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Search - "smartphones"
It's bloody 2019 and the navigation bars on smartphones are still on top. There's no denying that Windows phones did get some things right. I miss them.35
I do not like the direction laptop vendors are taking.
New laptops tend to feature fewer ports, making the user more dependent on adapters. Similarly to smartphones, this is a detrimental trend initiated by Apple and replicated by the rest of the pack.
As of 2022, many mid-range laptops feature just one USB-A port and one USB-C port, resembling Apple's toxic minimalism. In 2010, mid-class laptops commonly had three or four USB ports. I have even seen an MSi gaming laptop with six USB ports. Now, much of the edges is wasted "clean" space.
Sure, there are USB hubs, but those only work well with low-power devices. When attaching two external hard drives to transfer data between them, they might not be able to spin up due to insufficient power from the USB port or undervoltage caused by the impedance (resistance) of the USB cable between the laptop's USB port and hub. There are USB hubs which can be externally powered, but that means yet another wall adapter one has to carry.
Non-replaceable [shortest-lived component] mean difficult repairs and no more reserve batteries, as well as no extra-sized battery packs. When the battery expires, one might have to waste four hours on a repair shop for a replacement that would have taken a minute on a 2010 laptop.
The SD card slot is being replaced with inferior MicroSD or removed entirely. This is especially bad for photographers and videographers who would frequently plug memory cards into their laptop. SD cards are far more comfortable than MicroSD cards, and no, bulky external adapters that reserve the device's only USB port and protrude can not replace an integrated SD card slot.
Most mid-range laptops in the early 2010s also had a LAN port for immediate interference-free connection. That is now reserved for gaming-class / desknote laptops.
Obviously, components like RAM and storage are far more difficult to upgrade in more modern laptops, or not possible at all if soldered in.
Touch pads increasingly have the buttons underneath the touch surface rather than separate, meaning one has to be careful not to move the mouse while clicking. Otherwise, it could cause an unwanted drag-and-drop gesture. Some touch pads are smart enough to detect when a user intends to click, and lock the movement, but not all. A right-click drag-and-drop gesture might not be possible due to the finger on the button being registered as touch. Clicking with short tapping could be unreliable and sluggish. While one should have external peripherals anyway, one might not always have brought them with. The fallback input device is now even less comfortable.
Some laptop vendors include a sponge sheet that they want users to put between the keyboard and the screen before folding it, "to avoid damaging the screen", even though making it two millimetres thicker could do the same without relying on a sponge sheet. So they want me to carry that bulky thing everywhere around? How about no?
That's the irony. They wanted to make laptops lighter and slimmer, but that made them adapter- and sponge sheet-dependent, defeating the portability purpose.
Sure, the CPU performance has improved. Vendors proudly show off in their advertisements which generation of Intel Core they have this time. As if that is something users especially care about. Hoo-ray, generation 14 is now yet another 5% faster than the previous generation! But what is the benefit of that if I have to rely on annoying adapters to get the same work done that I could formerly do without those adapters?
Microsoft has also copied Apple in demanding internet connection before Windows 11 will set up. The setup screen says "You will need an Internet connection…" - no, technically I would not. What does technically stand in the way of Windows 11 setting up offline? After all, previous Windows versions like Windows 95 could do so 25 years earlier. But also far more recent versions. Thankfully, Linux distributions do not do that.
If "new" and "modern" mean more locked-in and less practical and difficult to repair, I would rather have "old" than "new".13
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
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
Woke up early, took my mom out for breakfast. It has been more than an hour, we have talked for about 15 minutes the rest of the time she has been on her phone. Was giving smartphones to boomers a mistake? Any boomer devs here that have fallen to the same addiction?
These old people and their damn mobile devices! Get off my lawn!9
- Darwin core is open-source (https://github.com/apple/darwin-xnu). Not the case with Windows.
- You can use macOS without using any Apple online service like Apple ID, FaceTime or iCloud. Terminal will still work without restrictions, and any app can be installed manually. It's totally different from Google services on Android, without which most of the apps won't work at all.
- macOS updates are trivially to disable. It's a matter of unchecking "Update this mac automatically" checkbox in software update settings. Not the case with Windows, Windows updates are universally hated among developers for intentionally complex UI and update services being very hard to disable.
- Almost every feature or default behavior you dislike can be trivially disabled with one console command. Features won't re-enable automatically like I heard update service does in Windows. The only feature I dislike that I wasn't able to disable was a notification about unsafely unplugging a USB flash drive.
- Out of the box, you get a sophisticated disk manager that allows all kinds of manipulation on drives, just like what you get in Ubuntu.
- Just like on smartphones, you can trivially restrict or provide access to certain features like camera, microphone, etc. on app to app basis. I don't know how to easily do it in Linux, let alone in Windows.
- Apart from mastodons like GIMP, I find open source apps for macOS to have better UI than their Linux alternatives.
- Objective-See offers useful FOSS apps for macOS, they help with privacy and malware detection: https://objective-see.com/products....
I don't want to start a fight. Please, abstain from commenting on one OS being better / worse than the other. Please, don't comment on Mac computers being better / worse than computers of some other vendor. I'm very confused now because of my Dunning-Krueger thing (read my previous rants), so I just want to present the facts about macOS that I think deserve more exposure.28
Smartphones ruined social media. msn, yahoo, ICQ, even Facebook for some years - i loved them before. When you felt lonely you just looked who was online from your list and said hello and chat a bit because most likely the person sat in front of his or her PC and had time. At least it was indicated by the online status. I miss this feeling sometimes very much.
Now that everyone is online all the time this is gone. Among grown ups you only write someone if you have something important to say like setting up a date or what, and among the younger you send only memes. And even if you start a conversation you don't (and can't) expect a real time answer but see it as so called async comversation.5
everytime i buy a new phone ,i feel this sense of extreme regret :(
i bought a moto g 5g phone last year in feb, it was so good . it didn't had any out of the world cameras or some funky stuff, but it gave a decent performance and i couldn't want any other phone.
In October my mom's phone started giving issues so i bought a realme phone for her that was half my phone's price. i couldn't spent any mor e because otherwise she wouldn't take it. she accepted the cheaper phone and within 4 days sue was cursing it. the phone had decent specs but would lag in certain apps like zoom, and won't run some call recorder apps. at the end i swapped my phone with mom's since i didn't cared about zoom or the recorder.
now this shit realme phone's memory has gone around 60% full of my stuff, and its showing its limitations. this shit auto relaunches insta after a few minutes of usage, probably because its runtime memory gets short( 4gb 128gb device gets memory shortages. nice). its video quality is shit and camera also takes rarely good pics.
the worst thing i like about smartphones today is how they over optimise the ui. this insta issue and auto call recorders not working is simply because of the realme skin running over the stock android. i had similar issues with a xiaomi device i bought for my dad sometime ago. (fortunately my dad is more medieval so that crap has not came back to me :'/ )
so overall i am buying a 3rd phone in 17 months.
This time it's Samsung f23 and am worried that it's also going to suck. i was this 🤏close to buying a pixel 6 or even an iphone coz i can afford them.
but the regret of buying such an expensive phone that will need replacement in 2 years made me rethink.
the only android os that have suited me the best is stock and as of now only 2 companies are making it : google and moto(* it's 100% aosp with 3 extra apps but they can't say that, so they also state that they are not stock os) . one plus is also a brand that i have heard makes a good os . but recently i also heard that they have completely scrapped their os and using oppo's softwares . plus the amount of tickets we get for notifications not working in oneplus, am sure their optimization is extremely aggressive.
so everything between a moderate price phone ( that will need a replacement in 2 years ) to a flagship felt unnecessary to me, so i went ahead with a Samsung's shit phone. f23 has almost same specs as moto but it's again a heavily customised os. i wanna waste my money on trying a custom os and declare it shitty.
most of my friends that use Samsung are fan of it but they are also not very techy so i guess it suits them well. i am the guy who first installs nova launcher in his device, so let's see what it brings on the table. from the 3rd person p.o.v, i felt its screen and camera images to he nice whenever i used their mobiles, so let's see what this brings to the table :(10
Some image viewers on smartphones let the user delete photos and videos by swiping them off the screen vertically. This causes the risk of it happening accidentally. Someone must have thought this is a smart idea.
If a gallery application has this anti-feature, I will immediately stop using it and install a third-party one without swipe-to-delete.4
People want a computer for their pockets, not a locked-down glorified iPhone.
Google does not quite seem to get that.16
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
When file managers copy and delete files within the same partition instead of moving or renaming them…
When Google's Storage Access Framework was introduced, it did not feature a move command, so file managers just resorted to copying and deleting files within the same storage. Not only does this cause needless wear and is much slower, but it also destroys the date/time attribute (it gets changed to current).
When moving files through MTP (miserable transfer protocol, used for connecting smartphones to PC), they are also copy-deleted. This makes moving a 20-Gigabyte DCIM folder impractical. Also, if one cancels the operation, it might end up whoopsie-daisy deleting some files from the source before they have been transferred.
MTP is so bogus that it is incapable of a simple operation that would JustWork™ on mass storage devices. Not to mention, MTP lacks parallelism and its directory listing loading it S-L-O-W. Upwards of a minute for just 1000 files. Sometimes, it fails loading at all.
Also, trying to rename a file through MTP using the terminal through GVFS, even if just within the same folder, it copy-deletes it. If I want to rename a 1 GB 2160p 4K video in a highly populated DCIM folder, I can not do so through the terminal. At least, the 4K video has a time stamp in its internal metadata, but it still renames slowly and adds needless wear to the smartphone's flash memory.16
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
Automatically copying screenshots to clipboard has never been a good idea to begin with.
The screenshot feature since Windows 8, the full-page screenshot feature from the Firefox developer tools, and many smartphones automatically copy screenshots to the clipboard, which usurps the existing content of the clipboard If there is a clipboard manager (like on Samsung smartphones since at least the early 2010s), it usurps existing entries since clipboard managers only hold a limited number of entries. On Samsung's keyboard, that's twenty.
Thankfully, some other tools like gnome-screenshot for Linux make it optional. There is a "copy to clipboard" button on the file naming dialogue, but it does not happen unsolicitedly. This is the user-friendly way to do it.
Most websites and mobile applications do not support pasting screenshots from the clipboard anyway, only attaching them as file through a file picker or drag-and-drop gesture, making it pointless to copy screenshots to the clipboard. If I want to send a screenshot, I will attach it as a file.7
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.
It's 2022 and people still believe USB sticks and external card readers are a replacement for memory card slots.
They're not. SD cards have a standardized form factor and do not protrude from memory card slots, but external card readers and USB sticks do.
Just like smartphones, laptops are increasingly ditching the SD card slot or replacing it with microSD, which has less capacity, lower life expectancy and data retention span due to smaller memory transistors, worse handling, and no write-protection switch.
Not only should full-sized SD cards be brought back to laptops, but also brought to smartphones. There might soon be 2 TB SD cards, meaning not one second of worrying about running out of space for years. That would be wonderful.22
The trend of mobile browser URL bars only showing the domain name and hiding the rest of the URL needs to stop.
This trend appears to have been introduced by, guess who, Apple with iOS 7, and Samsung has copied it to their browser to look oh-so-"minimalistic", even though it has no benefits at all.
Even desktop browser Opera had this bad design at some point.4
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
Hello guys. I present you my top 3 list of cringe people:
1️⃣ People who talk about their family, relatives, kids, partners, etc. No one wants to hear it.
2️⃣ People who talk about their mental health or body health issues. If you have health issues then go to a clinic. No one wants to hear
3️⃣ People who play Fortnite or Brawl Stars. People who play dumb pay-to-pay games for kids or smartphones. You're cringe
⏺️ People who live in a society = cringe13
You can make your software as good as you want, if its core functionality has one major flaw that cripples its usefulness, users will switch to an alternative.
For example, an imaginary file manager that is otherwise the best in the world becomes far less useful if it imposes an arbitrary fifty-character limit for naming files and folders.
If you developed a file manager better than ES File Explorer was in the golden age of smartphones (before Google excercised their so-called "iron grip" on Android OS by crippling storage access, presumably for some unknown economic incentive such as selling cloud storage, and before ES File Explorer became adware), and if your file manager had all the useful functionality like range selection and tabbed browsing and navigation history, but it limits file names to 50 characters even though the file system supports far longer names, the user will have to rely on a different application for the sole purpose of giving files longer names, since renaming, as a file action, is one of the few core features of a file management software.
Why do I mention a 50-character limit? The pre-installed "My Files" app by Samsung actually did once have a fifty-character limit for renaming files and folders. When entering a longer name, it would show the message "up to 50 characters available". My thought: "Yeah, thank you for being so damn useful (sarcasm). I already use you reluctantly because Google locked out superior third-party file managers likely for some stupid economic incentives, and now you make managing files even more of a headache than it already is, by imposing this pointless limitation on file names' length."
Some one at Samsung's developer department had a brain fart some day that it would be a smart idea to impose an arbitrary limit on file name lengths. It isn't.
The user needs to move files to a directory accessible to a superior third-party file manager just to give it a name longer than fifty characters. Even file management on desktop computers two decades ago was better than this crap!
All of this because Google apparently wants us to pay them instead of SanDisk or some other memory card vendor. This again shows that one only truly owns a device if one has root access. Then these crippling restrictions that were made "for security reasons" (which, in case it isn't clear, is an obvious pretext) can be defeated for selected apps.3
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