Tag Archives: Android

Verizon updates the Thunderbolt

This seems like something out of the Twilight Zone, Verizon Wireless is updating the HTC Thunderbolt to Ice Cream Sandwich.

ThunderBolt by HTC is the next smartphone to be upgraded to Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich. The software upgrade will start getting pushed in phases beginning today Feb. 5.

Why is this odd? Because the phone in question is almost 2 years old and Android phones rarely get updated this late in life. Most of the early adopters of the phone will be up for contract renewal soon and there are 2 other higher end HTC phones in VZW’s lineup right now. It’s incredibly odd that they’d update something this old given their track record.

If you don’t remember, the Thunderbolt was VZW’s first LTE phone so perhaps they have a personal bond with the hardware. Still the update to ICS is quite strange considering the last update pushed to the device was Gingerbread in Sept 2011. I knew a few people who bought the phone during release week and the battery life was horrid. They were lucky to see 3-4 hours of life because the LTE chipset was so power hungry and the phone shipped without a way to shut it off. I have no idea what future software updates introduced but it’s doubtful they were able to fix the power needs of the chipset.

Whatever the reason, congratulations Thunderbolt owners, I’m sure there are plenty of newer phone owners who aren’t happy with you right now.

Please don’t buy this

Wow, Android Police went to town on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

The overall impression I get from this is arrogance. “We’re Samsung. You slobs will buy anything we crap out. We don’t have to try, we don’t even need the latest components. You’ll buy it no matter what.”

Scathing! I giggle with pleasure to see one of the better Android sites blast something from Samsung.

What about this review by The Verge? It looks like Android Police isn’t alone in their criticisms (The Verge gave it a 5.4 out of 10).

But a pretty good pen system built on top of a disappointing Android tablet still makes for a disappointing Android tablet. There’s just no reason to suffer through it: the Nexus 7 costs less than half as much as the Note and is without question the best Android tablet available.

That’s all I need to hear, the Galaxy Note 10.1 is junk and I could have told you that last year. I very much dislike Samsung, I don’t think I’ve tried to hide that fact in the past and I sure won’t sugar coat it now. They make copy-cat products that are pure garbage and then refuse to support them once they’re in the hands of the general public. They are everything that is wrong with the technology world and I hope they go out of business.

Don’t buy this, buy a Nexus 7 if you must.

Samsung the heart breaker

Vlad Savov writing for The Verge: “How Samsung broke my heart”

But the Korean leopard hadn’t changed its spots. We were just riding the crest of its massive technological advantage, there was no change in philosophy. In simple terms, Samsung was still Samsung, only its products happened to be awesome enough to be desirable in their own right. The signs of this were all there, in the shadowy expanse between its glamorous product launches. Once you buy a Samsung phone, you’re pretty much on your own. Did your Galaxy S ship with a dysfunctional GPS unit? Tough. Did you hope for timely software updates to your US variant of the same phone? Tougher still.

I can’t agree more with this. I’ve repeatedly fallen for Samsung’s technical specs only to be disappointed with the experience as a whole. Both the Sprint and AT&T versions of the Galaxy S II experienced software issues that caused me to return them. The Nexus S – which I still own – was a decent experience simply because it’s a “pure” Google device.

Vlad echos something I’ve been saying for a while, Samsung does not care about the device past the release date. Once they get the fanfare, it’s dead to them and even serious bugs get ignored, denied, or if you’re lucky, fixed months later. The carriers deserve some blame but I feel the majority of it falls on Samsung.

Even the much awaited ICS update is a huge disappointment. Samsung chose to completely hide Google’s Halo skin under the same version of Touchwiz that they used on Gingerbread. While HTC uses ICS as an opportunity to scale back and update their custom UI, Samsung plods along with the same old thing and robs the user of an improved experience.

The Galaxy S III is surprisingly ugly compared to the previous model and no matter how much they try to spin the software changes, it’s not very exciting at all. If the previous models are any example, there will be serious software bugs and only if enough people get angry will Samsung act with any urgency.

If you’re looking to get a new top of the line Android phone, I’d say the HTC One X is your best option right now.

Android adoption in chart form

Android Police has a fantastic article about the adoption of Android through the years complete with a really good chart. Make sure you click The Big Android Chart graphic for a good view.

This confirms something I think we all suspected, Ice Cream Sandwich adoption is moving really really slow. On the other hand Jean-Baptiste Queru seems to think this is normal.

With the Jelly Bean announcement most likely coming at Google I/O this year, I’d like to see this chart updated in 6 months, I bet it will still be depressing.