seen only four different models (the original iPhone, the 3G, the 3GS and the iPhone 4) and a few controlled operating system releases will lead to a less volatile programming environment for developers. iPhone developers are effectively testing on four devices – and in many cases only three or maybe two, as they focus more heavily on the newer phones. It almost makes sense that Android application performance can be so varied when you consider the vast amount of hardware and all of the deep application customization that can be done.
The Toaster and the Toaster Oven
My mother has been hinting for years that I should get a toaster over in favor of my old standby, my Black and Decker dual wide-slot toaster. Her argument is that there’s so much more that you can do with a toaster oven. My contention is that for the added space that it will take up and considering the only thing I really want to do with a toaster – make bagels and toast – that it’s really not worth it. If I need to do anything heavier than bagels, I’m probably going to use my perfectly fine full sized oven. Or my microwave. The key here being that each of the offshoots of the full sized oven has a specialty, except the toaster oven. Which to me, is just a smaller, weaker oven. Maybe it’s just an excuse not to open a big door and use oven mitts?
And herein lies another reason for my strong feelings towards the iPhone. The Android phone is significantly more customizable than an iPhone. It just is. Almost no two Android phone interfaces look the same in the hands of tech savvy users. But I’m not looking for customization. I’m looking for an experience that’s suitable for information consumption, data entry and some other stuff like game playing away from my laptop or PC. In many situations, the Android phone is the Swiss Army knife that happens to have a fork on it when all I really need when I eat lunch is a fork.
Much of the tech industry has been deliberating on the question of tablets and whether consumers will find room in their lives for a “third” device (the first two being the home computer or laptop that is presumably stationary at home and the mobile phone.) The question still remains and we’ll get a clearer idea of the answer in 2011 as more consumers buy tablets and use them in more settings. My contention is that much of the heavy lifting that people aim to do on an Android can usually be done better on this third category of devices. Right now the phones just aren’t as powerful and the batteries aren’t supportive enough of all of the things that the platform promises that you can do.
Missing My iPhone
For the first few weeks that I used my Droid X, I spent a lot of time exploring the interface and testing out the features. And during that initial time, I used my iPhone as my iPod. I used it to listen to music. My plan was to get my core music onto the Droid X and then keep the iPhone in a drawer for certain special uses at home. Strangely enough, the iPhone never found its place in that drawer. There were applications that I just couldn’t replace or tasks that I just couldn’t do as well and embarrassingly during almost the entire four months, I kept my iPhone in my pocket along with my Droid X.
1. Better Music Experience – Music is a huge part of my life. It’s what keeps me going. It sets the mood for my life. I remember carrying my 30 gig iPod Classic back when the iPhone launched because I couldn’t carry all of my music on a phone that only had 8GB of storage. Somehow I whittled down my library to only the most essential music and the iPhone became a suitable music playing replacement. The Droid X has not lived up to my music playing standards.
The actual sound quality of music is about the same on the iPhone as it is on the Android. My problems come from the interface that Android provides. A lot of my problems admittedly originate from the fact that I use iTunes to manage my music. However I would gladly use another program to manage my library and none of the alternatives that I’ve tried have done as solid a job. Even the leading Android alternative to iTunes, DoubleTwist, uses iTunes playlists (if the user wants) to import music. The problem is in the execution. It takes a ridiculous amount of time to synch my library using DoubleTwist. The results were erratic. Sometimes it would import my latest songs. Sometimes it wouldn’t. I’d have to close iTunes and re-open it and then hope that the library was updated. In short, it was a mess.
Often I like to play songs via genre. Sometimes I’m in the mood for R&B. Sometimes it’s jazz. Occasionally it’s metal. And I’ve kept my genre tags up to date in iTunes. I haven’t found a way using the default Android music player or DoubleTwist to use my genre tags.
DoubleTwist is definitely a better laid out music player than the default Android Music player. However, the Android player has the advantage of being more deeply linked to the experience. So, when I’m using the default music player and click on another program that has sound, like the Listen podcast application or a game, the Android player will know to stop playing. DoubleTwist just keeps playing. I guess that’s fine, as I might want to hear music while playing a game. But these problems show in other places as well.
One of the things I like most about the iPhone is that when I’m on the go, I can just double tap the home button and then push the arrow to skip a track or pause it. Android does the same thing, but only with the Android music player. So even if I wanted to use DoubleTwist, I’d miss this feature and that’s enough to just abandon that application altogether.
There are a bunch more complaints about the default music player. It’s poorly laid out. If you happen to be shuffling music and land on an artist and realize that you are in the mood to hear something else on the album, it’s the simplest thing to do in iOS, but in Android, I still don’t know the best way to do it. Often times, I’ll just try to search for the track and that usually leads to varying results also.
2. Backup – I used to complain that it was such a dumb thing that my iPhone could only sync music via the tethered cable and not wirelessly. And, well…. I still think there’s a wireless way that I should be able to sync my music. However, I must say that not being tethered to iTunes has led to a few unexpected downsides. When I moved from my EVO 4G to my Droid X, I pretty much needed to re-configure everything from scratch. This isn’t that big a complaint. Both phones are running Android but they have completely different implementations. But plugging my iPhone into iTunes means that even if I lost my phone, I’d be able to image another phone and not miss a beat.
As much as I complained previously about being tethered to a cable to sync music and back up the phone, it’s really fast. If I actually think about the amount of time that a wireless sync might take, perhaps using the cable right now isn’t too bad? I’d still like for a wireless solution to emerge, but with my Droid, I certainly did not have a backup solution that made me feel comfortable.
3. Multitasking (or ‘Steve was right’) – It’s the strangest feeling. You’re in the middle of a heated argument and mid-sentence while you’re shouting you realize that you’ve misunderstood the question and that there’s a chance that you might be wrong. Everyone wanted to multitask on their iPhone. It’s something we couldn’t stop hearing complaints about. Even mainstream media talked about ‘the iPhone’s inability to multitask like it’s Android competitor’ and I’m not even sure that they understood what multitasking was.
Let me be clear – the flexibility of being able to run applications in the background is a necessary feature. It HAS to be in the phone to some degree. How else would we be able to get a phone call while surfing the web or get an SMS while we played a game. The issue comes with the degree to which we allow applications to run in the background. Once again, I need to invoke Palm and the Pre. They did a good job here. You could load a web page go to your e-mail and read a few messages and then go back to the web page, all loaded and displaying updated info. The same is true in Android, although the implementation feels a bit rough. Until recently you couldn’t do something like this on the iPhone. Now with iOS 4, you can. Well, kinda.
There are seven situations where applications are allowed to act in the background: background audio, voice over IP (as in Skype and Google Talk), background location (as in GPS app running while music is playing), push notifications, local notifications, task finishing (as in completing the upload of a file or data after you’ve closed from the app, and fast app switching. So what is the significance of this list? Well, although many may disagree, I believe this list encompasses most of the use cases that someone would need. When I made this argument to other tech friends of mine, their response would usually be to insist on having the freedom to decide when to multitask. If our phones had more powerful processors, more system RAM and bigger more efficient batteries, I’d be in agreement with them. But for now, I think this smart approach to multitasking makes sense. In practice, it gives the same results and is more practical. Speaking of battery power…
4. Battery/Multitasking Woes – One of the things I noticed after only a few days of using my Android phone is that the battery does not last much longer than a day without being charged. At first, I thought I would make a few concessions. I fired up one of the many task managers available on the Android Market and tried to set it to stop the apps I didn’t need running. Strangely this had no impact. When I look at the debates in various Android forums, the majority of people right now advocate not using a task manager.
What bothers me about opening my Android Task Manager is that I see a bunch of applications running. For the most part, these are apps that I want on the phone just in case I need them and have no intention of using them anytime soon. But they’re taking up system resources. And it’s frustrating. But I guess ignorance is bliss. Maybe I should do what every other user does and just stop looking at the task manager. OK, that’s fine. But my battery seems to indicate that there’s a problem.
The Droid X has an extended battery which I purchased and I barely see any bump in performance. For the price that I paid for it, I could have bought a Mophie or some other battery extending device for iOS that would have doubled the battery life.
5. Quality of App Store – People often complain about Apple’s assertion that it’s App Store has over 100,000 applications. “Who needs 100,000 apps?” is the critic’s response. And I agree. But the emphasis on the number of apps misses the point. By and large, the quality of apps in the Apple App Store is, in my opinion, significantly higher than what’s available in the Android Market. It’s a subjective point. But anyone who has owned and purchased any apps from the App Store and then bought apps in the Android Market can attest to this point. From the application icons to the performance of the apps to the fit and finish of the design, there’s just no comparison. I believe that this won’t always be the case. Google is making steps towards putting in a better ratings system for the applications. And at the rate that the Android community is growing (a rate that’s higher than iOS) it’s bound to see a better developer presence as the potential to make money on app sales increases. But right now, it’s more than just a situation where the iPhone and the App Store has 100,000 apps. The difference is that on the App Store, a significant percentage of those apps are of a high production quality and lead to an enhanced experience for owners of the device. I can see why some Android users don’t understand why apps are such a big deal. There’s no FoodSpotting, Nike+ GPS or Canabalt in the Android Market.
6. Erratic Performance – Overall, I found that the average performance of my Droid X left a lot to be desired. At first my phone was incredibly snappy. But over time as I customized the phone, adding popular interface tweaks like Launcher Pro, SlideScreen Pro and ADW, I saw the responsiveness go down. Then it became a game of, “OK, which one of you apps is causing me trouble”. And the truth of the matter is that this is way too much work to get a phone running optimally. The key problem with Android is that there is no gatekeeper. Nobody is testing to see if any combination of apps causes an degradation in performance. People criticize Apple because of their ‘antiquated App Store approval process’. All I know is that I haven’t seen any performance issues with my iPhone in the years that I used it. Sure, it wasn’t as ambitious in it’s approach, but it was reliable.
There have been a few times when I’ve wanted to take a picture at some opportune moment and even with a dedicated camera button, I’m waiting on the app to launch. It’s maddening. The past few times when I’ve wanted to take a picture, I’ve just pulled out my iPhone.
I never wanted to be one of those users who talked about the new OS update causing problems, but here I am. Froyo has definitely led to poorer overall performance now than when I first used the phone. Several times I’ve gone to use the phone after an hour or so of it being plugged in via charger and it felt hot. Then I’d try to check the task manager and maybe close out tasks and a few times I wasn’t even able to wake up the phone. It would automatically restart (or force me to pull the battery.)
Also, I’ve had the “memory leakage syndrome” where I feel like the phone is behaving sluggishly and then after restarting the phone, it’s back to normal…. for awhile, at least. On average, I’ve found that I need to restart my phone at least once a week in order to keep it running optimally.
I use my phone as my alarm clock as well. On more than on occasion since using it, I’ve woken up to my back up alarm and found that a phone that was half full when I fell asleep and wasn’t playing any media, etc. is completely dead. Something strange happens when I’m not using it and I can’t tell what. I’m tempted to uninstall every application and then reinstall them one at a time.
I’m not really sure who to blame this on. Perhaps it’s a situation where some add on that I’m running is causing issues? Or maybe I should just use the MotoBlur interface that came with the phone (I’m sure this is what Motorola tested Froyo against before releasing it). But ultimately it just comes down to these being decisions that I shouldn’t have to make. I came to the platform for it’s flexibility and halfway through the party I’m being told that this “freedom” isn’t really the same thing I thought it would be.
7. Search – This one is probably my fault, but I’m sure that users who aren’t willing to spend nearly as much time digging into the features will find the same thing. I’ve used the dedicated search button to varying degrees of success – most, not so good. When I think of ‘search’ and a Google OS, I think of global search wherever I am in the experience. This is not the case. Depending on where you are, the search will behave differently and usually not in the ways that I’d expect. For instance, I just powered on my phone and hit the search button. I have a contact with the last name “Floyd”. So I just start typing “Floyd”. So far my searches are ‘floyd mayweather’, ‘floyd barbershop’, ‘floyd little’, but no sign of my local searches. There is an arrow pointing downwards next to the “G” (signifying ‘Google’) and clicking on it shows all of the search options and an option to change what items you search for. I’m clearly set to “All” and that includes “Contacts”. But no sign of my friend.
8. Screen responsiveness – Do a side-by-side comparison of any Android phone and an iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4. Double click on text sections within each. Scroll in exaggerated ways on both phones. The Android devices I’ve used always tend to be a bit more laggy. It’s not noticeable if you haven’t used an iOS device before. This becomes even more pronounced in situations like I described above where performance comes into question. Also, in general I’ve found the clicking to be relatively imprecise and not as responsive as I’m used to – even when starting from a phone that was recently restarted.
9. Data speeds – This has nothing to do with Android, but AT&T has come under a lot of fire for having a poor data network. Overall I’ve found that my Android speeds using Verizon and their EVDO network are significantly slower than my AT&T 3G speeds. I’ve done side by side comparisons downloading the same files (usually podcasts and from the same links.) I did tests in four areas in Manhattan (two in separate locations in midtown and two in completely separate areas downtown) as well as several others in Queens and New Jersey. In a few of the tests it was relatively close, but the AT&T speeds were faster every time. I don’t use the phone for voice much so I would probably concede that the voice network was solid. But this doesn’t mean that the data network is as flawless.
10. Weird accelerometer/rotating behavior – Perhaps this is just the case with the EVO and the Droid X, but I felt that the accelerometer wasn’t as responsive when I rotated the phone. I don’t know if this is a calibration issue or if this is just the way it works. Whatever the case, compare the accelerometers with the iPhone vs. the Droid X.
11. “Rooting” is the Answer to Everything – When I sensed that I wasn’t having as great an experience as I expected, I went to the various Android based forums. Overall people were very helpful and eager to offer suggestions to problems. What bothered me is that the suggestion that was often mentioned for users was to “Root the phone”. (Rooting the phone is the process of running a program that will give users access to features that users weren’t intended to alter). A lot of users are fearful of rooting because it opens up access such that the phone is susceptible to more attacks or even end-user mistakes that can cause a lot of problems. My problem with rooting on the Android is the same problem I have with rooting in iOS: what features are missing so much that you need that level of access. It’s great to see some of the crazy modifications that people make to their phone. But that’s not really why I carry a mobile phone. In my findings, these customizations lead to a more unstable experience. It’s like the difference between visiting a page on Facebook and then checking a page on MySpace. There’s something to be said about minimalism and just focusing on tweaks that will lead to a better user experience.
12. Unintelligible Settings – I’m not sure who arranged the ‘Settings’ section within Android, but clearly this was designed by a programmer. They’re just poorly laid out. This reminds me of the BlackBerry ‘Options’ section. It’s not at all user-friendly. And judging from the forum posts, many other Android users are puzzled by these choices as well. Where is the section of the Settings where I can dictate which SMS application manages new SMS messages. (I know where this is now. But the answer is completely ridiculous. There should be a section where you can outline what default programs you want to use.) And there are many other examples like this one.
13. Community – There’s a lot about my iPhone that I miss as far as functionality and features. But there are tangential features I miss as well. The Android community is great. I think they realize that the platform is a little unfriendly and there are a lot of people who spend time helping users get the most out of their phones. At the risk of sounding completely obnoxious, because there aren’t fragmentation issues to this degree over on iOS, a lot of time is spent debating which apps work better as solutions to problems. Which is the best ‘Getting Things Done’ app and which app does ‘mindmapping’ best? Who has the best 3rd party camera? And recently, people have been debating which web browser works best. Overall, the iOS community tends to create a greater buzz when great applications like Angry Birds or Pulse or SimpleNote or Instagram or Boxcar or any other incredible application that happens to come on the scene. There’s no debate as to whether or not the app can run on your phone. The debate is whether it’s useful or not.
Don’t get me wrong. Android has a few places where these same types of discussions can happen. I’ve seen spirited debate over on the Android Forums as well as on Android Central. There’s also the comments section under each application in the Android Market and the application comments within AppBrain. Overall I’ve found that the way that Apple aggregates application recommendations combined with recommendations I get from friends keeps me in the know about the latest applications. And that’s something I just don’t feel a part of on the Android side.
One positive thought for current Android users or even Android-bound users is that the lion’s share of the people I come across – geeks and non-geeks alike – are more than pleased with their Android devices. Admittedly, none of them have taken the path through iPhone-ville that I have! And that’s cool. My goal in sharing isn’t to get everyone to be on the same platform as me. I’m simply trying to share my experiences so that users who obsess over this stuff the way I do can understand the nuances about the device before committing to $300 plus a 2-year contract of $80 a month.
As I engage in these “which phone should I buy” discussions with my friends, the one fallacy that they all seem to believe is that ‘they’re both touch phones and they basically do the same thing’. I guess to the layman who is only going to use the iPhone or the Droid or Nexus One to make phone calls and send the occasional SMS message, then perhaps yes – these are similar experiences. But to the folks who know what FourSquare is and who use Twitter on a regular basis, I’m here to tell you that these are not the same phone. These are incredibly different approaches to the same problem. One is a very guided path, meant to limit your options but which aspires ultimately to give you a seamless and worry free experience. The other is an open world with an almost limitless path that can give you precisely the experience that you want. And if you’re well versed enough, you can even develop the application to customize your experience. But the latter could lead to unintended consequences, many of which you will need to resolve using your peer group or whatever other resources you have. Neither of these is a bad choice in and of themselves. For me, it’s just that in a mobile phone, I’m looking for an experience more akin to a mobile phone and less like a laptop.
I’m fine with the toaster, Ma. Really.