Google’s big battle will be that they know (and care) nothing about customer support or user interface. I early-adopted and hated the clunky Motorola Droid and I’m intensely happy to be rid of it. Unlike Apple, there was no one responsible for the device as a device. And I couldn’t upgrade to newer ones when the hardware improved because Google’s own software wouldn’t successfully sync any newer Droid with Google’s own calendar.
Maybe Google will learn, but they released something unworthy of being sold for good money, even fiat money. I feel obliged to recycle bits excerpted from the web diary of the seven stages of grief I went thru in my year-long battle with the Droid:
Early days: patience and optimism
The insides of the Droid are fine. It’s the user interface that lacks deep polish, even though it oozes shallow polish. I suppose one should expect this; Google has little experience with designing complex interfaces and they have lots to learn. (I can point out some flaws on Apple’s Mail: when you delete a message, it doesn’t take you automatically to the next one.)
Becoming anoid: The monster won’t sync properly; I take solace in William Blake and swear to persevere
The trouble is that Verizon sells it, Motorola makes the hardware, and Google unsupports the software. There is lots of room for things to fall in the cracks. Every time I try to make one thing work a little better, it’s back to square one.
Like Nostradamus, William Blake knew what I would be up against with the Droid:
From Wikipedia: “Verizon serves as a Satanic force similar to Milton’s Satan.”
“Lo, a shadow of horror is risen
In Eternity! Unknown, unprolific!
Self-closd, all-repelling: what Demon
Hath form’d this abominable void
This soul-shudd’ring vacuum?–Some said
“It is Verizon“”
But Blake also knew the cure, as English schoolboys sing in their Jerusalem hymn:
“I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Droid sleep in my hand:
Till I have made the Bastard sync,
No matter wtf Google planned.”
Forebodings: The Invisible Hand Appears
If, like me, you are the proud owner of a Verizon-Motorola-Google Droid, you will be interested to know that its synchronization problems are dwarfed by a new one I’ve discovered: The Invisible Hand!
Lest you think I am the only poor soul so afflicted, I recommend you google or bing “motorola android touch screen jitter.”
This is the situation. Sometimes, the Droid screen starts to jitter, as though stroked by invisible touches from some phantom Dybbuk trying to arouse it. It looks as though it is suffering endless and continual touch screen input. The screen scrolls up and down, left and right, opens up the picture gallery, displays menus, asks you to enter data, ceaselessly.
Needless to say, this makes looking at your calendar or dialing a phone number an impossibility. Often, it makes unlocking the screen and using the smartphone in any way at all a non-event.
Healing: The Ogden Nash Equilibrium
You may have hoid
I dumped my droid
into a garbage can I found (using Google Voice Search) on the corner of 33rd
I’m in heaven.
There it lay,
Pleading as I walked away
“process.android.email not responding: Force Quit or Close?”
So it goes.