I thought I was reading....
A troll comment to an article about Andriod. It turns out I was reading the article itself. Amazing.
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
> 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. :-)
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.
"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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
"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.
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...
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
"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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
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?)
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.
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.
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.
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?
As for the start of the erosion, android sales figures are not exactly what you might call eroding.
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!
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.
...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?
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).
A lot of problems will be solved if handset vendors had to share their code. The problem with the Apache license is that vendors can add proprietary extensions without submitting those back to the open source community. This leads to fragmentation and we are already facing non-compatible Android software for the various makes.
Compete with the iPhone? No chance - ever heard of "divide and conquer"? Most execs of handset manufacturers will typically have their heads so far up their arses to even think about letting their precious proprietary code out for the benefit of the Android community and therefore will always be also-rans to the current leader.
The download problem: With the Pulse (1.5 Cupcake), just cancel the download when it hangs and try again - assuming you have the correct Google credentials. If not, just change it in Settings.
"A lot of problems will be solved if handset vendors had to share their code. The problem with the Apache license is that vendors can add proprietary extensions without submitting those back to the open source community. "
No, the problem is a lack of QA. That is all. Allowing a few hundred bored linux coders to fuck with your stuff may or may not match your definition of QA, but either way, the problem is the lack of QA, not the lack of beards.
"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)."
... Apple's UI is easier to use.
Seriously, that is a really, really poor argument. Android is harder to use so it's better ? Really ?
I'll have to assume iPhones are easy to use because everyone says so. Every time I'm presented with an apple device (mac or iphone) to straighten out for my techno challenged friends, I need instructions on opening a browser, or finding an app I was just using. I've never had an issue setting up a google account, but find itunes to be a config nightmare. I always assume these issues are my fault. But I do expect more powerful systems will require more effort. If your phone can do more, you have to spend more time telling it what to do.
"A lot of problems will be solved if handset vendors had to share their code. The problem with the Apache license is that vendors can add proprietary extensions without submitting those back to the open source community. This leads to fragmentation and we are already facing non-compatible Android software for the various makes."
I don't see that ever happing. For a start, Google would have to open source the extensions to Android they have made, and if you asked the manufacturers to do that, they may well abandon the platform rather than reveal their secrets.
"I don't see that ever happing. For a start, Google would have to open source the extensions to Android they have made, and if you asked the manufacturers to do that, they may well abandon the platform rather than reveal their secrets."
I don't think it's so much about the secret sauce (although that may be an aspect) it's more likely just that the handset mfrs and the carriers can't be arsed (and in any case aren't competent) to manage a FOSS project. They can't manage to do QA on their in house stuff, after all, so I'd hate to see them try and wrangle a couple of hundred hairy prima donnas all committing code at once.
I've had the HTC Desire for a month or so now. Yes, I had to set up a Google account to download apps from the Android store. I imagine you have to register in some way with the Apple store too if you have the iPhone? The thing is, by changing a simple setting on the phone, I can also download apps from any source I like and put them on my phone too. I believe that if you want to do this with the iPhone, you have to do all sorts of naughty things with it that probably void its warranty.
The one issue I have had is that if I start downloading an app when I have poor reception on the phone, it might stop when the connection drops. The simple workaround that I found for this is to go to the app store, find the app, cancel the download and start again. That, or turn the phone off and on again.
Overall, as mentioned above, this article is teeming with FUD. Almost makes me wonder whether the author is a shill for Apple, who got their misinformation training direct from Microsoft?
>Many Android users are finding ...
Link to the market research report please, or is this a made up factoid?
>However, when someone else asks you what phone they should buy, you might find yourself recommending an iPhone -
Been using Apple since 1985 and have three of their machine in the office but phone-wise, I'd rather go Android for £100 than Apple for £400.
OK - I'll bite...
"though the platform still suffers glaring omissions such as its inability to support a Bluetooth keyboard or proxy internet access"
How is this a glaring omission?? File transfers (like on my Dad's iPhone) - that's a glaring omission, something kids and adults like to do is occasionally transfer a music or picture file with each other... I have literally never been asked "how do I connected my bluetooth keyboard to my phone?!"... and I'm usually my friends/family goto tech person.... so point 1==bollocks... point 2?
"The problem might have manifested itself because you made the mistake of configuring it with an old "Googlemail.co.uk" account, which would be foolish indeed"
My wife has her hero setup to googlemail.co.uk... still working...
"it may ask you for all your details, including credit card and billing address, but it will (probably) fall at the last fence and claim network problems. That's a lie, obviously, but you'll be used to the handset lying to you by now"
Love how you qualify with a probably... like you are giving us solid facts, reproducable issues.. but not...
"Get past all that and you've got a working system that's directly comparable to the iPhone experience "
Comparible?? Really? My Desire gets constant attention from iPhone fanatical friends when seen working...
"Many Android users are finding their shiny new handsets almost impossible to use due to a plethora of issues needing ridiculous workarounds"
Many android uses? Plethora of issues, ridiculous work arounds? I've never come across these issues, occasionally my phone switches to roaming (I'm on 3), and I have to restart a failed download, that's it... and I know of nobody hitting these problems in real life... unlike a lot of iPhone issues, like battery life dissapearing post updates, slide-to-answer not working, that sort of thing...
"Not that everyone has these problems - some lucky Android users just buy phones that work. "
Currently hitting 100% working from a sample group of about 30 people... what is your sample group, or are you just seeing occasional posts in forums? Be nice to know.
"things will (probably) be OK from hereon in. But phones aren't supposed to be like that - they're supposed to just work, something Apple has achieved with the iPhone."
As I've pointed out, missing features (background apps until recently, file transfers, grip of death, botched updates (for me at least)...
"Put in the time and your Android handset will be just as good as the competition"
Enter single google account details -> syncs everthing"... hardly rocket science... if you were starting with an iphone from scratch you have many more hurdles, install itunes, check options for things like calendar, mail and address book... all that required a computer... plus the mobileme to battle with... if you wanted to sync with google calendar/contacts early on it was very tough too!!
"However, when someone else asks you what phone they should buy, you might find yourself recommending an iPhone - unless you want to be helping them configure the thing on your evening off"
I've never had to say more than "watch out the permissions you grant when installing apps".... that's it... I've had several questions about the iphone from my dad... like setting up the mail app for his google account, transfering files (which he can't do), why all his music on the phone dissapeared after plugging the phone into his new computer... lots of questions...
So to sum it all up - your article was crap. Must try harder.
I have an Android phone (HTC Hero), my friends mostly have HTC Hero or Desire. This is not their experience. I manage a team who are responsible for the company fleet of smartphones. For various reasons many of these are HTC Android. We do not have these issues.
I set my Hero up with an old Googlemail account, been no problem. Exchange works peachy too. When I first set the Hero up it just worked.
Any issues or queries I have had with the phone have been handled by HTC (dunno why you'd expect Google to fix it?) and I rate their support very highly.
Only nag I have is the hanging download problem which hit me maybe twice in the last 14 months or so I have been using the phone.
In 2 years or maybe slightly more of exposure to Android on handsets I don't recognise this article as being anywhere near right.
I'm getting the HTC Desire HD when it releases. I am a happy happy HTC customer.
Haven't had the problem mentioned in the article, but I have had a number of problems with my Galaxy S:
1) Text messages in the alert area sometimes appear to be from a random person in your phone book (as opposed to the person they are actually from). This has become quite a rare occurrence since the latest update, but has still happened.
2) Facebook doesn't work for contacts (by which I mean, I cannot get pictures to match up). Used to work on my HTC Hero fine...
3) Delivery reports appear in the notification area and sound like you have a new text message (sure this never used to happen on my Hero, though it might just be Android in general).
4) Turning the ringer volume down does not affect the text message delivery alert volume. This is just plain stupid.
5) The dialler used to just disappear, though the latest update seems to have fixed this (would just be a blank screen and require a phone restart). If this happens again, the phone is off straight back.
Other annoyances include:
A) No separate 'find' key, and holding the menu key down to emulate the find key doesn't always work. Samsung should have hard wired this in a bit better as some apps require a find/search key (bad design on the apps part, but still).
B) Kies software needs a bit more attention to detail. When you put the text message viewer in list mode, the sorting works the wrong way round (I'm a developer, I notice stuff like this). I noticed this, despite only using the software for at most five minutes in total. I'm sure there are plenty of other problems with it for people who rely on it for serious phone interaction.
C) Getting in touch with Samsung to report problems over the Web is impossible, unless you want to post messages to a bulletin board in the vain hope someone from Samsung might read them.
In short, if the 2.2 update doesn't fix the problem number 1 and also improve battery life (under a day), the phone will be sent back as not fit for purpose. Which would be a shame, 'cos it could be one of the best phones on the market.
(I have the HTC Desire, but I'm making the assumption that the settings are in the same place on the Galaxy S)
1) Never seen this, but heard about it; I thought it had been fixed?
2) I guess the Facebook app for Galaxy S sucks then.
3) True, it's a 'notification' sound not a 'text message sound'. It would be nice to be able to distinguish these things. Maybe in 2.3?
4) Menu -> Settings -> Sound -> Volume -> Use incoming call volume for notifications.
5) Ewww. I wonder if that is a Samsung thing or an Android thing.
A) The HTC desire has this, so I guess it's a Samsung omission
B) Don't know what Kies is, so can't comment...
C) ...and I guess Samsung customer support isn't great. I'm glad I bought the HTC instead. The swipe keyboard thing on the Galaxy S is quite nice though.
You can link facebook to your contacts and get the images... at least on AT&T's Galaxy S variant (Captivate). Bring up the menu in your contacts app and select "Get Friends", add your facebook account and it will download your facebook contacts and link them where the names are the same. You can manually link the ones where there are differences (e.g I have a contact named "Angie" on my phone but she's "Angela" on facebook) and if you only want the linked contacts to display in the list then turn off facebook in the display options.
Simples. And really quite effective.
The captivate has a dedicate search button too.
Sorry but I think the mass of techies vs the article votes against the article.... with a few exceptions which basically boil down to "had a problem, sent it back... fine now" which every phone suffers from regardless.
Personally I'm content with my sony erricson w880i and I'm opting out of the whole super smart phone thing until they are a bit cheaper and smaller.... a big touch screen is fine until you want to slip it into your pocket with a pack of cigs on a night out (my other pocket containing keys & cards). Also I'm not sure I'm keen of spending my months disposable income on a phone.
That said I'm no luddite, I have a ipod touch that with a MiFi dongle does music & facebook just fine and should I have 400 quid spare then an Asus 1215N will be the purchase of choice.
Android ? Well an apprioiate device might replace the touch for surfing if a decent 7" ipad type thing comes along (not counting the early chinese things out so far) but that's it. In a phone I look for text, voice & internet.... anything else is a bonus usually done better elsewhere
I have an HTC Hero and my data/contacts/etc is all in the Google cloud. Do not, whatever you do, click that link at the top of your Gmail inbox that invites you to change from a googlemail to a gmail email address. Unless, of course you want to reset your phone or root it to delete a system file.
That one had me cursing HTC, Google, T-mobile's (no) help desk ('talk to HTC, we can't help you') and the stupidity that made me change my email addy without doing research first. Took two days but I eventually fixed it.
I've been hit with the eternal downloading app as well. More than a few times. Only removing the battery and sim card seems to solve it.
Also - lack of connectivity. Make a call, see the number dial, no connection, ring tone or anything. Again, solution is battery/sim card removal.
As for the update situation: I get a messsage telling me to update the phone but back everything up first. But you can't back everything up because the only thing you can do is apply the update or ignore it. And on 1.5 there's no option to manually update the software.
Had a sync problem too - couldn't get any emails or SMS because of an out of memory error. Cleared all the caches I could find. Eventually discovered that it was the Adobe cache that was to blame. 6mb cache. I had 50mb+ free on the phone but it wouldn't sync because of a poxy 6mb Adobe cache.
But I like the phone. And I'll get the Desire HD when it comes out. It's not perfect but the community is big enough to provide solutions to all the problems (so far) and the phone's mine to do what I want with, so I'm not crippled by the daft jesusphone/itunes restrictions and jobsian gated community. I would, however, not recommend any Android phone to anyone who is capable of getting themselves into trouble but doesn't have the technical know-how to get themselves out of trouble. Use it as it is and you'll have few problems. Start to muck around and you might come a cropper.
I used to have one of those (recently gave it away to a friend). That was a nice little phone. Small, light, good battery, nice music player, and you *could* download apps for it (such as games etc.) However, I'm now paying the same a month to Voda as I was when I had that phone, and I now have the HTC Desire (Without paying for the handset). You just have to be prepared to do a little bitching and bargaining with the carrier to get the best deal.
>> You just have to be prepared to do a little bitching and bargaining with the carrier to get the best deal.
I have avoided this after having many contract issues by going with Sim Only and buying my phone myself.
In this case a bargain at 80 quid. As an added bonus I also avoid calls to try and sell me another 12-24 month contract, I get a (slightly) better deal with the minutes/calls and can switch provides at the drop of a hat (though I've been with O2 for ages now).
"Sorry but I think the mass of techies vs the article votes against the article"
Yeah, I really like the way the "techies" have totally showed how wrong the article is to, allegedly, rely on anecdotal data by regaling us with anecdotes.
Only their anecdotes are better, and opener.
you need to live with it. Apple do one latest phone. It had magical issues that were hardware... that were then dismissed as software and a patch would be out to fix it... later to be dismissed again with a free case and "all phones are like that anyway". Yeach right Stevey... you can fool the iPhans all of the time... but you can never fool the rest of us, none of the time. :o))
With the amazing looking handsets out now and up and coming... even this 'magical' iPhone 4 looks a little backward against most things HTC to name just one. So I understand that you need to make yourself feel better.
But it isn't reality. Android is fine... and so is Windows 7. ;o)
If the quality of the firmware is anything like that on my original Samsung Galaxy i7500 (Cupcake-only abandonware only a few months after purchase), I'm not surprised.
I've been playing with a G1 of late, with HTC issue 1.6 and various Cyanogen versions. Android doesn't have to be flakey.
Cards on the table; I am currently on my second Android handset - my first being the HTC Magic which after an unfortunate accident with a toilet bowl (think IT Crowd) was replaced with an HTC Legend. My wife, who is one of the least technically literate people I have ever encountered, also has an HTC Legend.
Several of my friends also own Android handsets ranging from the HTC Hero to the Samsung Galaxy S. Almost without exception, everyone I know who is approaching the end of their current contract is looking to upgrade to an Android based device - the only exception being one lone friend who wants to stick with BlackBerry but merely wants to update the handset.
I encountered the 'stuck download' issue once on my HTC Magic, but the issue cleared within the space of an hour; no firmware reset or mucking about with the cache settings.
I have never encountered issues with my Google account; I even use a Google Applications for Domains account so it's not on gmail.com, gmail.co.uk or googlemail.co.uk domains. And yes, I've signed up with Google Checkout and purchased applications from the Market without issue.
This article is possibly one of the worst I have ever read on El Reg; full of supposition and heresay with absolutely zero evidence to back it up. Fine, critise Android for its faults (and yes, it does have a few; proxy internet access being the main culprit), but at least base them on FACT.
for ideological reasons. But I have to admit, it is one of the buggiest OSes I've ever seen.
I blame the convoluted economics where the Google programs it, but the handset maker sells it to you, and has to support it, but would rather sell you a new one.
I'd love to just walk down to Best Buy, buy and unbranded phone from whomever is the best manufacturer, hook it up to any network, then download support updates from said manufacturer until EOL. Then smart money would reward good design and support.
Unfortunately these things are throw-away nowadays, and they don't give a sh*t about you once you are in a contract, and you can't really buy one off the shelf ever since the Nexus One failed.
Quick poll of myself and 3 other friends (including my wife who after seeing my new android phone just had to get one) who have android phones and non of them seem to have had these issues.
I will admit that sure my Galaxy S has some problems. The GPS isn't great and sometimes it can be slow to boot, but I keep a lot of media on my phone most of the time as I find it great for watching things on the train to and from work and a lot of that is the media scanner running on boot.
But speaking with my sister, her brother and their friends who all have Iphones they also have niggling issues, not that they like to advertise it. But after a few beers they have admitted they too have the occasional issue with their IPhones.
Just goes to show that no technology is perfect. Android is a perfectly viable alternative to an IPhone and in some aspects better IMO, in some aspects not as good. Overall I prefer Android, but thats partly from annoyance to Igeeks who have for years been IBashing me about how good their apple products were and how much better they were it automatically makes me not want one as I would have to shoot myself if I became like that about anything.
Though this article does read a bit like it was read by a Apple fanboy.
I bought an Orange ZTE Blade aka San Fransico earlier this week and getting that up and running has been very painful (partly due to Orange and their SIM activation process failing abysmally) but a lot due to generic messages from Andriod that do not mean anything to a dumb user. "Sim card will not let you connect to that network" , finally got it connected and then received "Call Ended" every time I tried to dial out.....
Now I can not get past "validating phone number" when I try to open GMAIL !
Why does Market place keep giving me "A network error has occurred. Retry or cancel" when connected via my home broadband ?
Is there any real support ?
No I don't have nor do I wish to own an iPhone, I am listing my personal experience with this as there appear to be many nah sayers about this article. I would like an Android one myself but am stuck carrying a work non smart mobile 24/7.
Wife has a HTC wildfire and I remember the market place failing to download problems only too well. It happened 2 days after getting the phone, for the first 2 days I downloaded plenty of free apps then the problem happened. Doing all the work arounds with clearing data (google, google talk etc) as per many forums discussing this issue didn't help at all.
Resetting the phone to factory, configuring the phone from brand new again would allow one of two apps to download, then the problem would occur, rince and repeat, it was heavily reproducible. It all proved that there was an issue in the cloud with my account and google marketplace.
I finally got it to work by converting the googlemail account to a gmail one and resetting the phone one more time, its now been a couple of months since then and no sign of this horrible bug.
search terms: android market place download hang
Think before you post
Not had any of the problems mentioned, my phone is a doddle to use, the user manual never even made it out of the box.
Would I recommend my phone to anyone over an iPhone? Damned right I would... no need to install software to use it, no need to sign up to activate it, no need to jailbreak it to run apps not downloaded from the market. Best of all? It cost me £99 to buy... how much for an iPhone? You can say the spec on an iPhone is better, true it is, but, at £600 a go, it damn well should be. But, is it really 6 times better? ummmm.. no. You keep your iPhone, I'll keep my £500, thanks.
In-case nobody who reads this was aware - you can also force checkin to update (checks for new carrier-delivered firmware first, then compares installed apps to market apps and displays updates, instead of waiting for it automatically - good if you just restored a load of apps from backup and need to update them)
just dial *#*#2432546#*#* into android dialer
(the numbers spell checkin) and it will notify you it has completed
also i have experienced the not downloading issue however only sometimes- it seems to be when the phone is constantly flicking between 2G/3G or wifi/3g, bordering on the signal, since a source-change pauses the download, doing it repeatedly might cause a fsckup, or androids process manager to kill the download app due to low mem ( a big problem on my G1 running cyanogen6/android2.2)
How did this one slip through the net? I have a Nexus One at present, although will shortly be getting the Desire HD when it comes out. Yes, you get occasional problems, but I also had those issues with my iPhone 3G, that I ditched in favour of Android.
Granted, I did have to do a factory reset when I upgraded to FroYo as the stock browser stopped working - but everything works fine now, and as a previous comment said, all my stuff was backed up in the cloud, so I got it all back straight away.
I think Android's great - and I'm looking forward to HTCSense.com adding to the user experience.
The Droid (UK Milestone) power switch dying and becoming very hard to press, and when you take it into Verizon, they spritz it with some canned air and go "all fixed!"
I had to root the phone so I could install a software power-off icon. When I get the time, I'll go back and insist on a new phone, I've still got 8 mos of warranty.
I haven't had any of the other issues, though. Perhaps that's because I'm on 2.2?
While it reads like an Apple fanboi piece, it would be useful to get some perspective. Such as the antenna problems. The WiFi compatibility issues. The wonky proximity sensor. The infamous shortage-of-supplies-to-create-demand-hysteria (plus limits on how many a person can buy). Potential battery issues. The rear camera's prone to lifelessness, and when it does work the white balance can be way off with indoor lighting. Easy-to-break glass parts.
Sure, Apple has a working App Store, but on the other hand no doubt Android has a working antenna. Which is more useful in a *phone*? :-) Lack of objectivity, guys, hence the graveyard sign. This piece would have read a *lot* better if the rose-tinted Apple comparisons were omitted and left for the commentards to pick up on.
I'm fairly new to Andriod, and have hit a few niggles - why do I need a gmail account, for instance, when my main email address is a Google Apps account - the Gmail app works nicely with it.. Wireless won't reconnect to my AP when I get home, and I'm also still trying to find a decent VoIP client that works as seamlessly and invisibly as the one built into my previous N95. I'm hoping that the forthcoming update (if SE ever release it) will help a little.
Otherwise .. I'm very happy with it..
I dunno what is different across the pond, but it sounds like it must suck to live in the UK. I've had two Droids myself and never seen any of these problems. My wife recently got an R2D2 and it took her all of 15 minutes to set everything up and sync her contacts and Yahoo email account. This was her first smartphone or touchscreen device, but the only difficulty she had was accidentally pressing the back button when typing.
I read the Reg specifically because it tends to avoid the mass marketing/media FUD of American news sources, so it is very disappointing to see such flamebait posted without at least a /sarcasm tag.
This is what happens when you let the carriers mess with stuff, as ably demonstrated by the epic love poem to fail that was Windows Mobile as a phone OS.
The carriers aren't coding shops, and they don't know how to to do software QA properly. When there are problems, nobody blames the carriers or the developers of whatever third party crap or custom ROMs they've shoehorned into their device. They blame the OS vendor.
But this is the heady world of tech, so of course a subset of Android users are frothing at the mouth zero sum fixated zealots for the particular bit of tech they have chosen, and death to the unbelievers. To them, there simply aren't problems at all. It amazes me that Google of all people have managed to tap into this rich vein of idiocy. GNU/Linux I can understand, especially once you add the GNU part back on (for illustration purposes only, hows HURD going ?).
But Google ? How the blue fuck did that happen ?
The failing download problem is a galaxy s specific problem. It has nothing to do with android but of their implementation. It also has an easy fix. Take your SD card out and put it back in again.
I would also like to say that this article is a bunch of one sided exagerated rubbish. I haven't experienced any of these faults and I am not a lucky one, I am a typical user. All phones have bugs here are there, it is nothing new with android at all.
Coat because that's what you'll need if you can't write a better article than this.
Its all perfectly true. Two weeks of unadualterated hell and rubbish advice all trying to get my wife's HTC Desire working.
If it was just her, she'd have sent it back to the shop and at one point, I was almost at the same place too.
The damned thing is just like trying to run homebrew Linux and there's a reason why the peguin shaggers haven't taken over the world... this stuff is just not slick enough to be mass marketable to non-techies, but thats not how they sell it.
Sure I'd not buy an i-anything just on principle, but equally, I'd not buy another one of these either. Maybe unlike Nokia they will get their shit together in a few years, but i doubt it somehow.
Google market download issue is very real. As it was said, it strikes randomly. However, sometimes it is really stupid lusers fault. On my Nexus one, I had issue with download app from market twice. Once, I had to restart my phone (power off then power on), a common issue been reported to google. So far, no one knows why yet. However, I do have a feeling it had something to do with my network connection at the time (possible a weak connection = bad download).
The other time I had problem was my own stupid fault, I didn't check my email that notified me the Google market couldn't charge my credit card for the reason my google checkout account had problem at the time of setup, and without getting the money from me, the paid version of app won't let me download for sure. It was recommended to double check your google checkout account at the time you set it up.
To be fair for Google, apple store has its download issue too.
New HTC Wildfire, running through the setup process it made me set me up an @googlemail address. When I try to download an app, it *always* hangs at 'starting download'. App turns up some time later, sometimes just as I turn off 'airplane mode' the following morning.
After getting the described download problems I was quite shocked to find the issue was widespread and has been going on for a very long time. From PC added @gmail to my google account and told my phone about it. Made sod-all difference. Reading lots of the forums on the issue left me unconvinced that japes like resetting the phone or changing from googlemail to gmail (or vice-vers)r @googlemail makes any difference at all.
Shocking that Google have let this lie for two years,
Fantastic phone, the problem with the email and having to factory reset is one I can relate too though.
I added two gmail accounts to the phone, but I added them as secondary email address first then the primary one (secondary one is less private and contained the 32 digit alphanumeric password to the other one; there was a reason I was arse about face ;)). I failed to find a way to switch that afterwards, and when I then tried to find a way to just delete the first email account, I couldn't.
Had to factory reset and this time just added the one address and be done with it.
It was a small problem though, I may have simply missed a setting somewhere but as the phone was only hours old it was probably faster to factory reset and just config it again.
The tone of the article does seem rather blinkered and not what I would have normally expected to read on the reg though, ho hum.
First story commenting negatively on Android....
The 'droid support has been wonderfully vocal and a accept that the majority of you believe that Android is perfect but i have news for you all....
It was written by men and women, it has flaws, just like every other piece of technology created to date.
It is good to see that you are loyal to your purchases. One day I will bite the bullet and get a smart phone... maybe go for the walled garden, maybe go for the open android... no choice made yet.
It is so nice to see so many noses out of joint today though....
supposed to be a joke? No Android user I know of (I know many) has any of these issues. I certainly don't. For what it's worth, I hear of a lot more issues with the iPhone than any Android phone. For a phone that touts itself to "Just Work", it's doesn't always.
I think you would hear more of these "issues" with Android on more tech sites if they were true. But somehow I don't think they are.
Thank you for your response, but there is no such setting on the Galaxy S for point #4.
With regards to the text message delivery reports, what I mean is that I want reports to be on, but not to be notified by them. So I'd like to be able to go into a text and check whether and when it was delivered, but I don't want something appearing in the alert strip as if I've got a reply from the person to whom I just sent a text. It's rare that you actually want to be notified by a delivery report, so perhaps it could be a third option (off / on but silent / on and notify). Or perhaps I should just look into writing an app to do this.
Yes, Swype is amazing, at least on a big screen (you can buy it from the market), but lately it's been telling me that it can't open English-UK (dictionary). Ahhh!
If it wasn't for the bigger screen that allows me to read PDFs full width on the train, I'd have kept my HTC Hero.
El Reg has to poke fun at everybody, and it's Android's turn. That's what they do here, and it's what keeps us coming back. The hung download issue is a huge issue for a few people so there's some substance to it. But then there's this:
"Not that everyone has these problems - some lucky Android users just buy phones that work. But an awful lot of people are suffering from some, or all, of the above problems, and Google isn't going out of its way to help."
That's overstretching it, and it goes rapidly downhill from there. It's not irreverent and funny, it's bitter and overblown. If the article had gone to just the line before and closed with some of TheRegister's customary wry wit, it might have been passable. Better still would be to also trim the exposition up top by half as many words. Perhaps the authors cared too much. When you're writing angry or frustrated it's best to let the draft sit a few days before going over it to make it fun to read.
Certainly we'll see in the near future an article here that does roast Android well, with good humor. This just isn't it. You know what? Nobody's perfect. We've just come to expect such awesome performance from TheRegister's authors and editors that when one falls flat like this we're disproportionately disappointed. We'll get over it.
T'was an interesting article which did highlight some of Androids deficiencies.
I've just bought four phones for my family recently and am now skint.
The missus moved from a n95 to a Satio and is happy as larry that she has a 12mp camera.
My youngest daughter has a nokia x6 which she loves...music/wifi/facebook etc
My middle daughter has an iphone4 so she's in line with her bf and once I'd set the bloody thing up with itunes etc all has been good
I have spent months looking at what would be an ideal upgrade to my UIQ3 P1i, a three+ year old phone that had solid wifi, good battery, a reasonably useful keypad, good for reading books, RSS, facebook, business card scanner, decent camera, fab lcg jukebox, song recognition etc etc.....I plumped for a HTC legend based on some stunning internet reviews.
It's a lovely and well designed phone but has been the hardest of all the above to set up with my home wifi....I had to get a belkin wireless router (that I luckily had knocking around) and daisychain it to my wireless network. A bit extreme but it was the only fix..i tried all the multitude of android apps that stop disconnections etc but none worked. This needs sorting as it is something that is vital to the operation of a constantly updating phone for obvious reasons.
Then of course I was unaware of the stupid gmail issue and had to factory reset.
I was never going to buy a samsung because they make good tellys and overtooled phones (look good but never seem to have the ability to deliver).
I nearly bought a N97 mini but I do think Nokia has lost its way a bit of late.
I was never going to have an iphone, as nice as they look I just cannot agree with the business model...criticise M$ for years then deliver iphon£....another closed system with dubious areas of censorship.
I do like the HTC...will I love it? Not sure, as with most of the handsets discussed the battery appears to be incapable of removing the need to be attached to a cable for great lengths of time.
Personally I liked UIQ3 the best, it did all that the current phones do and it did it longer....what happened to the last three years?
I like the double tap as it stops you selecting the wrong thing when using a product which is designed to be in motion, then having to go back to where you were to try selecting again.
I like the HTC capacitive screen but also liked the reactive screen because when you are searching for something in google and you need to edit the search string you can easily select the place you want to insert text without it zooming and all manner of crazy things.
And I liked the scrollwheel as it made the machine easier to use in one hand.
The HTC is definitely slicker but possibly a touch more dumbed down, or at least it felt that way when personalising it.
Is it as slick as the iphone? possibly not, but I think in the absence of my UIQ3 preference my Android HTC legend is a good choice and I certainly don't feel that my daughters iphone offers anything more and of course it cost twice as much.
You know, I have a SHELL SCRIPT. Yes, that's right a SHELL SCRIPT on my iPhone because the guys at Cupertino don't seem to have a mind for business. I created it for quick cleanup of my SMS messages as I might get 300 pages in a day. Apple didn't seem to acknowledge this possibiilty as most phone makers like Nokia do (with a delete all button).
I would have thrown my phone against a wall by now if not for that hack.
Really, I believe it is possible to write an article about the problems of Android without such nastiness, and without a somewhat irrelevant apology of the iPhone. True, the Reg spares no one, but this is still severely biased reporting. I do not recall reading such vitriol during the antennaGate thing.
And I say that as a happy iPhone 4 user.
So any chance of listing:
*Which phones suffer from the problems
*What firmware version they are running
*How many actual people are having these problems
That would maybe be a few too many facts for this author, such as the fact that Android has supported bluetooth keyboards since the Dell Streak launched. D'oh!
Spend some time getting the phone working.. "beating your head against the desk".. ROTFLMAO! Yeah..I put in the sim card, turned it on and IT WORKED! Wow, that was really difficult! NOT!
Downloading apps.. I select marketplace, select the app, say download, and guess what... it downloads! Amazing huh? Never had it lock up doing this.
Now I have had my nexus one crash... exactly three times, and all on the older (2.1) version of the OS. You want to know how I reset it? I popped the back off, pulled the battery out, pushed the battery in, and replaced the back. Oooo... that took some technical chops that did. Try even removing the battery on the iPhone... oh yeah.. you can't.. well, you CAN but it certainly isn't a simple matter.
Bottom line, Android is not perfect, never thought (or said) it was, but it is darn good and nothing like the article describes.
I had a galaxy s. So much potential but a serious rubbish software implementation. The fastest phone around, but it lags, great super screen, but auto brightness doesn't go high enough in direct sunlight so you have to do it manually. Likewise in darkness, like in bed, it is too bright and have to manually lower it. The gps just never works properly. And even when it was released it was a software version behind.
Sure you can 'fix' some when you enter the hacking community with rooting and custom roms. But I rather not fix a device I just bought, it should work.
Only android phones I recommend are htc legend and desire. The rest just doesn't provide the same experience without a lit of tinkering.
Oh and you pathetic fandroids, if you want to give it out then also be man enough to take.
There are many areas you could legitimately attack Android. The marketplace is crap, it's missing some key user friendly apps (I still use my ipod for podcasts because all of the Android apps are so useless), some of the settings and options can be confusing...
Like I said, lots of issues, BUT I know about 15 people with Android phones and I have NEVER heard of any of the issues in this article. Methinks they don't actually affect many people.
You have collated a few unusual problems and used them for the basis of a pretty pointless and transparently-biased article to bash an excellent platform and one which will soon be outselling iOS because of its openess and ease of use.
The issues you mention are not typical. The majority of Android users have a very positive experience and its rapid increase in market share supports this.
I have had the stalling issue but none of the others. I guess thats because i know how to type rather than jab at a screen hoping it works.
Anyway i went android because because the iPhone has stagnated. Without any competition in the market the iPhone is quickly becomming substandard with a slow processor and the dated grey look. More importantly the iPhone 4 has a signal issue which i have caused first hand. Yes i know apple given a free case to fix a hardware fault but im not a twat. There is also the issue that as there is only one iphone if you ask them to fix it they offer you a refund. what choice does a user have but to stick with it.
The iPhone itself if OK, its stylings are a bit 1984 and you have to buy it from a shop which looks like a council house (Grey block if you dont get that), but atleast you get to look at them on ikea tables. My point is the iPhone aint great but the developers have done a good job. Lets face it you dont see any apple apps on their adverts.
On the upside the good developers are moving to Android :D
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