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back to article Android rebellion: How to tame your stupid smartphone

Many Android users are finding their shiny new handsets almost impossible to use due to a plethora of issues needing ridiculous workarounds, from creating and deleting multiple cloud accounts to repeatedly hard resetting. The problems aren't with Android itself, though the platform still suffers glaring omissions such as its …

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I thought I was reading....

A troll comment to an article about Andriod. It turns out I was reading the article itself. Amazing.

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FAIL

Indeed, must be FUD Friday.

This sort of crap is usually the output of AO, but it seems there are other upset Apple fanboys eager to utilise their blogging status to spread the "FUD of Jobs".

We have 3 Android handsets in our house (2x HTC 1xSamsumg) and I know plenty of work colleagues that have Android handsets, nobody I know has ever mentioned any of these problems.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Indeed, must be FUD Friday.

Oh honestly, you lot are the *limit*.

'Blogging'? Just because it's on the internet doesn't make it a blog, you know.

If it makes any difference to any of you, I wrote the headline and sub-head. Also, I have never seen Bill in a compromising situation with an iPhone. In case you've forgotten - we have a pop at everyone. Just not at the same time.

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Anonymous Coward

Now this is funny...

I can't comment on the specific problems raised in this article, but many of the comments make for hilarious reading.

What? A flaw in Android!!!!?? Must be a troll (rant, rant)... and everyone who agrees or likes any other phone is a Fanboy (froth dribbles down chin)... and did we mention the author is a troll?

The irony is delicious.

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A title is not required

I have an X10 and the only problem i've had is when my sister locked it and i had to phone 02 to unlock it, who then passed me over to Sony Ericsson, who then blamed my Googlemail address and suggested i contact them, who then blamed 02.

After a couple hours on the phone i eventually solved the problem myself by threatening not to pay for my 02 contract unless the problem was solved

Strangely after 02 blaming Sony Ericsson and Google for the problem, they managed to fix it after threatening not to pay them unless they sorted it.

Turns out it was 02's problem, they just couldn't be arsed to look into it

And their useless foreign call centre sent me a pub code to unlock it, which i couldnt read of course because my phone was locked!

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re: Blogging

Blogging's not necessarily the wrong term though, is it? El Reg is at its core a groupblog, far as I can tell.

The headline and sub-head are kinda funny - the problems I've got with this article (I'm not speaking for everyone else) are:

a) it seems to be forum-sourcing its problems with Android on specific phones, extrapolating those problems to *all* Android phones, and assuming everyone/a significant fraction of everyone has them, without providing any basis for the assumptions involved,

b) it assumes that the iPhone "Just works", which is a bit of a false-start right out of the gate (Linux users? Windows users who don't want iTunes?)

c) it assumes that smartphones are sufficiently well-established across the entire mobile phone audience that a 100% bug-free smartphone with a working marketplace populated predominantly by useful, affordable/free software is not only the norm but a condition of entry as far as buyers are concerned, when the reality is anything but that.

I'm all for pointing out the flaws of any given platform, but for Christ's sake do the job properly and either write an opinion piece or provide some sources for your statements.

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WTF?

What complete FUD

It's almost like some of the commentards have been allowed to write an article.

I know it's anecdotal but the few friends with Android phones have never mentioned such problems and a quick straw poll at work of Android users are the same. In fact the number of iPhone users reporting problems with their "just work" handsets is quite numerous amongst my friends (not a day goes by without a facebook posting complaining about what their iPhones done) such as upgrades that have wiped all their contacts or some such.

Balanced and reasoned reporting on that one.

Unless it's just flame bait, in which hats off you've achieved.

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JBH
WTF?

Eh?

My Hero handles multiple gmail accounts and bluetooth keyboards just fine. Setting up Google Checkout was a breeze. Ok, I've had the hanging-downloads problem a few times, I'll give you that one, but it usually works after a few tries.

Not being able to reset the phone without removing the account though? Where did that come from? It couldn't be easier! Settings / Privacy / Factory Data Reset, job done. Fortunately it's never come to that, but since all my important stuff is stored in the 'cloud' I know I'd be up and running again in minutes.

I'm guessing the author has had one bad experience with one particular phone and decided that all Android devices are a bit rubbish. Big mistake. I'd have no hesitation in recommending an Android phone, even (especially?) to the most technically illiterate.

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it's *much* worse than you think

> Get past all that and you've got a working system that's directly comparable to the iPhone experience

er, no: get past that and you've got access to a MarketPlace full of apps *which techies think are suitable for normal human consumption* but which (therefore) overwhelmingly are NOT.

Apple recognised that Apps are a major part of the user experience, so invested a massive effort in making sure all submitted apps do what they say on the tin, and that they follow all the UI rules - ie, they just might be useful to and usable by normal humans.

We are kidding ourselves if we think the Android addon App experience is anything other than rubbish, when compared to the iPhone addon App experience, *for normal non-technical users*.

(PS I accepted the invitation to upgrade my HTC Desire to Android 2.2 - immediately after which it kept going into infinite-reboot mode. Back to the menders, cos of poo software - but at least I have an iPhone too. :-)

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Happy

Definitely sounds like a software issue to me

I can't think of anything worse than a *free* app that flaunts "all the UI rules".

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Flame

Apple recognised that Apps are

a pain in the butt, but as they are the only place you can get an app, we can keep them sanitised, and not allow anything that might hint at the users doing anything than drooling over the phones, or allowing an app through that duplicates a function of the phone, just does it better, or that gets rejected because Lord Jobs left testicle is itching thins morning.

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Agreed

I had a low space warning on my Desire... Exchange and facebook continued to sync away, Google (mail, contacts, calendar) would not sync with no indication why!

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Go

What this article

Written by a iFan perhaps?

Rob

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Alien

No problems here

I had an android phones since t mobiles G1 now using a google nexus and have never had any of these problems. I also have an iPhone and in my view the android is a better phone, iPhone is a toy...another fanboy rant?

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Linux

Not a surprise..

Not a surprise.. Android is based on Linux. Since most Linux apps involve you eventually titting around trying to use vi on some configuration file somewhere, it's only right that Android users share the joy.

And yes, apparently there is a vi for Android.

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Grow up

"Since most Linux apps involve you eventually titting around trying to use vi on some configuration file somewhere"

Oh for goodness sake, I know I shouldn't even bite, but please just save all of us the time parsing the same bollocks that was history years ago FFS. If you don't know what you're talking about, and have nothing useful to say, just shut up.

If you're happy with whatever your OS of choice is, for whatever reason, then great - but can we please at least try and reduce the number of these 'yeah but you smell of wee wee' level comments just because someone else in f*****g universe has a different outlook to you.

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Stop

Android just boots a JVM

Really, when you look at android, all it does is boot a JVM.

It doesn't (fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) come with typical userland stuff most GNU/linuxes come laden with.

The kernel could be anything, really, is what I'm saying, if someone was so inclined to try and port Dalvik etc. Heck that new neutrino tablet could run android if google put its mind to it.

Ideally, thus so, if the UI was well enough designed, it could rival that of the iphone. It *nearly* does.

In my opinion it's a relatively cost effective solution for any smartphone adopter.

Why?

Advantages:

1. It cost 1/3rd the price of an iphone.

2. The battery (if my i-tard iphone4 mates are to be believed) lasts _at_least_ twice as long if not more.

3. I can write apps for it without paying apple.

4. I can distribute said apps without paying apple and for less than what you pay apple you can put it on google for what that's worth.

5. Easy to root. Can reinstall entire OS by and large.

6. Not tied to his jobsness.

7. Did I say it cost 1/3 the price of an iphone?

8. Did I say the battery lasted longer?

Disadvantages:

1. Heterogenous OSs in the wild (phones in the wild range from Android 1.5 - 2.2)

2. Heterogenous hardware (this may be an advantage). Screens, CPUs

3. Java can be slow but 2.2 has a jitter.

4. Iphone4's have a much better gorgeous screen, but what the heck, price matters. My phone cost 1/3rd the price.

5. Tied to google lol. Arguably this grip is less than that of his jobsness.

6. If you don't root your phone you might be behind in way of the frequent OS updates.

7. Thing is there are android phones and there are android phones. Build quality can vary.With Apple there's only .. um... an iphone.

Security wise overall I do not believe android is any better or worse than an iphone. Ultimately a badly behaved app on either platform could cause mischief. Don't install crap.

Overall, I have found android from my limited 1 person experience as good if not better than an iphone, at lest for me.

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Linux

What on earth....

Congratulations on what must be described as a pretty piss poor and a badly researched article. Can we send the YTS kid back to school now?

I can't believe you bothered to publish that. Don't get me wrong, the android market could be a whole heap better, but it works 99% of the time, and the odd download gets stuck, just reastart it and all is well. Oh, and the market is a bit too full of a lot 'hot babes' and 'farting' crap. As for the rest of it, I've had a G1 and now a HTC desire. Versions 1.5 and 1.6 of android were a bit basic in places, but I even had a go on my old G1 the other day, and actually thought it was still very useable. More than I can say about my old Nokia N95.

I wanted my father-in-law to get an android phone, but he ignored the advice and bought a nokia. I work in IT, and I will be fucked it I can work out how to use the bloddy thing. Its slow, and none of the settings are where they should be. And if the touchscreen would actually work where I press that would help.

I got my wife an android phone and she loves the thing. I hardly ever get asked 'how do I' and it seems to work for her even though she couldn't be less technical. (Did make me laugh when she asked why her photo's all looked a bit sepia, then I pointed out if you select sepia as a camera mode, it will do as you asked. - but thats user error)

Yesterday when we needed a wifi-hotspot for 10 minutes, my colleague who'd been flashing his new iphone 4 around the office for the last week looked absolutely gutted when I turned on the wifi sharing on my desire and said, we can use this. "Cant your phone do that" I smugly asked. "Not without jail breaking it" he reluctantly agreed. Haven't heard a single thing about his phone since. Oh, other than him grumbling because its dropped another call.

But, I supposed you're entitled to an opinion, just like me. But mine is based on personal usage rather than hot air......

Penguin ...just because.

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wim

beta ?

as most things Google.

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Very funny.

Have I fallen for this troll-bating rubbish masquerading as a news article?

Or have I just been incredibly lucky with my G1 and Desire? Not one of the "plethora" of five issues listed.

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Dead Vulture

Same here...

No problems with G1, and no problems with switching to Desire. No problems for friends with Desires, Heros or X1s either...

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Boffin

The plural of anecdote

is not data.

http://everything2.com/title/The+plural+of+anecdote+is+not+data

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Grenade

What Version?

Gee what a mess!

OK, which version of Android do I have to avoid?

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Re: What Version?

The one written by Bill Ray. Anything from another vendor should run just fine.

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Nonsense

"But phones aren't supposed to be like that - they're supposed to just work, something Apple has achieved with the iPhone."

Que? Who told you that? Apple PR?

ALL phones are like that, iPhones included. Case in point from just this morning. A colleague with an iPhone 3 was downloading an app. He thought it had finished so left home and the phone disconnected from his WiFi network. oops. The app icon is on there but flashing. Going to the app store it says it is installed so he can't start again but he also can't remove it because it hasn't actually finished re-installing. Eventually a reset cleared it but he spent some time swearing at his phone - just like I do my Xperia X1 and others with their Nokia N95s or Motorola DROIDs. Except we can all install a fresh OS on our phones to resolve (most) issues. His iPhone has been constantly hanging and freezing and suffering go-slows ever since the update to iPhone 4 - and he can do nothing about it because Apple won't let him.

Apple suffer the same problems as everyone else - the press just don't report them.

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Coat

Apple download stuck

My misses has a stuck download on her iPod touch. On the iPod it just says downloading always, but it isn't. You don't get the option to stop it, delete it or restart it. It also shows up in itunes, again with no option to stop it, delete it or restart it. Nothing seems to get rid of it, complete restarts included (although after one of them it crashed, and wouldn't switch on for about 2 days!)

Yes, it's on the latest firmware, no it hasn't been jailbroken.

Oh yeah, Apple doesn't have any problems at all, only others do...

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As a matter of interest

If you touch and hold the icon, doesn't it start to jiggle and give you the 'delete me' x on the icon's corner?

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FAIL

Lord of the apps and I will be a hypocrit

While you might say the apple system of checking everything is a good thing, developers have had a right nightmare with it all and it has caused so many problems. There should not be some over bearing lord of the apps like that. There have been many cases if this being bad and even them being complete hypocrites of what they do and don't allow.

Sure, you get shit apps, but reviews help and it's not hard to uninstall an app if you don't like it

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While we're all throwing anecdotal at each other

"While you might say the apple system of checking everything is a good thing, developers have had a right nightmare with it all and it has caused so many problems"

Some developers have had very public hissy fits, true. Most developers not so much.

And how many is "so many" ? I reckon I could probably count them all without taking my shoes off. A vanishingly small percentage of the developer base, I would imagine.

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Galaxy S

I have and know several people who have the Galaxy S, and none of them have mentioned any problems.

To be fair, mine bricked itself after a fortnight, but Orange replaced it the next working day and it was all synced back up and working in a day.

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Anonymous Coward

Proxy internet access

Thank you for mentioning the lack of proxy internet access on the Android phones. This is the first time I have seen it mentioned by anyone other than frustrated users in forums, including Googles own bug tracking forum:

http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=1273

As I mentioned in a comment to another article recently, this bug was raised 2 years ago yet no one at Google has even bothered to respond to it.

Here's hoping that someone at Google will actually notice this.

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Naa

"Here's hoping that someone at Google will actually notice this."

The guys at Google don't go on the internet much.

Which is ironic, really.

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Anonymous Coward

Its a deliberate not a bug.

To prevent location faking.....

Easily worked round - http://android-proxy.blogspot.com. You need to root your phone but that takes basically a couple of clicks.

Worth even if you don't use an opaque proxy as the better Ad Blockers and stuff like Orbot [makes your phone a Tor device] run as local proxies.

Its another interesting example of why Open is good.

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Rubbish article with one important fact

I second this, the article seems a lot of hot air.

However the fact that android still fails to support proxies properly is astonishing.

I just wish Mozilla could get Fennec or Portable Firefox to work so we could get around this.

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As for the iPhone just works no configs/fiddling - It could be user error but my anecdote is that myself and a friend couldn't move their own user recorded videos to a PC because they had iTunes synced to another machine, DRM like this is simply defective by design!

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Paris Hilton

android problems??

I have found my android hand set works fine. Though I have an unlocked handset.

Does anyone know if these issues can effect both network locked and unlocked handsets?

I'd be willing to be the code monkeys working for the mobile networks have caused the issues by adding unwanted crap onto the android platform

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The short version of my comment is "What a load of toss"

The long version starts with "Well, I've had a G1 for about a year now and had no problems with it barring the occasional download-fallen-over".

You can't really talk about the iPhone "just working" without mentioning that it has platform lock-in. I can mount my G1 to my computer as flash storage,copy across some MP3s from my Emusic download directory and easily play them with the built-in media player. From what I can tell, the iPhone would require me to use iTunes for syncing stuff to my phone and to have imported my music collection. (Please note, I could be wrong and thus I welcome correction on this matter). I don't want to use iTunes. Ergo, an iPhone is more work for me than a G1.

(How many Android phones out there have Magical Antennae of Death like the JudasPhone, incidentally?)

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FAIL

Are you sure?

There are a dozen or so people around me in the office using android handsets, all HTCs, all working fine (not everyone has bought apps, but 1/2 have). Maybe HTCs 'just work', or maybe this story is overstating the issue?

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WTF?

Ball Hooks

I don't think Android devices suffer any more or less issues than other devices.

Case in point one of the F1 drivers on my twitter feed was having trouble with his IPhone and emails, just refused to download even though it had been working fine, deleted the account and set it up again and it started working.

A friend lost all their contacts on an IPhone a week or two ago.

This is all quite apart from getting that godforsaken iTunes to actually do what you want.

Strangely I haven't had any issues with my Android device, nor have colleagues/friends with them. Maybe we are just the lucky few then eh ?

Your moaning and rants about google checkout are about the software the phone is using/connecting to, nothing about the actual device or O/S itself.

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Jobs Horns

Android - a naturally fragmented ecosystem

Ecosystem fragmentation occurs when ecosystems are disconnected by human or non-human determinants, including the short-term exploitation of capital. As a result, natural areas are broken up into smaller pieces or patches that lead to shrinkage, attrition, and isolation — all of which can be summarized under the term fragmentation.

Apple's ownership of the entire iOS ecosystem, and their reliance on it working end-to-end effectively to generate ever-increasing revenues, imposes on them an obligation to satisfactorily perform or complete every task so that it fulfills requirements - otherwise there is a consequent heavy penalty for failure.

In Google's case, Android is not the tip of the spear and doesn't impose the same contraints or demand for detail for revenue enhancement, and these key usability issues will conitnue to contrain Android and forego its ubiquity.

The solution, In essence, is that Google either need to up the ante, focus on this area of the business, or succumb to Jobs (and likely Microsoft) in the medium-term. And that's only the start of the erosion. Too many battles on too many fronts will, in time, turn this erosion to corrosion.

O&O

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Eh?

You do know that you have to pass Google's "Compatibility Police" before they'll license the proprietary Marketplace app to you, right? It's how they stop this mysterious "fragmentation" thing that you speak of, but which Android seems to not suffer from.

Now you can hack your own Linux/Dalvik VM into a phone if you like. It just won't be called Android, nor have the Android Marketplace. At least, not unless you want a few legal love letters from Google's sharks.

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Hogwash

I remember this issue in the birth of the PC market, OMG your horrible fragmented competitive evolutionary PC standard will wreck user experience and never produces a better product than our one company designs. So what are the guts of a Mac these days?

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As for the start of the erosion, android sales figures are not exactly what you might call eroding.

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Could be related to the £460 price differential on the iPhone for and my tMobile pulse (huawei 8220), yes I know its a bit lower spec, no I'm not giving you £460!

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Grenade

Nokia just works

I pay by SMS, download and run. Or download to PC and transfer via USB. Just works.

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Very, very true

I have a Nexus One whch I returned because it was so p!ss poor. iFan or not, my iPhone does indeed 'just work'.

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Hmmm...my Nexus 1 is awesome...

easily the best phone I've ever owned, and really has nothing that makes me go 'hmm' on a daily, or indeed weekly basis. Except perhaps the external speaker.

You must have been doing it wrong...

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Boffin

Advice?

I have never reccomended an iPhone. I have advised against it pretty frequently

Why? I like people coming back to me either saying "this thing you suggested is good" or "you know what you advised against? I got it anyway and it has gone wrong." Both these happen - usually the former.

The only way I have managed to duplicate the iPhone experience with my Android was to keep talking on it as I got into a lift. It dropped the call when the metal doors closed. It's not a very good imitation. Most lifts do not have this effect.

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Dead Vulture

Shouldn't this article...

...have a "comment" tag, as its quite evidently written in the style of an opinion column, and a very biased one at that, since it reports the problems of a single phone (only the Galaxy S is mentioned) as a problem with the entire Android platform, spanning dozens, if not hundreds device types by now?

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Huh?

This article should've started with the disclaimer: "this is my experience only"

Can't say I've had any of the listed problems on the Dell Streak.

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Meh

My daughter's HTC Wildfire suffered from the stalled download problem, which took a few hours of swearing to sort out. My wife's HTC Hero's software worked fine. It was just the hardware that had a constant stream of problems on that one.

Meh, might as well admit I use an iPhone myself. No problems with the 3G or 4 (so far).

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WTF?

Not encountered any of this

Not had any of these issues and I have several friends with similar handsets who also haven't. As another commenter said I have heard of more frustrations from iPhones than Android devices.

I may be biased against Apple but the author is blatantly a iPhone fan!

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Nonsense

I'm running a cooked Android (2.2) on a HD2 booting from the SD card and even I haven't had any such poor experience. Yeah sure, Android setup takes a little bit of forethought, but that's to be expected because Google services are not for dummies (who need the simplicity of iTunes).

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