We have talked about it many times before, but it is finally taking place: AndroidPIT will experience radical changes in the coming months. The fact that we no longer report about Android exclusively is in itself, old news. However, we do have additional changes in store: and these will include the layout, our content management system (CMS), and even our name will be changed.
It has been over two years that the topics we cover have gone beyond that of Android, targeting Apple smartphones from time to time, encompassing other new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), electronically-powered mobility, and even virtual reality (VR). We also announced our name change a long time ago, but that has not happened on this site to date.
An insolvency and technical challenges slowed us down
Why, you might ask, nothing has changed in our appearance yet? Why is there no new menu structure, no new design, no new name, or even functionality?
At the beginning of last year we were already on track to get all of those in working order. There was a new logo, and we had kickstarted several projects, which ought to provide us with a fresh and clear direction once again.
Unfortunately, there was the issue of Fonpit AG's insolvency - which happens to be the company behind AndroidPIT. That incident proved to throw a spanner in the works, bringing everything to an emergency stop and affecting the entire operation: not only were the innovative ideas put on hold, so too, were the evolution of the pages. There was only one thing on our minds at that point in time: to survive. We had to reorganise in order to move forward as intended.
Of course, that was not the only reason that a new design could not be launched. It is not as simple as switching a template overnight, as the entire redesign process carries its fair share of pitfalls and dangers as well which are very real for a website like ours. A small misstep would jeopardize the entire company. With a new site structure, Google will need to re-evaluate us all over again. Even so, when you thought that you have done everything in the proper order, such changes can still result in unwanted, drastic side effects: such as heavy website traffic loss.
To complicate matters further, our planned name change would mean a change in URLs as well. That would involve several thousand URL migrations in our case. Anyone who has gone through a similar experience or situation before can tell you that it is going to be a long and tedious affair, where the devil is in the details. The worst-case scenario? Everything that you have invested and built up over the years will be brought to ruin, without any certainty of restoring it to a previous condition.
Then came COVID-19, but we don't want to be slowed down any more
There is always something else, or so they say. Right after we have put the insolvency issues behind us and started to get back on track, an unprecedented global catastrophe comes around: in the form of a virus, where the coronavirus has brought not only us but the entire world to a standstill.
We are extremely thankful that no one has fallen ill to the virus, but COVID-19 has definitely hit us hard. The worldwide consumer goods industry, at least from a production point of view, can be safely assumed to have its 'home base' in China. Long touted to be the 'world's factory', we are well aware early on of the potential repercussions that come with China shutting down. In Europe, we were still discussing the rising number of infections and the accompanying lockdown measures, but over in Wuhan where there was a very strict lockdown protocol enforced, manufacturers did send signals that supply bottlenecks could not be avoided due to production challenges.
In essence, it is the domino effect in action. Due to the numerous health and safety precautions taken by countries worldwide in order to curb the spread of the virus, consumer consumption and marketing activities experienced a sudden stop, tanking the global economy in the process.
That hurt. In fact, it was a very painful experience. However, complaining never solved any issues. Everyone was affected to a degree or another - and compared to other countries that have insane death tolls and a broken economy because of the virus, we are doing very well.
We chose not to, and do not want to let ourselves be slowed down any further. Hence, we have decided to implement what we have been planning to do for so long right smack in the middle of the crisis.
1st change: CMS, website structure and forum
The beginning of our changes will be seen on our website. It should not only be a fresh, new design with an updated look to keep up with the times, but there must be internal changes as well.
When we started with AndroidPIT eleven years ago, the Android operating system was new to the world and virtually unknown. WordPress had not become one of the preferred platforms to publish online content. At that point in time, there was basically nothing that met our requirements. Hence, we set out to develop our own CMS and forum.
We still consider our CMS to be a work of art - but as is often the case, it takes a lot of effort to preserve artwork. We can no longer afford this with our current team.
So now, we have decided to make the jump to WordPress. We have been working on a new version for many weeks already. Our old articles have been imported, in addition to all of the comments. Right now, we are looking at migrating our forum and making sure that nothing gets lost along the way.
We could probably flip the switch in three or four weeks' time. However, we will give ourselves a little more time because we:
- Are not infallible and have thought of everything, and will have to take into consideration that we might have more hard work ahead should Google suddenly not like us anymore.
- Would like to invite our loyal readers to take a look at our new pages, especially at the overall functionality. We try to make everything work as well as possible without any hiccups, just like before. Of course, this is only possible to a limited extent. Therefore we want to invite selected users to test the new pages and provide us with their feedback.
- Are going through thousands of articles right now, making modifications in order to have them work seamlessly on our new site structure and layout. This way, we want to reorganize our articles in a more logical structure while keeping them concise and orderly.
In short, we do not yet know exactly when the official launch date will be. In any case, the days will be long and the nights, short.
2nd change: our name
The other thing to take into consideration would be our name. That is one tricky aspect to work on due to possible semantics in different languages. And no, I do not mean it in a way where some people can no longer shout, "But we're not at ApplePIT, SamsungPIT or whateverPIT" just because they don't like the opinion of another person.
We want to make sure that people will still be able to identify with us if we are no longer known as AndroidPIT, although perhaps NextPIT will smoothen the transition. And surely, most of you will continue to read us even then. At the very least, that is our hope.
In fact, we have quite a lot of respect for the fact that search engines react with skepticism when they discover our content under completely new internet addresses. There are a lot of tools that support such a move, but this is not a trivial matter.
If we do something wrong during the transition process, it will have long-lasting consequences down the road. To be honest, ever since the worldwide coronavirus pandemic began, we have had more than enough bad news and do not need to deal with more.
Hence, we want to give ourselves a little more time in this department and search for someone who is familiar with the matter. It's a little bit like skydiving: you can teach yourself how to skydive and read everything there is about it, only to have the realisation that the packing of the parachute should have been done differently compared to your knowledge - and when that happens when you are hurtling down towards the earth at more than 200 kilometers per hour with approximately 2,000 meters left to go before land. It is not an experience for the faint-hearted, that is for sure.
But rest assured that the name AndroidPIT will be history before the end of this year.
No more AndroidPIT? What will you write about then?
We are thematically stigmatized by our name. Eleven years ago, when our site was created, Android was so new and exciting, so much so that there was plenty to report about every single day. Every day, many people were interested whenever a new app or even a smartphone was released.
Today, it is hardly newsworthy when a smartphone manufacturer throws the tenth model on the market this year. Sure, there are always exceptions to the rule and many want to remain abreast of the latest technological advancements in the world of Android. However, we can no longer make ourselves stand out by limited to just such. Smartphones have become commonplace and therefore, boring.
This also applies to Android. There were those times when new Android smartphones came under the scrutiny of the community in terms of rooting, and there was an active community around here whom we journeyed with regarding this topic. Well, it was a long time ago! Of course, we do not deny that there are still such tech enthusiasts, nerds, and smartphone tinkerers around (I mean that in the most positive sense) who like to have full control over their phones. But the golden age of rooting is over.
What does that mean now? No doubt we will continue to review smartphones and bring you updates about the latest technology. However, our ambition is to show you what can be done with smartphones. Don't get us wrong: we strongly believe that you know how to get from A to B faster or take pictures faster with a smartphone.
But we think it could be exciting to write step-by-step instructions on how to learn to play the guitar with smartphone apps, for example. Or how iOS apps can save you ten hours a week through various tricks and options.
Everyone here has hobbies and talents where technology plays a central role. We know from our own experience that technology as such is not useful in the beginning. It's about how one uses it to achieve the desired results that matters.
We here at NextPIT want to make you smarter with the help of the smart gadgets at our disposal...completely independent of whichever platform you are working on: Android, Windows, Apple, or any other operating system.
To cut the long story short
- This summer, we will have a completely new design and a new page layout
- The name AndroidPIT will disappear this year and we will change our name to NextPIT
- We have (for more than two years now) a wider perspective on the smartphone market and its many brands
- We want to teach you new things with these gadgets that you most likely haven't discovered about yet
- Will there be a NextPIT app? I don't know! We'll see what's possible
I can't but help to share some personal thoughts to conclude this article. For more than eleven years now, I've had more and less everything do with AndroidPIT. In any case, this brand and what it stands for has had a great impact on me. There was a lot of joy, but also a lot of suffering during this time - and it is clear that this chapter will come to a close this year.
In order to achieve this, we need to move on to a new chapter: NextPIT. Of course, you feel a little bit sad when you think about how everything began and how much time and love went into such a project. However, one continues to be full of anticipation, and most importantly, brimming with hope.
It is my hope that a new spirit and the many ideas that you have thought about and worked out will fall on fertile ground, inspiring you as much as they did us. It is my wish that this community has so much more positive contributions to offer, where through them, it will attract other people who might also find that they have something to contribute.
There is nothing quite as satisfying as that of having done a meaningful job. For me, it would be - if (most of) the reactions here would be such that you have achieved your goals.
This is the exact moment that we all are looking forward to.