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Search - "smartphone"
*Wife*: What do you want for x-mas? A new phone maybe? Yours has lived through a lot already - perhaps it's time for an upgrade?
*I*: Naah, thanks. My trusty S7 still works incredibly well. I also have all those 2FAs set up there and stuff I'm too lazy to transfer over to a new device.
*Parents*: What do you want for–//–
*I*: Naah, thanks. My tr–//–
*in-laws*: What do you want for–//–
*I*: Naah, thanks. My tr–//–
*Siblings*: What do you want for–//–
*I*: Naah, thanks. My tr–//–
Smartphone and Android OS users in 2013:
“I wonder which features they will add this time!”
Smartphone and Android OS users in 2022:
“I wonder which features they will remove this time!”8
If you can be locked out of it remotely, you don't own it.
On May 3rd, 2019, the Microsoft-resembling extension signature system of Mozilla malfunctioned, which locked out all Firefox users out of their browsing extensions for that day, without an override option. Obviously, it is claimed to be "for our own protection". Pretext-o-meter over 9000!
BMW has locked heated seats, a physical interior feature of their vehicles, behind a subscription wall. This both means one has to routinely spend time and effort renewing it, and it can be terminated remotely. Even if BMW promises never to do it, it is a technical possibility. You are in effect a tenant in a car you paid for. Now imagine your BMW refused to drive unless you install a software update. You are one rage-quitting employee at BMW headquarters away from getting stuck on a side of a road. Then you're stuck in an expensive BMW while watching others in their decade-old VW Golf's driving past you. Or perhaps not, since other stuck BMWs would cause traffic jams.
Perhaps this horror scenario needs to happen once so people finally realize what it means if they can be locked out of their product whenever the vendor feels like it.
Some software becomes inaccessible and forces the user to update, even though they could work perfectly well. An example is the pre-installed Samsung QuickConnect app. It's a system app like the Wi-Fi (WLAN) and Bluetooth settings. There is a pop-up that reads "Update Quick connect", "A new version is available. Update now?"; when declining, the app closes. Updating requires having a Samsung account to access the Galaxy app store, and creating such requires providing personally identifiable details.
Imagine the Bluetooth and WiFi configuration locking out the user because an update is available, then ask for personal details. Ugh.
The WhatsApp messenger also routinely locks out users until they update. Perhaps messaging would cease to work due to API changes made by the service provider (Meta, inc.), however, that still does not excuse locking users out of their existing offline messages. Telegram does it the right way: it still lets the user access the messages.
"A retailer cannot decide that you were licensing your clothes and come knocking at your door to collect them. So, why is it that when a product is digital there is such a double standard? The money you spend on these products is no less real than the money you spend on clothes." – Android Authority ( https://androidauthority.com/digita... ).
A really bad scenario would be if your "smart" home refused to heat up in winter due to "a firmware update is available!" or "unable to verify your subscription". Then all you can do is hope that any "dumb" device like an oven heats up without asking itself whether it should or not. And if that is not available, one might have to fall back on a portable space heater, a hair dryer or a toaster. Sounds fun, huh? Not.
Cloud services (Google, Adobe Creative Cloud, etc.) can, by design, lock out the user, since they run on the computers of the service provider. However, remotely taking away things one paid for or has installed on ones own computer/smartphone violates a sacred consumer right.
This is yet another benefit of open-source software: someone with programming and compiling experience can free the code from locks.
I don't care for which "good purpose" these kill switches exist. The fact that something you paid for or installed locally on your device can be remotely disabled is dystopian and inexcuseable.16
What sucks most about smartphones is how much everyone came to rely on them and expect you to have one which is turned on and working. Rent a bike? Need an app! Log in somewhere? Need 2FA. I just want to leave my phone turned off for a few days like in the good old days. There must be something wrong with the way we live.7
MTP is utter garbage and belongs to the technological hall of shame.
MTP (media transfer protocol, or, more accurately, MOST TERRIBLE PROTOCOL) sometimes spontaneously stops responding, causing Windows Explorer to show its green placebo progress bar inside the file path bar which never reaches the end, and sometimes to whiningly show "(not responding)" with that white layer of mist fading in. Sometimes lists files' dates as 1970-01-01 (which is the Unix epoch), sometimes shows former names of folders prior to being renamed, even after refreshing. I refer to them as "ghost folders". As well known, large directories load extremely slowly in MTP. A directory listing with one thousand files could take well over a minute to load. On mass storage and FTP? Three seconds at most. Sometimes, new files are not even listed until rebooting the smartphone!
Arguably, MTP "has" no bugs. It IS a bug. There is so much more wrong with it that it does not even fit into one post. Therefore it has to be expanded into the comments.
When moving files within an MTP device, MTP does not directly move the selected files, but creates a copy and then deletes the source file, causing both needless wear on the mobile device' flash memory and the loss of files' original date and time attribute. Sometimes, the simple act of renaming a file causes Windows Explorer to stop responding until unplugging the MTP device. It actually once unfreezed after more than half an hour where I did something else in the meantime, but come on, who likes to wait that long? Thankfully, this has not happened to me on Linux file managers such as Nemo yet.
When moving files out using MTP, Windows Explorer does not move and delete each selected file individually, but only deletes the whole selection after finishing the transfer. This means that if the process crashes, no space has been freed on the MTP device (usually a smartphone), and one will have to carefully sort out a mess of duplicates. Linux file managers thankfully delete the source files individually.
Also, for each file transferred from an MTP device onto a mass storage device, Windows has the strange behaviour of briefly creating a file on the target device with the size of the entire selection. It does not actually write that amount of data for each file, since it couldn't do so in this short time, but the current file is listed with that size in Windows Explorer. You can test this by refreshing the target directory shortly after starting a file transfer of multiple selected files originating from an MTP device. For example, when copying or moving out 01.MP4 to 10.MP4, while 01.MP4 is being written, it is listed with the file size of all 01.MP4 to 10.MP4 combined, on the target device, and the file actually exists with that size on the file system for a brief moment. The same happens with each file of the selection. This means that the target device needs almost twice the free space as the selection of files on the source MTP device to be able to accept the incoming files, since the last file, 10.MP4 in this example, temporarily has the total size of 01.MP4 to 10.MP4. This strange behaviour has been on Windows since at least Windows 7, presumably since Microsoft implemented MTP, and has still not been changed. Perhaps the goal is to reserve space on the target device? However, it reserves far too much space.
When transfering from MTP to a UDF file system, sometimes it fails to transfer ZIP files, and only copies the first few bytes. 208 or 74 bytes in my testing.
When transfering several thousand files, Windows Explorer also sometimes decides to quit and restart in midst of the transfer. Also, I sometimes move files out by loading a part of the directory listing in Windows Explorer and then hitting "Esc" because it would take too long to load the entire directory listing. It actually once assigned the wrong file names, which I noticed since file naming conflicts would occur where the source and target files with the same names would have different sizes and time stamps. Both files were intact, but the target file had the name of a different file. You'd think they would figure something like this out after two decades, but no. On Linux, the MTP directory listing is only shown after it is loaded in entirety. However, if the directory has too many files, it fails with an "libmtp: couldn't get object handles" error without listing anything.
Sometimes, a folder appears empty until refreshing one more time. Sometimes, copying a folder out causes a blank folder to be copied to the target. This is why on MTP, only a selection of files and never folders should be moved out, due to the risk of the folder being deleted without everything having been transferred completely.
I despise it when software developers remove features because "too few people use them".
Is this what those shady telemetry features are for? So they can pick which useful features to get rid of because some computer rookies whined that it is "feature creep" rather than just ignoring it?
Now I have to fear losing useful (or at least occasionally convenient) features each time I upgrade, such as Firefox ditching RSS, FTP, and the ability to view individual cookies. The third can be done with an extension, but compatibility for it might be broken at some point, so we have to wait for someone to come up with a replacement.
Also, the performance analysis tool in the developer tools has been moved to an online service ("Firefox profiler"). I hope I don't need to explain the problems with that.
But perhaps the biggest plunge in functionality in web browser history was Opera version 15. That was when they ditched their native "Presto" browsing engine for Chromium/Blink, and in the process removed many features including the integrated session manager and page element counter.
The same applies to products such as smartphones. In the early 2010s, it was a given that a new smartphone should cover all the capabilities of its predecessors in its series, so users can upgrade without worrying a second that anything will be missing. But that blissful image was completely destroyed with the Galaxy S6. (There have been some minor feature removals before that, such as the radio and the three-level video recording bitrate adjustment on the S4, but that's nothing compared to what was removed with the S6.).
Whenever I update software to a new version or upgrade my smartphone, I would like it to become MORE capable, not LESS (and to hell with that "less is more" nonsense).15
If you want to make a startup but don't because there is a similar product or "every niche is already occupied", quit thinking this way.
Yahoo could once easily buy Google. They even received the offer but rejected it. But as for now, Yahoo is nothing.
Tumblr was once a top social network, but they crumbled. Foursquare once was preinstalled to smartphones, and now it pretty much doesn't exist.
Blackberry was a giant, the number one smartphone manufacturer. Where are they now? It wasn't betrayal like it was with Nokia and Stephen Elop.
Matter of fact, I'm now working for the company that entered a heavily occupied niche and over the course of three years pushed every competitor out.
Sometimes giants crumble. Small products crumble way more often, just because there are more of them.
There is always enough room in every niche of every industry. Just enough for your startup. Now, as you can't hide under "it's already occupied, and I can do nothing about it" mindset, the only reason your startup won't make it is that you don't work on it. Yes, accepting it is way less comfortable than hiding, but now you're able to change things. You _can_ do something about it.
Evaluate your goals, ask yourself whether making this startup would be just wasted time in case it never takes off, and if you think it's still worth doing, do it.
There is always enough room for your masterpiece.3
MTP is complete garbage. I want mass storage back.
The media transfer protocol (MTP) occasionally discovers new creative ways of failure. Frequently, directory listings take minutes to load or fail to load at all, and it freezes up infinitely (until disconnected) when renaming an item, and I can not even do two things simultaneously.
While files are being moved, I can not browse pictures or watch videos from the smartphone.
Sometimes, files are listed with the date 1970-01-01 (Unix epoch) instead of their correct date. Sometimes, files do not appear at all, which makes it unsafe to move directories from the device.
MTP lacks random access. If I want to play a two-gigabyte 4K 2160p video and seek in the video, guess what: I need to copy it to my computer's local mass storage first because MTP lacks random access.
When transferring high numbers of files, MTP has to slooooowly enumerate (or "prepare" or "calculate the time of") them all, which might even take longer than mass storage would need for the entire process. This means MTP might start copying or moving the actual files when mass storage is already finished.
Today, the "preparing to move" process was especially slow: five minutes for around 150 files! How am I supposed to find out what caused this random malfunction?
MTP sometimes drives me insane. I want mass storage back, at least for the MicroSD memory card, which uses a widely supported file system.
Imagine a 2010 $100 Android phone is better at file transfer than a 2022 $1000 Android phone (or iPhone, for that matter).3
Owned a smartphone for 10 years, this month was my first time ever getting 3G/4G connection ...
I prefer no internet when I'm out ¯\_(ツ)_/¯5
My son used an ASUS Live L1 for about 3 years, and then we bought a new smartphone 1 year ago. Cool, except that the e-mail address he registered with Live L1, no longer exists, has been permanently deleted. His newest phone was stolen, and we took the L1 to set it up again. Only... Google wants him to log in to the original email (FRP Lock) that no longer exists.
How absurd, the L1 cell phone was never marked as stolen, and now we are unable to use our property. Is there a way for my son to convince google that the phone is his?
Microsoft, Google, Apple... They give the impression that people give money and use devices as if they were a "favor".12
What is your opinion on eSIM (embedded SIM)?
Now that Apple has built the first smartphone without modular SIM, it is, as history shows, only a matter of time until the same vendors who mock Apple for doing this will hypocritically follow Apple in implementing it themselves. There will be an outrage, but it will fade and the new restriction will be tolerated.
To me, "eSIM" appears like an euphemistic / euphemSIMtic (pun intended) marketing term, like calling non-replaceable batteries "eBatteries" ("embedded batteries") would be. It is less modular and more locked-down.20
Here is a weird fact I have been thinking about this evening:
Helio X20 was the only mainstream ARM processor that had 10 CPU cores. It was first introduced in 2015, however no more ARM processors with high core count were used since then..
Nowadays smartphone processors have `8` cores max 🤔🧐
I guess 8 cores the reasonable limit for smartphones. Must have something to do with cost-to-performance factor3
Why open-source matters: I can remove annoyances like starting in front-facing mode from a smartphone camera software, and hide the button for the "effects" drawer that I never use since I can add Sepia or black/white in post processing should I ever need it.
Both of these annoyances cause missing moments. If the source code of the camera software is open, and if the operating system is rooted, these utter annoyances can be removed.
There are open-source third party applications like "Open Camera", but they lack quick launch support and might have, presumably due to lack of optimization, a two-second shutter lag. Big no.
Any file manager without range selection is basically crippled.
Desktop PC file managers had the ability to select many files at once since at least the 1990s, yet smartphone file managers typically still lack it as of 2022. This means if I want to select a range of files, I have to tap each file individually. That's OK for - like - 20 files, but not for 1100 files. I'd need more time to select those files than the transfer would take, and if I accidentally hit anything that closes the app, I can start all over again. <sarcasm>That is how I wish to spend my day.</sarcasm>
In the early 2010s, ES File Explorer brought a dragless range selection feature, where only the first and last item had to be highlighted and a button pressed. This means over 5000 items could be selected in 10 seconds: tap item A, drag the scroll bar, tap item B, tap range selection icon, then done! But then Google came and said "sorry, you can't have nice things" (not vocally but through actions), and forcibly disabled write access to the microSD card to third-party applications. The only way to evade this restriction was through rooting.
Then, Google "blessed" us with storage access framework and then iOS-like scoped storage "to protect us". https://xda-developers.com/android-... . Oh, thank you for your protection by taking freedoms away!
The pre-installed file manager of Android still lacks range selection THIRTY YEARS after desktop computers came pre-installed with this feature. Shame on you, Google. This isn't innovative.
If Google will implement range selection, I guess they will make it half-assed by implementing drag-to-select, which is hardly more useful than individual tap selection for thousands of files. Then they tell us "you wanted range selection, here you are! Now don't bug us.". Sorry, but users don't want half-assed drag-to-select, but real tap-A-B-selection and a draggable scroll bar.
Some mobile file managers even lack a draggable scroll bar, meaning if I want to go near the center of the list, I have to swipe up like a dog or cat licks water from a bowl.10
One easy way to watch YouTube without ads on a smartphone is Firefox + Ad.blocker
HoWeVeR... Page loading time on YouTube went up to 1 minute for me lately, all out of a sudden. Nothing changed on my device. I have auto-updates disabled
A coincidence? 🤔 Or Google looking to make life hard for me. YouTube was already caught making loading slow on FireFox deliberately, so they deserve 0️⃣ trust5
completely selfish post/question.
I'm in search of an Android smartphone. I'm focusing on the camera, storage size, battery life and internet. Budget: ~500€.
My superficial search spotted Galaxy S20 ultra / Note 20 ultra.
I think it's time to replace my trusty S7edge as it started turning off randomly. Damn, I like my S7e!
P.S. I wonder if the S23 ultra battery really holds that long... :) Too bad it's >1k€11
Make sure your software does not lose data when improperly quit, and does not allow deletion without a proper confirmation dialogue.
I have experienced pre-installed voice recorder applications that leave behind an unsalvageable corrupt file if the smartphone shuts down due to running out of battery charge, or powers off due to battery undervoltage (as a result of an aged battery).
As often, third-party software beats pre-installed software, and the voice recorder "ASR" by "NLL apps" leaves behind a playable file when unexpectedly quit. Might be because it uses the OGG vorbis format rather than M4A or 3GP audio.
Also, the camera software of the Samsung Galaxy Pocket smartphone from 2012 (which was crap anyway) would discard a video file if the recording was quit through the "back" navigation key.
Perhaps this was done deliberately, but it is a terrible idea due to the possibility of accidents happening.
Some gallery software for Android lets the user delete photos and videos by swiping vertically. After this, a so-called "toast" notification appears with an undo button. If not responded to within seconds, or when tapping next to it due to stress, the photo or video is gone. This is, needless to say, terrible design.2
I recently removed the PlayStore and other Google apps from my smartphone and got myself fdroid.
Since not all the apps that I'm using are on fdroid I wondered, how to keep those apps up-to-date?3
I just found out about the firmata protocol and I’m geeking out a bit. I’ve been looking for something like it without realizing.
If you like microcontrollers, imagine what you could do with gpio pins on any device, with all the resources of a PC or even a smartphone.
I mean I knew this could be achieved, but didn’t know that anyone designed a protocol.
It's these individually tiny annoyances in products and software that together form a huge annoyance.
For example, it's 2022 and Chromium-based web browsers still interrupt an upload when hitting CTRL+S. This is why competition is important. If there was no Firefox, the only major web browsers would, without exception, have this annoyance, since they're all based on Chrmoium.
I remember Chromium for mobile formerly locking scrolling and zooming of the currently viewed page while the next page was loading. Thankfully, this annoyance was removed.
In 2016, the Samsung camera software was updated to show a "camera has been opened via quick launch" pop-up window when both front and rear sensors of the smartphone were covered while the camera was launched by pressing the home button twice, on the camera software Samsung bundled with their custom version of Android 6. What's more, if that pointless pop-up was closed by tapping the background instead of the tiny "OK" button or not responded to within five seconds, the camera software would exit itself. Needless to say, this defeats the purpose of a quick launch. It denies quick-launching while the phone is in the pocket, and the time necessary to get the phone out could cause moments to be missed.
Another bad camera behaviour Samsung introduced with the camera software bundled with their customized Android 6 was that if it was launched again shortly after exiting or switching to stand-by mode, it would also exit itself again within a few seconds. It could be that the camera app was initially designed around Android 5.0 in 2015 and then not properly adapted to Android 6.0, and some process management behaviour of Android 6.0 causes this behaviour. But whatever causes it, it is annoying and results in moments to not be captured.
Another such annoyance is that some home screen software for smartphones only allows access to its settings by holding a blank spot not occupied by a shortcut. However, if all home screen pages are full, one either needs to create a new page if allowed by the app, or temporarily remove a shortcut to be able to access the settings.
More examples are: Forced smartphone restart when replacing the SIM card, the minimum window size being far too large in some smartphones with multi-windowing functionality, accidental triggering of burst shot mode that can't be deactivated in the camera software, only showing the estimated number of remaining photos if less than 300 and thus a late warning, transition animations that are too slow, screenshots only being captured when holding a button combination for a second rather than immediately, the terminal emulator being inaccessible for the first three minutes after the smartphone has booted, and the sound from an online advertisement video causing pain from being much louder than the playing video.
Any of these annoyances might appear minor individually, but together, they form a major burden on everyday use. Therefore, developers should eliminate annoyances, no matter how minor they might seem.
The same also applies for missing features. The individual removal of a feature might not seem like a big of a deal, but removing dozens of small features accumulates to a significant lack of functionality, undermining the sense of being able to get work done with that product or software when that feature is unexpectedly needed. Examples for a products that pruned lots of functionality from its predecessor is the Samsung Galaxy S6, and newer laptops featuring very few USB ports. Web browsers have removed lots of features as well. Some features can be retrofitted with extensions, but they rely on a third-party developer maintaining compatibility. If many minor-seeming features are removed, users will repeatedly hit "sorry, this product/software can not do that anymore" moments.
What is the point of specifying whether one connected headphones or an external speaker to the computer or smartphone?
When attaching an audio device, some operating systems and smartphones ask the user about the type of audio device. For what purpose?2